[Advaita-l] Binary nature of Jnana

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 13:35:04 EDT 2022

Namaste Praveen ji

On Mon, 4 Jul 2022, 11:53 Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> 1) It would mean that the siddhAnti is saying that brahmaniShTha = sAdhaka
> can be only a sannyAsI, and not any other ashramI because the latter has
> other duties that cannot culminate in brahmajnAna!
> 2) It would also mean that brahmajnAnI cannot be other ashramI, because
> without being a sAdhaka, one cannot be a jnAnI. Or worse yet, one would be
> a jnAnI without ever being a sAdhaka!
> 3) And all this is in a pATha taught by a non-sannyAsI Brahmashri Maniji to
> many non-sannyAsI non-sAdhakas! This 3rd point is only since I couldn't
> help see the contradiction. Kindly pardon me being the elder and more
> mature, if it seems harsh.

I listened to this talk - essentially what was said was that the term
brahmasamstha occuring in this context can only apply to sannyAsa Ashrama -
the reason for this is that the yaugika meaning of the term brahma-samsthA
can only apply to the sannyAsi.

The yaugika meaning given by the bhAShyakAra is as mentioned by Sri
Chandramouli - samsthA in brahmasamthA means culmination, avasAna. So the
term brahmasamsthah in this context means - he whose sole purpose is
culmination in brahman (brahmajnAna), ie those for whom there is nothing
else enjoined. This obviously cannot apply to any other Ashrami, because
they do have other karma-s that have been enjoined for them.

The Shruti vAkya in question, ‘ब्रह्मसंस्थोऽमृतत्वमेति’ is saying  that the
one who is a brahmasamsthah (a sannyAsi who has no necessity for anything
other than brahmajnAna, one who has culminated in Brahman) attains

I don't think the corrolaries you suggest necessarily follow from this much
alone - i.e. in saying that the sannyAsi attains inmortality, it does not
follow that no one else can attain it. All the bhAShya is seeking to do is
to establish that brahmasamsthah can only mean sannyAsi. Therefore, the
force of the siddhAntin's refutation of the pUrvapakshI lies primarily in
dismissing the contention that the term can apply to other Ashrama-s also,
not in stating that jnAna cannot arise in other Ashrama-s.

Therefore the argument is that if one belongs to any other Ashrama, they
have an obligation to continue performing their duties even after
brahmajnAna, so they cannot have samsthA, samApti in brahmajnAna. That
would incur pratyavAya. Therefore, they cannot be the ones referred to by
the term brahmasamsthAh.

Now, coming to the point of contention, Sri Chandramouli says "It is clear
from the above that the term ब्रह्मनिष्ठ (brahmaniShTha) is
applicable to a sAdhaka  (who is not a jnAni) also."

I don't know how it is clear - perhaps he can elucidate. Just because the
term brahmasamsthah refers to a sannyAsi and the term sannyAsi can refer to
vividiShA sannyAsi also, it does not automatically imply that
brahmasamsthah can refer to a vividiShA sannyAsi also.

The reason being that the word brahmasamsthah occurs in the context of the
shruti vAkya ब्रह्मसंस्थोऽमृतत्वमेति - the brahmasamsthah attains
immortality. This can only apply to a jnAni sannyAsi, and not merely a
vividiShA sannyAsi who is yet to attain jnAna.

Now it is always possible that there is some other place in shAstra where
the term brahmasamsthah can apply to an ajnAni also, but in this particular
location, because it refers to such a brahmasamsthah attaining immortality,
can only apply to a jnAni.

Kind regards,

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