Advaita 1001

Anand Hudli ahudli at APPN.CI.IN.AMERITECH.COM
Thu Nov 14 08:41:23 CST 1996

                    Ken Stuart wrote:

> Okay, the question now arises what exactly Shankara is referring to by
> "jnani" and "knower of the Self".
> The followers of Ramakrishna use "knower of the Self" to mean
> "self-realized".   And I've read messages in this mailing list that
> use "jnani" to mean "self-realized".
> If that is true, then one can make a strong case that Shankara is
> saying "Unless you're already realized, you need to do karma yoga".

   Not exactly. In the context of self realization, the word jnaani
  is used in two senses. jnaani means one who has the Brahma-jnaana
  already. This means a jnaani is a self realized person. Another
  sense in which the word jnaani is used is that it indicates a
  person who knows that there is no happiness in the world, but has
  not yet realized Brahman. More precisely, a jnaani may be someone
  who is fit for Brahman realization. And who is eligible for
  Brahma jnaana? One who has the four fold qualifications, referred to
  as saadhana chatushhTaya. These are 1) viveka or discrimination,
  2) vairaagya or dispassion, 3) shamaadishhaTsampattiH, the six
  treasures or virtues beginning from shamaa (tranquility), and
  4) mumukshhutva, an intense desire for liberation.

 An aspirant who wishes to begin an inquiry into Brahman must have these
 qualifications. This is the import of the very first Brahma suutra,
  athaato brahma jijnaasaa.

  So the question is how does one acquire these qualifications in the
  first place? The answer is through karma yoga and/or bhakti yoga.

  svavarNaashramadharmeNa tapasaa haritoshhaNaat.h |
  saadhanaM prabhavetpuMsaaM vairaagyaadichatushhTayaM ||

  By performance of the duties required by one's social obligations
  and stage in life, by austerities, and by pleasing shrii Hari (God),
  the four qualifications of dispassion and the like are attained by
  people. (Shankara's aparokshhaanubhuuti)

> Namaskar,
> Ken


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