Levels of jnana?

Allan Curry un824 at FREENET.VICTORIA.BC.CA
Fri Jul 18 19:46:15 CDT 1997


I suppose my biggest doubt was how could it be possible for jnana to occur
and then seem to revert to ajnana? I had the idea that no *real* jnana
occured until it was continuous 24hours/day and irreversible. So this made
me subsequently doubt the occurence of what seemed to be non-dual
awareness. I was neither able to completely disbelieve these occurences nor
was I able to accept them (after the fact) as having been what they seemed
to be. This dilemma was painfully frustrating and continued in one
form or another for YEARS!   :-(

In case anyone else gets this doubt after "interludes" of non-dual
awareness they might benefit by reading the Tripura Rahasya. In some
of the later chapters it discusses "levels of jnana". It says, for instance,
"The lowest level jnanis seem outwardly similar to the ignorant because
they have not yet achieved sahaja samadhi, spontaneous samadhi. As long as
they remain in contemplation they are complete, but the moment they get up,
they start identifying themselves with their bodies and experience pain and
pleasure just as animals do. When two corners of a cloth are dipped in dye,
the rest of the material soaks up the dye. Just so, a worldly experience
occuring during contemplation is colored by contemplative truth. That is
why it cannot become a cause of bondage. During contemplation, though he
functions in the world, his awareness of the self exists. That is why he is
not in bondage."

I suppose this is like the distinction Ramana makes between nirvikalpa
samadhi and sahaja samadhi. Now I'm beginning to ease up on the whole issue
as being a problem of how I think about things rather than how things
actually are. Every time I actually look and see, it seems everything is
perfectly OK. How things actually are, is after all the truth which will
set us free, so maybe it really doesn't matter how I think about it?

As a matter of fact, I'm beginning to suspect the whole thing boils
down to recognizing one *is* the consciousness that prevails in the
abscence of conceptual models. Subsequently, conceptual models can funtion
as the mere tools they are without making the mistake of identifying
mere ideas *about* reality with reality itself.  Comments?

best wishes to all,

Allan Curry

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list