neti neti

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 24 15:40:09 CST 1998

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
>My questions on that thinking are the following:
>1. Obviously, if a sincere student of vedanta while being in ajnAna
>                   ^^^^^^^
>   to be a jnAni, then the student is not honest to him/herself. Such a
>   student is a fraud. At one stage or other, a (spiritual) fraud will
>   shown up both to the world and more importantly to oneself..
>   There is no pressure on the jeeva to take up spiritual life.
>   pressure has no meaning in spiritual life. Secondly, a jeeva may be
>   pressure to lead a worldly life rather than lead a spiritual life.
>   Thus, I cannot imagine a jeeva, for whatever reason, would lead a
>   decietful "spiritual" life to deny ajnAna when he/she is full of
>   ajnAna. What could be the motive that can be ascribed for such a
>   behaviour by a sincere student of vedanta ?
>                  ^^^^^^^
    Whatever may be the motive(s), they may be lumped in ajnaana
    again! Such a person is more deeply entrenched in ajnaana.
    I agree with your intended point that such deceit is  bad.
>2. We can persist on saying that we are ajnAnis and we are in bondage.
>   (Whatever we say is immaterial, whatever we feel inside (whether we
>   feel we are in bondage or whether we feel we are free) is the one
>   matters.) Will the statement (that we are ajnAnis and we are in
>   bondage) be a perpetual statement ? Will there be, in the jeeva's
>   any day when the jeeva would feel that he/she is not an ajnAni ? Is
>   jeeva doomed throughout its life to repeat I am an ajnAni ?

   The answers to these questions lie with the jeeva! As Shankara
   and other AchAryas say repeatedly, the only antidote for ajnaana
   is jnaana. The disease of ajnaana lasts only as long as the
   medicine is not taken. If the jeeva does not take the medicine
   throughout its life, by choice or misfortune or any other cause,
   it suffers in ajnaana for life.
>3. Let us look at two cases: Jeevas A and B are spiritual students, and
>   honest to their conscience. Jeeva A says and feels that he/she is an
>   ajnAni and repeats that as a mantra. Jeeva B does not say or feel
>   he/she is an ajnAni. Jeeva A, like a typical ajnAni, identifies the
>   Self with the body, possessions etc. Jeeva B does not feel he/she is
>   ajnAni and does not identify the Self with the gross-subtle body
>   combination. How long will jeeva A continue to think he/she is an
ajnAni ?
>   Is there moksha for this jeeva A any time ? There should be a stage
>   the student's spiritual development, when the student has to let go
>   thought that he/she is an ajnAni. The moment when this thought is
>   go varies from student to student and is characteristic of the
>   But, that thought that one is an ajnAni has to be dropped. Is not
>   difference between a jnAni and an ajnAni how they feel towards the
>   matters?

   Before a balance sheet is prepared, it is useful to point out
   the two examples you have chosen are atypical. First, your
   jiiva A is at one end of the extremes, if it feels that it is
   in ajnaana *and* nothing can done about it. Shankara and other
   AchAryas in our tradition do not condemn any jiiva to a
   perpetual life in ajnaana or duality as some of the Vaishnava
   schools do. Shankara's philosophy is miles apart from theirs.
   Let us keep our distance from such schools that are steeped in

   What I mean to say is that a jiiva's recognition that it is in
   bondage and aspiring for liberation is one thing, and feeling that
   it will perpetually be in bondage is quite another. What Shankara
   feels is necessary is the first attitude, not the second. My
   impression is that your jiiva A has the second attitude, not the
   first. That is why it is atypical.

   However, your jiiva B is less atypical.  From the description,
   it is either a jnaani already because it does not have ajnaana,
   or it is afflicted by ajnaana but has not recognized that fact.
   If it is already a jnaani, it is already Brahman (brahmaiva
   san brahmaiva bhavati), and there is no comparison with a jiiva.
   If it is a jiiva that has not yet recognized the fact that it is
   subjected to ajnaana, then it means that it will have to acquire
   the four-fold qualifications which it is lacking, namely viveka,
   vairaagya, shamaadi shhaTka, and mumukshhutva. As I said earlier,
   it is only by recognizing the fact that one is subject to the
   misery of samsaara/ajnaana does one get an urge for liberation.
   And in the absence of a desire for liberation, there will be no
   jnaana and no liberation for the jiiva.

>3. It would be useful to make a balance-sheet for the two cases. Jeeva
>   would not face the dangers which Shri Anand Hudli so clearly stated.
>   On the other hand, this student continuously thinks that he/she is
>   ajnAni, and this thought will hamper the progress. Jeeva B clearly
>   faces the dangers cited by Anand. However, he/she progresses because
>   the ajnAni thought is not holding him/her back. Any analysis of the
>   balance sheet ?

 Perhaps a re-selection of  jiiva A is warranted, since it does
 not fit with the points I have been trying to make.


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