neti neti

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Thu Mar 26 09:59:50 CST 1998

On Wed, 25 Mar 1998, Govind Rengarajan wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Mar 1998, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> > 5. Anand brought up the matter of mumukshutvam as a necessity. I think
> > every vedanta student is a mumukshu (aspirant of moksha). If he/she is
> > not a mumukshu, then there is no point in following vedantic studies and
> > the ego would have forced the jeeva to give up vedanta studies long ago
> > and would have forced the jeeva to follow the so-called worldly pleasures.
> > It has to be accepted that every vedanta student is a deeply committed,
> > sincere aspirant of moksha. Even the aspiration for moksha would die out
> > in a committed vedantin and perfect vairAgya settles in.
> >
> I am sorry to interrupt this very interesting discussion. I am not
> so sure about every student of vedanta being a mumukshu.
> Interestingly, mumukshutvam is placed last in the list. A deep
> desire (better still - the only desire) for moksha will override the
> necessity for vairaagyaa, etc. However, vairaagyaa in itself is just
> a step towards mumukshutvam. I think when one is a true mumukshu,
> nothing will matter - discussions, notions, etc. He has not attained
> moksha yet, but  he is almost there. For advaitic viewpoint, I
> believe Shankara's explanation of the first sutra "athaatho brahma
> ji~jnaasa" clearly states the conditions for even beginning a study
> of brahman! When I had written about this sometime back, Alan Curry
> in fact remarked in a private mail that it seems that if one were to
> satisfy the requirements he might already be realized! I think
> mumukshutvam cannot be underestimated - the overriding deep desire
> will lead us to take mental,if not also physical sanyaasaa
> immediately.


I think I am not on solid ground in my interpretation of mumukshutvam
as a *general* desire to attain moksha, which any vedanta student would
have. Shri Govindarajan interprets this as the *intense* desire for
moksha. I agree that Shri Govindarajan's interpretation may be closer to
what Shri Shankara interprets in BrahmasutrabhAshhya-1,and the early
verses of Viveka ChuDAmaNi.

I am not sure of desire for moksha overriding vairAgya though. I thought
it would be the other way round: moksha overriding vairAgya is in bhakti
sampradAya, while in advaita, vairAgya overrides desire for moksha
also, it is complete oudAsInya and nirliptata.

> PS: Not quite related, but there were some mention of jnaanaa/
> ajnaana, and other schools of vedanta. In vishishhTaadvaita,
> bhakti is placed supreme, and complete surrender to naaraayanaa is
> considered the best path to Him, and indeed moksha is possible
> for everyone regardless of caste, etc.

Relevant to the present discussion, in bhakti sampradAya, an aspirant
considers him/herself to be an ajnAni and surrenders him/herself before
the personal God. Venkateshwara suprabhAtam says "ajnAninA mayA doshhAn
asheshhAn vihitAn hare, kshamassatvam, kshamassatvam sheshhashaila
shikhAmaNe.".  My understanding of advaita is that advaita takes us
beyond this step.

> Regards,
> -govindarajan

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list