Liberation and citta vRtti nirodha

Charles Wikner WIKNER at NAC.AC.ZA
Fri Aug 11 02:19:32 CDT 2000

On Wed, 26 Jul 2000, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> >What has been stated/admitted?  Is this referring to an earlier
> >point that knowledge does not initiate (mental) activity?
>  What Shankara means here is that even if one were to try to restrain
>  the mind without knowing the Self, it would be futile. One would have
>  to give up argument and admit that there is no means to liberation
>  apart from jnAna, following the shAstras that say so, as  Anandagiri
>  says here "nAnyaH panthA vidyate jnAnAdeva tu kaivalyamityAdi-
>  shAstramanusarannupetya vAdaM tyajati - abhyupagamyeti |"

That's super!  Thanks very much!

> This is an intriguing passage indeed. We may have to dig deeper
> by reading what the vArtikakAra has to say here. So far my understanding
> is: the tyAga-vairAgya-Adi qualities that Shankara refers to
> actually indicate the sAdhana-chatuShTaya qualifications that one
> must have in the first place to know the Self! So what is Shankara
> saying here? He is saying that upon knowing the Self, those qualities
> should not be thrown out the window! One should keep cultivating those
> qualities just as one did before the realization.

The original passage (AtmetyopAsIta, BU 1.4.7) on which the commentary
is based, seems synonomous with svasvarUpAsusandhAnaM bhakti (VC 32).
Sri Candrasekhara Bharati's comment on the latter is pertinent:

   By svasvarUpasandhAna contemplation on one's essential nature,
   nididhyAsana (profound repeated meditation) is meant.  That
   alone can serve as the immediate means to direct realisation.
   The continuous contemplation of the shruti text and the upadesha
   of the guru: sa AtmA tattvamasi (That is the atman; That thou art):
   "Thy essential nature is Brahman; thou art That only", is the
   indispensible means (asAdhAraNa kAraNa) of such realisation.  This
   contemplation (anusandhAna) is of the form of the exclusion of
   contrary ideas and is marked by a continuous flow of accordant ideas.
   ... Shama etc., are the cause of jnAna mediated by vicAra and
   nididhyAsana.  But nididhyAsana is the immediate cause for it.
   Because it produces direct realisation, it is said to be the
   greatest among the sAdhanas that make for jnAna which is
   revelatory of one's true nature which is synomymous with mokSa.
   Among the means for nididhyAsana, bhakti is the greatest, because
   it is direct and internal means.  [tr. P.Sankaranarayanan]

The sense I have is that tyAga-vairAgya-Adi creates the mental
environment as it were, in which jnAna can arise, and after
realisation that environment should be maintained lest karma
overwhelm Self-memory.

> In fact, if we look
> at living examples of jIvanmuktas, such as the revered Swami's of
> Sringeri and others, we see that they stick to a very austere life
> even though they are swimming in the Bliss of the Self! They will
> not go about behaving like us materialist people even though they
> know it does not make any difference what they do!

That accords with the description of the sthitaprajna given in BG 2:55.
Everything fits in neatly, as Vidya pointed out.

Thus discipline is not merely a process (leading to a result as it does),
but a way of life.

> But this "should keep up the qualities" will not have the full force
> of an injunction because one has already known the Self. There can be
> no injunction for such a person. It is more like a recommendation.

I got it.  Thanks so much!

Regards, Charles.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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