[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge

Satyan Chidambaran satyan_c at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 1 03:32:41 CST 2006

Namaste shrI amuthan,
  You seem to be advocating prasankhyana vAda which has been explicitly  refuted by both sankara and sureshwara. prasankhyana cannot generate  new knowledge that wasn't available before. If what you are stating is  *not* prasankhyana vAda, please illustrate the difference between what  you say and what prasAnkyana vAdins say.
  bhagavatpAda and sureshwara are uncompromising in their stand that the  sruti sravanam from the guru produces 'aparoksha jnAnam' (direct  knowledge) and not paroksha jnAnam (indirect knowledge) that has to be  made direct later by some other means such as reaffirmation. In  fact,  nidhidyAsana is not a means to create new knowledge but to  remove repeated habitual body mind identification and establish oneself  in the same knowledge already gained during sravanam. 
  There is no creation of any new knowledge by any other means other than  the sruti. In fact, sureshwara says that if sravanam and mananam did  not produce doubt free knowledge, nidihidyAsanam may only end up  repeating the wrong knowledge, which is of course not only in capable  of producing the right knowledge but is in fact would confirm and  strengthen the wrong knowledge!!
  The difficulty that bhagavatpAda and sureshwara would run into if they  yielded aparoksha jnAnam outside the realm of the sruti pramAna is that  there is some "more fruitful knowledge" generated outside of the sruti  that dilutes the claim that the sruti is the sole pramAna for fruitful  knowledge of bramhan.
  I will let bhagavatpAda speak in the rest of the mail.
  bhava sankara desika me saranam!!
  QUOTE B.U.B 1.iv.7
  bhagavatpAda says:
  "Others say that meditation generates a new special kind of consciousness 
  regarding the Self, through which the latter is known, and which alone removes 
  ignorance, and not the knowledge due to the Vedic dicta about the Self. And in 
  support of this view they cite texts such as the following:
  '(The aspirant after Bramhan) knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive 
  knowledge (BU IV.iv.21)
  '(The Self)' is to be realized - to be heard of, reflected on, and meditated upon' 
  (II.iv.5; IV.v.6),
  'That is to be sought, and That one should desire to realize' (CH. VIII.vii.1.3).
  bhagavtpAda continues:
  'BOTH VIEWS ARE WRONG, for there is no reference to anything else in the
  passage in question. To be explicit: The sentence, 'The Self alone is to be 
  meditated upon' is not an original injunction. Why? Because except the 
  knowledge that arises from the dictum setting forth the nature of the Self and 
  refuting the non Self, there is nothing to be done wither mentally or outwardly. An
   injunction is appropriate only where, over and above the knowledge that arises 
  immediately from hearing a sentence of the nature of an injunction, an activity on 
  part of a man is easily understood, as in sentences like, 'One who desires 
  heaven must perform thew new and full moon sacrifices'. The knowledge arising 
  from a sentence enjoining these sacrifices is certainly not the performance of 
  Objection: Is not the train of remembrance of knowledge of the Self generated by 
  the passage relating to It something different from the knowledge itself arising 
  from the hearing of It (and hence that is to be prescribed)?
  Reply: No, for the remembrance of the Self comes automatically. That is to say, 
  as soon as the knowledge of the Self arises in consequence of hearing a dictum 
  related to It, it necessarily destroys the false notion about It. It could not arise 
  otherwise. And when this false notion about the Self is gone, memories due to 
  that, which are natural to man and concern the multitude of things other than the 
  Self, cannot last. Moreover, everything else is known to be evil......
  Objection: Well, then the control of the mind may be something different. In other 
  words, since the control of the mental states is something different from the 
  knowledge of the Self arising from Vedic texts, and since we know that this has 
  been prescribed for practice in another system (Yoga), let this be enjoined.
  Upanisads, nothing is spoken of as a means to the attainment of the highest end
  of man except the knowledge of the identity of the self and Bramhan.  Witness 
  hundreds of Sruti texts like the following:
  'It knew only Itself......Therefore it became all' (I.iv.10)
  'The knower of Bramhan attains the highest' (Tai II.i.1)
  'He who knows the supreme Bramhan becomes Bramhan' (Mu. III.ii.9)
  'He only knows who has got a teacher. It takes him only so long' (Ch VI.xiv.2)
  'He who knows it as such indeed becomes the fearless Bramhan' (IV.iv.25; Nr. Ut. VIII)
  Besides there is no other means for control of mental states except the 
  knowledge of the Self and the train of remembrance about it. We have said this 
  as a tentative admission; really we do not know of no other means of liberation 
  except the knowlede of Bramhan.
  Moreover, there being no curiosity to know, no effort is necessary. To be explicit: 
  You said, in the effort in connection with the injunction such as, 'One should 
  sacrifice,' there is a curiosity to know what the sacrifice is about, what its means 
  are, and how it is to be performed, and it is satisfied by the mention of the goal, 
  the means and the method of sacrifice; similarly, here too, in the injunction about 
  the knowledge of the Self, thoise things are necessary. BUT YOU ARE 
  WRONG, for all curiosity is ended as soon as one knows the meaning of such 
  texts as, 'One without a second,' 'Thou Art That,'....
  There is more that Sureshwara has to say on this topic. But as you can  see, when the guru speaks, the disciple is quiet :) So, I will reserve  that for some future point.


thus, samAdhi is an inevitable consequence of
nididhyAsana. of course, the nature of samAdhi depends
on the particular nature of the nirodha pariNAma.
during samAdhi, the modifications of the mind subside
and so, 'tadA draShTuH svarUpe.avasthAnam' (1.3) - the
self is directly known. after this sattvApatti, the
parokSha j~nAna received from the guru becomes
aparokSha j~nAna.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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