[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge: Resend

Satyan Chidambaran satyan_c at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 1 04:46:20 CST 2006

I apologize for another email because the  formatting of the original email was not good. If the mnoderators want,  they can remove the duplicate email from the records.
  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 but prasAnkyana claims to. 
  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 either 
     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 them"
    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.

Amuthan <aparyap at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
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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