[Advaita-l] Re: Self-knowledge

Rishi Lamichhane rishi.lamichhane at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 14:05:13 CST 2006

Dear amuthanji,

If I understand correctly, the practice model you are advancing is one
where the practioner attains nirvikalpa samadhi and then repeatedly
abides in it until all trace of ignorance disappears - this is the
same as the practice model of the schools following Patanjali as well
as the Kundalini Yoga school. The classically competent practioners of
nirvikalpa/asamprajnata samadhi are the people in the Yoga school. I
assume these people, having described asamprajnata samadhi is detail
have attained this state and abided in it repeatedly - yet they are
proponents of dualism (keep in mind that Buddhists also have nrvikalpa
samadhi state described though they may call it in different terms).
So how can we say that repeatedly abiding in nirvikalpa samadhi leads
to liberation?

You might argue that the nirvikalpa samadhi attained by Vedantins is
different from the Raja Yoga nirvikalpa samadhi since the Vedantin's
nirvikalpa samadhi is produced by sruti. However, this is a
problematic position since the idea of both nirvikalpa samadhi and
asamprajnata samadhi is that there is no mental activity whatsoever
(ie: the five vrittis are absent). Since both lack mental activity and
the Self is everchangless, how can we distinguish one from the other?
They must be the same state and this state does not seem to dispel
duality since many schools advocate and yet many may be dualistic and
so on.

Dear Satyanji,

" 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."

This is in my opinion the real prasankhyavada (the other position is
simply yoga practice model); it is the practice model advocated by
Mandana Mishra. You are essentially suggesting that once one gets true
knowledge, one has to remember it until one overcomes the habit of not
remembering it. You point out that the immidiate knowledge one gets is
the same as the final knowledge, just that the final knowledge has
been fully assimilated.

However, as you quote him, Shankara says:

" 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."

Shankara says that AS SOON as one knowledge arrises, false notions are
destroyed. When this false notion is destroyed, all memories due to
that also cannot last. So for Shankara, as soon as you understand, the
ignorance and all trace of (ie: memories due to it) vanish. So there
is no need for recollection if one understands the knowledge.

My understanding, and one I am sure bhaskarji can defend very
thoroughly, is that once one gains aparoksha jnana, one is  is
liberated. The purpose of sravanam, mananam and nidhidyasanam is to
get aparoksha jnana. Both mananam and nidhidyasanam consist
remembering and contemplating about the meaning of the teachings until
one gets it. When one gets it, everything that has to be done is done,



On 2/2/06, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:
> >
> > praNAms Sri Amuthan prabhuji
> > Hare Krishna
> >
> > AA prabhuji:
> >
> > for a brahmavit, avidyA is not completely removed
> > though he has a first hand knowledge of brahman.
> >
> > bhaskar :
> >
> > I am not able to get this statement of yours...coz. shruti says
> > *brahmavit
> > brahmaiva bhavati*...you mean to say here even after brahma jnAna /
> > after
> > *becoming* brahman ...there is room for residue of avidyA??
> >
> Yes - there can be a "residue" of avidyA even after aparoksha
> BrahmaGYAna.
> For a BrahmaGYAnI who is not a jIvanmukta, avidyA exists like a
> serpent whose fangs have been removed. But for a BrahmaGYAnI who has
> attained jIvanmukti, the serpent is fully destroyed. This is the
> position of svAmi VidyAraNya:
> http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2003-August/012833.html
> The above link is actually incomplete, but it gives a rough idea of
> the differences between a BrahmaGYAnI and a jIvanmukta.
> Thanks,
> Kartik
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