[Advaita-l] Re: Self-knowledge

Satyan Chidambaran satyan_c at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 3 18:42:19 CST 2006

Dear Rishiji,
  I perhaps did not make myself very clear in that statement.
  The first clarification is that mananam and nidhidyAsanam aren't  outside the pramAna vyApara. If sravanam produced doubt free knowledge  for an uttama adhikarI whose mind is totally prepared with sAdhana  chatushtaya, there is no need for anything more. If sravanam did not  produce the knowledge, it was obviously because of some obstacles.  Hence, mananam or nidhidhyAsanam are required to repeatedly expose  oneself to the pramAna: this involves recollection of the sruti's and  guru's words that were heard so that the pramAna can operate without  obstacles. nidhidhyAsanam is thus, not mental karma which is purusha  tantra (cenetered on the will of the person) but the operation of a  pramAna that is vastu tantra (centered on the object, the person has no  choice in the knowledge). The pramAna vyApara always produces direct  aparoksha j~nAnam.
New, coming to prasankyAna vada. The need  to do meditation to convert indirect knowledge to direct is  what characterizes the prasankhyAna position. In  that system, sruti cannot produce aparoksha j~nAnam and there is need  to  do some meditation (purusha tantra) to make it direct. This is  basically what our AchArya has refuted. Sruti and guru's words have the  potency to produce aparoksha jnAnam. Infact, there is no other way to  get aparoksha j~nAnam, especially through purusha tantra karma!   Hence, I am definitely not advocating prasankhyAna as defined above!
  Now, regarding your last statement and the quote from AchArya regarding  there being no need for recollection after aparoksha j~nAnam, would  that quote be applicable to only uttama adhikaris for whom remembrance  comes naturally after knowledge? This is because, elsewhere  bhagavatpAda has a statement:
  (Br. U Bh 1.4.7)
  "Since the resultant of past actions that led to the formation of the  present body must produce definite results, speech, mind and body are  bound to work even after the highest realization, for actions that have  begun to bear fruit are stronger than knowledge; as for instance an  arrow that has been let fly continues its course for some time. Hence,  the operation of kowledge being weaker than they, (is liable to be  interrupted by them and), becomes only a possible alternative.  Therefore, there is need to regulate the train of remembrance of the  knowledge by having recourse to means such as renunciation and  dispassion".
  What "knowledge" is bhagavatpAda refering to here? Is it direct or  indirect?  Since he says "highest realization", it sounds like  aparoksha j~nAnam on the face of it. If it did, then we would have  bhagavatpAda teaching remembrance after aparoksha j~nAnam, that you  were denying and would also apparently contradict the other quote. If  it did not mean aparoksha j~nAnam, then why would AchArya call  it  the highest realization?

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  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
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Work for the Employer with the best benefits! Work for God!
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list