[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge

Satyan Chidambaran satyan_c at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 29 01:47:49 CST 2006

  Very well said!
  I think that you have done good justice to the question by addressing  it comprehensively. I may be basically reiterating a few of the things  you have already said in your response:
  A thing can only be destroyed by something that is fundamentally opposed to it in nature. e.g darkness is destroyed by light.
  If the svarupa j~nAna were fundamentally opposed to the existence of  anything, whatever it is opposed to wouldn't have existed in the first  place. In fact, svarupa j~nAna is not opposed to anything at all. It  illumines all and supports all just as the sun illumines a dirty puddle  and a pure lake impartially. It illumines all cognitions, cognitions  whose content is valid knowledge as well as cognitions whose content is  invalid knowledge.
  "Here is a clear statement of the true nature of the inner reality  whose sole function is to exist as the witness and support of all. The  existence and manifestation of all this world depends on its existence.  If it did not exist, nothing would" -- sureshwarAchArya,  naiskarmyasiddhi.
  In reality, an aj~nAnI is as much Bramhan as a jIvan mukta and no less.  The former doesn't know oneself clearly. The latter does. If svarUpa  j~nAna were fundamentally opposed to avidya, we wouldn't have had  anyone who is an aj~nAni and all would have been jIvan muktas!
  If svarUpa j~nAna were fundamentally opposed to ignorance, then it  would justify the practice of cessation of all thoughts so that one can  abide in "pure consciousness" and hence destroy ignorance. However,  that is clearly refuted in vedAnta and "andha samAdhi" is clearly  discouraged in traditional vedantA. This is because the mind, the very  equipment for gaining Atma j~nAna, is folded up altogether when  thoughts are ceased, and at a later point, the mind comes back with all  of its propensity for wrong cognitions (about oneself)  and the  practitioner feels "I experienced the pure Self for a certain duration  and then lost that experience". It makes one a "special" experience  chaser. 
  In advaita, one can continue in vyavahAra and still see the truth in  *all* experiences and transactions. This is possible by carrying the  "valid cognition" about oneself (known from the sruti vAkyas) in all of  ones' transactions.
  PS: I believe that sureshwarAchArya has asserted that it is vritti j~nAna  alone that destroys ignorance in one of his works. I tried to locate it without success. If someone has the  reference, I would appreciate it.

"S.N. Sastri" <sn.sastri at gmail.com> wrote:
No doubt aham sphurana is svarUpa j~nAna. But it is eternally present and
avidyA co-exists with it. So obviously svarUpa j~nAna does not destroy

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