[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 23:17:45 CST 2006

Dear SrI Amuthan,

 I agree with everything you say, except the last sentence—"to
sum up, there does indeed arise a special knowledge in
the intellect *after* a direct experience of the self
which destroys avidyA. if you agree on this, then we
can call the discussion to an end".

As I understand it, once avidyA is destroyed, identification with the
body-mind complex ceases. Then he remains established in the realization
that he is not the body-mind complex, but the supreme Self, brahman. After
that  there is no need of any further special knowledge, since avidyA, which
is what covered the svarUpa j~nAna and projected the world, has been
removed. MS says in his commentary on GItA 3.18, in which the seven stages
you have mentioned are described: "Then from the upanishadic texts follows,
as the fruit, the fourth stage, (sattvApatti), experience of Reality,
consisting in the direct realization of the identity of brahman and Atman
(brahmAtmaikyasAkshAtkAra)". Further it is said there, "That yogi who has
reached the fourth stage is brahmavit, a knower of brahman. The fifth, sixth
and seventh stages are the secondary divisions of jivanmukti itself".
Further, in his commentary on gItA, 6.43, MS says, "As for the fourth plane,
it is nothing but the direct experience of Reality (tattvasAkshAtkAra eva).
The fifth, sixth, and seventh planes are the different stages of jivanmukti

SrI VidyAraNya has, in his Jivanmuktiviveka, quoted the following Sloka from
Laghuvasishta (I am not using Itrans for well known names): "The sense of
non-dualism having gained firm foothold, on the passing away of the sense of
dualism he who is in the fourth stage looks upon the world as a dream. His
mind dissolves, even like the fleecy clouds in autumn. One thus carried into
the fourth stage remains as pure being" (Translation from Adyar library
publication).  Is this not jivanmukti?

You have yourself said all this and I am only repeating all that. Only your
conclusion differs from mine.


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