[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Tue Jan 31 21:05:42 CST 2006

Satyan Chidambaran <satyan_c at yahoo.com> wrote:

"There is no issue if the NS is a byproduct of the knowledge,
in which case it doesn't matter whether there is NS or not,what primarily matters is that the knowledge is there. If MS talkedabout a bramhavit, such a person wouldn't chase NS. Chasing implies a sense of incompleteness. If he is complete, why would he chase something? NS may happen, which is fine. NS may not happen, which is also fine.  That would be the attitude of someone who sees completeness in all  situations."

"Chasing" is a strong word but otherwise Swami Vidyaranya takes a slightly different view. As per his "jeevan-mukti-viveka" realization of identity between self and brahman is not enough for liberation and ending prarabdha karma, which causes future births. Even a gyani needs life-long commitment to yogic disciplines and sannyasa for destruction of latent tendencies and elimination of mind. To become a jivanmukta, a knower of brahman has to follow the life of discipline and sannyasa till he also renounces the fact that he is knower of brahman.

Some scholars believe that this stand was taken by Swami Vidyaranya to reply to the ojections raised to the order of sannyasa by his worthy opponent vedanta deshika and is not a requirement of advaita per se. However since vedanta deshika has attacked only the renunciate order of "yati-dharma-samucchaya" which is quite different from sannyasa of advaita, such objections do not hold. Accordingly we must conclude that realization of identity between self and brahman is only a step to jivanmukti -- not the jivanmukti itself.

With regards,
Ram Garib

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