[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Tue Jan 31 23:00:22 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI S.N.shAstrI,

--- "S.N. Sastri" <sn.sastri_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
> [...]
> Is this not jivanmukti?

for a brahmavit, avidyA is not completely removed
though he has a first hand knowledge of brahman. even
for a brahmavit, an intellect exists and in that
intellect, there is a knowlege of the form 'i am
brahman and not this body-mind complex'. this is
AtmAnAtma viveka and is referred to as tattva j~nAna.
but technically, this is not jIvanmukti. MS says the
following: 'tatra chaturthI bhUmIM prAptaysa mR^itasya
** jIvanmuktyabhAve.api ** videha kaivalyaM prati
nAstyeva saMshayaH.' - 'but for one who has reached
(only upto) the fourth stage (sattvApatti) and dies,
there is no doubt that he gets videha kaivalya
(liberation after the body dies), ** even though
jIvanmukti does not occur **'.

thus, a brahmavit is sure to get videha kaivalya, but
he CANNOT be called a jIvanmukta. 

regarding the topic of self knowledge, if the tattva
j~nAna mentioned above is accepted as self knowledge,
it is certainly intellectual. svAmi vidyAraNya defines
tattva j~nAna thus: 'idaM sarvamAtmaiva pratIyamAnaM
tu rUparasAdikaM jaganmAyAmayaM natvetat vastuto.asti
iti nishchayaH tattvaj~nAnam' - 'a definite
(knowledge) of the form 'all this is indeed the AtmA.
the perceived world of forms, taste etc. is illusory
and does not exist at all.' is known as tattva

AtmAnAtma viveka can also arise from shAstra and
gurUpadesha, but that is only indirect knowledge
(parokSha j~nAna). the only problem i have is calling
that itself as aparokSha j~nAna. the tattva j~nAna
mentioned above arises *after* sattvApatti (direct
experience of brahman) and it is only this that
deserves to be called direct knowledge (aparokSha
j~nAna). and yes, i agree with you that it is this
tattva j~nAna that destroys avidyA.

i quote below as a conclusion to our discussion the
apt illustration you provided for understanding this

--- "S.N. Sastri" <sn.sastri_at_gmail.com> wrote:

"You may know the classical example. The heat of the
sun cannot by itself burn a piece of straw. But when
this heat is focussed through a lens it burns the
straw. svarUpaj~nAna is like the sun and vRtti j~nAna
is like the heat through the lens. svarUpa j~nAna is
no doubt beyond the intellect because it alone is
pAramArthika (absolute reality), while the intellect
is only vyAvahArika (empirical reality)."

thanks a lot! this is certainly one of the best
discussions that i had in this list.
vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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