[Advaita-l] Avasthatrayapareeksha

subhanu saxena subhanu at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 28 17:59:20 CDT 2010

Siva Senani Nori Wrote
in terms of going by Sruti 
PramANa. On this list, there was a very long discussion about the "kingpin" 
amongst PramANas - with the disciples of SSS giving that status to anubhava, and 
with others including myself saying if there is any kingpin amongst pramANas, 
that is Sruti.
Having not followed the list too closely the last few years, when I read the comment above I became rather anxious as to what has been represented as SSS’ views and also what has been understood as SSS’ views. I wrote the points below for another dialogue I was involved in which may be helpful. Most of the references are well known to members of this list.
1) Sruti vakya is the direct means to knowledge. For the highest aspirants simply by sravana can they gain the highest knowledge. For the rest, tarka is the means to understand the meaning of vedanta vakya. The vartikakara says:
vedAnta-shravaNam yatnAd upAyas tarka eva cha [BUBV 2.4.213]
2) Sruti is aided by our universal experience of Atman, for Sruti simply removes our misconceptions of what we already are: Bhagavan Bhashyakara says
na dharmajinjAsAyAm iva shrutyAdaya eva pramANam brahmjijnAsAyAm, kim tu shrutyAdayo'nubhavAdayashcha yathA sambhavam iha pramANam. anubhavAvasAnatvAd bhUtavastuviSayatvAt cha brahmajnAnasya [BSB 1.1.2]
Shruti etc are not the only means of knowledge in the case of enquiry into Brahman, as it is in the case of enquiry into Dharma. However, Shruti etc as well as our experience as the case may be are also here the means, for knowledge of brahman culminates in the experience of an already existing entity
3) Therefore logic only as it is in concordance with Sruti and our Universal experience can be of use, not dry intellectual speculation. Again, Shankara says:
nAnena miSena shuSkatarkasya atrA'AtmAlAbhaH sambhavati [BSB 2.6]
This atman is not achieved by dry logic
srutyanuhrihIta eva hyatra tarko'nubhavAngatvenAshrIyate [BSB 2.1.6]
Only that logic is admitted which is in consonance with Shruti and experience
4) One must never forget that Shastra is pramANa as the final pramANa , as it removes the notions of agentship etc , leaving our natural state to shine forth. Shankara says:
prAmtrtvam hyAtmano nivartayatyantyam pramANam. nivartayadeva chApramANI bhavati svapnakAlapramANam iva prabodhe [GBh 2.31]
Shastra is the ultimate means as it removes the agentship of Atman, it ceases as a means just as the means of dream-knowledge cease on waking
api chAntyam idam pramANam  Atmaikatvasya pratipAdakam, nAtah parm kinchidAkAnkshyam asti [BSB 2.1.14]
For this shastra is the final pramana as it establishes the unity of the Self, for there is nothing left to be sought to be known subsequently
5) shrutivAkyAdeva kaivalyam: Knowledge comes from Shruti alone:
tattvamasyAditastasmAd AgamAdeva nAnyataH
AikAtmyavastunaH sAkshAd vyutpattir avichAlinI [Sambandha Vartika 1091]
Therefore from the Shastra tat tvam asi alone and from nowhere else is there the unwavering direct knowledge of the One Reality, The One Self
For those interested in understanding more about SSS' unequivocal stand that direct knowledge can only accrue from Sruti, as well as the role of anvaya-vyatireka tarka I would point list members to SSS' detailed analysis of Naishkarmya Siddhi 3rd Adhyaya, esp  3-33 to 3-71 in his Sanskrit work Kleshapaharini. We find in this section also an elaborate discussion in SSS’ commentary on the nature of direct and mediate and inferential knowledge and how direct knowledge accrues from Shastra alone. You can read many of SSS books online at www.adhyatmaprakasha.org with a djvu reader. Many of his Kannada, Sanskrit and English books can be reached via a link on the right. 
For those who wish to understand the link between one’s sadhana beginning with nitya karma and the rise of knowledge through Sruti vakya  I would thoroughly recommend N.S 1.52 where the vartikakara gives one of the most comprehensive and logical step by step sequences I have come across. SSS refers to it as sAdhana-sopAna-krama. For any doubt that I may have, I always come back to it unfailingly
I had also prepared for the Satchidanandendra list a 2 pager summary of SSS’ views and common misconceptions about his views. Rather than re-open the whole thing on this list, for those interested please email me directly and I would be happy to send it to you. The 2 pager is also available in that list’s archives

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