[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 05:11:06 CDT 2012

On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM, श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <
lalitaalaalitah at lalitaalaalitah.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM, shriharsha chatra <hschatra at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> > Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa
> > wrt vedantic perspective.
> >
> If you are not talking about yoga-shAstra, then vikalpa, etc. will mean
> something very different.

Is not vikalpa also, in yet another context,  'options/alternatives'?  Eg:
एवम् उत अनेवम् इति द्वेधा विकल्प्य...For a samshaya/doubt, it is said there
should be minimum two alternatives: 'this or that'?

> In case of vedAnta and nyAya shAstra :
> vikalpa means prakAra, i.e attribute.
> savikalpaka-GYAnam again means a vR^itti which objectifies attributes and
> it's relation to something. As naiyAyika-s say : the experience pot has
> three things to illuminate - pot, potness and their relation.
> nirvikalpaka-GYAnam means an experience which illuminates just the thing
> and not it's attributes.

I have heard that this is also called 'अनुव्यवसायः’.  Will you kindly
explain this term for more clarity?

> When vedAntin-s talk about nirvikalpa or nirvikalpaka-GYAna of brahma as
> cause of liberation, they talk about this division and not otherwise as is
> popular now by the grace of neo-vedAntin-s and hindu-missionaries.

In Savikalpa samAdhi the dhyAna-dhyAtR-dhyeya
(meditation/meditator/meditated) difference is experienced.  In Nirvikalpa
samadhi this difference is transcended and the 'vastu' alone shines.

Here is a quote from the Book 'Exalting Elucidations' of Jagadguru Sri
Abhinava Vidyatirtha Swamiji of Sringeri:

Q:What is the characteristic of nirvikalpa samadhi?

A: The absence of awareness of the distinction of the seer, the seen and
the act of seeing is indeed its special characteristic.  The Atman is
clearly perceived.  Further, supreme bliss is experienced.


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