[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 12:31:50 CDT 2012

On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM, श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <
lalitaalaalitah at lalitaalaalitah.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> > I have heard that this is also called 'अनुव्यवसायः’.  Will you kindly
> > explain this term for more clarity?
> >
> For utter clarity nirvikalpaka-GYAnam and anuvyavasAya are very different.
> While the first is already defined here, let me say something about
> anuvyavasAya.
> anuvyavasAya is equivalent to sAxI-GYAnam of vedAntin-s. It is simply the
> experience of experience.
> For example :
> The vR^itti - 'this is pot' which is generated by eyes after its contact
> with a pot is called vyavasAya.
> After that their arises another vR^itti in shape of "I know that this is a
> pot" OR "I know the pot" OR "I'm the knower of pot" which is termed as
> anuvyavasAya by tArkika-s.

Thanks for the explanation.

>  > 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.
> If you are trying to say that AchArya is supporting the view of
> neo-vedAntin-s. Then I've to say just this :
> As the word nirvikalpaka means both specific-GYAnam and specific-samAdhi,
> so it helped to create confusion.
> I don't say that nirvikalpaka-samAdhi is never talked in vedAnta-books. It
> is actually helpful means to control viparIta-bhAvanA and hence is
> practiced by all.
> I just mean to say that the knowledge which is termed nirvikalpaka and
> means of moxa is not same as the nirvikalpaka-samAdhi or the Atman shining
> in that state.
> I'll also like to add that such nirvikalpaka-GYAnam of brahma actually
> doesn't need nirvikalpaka-samAdhi to gain birth.

I do not know what the neo-Vedantins say and in fact who they are.  For the
general information of readers I wish to present the following:

In the Brahmasutra Bhashya (2.3.39) Shankara says:

समाध्यभावाच्च   । ब्रह्मसूत्रम् २,३.३९  ।

योऽप्ययमौपनिषदात्मप्रतिपत्तिप्रयोजनः समाधिरुपदिष्टो वेदान्तेषु ’आत्मा वा
अरे द्रष्टव्यः श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो निदिध्यसितव्यः’ ’सोऽन्वेष्टव्यः स
विजिज्ञासितव्यः’ (बृ. २.४.५) ’ओमित्येवं ध्यायथ आत्मानम्’ (मुण्ड. २.२.६)
इत्येवंलक्षणः, सोऽप्यसत्यात्मनः कर्तृत्वे नोपपद्येत। तस्मादप्यस्य
कर्तृत्वसिद्धिः।। ३९ ।।

For this the BhAmati says:

समाधिरिति संयममुपलक्षयति । धारणाध्यानसमाधयो हि संयमपदवेदनीयाः । यथाहुः
’त्रयमेकत्र संयमः’ इति । अत्र ”श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो’ इति धारणोपदेशः ।
निदिध्यासितव्य इति ध्यानोपदेशः । द्रष्टव्य इति समाधेरुपदेशः । यथाहुः -
’तदेव ध्यानमर्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव स्माधिः’ इति । सोऽयमिह
कर्तात्मा समाधावुपदिश्यमानः आत्मनः कर्तृत्वमवैति इति सूत्रार्थः।

The RatnaprabhA gloss on the Bhashyam says:

ज्ञानसाधनविध्यन्यथानुपपत्त्याप्यात्मनः कर्तृत्वं वाच्यमित्याह - समाधीति ।
मुक्तिफलभोक्तुरेव तदुपायसमाधिकर्तृत्वं युक्तम्, अन्यथात्मनोऽकर्तृत्वे
अभोक्त्र्याः कर्तृत्वायोगात्समाध्यभावप्रसङ्ग इत्यर्थः ।

The overall meaning of the above is:

The practice of samAdhi which is the means for the attainment of
Self-knowledge is ordained in the Upanishads.  Passages such as from the
Brhadaranyaka (2.4.5), Mundaka (2.2.6) etc. are the ones. The Sutra is
teaching if the jIvAtmA is devoid of doership (kartRtva) the injunction of
samAdhi in the shAstra would be out of place, for an injunction is
addressed to a jIva as required by him to carry it out.

The BhAmati (Sri Vachaspati Mishra) is elucidating the bhashyam by citing
the Yoga sutra on 'samyama' (practices aimed at restraint).  The Br.Up.
mantra 'AtmA vA arey draShTavyaH, shrotavyo, mantavyo, nididhyAsitavyaH' is
explained as: shrotavyaH and mantavyaH are the upadesha of dhAraNaa,
nididhyAsitavyaH is dhyAna and 'draShTavyaH' is samAdhi.  He also cites the
yoga sutra definition for the term 'samadhi' 'that is dhyAnam where the
object alone shines to the exclusion of everything else, not distorted by
the mind of the perceiver.'

The RatnaprabhA gloss too says that samadhi as the means for obtaining
self-knowledge is ordained by the scripture for the jiva/aspirant.



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