[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

vinayaka ns brahmavadin at gmail.com
Fri Aug 24 00:46:06 CDT 2012

On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 2:46 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> >  Yes, moreover, upAsana. dhyAna and samAdhi are purushatantra (kartum,
> akartum anyatAkartum shakyaM) whereas vAkya janita jnAna is vastu tantra,
> there is no choice left here but to dispel our ignorance and let the
> svarUpa shine on its own.
> Let us check this view :
> *sAdhaka gains aparoxa-GYAna in samAdhi.*
> >  shankara clearly says, aparOksha jnAna or paramArtha jnAna is NOT any
> mysterious jnAna that can be achieved in an inert mind state.  jnAna can
> only bring  the bAdha to the reality of vyavahAra it is not anyway,
> vyavahArAteeta or avasthAteeta aloukika or ateendriya supernatural jnAna.
> So, the GYAna generated by mahAvAkya is not aparoxa. Why ? Is there
> difference in their shape ?
> >  If vAkya janita jnAna through shravaNAdi sAdhana is NOT aparOxa and if
> the shAstra vAkya janita jnAna requires another step like samAdhi anubhava
> then shAstra cannot be the antya pramANa for the brahma jignAsa and jnAna
> ??  Anyway, there are some scholars are of the opinion that shAstra is
> just like operation and instruction manual and bOdhita jnAna has to be
> experienced practically in some other state like in nirvikalpa samAdhi.
> *akhaNDAkAra-vR^itti which is present in samAdhi .*.
> >  how can an akhanda have the 'AkAra' to say we have akhandAkAra vrutti??
>  I am not able to understand this term..anyway, my knowledge in Sanskrit
> is mediocre.
> What is this akhaNDAkAra-vR^itti which is present in samAdhi ?
> Do you mean that uninterrupted AtmAkAravR^itti is akhaNDAkAra-vR^itti ?
> If yes, as there is no change in shape of AtmAkAra-vR^itti in samAdhi and
> vyutthAna, so what causes difference of cognition ?
> >  and one more question that arises from this is, if in nirvikalpa
> samAdhi there is absolutely no duality whatsoever, what would be the cause
> for the  vyutthAna from this secondless state??  the answer to this
> question is aptly applicable to vyutthAna from sushupti as well, since
> shankara says in both sushupti and samAdhi there exists avidyA :-))


I am quoting the relevant verses of the panchadashi which clarifies
many doubts raised by you. They are from the 9th Chapter. Please go through
it at convenience. It is an interesting dialogue worth reading.

55. As it is possible to continue the thought-current regarding Brahman
with attributes, meditation on the attributeless Brahman also is not

56. (Doubt): Brahman is beyond speech and mind and so cannot be meditated
upon.(Reply): Then there can be no knowledge of Brahman too.

57. (Doubt): Brahman is known as beyond speech and mind. (Reply): Then
why cannot
Brahman be meditated upon as beyond speech and mind ?

58. (Doubt): If Brahman can be meditated upon He becomes invested with
(Reply): That happens if He is taken as knowable. (Doubt): Brahman is knowable
by Lakshana, indirect indication. (Reply): Then meditate upon Brahman

that way, i.e., by Lakshana.

59. (Doubt): The Shruti saying, ‘Know that alone to be Brahman which is
beyond the range of speech and mind and not that which the people worship’,

meditation on Brahman.

60. (Reply): Equally Brahman cannot be an object of knowledge, for the
Shruti says:‘Brahman is other than that which can be known’. (Doubt): The
Shruti also says that

Brahman can be known. (Reply): So also it says that He can be meditated
upon. So meditate on Him basing upon those Vedic texts.

61. (Doubt): But Brahman as an object of knowledge is unreal. (Reply): Why
not as an object of meditation too ? (Doubt): Covering and apprehending by
Vrittis is

knowledge. (Reply): Similarly, doing that is meditation.

62. (Doubt): Why are you so devoted to meditation on the attributeless
Brahman ? (Reply): Why are you so opposed to it ? Say that. As there are
many Shruti texts

prescribing meditation on the attributeless Brahman, it is not proper to
say that there is no authority for it.

63. Meditation on the attributeless Brahman has been prescribed in the
Nrisimha-Uttara-Tapaniya, Prasna (Saibya’s fifth question), Katha, Mandukya
and other Upanishads.

91. If he controls and concentrates his mind, he is a meditator and not a
knower of

truth. To know a pot the mind need not be controlled.

92. (Doubt): A pot once known by a modification of intellect, Vritti,
remains so

always. (Reply): Is not the self-illumined Self also ever manifest ?

93. (Doubt): Does the self-luminous property of the Self give you the
knowledge of Brahman ? The Vritti with Brahman as the object is the
cognition of truth, but the Vritti perishes in a moment. (Reply): This
objection also applies to the cognition of a pot.

94. (Doubt): Once an intellectual conviction of the pot’s existence is
established, the cognition (Vritti) of the pot perishes. Afterwards it can
be recognised at the will of

the cogniser. (Reply): The same applies to the cognition of the Self.

95. Once the nature of the Self has been conclusively determined, the
knower can speak of it, think of it or meditate on it at will.

122. That which is nearer to the realisation of Brahman is superior; and

on the Absolute gradually becomes like direct realisation of Brahman.

123. A ‘leading’ error leads to the desired goal, when it becomes knowledge.

Similarly meditation on Brahman when ripened, leads to release and becomes
real knowledge.

124. (Doubt): A man working prompted by a ‘leading’ error gets correct
knowledge not by the leading error but by another evidence. (Reply): The
meditation on the

Absolute may also be taken as the cause of other evidence (Nididhyasana
leading to direct realisation).

125. (Doubt): Meditation on the form of a deity and repetition of a sacred
formula also lead to the goal. (Reply): Let it be so; but the speciality of
meditation on the

Absolute is that it is nearest to the goal of Self-realisation.

126. When meditation on the attributeless Brahman is mature it leads to
Samadhi. This state of intense concentration at case leads on to the
Nirodha state in which the distinction between subject and object is

127. When such complete cessation of mental activity is achieved, only
the associationless
entity (Atman) remains in his heart. By ceaseless meditation on It based on
the great Sayings, arises the knowledge ‘I am Brahman’.

128. There is then a perfect realisation of Brahman as the immutable,
eternal, self-revealed, secondless whole, as indicated in the scriptures.

129. The Amritabindu and other Upanishads recommend Yoga for the same
object. It is clear therefore that meditation on the attributeless Brahman
is superior to other

types of worship.

130. Those who give up meditation on the attributeless Brahman and
undertake pilgrimages, recitations of the holy formulas and other methods,
may be compared

to ‘those who drop the sweets and lick the hand’.

131. (Doubt): This applies also to those who meditate on the attributeless

giving up enquiry into Its nature. (Reply): True, therefore only those who
are not

able to practise enquiry have been asked to meditate on the attributeless

134. ‘The state of spiritual balance is obtainable by both the Sankhyas
(those who

follow the path of enquiry) and the Yogis (those who practise meditation).
He really knows the meaning of the scriptures who knows that the paths of
enquiry and

meditation are the same’.

135. The Shruti too declares that with both enquiry and meditation people
know the

Highest; but whatever in the books of Sankhya and Yoga are against the
Shruti are

to be rejected.

156. If a man, who is convinced by his experience that meditation,
practised day by day, destroys the idea that the not-Self is the Self,
nevertheless becomes idle and

neglects meditation, what difference, tell us, is there between him and a
brute ?

157. Destroying his idea that the body is the Self, through meditation a
man sees

the secondless Self, becomes immortal and realises Brahman in this body

158. The meditator who studies this Chapter called the ‘Lamp of
Meditation’, is freed

from all his doubts and meditates constantly on Brahman.

Best Wishes,


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