[Advaita-l] 'I do not know' is bhāvarūpa ajnana

Ravi Kiran ravikiranm108 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 11 23:14:53 EDT 2017


If it be accepted, bhAvarUpa ajnAna in sushupti ( and not the mere absence
of jnAna,
constitutes ajnAna ) based on the logic presented here, though one's
experience in sushupti itself ( during sushupti) is no experience of jnAna
or ajnAna, whatsoever, how it be explained that, one's getting the
akhandakaravritti, in jAgrat, can possibly remove this bhAvarUpa ajnAna in
sushupti? what is the yukti presented in that case ?

Should not, one resort to samAdhi practices ( as mentioned in some
prakarana granthas), to destroy
this bhAvarUpa ajnAna in sushupti, and getting advaita jnAna in jAgrat
alone, does not suffice ?

Also, how does this reconcile with other Sruti texts (on sushupti
experience) in chandogya, Brihadaranyaka...

samprasAda, supto na kaṃ cana kāmaṃ kāmayate,

तद्वा अस्यैतदतिच्छन्दा अपहतपाप्माभयं रूपम्, एवमेवायं पुरुषः प्राज्ञेनात्मना
संपरिष्वक्तो न बाह्यं किंचन वेद नान्तरम्; तद्वा अस्यैतदाप्तकाममात्मकाममकामं
रूपम् शोकान्तरम्, अत्र पितापिता भवति, मातामाता, लोका अलोकाः, देवा अदेवाः,
वेदा अवेदाः, सर्वाञ्छोकान्हृदयस्य भवति

यद्वै तन्न पश्यति पश्यन्वै तन्न पश्यति, न हि द्रष्टुर्दृष्टेर्विपरिलोपो
विद्यतेऽविनाशित्वान् । न तु तद्द्वितीयमस्ति ततोऽन्यद्विभक्तं यत्पश्येत्

there is not that second thing separate from it which it can see...

न तु तद्द्वितीयमस्ति ततोऽन्यद्विभक्तं यद्विजानीयात्

सलिल एको द्रष्टाद्वैतो भवति, एष ब्रह्मलोकः सम्राडिति हैनमनुशशास
याज्ञवल्क्यः, एषास्य परमा गतिः, एषास्य परमा संपत्, एषोऽस्य परमो लोकः,
एषोऽस्य परम आनन्दः; एतस्यैवानन्दस्यान्यानि भूतानि मात्रामुपजीवन्ति

It becomes (transparent) like water, one, the witness, and without a
second. This is the world (state) of Brahman, O Emperor. Thus did
Yājñavalkya instruct Janaka: This is its supreme attainment, this is its
supreme glory, this is its highest world, this is its supreme bliss...


On Sun, Jun 11, 2017 at 1:10 PM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> In the Advaita siddhi there is a discussion on the status of the ajnana of
> the form 'I do not know', 'मयि ज्ञानं नास्ति’. While the siddhantin's stand
> is that this is not an abhāva of jnāna since there is the knowledge of 'the
> content of ajnana', the purvapakshin's stand is that there is no need to
> accept a bhāvarūpa ajnana but settle for a jnānābhāva for this kind of
> ignorance.
> There is a very long drawn discussion on this. Here is a summary.
> When we refer to an abhāva, for instance, 'bhūtale ghato nāsti', we have to
> see whether it is sāmānyābhāva or viśeṣābhāva. It is the former when the
> pot of no description/attribute is there. It is the latter when a
> particular pot is had in mind.  In any case, an abhāva pratiyogin has to be
> specified. When the person says 'there is no pot here', he does have a
> pot-knowledge and only denies the existence of the known pot. Hence, the
> abhāva is not any atyantābhāva but of that pot whose knowledge is had.
> Similarly when someone says 'I have no knowledge', the abhāva pratiyogin is
> 'some' knowledge whose absence is what is specified. Without knowing what
> he does not know, he cannot be saying 'I have no knowledge.'
> While expounding this, the revered scholar gave this example: It is known
> to all aspirants of Vedanta that moksha is concomitant upon one's getting
> the akhandakaravritti.  But this knowledge by itself does not constitute
> the akhandakaravritti. Similarly, the knowledge that one has ignorance (of
> something) does not amount to possessing the knowledge of what one is
> ignorant of. To express that 'I have no knowledge', it is enough that one
> knows 'I have no knowledge of....' This is essentially sakshi vedya. That
> which is vishaya for sakshi, in this case ajnana, cannot be any abhava.
> Sakshi will not illumine mere absence.  Since a content is there for the
> ajnana of that person, this is essentially bhāvarūpa ajnana and not
> jnānābhāva. Even if one were to say 'I have jnanabhava', he is already
> having knowledge of the abhava pratiyogin and therefore that ajnana is
> certainly 'of' something. Hence it is 'bhavarupa ajnanam' and not
> abhavarupa.
> After having thus decided upon the bhāvarūpatva of ajnāna through two types
> of pratyaksha, sāmānyataḥ and viśeṣataḥ, the siddhikara goes ahead with
> establishing bh'āvarūpa ajnana through the third type of pratyakṣā,
> sushupti experience, as well. During sleep we do experience bliss. However,
> along with this we have the experience of ignorance too. Even though there
> is no way of expressing this during sleep,yet upon waking one gives
> expression to the experience thus: I slept happily so long and I did not
> know anything. This he does by recalling, remembering, the experience had
> then. Is this ajnana, abhāva or bhāva rupa? Not the former for there is no
> sāmagri like pratiyogin to know the ajnana during sleep. If we accept it as
> bhāvarupa, then since the ajnana that existed and experienced then was
> illumined by the sākshi which is there even during sleep, then we can
> easily account for the existence of ajnana during sleep. Thus even this
> recollection-expression of the sleep experience of bliss and ignorance
> proves only the bhāvarupatva of ajnana.
> The purvapakshin objects to this and suggests that one need not hold there
> is a recollection of an earlier experience, by way of anumāna, for the
> expression of ignorance in sleep. Instead one can explain this by holding
> that upon waking up one infers the jnanābhāva during sleep by the following
> methods:
> Just as the common experience of (sun)set and rise with a period
> intervening the two, between the start of sleep (setting of activity of
> instruments) and start of (activity of instruments) waking, one can infer
> an intervening period and say 'during that intervening period I was endowed
> with jnānābhāva' since (1) that was a distinct state (different from sleep
> and dream states) (2) I was devoid of auxiliaries that would generate
> knowledge (jnanasāmagri) (3) while the 'I' is remembered upon waking, as to
> what was experienced is not remembered, only because there was no jnana,
> that is, jnānābhāva, then. Thus the expression 'I did not know anything'
> has for its content jnānābhāva alone. Thus, with this expression of the
> deep sleep experience, on cannot establish a bhāvarūpa ajnāna.
> The PP himself rules out the possibility of smarana since there is no
> samskāra. For a recollection, there has to be a samskāra that is generated
> by the first anubhava. The anubhava does not remain at the time of a
> smarana. So, the anubhava, through the medium of a samskāra enables the
> smarana when the udbodhaka sāmagri is present. Since there is no experience
> at all of ajnana during sleep, there is no way a samskara can be admitted
> to account for the smarana.
> The siddhāntin replies that whether it is (1) anumana or (2) smaraṇa, with
> regard to the sushupti experience, both end up in establishing a bhāvarūpa
> ajnana alone.

Everyone, upon waking, without initiating any process of
> anumāna, spontaneously recollects the ajnana experience and expresses it as
> 'I did not know anything.' In any case the siddhāntin denies the three
> hetu-s proposed by the pp. For the (1) hetu:  //that was a distinct state
> (different from sleep and dream states)// that distinct state, which is
> characterized by jnānābhāva, is to be inferred to be so with the help of
> the hetu specified above.  It amounts to saying: At that state I did not
> have any knowledge. Why? Since that state is characterized by absence of
> knowledge. When the state itself is directly known as one devoid of
> knowledge, what is there to be inferred about it with the help of a hetu?
> For the (2) hetu:  I was devoid of auxiliaries that would generate
> knowledge (jnanasāmagri) amounts to anyonyāśraya: Why is that state that of
> jnānābhāva? Because there is no jnānasāmagri at that state. How does it
> amount to be a state devoid of jnanasamagri? Because there is no jnana that
> was generated then. This is the anyonyaśraya here. The PP may counter thus:
> When I wake up, my senses are all fresh and pleasant. If they had been
> functioning during sleep, this fresh feeling would not be experienced.
> Hence, with this fact one can infer that they were at rest then and hence
> no sāmagri. This is countered by the siddhantin thus: The feeling of
> freshness with respect to the senses is due to the sukhānubhava that ensued
> during sleep and hence there is no need to propose the senses-were-at-rest
> theory.
> For the (3) hetu: //while the 'I' is remembered upon waking, as to what was
> experienced is not remembered, only because there was no jnana, that is,
> jnānābhāva,// is it that there is no recollection at all as a rule or is it
> with a qualification that there is no recollection 'as delimited by the
> sushupti state'?  In the first instance it is defiled by 'asiddhi'. That
> is, the hetu does not inhere in the pakṣa. In the expression proposed by
> you 'That I who was in the state of sleep, was devoid of jnāna', the 'I' is
> definitely remembered. When something is recalled, it happens along with
> the experience had then. Thus, your statement that only the 'I' is recalled
> but not the jnana (anubhava) of that state is impossible.  In the second
> alternative 'with a qualification that there is no recollection 'as
> delimited by the sushupti state' is also not possible since everyone
> recalls the sleep experience only upon waking; during the experience of
> sleep no such experience as 'I am experiencing sleep' ensues. Hence, your
> statement, if it is of the second type: 'since there is no recollection 'as
> delimited by the sleep state' there is jnānābhāva' is not possible. To say
> that, you will have to propose a vyāpti: wherever a state is not remembered
> as endowed with some knowledge, that state is devoid of knowledge. Such a
> vyāpti is negated in cases where I have had various experiences and I do
> not recall those experiences later because I would have been indifferent to
> various events/objects at that time (upekṣaṇīya vastu). At a subsequent
> juncture I recall it. Just because I did not recall it earlier, can I
> conclude that no knowledge arose during that original experience?  Hence to
> conclude that 'since there is no recollection of the form 'there is no
> knowledge in sleep' there was no knowledge in sleep' would be wrong. Since
> there is nothing that can rule out upekṣātmaka jnanam during sleep, the
> hetu proposed does not inhere in the sādhya and hence there is vyabhichāra.
> The above write up is no substitute to the original exposition which is a
> class by itself. Those interested can listen to those discourses in Tamil.
> Om Tat Sat
> Om Tat Sat.
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