[Advaita-l] Question about Sri Vidyaranya's JMV & jnani matra

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 05:26:38 EDT 2019

On Mon, Apr 1, 2019 at 1:43 PM H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>

> Namaste Sri Subrahmanian Ji,
>  A small difference in my understanding. Prarabdha is different from
> samskAra/vAsanas. When a new sharIra is takenup due to prArabdha, it is
> along with samskAras/vAsanAs. This has been stated elsewhere in the
> vArtika. I am unable to give exact reference offhand. SharIra lasts as long
> as dictated by prArabdha. SamskArAs/vAsanAs continue during this period but
> as modified due to sAdhanAs undertaken in the current birth prior to jnAna.


While the distinction you mention is reasonable, nevertheless, the term
'prarabdha' is used to encompass samskara too:  Here is a quote from the
JMV - vasanakshaya prakaraNa:


इदानीन्तनास्तु प्रायेण अकृतोपास्तय एव औत्सुक्यमात्रात् सहसा विद्यायां
प्रवर्तन्ते । वासनाक्ष्य-मनोनाशौ च तात्कालिकौ सम्पादयन्ति । तावता
श्रवणमनननिध्यासनानि निष्पाद्यन्ते ।  तैश्च दृढाभ्यस्तैरज्ञान-संशय-विपर्
ययनिरासात् *तत्त्वज्ञानं सम्यगुदेति *।  उदितस्य ज्ञानस्य बाधकप्रमाणाभावात्
निवृत्ताया अविद्यायाः पुनसुत्पत्तिकारणाभाच्च *नास्ति तस्य शथिल्यम्* ।
तु दृढाभ्यासाभावात् भोगप्रदेन प्रारब्धेन तदा तदा बाध्यमानत्वाच्च
सवातप्रदेशदीपवत्सहसा निवर्तते *।

Nowadays men rush in quest of Jnana,  out of sheer curiosity, in most cases
even without going through the preliminary stage of upasana.  *They even
reach the stage of obliteration of vasana and the dissolution of the mind
for the time being*, and in consequence, study, contemplation and
assimilation (of the VEdanta) are also fully accomplished by repeated
application to these three; ignorance, doubt and false perception are
demolished; *and real Jnana is achieved*.  In the absence of a more
powerful means to counteract it and of any cause which can resuscitate the
ignorance dispelled by it, *the resultatnt Jnana does not fade.*  *But then
the obliteration of vasana and the dissolution of the mind are easily
extinguished*, like a lamp exposed to the breeze, for want of steady
application and in consequence of being influenced, from time to time, by
the fruit-bearing previous karma.


Here the idea of samskara is expressed by the terms  //*भोगप्रदेन
प्रारब्धेन // *  Thus prarabdha, when it begins its work, is not without
inducing the appropriate samskara/vasana in the person. Prarabdha is that
stock of karma that was part of sanchita, has now begun to yield fruit
bhoga. Bhoga is sukha or duhkha.  Supposing a person has to experience the
bhoga of a sumptuous meal. The appropriate situation arises, with the
quantity of food being made available at his disposal. This much is not
sufficient for the bhoga; there must be the appropriate vasana/samskara to
relish the items of food. So with any other bhoga like hearing a good
kutcheri performance. For duhkha bhoga too, the samskara to recognize the
different kinds of pain has to be there. All these require a pre-experience
which has left a mark, samskara.  So, prarabdha cannot be divorced from

warm regards

> But they can be overcome through sAdhanAs post jnAna also. This is what is
> undertaken in vidvat sanyAsa post attainment of jnAna. And can lead to
> jIvanmukti. All the same, even without such specific sAdhanAs or vidvat
> sanyAsa, the jnAni is assured of escape rom rebirth after the current
> sharIra is givenup.
> Regards

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