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

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Wed Mar 27 22:10:41 EDT 2019

The issue is that these two standpoints -- one where there are jnanis,
seekers, etc. and one where there are not -- are not quite independent of
each other, and nor are they even directly comparable.

The first is a standpoint, and the other is the standpoint of no
standpoints. The second, in other words, is really not a standpoint at all.

Given this, then, the question Ramana is answering is: what is the
experience of the jnani?

If we take it that there is such an experience, which would suggest we are
in that first standpoint, where there are seekers and jnanis, we are to
indicate that there is something about that experience that expresses that
other non-standpoint standpoint.

Thus Ramana's description of jagrat sushupti. He is trying to indicate
something which shifts angle, but not to another perspective -- rather to

This is why in Guru Vachaka Kovai, he says:

*“Since the experiences of seeing [hearing, tasting and so on] are, when
experienced, the same for Muktas [as for others], and since they [the
Muktas] are thus experiencing the many differences which appear as a result
of seeing [hearing and so on], they are experiencing non-difference [even
while seeing those differences]” – to say so is wrong.*

*The Mukta is seen as if He is also seeing the many [different] forms only
in the deluded outlook of onlookers who see the many differences; but [in
fact] He is not the seer [or anything at all].*

Here is another attempt to bridge the gap. The mukta does not see
non-difference within difference, but simply cannot be considered to see at
all. That is because even his seeing is truly and simply non-seeing.

In Letters from Sri Ramanasram, Maharshi quotes a story from Yoga Vasistha
to this same effect:

*In a forest, a sage sat motionless and in silence. His eyes however were
open. A hunter hit a deer and as it was running away, he began pursuing it
and when he saw the sage, he stopped. The deer had run in front of the
sage, and hidden itself in a bush nearby. The hunter could not see it and
so asked the sage: ‘Swami, my deer has come running this way. Please tell
me where exactly it has gone.’ The sage said he did not know. The hunter
said, ‘It ran in front of you. Your eyes were open. How could you say you
do not know?’ To that the sage replied, ‘Oh my friend! We are in the forest
with universal equality. We do not have ahankara. Unless you have ahankara,
you cannot do things in this world. That Ahankara is the mind. That mind
does all things. It also makes all the sense organs work. We certainly have
no mind; it disappeared long ago. We do not have the three states, the
states of waking, dream and deep sleep. We are always in the fourth or
Turiya state. In that state nothing is seen by us. That being so, what can
we say about your deer?’ *

And Bhagavan then remarks on your point:

*“It may well be asked, ‘If there is no ‘I’ (aham), how did he speak?’ When
properly understood, that which occurred as ‘I’ before, becomes our own
Nature (swarupa) afterwards. That is called destruction of mind (mano
nasa). That thought- free awareness or other signs of awareness are cases
of merging (laya) and not of destruction (nasa). So long as there is
merging and emerging, it is merely a state of spiritual practice
(sadhana),” said Bhagavan.*

So the I is replaced by our own nature; the mind is destroyed but speaking
is possible. These are paradoxes, of course, but how else to explain the
inexplicable? The difference between this and the quote from VC is that the
latter is more comprehensible for seekers, but at the expense of being less
close to the truth.

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 9:25 PM V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 1:38 AM Akilesh Ayyar <ayyar at akilesh.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 1:51 PM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 7:33 PM Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l <
>>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > >> He says: "In sahaja samadhi the activities, vital and mental, and
>>> the
>>> > >> three states are destroyed, never to reappear. However, others
>>> notice
>>> > the Jnani
>>> > >> active e.g., eating, talking, moving etc. He is not himself aware of
>>> > these
>>> > >> activities, whereas others are aware of his activities. They
>>> pertain to
>>> > >> his >> body and not to his Real Self, swarupa. For himself, he is
>>> like
>>> > the
>>> > >> sleeping passenger - or like a child interrupted from sound sleep
>>> and
>>> > fed,
>>> > >> being unaware of it."
>>> >
>>> The above is not very intelligible to me. As it does not accord to
>>> reason.
>>> What comes out from the above is: The Jnani (his body) does not die in
>>> 'sahaja samadhi.' What is called 'destruction' of the three states,
>>> activities, etc. is not physically going out of existence. If they are
>>> destroyed literally, how can others notice the Jnani active, eating
>>> talking
>>> etc.? Are the onlookers imagining/perceiving only the activities,
>>> talking,
>>> movements etc. of the Jnani or are they also imagining/perceiving the
>>> body
>>> of the Jnani? How can he be said to be unaware of these activities, when
>>> they happen? Supposing he is in a conversation. The other person asks him
>>> something and he gives a considered reply which satisfies the other
>>> person.
>>> How can this happen without the Jnani being aware of the conversation?
>>> Should he not be hearing the question, think of the apt reply and
>>> verbalize
>>> it so that the other person at least hears it? For this, should not the
>>> Jnani at least modulate his voice to be able to make himself sufficiently
>>> audible to the other? How is this possible without his being aware of
>>> these
>>> elements of a conversation?  We have seen videos of Bhagavan where he
>>> walks, does not dash against any obstacle, receives medicine, a glass of
>>> water, drinks it, sits, etc. How can these happen without his being aware
>>> of these?
>> Subrahmanianji,
>> In fact, the idea of onlookers is also only from the standpoint of
>> onlookers.
> I can appreciate that from the standpoint of na nirodho na
> chotpattih....no seeker, there is none who is realized, etc. But to say
> 'Jnani never perceives anything but others perceive his activities, etc.'
> is not in tune with the idea of paramaarthathaa.  This statement accepts
> someone as a Jnani, not yet dead, but denies others' perception of his
> activities as their own imagination. The statement is hanging somewhere
> between two standpoints. This is what I questioned. Your answers do not
> address this.
> The VC verse does not cause any confusion that the purported Ramaana
> statement throws up.
> regards
> subbu

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