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

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Thu Mar 28 00:36:17 EDT 2019

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 11:23 PM V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 7:40 AM Akilesh Ayyar <ayyar at akilesh.com> wrote:
> Thank you Akilesh Ayyar for taking the time to explain.  Having been
> exposed to the Bhashya-s and the utterings of and the writings on the
> Acharyas of Sringeri, I find myself more comfortable in comprehending and
> appreciating these than the statements purportedly of Bhagavan Ramana. I
> find the former quite in tune with reason. Swami Vidyaranya's Panchadashi
> and JMV too do not pose any difficulty.  The life of a Jivan mukta has been
> recently seen and written upon in books like the Yoga, Enlightenmen and
> Perfection.  There I see no loose ends.   What you say here //So the I is
> replaced by our own nature; the mind is destroyed but speaking is
> possible.// is fine. The third shloka that Shankara cites (from a Sundara
> Pandya) at the end of the bhashya for the fourth Brahma sutra says 'that
> which was seen as the pramatru, jiva, (I), is now known to be the Self.'
> And all that Shankara says in the entire bhashya corpus, and those of other
> Acharyas of Advaita, fits in finely with this. Nowhere does one get the
> feeling 'this is for seekers only and not close to the Truth.' The Bhashyas
> do not fall in the category of something that does not deliver the ultimate
> truth.

Certainly the Bhashyas deliver ultimate truth, but such ultimate truth is
not to be found in the statements themselves, but in the effect of the
statements on the mind of the listener. Bhashya statements when reflected
upon and applied cancel out ignorant prior beliefs rather than introducing
independent propositions of their own, and the net effect is finally the
direction of the mind beyond verbal beliefs and statements. Thus the
statement that leads to truth depends on the situation and context of the
one who hears the statement. So that different things may be said of
ultimate reality (which cannot be accurately described) depending on the
situation and context of the listener.

> You say: //*“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.//*
> *This I think contradicts the Bh.gita and bhashya: 5.18: *
> विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।
> शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ॥ १८ ॥
>  भाष्यम्
> <http://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Gita?page=5&id=BG_C05_V19_B01&hlBhashya=%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A4#bhashya-BG_C05_V18>
> विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने विद्या च विनयश्च विद्याविनयौ, विनयः उपशमः, ताभ्यां
> विद्याविनयाभ्यां सम्पन्नः विद्याविनयसम्पन्नः विद्वान् विनीतश्च यो
> ब्राह्मणः तस्मिन्ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः
> समदर्शिनः । विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने उत्तमसंस्कारवति ब्राह्मणे सात्त्विके,
> मध्यमायां च राजस्यां गवि, संस्कारहीनायां अत्यन्तमेव केवलतामसे हस्त्यादौ च
> , सत्त्वादिगुणैः तज्जैश्च संस्कारैः तथा राजसैः तथा तामसैश्च संस्कारैः
> अत्यन्तमेव अस्पृष्टं समम् एकम्अविक्रियं तत् ब्रह्म द्रष्टुं शीलं येषां ते
> पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ॥ १८ ॥
> Panditah, the learned ones; sama-darsinah, look with eanimity; brahmane,
> on a Brahmana; vidya-vinayasampanne, endowed with learning and
> humility-vidya means knowledge of the Self, and vinaya means
> pridelessness-, on a Brahmana who has Self-knowledge and modesty; gavi, on
> a cow; hastini, on an elephant; ca eva, and even; suni, on a dog; ca, as
> well as; svapake, on an eater of dog's meat. Those learned ones who are
> habituated to see (really) the unchanging, same and one Brahman, absolutely
> untouched by the qualities of sattva etc. and the tendencies created by it,
> as also by the tendencies born of rajas and tamas, in a Brahmana, who is
> endowed with Knowledge and tranillity, who is possessed of good tendencies
> and the quality of sattva; in a cow, which is possessed of the middling
> ality of rajas and is not spiritually refined; and in an elephant etc.,
> which  are wholly and absolutely imbued with the reality of tamas-they are
> seers of reality.
> How can this 'seeing non-difference in difference' be wrong? How can the
> vision of non-difference be spoken of unless in the face of difference,
> though difference is a manifestation of ignorance?
It is exactly like the original Ramana statement we were talking about: the
differences are only in the view of the onlookers.

Where to onlookers it appears there is a Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a
dog, etc. -- to the wise one there is only Brahman "untouched by the
qualities of sattva, etc."

Otherwise it makes no sense. How can the qualityless Brahman be seen *in* a
cow? The cow is itself a notion born of ignorance. The qualityless Brahman
is not really seen *within *an ignorant notion of quality; the qualityless
Brahman alone is seen by the wise where the ignorant perceive the cow, etc.

And yet there is the desire in this statement to indicate that the jnani
does not see a cow, but also does not merely see an absence of a cow, nor
does he see some common quality to cows, brahmanas, etc. The jnani sees
beyond the duality of cow and no-cow, beyond the duality of difference and

And what Bhagavan said in the original statement we were discussing is of
course nothing other than what is said in Gita 2:69

"What is like night to all ignorant beings, to that Atman-consciousness the
self-controlled sage is awake; and the sensate life to which all ignorant
beings are awake, that is like night to this illumined sage."

> If it is said 'there is no difference first of all, and therefore there is
> also no vision of non-difference', then we are in the 'na nirodh na
> chotpattih....paramarthathaa.'  Then there is no speaking and no hearing.
> Vidyaranya has said: chodyam vaa parihaaro vaa kriyataam dvaitabhaashayaa.
> In paramartha, there is neither question nor reply.
Well, the problem is that even saying "there is neither question nor reply"
is itself a reply. It is itself a statement given in the context of a
conversation (like the one we are having now). So as soon as we say a word
we are bound within shifting language games and can only hope to get at the
truth by cancelling out ignorant beliefs, and then allowing jnana to shine
in the mental space so created. Even saying nothing is saying something,
because saying nothing is always an action in a human context, taking place
in space and time, and thus is subject to interpretation.

> regards
> subbu

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