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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Mar 28 10:40:29 EDT 2019

On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 7:52 PM Akilesh Ayyar <ayyar at akilesh.com> wrote:

>> Actually all instruction is to the seeker and a jnani is no longer a
>> seeker. But the seeker has to be shown, guided, on the lines of the Jnani.
>> That is what the sthita prajna lakshana is all about. That is why Shankara
>> opens that section with the assurance that it is attained by effort.
>> Shankara is not implying 'look I am lying when I say that the Jnani's look
>> upon the world as a mirage and asking you to follow that lie.'
> It's not lying, it's just a more or less precise description, and one that
> is tailored to the audience. If a child asks why the world is the way it
> is, one could say: "It is because of God."
> That is not a lie, but it is broad and imprecise. If each word in that
> sentence is understood deeply, it is compatible with the highest truths of
> advaita, but that may not be something the child is ready for. A closer
> approximation might be that there is really no such thing as a separate
> world, and that the very concept of "why" is a thought that arises from
> ignorance, but that does not make the earlier answer a lie.
> The shastras give the description of the truth appropriate to the seeker's
> capacity and temperament, since all verbal statements are anyhow incomplete
> one way or another.

It is true that at the level of inducing elementary shraddhaa, karma,
upasana, there can be the 'lying'. But not at the level of immediate
liberating knowledge. The aspirant is mature enough to tell the real from
the unreal type of teaching. That is the reason Shankara distinguishes the
pre-Jnana teaching of the Veda from the 'for-Jnana' teaching of the



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