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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Mar 28 11:37:38 EDT 2019

On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 8:44 PM Akilesh Ayyar <ayyar at akilesh.com> wrote:

> Well then why can it not also be the case that the aspirant is told to
> practice seeing the world as unreal, knowing that ultimately he will
> appreciate the fact that he will not regard himself as seeing the world at
> all?
> That is all that Maharshi is saying when he says the onlookers see the
> jnani eating while jnani himself notices nothing. There is no more
> contradiction in that statement than in the aspirant being aware of the
> second teaching you speak of while in the first.

Well, there is the contradiction: In the second teaching there is no Jnani
at all. That would be fine. But to say 'onlookers see the Jnani, eating,
etc. where the jnani himself notices nothing' contradicts the second
teaching. To accept a jnani and to say he sees nothing but only others see
him doing this, that, etc. is the glaring contradiction that I have been
pointing to from the beginning. I have also said clearly that in Shankara
bhashya such a thing can't be seen. He clearly says: How can anyone deny
the realization that one is Brahman and at the same time that he is in the
body, which alone is taught as sthitaprajna lakshana?  Nowhere Shankara
says that others imagine the jnani doing this or that while the jnani does
not see anything. He has, of course said in the BG 4th chapter: others
would superimpose doership, kartrutva, in a Jnani while he himself knows he
is not the karta but only the mind-organs-body act. Shankara, the Gita,
does not say that there is nothing that is happening but the onlookers
imagine something is happening. The onlookers have no such discrimination
and so they think the jnani acts.  This is quite different from the above
stated position. If the jnani is alive, and not in nirvikalpa samadhi, he
will be noticing the world and interact with it. Vidyaranya has given the
analogy of the legendary crow that can use one eye ball to see both sides:
the jnani, deliberately associates with the body, mind, etc. when he is
required to interact with the world. When he is in contemplation of the
self, he can totally merge with the self. This is the vyavahara of
jivanmukta that is in perfect tune with what is taught in the Shankara
bhashyas. In fact we also know of two jnanis in conversation.  Is it a case
of the onlookers imagining they are in conversation while they themselves
are silent or not even present in one place?

I think we have known each other's positions. Maybe I need much more study
of Ramana material to be able to understand their 'paribhasha'.

Thanks and regards

>>>> regards
>>>> subbu

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