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

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 28 13:03:37 EDT 2019

Namaste Akhilesh Ayyar ji
Thank you for initiating this discussion. You 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

This and in several other contexts, the *practice* of seeing the world as
unreal is regarded as just that, a *practice* or GYAna abhyAsa rather than
the effortless abidance as GYAna-svarUpa which is the culmination of the
earlier abhyAsa.  We have in shAnkara vedAnta too, the idea of kRtvA GYAnam
svayam nashyet jalasya kataka reNuvat.  The GYAna vRtti resolves on its own
as it culminates in the paripakva or samyak GYAnam. This is simple enough.

 Now, once this context is kept in mind, I don't see any problems with even
the following passage quoted by you from Guru Vachaka Kovai which might
appear confusing/nihilistic at first glance -

*“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.
End of your quote

My comment is this - the GYAna sAdhaka will "see the non-difference within
difference" while for the pUrNa GYAnI, even such a 'seeing' (GYAna vRtti)
is superfluous. So such 'seeing' is denied by Sri Ramana Maharshi for the
pUrNa GYAnI in your verse quoted above. That would be the way I would
understand it in consonance with sAmpradAya.

This was already expressed by both you and Subbuji as in  "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." -

I am therefore unable to see any contradiction between what Bhagavan is
saying and what overall sAmpradAya is saying.
Also Subbuji made one point that '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

We have to remember that many of Bhagavan words are becoming quoted from
conversations. It was common for the disciple to speculate about how the
Guru must be experiencing the world. Sri Ramana would generally discourage
such speculation and conceptualization by taking the stand that GYAnI is
GYAnam itself (as someone put it). So there is no seeing etc for the GYAnI.
At other times if the disciple was a little quieter and not trying to do
some idle speculation, he would say, words to the effect that, we (Sri
Ramana and the  close disciples like Chadwick) must have all been together
even in a previous life and so we are meeting again in this life.

I would conclude with the suggestion that the crux of the issue is that we
have to adopt one and avoid hanging between two standpoints (pAramArthika
and vyAvahArika)  because that leads to *seeming* differences between Sri
Ramana's words and the Advaita tradition.

If we are postulating 'someone' as a GYAnI, that implies there is a
physical body-mind being pointed to etc. Therefore the ideas of bAdhita
anuvRtti or prArabdha are being accepted by the very fact that there is a
body being accepted for the GYAnI. Now to talk of 'how the GYAni must be
experiencing the world'  - does he see or not see etc., has the answer in
the very framing of the question. If we accept the body for the GYAnI then
there is an as-though seeing etc. This position in no way contradicts
GYAnam of that GYAnI. On the other hand,  if we are talking of Bhagavan Sri
Ramana who is GYAna svarUpa, then of course there is no seeing etc., as in
'na nirodhah notpattiH etc'.  Again the continuance of the body-mind after
samyak-GYAnam is accepted by Shankara;  that continuance *itself* is the
avidyA-lesha. Because once body-mind exists, there will be some preferences
and habits which need not be cause for concern along the lines "OMG!, OMG!
GYAni has rAga-dveSha" etc.



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