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

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Thu Mar 28 17:21:25 EDT 2019

On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 1:13 PM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> 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
> all?"
> 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.

Namaste Raghavji,

Yes, this makes sense.

> ...
> 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.

The difficulty with keeping the standpoints separate as you counsel below
is that the pAramArthika standpoint is not quite actually a standpoint. It
is the going-beyond-standpoints.

For it is not quite the case that in that standpoint that the jnani is
simply non-existent or contradictory like any normal idea or object is.

Like Brahman itself, the jnani is beyond the concept of is and isn't.

So how does one communicate in language this sense of going beyond

It is no mere "not seeing" in which the jnani with GYAna svarUpa engages.
It is not the "not seeing" of the blind man. It is a not-seeing that is
beyond the ordinary dualism of seeing and not-seeing. To capture both of
these aspects dynamically, we have to hang between these standpoints --
that hanging *is* in fact the true pAramArthika standpoint.

First we bring an idea up -- "seeing" -- and then we contradict -- "not
seeing" -- and in the space created by that negation... is the holy light
of truth.

It is like another thing Maharshi says about the jnani's experience:

"If suddha manas is admitted, the Bliss (Ananda) experienced by the Jnani
must also be admitted to be reflected. This reflection must finally merge
into the Original. Therefore the jivanmukti state is compared to the
reflection of a spotless mirror in another similar mirror. What will be
found in such a reflection? Pure Akasa (Ether). Similarly, the jnani’s
reflected Bliss (Ananda) represents only the true Bliss. These are all only

The "reflected Bliss" is in fact nothing other than the Self. It is
"admitted" only in a necessarily artificial conceptual scheme.

At the extreme, in other words, the "standpoints" lose their independent
identities, as do all objects.

> 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.
> Om
> Raghav
> >
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