[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Yet another Mahavakya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 09:18:05 EDT 2021


Makes perfect sense, thank you very much for the clarifications, Sri
Venkatraghavan ji. 🙏

On Mon 25. Oct 2021 at 18:37, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Vinodh ji,
>
> The act of shravaNa can also be subject to a vidhi - how should one
> listen, what should they be wearing, how they should be seated, from whom
> should one listen etc (also see Sri Chandramouli's references from the
> bRhadAraNyaka bhAShya vArttika), but once the shabda is heard, it
> automatically leads to knowledge - there can be no vidhi in shabda pramANa
> leading to knowledge.
>
> The jijnAsA in the first sUtra is not a jnAna vidhi, rather the word
> jijnAsA is interpreted by lakshaNa to mean enquiry, vichAra. That is, the
> sUtra means one must enquire into vedAntic sentences that talk of Brahman.
> This is precisely because there can be no vidhi in relation to a desire,
> let alone a desire to know. One cannot enjoin "you must like this".
>
> In the advaita siddhi, this is stated thus:
>
> जिज्ञासापदे तु ज्ञाधातुनेष्यमाणज्ञानलक्षणाङ्गीकारानङ्गीकारमतभेदेऽपि
> सन्प्रत्ययस्य विचारे जहल्लक्षणाभ्युपगमस्योभयत्र तुल्यत्वात्
> शक्यार्थपरित्यागेऽपि विधितात्पर्यनिर्वाहात् नामुख्यार्थत्वम्
> In the term *jijnAsa*, even though there are two schools of thought
> regarding whether it is knowledge that is denoted by the root "*jna*",
> based on whether knowledge is capable or not capable of being the object of
> desire, both schools accept that the suffix "*san*" is interpreted by
> jahallakshaNA to mean vichAra, enquiry. Therefore, even where the primary
> *denotation* is given up, as this is done to preserve the import of the
> injunction, this does not mean that the primary *meaning* is renounced.
>
> Hence the meaning of brahmajijnAsA kartavyA is brahmavichAra: kartavyah.
>
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
>
> On Mon, 25 Oct 2021, 12:46 Vinodh, <vinodh.iitm at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Sri Venkatraghavan ji and Sri Prasad ji, thank you for the clarification
>> that knowing does not involving any desire (or will) of the knower. It
>> seems to make sense, especially with Dayanand Saraswathi's examples. In the
>> video, he points to a cup and says "this is a paper cup". That this is a
>> paper cup does not depend on the will or desire of the knower. As Sri
>> Venkatraghavan ji had also mentioned earlier in this thread, Shankaracharya
>> has made a similar observation about knowing:
>> ज्ञानं तु प्रमाणजन्यम् । प्रमाणं च यथाभूतवस्तुविषयम् ।
>> Whereas knowledge is born from a pramANa. pramANa has as its object, the
>> thing as it is.
>> अतो ज्ञानं कर्तुमकर्तुमन्यथा वा कर्तुमशक्यम् ।
>> Therefore it is not possible for there to be a choice with regard to
>> something being known, unknown, or known in a different way.
>> केवलं वस्तुतन्त्रमेव तत् ; न चोदनातन्त्रम् , नापि पुरुषतन्त्रम् ;
>> It is subject only to the thing. It is neither subject to an injunction,
>> nor is it subject to a person's will.
>> As sravana (which is a form of knowing through hearing) is not dependent
>> on the will (or desire) of the listener, it appears therefore that it is
>> not similar to manana and nididhyasana, which do require the person to
>> perform a particular action through his will.
>>
>> Moreover, the last email by Sri Venkatraghavan ji gives a very nice
>> analogy of manana and nididhyasana being angas (parts or supporting causes)
>> of the main cause of Brahmajnana, which is sravanam (which is the angi). In
>> this way, it does appear that manana and nididhyasana, while required (in
>> most cases) for the fruition of sravana into Brahmajnana, are not
>> necessarily in the same category as sravana.
>>
>> However, in this context, another question arises. If knowing does not
>> involve any desire of the knower, why does the Brahma Sutra start by
>> talking about the desire to know Brahman (brahma-jijnasa)? How does one
>> interpret this given that Acharya says "ज्ञानं कर्तुमकर्तुमन्यथा वा
>> कर्तुमशक्यम् ।" (it is not possible for there to be a choice with regard to
>> something being known, unknown, or known in a different way)?
>>
>> Namaskaram 🙏
>>
>> On Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 3:29 PM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Namaste Bhaskar ji,
>>>
>>> Agreed, the requirement for manana and nididhyAsana is not being denied.
>>> If you recall, the discussion started off with what constitutes a mahAvAkya
>>> - the answer to this was: a sentence that reveals the identity of brahman
>>> with jIva is a mahAvAkya. This then moved to whether the sentence reveals
>>> the identity or whether a meditation on the sentence reveals it.
>>> Thereafter, the central thrust behind the discussion became whether
>>> shravaNam is the primary cause of liberation, or is it manana and
>>> nididhyAsana?
>>>
>>> It is in this context that it was said that the mahAvAkya, being shabda
>>> pramANam, is the pramAkaraNam, the primary cause for the valid cognition of
>>> Brahman, and mananam and nididhyAsanam are supportive causes. Hence, in
>>> response to Raghav ji yesterday, it was said "Even if aparoksha jnAna
>>> arises following manana and nididhyAsana, it is the mahAvAkya pramANa that
>>> gives rise to it, the other two are supporting causes."
>>>
>>> This particular reference, bRhadAraNyaka upaniShad 2.4.5 is relevant to
>>> the discussion and thank you very much for bringing it to light. The
>>> Anandagiri TIkA to this bhAShya is particularly illuminating and pertinent
>>> to our discussion. Pasting it here for reference:
>>>
>>> श्रवणस्य प्रमाणविचारत्वेन प्रधानत्वादङ्गित्वं मनननिदिध्यासनयोस्तु
>>> तत्कार्यप्रतिबन्धप्रध्वंसित्वादङ्गत्वमित्यङ्गाङ्गिभावेन यदा
>>> श्रवणादीन्यसकृदनुष्ठानेन समुच्चितानि तदा सामग्रीपौष्कल्यात्तत्त्वज्ञानं
>>> फलशिरस्कं सिध्यति । मननाद्यभावे श्रवणमात्रेण नैव तदुत्पद्यते । मननादिना
>>> प्रतिबन्धाप्रध्वंसे वाक्यस्य फलवज्ज्ञानजनकत्वायोगादित्यर्थः ।
>>> shravaNa, being an enquiry into the pramANa (shruti), it is the pradhAna
>>> (the primary) and hence the angi (the main), whereas as manana and
>>> nididhyAsana serve to destroy the obstacles in its (shravaNam's) result
>>> (being brahmapramA, the valid cognition of Brahman), are anga. Thus, as
>>> they have an anga-angi, part-whole relationship, when shravaNa etc (manana,
>>> nididhyAsana) are performed multiple times in unison, the strengthening of
>>> the causative factors (for the rise of brahmajnAna) leads to the attainment
>>> of the highest result. In the absence of manana, and only through
>>> shravaNam, that cannot happen. What this means is that in the absence of
>>> the destruction of the obstacles (to bramajnAna) through manana etc, the
>>> sentence will not produce a fruitful cognition.
>>>
>>> To summarise, the necessity of manana and nididhyAsana is not denied,
>>> but the primary means for brahmajnAna is the pramANa, being the shruti. The
>>> reason for this is because it is the shruti that is revealing a hitherto
>>> unknown truth - that the jIva and Brahman are identical. The anadhigatatva,
>>> or the quality of revealing something otherwise unknown, is present in
>>> shruti janya jnAna. In the absence of the shruti, no amount of manana and
>>> nididhyAsana can reveal that truth.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> Venkatraghavan
>>>
>>> On Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 9:17 AM 'Bhaskar YR' via advaitin <
>>> advaitin at googlegroups.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> praNAms Sri Venkataraghavan prabhuji
>>>>
>>>> Hare Krishna
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> *the hearing of the texts (sravana), thinking about their meaning
>>>> (manana), and meditation on them (nididhyasana).* *This leads to
>>>> intuition." *
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> and
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "*Mere hearing does not result in full comprehension of realization of
>>>> Brahman*."
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>    - Perhaps you can look into the bhAshya vAkya in bruhadAraNyaka
>>>>    2-4-5, nAnyathA sharvaNa mAtreNa….etc. The order of shravaNa, mananaM and
>>>>    nidhidhyAsaM also you can find here.  nidhidhyAsitavyaH nishchayena
>>>>    dhyAtavyaH etc.  But I don’t think, irrespective of adhikAra bedha,  this
>>>>    vAkhya making mananaM and nidhidhyAsanam as mandatory in all cases after
>>>>    shrvaNa during the Atma vijnAna sAdhana.
>>>>
>>>> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
>>>>
>>>> bhaskar
>>>>
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