Several times in the past we have had detailed discussions in these columns on the question whether a jnAni needed to continue the observation of some or other ‘practices’ after gaining jnAna (Self-Knowledge). We had also seen that there is a divergence of opinion on ‘ekajIva vAda’ both in the theoretics of the doctrine and also its relevance as a ‘prakriya‘ (a process system) for an earnest seeker.
At one of the popular traditionally oriented Advaita fora, I found a very significant Post that simultaneously touches on both the issues of (i) The ‘need’ of practices in the post-jnAna phase and (ii) ekajIva vAda as a prakriya. Without further ado, I reproduce below the authentic words of the Poster:
Q: Is it not necessary that a jnAni has to continue only with निदिध्यासन (nididhyAsana) and not shravaNa and manana to make him a brahmasaMstha or jIvanmukta.
If ‘jnAni‘ means that he has stable-jnAna, then there is no need of even nididhyAsana. He is already a jIvanmukta and brahmasaMstha. The degree of jIvanmukti may vary according to his practice of samAdhi.
If ‘jnAni‘ means that his jnAna is unstable, then to stabilize it, he needs shravaNa, manana, nididhyAsana; all. Just cessation of mental modifications and controlling anger, etc. is not means of jnAna or it’s stabilization.
That’s why jIvanmuktiviveka supports practice of shravaNa, etc, with yoga and vAsanA-xaya at the same time. As the jnAni has already practices shravaNa, etc. and neglected others, so the jIvanmuktiviveka put its force on the practice of the other two. This doesn’t mean that shravaNa, etc. are to be left. So, all things must be practiced for jIvanmukti.
There may be specific cases, where a practitioner of jnAna–sAdhana feels that he needs to control viparIta-bhAvana mainly because it is creating problems. In that case, he may mainly practice nididhyAsana, as nididhyAsana is the medicine of viparIta-bhAvana.
But, when a person feels that asambhAvanA is a hindrance, he will put his effort in practicing shravaNa and manana while not shunning nididhyAsana.
So, it depends that where one will concentrate. But, he has to practice all.
Q: Are दृष्टिसृष्टिप्रक्रिया / एकजीवप्रक्रिया (dṛṣṭisṛṣṭiprakriyā / ekajīvaprakriyā) appropriate for the निदिध्यासन (nididhyāsana) subsequent to jnAna?
What is the role of prakriyA in nididhyAsana? Is he going to remember the whole prakriyA while meditating?
That’s not acceptable. He has to meditate on brahman, not on prakriyA. prakriyA-s are mithyA.
Q: Would it be appropriate to consider ONLY a jnAni to be the adhikAri for दृष्टिसृष्टिप्रक्रिया / एकजीवप्रक्रिया (dṛṣṭisṛṣṭiprakriyā / ekajīvaprakriyā) to make him a brahmasaMstha or jIvanmukta. And is it not meant for one who is only a sAdhana-chatuShTya sampannah but desires to become a jnAni.
I understand that [the Questioner] is confused about the purpose of prakriyA-s.
Any mumuxu is adhikArI of brahma–jnAna. When he practices a means of Knowledge, he tries to solve problems which arise (tries to support shruti and advaita which are opposed by other pramANa-s). So, he applies logic etc. to solve those problems. Different set of logic-systems are created by different people for the same purpose. It is you who have to find which system appears faultless to you, that system which you can support.
So, prakriyA-s (logic-systems) are a means to attain Knowledge.
And, any mumuxu is their adhikArI. jnAni doesn’t need any new prakriyA. He has already attained jnAna by following one of them. So, he will continue to pursue the same system (which he initially followed) to strengthen his knowledge. No need to swap those systems. The same prakriyA will lead him to brahmasaMsthA and jIvanmukti. Actually, swapping will harm his journey towards brahmaniShThA.
ekajIvavAda is not for any jnAni. It is for those intellectuals (jnAni or other), who finds it appealing and can support. They must have the ability to support it, not only in front of others, but in front of his [own] doubting self too. If he can’t persuade himself regarding the correctness of shrauta–jnAna, there is no use of any prakriyA.
Q: Is ekajIvavAda superior?
The superiority of ekajIvavAda lies in the fact that it doesn’t need many sattA-s, many jIva-s, many avidyA-s, etc. And, the superiority of the adhikArI of ekajIvavAda lies in the fact that he is intellectually strong enough to support such a compact system.
I hope this clears confusion regarding mukhyatva of this prakriyA. The term mukhyatva implies its superiority and that was supported by me here.
Additional Info: Here I copy-paste what I wrote somewhere else:
nididhyAsana is needed for jnAna. But, what is nididhyAsana is to be decided.
There are at least three views regarding this.
- vAchaspati says that it is specific type of meditation.(ekadeshi-matam supported by bhartR^iprapa~ncha and refuted by all others.)
- vArttikakAra says that it is a specific type of knowledge which is generated as a result of shravaNa and manana. It can’t be practiced.
- madhusUdana sarsvatI, etc. say that it is a specific type of tarka (not anumiti) and can be practiced.
There are again different views here on what it does.
1. nididhyAsana generates aparoxa-jnAnam. (ekadeshi-matam supported by vAchaspati.)
2. nididhyAsana removes viparIta-bhAvana.
What is jnAna-niShThA ?
Engaging oneself in jnAna while not doing anything else (karma, etc.). How could it be done, because jnAna is not something dependent on the will of person?
By engaging oneself in sAdhana-s of jnAna and nothing else.
Why jnAnaniShThA is needed?
For amR^itatva; shruti says: brahmasaMstho.amR^itattvameti.
Why shravaNa, etc. are done?
AtmA vA are draShTavyaH – is the shruti.
Are jnAna and jnAna-niShThA different things ?
jnAna is just a vR^itti. And jnAna-niShThA is practice of shravaNa, etc. while not engaging in anything else.
Does jnAni need nididhyAsana, etc. for jnAna-niShThA ?
Question reflects some problem in the understanding of the questioner.
Because, engagement in shravaNa, etc. is itself jnAna-niShThA. So, shravaNa, etc. are not sAdhana of jnAna-niShThA. They are jnAna-niShThA when accompanied by lack of other activities (karma, upAsanA and most laukika-vyavahAra).
jnAna-niShThA is Ashrama-dharma of saMnyAsI-s.
Note 2: The approx English meanings of the Sanskrit words in the above Post are listed Alphabetically below.]
|adhikArI||Right person (eligible to receive the message)|
|asambhAvanA||Impossibility in comprehending|
|Ashrama-dharma||Prescribed duties in a stage of life.|
|AtmA vA are draShTavyaH||“The Self, my dear, should be realized.” Quote from brihadAraNyaka up. II-iv-5|
|bhartR^iprapa~ncha||BhartRu prapancha, the Name of an Author|
|brahmaniShThA||One who abides as brahman|
|brahmasaMstha||One established as brahman|
|brahmasaMstho.amR^itattvameti||“He who is established firmly in Brahman attains immortality.” Quote from chAndogya II-23|
|dṛṣṭisṛṣṭiprakriyā||The process as per the Doctrine of Vision-based Creation|
|ekadeshi-matam||Applicable at one place only.|
|Ekajīvaprakriyā||Process under the Doctrine of “I Alone Am.”|
|ekajIvavAda||The Doctrine of “I Alone Am.”|
|jIvanmukta||One who is liberated right in this life.|
|jIvanmuktiviveka||A book authored by Swami Vidyaranya on the ‘Wisdom of attaining liberation.’|
|jnAna-niShThA||Practice of shravaNa, etc. while not engaging in anything else.|
|jnAna–sAdhana||Attainment of Self-Knowledge.|
|jnAni||Knower of Self-Knowledge.|
|karma||Action (and also the effects of actions).|
|madhusUdana sarsvatI||Name of a well-known Advaitin of 16 – 17th Century.|
|manana||Reflection (churning internally in the mind).|
|mumuxu||One who yearns for liberation|
|nididhyAsana||Deep Contemplative Meditation.|
|pramANa-s||Means of Knowledge|
|sAdhana||Path of practices|
|sAdhana-chatuShTya sampannah||One who has achieved the Fourfold Aids of Seeking.|
|saMnyAsI-s||The Renunciates (who are in the fourth stage in the life).|
|shrauta||Related to Vedas|
|shravaNa||Listening to / study of (scripture)|
|upAsanA||Meditational practice of worship|
|vAchaspati||Name of 9-10th Century Advaitin|
|vArttikakAra||Author of versified commentary (refers usually to Sureshwara)|
|vAsanA-xaya||Annulment of the stored impressions (tendencies) accumulated from past actions.|
|viparIta-bhAvana||Contrary imagination (understanding).|
|vR^itti||A thought-wave; a modification.|