What is a jivanmukta’s experience? (Part 2)

BGB 13.2 provides more detail to BGB 2.69 – in which Sankara establishes that all objects of perception (ie world – body – mind) perceived by the organs of perception, are products of avidya and do not belong to the cogniser. He therefore logically concludes what this means for jivamukti (there can be no jivanmukta per se), where avidya / ignorance has been removed.

When timira is removed by the treatment of the eye, the percipient is no longer subject to such perception, which is therefore not a property of the percipient. Similarly, non-perception, false perception, and doubt, as well as their cause, properly pertain to the instrument, to one or another sense organ, but not to the Kshetrajna, the cogniser. Moreover, they are all objects of cognition and cannot therefore form the properties of the cogniser, any more than the light of a lamp. And because they are cognisable, it follows also that they can be cognised only through some organ which is distinct from the cogniser; and no philosopher admits that, in the state of liberation wherein all the sense organs are absent – there is any such evil as avidya. If they (false preceptiont etc.) were essential properties of the Self, the Kshetrajna, as the heat is an essential property of fire, there could be no getting rid of them at any time” – A.M.Sastry

Just as blindness of the eyes does not pertain to the perceiver since on being cured through treatment it is not seen in the perceiver, similarly notions like non-perception, false perception, doubt, and their causes should, in all cases, pertain to some organ; not to the perceiver, the Knower of the field. And since they are objects of perception, they are not qualities of the Knower in the same way that light is of a lamp. Just because they are objects of perception, they are cognized as different from one’s own Self. Besides, it is denied by all schools of thought that in Liberation, when all the organs depart, there is any association with such defects as ignorance etc. If they (the defects) be the qualities of the Self Itself, the Knower of the field, as heat is of fire, then there can never be a dissociation from them” – Gambhirananda

When the eye is cured by right treatment, the cogniser’s vision ceases to be defective. Similarly non-apprehension, etc are due to the defects of the instruments of perception, and not to the field-knower who perceives. Besides being objects of knowledge, these defects cannot pertain to the perceiver in the way that light pertains to the lamp. Being knowable, these defects have to be cognised by a principle other than themselves; for all disputants agree that in the state of mukti, where instruments of cognition no longer exist, the perceiver has no flaws like nescience. If any attributes pertained to the Self, who is also the field-knower, as for instance heat does to fire, it would never be free from it” – A.G.Krishna Warrier

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