Location: India

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Hari OM

Just to recap
Jeeva is Reflected Consciousness
Kutastha is OC which is Brahman seemingly limited by adjuncts of body, mind etc.
Ishwara is Brahman with power of Maya
Brahman – ever unaffected and nirvishesha as it seems to be the kutastha or witness but never is witness also.

There is still one more concept which can be discussed over here which is Eka Jeeva Vaada and Nanaa Jeeva Vaada. Many acharyas seem to support Eka Jeeva vaada which this limited intellect also supports. With another mail where we will discuss eka jeeva vaada in detail, we will close this thread.

Now we will try to see the two distinct types of analysis of jeevas and concentrate on Eka jeeva vaada in particular.

There are a set of acharyas like Swami Sachidanandendra Saraswathi and others who claim that at the empirical level, Sankara accepts aneka kartha bhoktha (which is jeeva) and hence analysis into whether jeeva is one or many is futile.

Yes, the swami is right in that – but we have to remember that most of discussions do happen at the empirical level only. There is no explanation or even commentary at the paaramarthika level or the ultimate level where there is only one non-dual entity of Brahman or Consciousness. Thus it is only at the empirical level that all analysis happens. There is no fault in analyzing whether jeeva is one or many because this theory makes Advaita more clear & if this is done remembering the ultimate reality of non-dual Brahman & remembering that all these theories have been formulated by acharyas who wanted to prove Advaita at the empirical level through these theories, then there is no fault at all. But it is my personal opinion that if we analysis eka jeeva vaada in detail, Advaita concept will become more clear & thus we will be able to contemplate on the reality for realization of the reality as our own very nature. It is only when doubts are eradicated that a person contemplates on the entity without any gap or voidness. Thus doubts have to removed which will then make the advaitic Brahman clear and then alone can the seeker contemplate on the reality at all times.

Thus in Vedanta, there are three types of faults or jnaanas (knowledge-s – yes, these are not real knowledge but contrary knowledge or that knowledge obstacles to real knowledge of the Self) which are removed through the three processes of Sravana or listening to the scriptures about the reality, manana or reflecting on what has been previously heard through logic and nidhidhyaasana or contemplating on the reality.

Let’s say a person has heard about the ultimate reality that there is only one Brahman here – nothing else, all other things being mere illusions in the reality of Brahman. He has only heard it and not intuitively experienced it (merely hearing or learning from guru is called Paroksha Jnaana and intuitively experiencing it is called Aparoksha Jnaana in Vedanta). Thus he gets the following faults:

1) Samshaya Jnaana – he gets doubt as to whether adviteeya Brahman alone is the import of scriptures as scriptures do mention different-different things. These doubts are removed through sravana or listening of the scriptures using the imports – thus finding out that the import of the scriptures is adviteeya Brahman alone.

2) Asambhaavana (impossibility) – after listening too, he gets the feeling that scriptures say that Brahman is real and the world is unreal – but I don’t feel the world as unreal. Thus it is impossible that such Brahman is the import of the scriptures. This is removed by manana or logically figuring out that Brahman alone is real whereas the world is only an illusion which is unreal from ultimate viewpoint. There are more than enough logics to prove it (maybe somebody else can take this as a discussion subject --- Brahma Satyatva and Jagan mithyaatva).

3) Viparyaya Jnaana (contrary knowledge) – even after logic proves, still the seeker is not able to realize such a Brahman (due to lack of real practice of remembering the reality or lack somewhere in the previous two processes of sravana and manana). Thus he concludes that there is no such Brahman at all. This is removed through nidhidhyaasana which is contemplation on the reality. When a person contemplates on the reality, he verily becomes the reality and realizes the ultimate reality of non-dual Brahman. Then it dawns unto him that the world he perceived was only an illusion like the dreamer realizing the dream world to be an illusion once he wakes up.

Yes, it is correct that if a person contemplates on the reality with faith – that itself is enough. But Swami Sachidanandendra Saraswathi does agree upon the sravana, manana, nidhidhyaasana process as well as adhyaaroopa-apavaaada process too – thus since the swami accepts empirical practice, there is no wrong in trying to understand another theory useful for the seeker to realize the reality.

As Prof. Balakrishnan Nair says – “do whatever you want, what u do doesn’t matter, but remember the reality (Add the reality also to the action) and then do the action; such an action becomes a brahma yajna & leads to realization”. This is what scriptures and Gita explains in many places.

The jeeva determination that we learned in the previous mail all point out to aneka jeeva or many jeevas (in all three types of vaadas, the jeevas are many depending on the many antah karanaas or inner equipments). But there are a set of acharyas who believed in eka jeeva only. The main acharya to propagate this theory was Vimuktatman whose ishta siddhi is a beauty to learn and understand. Appayya Dikshitar while explaining eka jeeva vaada quotes from SAnkara’s brihadaranyaka Upanishad bhashya where sankara says that “the same Brahman while in avidya is in the samsaara and same Brahman when having Vidya is liberated”.

As per Eka jeeva vaada, there is only one jeeva who is Brahman and nothing else. This Brahman or jeeva seems to be limited or in the samsaara due to ignorance (this ignorance is its own ignorance). The same Brahman when realizes that he has no ignorance is liberated instantly.

Thus says Vimuktatman in Istasiddhi

Brahmaiva avidyayaa ekam ched bhahdyathe muchyathe dhiyaa
Eka muktau jagan muktheh na mukta anya vyavasthitihi

Brahman alone gets entangled in one avidya and is liberated through knowledge – when a single person gets liberated, the world itself is liberated & there is no other explanation of mukthi and bandha.

This theory might seem little bit tough to apprehend as many questions creep in for the seeker. We will see the various questions and the answers to the same too.

Hari OM


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