Author Topic: What is Nidhidhyaasana? Part 2 of Acharya Sadanandaji  (Read 1653 times)


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What is Nidhidhyaasana? Part 2 of Acharya Sadanandaji
« on: October 07, 2009, 08:59:14 AM »
What is Nidhidhyaasana? Part 2 of 2

by Acharya Sadananda

Shankara refutes by this saying that j~naanam does not come under
karma. Even though upaasanaa and j~naanam both are maanasika vR^itti-s, upaasanaa comes under karma but not j~naanam. Why is it so? Shankara gives two arguments in support of this - these arguments are presented in three stages.

1) The first difference between j~naanam and karma is j~naanam
depends on the object of knowledge - vastu tantram where as karma
depends on the subject of action - kartR^i tantram. For example
student who comes to the class performs two types of efforts - one is a student is using the ears, j~naanedriyam to hear and he takes the role of hearer. After hearing the student wants to take the notes. Then he takes the role of kartaa, a writer of the notes. The moment
one becomes hearer, what one hears is not under the controller of the hearer, it is under the control of speaker or a teacher since he
determines what the student hears. Thus what one hears does not
depend on the subject, the hearer, but the object of hearing.
J~naanam vastu tantram or prameya tantram and not pramaatR^i tantram. Where as the moment the student becomes a note-taker or writer, what one writes using the karmendriya-s depends on the writer. Hence the first difference is j~naanam is vastu tantram where as karma is kartR^i tantram.

2. The second difference is actually the same as the first but put in
a different way. j~naanam is dependent on the type of pramaaNam one uses - pramaaNa tantram whereas karma, particularly shaastra karma or ritual, depends on shaastra vidhi or chodana -hence it is chodana tantram. If I am using ears for j~naanam then I am using shabda pramaaNam, if I am using eyes for j~naanamm then ruupa prapancha. Hence as a pramaataa or knower, the knowledge I get depends on the type of pramaaNam that I use to gain the knowledge - I, the pramaataa, cannot decide -or rather cannot choose - the choice depends on the pramaaNa or the type of objective knowledge - is it some thing to see, some thing to hear or something to taste or
something to smell etc. Thus it depends on pramaaNa. Karma is
chodana tantram, that is shaastric injunction will determine the type
of karma that one must perform. Shankara give a beautiful example
here - In Chandogya upanishad there is pa~nchaagni vidya. In that
context the upanishad talks about a type of meditation to be done
which is termed as pa~nchaagni vidya. In that meditation various
things in the creation are to be seen as agni. At the end of that
meditation as a final part it instructs - "purushhaH vaava
goutamaagniH | "- May you look upon the male or the father as the
fire principle. Finally it says "yoshaa vaava goutamaagniH | "-May
you look upon the mother or female also as fire principle. This is a
kind of upaasana or meditation. This type of meditation is chodana
tantram or shaastra vidhi or injunction by shaastra as karma.
Suppose a person sees a man as a man and woman as woman. Is it
because of shaastra vidhi or injunction by shaastra? Looking at man
as a man and woman as a woman is not considered as shaastra vidhi or injunction by shaastra since it is natural to look woman as woman and man as a man. It is not a chodana tantram whereas seeing a man as a fire or anything other than a man is chodana tantram or an injunction by shaastra. Hence seeing man as a man is j~naanam or knowledge while seeing man as a fire is upaasanam. Seeing a stone as a stone is j~naanam, seeing a stone as Vishnu is upaasanaa. Seeing a stone as a stone does not depend on our choice, but seeing the stone as Vishnu depends on seer's choice. A DMK fellow may not choose to look upon the stone as God to do puuja for it, unless it is the statue of his DMK founder! Hence j~naanam is pramaaNa tantram, karma or upaasanaa is chodana tantram.

3. Karma can produce four types of results that we discussed before
-aaptiH or reaching a place; utpattiH or producing a new thing;
sanskaaraH or purifying a thing; and vikaaraH or modifying a thing.
Where as j~naanam does not produce any one of the four results. It
only reveals a thing as it is but it does not produce. Suppose I
learned about Himaalaya-s from a book. By that knowledge - there is
no reaching of Himaalayas. Similarly j~naama does not produce
anything - Reading a cook book does not produce a dinner on the
table. Similarly knowledge does not purify - knowledge that the house is dirty does not clean the house. Action only cleans the house.

Hence Shankara says in VivekachuuDamani
chittasya shuddhaye karma na tu vastu upalabdhaye |
vastusiddhiH vichaareNa na ki~nchit karmakoTibhiH ||

Karma (yoga) purifies the mind only but does not help to gain the
knowledge. Only by inquiry into the nature of reality can one gain
the knowledge, and not by performing countless actions. Hence if you want chitta suddhi mere knowledge will not do, you have to do karma yoga. Does j~naanam modify any thing - knowing that I am fat does not make me slim. Thus karma produces one of the four results where as j~naanam does not produce these four results. Hence j~naanam and karma are not identical. Hence self-knowledge is not a type of karma. It does not produce anything -including moksha! j~naanam only reveals the fact as a fact - the fact that I was, I am, I ever will be a mukta purushhaH - thus it only reveals a fact! It does not make one to reach, produce, purify or modify - it reveals the fact that I am nitya muktaH. Therefore I have nothing to do. Thus j~naanam is not karma and after j~naanam no karma is required either. Then why karmaakaaNda- since there is no need of karma after j~naanam? Before j~naanam it is useful - as the above vivekachuuDamani sloka emphasizes, for chitta suddhi or for acquiring saadhana chatushhTayam that is required before Brahman inquiry can be done as discussed in Suutra 1.

With this Shankara concludes the vR^ittikaara khanDana also.

With this we end our discussion of the word 'tu' in the suutra ' tat
tu samanvyayaat'


Now the conclusion where we present the fourth suutra in the standard technical format.

vishhayaH - subject matter - vedanta shaastram

vishayaH or sanshayaH - doubt - whether it is karma param or brahma param -some action to be done or just revealing Brahman.

puurvapaksha - karma param - Vedanta shaastra prescribes action -
karma alone gives one something whereas mere knowledge does not give any benefit. Theory has to lead to technology for it to be useful.

siddhanta: Vedanta shaastram is brahma param - since ignorance is the root cause for the human suffering, the knowledge alone is the
solution to this problem. Just as by mere knowledge of the rope the
fear associated with snake etc are gone. Karma cannot get rid of
ignorance. No action is necessary or possible for getting rid of
ignorance. Gaining knowledge does not involve action although
thinking or inquiry is involved in that process. Thinking or inquiry
is not an action like upaasana which for example involves visualizing
Vishnu while one is seeing a stone. Hence gaining j~naanam involves
no action - there is nothing to do but something to know. In fact it
involves in knowing that one is akarthaa or a non-doer.

sa~NgatiH -How is related to previous adhikaraNam-s? It is aakshepa sangatiH - the fourth adhikaraNam is an answer to the objection, which is raised on the third adhikaraNam. Brahman is the subject matter of Vedanta is the third adhikaraNam and based on that objection that Brahman is not the subject matter but karma is the subject matter of Vedanta. That objection is answered - by tat tu
samanvayaat - that Brahman alone is the subject matter.

With this fourth adhikaraNa and fourth suutra is over.
Generally people stop the study of Brahmasuutra-s with this fourth suutra. But we will continue thanks to the help of Geetha, Sunder and Dennis in making sure I work hard along with them.

End of the post

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K. Sadananda

« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 12:27:44 PM by Dr. Sadananda »