Author Topic: Exception - mere knowledge unconnected with action not necessarily useless  (Read 401 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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Exception - mere knowledge unconnected with action not necessarily useless


      Taking puurvapakshi's argument that all siddhabodhaka vaakyams lead to knowledge, which is useless, while kaaryabodhaka vaakyams lead to action which, is useful, Shankara says yes you are right. But it is only a general rule, but there are exceptions to the rule. By reading about tennis or swimming, I do not get much benefit. Only by playing or swimming, I get the benefit. Hence the general rule is kevala j~naanam na purushhaartha saadhakam. However, there are several cases where kevala j~naanam or mere knowledge alone without requiring any action gives the benefit. Wherever there is a problem caused by ignorance, then mere knowledge alone can solve the problem. In the case of disease, the problem is not centered on ignorance, but some germs etc and therefore the solution to the problem involves taking an antidote to the germs or antibiotic. But for ignorance caused problems the knowledge alone is the solution.

      Our famous example is rajjusarpavat, fear arising from the error of superimposed snake. Bhaya kampaadikam sarvam are caused by the snake which appears to be there only because of ignorance of rope, rajju aj~naanam. What homa one needs to perform to get rid of the snake? No karma is required, no upaasanaa is required, what is required is rope-knowledge. rajju j~naanaat rajju aj~naana nivR^ittiH, rajju aj~naana nivR^ityaa sarpa adhyaasa nivR^ittiH, sarpa adhyaasa nivR^ityaa bhayakampaadi nivR^ittiH. By the knowledge of the rope, the knowledge of the existence of serpent is gone, by that the associated fear etc is gone. Therefore in all such cases kevala j~naana maatrena purushaartha siddhiH, only knowledge alone accomplished the result and not the action. Therefore sidhhabodhaka vaakyaani pramaaNaani, saprayojanatvaat, naayam sarpaH iti vaakyavat. Since they produce results they are useful and hence are pramaaNa vaakyam-s just as in the rope-snake example. Hence whenever the problems are centered on ignorance, then the siddhabodhaka vaakyam are directly useful and hence are pramaaNa-s. If the problems are not centered on ignorance then siddhabodhaka vaakyam-s need to be connected to kaaryabodhaka vaakyam for them to give useful result. Hence one cannot apply a general rule.