True Jnana -- the Unspeakable Knowledge of Nirvikalpa Samadhi
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2013-03-29
An important distinction between Siddhanta and Vedanta. What jnana, divine wisdom is and how we acquire it. In Siddhanta we acquire jnana by practicing charya, kriya, yoga and by doing our meditation and doing it well. The transcendent aspect of God, Nirguna Brahman, is beyond the near shore, unexplainable, indescribable, not able to be realized by the knowing mind. Commentary on The Master Course, Lesson 350. Dancing with Siva Lesson 40
From Today's Dancing with Siva, Sloka 40
"What is the Nature of the Jnana Pada?
Jnana is divine wisdom emanating from an enlightened being, a soul in its maturity, immersed in Sivaness, the blessed realization of God, while living out earthly karma. Jnana is the fruition of yoga tapas."
It's an important distinction between Siddhanta and Vedanta, what jnana is and how we acquire it. In Vedanta -- which of course is better know -- when you say jnana you think of jnana yoga and you think of scriptural study. And knowing lots of scriptures. And of course, if you talk to those who are immersed in jnana yoga you have to learn Sanskrit. No way you could understand without learning Sanskrit.
Somehow Yogaswami and Gurudeva got by. They did just fine without reading that many books and without learning Sanskrit. So, obviously, that's a different path.
So in Siddhanta "Jnana is the fruition of yoga tapas." So we don't acquire jnana by reading anything. We acquire jnana by practicing charya, kriya and yoga. By doing our meditation and doing it well.
The bhashya explains it a little bit more.
"The instinctive mind in the young soul is firm and well-knit together. The intellectual mind in the adolescent soul is complicated, and he sees the physical world as his only reality. The subsuperconscious mind in the mystically inclined soul well perfected in kriya longs for realization of Siva's two perfections, Satchidananda and Parasiva. Through yoga he bursts into the superconscious mind, experiencing bliss, all-knowing and perfect silence."
So that's little more description of the same thing, how the yoga leads to the jnana.
"It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parasiva and comes out a jnani. Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi, he returns to consciousness more and more the knower. He is the liberated one, the jivanmukta, the epitome of kaivalya--perfect freedom--far-seeing, filled with light, filled with love. One does not become a jnani simply by reading and understanding philosophy. The state of jnana lies in the realm of intuition, beyond the intellect."
So there's an important point there; it's not developed. "...that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi." In other words, you can't describe it. That's what is being said.
Most things you can describe and as we've talked about before when you require, acquire knowledge, it means you're better at describing something then before you acquired the knowledge. Get a new computer, you read the computer manual, you've acquired knowledge. Now you can explain the computer better.
But here, you've acquired knowledge and you still can't explain what you've experienced. So it's a different kind of knowledge: "...unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi."
So what I'm reading next is from the Vedanta course we did up in Kokei with the Innersearch.
"Nirguna (without attributes) Brahman, or the transcendent aspect of God, cannot be described. Every Sage will try in some way to explain or help along our understanding of this transcendent reality, but will always admit the impossibility of actually describing it as it is. 'If you speak, you lie' is the comment of one Sage on any attempt to convey in words the Transcendent Truth.
"The difficulty in describing Nirguna Brahman is that it is not realized by the knowing mind. It is never an object known as something other than he who knows it. The Kena Upanishad tells us: (This is a really great quote) 'I cannot say that I know Brahman fully. Nor can I say that I know Him not. He among us knows Him best who understands the spirit of the words 'Nor do I know that I know Him not.' He truly knows Brahman who knows Him as beyond knowledge. He who thinks that he knows, knows not. The ignorant think that Brahman is known, but the wise know Him to be beyond knowledge.'
"Over the centuries, in the attempts of the Vedanta philosophers to explain the inexplainable, we often come across one traditional description. Brahman is Satchidananda or Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. Describing Brahman with the words Sat, Chid, Ananda is not to say that Brahman consists of these numerous aspects or so many natures. Brahman is One. And all of the words and their meanings are attempts, but attempts to describe that One Indescribable Truth that lies beyond words and meanings. Swami Vivekananda has put across this message in this powerful statement. 'We sometimes indicate a thing by its surroundings. When we say Satchidananda -- we are merely indicating the shores of an indescribable beyond. Not even can one say 'is' about it, for that too is relative. Any imagination, any concept is in vain. 'Neti neti -- not this, not this' is all that can be said; for even to think is to limit and so to lose."
So that's a very nice way of approaching it. You know, it's the near shore. But what's beyond that shore we can't really describe except by saying it's not this or not that.
End then with a quote from Yogaswami, same subject.
"One truth exists. One cannot claim to have seen It; nor can one assert that one has not seen It. It is an open secret. Who can know the knower? Sages have appeared from time to time, said one thing and another, and then disappeared. It remains Itself, ever unknowable, ever new."