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#2040 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - Editor: Jerry


----- Original Message -----
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 9:16 PM
Subject: re: jnana bhoomikas, where art thou?


>
> Hi, Jerry,
>
> First thanks for your great site! It is the standard that other
> contemporary nonduality sites must live up to. I've checked out the
> discussions, but never participated.
>
> My question is this: why do you think the seven stages of enlightenment,
> the jnana bhoomikas, which are featured in Ramana Maharshi's Spiritual
> Instructions and the Indian ed. of his collected talks, just plain have
> not been on the radar for advaita discussions?
>
> Having come to advaita via an eclectic path involving Theravadan and Zen
> Buddhism, both of which are quite happy to put forth spiritual road maps,
> maps that attract a fair amount of serious discussion, i am bewildered by
> the lack of attention to Ramana's raising this parallel teaching. BTW, as
> you probably know, the teaching re: seven stages of advaita is also found
> in the Yoga Vasishtha and Tripura Rahashya.
>
> I wouldn't bug you about this except that this question has been eating
> away at me for more than 5 years, and i am still no closer to an answer. I
> love this jnana bhoomika teaching. It makes huge sense to me, it really
> helps me grasp some of the advaita contradictions, such as sudden vs.
> gradual, partial vs. total realization. Since you are in the thick of
> today's advaita, as it were, i thought maybe you would have insights i do
> not...
>
> Any light you can shed will be most welcome. Again, thank you for your
> wonderful contribution to contemporary advaita/nonduality!
>
> Best Regards,
> D

Hi D,

(I'm keeping you anonymous, as this is being sent to other people.)

I'm not aware of any conversations specifically on that topic, but they may
exist. If there haven't been any discussions on it, it would be because
there hasn't been anyone interested enough in the topic to start a
discussion. I don't why that is, as there are people who tend to layer the
population according to levels of attainment. You would think they would be
very interested in the topic.

In any case, most email lists do not offer the discipline that would allow
for a full conversation to develop.

The Advaitin list might be the place to generate a conversation:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/advaitin/. Or the Nondual Philosophy list:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NonDualPhil . Or HarshaSatsangh:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HarshaSatsangh. You might also try the I Am
list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/iam

For other readers of this letter, here is the text to which you are
referring. It is from http://www.geocities.com/advaitavedant/spritinstr.htm:

Spiritual Instruction
of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Chapter IV
Attainment (Arudha)

1. What is the state of attainment of knowledge?

It is firm and effortless abidance in the Self in which the mind which has
become one with the Self does not subsequently emerge again at any time.
That is, just as everyone usually and naturally has the idea, 'I am not a
goat nor a cow nor any other animal but a man', when he thinks of his body,
so also when he has the idea 'I am not the principles (tatwas) beginning
with the body and ending with sound (nada), but the Self which is existence,
consciousness and bliss', the innate self-consciousness (atmaprajna), he is
said to have attained firm knowledge.

2. To which of the seven stages of knowledge (jnana-bhoomikas)1 does the
sage (jnani) belong?

He belongs to the fourth stage.

3. If that is so why have three more stages superior to it been
distinguished?

The marks of the stages four to seven are based upon the experiences of the
realized person (jivanmukta). They are not states of knowledge and release.
So far as knowledge and release are concerned no distinction whatever is
made in these four stages.

The seven jnana bhoomikas are:-

1. subheccha (the desire for enlightenment).
2. vicharana (enquiry).
3. tanumanasa (tenuous mind).
4. satwapatti (self-realization).
5. asamsakti (non-attachment).
6. padarthabhavana (non-perception of objects).
7. turyaga (transcendence).

Those who have attained the last four bhoomikas are called brahmavit,
brahmavidvara, brahmavidvariya and brahmavid varistha respectively.

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