jnAna, anubhava and anubhuti

Discussion to define and differentiate between jnAna, anubhava and anubhuti

Background: How Vacasapati's Bhamati defines aparoksha jnAna and differs from Vivarana's niddhidhyAsana, brought us to a terminology of anubhava, initially interpreted differently by me, from Aravind-ji (Antharyami). Following is what transpired further in order to come to an agreement of what jnAna, anubhava and anubhuti are:

Antharyami: ... and mere scriptural knowledge can give only paroksa jnAna.

me: True :) Wouldn't samAdhi be liberation otherwise! :D

Antharyami: Why samAdhi ?

me: Because samAdhi can give an experience of not having avidyA! But avidyA is not gone!

Antharyami: anubhava is simply not possible by scriptural study. anubhava is more emotional and is subjective, which can be done only by the practice of AtmopAsana.

me: anubhava can't be emotional per se! anubhava at such a stage means being That. I think I fail to capture whatever the subtle difference is being indicated in practice of AtmopAsana versus niddhidhyAsana.

Antharyami: I personally feel that we must be careful with usage of the terms anubhava and anubhuti. anubhava according to my understanding is subjective and emotional, while anubhuti is "being That".

me: Ah ok, agreed. Sorry, I assumed anubhava to mean anubhuti, since we were talking of achieving aparoksha jnAna.

Antharyami: So then, you accept with three fold notions: jnana, anubhava and anubhuti?

me: I don't know these as notions, but I agree with difference between anubhava and anubhuti though. As for jnAna, if meant as brahmajnAna, I think its anubhuti.

Antharyami: There seems to be an indentity between jnAna and anubhava, not jnAna and anubhuti. jnAna is vritti rupa, while anubhuti is not. So the difference is clear.

But look at jnAna and anubhava! Both seem to sound synonymous. This is because of the influence of nyAya definition, since they classify jnAna into two: smriti and anubhava.

me: (hmmm hmmm) Agreed, but brahmajnAna can't be vritti rupa!

Antharyami: Exactly. brahmajnAna is not vritti rupa . So to say "jnAna" here is gauna pada - aupachArika - figurative. It is actually anubhuti, and not jnAna.

me: Okay, then we are on the same page. :)

Antharyami: So with that influence we tend to confound with jnana and anubhava. But to Vedantins, it must differ for the fact that jnAna is objective (vishaya gata) while anubhava is subjective.

me: The difference could mean that jnAna is generic understanding, while anubhava is internalizing for a particular understanding. Thats perhaps why one person finds one example more befitting than the other for the same topic, but both agree on the generic understanding!

Antharyami: (hmmm) You mean anubhava is inclusive of jnAna and jnAna is inclusive of anubhava? Oops! This seems to be hair splitting .. man

me: Something like that :) God is in the details :D

Antharyami: How do you mean "anubhava is inclusive of jnAna and jnAna is inclusive of anubhava"?

me: I think the way I read that is... "both mean similar things but not exactly same"...

Antharyami: Similar things are apparently not the same.. continue...

me: One means generic and the other means particular; now: generics are made of all particulars, while particulars are built over generics. So both include each other!

Antharyami: So which one is generic?

me: That one is generic over which you and I both (and others) would agree, but build different examples for particular understanding.

Antharyami: For example?

me: (hmmm) Well, ... lets say... we both were told that there's place to sit in the park. Thats generic jnAna. You think it to be chair, in your anubhava since it has a back rest and accommodates one person, etc, while I think it to be a bench in mine!

Antharyami: Wait wait wait, to my understanding, chair and bench are generic by nature which is jnAna. But the chairness and the benchness that actually refers to the place where we can sit is subjective and this is what I call anubhava. What do you say ?

me: Thats nyAya there! :)

Antharyami: :)

me: I didn't mean it so literally, but only as an example... you went a step further with the same example. And in that sense, I agree. :)

I think anubhava when added up there, between you and me, can bring more generic jnana out!

Antharyami: jnAna is invariably related with smriti and not anubhava. In this case, you and me can have the generic sense of jnAna in relation with smriti, *but* for anubhava, my dear!

me: I don't know if you'd agree if I say that jnAna is some anubhava, made verbose?

Antharyami: (laughing) There you are! Its not anubhava; it is smriti!

me: Agreed; but smriti of what? smriti of anubhava! :) (laughing)

Antharyami: Why so much in love with anubhava? It seems to be regressive kind when you say "jnAna is some smriti made verbose" !! Am I making sense ?

me: Yes... it seems so! Then its the right time to end! It was good satsanga, thanks.

Antharyami: Without the pratipatti vAkya?

me: Everytime you use sanskrit terms, my smriti fails. :) pratipatti vAkya is?

Antharyami: Statement of conclusion (SOC)!

me: And how do you say statement of confusion? :)

Antharyami: I wont let you tumble down to bed unless you sign an MOU with proper SOC. (laughing)

me: (laughing) I think that will have to be that jnAna is objective & generic, anubhava is subjective & specific... anubhuti is beyond both!

Antharyami: Thats a good SOC!
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