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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Vedas in the heart, part 2

This blog is a sequel to my blog of November 1, which led to an interesting debate between Pt. Satyanārāyan dās jī and an anonymous commentator. Since the new reply of Satyanārāyan dāsjī is extensive, it was impossible to post it as one single comment, so I am making a new blog about it.

Satyanārāyan dāsjī -
I am replying to the comments made by Anonymous on the topic of whether or not the Veda exists in the ātma. I have no intention of attacking or refuting anybody. I was asked to comment on Bhaktivinoda Thākur’s conclusion that the Veda exists in the pure soul, ātma. According to my study of the works of Jīva Gosvāmī and other ācāryas, this understanding does not find support in their writings.   Before I reply to the comments of anonymous, I will give reference from the writings of Jīva Gosvāmī on this topic.

In Paramātma Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī has done a lengthy analysis of the constitutional position of the living being in sections 19 through 47. In Anuccheda 44, he cites verse 11.22.10 of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

svato na sambhavād anyas
tattvajño jñānado bhavet

Self-realization for the jīva, who is saddled with beginningless ignorance, is not possible by his own efforts. It is possible only if knowledge is imparted to him by another who knows the reality.
  In this verse, Kṛṣṇa tells Uddhava that knowledge about the Supreme comes from an external source, who is called here as tattvajña, the knower of the Absolute Reality. Jīva Gosvāmī comments that this “another” is none other than Īśvara. He also writes:

“The word jñānada, “bestower of knowledge,” here informs us that Bhagavān is distinct from both knowledge and the knower. Uddhava will similarly say further on [in the same chapter of the Bhāgavata], tvatto jñānaṁ hi jīvānāṁ pramoṣas te’tra śaktitaḥ. The jīvas’ knowledge verily comes from You, and it is stolen away by Your [Māyā] potency. (11.22.28)”

 Knowledge of the Absolute also indicates the knowledge of the Veda, because the essence of the Vedas is to know Kṛṣṇa (Gītā 15.15). The word used in SB 11.22.10 is jñānada, the giver of jñāna, or knowledge. It does not say that he makes the pre-existing knowledge in the ātma manifest. Rather, the verse clearly says that the jīva is ignorant without beginning (anādi avidyā). This is further fortified by Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī in section 47 of Paramātma Sandarbha, where he again says that the conditioned jīvas have beginningless indifference to Bhagavān, anādita eva bhagavat-parāṅmukha. In Bhakti Sandarba, Anuccheda 1 he clearly says that a conditioned jīva is devoid of knowledge of bhagavan - taṭastha-śakti-rūpāṇāṁ cideka-rasānām api anādi-para-tattva-jñāna-saṁsarga-abhāvamaya-tad-vaimukhya. He repeats the same point in Priti Sandarbha,  Anuccheda 1, taj-jñāna-saṁsarga-abhāva-yuktatvena. In these two references of Bhakti Sandarbha and Prīti Sandarbha the compound word saṁsarga-abhāva refers to pre-absence (prāg-abhāva). Pre-absence is well-known to have no beginning but can come to an end. Thus, saṁsarga abhāva implies that a jīva has never had knowledge but he can acquire it. That is the significance of the word jñānada in verse 11.22.10.

While commenting upon SB 1.7.5 also he writes that a conditioned jīva is devoid of jñāna of Bhagavān, jīvānām anādi-bhagavad-ajñānam asahamāna. In these statements the word abhāva and ajñānam very clearly state that a jīva has no knowledge of Bhagavān or the Veda inherent in him. In fact, the very reason that māyā can overpower the jīva is because he lacks knowledge of Bhagavan. This knowledge has to be received from a qualified guru. That is the significance of the Bhāgavatam verse 11.22.10.

On this, one may raise the pūrvapakṣa (objection) that in Anuccheda 19, Jīva Gosvāmī has cited verses about the svarūpa of a living being from Padma Purāṇa and Jamātṛ Muni of the Śrī Sampradāya. In these verses, the word cidānanda-ātmaka is used as one of the characteristics of the jīva. This means that the jīva has knowledge (cit) and bliss (ānanda) in him.

This, however, is not true, because while explaining this term in section 28, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī writes that the meaning of the jīva being of the nature of cit, or jñāna, is that he is not inert, and the meaning that he is of the nature of ānanda, or bliss, is that he is devoid of suffering, tatra tasya jaḍa-pratiyogitvena jñānatvaṁ duḥkha-pratiyogitvena tu jñānatvam ānandatvam ca. In other words, the term cidānanda-ātmaka does not means that the jīva is full of knowledge and bliss, as it is misunderstood sometimes. It means that he is devoid of inertness and suffering. Nowhere in his analysis of the constitution of the jīva does Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī write that the knowledge of the Vedas or that of Bhagavān is inherent in the svarūpa of the jīva or ātma. No such statement is found in any of his writings, such as Sarva Samvādini or Krama Sandarbha, the commentary on the complete Bhāgavatam. Personally, I have not come across any statement in the writings of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana, Śrī Jīva, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravarti Thākur or Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, which says that knowledge of the Veda or that of Bhagavan is inherent in the svarūpa of the jīva or ātma. In the same vein, Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja in Caitanya-caritāmṛta says: guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151] that the seed of bhakti is attained by the grace of guru and Kṛṣṇa. It does not say that the seed is already inside and that it manifests by sādhana bhakti.

In another place of CC it says by performing sadhana-bhakti, the seed of bhakti blooms into devotion (Śravaṇādi śuddha-citte karaye udaya (Cc. Madhya 22.107) Rūpa Gosvāmī also asserts the same thing in BRS 1.2.2 where he says that bhakti is eternally existent in pure devotees and it manifests in the heart of a sādhaka by the grace of guru. (nitya-siddhasya bhāvasya prākaṭyaṁ hṛdi sādhyatā). While commenting on this verse, Mukunda Das Gosvami clearly writes that this nitya-siddha bhava here refers to the bhava of nitya-siddha bhaktas. This is also made clear by Jīva Gosvāmī in his commentary on verse 1.3.1 from BRS.

There are various statements which they clearly say that the jīva is devoid of any knowledge, although he is a conscious being and he has the potential to acquire knowledge. This is certainly supported by Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in verses such as:

svato na sambhavād anyas
tattva-jño jñāna-do bhavet

ekasyaiva mamāṁśasya
jīvasyaiva mahā-mate
bandho 'syāvidyayānādir
vidyayā ca tathetaraḥ

deho 'savo 'kṣā manavo bhūta-mātrām
ātmānam anyaṁ ca viduḥ paraṁ yat
sarvaṁ pumān veda guṇāṁś ca taj-jño
na veda sarva-jñam anantam īḍe

yadṛcchayopasṛtā yam āpnuyur
vimuktido naḥ paramo gurur bhavān

A similar statement is also found in Garuda Purāṇa, Preta Kalpa, 49.7. In the very first verse of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (1.1.1), it is very clearly stated that the Vedic knowledge was imparted to Brahmā by Bhagavān through the heart, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye. The third case in hṛdā means that Bhagavān revealed the Vedas through the heart and not through the ears. This means that Brahmā received Vedic Knowledge while in a trans-cognitive state, samādhi. This is also confirmed by Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.18. While giving the four-versed Bhagavatam to Brahmā, Bhagavān says, “Take this knowledge from Me, gṛhāṇa.” It is not said that Bhagāvān revealed the knowledge that was already existing in the heart of Brahmā. Sometimes, when it is said that the knowledge was revealed, it means that knowledge given in the heart in super-cognitive state. It does not mean that knowledge is already there inside the ātma and then it is revealed into heart. This is seen in the case of Brahmā receiving the catuḥ-ślokī Bhāgavatam.

Keeping this view in mind, I now reply to anonymous. He writes:

“You (SND) wrote:
12.6.40-41 – ‘There is no mention in this verse that Om manifests from atma, as is seen in the above translation. You can check the Sanskrit yourself.’”

My reply: In verse 12.6.40, the word ātmanah refers to Paramātma and not the individual living being. This is very clear from the commentary.

śṛṇoti ya imaṁ sphoṭaṁ
supta-śrotre ca śūnya-dṛk
yena vāg vyajyate yasya
vyaktir ākāśa ātmanaḥ

My translation is as follows.”When the power of hearing is dissolved (supta-śrotre), the one who  hears this sound (imam sphoṭam) [i.e., Om], even at that time is  the one who can perceive things beyond sense perception (śūnya-dṛk) [i.e. Paramātmā]. It is from Him that the speech [in the form of the Veda] is manifested. The [Vedic speech] becomes manifest in the sky [of heart] from Paramātmā (ātmanaḥ).”

The relative pronoun yaḥ in this verse refers to Paramātma and not to an individual living being. This is made clear in the commentary of Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrīdhara Svami, as well as by Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura. All the other commentators also agree with them. Although these three commentators have not glossed the word ātmanah as Paramātma, it is clear that the term cannot mean the living being here, because it is Paramātma who hears this sound, and not ātma, the individual living being. The context here is the manifestation of the Veda to Brahmā from Paramātma and not the living being. The topic is not related with an individual living being. The meaning is also given according to the context. The word ātma can mean the Supreme Being (Paramātma), an individual living being, mind, intellect, body or object of love. Examples of the word atma being used for Paramātma are i.e.

sarvam hi etad brahma ayam ātma brahma‘so ayam ātma catuṣpat
(Maṇḍuka Upaniṣad 2)

nāyam ātma pravacana labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
Yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas tasyaiṣa ātma vivṛṇute tanuṁ svam

(Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.4)

ātmā vā are draṣṭavyaḥ śrotavyo nididhyāsitavyo maitreyi ātmani khalu are dṛṣṭe śrute mathe vijñate idam sarvaṁ viditam

(Bṛhad-āranyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.6)

Further, Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura writes that it is from Paramātma that the jīva gets the knowledge of Om, jīvasya yā upalabdhiḥ sā paramātma dvārikaiva iti jñeyam. If the nāda, Om, or the Vedas were inherent in a jīva then this comment of Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura would make no sense. At least three commentators, i.e., Śrī Sudarśana Suri, Śrī Vijayadvaja Tirtha and Śukadeva have clearly glossed atmanah as Paramātma. Thus, the manifestation of the Veda in the heart is from Paramātma, not from ātma.

Moreover, according to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam verse 12.6.37, the nāda which is mentioned here refers to the heart of Brahmā, brahmaṇaḥ parameṣṭhinaḥ, and not any living entity. This certainly matches with the statement of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.1. that Vedic knowledge was revealed by Bhagavān to Brahmā through the heart. Verses SB 12.6.37 and 12.6.40 do not say that the Vedas are established in the ātma. These verses give a description of the Vedas appearing in the heart of Brahmā and not the living entities. This is also  understood from the questions of Śaunaka to Śukadeva Gosvami (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.6.36).

Anonymous comments:

Śrī Satya Narayana das Babaji’s comment that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has refuted sphotavada in Sarva Samvadini is irrelevant for two reasons:

1) Śrīmad Bhagavatam 12.6.40 says – śṛṇoti ya imam sphotam supta-srotre – “He hears this sphoṭa when the senses do not function”.

This verse describes the manifestation of the syllable AUM from nāda as the “sphoṭa”. Thus, the theory of sphoṭa is supported by Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, the very text Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī is defending in Sarva Samvādini.

2) The sphoṭa theory refuted by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī in Sarva Samvādini has nothing to do with the sphota theory discussed in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.6.40. Rather, in Sarva Samvādini (11) Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has refuted the sphota theory of the grammarian Pāṇinī, which distinguishes between śabda as syllables and śabda as sphota. No such differentiation exists in the description of sphota in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.”

 My reply about these two points is that they are irrelevant. When I say, Jīva Gosvāmī refuted sphota-vāda, I obviously mean the sphota-vāda of the grammarians. That is the only sphota-vāda accepted in scholarly circles. Just because SB 12.6.37 uses the term sphota, it does not mean it is sphota-vāda. Words have popular meanings and secondary meanings. The term sphota-vāda is used only to mean the theory of the grammarians. I never heard or read of anyone referring to sphota-vāda of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, including Jīva Gosvāmī. Therefore, my comment is not irrelevant because I am referring to the popular sphota-vāda. There is no such thing as “sphota theory” of Bhāgavatam.

Anonymous comments:

“Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thākura comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.21.37:

Bhūteṣu sarva-prāniṣu ghoṣa-rūpena ghoṣo nādaḥ tad-rūpena lakṣyate manīṣibhiḥ
“The Veda is seen as nāda by the wise in all beings.”

If you have no problem with this statement of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thākura, then you have to ask yourself why do you have a problem with Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura saying exactly the same thing?”

My reply: You have to first decide whether the Vedas exist in the ātma or in the heart. Both are not the same. The heart is part of the subtle body, which is made of matter. It has nothing in common with the qualities of ātma.

 In this verse, it is stated that Kṛṣṇa has established the nāda in the jīva. From the commentaries of Jīva Gosvāmī and Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura it is apparent that this nāda is established in the Mūlādhāra Cakra of Brahmā and from there it moves up. There is no mention that the nāda is established in the ātmā. Moreover, if the Veda were already inherent in the ātmā, then there would be no need to establish it. But Kṛṣṇa says that he established, māyā upabṛṁhitam. This supports my explanation of the word ātmanaḥ in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.6.40, where I said that ātmā here means Paramātma, and therefore the Vedas manifest from Paramātma and not the individual beings. But if you interpret the word ātma in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.6.40 as individual soul, it would contradict Kṛṣṇa’s statement in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.21.37 that is it He who established the Veda in the heart of Brahmā.

Anonymous comments:

“Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thākura comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.6.39 -

svarāt sāksāt parameśvara eva - From nāda manifests AUM, which is directly the Supreme Lord.

Since the Supreme Lord is vibhu (vyāpaka), all-pervading, in all his forms, including AUM, the seed of the Vedas, what benefit is there from claiming that the Lord pervades everything except for the jīva?”

My reply: This comment does not serve the purpose of proofing that the Vedas are in the ātma. If you apply your logic, then the jīva would not be conditioned at all because of God being inherent in him. Wherever there is God, there is no māyā.  The Srutis say, sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma, neham nānā asti kincana, There is only Brahman that exists and nothing else. Thus we are all Brahman, as is verily proclaimed by Advaitavādis. And Kṛṣṇa says, vāsudeva sarvam iti, everything is Vāsudeva. Then we are all Kṛṣṇa. In fact, it is only He who exists and  nothing else. This will demolish your own principle of the path of bhakti. You will end up in Māyāvāda.

Thus it is not a question of citing a particular statement to prove your point. You need to reconcile everything.

Anonymous comments:

“Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thākura comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.21.38:

ananta-pāram prākṛtāprākṛta-prāṇamayasya kālato deśataś cāparicchedāt
‘The Veda, composed of prākrta and āprākrta-prāṇa is infinite due to its being undivided by space or time.’

There are two types of hṛd-ākāśa. One is prākṛta, namely, the anāhata-cakra, where the Veda, in the form of paśyanti, becomes manifest as madhyama. This takes place in the subtle body. The other hṛd-ākāśa is aprākṛta and pervades the jīvātmā. That is described in Chandogya Upanisad 8.3. When the Vedic sound manifests in the aprākṛta-ākāśa, the absolute meaning is understood in relation to bhakti. When the Vedic sound manifests in the prākṛta-ākāśa, the relative meanings related to karma and jñāna are understood due to the vitiation of māyā.

The śabda-brahma is not limited by time or space, therefore it is pointless to argue that it exists in one place but not in another. These are all mundane propositions arising from conditioned binary thinking. All that is needed is a sympathetic disposition towards Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura and you will appreciate the perfection of his presentation. Otherwise, vivādātmaka-buddhi will simply create contradiction where no contradiction exists.”

My Reply:
The commentary of Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.21.36 according to my book (11.21.38 according to your reference) makes no mention that the aprākṛta prāṇa belongs to the jīvātma. If you read the commentary of Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura on 11.21.38 (the verse beginning with yatho’rṇanābhi), he clearly mentions that this manifestation of the Veda is from Paramātma or Kṛṣṇa into the Mūlādhāra cakra of Hiraṇyagarbha, or Brahmā (svasmād udbhava prakāram āha yathorṇeti tribhiḥ….. prabhur īśvaro mad aṁśo hiraṇya-garbhāntaryāmī ….hiraṇyagarbhasyādhāra-cakre āvirbhūya). The commentary says, svasmād udbhava prakāram āha, which means, “The manifestation of the Veda from Kṛṣṇa is being described.” It is very clear from the commentary that this manifestation is from the antaryāmi of Paramātma who is part of Kṛṣṇa, mad aṁśo hiranyagarbha antaryāmi. This manifestation is from the unmanifest (aprakaṭa) ākāśa [in which Paramātma exists] into the manifest (prakaṭa) ākāśa in the heart of Brahmā (ākāśād ākāśam avalambya…) into the Mūlādhāra cakra of Hiraṇyagarbha (hiranyagarbhasya ādhāra cakre āvirbhūya). Therefore, there is no mention here in the commentary that the Veda is coming from the aprakat ākāśa of the jīva.

This is also confirmed in the commentary of Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura on the Bhāgavatam verses 11.12.17 and 11.12.19. He comments that the word jīva in 11.12.17 means Paramātma, who is He Himself, jīvayati iti jīvaḥ parameśvaraḥ śāstra prasiddhaḥ eṣa mallakṣaṇaḥ puruṣa eveti sva-tarjanyā sva-vakṣaḥ spṛśati. Then in the commentary it is explained how the nāda manifests in the body of Brahmā, vivareṣy caturmukha-śarīrastha-ādhārādi-cakreṣu… There is no mention that nāda is in the ātmā of Brahmā and from there it comes into his Mūlādhāra cakra. Even Paramātma manifests the Veda in the body of Brahmā and not into his ātmā. This is made further clear in the commentary on 11.12.19 – veda-lakṣaṇayā vāṇī yathā brahma-śarīrād-udbhutā, “just as the speech in the form of Veda manifests from the body of Brahmā ….”

Anonymous comments, “When the Vedic sound manifests in the aprakṛta-ākāśa, the absolute meaning is understood in relation to bhakti.”

My reply: I don’t understand what you mean by your statement. Where is this aprākṛta ākāśa. Is it in ātma or Paramātma and who understands it?

Anonymous further writes, “When the Vedic sound manifests in the prākṛta-ākāśa, the
relative meanings related to karma and jnana are understood due to the vitiation of māyā.”

My reply: This does not make sense to me because the whole description in verses 12.6.37–44 is about the manifestation of the Veda into the heart of Brahmā and that definitely is a manifestation in the prākṛta ākāśa. So by your statement it appears that Brahmā does not understand that the Vedas speak about bhakti because he only got the Vedas in prākṛta-ākāśa. This however goes against the statement of Śukadeva (bhagavan brahma … Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.34) which said that Brahmā studied the complete Vedas three times and understood that their essence is bhakti. This goes against Śrīmad Bhāgavatam verse 2.7.51 in which Brahmā orders Nārada to expand the Bhāgavatam which he received from Bhagavān Himself. If he did not understand the meaning of the Bhāgavatam, how could he teach it to Nārada? Our whole paramparā is coming from Brahmā, so the above statement is actually an attack on the whole Gauḍīya sampradāya.

I find no such description anywhere in the works of the Gosvāmīs, Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura or Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa. I do not know what is the basis for this. Kindly give reference for this.

As far as your reference to Chandogya Upanisad 8.3, I don’t find any reference to prākṛta and aprākṛta-ākāśa in it. Please supply the exact Sanskrit.

So with all this, at least in the Bhāgavatam-verses that you have referred to, I do not see any description of the Veda being within ātma.

The only argument which remains is that śabda-brahma or the Veda is not limited by time and space, therefore it also exists in the ātma. About this I have already written above that this is acceptable, but then you have to explain the statements that say that the jīva is ignorant of Bhagavān. You cannot just take one set of statements and neglect the other. Otherwise, you fall prey to ardha-kukkuti nyāya (example of accepting only half of a hen, the part that gives eggs and neglecting the part that needs to be fed).

In Bhagavad Gita 9.4, Kṛṣṇa says that He pervades everything and yet He is not in everything. He also says that everything that exists is He, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti. Indeed He says that He is the ātmā in everyone (Gītā 10.20). Then by your logic, we are all Vāsudeva and certainly we have the Vedic knowledge. But this fact is not experienced by us. Otherwise what was the need for Kṛṣṇa to tell this to us. We would know it as He knows. Your logic of “all pervading” is tantamount to Māyāvāda philosophy.

 By accepting the Vedic knowledge in the ātma, there is one more difficulty that arises. According to Bhāgavatam, there are five types of mukti. One of them is called sāyujya, which is of two types, brahma-sāyujya and bhagavat sāyujya. A jīva who attains brahma-sāyujya does not have any subtle or gross body because that is the very definition of mukti: muktir hitvānyatha rūpaṁ svarūpena vyavasthiti (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.10.6). Such a jīva also does not get a spiritual body because in Brahman there is no form or attribute. It is a homogeneous state of pure consciousness. So according to your proposition (or BVT), such a person should be situated in Vedic knowledge, because he does not have any more conditioning by the subtle or gross body. This goes against the very principle of brahma-sāyujya, because in brahma-sāyujya there is no awareness of anything except of Brahman. There is no duality in brahman realization. But if one has Vedic knowledge, one must have knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, as Kṛṣṇa Himself says: vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedya. This also needs to be accounted for if you accept that there is Vedic knowledge inherent in the ātma.

Further questions can be raised on this: Is this knowledge of the Veda manifest or unmanifest? If it is manifest, then it cannot be forgotten at all. For example, the ātma has I-consciousness in it. ātma is the referent of the word ‘I”. This knowledge of “I” can never be forgotten in any state of existence—wakeful, dream or dreamless state. No matter what the jīva thinks of himself, the sense of “I” always exists, because it is inherent in the ātma. It is this sense of “I” that is superimposed on the gross and subtle bodies, which makes one think, “I am the mind or the body.” In the same way, consciousness in the inherent quality of ātma, therefore it can never be taken away from it in any state of existence. No matter how much māyā influences the jīva, he never loses consciousness and the sense of “I.” He cannot become dead matter. In the same way, if Vedic knowledge were manifest in the ātma, the jīva could never forget it or be unaware of it, no matter how much he is covered by māyā. Just like a bulb which has light in it cannot lose it, no matter how much the bulb is covered externally. Therefore Jīva Gosvāmī is right when he says that the jīva has beginningless ignorance, anādyavidyā. However, being a conscious entity, he has the potential to acquire knowledge.

If we consider the second option, that the knowledge is unmanifest in the ātma, then the proponent of this idea must explain what is means to have unmanifest knowledge and how it exists in the ātma. What is the mechanism? The constitution of ātma is eternal and not liable to any modification, avikārī (Gītā 2.25). If the knowledge would change from unmanifest to manifest by some practice as proposed by Anonymous, then that would make the ātma modifiable, vikārī, like matter. One may argue that the practice of bhakti makes this knowledge manifest, but we find no support for that. On the contrary, Kṛṣṇa says that knowledge comes from an external source (see Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.22.10 as cited above). The knowledge is given from outside.