Change and the changeless

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Nov 4 09:55:28 CST 1997

On Mon, 3 Nov 1997, egodust wrote:

> Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> > [...]
> >
> > We are jnani all the time. It is only we
> > think we are ajnanis limited by our ignorance. I wonder if, as a
> > meditation process, it would be a good idea to reflect continuously on the
> > thought that we undergo no change and that we are eternal. Only if we see
> > a change in ourselves, we are still in maaya.
> >
> hariH OM!
> Concur.  Tripura Rahasya (ch 18, v.124): "The strongest fetter is
> the certainty that one is bound."
> What thwarts us--being immersed in what we believe is avidya--
> is that we couldn't possibly be enlightened in light of the
> heavy misery and darkness abounding our weary-struck souls.
> Nevertheless, if we could but realize that even after the advent
> of so-called moksha, the jivanmukta still acts out his/her unique
> prarabdha, which may or may not exhibit ignorant behavior [via
> thoughts, words, deeds].  The critical difference is that the
> jnani no longer meaningfully identifies with such behavior.
> That is, although the behavior remains a recognizable facet
> within the totality of Self, it no longer functions as a dynamic
> through which he exclusively identifies.  A good analogy is the
> color spectrum, where the influx of all colors (representing
> here all thoughts, beings, events) yields the white-out samadhi.
> So that, moksha is founded on the certainty that one cannot be
> defined/confined by ego.  In fact, one's apparent ego has as much
> to do with one's Self as does any other ego.  The atman can say:
> "The entire world of egos is part of who I am; and yet these
> [even collectively] represent such an insignificant part, as to
> be substantially irrelevant."  What are the implications of this?
> Namaste.


I agree fully with the above. You have put it as well as it can be put
(the first two paragraphs). I would be grateful for a further elabaration
of paragraph 3. I did not understand the concept of apparent ego.

I think that one has to raise above the maaya and above the thought that
the jeeva is bound. Then only, the jeeva will be out of the so-called
shackles. In reality, there are no shackles. It is only the shackles
created by the jeeva's own thought. The jeeva (or the core of what is
jeeva) is ever free.

Coming back to the change and the Changeless, where is the change in I ?
The changes in the body, changes in the thoughts, changes in the intellect
(hence the concept of jnani and ajnani) are only the superficial changes,
not to the core I. The core I is eternal, unchanging, nishchala and

In Katha upanishhad verse I.3.14, Lord Yama, in explaining the knowledge
of the Self to young Nachiketa, implores

UttisThata jAgrata prApya varAn nibodhata
kshurasya dhArA niShitA duratyayA
durgam pathastat kavayo vadanti

Arise! Awake! having attained your boons (from the treachers), understand
them; Sharp as the edge of a razor and hard to cross, the path is
difficult to tread, so say the sages.

Shri Shankara comments on this verse

... atah taddarshanArtham anAdyavidyAprasuptA uttisThata, he jantavah,
AtmjnAnAbhimukhA bhavata; jAgrata, ajnAnanidrAyA ghorarupAyA
sarvAnarthabIjabhUtAyAh, kshayam kuruta ...

Therefore, in order to realize THAT, Arise! O creatures, immersed in
the sleep of beginningless ignorance; may you turn in the direction of
the knowledge of the Self ! Awake from this sleep of unknowing, which
is terrible and the seed of all troubles. Destroy it!...

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

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