The change and the changeless & Certainty

Prashant Sharma psharma at BUPHY.BU.EDU
Fri Nov 7 11:54:36 CST 1997

> From: sadananda <sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL>
> Subject: Res: The change and the changeless & Certainty
> Date: Friday, November 07, 1997 5:49 AM
> This knowledge we gained by shaastras.  Contemplation and meditation we
> have to do.  It is like going to sleep.  We cannot really go to sleep
> it is not a place to go to.  Yet we do the necessary preparation to go to
> sleep by neti neti  process. One who has slept has slept no two ways
> it.

        This is very nicely stated and I think it is a beautiful analogy.

> Hari Om!
> Sadananda
> K. Sadananda
> Code 6323
> Naval Research Laboratory
> Washington D.C. 20375
> Voice (202)767-2117
> Fax:(202)767-2623

>From  Fri Nov  7 11:50:00 1997
Message-Id: <FRI.7.NOV.1997.115000.0500.>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 11:50:00 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Re: Change and the changeless
Comments: To: Advaita List <Advaita-L at>
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On Thu, 6 Nov 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> The SELF pervades all, here, there, everywhere, you, me and everyone.
> SELF is the rock, the animal, the plant, the human. SELF does not
> speak. SELF does not act. But it is the SELF that powers you to speak.

> What is spoken is the intellectual self's understanding of the SELF.

 As a Reply, Govind Rengarajan <govind at ISC.TAMU.EDU> wrote

        If I may ask, how do you know this? Through scriptures
        or ... ? Hypothetically speaking, if it were possible
        for you to completely erase everything you have learned
        so far from your memory - everything from giitaa to
        upanishads, statements of sages, etc., will you still
        be able to make the above statement?

        Can the intellect truly understand/comprehend the Self? If
        so, the ancient seers who said "neti neti" were clearly

Greetings Gummuluru and Govind:


  This is a time for story telling.  The great Boja Maharaja with a
small army was camping near a village during his summer hunting trip.
The village farmer had a big vegetable farm with plenty of  cucumbers
ready for harvesting.  The farmer, sitting over the top of a huge stone
rock, saw the soldiers and invited them to come and enjoy the
cucumbers.  The soldiers happily responded to the farmer's invitation
and helped themselves with the fresh green cucumbers.  After sometime,
the farmer descended down from the stone rock and rushed  to the
soldiers and with an angry voice,  accused them of stealing  the
cucumbers from the farm.  The soldiers felt sorry and apologized to the
farmer and went back to the camp.   In the very next day, the farmer
once again was very generous  when he was at the top of the rock and
was abusive when he was away from the rock!  This drama continued for
few more days and the soldiers felt embarrassed and one of them reported
this strange incident to king Boja Maharaja.  Boja Maharaja quickly
understood that the ground under the stone rock was special!  He ordered
the soldiers to move the stone rock and excavate the ground  beneath the
rock.  To everyone's surprise, the soldiers found a golden throne which
was identified to be the golden throne of the great Indian King
        The vision of the farmer at the top of the rock was superimposed by the
vision of the generous unselfish King Vikramathiya.  But when he moved
away from the rock,  he had the vision of the selfish farmer!  The
intellectual rationalization of the two visions was possible due to  the
discovery of the TRUTH about nature of King Vikramathiya!  The
resourceful and educated King Boja Maharaja was able to develop a
rationale to solve the intellectual puzzle posed by the behavior of the
farmer!  Any solution to intellectual puzzles can be achieved by
education and  intellectual training and other material resources.  We
can measure Intellectual changes using intellectual methods!  All such
changes are with reference to "self" and not "SELF." The self changes
over time and changes with efforts!  But by definition, SELF is
Then what  is the connection between self and SELF?  According to
Sankara, self is an illusion and also any  intellectual analysis or
debate is an illusion!  But the self will remind us that SELF is the
cause of all causes! Also, self will pose the question why did SELF
cause the illusion? The only possible intellectual explanation that can
satisfy the self is that "self doesn't exist!"  The SELF on the other
hand has neither any question nor any answer!
   If we take a careful look at the connection between ^Ñself' and
^ÑSELF,' we can see no connection!  Any established connections always
comes with a story!  We have a story told by Sankara (Advaita Model)
that appeals to members of this list.  A second story is told by
Ramanujacharyar. In Ramanujacharyar's model, the creator becomes the
operator of the grand puppet show where the  human souls are the
puppets.  Then puppets have no control over their lives and our life is
always at the mercy of the creator!  The self will quickly ask the
question, why did the creator play the puppet game?   Once again the
^Ñself' will not  get an intellectually satisfactory answer!
   Without any FAITH or BELIEF, the fundamental question about creation
and the creator will remain unanswered.  The ancient seers and sages
have recognized this problem and have recorded their wise suggestions in
the scriptures.  Accordingly, the scriptures ask us to start with the
fundamental BELIEF that Life has no beginning or end.   This suggestion
is to help us to forget about the PAST and to focus our attention more
toward the future goal! Then scriptures suggest us to develop the
mission of our life.  According to the scriptures, the goal of every
living creature of this universe is the Total Liberation from Birth and
Death.  The blueprint to carry out the plan of action to achieve the
goal was also drawn by the scriptures.
  Most of the well-known Indian commentators of Gita and especially
those who practiced the doctrine of Gita have suggested that Gita can
help us toward liberation!  Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhwa have
interpreted the scriptures (Upanishads, Bhrama-Sutra and Gita)
differently and have developed their philosophies.  In spite of noted
differences, they have recognized that the mission of human life is
Total Liberation from Birth and Death.
  The members of this list are most likely to disagree with my
interpretations and the relevance of scriptures for human liberation.
Though this essay may appear as an intellectual exercise,  I sincerely
attempted  to clarify several issues that can lead us to intellectual
traps and pitfalls.  I have tried to avoid errors but I do recognize
that error is human and unavoidable. Please forgive my errors,
irrelevant logic  and misstatements.  When you get  time, I  appreciate
if you can send your comments, suggestions and corrections.  I am fully
aware of the pitfalls of unnecessary and meaningless debates on issues
which do not contribute to either comprehension or liberation!  But it
seems that it is inevitable!  The only consolation for me is the feeling
that "Doing something is always better than doing nothing!"

Ram Chandran

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