What is Krishna ? Bhagavad-gita 7.03 and 7.26

Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Tue Jun 30 18:04:51 CDT 1998

On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:
>  Atma-jnAna is thus extremely great. Anything that is so great is not
>  achieved by everyone. If everyone were to achieve Atma-jnAna (from
>  the vyAvahArika view), then it would be commonplace. Krishna affirms
>  in this verse that Atma-jnAna is not easy to achieve. Among many
>  thousands of people, a rare person has the eligibility to attain
>  this jnAna. Again, among many such people who are eligible, only one
>  rare person actually succeeds in attaining It as the fruit of
>  shravaNa, manana, and nididhyAsana.
>  This rules out the possibility that the attainment of jnAna is a
>  mind game, wherein one can merely "think" that he/she is liberated
>  and presto!, he/she actually becomes liberated.

 I am not so very sure that the possibility is ruled out. In the Yoga
Vasishtha, the holy Sage devotes a lot of time in explaining to Sri Rama
the power of the mind and power of thought. There is one chapter in
particular I wish to point out, Chapter 6 (The Power of Thought). In
this, Sage Vasishtha says:
12: Indeed by the contemplation of the mind, the sons of Indu, who
were ordinary ones, becoming braahmana-s, attained to the state of
Brahmaa (The Creator). See the capability of the mind!
13: Being contemplated by the mind, the body goes to the state of the
embodied (i.e., the mind contemplating the body, becomes the body itself
by identification).
14: Freed from the thought of the body, one is not afflicted by the
attributes (or characteristic properties) of the body.

 and again in Chapter 7
 Just as the state of being an outcase (arose) in Lavana only due to the
power of iilusion, this experience of the world is a mere imagination of
the mind. By the restraint of the mind, the delusion of the worldly
existence reaches alleviation.
 The mind, because of its being of the nature of a part of consiousness,
(or pure intelligence) attains to the state of the one undivided
consiousness by inquiry into (or reflection upon) pure intelligence and by
the power of firm practice. Therefore, resorting to human effort, taking
possesstion of the thinking mind by consiousness and laying hold of the
place devoid of sorrow, be steady, free from anguish. Because in the firm
restraint of the mind, only the mind is capable.

Ch.8 v 35-36:
 In the ocean of worldly existence, there is no refuge other than the
conquest of the mind. As long as the mind is not conquered by the firm
practice of the One Truth (or reality), so long do the night ghosts of
imagination dance in the heart.

 It becomes quite clear from the Yoga Vasishtha, that although truth is
not one imagination away, truth is to be obtained by constant
contemplation of it with the mind. And all of the mind is action/thoughts,
and in the end, the action/thought/mind complex is itself to be given up.

 At this point it is easy to ask, where from Knowledge is obtained, can
the mind give it by itself?, and how so?
 Ch.7 v.64:
 By the practice of the (above) three steps and by the power of the
cessation of desires, when the mind becomes pure, the abiding in Ture
Self is declared to be "entering into Being".

(the three steps refered to are discussed in some previous verses to be
1) Association with holy poeple
2) Practice of dispassion and inclination towards virtuous behaviour
3) Non attachment to objects of senses )

 When Sage Vasishtha says mind becomes pure, I believe he means it becomes
free from contamination by any thought what-so-ever, and this is possible
by the mind controlling itself. And when all this ceases, the underlying
Knowledge/truth, which has been there allways, becomes Self evident.
 In conclusion, although to call all of Jn~ana and its attainment as a
mind game is probably incorrect, it nevertheless is a mind game of some
sort or another in several stages of spiritual progress.


                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 Kandavar Vindilar      : Those who have seen (Brahman) have not spoken
  Vindavar Kandilar     :   those who speak (about It) have not seen (It)
    satyakAma, satyasaMkalpa, Apatsakha, kAkutsa, shrIman nArAyaNa
        puruShottaMa, shrI ranganAtha, mama nAtha, namostute.

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