[Advaita-l] chit and chitta

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Wed Jun 15 10:40:04 CDT 2005

 Thanks for your explanation. However, I am unable to see how it justifies 
Advaita. Your claim is that chit needs to be present in all three states but 
that could also be the view of a charvaka (materialist). As commonly 
understood chit is necessary for life, even in sushupti (deep sleep). But 
your exposition does not bring out the fact of you are essentially 
consiousness which I think the argument that I alluded to tries to assert. 
 Humble pranams, Mahesh

 On 6/15/05, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote: 
> >Now it is well know that Vedanta divdes the mind into four parts - 
> Ahamkara
> >(ego), manas (mind), buddhi (intellect) and chitta (memory / 
> subconscious).
> >
> >On this basis, can one not argue that this recollection of the "I" before
> >and after sleep is due to chitta (memory) aspect of the mind? Why does
> >'cit'
> >(consciousness) need to be the defining factor in this? One can say that
> >'cit' provides us the sense of 'self awareness' but and it uses 'chitta' 
> to
> >provide us an idenity of being the same 'I'.
> chitta is derived from chit, while chit itself can be used both in a
> relational and an absolute sense. chit is, really speaking, consciousness
> itself, while chitta works in close relationship to manas and ahaMkAra.
> >Two supporting arguments:
> >1. Your PC boots up (waking) after it has been shutdown (deep sleep) in 
> the
> >same Operation system it started with though it does not have any
> >consciousness. This happens becuase the OS information is stored in its
> >memory (chitta).
> Yes, but what is presumed here is that there is a power supply to the PC,
> without which, no amount of storage in the memory can be retrieved.
> Similarly, the argument in vedAnta points out that chit has to be always
> present, even through deep sleep. The difference between human 
> consciousness
> and a PC's memory is that the latter depends on an external source, 
> whereas
> the former does not. Therefore, you cannot compare human consciousness 
> with
> the fact that a PC may be disconnected from a power source and then
> reconnected and rebooted back to its latest state.
> The point of the vedAnta argument (at least for the advaitin) is not so 
> much
> that the same "I" arises after the state of deep sleep, but rather, the 
> fact
> that throughout the different phases of being, chit is always (has to be
> always) present. It is just that chit functions through each antaHkaraNa 
> as
> delimited by each physical body. The conclusion that chit is always 
> present
> is also a consequence of the fact that manas and chitta are never taken as
> non-material in any vedAnta system. They are subtle and are non-visible, 
> but
> they are material, all the same.
> >2. A person suffering from amnesia has the same consciousness before and
> >after memory loss but has no recollection of who he or she is. Is this 
> not
> >due to chitta being destroyed and has nothing to do with cit?
> >
> This is also addressed by the above, is it not?
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
> ps. Regarding Sruti and interpretation, yes, there are multiple
> interpretations, but that does not take away from its pramANatva. It is
> incorrect to compare the Sruti - interpretation pair to the science -
> observation pair. Interpretation does not change Sruti, whereas science
> often undergoes changes due to observation.
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