The point

Prashant Sharma psharma at BUPHY.BU.EDU
Sat Nov 1 11:19:39 CST 1997

> From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at>
> Subject: Re: The point
> Date: Wednesday, October 29, 1997 2:45 PM
> On Wed, 29 Oct 1997, Prashant Sharma wrote:
> > On Wed, 29 Oct 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > Although I am not a learned member, let me venture into this
> > > Yes, there is no path at all, because we are not going anywhere. We
> > > what we were. No change. It is only the perception by the others
> > > that changed. As Shri Shankara says in Viveka ChuDamaNi (verses
> > > 248) it is the same Devadatta. Also, whether we put a soldier garb or
a king
> > > garb, the I behind is the same. Thus we are not attaining anything
> > > in becoming a jnani. It is the same I which is always there. It is
> > > same jnani.
> >
> >         Let me try to understand this in the following way. What is the
> > that we are referring to here? The following simplistic view may be
> > to define this I. Whenever action is done it is for something. For
> > we try to be "good" to somebody or try to do "good" to others all these
> > actions are to build the image of "goodness".  So they are centered
> > the belief that there is goodness with which the "I" can be identified.
> > All such actions go to strengthening the association of "I" with  the
> > belief and thus to strengthen the ego. (It is in this sense that
> > works because yuo attribute all the activity of the ego to a higher
> > which "acts" of its own=> no associations with beliefs). Of course this
> > goodness is just one aspect of the "I" but the way in which ego is
> > strengthened by "action" is all that I have tried to point out in this
> > analysis.
> The I that is used in my statement above [the I that is behind Devadatta,
> the king and the soldier of Shri Shankara] is the I that is the
> of all. We call that I the king or the soldier or Prashant Sharma or
> Gummuluru Murthy. That is the I that is referred in my paragraph.
> The I which you defined, as you said, is the one that strengthens the
> may be for a later surrender in the sense of bhakti (It is not clear to
> why the ego need to be strengthened for later surrender).

        In regard to bhakti, all I meant was that it doesnot allow the ego to be
strengthened because all the activities are offered to the "deity".

> > Now let me go back to your inference of the statement from the Vivek
> > ChuDAmaNi which I understand as: this process of the mind is the same
> > whether one is a king
> > or a clown.  In this sense the "I" is the same. Let me go a step
> > and say that what the statement implies is that there is only "a" mind
> > (not "your" mind and "my" mind, but a "single" human mind) and that
> > operates about its beliefs, which are "impressions" of reality.
> There is a mis-understanding here, of the Viveka ChuDamaNi verses. Shri
> Shankara is not comparing Devadatta before and after enlightenment. The
> verses and the meanings are as follows:
> Sa devadatto"ayam it'iha c'aikatA
> viruddha-dharmAmsam apAsya kathyate
> yathA tathA tat tvam as'Iti vAkye
> viruddha dharmAn ubhayatra hitvA
> When we say: "This man is that same Devadatta whom I have previously
> we establish a person's identity by disregarding those attributes
> superimposed upon him by the circumstances of our former meeting. In just
> the same way, when we consider the scriptural teaching "That art Thou" we
> must disregard those attributes which have been superimposed upon "That"
> and "Thou".

        I think what Shri Shankar means (as you have pointed out) is that there is
an entity beyond the mental images that usually define it.  The "usual I"
(this is not proving to be a good terminology for what I want to say, but
let me use it nevertheless) which was referred to by me, is a mental
entity. It is now clear to me that Shri Shankar is not referring to this

> EtAvupAdhI parajeevayostayoh
> samyannirAse na paro na jeevah
> rAjyam narendrasya bhaTasya kheTakah
> tayorapohe na bhaTo na rAjA
> Both are one substance. This substance plus maaya and mahat is God, and
> the same substance plus the five sheaths is the jeeva. Take away the
> upadhis of both, and what is left is the same thing. One man on a throne
> is a king. Again, the same man with a shield in hand is a warrior; and
> if you take away both the throne and the shield, he is neither the king
> nor the warrior.
> ------------------------
> Thus, there is no place for the process of the mind at all in what I have
> written. I admit I should have expanded on this in my earlier post
        Thanks for doing so now. It has removed the confusion which I had.

> > [The material that arose out of the previous misunderstanding is
> >  deleted - GM]
> >
> > I therefore dont understand your statement "It is the same jnani".
> >
> What I mean is: the substratum for Devadatta, the warrior, the king, you
> and I and everyone including the ajnani-turned-jnani is the same
> substance - the jnanam.
> Thus, the substratum for the person who was called ajnani before and
> now (by people who are ajnanis) is the same substance. There is virtually
> no change. It is the ajnanis who perceive the change.
> Regards
> Gummuluru Murthy


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