Change and the changeless

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Nov 4 09:57:40 CST 1997

On Mon, 3 Nov 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> On Sun, 2 Nov 1997, Charles A. Hillig wrote:
> >
> >
> > Hi, Gummuluru,
> >
> >      But isn't that just another strategy?     Are you suggesting that I
> > "change" from what I am doing to start focusing in on my "changelessness?"
> >
> >      If I do that, I've already defeated myself by changing from "I CAN
> > change" into "I can NOT change."
> >
> The intellectual I is the one that is meditating.
> The intellectual I's objective is to be one with the Self I. The Self I is
> unchanging. The intellectual I thinks it is changing.
>                                ^^^^^^
> For the intellectual I to be merged with the Self I, the intellectual I
> should shed its upadhis and see no change in itself.

Further to what I posted yesterday (the above material), the two verses
from MuNDaka upanishhad (III.1.1-2) are pertient here. They are

DvA suparNA sayujA sakhAyA samAnam vr^ksham parishhasvajAte
Tayoranayah pippalam svAdvattyanashnan anyo abhicAkashIti

SamAne vr^kshe purushho nimagno anIshayA shocati muhyamAnah
jusTam yadA pashyatyanya mIsham asya mahimAnamiti vItashokah

Upon the same tree, there are two birds of beautiful plumage, most
friendly to each other, one eating the fruits, the other sitting there
calm and silent without eating; the one on the lower branch eating sweet
and bitter fruits in turn and becoming happy and unhappy, but the other
one on the top, calm and majestic; he eats neither sweet nor bitter
fruits, cares neither for happiness nor misery, immersed in his own glory.

On the self-same tree, a person immersed (in the sorrows of the world) is
deluded and grieves on account of his helplessness. When he sees the
other, the Lord, who is worshipped and his greatness, he becomes freed
from sorrow.

These two verses are quite revealing. The way I understood them is as
follows (following Swami Ranganathananda's explanation).

The lower bird catches a glimpse of the top bird which is calm and
majestic, eating neither sweet nor bitter fruits, but immersed in his
own glory, self-contented. The lower bird catches a glimpse and forgets
about the top bird and goes on eating sweet and bitter fruits of life.
Perhaps after a time, after a few of the life's blows are received, he
catches another glimpse of the higher bird and moves nearer and nearer to
the higher bird, his companion throughout the life. As he approaches the
higher bird, he (the lower bird) finds the light from the higher bird
shining around him (the lower bird). As he comes nearer and nearer, he
finds himself melting away until he has entirely disappeared (or merged
with the higher bird). He finds that he did not really exist, but was only
a reflection of the higher bird.

Such is the case with the intellectual I merging with the Absolute I.

> >                               With Blessings,
> >
> >                                    Chuck Hillig
> >

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.

>From  Tue Nov  4 11:25:50 1997
Message-Id: <TUE.4.NOV.1997.112550.0500.>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 11:25:50 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Personal
Subject: Advaita and Gita-Discipline
Comments: To: Advaita List <advaita-l at>
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The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has published many books on Hindu Religion
and Culture. The book on "Bhagavad Gita" by Rajagopalachari (Rajaji)
summarizes Gita in 120 pages. Rajaji was a great patriot and a close
associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He had served India in various capacities,
the first Indian Governor-General of India, the Chief minister of Tamil
Nadu, Governor of West Bengal and the Home Minister of India.  Both
Rajaji and Mahatma Gandhi has lived strictly according to the doctrine
of Gita.  In Chapter 13 of his book, Rajaji describes Advaita and
Gita-Discipline and I have reproduced the chapter below:

        "A Question may be raised at this stage by those who have only
heard of
or have a superficial acquaintance with the doctrine of Advaita. If the
Soul's separate existence is the result of illusion and God alone
exists, why should there be this toilsome effort at so-called
liberation? Why should we not rest content with knowing the truth that
God alone exists? This might well be so, were the illusion a mere
optical illusion. The Maya has wrought its effect not only on the eyes
but on every one of our senses and on our minds and has produced
attachments, passions and turmoils of the soul. Rubbing the yes alone
will not do. We must wake up every atom of our being to the reality
because the illusion goes to the depth of our very being. Again, it is
not enough to know that we should wake up. It is necessary actually to
wake up. This real and thorough awakening of our being is called
liberation, and the process is just the same whether it proceeds on this
basis of waking up from an illusion, or is deemed a process of
self-purification and liberation of the soul as a real and separate
        Sense-enjoyments and attachment thereto confirm and add to the
illusion. It is necessary to get rid of them in order to dispel the
Maya. The knowledge gained from the teacher, that God and Soul are one,
but ignorance born of Maya, may be an aid in the process of liberation
or waking up, but that by itself is not enough. The need for personal
effort to free oneself from passions and attachments diminishes as one
approaches the goal of true enlightenment, and diminishes in the measure
of our progress toward it.
        Whether the individual soul be treated as a result of Maya,
consisting, then, in the removal of the illusion that brought about the
idea of individual existence, or whether it be considered that the
individual soul is  really a separate entity beginning-less, free and
clothed in matter, which must work out its salvation by fitting itself
for being received by God - in either case, the process to be gone
through is identical. If the Soul's separate existence is an illusion,
attachment to the objects of sense-enjoyment, and lust, greed and anger
add to the illusion and must be avoided. With real disillusionment,
sins, and attachments must automatically cease. Conversely, a pure life
and unselfish performance of duties and serenity of mind lead to
realization of the truth behind the veil. Whether attachments have not
ceased, we may take it that the knowledge is unreal, and that only lip
service is being rendered to theory, and the illusion within is
increasing, not diminishing.  True Jnana can come, and great illusion be
dissolved only by the same process as has been prescribed for liberation
from Karma on the basis of the soul being a separate spiritual entity
according to the Dvaita Philosophy.  Thus it is that the Gita is book of
Life for all, irrespective of differing creeds as to the ultimate nature
of the individual Soul."
        Though I hesitate to add my own commentary but I want to repeat
words that struck me: "It is not enough to know that we should wake up.
It is necessary that we should wake up."
Let us Wake Up!

Ram Chandran

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