"I" - the mind or the Self???

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Wed Oct 8 20:53:53 CDT 1997

On Wed, 8 Oct 1997, Nanda Kumar wrote:

> Since the time i joined this list I've noticed quite a few statements like
> 'There's no 'I'' or 'there's no you nor me' etc. I would like to take a dig at
> this concept and see how far it's true.
> As is the concept of Advaitam, we're all either convinced or atleast
> believe or suspect that there exists a Self. We also recognize the fact
> that the very concept of 'I' is in question. When I say 'I', I generally refer
> to my body in conjunction with my mind. I recognize the maya concept of
> life but that still doesn't negate the existance of the body and the mind.
> The shruti expounds that a Self exists and that it's not the mind. We say
> that the 'I' is the Self. But is this concept truly applicable to a person who
> has not realized his/her Self?
> [...]

>  So at this point in time, in my unrealized state, I fear that I can corelate
> the 'I' only to my mind.

My view on this is the following:

Please recall Swami Vivekananda's statement in his London speech that
"In Hindu philosophy, we go from a lower truth to a higher truth".

Thus, the question posed in the subject ""I" - the mind or the self ??",
both are correct depending on our level of understanding of the Self.

I sometimes wonder why we consider ourselves to be ignorant. Is it
modesty ?  Or, is it our frank opinion of ourselves that we have not
realized the Truth and that we will never realize the Truth ? Further,
if we persisted on with that feeling (that we are ignorant and we are
under bondage), is there ever salvation for us ? Please remember that,
in advaita, it is here and now, our moksha is here, not after discarding
this body.

If we keep on saying that we are ignorant, this life will be over in that
same stage. The boundary between being a realized person and one being
ignorant is very thin. There is no discontinuous jump from one to the
other. Then, is there any advantage in repeating to ourselves ad infinitum
that we are in bondage of our miseries. On the contrary, I would argue
that we should repeat ad infinitum that we are ever free and that we are

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.

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