I - Self or mind???
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Fri Oct 10 10:18:47 CDT 1997
Nanda Kumar wrote:
>My question here is, is this kind of 'brainwashing' necessary? After all,
>I'm as I'm, in my present state of ignorance. It's the Truth, that I'm
>after. I'm quite aware of my infirmities and for me to progress, is it really
>necessary for me to condition myself with a mental attitude, which is not
>wholly true (BTW, is the concept that the soul is divine or that it has the
>POTENTIAL to be divine?). And is this the right attitude for jnana? And as
>Govind pointed out there's ample scope for undisired results.
>I would like to point out that I'm not against a positive mental attitude, but
>against a positive mental attitude based on concepts which might not be
>wholly true. And since jnana places so much emphasis on reason,
>wouldn't such an attitude be a contradiction? To attain reality, aren't we
>actually forsaking reality for fantasy? But again I agree that such an
>attitude would be a great source of strength and support along the
First, one has to resolve, if it is untrue and that I am really
brain-washing myself and that my divinity is contrary to the truth.
Here is a funny story, my teacher, H.H. Swami Chinmayanandaji, used to tell
in his lectures. There was one Mr. Jones who for some strange reason got
a strong feeling that he is a rat and not a man. So whenever he
encountered a cat nearby he used to hide himself to protect himself from
the cat, since he is a rat. Mrs. Jones, observing her husband's strange
behavior, took him to a psychologist. The psychologist, after liquidating
half of his bank account, convinced him that he is man and not a rat. "I am
a man and not a rat, I am man and not a rat" was there at the tip of Mr.
Jone's tongue all the time. Feeling that he is well cured, he went back
home after saying good-by to the Doctor. But after an hour, to the
doctor's surprise, he came running back gasping for his breath. Doctor
asked - "What is the matter Mr. Jones? Don't you know that you are a man
and not a rat?" To that Mr. Jones replied - "I know very well that I am a
man and not a rat. But this neighbor of mine, who is a very careless
fellow, has left his cat free. It is running all over our yard. I am afraid
if that stupid cat knows or not that I am a man and not a rat".
In the Upanishads the sage declares:
SRinvantu viswe amRitasya putraaH|
ayo dhaamaani divyaani santi|
vedehametam purusham mahaantam
aditya varnam tamasa parastat
tvameva viditvaa amRitvameti
naanya panthaa vidyateyanaaya|
(Please check my transliteration)
Listen you all, the sons of immortality!
and you those the indwellers of the divine worlds!
( I have good news for you all)
I have realized that supreme Purusha
It is of the nature of light beyond the ignorance (chaitanya swaruupa)|
You too can realize that and gain that immortality
There is no other path, other than through JNana|
The sage addresses us as "Sons of Immortality" -indicating that immortality
is our birth right. We are not born of sin!
And see What a conviction he had - he addresses even the gods, the
indwellers of the divine worlds - since they also have notions that they
are only particular gods ( though gods, more but still limited )- declaring
the good news, that he has realized the truth, which is of the nature of
He does not stop with that leaving that he was the only specially qualified
to reach that state. He declares that even we can reach that state too -
but only through Knowledge. Since only through self-knowledge one can
eliminate our ignorance-born notions about ourselves, that we are mortals
etc. Mortal cannot be made into immortal unless he is immortal to start
with, and does not know that he is immortal. For that the only cure is
that he should know that he is immortal - naanyah panthaa vidyateyanaaya| -
Now, knowing a fact about ourselves is not called brainwashing.
Teaching Mr. Jones that he is a man and not a rat - is it a brainwashing.
It is the other way, that he is a rat and not a man- may be called
brainwashing since the truth is contrary to the fact.
Learning about the truth, which I did not know because of ignorance, is
called education. Here there is no faith or belief involved. Learning the
fact that F=ma will not be called brainwashing. I should have faith that
the teacher or text book is telling me the truth even if I donot understand
it but when I gain the knowledge only when I know firmly that F=ma. Faith
comes only beacuse my current experince contradicts the fact. But
learning of the fact is not brain-washing.
The reason we emphasise the faith in adhyaatmika vidya is only because of
the fact that the truth cannot be objectively demonstrated. That too only
because it is not an object for demonstration. It is not just a subjective
experience either to negate it as a segment of one's imagination. It is
internal conviction supported by (a) Sruti (b) yukti(logic) and (c)
anubhava, personal experiences of sages. All three of them are involved,
each one of the pramaana, singly can be faulted as not necessarily true but
not collectively (in my opinion, all three are required not just the Sruti
only as sufficient as pramaana, but this may be a different topic). Because
of these it becomes a valid working hypothesis as I am that, and I need to
realize that truth by purifying the mind through sadhana. Since it is
gaining what is already gained, it involves not action but re-education, in
order for me to drop wrong notions about myself and the world and to
realize that I am already that which I am seeking. It is not brainwashing
but inquiry about the truth. Hence Viveka is the very first requirement
for the pursuit.
There are sufficient Sastra declarations to indicate my true nature. Now
yukti and anubhava are equally important. I am a conscious, existent entity
is self-established in the sense I donot need any pramana to establish that
I exist and I am conscious entity (sat and chit aspect of it), and by
logic I can establish I am ananda swaruupa too. Since in all incidences
whenever I am happy, that happiness did not come from out side even though
because of ignorance I associate that happiness to objects outside. Bottom
line in all pursuits in life, pravRitti or nivRitti, gaining something or
getting rid of something, is only search for happines. True wheter one is
Vedantin or not.(atmanastu kaamaaya sarvam priyam bhavati, for the sake
oneself, every thing becomes lovable or desirable). If happiness is myself
then any search for it is futile - what I need is an education or valid
inquiry- that I am that I am searching for - tat tvam asi. - Remember I am
not really searching for god, divinity or Brahman or anything else. There
is no brain washing but valid inquiry to investigate the validity of the
assumptions I have made about my self. To conduct this inquiry, a subtle
mind (suukshma) is required that integrates (yoga) and not divides, a sharp
mind (teekshna). Hence this involves a preparation or purification of the
mind, since it very subtle and involves inquiry of the inquirer himself.
Just as I have to prepare my mind to learn quantum mechanics.
It is neither faith, nor brain washing. It is just preparing the mind to
inquire within since self involves self-analysis.
dhyaanena aatmani atmaanam atmanaa pasyanti|
Krishna says that ( in 13th Ch.) - By contemplation, one sees oneself by
oneself through oneself.
Bhagavaan Ramana has condensed it further - analyze the analyst.
One can go into elaborate logical analysis to prove that I am sat chit
ananda, Brahman is also sat chit ananda and there cannot be two sat, chit
anandas and hence I am Brahman.
In Advaita Makaranda, Lakshmidhara Kavi says in one sloka ( few weeks back
I quoted already another sloka from this book), says simply,
ahamasmi sadaa bhaami, kadaachin naahamapariyaH|
brahaivaahamataH siddham, sacchidaananda lakshanam||
I am sat chit and ananda swaruupa ( I never dislike myself or I always love
my self. Since I love only what give me happiness, it implies that I am
ananda swarupa), further it is therefore proved that I am Brahman who is
also sat chit ananda.(because there cannot be two ananda swaruupas - the
reason is when there are two, one limits the other and these limitations
make neither one happy - hence infiniteness alone is ananda - anantameva
Sorry for the log post, I kept writing but I hope I made my point.
Coming back to Mr. Jones - advaita vedantins can be like him, going around
that I am brahman - I am brahman etc teaching everybody the same thing. It
has to come with conviction of the truth and intense personal experince
that I am indeed Brahman and there is no more misunderstanding. Ramana
calls this as dRidaiva nishTa - firmly established in oneself. Inquiry by
oneself into oneself is necessory to discover truth about oneslef. It is
not brain washing but rediscovering truth about oneself. It is not faith -
since is about the inquirer, who has the faith or has no faiths etc, that
we are talking about!
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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