The point

Prashant Sharma psharma at BUPHY.BU.EDU
Tue Oct 28 16:56:35 CST 1997

On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Nanda Kumar wrote:
> > Both Murthy and Allan have raise the question on the mode of attaining
> > jnanihood. I've objections to this line of thought:
> >
> > For all the Upanishads, the Gita, the Dhammapada and works of theology
> > and philosophy, one may read, in the final analysis, all these are useless
> > if one doesn't delve deep inside and understand oneself. So in a nutshell
> > : "All the answers lie within you". When one understands oneself or his
> > true nature, one will attain jnanihood. For each person with differing
> > natures, problems and obstacles to overcome might be vary. True that
> > it's hard work, but to ask for an easy way or a ready to order and
> > generic method doesn't make sense.
> >
> Shri Nanda Kumar is moving from the intellectual frame(... For each
> person with differing natures.... ) to the Absolute frame(... When one
> understands oneself or true nature, one will attain jnanihood....) of
> reference and vice versa rather freely in his discussions.
> I agree with him that readings of the Bhagavadgita, and the upanishhads
> are not really necessary in understanding the true Self (Shri Ram Chandran
> may not agree.). They are aids in understanding what we are. Readings of
> the scriptures are there to satisfy the intellectual curiosity but the
> true nature of the Self is beyond the intellect.
> Shri Nanda Kumar says "When one understands oneself or true nature, one
> will attain jnanihood.". But, how to understand one's true nature ? We
> need a pure mind, divine grace, sAdhana chatushhthaya and much more. If
> there is Self-enquiry without proper mental readiness, roaming of the
> mind cannot be controlled and the enquiry will lead to nothing. There are
> many, many instances of aborted enquiries. Further, as Katha upanishhad
> says, the Self has to reveal itself to Itself. However much human effort
> with an impure and unready mind will not lead to anything. While the
> general statement by Shri Nanda Kumar that we need to understand our true
> nature to attain jnanihood is correct, still the path is unknown.

        Is there a path at all?  One would assume (from a neti-neti
approach) that attainment of *jnaana* is an acausal event in the sense
that no single thing can cause it. Or more precisely:
At time "t" : a man efforting to be a jnani (or ajnani :)
At time "t+0" : the man is  jnaani but now doesnot relate to the previous
state (except through memory...).  So the event is acausal for him.  There
is no center left to which he can relate his being. Unlike his previous
state in which there was the assumed jnani state which served as a center
with respect to which he measured events in his life (as useful or
I feel that this is probably the sense in which one speaks of the state
of a *jnani* being unrelated to efforts to attain it.  This is also why
people invoke the idea of Grace being a "cause" that can lead to this
state of being.
I hope that the learned list members would point out the flaws in this

> Regards
> 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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