The point

Prashant Sharma psharma at BUPHY.BU.EDU
Wed Oct 29 11:04:54 CST 1997

On Wed, 29 Oct 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Prashant Sharma wrote:
> >         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
> > useless).
> > 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
> > analysis.
> > Regards.
> > Prashant.
> >
> Although I am not a learned member, let me venture into this analysis.
> Yes, there is no path at all, because we are not going anywhere. We are
> what we were. No change. It is only the perception by the others (ajnanis)
> that changed. As Shri Shankara says in Viveka ChuDamaNi (verses 242,244,
> 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 new
> in becoming a jnani. It is the same I which is always there. It is the
> same jnani.

        Let me try to understand this in the following way. What is the I
that we are referring to here? The following simplistic view may be taken
to define this I. Whenever action is done it is for something. For example
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 around
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 "bhakti"
works because yuo attribute all the activity of the ego to a higher power
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
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 further
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.
        Now the point is that what we mean by "enlightenment" is the being
completely rejecting this mode of functioning from its system (this is
not an act of volition but a "mere" happenstance!).  So the "I" doesnot
survive in this being. I am infering this because if the "I" survives then
it is the "same Devadatta" which people knew. So why would this person not
seek the same lifestyle as before *enlightenement*. Or, to put it the
other way,  why did Buddha renounce his earlier lifestyle after
"enlightenment", if he was the same Siddhartha as before "enlightenment"?
        I think that "enlightenement" is a purely physical process at the
organic level.  It is NOT a mental process at all.  That is why it is not
an experience but "something else".

I therefore dont understand your statement "It is the same jnani".

> "At time "t", a man efforting to become a jnani (ajnani:)".  This is in
> the intellectual frame of reference attached to this ajnani or another
> ajnani.
> "At time "t+0", the man is jnani ...".   This is again in the intellectual
> frame of reference attached to another ajnani.
> In the frame of reference attached to a jnani, there is no ajnani.
> Everything is only one thing jnanam.
> 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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