The point

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Wed Oct 29 16:45:43 CST 1997

On Wed, 29 Oct 1997, Prashant Sharma wrote:

> On Wed, 29 Oct 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> >
> > 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
> analysis.

The I that is used in my statement above [the I that is behind Devadatta,
the king and the soldier of Shri Shankara] is the I that is the substratum
of all. We call that I the king or the soldier or Prashant Sharma or
Gummuluru Murthy. That is the I that is referred in my paragraph.

The I which you defined, as you said, is the one that strengthens the ego,
may be for a later surrender in the sense of bhakti (It is not clear to me
why the ego need to be strengthened for later surrender).

> 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.

There is a mis-understanding here, of the Viveka ChuDamaNi verses. Shri
Shankara is not comparing Devadatta before and after enlightenment. The
verses and the meanings are as follows:

Sa devadatto"ayam it'iha c'aikatA
viruddha-dharmAmsam apAsya kathyate
yathA tathA tat tvam as'Iti vAkye
viruddha dharmAn ubhayatra hitvA

When we say: "This man is that same Devadatta whom I have previously met,"
we establish a person's identity by disregarding those attributes
superimposed upon him by the circumstances of our former meeting. In just
the same way, when we consider the scriptural teaching "That art Thou" we
must disregard those attributes which have been superimposed upon "That"
and "Thou".

EtAvupAdhI parajeevayostayoh
samyannirAse na paro na jeevah
rAjyam narendrasya bhaTasya kheTakah
tayorapohe na bhaTo na rAjA

Both are one substance. This substance plus maaya and mahat is God, and
the same substance plus the five sheaths is the jeeva. Take away the
upadhis of both, and what is left is the same thing. One man on a throne
is a king. Again, the same man with a shield in hand is a warrior; and
if you take away both the throne and the shield, he is neither the king
nor the warrior.


Thus, there is no place for the process of the mind at all in what I have
written. I admit I should have expanded on this in my earlier post itself.

> [The material that arose out of the previous misunderstanding is
>  deleted - GM]

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

What I mean is: the substratum for Devadatta, the warrior, the king, you
and I and everyone including the ajnani-turned-jnani is the same
substance - the jnanam.

Thus, the substratum for the person who was called ajnani before and jnani
now (by people who are ajnanis) is the same substance. There is virtually
no change. It is the ajnanis who perceive the change.

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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