Memory, part of the Self?

Gregory Goode goode at DPW.COM
Fri Feb 13 10:41:42 CST 1998

At 09:34 AM 2/13/98 -0500, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:
>Yesterday I was reading Taks with RM and there he explains the relevence
>of the three states pointing out that it's not the body or the mind, but
>something within which is the witness or the seer to all the three
>states. For he says, if there's no such thing, after a deep sleep where
>consiousness as we know it is absent, A Johnson might wake up as a
>Clear enough! But then does it mean that the memory is associated with
>the Self? If that's so, how's that after rebirth, when the Self assumes
>another living form, we start afresh with no memory of the past birth?

Good question!  Just what IS it that keeps record of the lifestream and the
continuity of vasanas during the sleep states?  Brahman qualified by Maya
(or "reflected in" Maya), which is the omniscient Isvara.  The Panchadasi,
slokas VI.158-159 (quote below), equates the bliss sheath with Isvara:

     The Sruti, in the passage beginning with
     "the consciousness in the deep sleep" and
     ending in "He is the Lord of All" describes
     this "sheath of bliss" as the Isvara.
     (Sruti passages referred to are: Mandukya
     Up. 5-6, Brihadaranyaka Up. 4.4.22.)

     The omniscience and other properties of the
     bliss sheath are not to be questioned, because
     the asertions of the Sruti are beyond dispute,
     and because everything is possible in Maya.

The same Iswara maintains records of anything passed from life to life.  So
memory does not have to reside in Nirguna Brahman.  It can reside in
Ishwara.  Memory itself is something that is seen or known.  Therefore, it
too, as well as the three states, is witnessed by the Self.


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