Memory, part of the Self?

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sat Feb 14 21:16:59 CST 1998

On Fri, 13 Feb 1998, 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
> Benson!
> 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?


As per my understanding, there are some mis-conceptions in the above
question. Firstly, the Self is formless and would not assume any form.
It is ignorance (I mean not the worldly ignorance, but ignorance of the
Self) that makes one think that the Self assumes various forms.

Self cannot have memory associated with It either. The Self is a witness,
without any association with any of the upAdhis. When jeeva is not the
ultimate jnAna, the jeeva in the form of the intellect tries to find
reason for (i)  what it thinks is a continuity in the jeeva's memory
and, (ii) also jeeva's karma and taking forward these karmic effects.
Then it (the jeeva) tries to invoke rebirth etc as an explanation. At
paramArtha (when the jeeva becomes jnAnam), there is no need for any

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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