sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Mon Jan 5 10:49:06 CST 1998
>Sadananda, thanks a lot for your detailed response. It made a lot of sense
>except on the subject of the consciousness that you often referred to.
>It would be an understatement to say that I'm confused! Yesterday I was
>reading Swami Satchidananda's translation on Patanjala Yoga Sutras and in
>that he quotes an ancient Sanskrit verse, "As the mind, so the man; the
>concept of bondage and liberation exist in the mind only"! He also explains
>that since we're conscious of the operations of the mind, we cannot be the
>mind itself. But isn't this consciousness the Ahamkara or the Ego, which in
>some texts is referred to as part of the mind itself?
>I think we can totally negate the body. So that leaves the mind (manas), the
>intellect (buddhi) and the "I" consciousness (ahamkara). Can somebody
>explain the relation of these three to the Self?
As I understand it:
The subtle body or anthah karana, which is nothing but thoughts, is divided
into four - manas, budhi, ahankara and chitta - based on their functions
sankalpa and vikalpa are part of the mind - it is the mind that doubts and
Understanding, determination or nischayaatmika is Buddhi.
A notion that I am the body, mind or intellect is the ahankara or ego. It
is also a thought that I am this etc. The product of this misunderstanding
is the ego or ahankaara. Remember when the mind folds as in deep sleep
state there is no ego as I am this or that etc. No one realizes in the
deep sleep state since mind is not there, and there is no one.
Chitta is the locus of this ahankaara including the memory or you can say
it is the reflected consciousness or conditioned consciousness. All can be
together called simply as the mind as a subtle body.
Consciousness identifies with each of these - I hate or I love or I am
depressed etc. is when the identification is with the mind.
I solved the problem or I am engineer or doctor is when identified with buddhi.
I and Mine is the notion with the ahankaara and mamakaara
In all there is a center for this identification including when we say my
consciousness pricks etc. it is the chitta. It is said that
mana eva manushyaanam kaaranam bandha mokshayoH
bandhaaya vishayaasaktim muktyainirvishayam yathaa|
Mind is the responsible for bondage as well as liberation.
Bondage is when the mind is desirous of sense objects and liberation when
mind is free from seeking happiness from sense objects.
Mind as the thoughts determines the texture of the man - his desires and
Pure mind is the mind free from self centered thoughts or self centered
pleasure-seeking thoughts. The thoughts will be noble and for the benefit
of human kind and not for indulging selfish desires. Such a man can only
give since there is nothing he seeks for himself.
Liberation is therefore is not gaining something or getting rid of
something. Understanding that I am not the mind nor the buddhi. Who
understands that was your original question. The reason that I did not
address that question directly is that "Who" itself becomes an invalid
question at that stage. There is no more who and what - I can simply say -
the one who realizes is the one who had that misunderstanding before - who
was himself a false guy created out of the very notion - the locus of the
misunderstanding - you can call it jeeva or small self or reflected
consciousness or conditioned consciousness etc. False guy falls since he
is false. In that very place where there were notions before that I am the
body, mind and intellect there is now a new understanding that I am the
totality as I am the very being (existence-consciousness) itself. The mind
is me but I am not the mind. I am the one without a second - I am the mind
and also I am more than the mind, since there is nothing or no - thing
other than me.
To explain this clearly look at a dream. There is a fire and I am fireman
putting out the blazing fire of a big building with water. The fire, the
building, the fireman and the water are all the waking mind projecting the
whole dream creation. What is that waking mind - For a dreamer or a
fireman, one can teach that you are not the mind that has the notions that
I am fireman, you are that which illumines the mind. You are something
that pervades all. from which the whole dream rose, sustained and goes back
into - In saying that I am not the fireman, fire or water what is negated
is the names and forms. But that which supports all these names and forms
cannot be negated since that is the chaitanya vastu which has to be there
all the time even to do the negation. Just as the waking mind can declare
in the dream that I pervades this entire creation, all are in me, but I am
not in them, same way a realized master will say everything is me,
including the body, mind and intellect, I pervade this entire universe in a
unmanifested form - But I am not them.
Please study the book by Nisargadatta Majaraj - I am that - if you can get
hold of it. It is a contemplative book and clears some of the
It is not an intellectual understanding that I am Brahman etc. Nagy's
latest mail also relates to this superficial understanding. That is why I
quoted JK's statement - It is an understanding as an understanding as fact
and not a thought. That is why it is not just logical - not JNaanam but
ViJNaanam understanding with the experience of it. If one say I understand,
but - if there is a but that understanding is only as a thought and not a
fact. When I say knowledge cannot be contradicted that is the knowledge
with no more notions about myself, since all notions gets contradicted.
Till then sadhana has to continue. Mind needs to be purified to get rid
of the false notions. Yoga becomes a helpful means to purify the mind.
I am man and not a woman is factual understanding not just a logical
conclusion or just experience. Just the same way - Bhagavaan Ramana calls
it as - dR^iDaiva nishTaa. The mind containing false notions is
eliminated. What remains is just the thoughts that raise in consciousness,
sustained by consciousness and goes back into consciousness. That is true
even now during the sate of ignorance. But in the state of ignorance along
with the thoughts, there also another locus that tries to own these
thoughts - with the notion that this is me and these are my thoughts.
During the sadhana - yes we haveto negate from the mind as I am not the
mind since it is an object and I am consciousness of the mind. But
remember this is the state of negation from the point of sadhank who has
the notion. Also one should watch out since this negations can be another
thought that is negating the previous thought. There is a duality in that
process - I am not that - as that is separate from me - I am seer and that
is seen. But this distinction between the seer and seen - dR^ik dR^usya
vibhedha is also not real. The fact of the matter is when I detach myself
from the identification from the mind and shift my attention to the seer
not to the seen, realization that seen is also me will also happens.
Hence negation is not by another thought but by shifting ones attention
from the name and form to the very contents of the thoughts or the very
contents of the mind. Then only the understanding that mind is also the
The self in me is the self in all is the true understanding. Hence mind
with the thoughts is also consciousness too (projection of naama and ruupa
on consciousness is the thought) and hence also the whole jagat. Only the
notions that seer and seen distinctions are real goes away. Bhagavaan
Shankara says in dR^ikdR^isya Viveka
bahischa brahma sargayoH|
saa samasaarasya kaaraNam||
The distinction between the seer and seen in the mind and distinction
between the creator and created outside is due to the vial of ignorance
which is due the power of Maya and is the root cause for samsaara. But Maya
itself is unreal. It appears to be real only to those who are delusioned
due to ignorance.
Please note many of the questions get resoled in our mind when we start
contemplating or meditating on the nature of the self. Till then we are
intellectually trying to grasp the truth that which is beyond the
intellect. It is like saying contemplate on the gold which is beyond the
ring. As Ramana points out - analyze the analyst - and then analyze that
analyst who is analyzing the analyst. That results ultimately to - just
being - with all the analysis stopped. Since I am the analyst - I- remains.
Remeber the body does not say I am the body - I am the body is also a
thought. What we negate is not that body but our notion that I am the
body. Body cannot be separate from consciousness since I am conscious of
the body. It is in my consciousness. Body or bodies, minds and intellects
are naama and ruupa that raise in consciousness, sustained by consciousness
and go back into consciousness. That is the creation. That is the same as
waking, dream and deep sleep states that raise in consciousness, sustained
by consciousness and go back into consciousness - essence of Mandukya.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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