livimg and non-living things

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Fri May 8 11:35:59 CDT 1998


This post is an extension to the discussion that (was going)
went on, on the thread sadhana. The discussion was confined to
humans only and their pre-requisites. I like to extend this to
all life-forms.

The objective of this note is (i) to say that all matter both
"living and non-living" is the same and is "living", (ii) to suggest
that all "life-forms" are as valid and as eligible (and as close or
as far, time-wise) as the humans for moksha, and (iii) to seek
references from the upanishhads or advaitic or other literature
where matters related to this are discussed. I realize when I said
(ii) above, that people will jump on me with statements about the
rarity of human life-form and how humans are provided with viveka,
and with good supporting references. But, that is again from a
human perspecive only.

Brahman pervades all (IshAvAsyamidam sarvam; Isha upanishhad 1), both
what we call the "living" and the "non-living" in this jagat. It is
Brahman which has taken these various shapes that we "see". What we
call living is that which has energy of its own and which undergoes
changes with time. All the material that Brahman pervades is "living",
Brahman is self-luminous and provides the energy and light for all
the matter in the jagat. The life-span of some matter is different
and we as humans may not see life in some of  them (because of its
slow nature of change). We know that each species of life communicates
with its own type and there is communication also between species. The
point, that all matter is "living", is supported by the division by the
sages of all matter into four kingdoms: human, animal, plant and rock
kingdoms each with its specific properties. Each kingdom has a different
span of time for life and death and goes through this apparent life and
death process. Br^hadAraNyaka upanishhad describes how the same
HiraNyagarbha divides himself into the whole living organisms (but
surprisingly, it goes only up to pipIlika, not into the rock kingdom).

With that background, I find it ironic that we, with the full knowledge
that it is the same Brahman that pervades us all irrespective of human
or other life forms, were confining our discussion to the minutest
difference in the human life-form  and questioning their eligibility.
Please do not take this as taking a high road or a holier-than-thou
attitude but seeing the genuine need for discussion of recognition of
all jagat as a "life-form", with the same eligibility for moksha.

Is there any writing in the literature on this or similar topic, either in
the eastern or western writings ?  I would appreciate if the philosophy
specialists on the list throw some light and comments on this thinking.

Gummuluru Murthy
... nAnyo'to'sti drashhTA, nAnyo'to'sti shrotA, nAnyo'to'sti mantA,
nAnyo'to'sti vijNAtA: eshha ta AtmAntaryAmy amr^tah. ...
                                        Br^hadAraNyaka III.7.23
There is no other seer but He, there is no other hearer but He, there is
no other perceiver but He, there is no other thinker but He, He is your
self, the inner controller, the immortal.

>From  Fri May  8 22:46:05 1998
Message-Id: <FRI.8.MAY.1998.224605.0530.>
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 22:46:05 +0530
Reply-To: kamal at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Kamal Kothari <kamal at HOMEINDIA.COM>
Organization: Oriental Corporate Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Subject: New Vedanta Site
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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Dear Self-Knowers,

I would like to recommend a visit to a new Vedanta site. The URL is  Please let me have your comments and
feedback if possible and time permitting.

It is an excellent, accesible introduction to non-dualism, its
philosophy and  scriptures. A lovely little book on Sankara's Atmabodha
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Hope you will enjoy it.

Regards,   Kamal
Kamal Kothari
Oriental Corporate Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Tel : +91-22-2831756
E-Mail : kamal at
"Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault is not in our stars, dear Brutus,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
(Shakespeare in "Julius Caesar")

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