Mind and the Intellect (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Dec 20 11:45:33 CST 2001

>       Scriptures say that one can realise his real nature only when his
> mind is totally destroyed. Jnanis say that the experience they got in
> Nirvikalpa Samadhi was so great and cannot be expressed in words etc.,. If
> so when the mind is totally destroyed how do they know about the
> experience they got in Samadhi as there is no possibility to recollect?
> How does the Mind comes into contact when he comes out of Samadhi? In that
> case what is the state of the Intellect? Will the Intellect function when
> he is in the state of Samadhi?
>         I am forwarding this question with my limited knowledge I got when
> I went through some scriptures.
>         Please explain the nature of MIND and INTELLECT.

Peoples' mental states can be classified in 5 ways

1. muDha - dull.  This is the state of the drunk, or brain-damaged etc
man or of animals.  The mind is dormant.

2. kshipta - This is the state of the ordinary man.  The mind is restless
and flits from thought to thought.

3. vikshipta -- Some concentration is possible but the mind is easily

4. ekAgra --  The mind is fixed on one thought.

5. niruddha -- The mind is still and thoughts are arrested.

Sadhana is possible only with 4 and when 5 is achieved it is samadhi.

When we are talking about the mind, we do not mean just the physical organ
of the brain.  If that were the case we could give people samadhi by
beheading them.  Rather we are talking about the ability of the brain to
superimpose false notions (vikalpa) upon true reality.  This is due to
ahamkara (ego) caused by avidya (ignorance) which makes the mind believe
it is a seperate, limited entity.

According to the Yogasutras, practice of the eightfold path of Yoga will
enable one to acheive samadhi which is free of superimpositions
(nirvikalpa samadhi.)  So far this agrees with Advaita Vedanta.  As we
have discussed on the list in the past, nowadays Yoga has mostly been
absorbed into Vedanta but if we look at the classical texts, there are
some differences.

Samkhya/Yoga is essentially dualistic.  Once a jiva breaks free from maya
(prakriti) it is enough.  So samadhi is the ultimate goal.  But here
Advaita Vedanta parts company, cessation of mental restlessness is not
enough there must also be the positive knowledge of oneness with Brahman.

So an advaitin doesn't necessarily wish for the destruction of mental
concepts (though it may help.)  When he attains mukti, he has realized the
unity of the individual self with everything else including all mental
concepts.  A jivanmukta may still express "normal" thoughts, the
difference is he doesn't feel any ownership of them it is the Brahman in
him which is shining forth.

I've got to go now but later I'll write more about how exactly Advaita
Vedanta views the transmission of knowledge and some objections raised by

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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