Reality and intellect

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 9 01:05:20 CST 2002

>Point 1. We can and must distinguish between the mind and the intellect.
>taittirIya upanishad distinguishes between manomaya and vijnAnamaya

But isn't vijnaana consciousness rather than the intellect?

Manas in the traditional sense is identified with desires rather than

I used the "mind" in the sense it is used in modern language.

> >Neti, neti is the process by which you try to separate the
> >consciousness-in-itself from the psycho/physical faculties. Though you
> >cannot know the Self using the intellect, still you can know what it
>Actually, one can, in the state of the highest samAdhi, in which the
>intellect is made so clear and pure that it is fit to reflect the light of
>the Self.

This is the classical Patanjala Yoga view - but isn't there some dispute on
this issue raised by Shankara?

>Of course, this state is not that of the Self-in-itself, but as
>seen through the intellect, but the fact remains that the Self can be
> >known.

If the Self "sees" itself in the pure mind, it'll be the normal working of
knowledge involving the knower and known - which will contradict Upanishadic
statements like "who will know the knower" and "the self is not to be known
as an object" etc

"Seeing" the Self in the mind is not to be interpreted literally. The Self
is pure consciousness and doesn't "see" itself in the pure mind. If the mind
becomes pure then individuality is dissolved, then the Self abides in
itself. I think it would good to understand Shankara's dispute with
Patanjali on this issue.

>In fact, if one analyzes this a little more in detail, the Self is known in
>every cognition, for without the Self, there can be no cognition at all.

Without the Self there can be no cognition - this is right. But that doesn't
necessarily mean that the Self be known in all cognition. Electricity lights
up a bulb, but does that mean you see electricity everytime the bulb lights

If the knower knows himself in the normal sense it'll involve the common
working of knowledge then the subject will need another subject to know -
this is logically wrong which is why Yaagnavalkya says "by whom will the
knower be known"?

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