[Advaita-l] The nature of spiritual realisation

M. S. Ravisankar ravi at ambaa.org
Wed Oct 1 12:38:31 CDT 2003

> >
> > Is consciousness an essential attribute or an accidental attribute of
> > the body? If it is essential, then even a dead body (with all organs
> > preserved)must be conscious. If it is accidental, then there is no
> > reason why bodies alone must be conscious.
> >
> Quite correct, this is a large portion of Shankara's argument. For if
> consciousness were an essential attribute, the body should always be
> conscious. But that would include dead bodies, which is absurd. If
> consciousness were an accidental attribute, the attribute is not
> strictly always associated with the body and so can be found
> independent of the body also.

When you say the body is dead, something has changed in that body and that
change removed what you perceived as consciousness before. For instance, if
the CPU of my computer or say an android like Data (Star-trek) get damaged
(irreversibly), then it will stop those activities which may be perceived as
conscious act by others. That does not mean either my computer or Data has
consciousness outside of it gross structure. And it has not transmigrated
somewhere. Even if they look intact and fine from outside, there is
something gone wrong inside. One can argue the same about human
consciousness. When a computer or Data is dead, may be you can replace the
chip and revive it, or reuse the parts. That may not be possible now for
humans fully. That lack of technology does not disprove anything. Who knew
that we will have technology even to replace heart, even though it is not as
successful now (with so much emphasis placed in our religion to left/right
side of heart etc.), or transplant organs from a dead person. It only a
matter of  time, science takes us to the next level.

If there is purely logical approach to show what is being claimed, then it
is a good canditate for a paper in some leading medical journals or say in
journal like "Nature". Probably, those who believe so should take that next

I am not being skeptical here. There are many things I have accepted as a
matter of faith. Our religion is based on faith in shruti. Logical reasoning
is limited and constrained around that faith.  I will be delighted and very
happy, if someone can deduce those things purely using logic or scientific

shriimaatre namaH


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