[Advaita-l] The nature of spiritual realisation

Tahir Nazir tnazir at energy.com.au
Wed Oct 8 23:42:38 CDT 2003

--- "V. Krishnamurthy" <profvk at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Without looking into Shankara's commentary, may I venture to suggest
> five reasons why Consciousness has to be different from the body?

"Why Consciousness has to be different from the body?"

This question has to be answered from two perspectives. Firstly, the 
question assumes consciousness to be in its pure state. Consciousness is 
formless and infinite, knowing no limitations. To answer the question one 
must say it is different from the body as the latter is finite and 
possesses form. This follows deductively from the definitions of pure 
consciousness as formless and the body as a formal entity.

There is another way of looking at it, consciousness is the body and is 
not different from it. This follows from the situation where there is one 
without a second. To place the body and consciousness in distinction is 
ultimately unacceptable to advaita, as all oppositions are transcended. 
There is only the one, consciousness. This is limited to the understanding 
of the intellect, it is not a reality for the unrealised person. It is a 
theoretical knowledge that has to be realised.

There is an existential method, the quest of a disciple for the spiritual 
knowledge. To answer the question, individuals would not follow the above 
mentioned thinking, it is after all only satisfying the intellect alone. 
The spiritual aspirant would pursue the enquiry to know what is 
consciousness in a direct and immediate way. Here being and knowing are 
identical, to know is to be that which is known. The disciple would not 
accept any limitations. The transformation would continue till all 
limitations are transcended and there is finally the unlimited, pure 
consciousness. This would answer the question existentially, the body is 
not consciousness but consciousness is the body. The ultimate answer would 
have to both negative and affirmative.

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