[Advaita-l] How can one claim to know Brahman?

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Tue Mar 15 07:55:55 CST 2005


Thanks for your views on the brain physiology. They made interesting
reading. However, can one really take the help of the physical level
or matter elements while discussing Brahman? The brain, spinal cord,
etc. are part of the lower prakRti as the Gita would say and we are
looking at higher prakRti.

Of course, the chitta or mind stuff does come into play here. Thanks
to Jaldhar's pointing out my lacuna of knowledge by not having read
Sri Vidyaranya, I promptly purchased the 5 volume book set of the
Pancadasi. Wheter I will complete it is another story but skimming
through the first few paragraphs, I chanced upon this in 1/5:
"For a person awakened from deep sleep, the ignorance of deep sleep is
known in the form of memory. This memory is that of the object
(ignorance) experienced during deep sleep. Therefore, the
consciousness alone illumined the ignorance in deep sleep"
(Translation by Swami Anubhavananda, Chinmaya Mission).

Extending the same logic to the turiya state, does it mean that when
Brahman is realized in the state of Samadhi, since there is no "I"
present at that time i.e. no experiencer different from the
experienced, all knowledge of the Brahman is registered in memory
only? And, when one comes back from this Supreme state, one can talk
of the experience only due to memory? But then, why is this memory
different from that of deep sleep state which is of the form of

Regards, Mahesh

On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 09:10:38 +0530, sriram <srirudra at vsnl.com> wrote:
> Dear Sri Mahesh
> If the problem is analysed from the angle of physiology the answer could be
> construed as follows.During deep sleep the brain which is the cockpit of all
> sense activities puts the entire system in an automatic mode and goes to
> rest.Perhaps the SPINAL CORD takes over and responses are involuntary when a
> person is in a deep sleep state.The master is taking rest and no conscious
> work is possible.Even there will be no dream.When you observe how you go to
> sleep you will appreciate how the brain withdraws itself from the awareness
> state to deep sleep state.Deep sleep state need not be for longer
> duration.Even for a micro second it can take over and that so many vehicle
> accidents have resulted because of this factor.You may think you can control
> sleep but it is impossible.Try to keep awake with full consciousness and
> honestly observe what happens.You would have nodded and slept even for micro
> seconds.A person may deny this but he will not be able to remember or
> recount what happened at that very particular duration however small it
> is.It shows that brain has withdrawn itself from the scene and the
> individual is under autonomous nervous system which may fail to respond
> effectively when confronted with new situations and before the master is
> awakened as it were damage is already done.So in deep sleep state brain is
> at rest and does no work.When once comes to awareness state -this also is
> voluntary in the absence of external loud stimuli -one only concludes that
> one should have slept.Nothing gets registered and nothing is
> recallable.Shakespere says in Macbeth -what is sleep but each day`s
> death-meaning that when a man goes to sleep he is dead to his immediate
> environment.The secret of good health is in good sleep.The brain gets
> rejuvenated during sleep and is ready to help the individual to sustain
> himself AS SOON AS IT IS READY.Really brain is very difficult to fathom to
> know why it works the way it works.Generally we can say it is the guardian
> angel of that particular being and is not a perfect slave like a computer as
> Carl Sagon would put it.Krishnamoorthy.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com>
> To: <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 4:44 PM
> Subject: [Advaita-l] How can one claim to know Brahman?
> > Esteemed readers,
> >
> > The seers say that when one realizes Bramhman, the knower, the knowing
> > and know become one. In that is indeed true, then when one returns to
> > the normal state, how can one claim that Brahman was experienced as
> > Sat-chit-ananda? That claim can only be made if the knower was
> > different from the known during the experience.
> >
> > One philosopher I conversed with said that the situation is similar to
> > the deep sleep state wherein one is aware of it even after the
> > experience as in the claim - "I had a deep sleep last night". However,
> > my objection to that is that nobody can describe the state of deep
> > sleep or how one felt while in that state - one can only claim to
> > being in that state after feeling refreshed the next day. However, in
> > the case of realization, one can describe, however inaccurately, the
> > experience one had during that state.
> >
> > Can anyone explain this conundrum?
> >
> > Regards, Mahesh
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