[Advaita-l] mAnDUkya series

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Sun Jun 11 23:14:34 CDT 2006

Namaskaram Sadananda garu,
       Could you please clarify the following questions I have on the
mAnDUkya series?

-- To summarize the context, the mind could perceive a snake where
there is a rope, because the attributes it picks are incomplete. The
mind picks up the attributes that are common to the rope and snake,
and because of other contextual information (for example, the person
is in a forest where snakes are usually more prevalent than ropes) as
well as a lack of clarity in the means of knowledge (for example,
because there was no light). This error is termed prAtibhAShika. The
above is due to a defect in the means of acquisition of knowledge, and
not a defect in the senses. But there is also a defect in the senses
itself that gather knowledge, and this defect is universal to all the
species of life. Because of this, the senses can only perceive the
substratum Brahman in terms of its attributes, causing the mind to
perceive duality in the world. How do we know this? Because the
scriptures say so. This is the importance of scriptures (or teachers)
that they inform you of a higher reality, and then it becomes our job
to realize that reality. Without the scriptures pointing this truth,
most human minds would have been "content" (of course, being subject
to misery in this saMsAra) with the vyAvahArika world. This highest
plane of reality is termed pAramArthika (or is it paramArthika?).

-- Given my understanding as above, let's say there is a part of the
mind which analyzes the sense inputs (manas.h; In the following I am
using mind in the sense of antaHkaraNa). For example, when the manas.h
sees a cow, the manas.h forms for itself the image of a cow. Then, the
mind resorts to memory (chitta) to pull up the with
the image cow and the word "cow". The mind (that part of the mind that
is called budhdi) then judges that the image cow is indeed associated
with the word "cow" (because the budhdi is trained that way from its
childhood). The mind (in the form of manas.h) then directs the mouth
to utter "cow". Is this understanding correct (though I have ignored
the feedback effect that manas.h, chitta, and budhdi have on each
other before finally uttering the word "cow")? (ahaMkAra leads to a
sense of "I" and I guess it distorts the budhdi in its judgements. But
do let me know if there is more to this antaHkaraNa issue.) So,
finally to my question. What is that organ which recognizes that
everything is brahma? It couldn't be manas.h, chitta, or budhdi
because all of these work exactly the same in a GYAni as in an
ordinary person. A GYAni still is able to see a cow etc. We could say
that the realization of brahma means the destruction of ahaMkAra. But
then, a person who has conquered his ahaMkAra only sees the cow with
the "same eye" as a brAhmaNa, a dog, or a dog-eating outcaste (to take
shrI kR^iShna's words). There is, as yet, no positive knowledge that
the cow, the brAhmaNa etc. have brahma as the same substantive. So,
what is this organ
that perceives brahma?

-- What are sajAti, vijAti, svagata bhedas?


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