[Advaita-l] Some questions

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Sun Jun 11 23:43:10 CDT 2006

Namaste all,
         I have a few general questions on classical advaita. Could
you please answer them? Thanks.

-- A while ago, Amuthanji and others were discussing the importance of
scriptures in parisAMkhyAna and ramaNa maharShi's Atma vichAra. I have
the following question. How does it matter whether you hear "tattvam
asi" or "That Thou Art" as long as the appropriate commentary and the
explanations are in place (say, in English)? Is there any specific
stand of classical advaita on this?

-- I am posting this question for a friend of mine. Quoting my friend:
"Does classical advaita allow moxa outside of sannyasa ashrama (from
Shankara's statements, it appears not, but this needs to be confirmed
from some knowledgeable advaitin)? If not, does it mean that
grihasthas (if they do not take to sannyasa eventually), women and
shudras do not have the possibility of moxa in this life?"

Though shaMkara emphasizes at many places that the GYAni does not even
stir, for the GYAni does not see any benefit from karma, I am a bit
unclear if renunciation is not the key for liberation. Also, if
saMnyAsa is indeed compulsory, how are shrI rAma or shrI kR^iShna, who
did not take saMnyAsa, explained?

-- The following is a question I have also put to  Sadanandaji on his
mAnDUkya series, and I felt it might be of general interest (and also,
it's pretty self-contained).

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?



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