[Advaita-l] mAnDUkya series

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 12 07:07:15 CDT 2006

Shree Siddgartha gaaru - PraNAms

I have responded to the best I can.

--- Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:

> -- 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. 

Up to this point, there is no error yet - just partial knowledge and
ignorance of complete data.  Based on the partial knowledge the mind
makes an assertion about the object seen.  The error is assertion of an
object something other than what it is - that is called adhyaasa -
superimposed error.  Since the lack of information is subjective, the
error is also subjective; hence praatibhaasika. 

> above is due to a defect in the means of acquisition of knowledge, and
> not a defect in the senses. 

Yes. Actually the senses may be doing their part their best given the
circumstances of dim light etc.  Here it is incomplete information than
distorted information due to say color blindness where the defect is not
in the environment but with the senses directly. 

However, there is also a defect in the senses
> itself that gather knowledge, and this defect is universal to all the
> species of life. 

Now we are coming to another limitation of the senses, which is
universal.  These result to not subjective errors but objective errors
like sunrise and sunset. 

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. 

Senses cannot perceive Brahman - since Brahman is not object that can be
perceived.  What senses perceive are only attributes of the
supper-imposed object, rope. All the attributes are gathered but not
substantive of the rope which is Brahman since Brahman cannot be
perceived.  That is reason why, I discussed elaborately that sense can
only grasp the attributes but not substantial of the object. 

>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. 

Here we have two questions.  How do we know that sense cannot grasp the
substantive?  I think I have discussed this part exhaustively in terms
of mechanics of the perceptual process.  At this stage, we do not know
what the substantive is.  Mother says, "That is a cow, this is a horse"
etc, and the child starts learning to associate the words with the image
of the objects that are provided by the mind; and naama and naami both
are stored in the memory. 

We do not know the substantive is Brahman.  For that, Scripture is only
PramANa. Hence the importance of the scriptures for the knowledge of
entities beyond any other means of knowledge. In fact Brahman is
aprameyam, cannot be object of any knowledge. 

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. 

Yes, that is correct. Hence the need of the scriptures and also need of
a teacher who can correctly and logically explain the scriptures. Hence,
faith in the teacher and in the scripture are essential. Hence,
Krishna's statement - tat viddhi praNipaAena pariprashNena sevayA -
Approach a teacher with full faith and with an attitude of service
(humility) and that is with shraddhaa and shraddhAvan labhate jnaanam. 

>This highest
> plane of reality is termed pAramArthika (or is it paramArthika?).

Yes. The knowledge of Brahman.  Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman and
that is possible only if that highest state is nothing but oneself and
not some object out there. 

> -- 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". 

Yes, he need not say it though with mouth. He can 'see' it in the mind,
as 'yes that is cow'. It is just a thought in the mind.  One can express
it with mouth for others to know it. 

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")? 

Yes - this process we know happens in the mind as we look at an object. 
It is said that mind stores the names in one side and images on the
other side of the brain. We find sometimes that we know the object but
cannot recall the name. 

Up to this, there is no ahankaara. It is just the mechanics of the
thinking process and is true for both ajnaani and jnaani. 

(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.) 

ahankaara arises with the sense of ownership of the thoughts as this is
my knowledge or I am the one who knows.  A fellow who has stored more
information and could recollect all that junk, can boast himself that he
is more knowledgeable than the other people around. That sense of
ownership is ahankaara. By the by, this occurs in Vedanta knowledge too.
That is why Vedanta warns - it is a razor edge path and one has to be
very careful. It is just the knowledge of ...One has to establish in the
knowledge that I am Brahman. 

> 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. 

It is a very good question. AmRitabindu Upanishad says:
manayEva manushyANam kAraNam bandha moxayOH|
bandhAya vishayAsaktam muktaiH nirvishayam sRitam}

Mind is responsible for both bondage and liberation.  The longing and
dependence on the objects for happiness is bondage and freedom from
dependence on the objects for happiness is liberation.  

Bondage is notions in the mind that I am limited or finite with the
identification that I am this or this etc.  Knowledge has to take place
in the mind - hence it is called vichaara or inquiry has to be done and
it can only be done with the mind.  

With the mind, one goes beyond the mind as the notions drop out.  Like
pole vault - use the pole to go beyond the pole leaving the pole aside. 

Ask the question 'who sleeps?' It is the mind that has to give up -
sanyaasa of all the attachments and worries of the day and long for
sleep and one glides into the sleep.  It is similar but here it is the
knowledge involved and inquiry is needed. A discriminative intellect is
It is like this - I know that happiness is not out there in any objects
and happiness that I get even when my desire is fulfilled is arising
from my mind when it is no more longing or wanting.  It is momentarily
contended mind when I am happy.  Even after knowing the mechanics of the
process and knowing very well that there is no happiness out there, yet
we go after objects.  The mind is not fully convinced - is it not?. 
That is due to pressure of vAsanas.  Hence the need for nidhidhyaasana. 
When that conviction takes place - which is called firm abidance in the
knowledge that I am Brahman - that is I am that ananda swaruupa - then I
become sthita prajnaa. No more dependence on the objects for my
happiness – ‘prajahAti yadA kAmAn sarvAn pArtha mano gatAn| Atmanyeva
AtamanA tuShTaH’ -All desires for objects are gone from the mind since
it has recognized that happiness is with oneself and therefore one who
revels in oneself by oneself - is called jnAni or realized soul. 

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?

Jnaani sees things as they are. The plurality still persists since there
is mind and sense organs etc.  However, there is no notion that the
plurality that he sees is reality. He has a dual vision. He has vision
of the superficial forms and names and also relization that all this is
Brahman - like goldsmith - he sees the rings, bangles and bracelets but
in his vision all are just gold which he cares and values.  

It is like we know there is really no sunrise and sunset and it is all
due to the rotation of the earth.  However, we can still enjoy the
sunrise and sunset knowing very well that sun never rises or sets. 
Hence, knowledge of the fact does not eliminate the plurality.  Krishna
knows the truth and shows in his Vishwaruupa he is all in all and also
declares that I am Arjuna too. Yet the teaching goes on at vyAvahArika
level.  For Arjuna that vyAvahArika level is the real since he has no
knowledge of pAramArthika.  For Krishna it is Leela, for Arjuna it is
dead serious since he is worried about not only his death but others as
well. For Krishna, nothing dies and nothing is born - everything in the
dynamic eternal beauty with kaleidoscopic drama that is taking place. 

Hence, JnAni also sees the plurality but he does not mistake it as
reality.  He alone can play with complete detachment and enjoy the life
to its fullest extent since it is all Him only in variety of names and
forms.  Hence dog and dog-eating outcaste is appear to be different he
can have the vision that inherently they are changing names and forms
but substantive of all is himself. - Himself in all and all in himself. 

It is like a scientist knowing very well that all are nothing but
electrons, protons and neutrons.  Yet iron is different from gold and
food is different from garbage.  Vyavahaara is done without any problem
even though there is unity in the diversity.  

> -- What are sajAti, vijAti, svagata bhedas?

To illustrate this let us take a chair as an example.  Chair is
different from table, desk, or sofa etc - this is vijaati bheda -
differences among different species.
If we have many chairs, then this is chair is different from other
chairs because of shape or color or height etc.  This is differences
among the same species - sajaati.

Then within the chair, the hands are different from seat and from legs
etc - these are internal differences. swagata bhedaas.  

Brahman being one without a second cannot have sajaati or vijaati
bhedas. It is being consciousness, it cannot have internal differences
either.  Hence no swagata bhedas.  VishishhTaadvaita emphasizes that
there are internal differences in Brahman since it is made up of inert
matter and chaitanya jiivas constituting as total body. 

Hence I presented 'swaruupa laxaNas of Brahman' as satyam jnaanam
anantam brahman showing they are necessary and sufficient conditions. 
This is to dismiss any internal differences within Brahman, which is
absolute infinite consciousness. This aspect will be revealed in the
description of turiiya in the Mandukya. Hence all this background. 

Hope I am clear.

> A.Siddhartha.
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