[Advaita-l] mAnDUkya series

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 14 07:29:03 CDT 2006

Shree Siddhartha gaaru - PraNAms.
Here is my understanding. 

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

> Namaskaaram Sadananda gaaru,
>        Thanks for the elaborate reply. These are a few more things
> that I am unclear about, could you please clarify them. Thanks.
> -- Just to make sure I understood you correctly, there is no physical
> organ (or a metaphysical entity like the soul etc.) that perceives the
> unity of everything. 

First, whenever there is perceiver we have a triad - the perceiver,
perceived and perceiving.  If the perceiver takes the perceived as real
then it is ignorance of the truth.  The reality is both the perceiver
and the perceived are supported by the conscious entity (called
turiiyam) that is indivisible - and that will be the essence of Mandukya
that we are going to analyze and will be clear as we proceed.   

>It's more a conviction in the mind of the unity
> of everything. To take the Sunrise example, there is not really a
> physical/metaphysical organ that can "see" that there is no Sunrise,
> but it's a conviction in the mind due to the inference that there is
> no Sunrise per se. 

Yes, the absence of sunrise and sunset cannot be seen through
instruments of perception.  It is deducted based on other observations
only, which can only be accounted by the rotation of the earth than by
the movement of the sun.  Hence, it is not direct perception but still
the inference is supported by experimental observations, as it should
be.  Otherwise, it becomes a speculation.  Hence, Shaastra or science
involves experimental data as well as deductive reasoning.  The example
is only to illustrate that what we see need not be true unless one
enquires and even after knowledge has taken place, one can still
experience the sunrise and sunset while now there is no mistake that
what is seen is real. 

>Given this situation, the only way we can assert
> the unity of everything is through vEda pramANa.

For recognizing that consciousness alone is the truth - yes it can never
be observed 'experimentally'.  That is the reason why objective sciences
can never provide an answer to the truth, although scientists now trying
to analyze 'consciousness'.  Objectification of consciousness makes it
as inert entity.  

Yes that is the reason why Vedas alone are pramANam and even Vedas
declare that the truth is aprameyam, cannot be known by any means of
knowledge.  That shows how honest they are.  Then how can they be
pramANam?  They describe it without describing it.  The mantra 7 of
Mandukya is beautiful description of that which cannot be described! 
This aspect we will address slowly.   

> (For example, the budhda who does not believe in vEda praMaNa would
> say that destruction of this ahaMkAra is what is required -- the
> annihilation of desires which form the cause of rebirths. Any
> assertion of the unity of everything or a single substratum underlying
> everything becomes a matter of pure speculation with Him.)

I am not sure 'Buddhism' is correctly understood either.  There are
several dvaitins who claim that advaita is 'Buddhism in disguise' and
Shankara is called 'prachhanna bouddha' a disguised Buddhist.  There are
four sub theories in Buddhism - of which vijnaana vaada comes close to
advaita.  GoudapAda refutes these theories in the fourth chapter of
ManDukya kaarika. 

> -- I understood why the question of sajAti and vijAti bhedas do not
> arise in the case of
> brahma, but I am not clear why there could not be svagata bhedas, ala
> vishiShTAdvaita vEdAnta. But I guess you will get to this when you
> discuss turIya.

In a way, I have addressed that when I mentioned about vishShTAdvaita. 
Consciousness is Brahman (prajnAnam brahma) and it is one without a
second and it is swarUpa laxaNa of Brahman.  This was addressed.

Consciousness cannot have internal differences.  If there are internal
differences then we need to bring in another consciousness that is
conscious of these internal differences and that second consciousness
should not have any internal differences.  If it does then we end up
with infinite regress.  Hence, the basis that consciousness can have
internal diversity is wrong. 

To over come some of these problems Bhagavaan Ramanuja resorts to two
types of consciousness - dharmi jnaana and dharma bhuuta jnaana or to
put it formally intrinsic consciousness (self-consciousness) and
extrinsic consciousness (that because of which one is conscious of
others or objects).  Jiivas have always have intrinsic consciousness as
their inherent attribute.  In bondage, they do not have dharma bhuuta
jnaana due to ajnaana (anaadi karma or vAsanas).  To exhaust this
karmas, Narayana out of compassion creates the world.  Jiivas while
exhausting vAsanas get entangled in the world creating more vAsanas. 
Those that surrender to Lord Narayana (prapatti) and perform the karma
in the attitude of service to the Lord (kaikaryam), they are saved! 
Their dharma buuta jnaana expands until of course when they reach
Vaikunta or moxa they are able to enjoy the whole universe and infinite
happiness along with of course other jiivas and Vishnu, except of course
they do not have power to create.  VishShTAdvaita also differentiates
two salvations - kaivalya for Advaitins that is who only go up to
realization of their selves - jiivaatma anu bhAva when their karma is
exhausted. Vaikunta for those who have surrendered to Lord Vishnu and
they go to vaikunTa after their death (that is those who gain the
knowledge of their permanent dependence on Lord Narayana - shesha-seshi
bhaava ), they are fully liberated.  

Bhagavaan Ramanuja has to make the distinction between dharmi and dharma
jnaana, since for him consciousness is an attribute and not a locus. 
Interestingly for him even the dream world is real.       

> These questions are more vis-a-vis classical advaita.
> -- Given that the conviction of the mind is what is required, I do not
> understand the
> insistence of shaMkara on saMnyAsa. For example, shrI rAma or shrI
> kR^iShNa or rAjA janaka were all considered to be realized. Or is it
> the case that I misunderstood shaMkara's ideas on saMnyAsa?

What is required is freedom from dependence on anything other than
yourself - that is sanyaasa.  Please look at Krishna's definition in the
sixth Chapter.  Vedas say 'tyaagenaike amRitatvam' by giving up one's
attachments only one can gain freedom.  Therefore, sanyaasa is required
- that is called vairaagya. 

Now you are asking about external sanyaasa as ashrama.  There was big
debate in this list on that topic years ago and I do not like get into
that.  From my understanding I would say - it is helpful but not
essential.  I am personally feeling the Burdon of unnecessary family
obligations, which I like to give up and devote more time in my
Nidhidhyaasanam.  With external sanyaasa, one can avoid those.  However,
one can get attached to koupiinam even if one externally renounces
everything.  As a friend of mine commented - there is no problem if
koupiinam is attached to him - It is a blessing for others.  The problem
comes only if he is attached to koupiinam. 

> -- If we accept that "liberation" is essentially a conviction of the
> mind, then all the
> elaborate theories of karma, the movement of the souls through pitR^i
> lOka, dEva lOka, lack of vEda adhikAra for the shUdras etc., all of
> which form part of shaMkara's exegesis on brahma sUtras, become
> irrelevant. 

No - that is part of the mind - jiiva notion is nothing but
consciousness identifying with the subtle body.  All that you mentioned
is required to prepare the mind for the higher flight - Chitta suddhi. 

>They seem to be important only because the vEdas declare
> that to be the case. For example, to take up the theory of karma,
> having such a theory would enhance moral behaviour amongst humans. 

Siddharthaji - one has to be very careful.  Please remember vyavahaara
satya is satya too.  It is real in its realm.  Your statement is valid
only when you have firmly established in the turiiyam or knowledge of
Brahman.  Until then the world is real just as dream is real for the
dreamer.  Jiiva notion, Karma theory and even Vedas themselves all are
in the apara vidya.  They are valid till one gains the para vidya.  You
can make your statement only after realization. 

However, Vedas caution you - Scriptures help you to cross the ocean of
samsaara or they protect you.  Once you cross the ocean, you protect the
scriptures, since they are needed for the others who are desperately
trying to cross. 

Hence, Krishna says - there is nothing for him to gain in this or in
other world - yet he acts for loka kalyaaNa for the benefit of others. 

> people were to take the lOkAyata approach of thinking this life to be
> the only one, they might not shirk from perpetrating immoral things if
> it gives them pleasure. Thus, this theory of karma seems more a
> mechanism for promoting moral behaviour than any higher truth (Of
> course, I am not denying reincarnation, esp. given some scientific
> basis for that).

No, it is more than that.  Low of action and results are perfectly valid
within the reference and they cannot be dismissed as irreverent.  Karma
and janma has to be logical other wise we will end up with a
discontinuous behavior.  Even those who believe that they have no past
lives believe that they are eternal life in the future - there is a day
of judgment where they will be pushed to heaven or hell.  It is a
semi-infinite model, which is illogical.  

One is accountable for their actions and this is a law of action and
results is valid within the vyavahaara.  Vedas look at the problem,
examine the laws, and proposes that there is a fundamental truth.  It is
beyond these karya and kaaraNa or cause-effect relationships.  

Hari OM!

> A.Siddhartha.
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