[Advaita-l] Trees have life- bhAshya

Vishwanathan Raman raman.vishwanathan at gmail.com
Sun Dec 9 06:09:19 CST 2007

I would like to add one point here (based on my understanding of my Guru
Swami ParamArthanandA's teachings).

He often says 5 points in his classes, that we need to remember whenever we
talk about Consciousness aka Existence (Note the capitalized forms of 'C'
and 'E'), which I would like quote here for the benefit of the list members.

(1) Consciousness or Existence is not a part/product/property of the body /
mind complex.
(2) Consciousness or Existence is an independent entity that pervades and
enlivens the body / mind complex.
(3) Consciousness or Existence is not limited by the boundaries of the body
/ mind complex.
(4) Consciousness or Existence survives even after the disintegration of the
body / mind complex.
(5) The surviving Consciousness or Existence is not experienced not because
it is absent but because the medium of transaction (body / mind complex) is
not present.

Thus whenever we talk about gradations in Consciousness what we are really
talking about is the Reflected Consciousness (ChidAbhAsa) and not the
Original Consciousness (which is Sat-Chit-Ananda).


Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 12:47:39 +0530
> From: "Pranav Peshwe" <pranavpeshwe at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Trees have life- bhAshya
> To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
>        <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Message-ID:
>        <cdfd7d6d0712072317q5b3cd74frd758d05b090818e5 at mail.gmail.com>
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> On Dec 7, 2007 8:57 PM, S.N. Sastri <sn.sastri at gmail.com> wrote:
> >  Dr. J.C. Bose (1858 ?1937) is said to have discovered that trees and
> > plants
> > have life and react to stimuli. I do not know whether this was known to
> > science earlier. Scientist members of this group must be able to say.
> >
> > But it is interesting that this has been stated by Sri Sankara himself
> in
> > his bhAshya on chandogya upanishad, VI. 11. 2:--
> >
> > "That a tree is possessed of a soul is indicated by such signs as
> > exudation
> > and drying up of sap. From the illustration in the Sruti that the
> > non-moving
> > living things are possessed of consciousness, the view of the Buddhists
> > and
> > the vaiSeshikas, who hold that the non-moving things have no
> > consciousness,
> > is seen to be without substance".
> >
> Namaskar,
>                   The Upanishad talks about the tree having
> 'consciousness', while science discovered that trees have 'life'. Is
> 'consciousness' in the bhAshya equivalent to what science calls 'life' ?
> Of course, who knows, trees may also possess consciousness, maybe in a
> cruder form as compared to us humans. Only some light has been thrown on
> the
> softer problems about consciousness, but answer to the hard one still
> evades
> science.
> Kindly correct me wherever wrong. Would be glad to hear comments on the
> topic.
> Best regards,
> Pranav
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.

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