[Advaita-l] Reconciling current research with Advaitic theory of mind

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Fri Feb 23 00:53:26 CST 2007

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI Mahesh Ursekar,

  the issue is not as complicated as it sounds. the mind cannot
function efficently with a damaged brain. however, even in the case of
split brain condition, the essential function of the mind which is to
'know' is not affected. but an aj~nAni with a brain disorder *cannot*
attain Atmaj~nAna since a 'sane' mind is a necessary prerequisite for

  technically, manas is part of the sUkShma sharIra. the sUkShma
sharIra cannot function without a sthUla sharIra as it's support. in
particular, manas manifests itself through the activities of the
brain, which is part of the sthUla sharIra.

  the ultimate essence of the mind, which is bare cognition, is not
different from the Atman (refer to AchArya gauDapAda's remark
'ani~NganamanAbhAsaM niShpannaM brahma tattadA'). it is the
'object-ive' part of the mind which cognizes objects that needs to be
freed from those very objects for mokSha. this process of cleaning the
mind of objects requires a systematic enquiry into the nature of what
is seen and what sees, which in turn presupposes the ability to think
clearly, steadily and rationally. this inturn presupposes having a
'fit' sthUla sharIra which allows for the manas to function
efficiently. in the case of a person with a brain disorder, there
would be no way to rationally analyze the true nature of the seer and
the seen. no wonder our shAstrAs repeatedly say that a human birth
with the right preconditions for steady enquiry is rare. it would be
especially useful to reconsider what AchArya says in vivekachUDAmaNi
'jantUnAM narajanma durlabham...'.

  in short, what neuroscientists try to study is the behaviour of
various parts of the brain in relation to various actions of the body
and find a mapping between them. however, it is impossible to device
any form of scientific experiment that would differentiate between a
human and a super-duper robot which functions about as efficiently as
humans. in other words, it is impossible to study by any scientific
method the act of cognition without explicit reference to objects of
cognition. since vedAnta deals with objectless cognition (which is
entirely subjective) and since science deals only with phenomena that
can be objectively analyzed, the two subjects are in this sense

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

On 2/22/07, Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Pranams to all:
> In a recent issue (Jan 19, 2007) of TIME magazine, the following article
> appeared entitled 'The Mystery of Consciousness':
> http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1580394,00.html

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