[Advaita-l] Ego, Mind and Body of a Jnani

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jul 10 20:33:54 CDT 2010

Shri Shankaracharya has set at rest all doubts and disputations that might
arise / have arisen among seekers regarding this issue:

Whether or not the ego, mind and body which includes, by default, sense /
motor organs, exist for a Jnani. While there is incontrovertible evidence
for this, even for the cursory reader, for example in the Bhagavadgita Fifth
chapter, yet, while deliberating on the topic of the post-enlightenment
state of a person (now Jnani), in the Brahmasutras, the Bhashyakara has this
to say while commenting on the Sutra 4.1.15:

// Moreover, it is not a matter for dispute at all whether the body of the
Knower of Brahman continues to exist for sometime or not. For how can one
contest the fact of another possessing the knowledge of Brahman " vouched
for by his heart's conviction " and at the same time continuing with the
body? This very fact is elaborated in the Upanishads and the SmRtis in the
course of determining the characteristics of 'the man of steady wisdom'. //

>From the above statement we see the Acharya is confirming the presence of
the Ego, Mind and Body in ONE GO. The sentence that does this is:

// For how can one contest the fact of another possessing the knowledge of
Brahman â€" vouched for by his heart’s conviction â€" and at the same time
continuing with the body? //

1. For the presence of ego the word the bhashyam gives is: 'his'. In the
original the word is: 'sva'. SSS has translated this in Kannada as 'tanna'.
This is the word one uses to refer to him'self', her'self', one'self'. Here,
in these usages, the 'self' is undoubtedly the ego, translated in sanskrit
as amahkaara.

2. For the presence of 'mind' the word the bhashyam gives is: 'heart's'. In
the original the word is: 'hRdaya'. SSS has translated this in Kannada as
'hRdayakke'. In order to add emphasis to the fact that it is a realization
that is available ONLY to that Jnani concerned, SSS adds the word 'maatra'
in Kannada which restricts the realization to that particular Jnani
(paricchinna antahkaraNa). The original expression is 'sva-hRdaya' which
means : one's heart or one's mind. The word HRdayam is given the meaning of
antaHkaraNa, manas, buddhi, etc. to denote the one faculty: mind across the
bhashyam literature. (IshwaraH sarvabhUtAnAm hRddeshe Arjuna tiShThati of
Gita 18th chapter).

3.For the presence of body the word the bhashyam gives is: 'continuing with
the body'. SSS uses the same word of the bhashya 'dehadhAraNa'm in the
Kannada translation.

4. There is an additional component to the presence of the mind in a Jnani,
that is crucial in the above bhashya statement: the word 'pratyaya'.
Pratyaya is 'conviction', a thought, etc. In this context the appropriate
word is 'conviction'. It is common knowledge that a conviction can and does
exist only in the mind. Atman cannot have any properties of the mind. So,
the bhashyam word 'heart's conviction' or 'sva-hRdaya-pratyaya' gives
absolutely no room for any doubt that there is the mind for the Jnani. SSS
confirms this by the kannada word: 'tiLiyabaruva'. This means: the knowledge
that one 'gets to know, comes to appreciate', etc. Certainly no such vyApAra
can be admitted in the Atman.

The original words of the bhashya to confirm the prsence of ALL THE THREE -
EGO, MIND AND THE BODY to the Jnani in ONE GO: sva-hRdaya-pratyayam
dehadhAraNam cha.

Those who belong to the tradition of ShAnkara VedAnta have cherished the
above sentence of the Acharya as the one where the revered Acharya gives
expression to HIS OWN REALIZATION, svaanubhava.

Those outside the tradition of ShAnkara VedAnta who deny the concept of
Jivanmukti and therefore the possibility of Shankara being a Jnani, however,
do not accept that the above sentence is the Acharya's expression of His own
anubhava. In any case, a traditionalfollower of Shankara Vedanta, would not
be able to contradict the fact conveyed by that statement : That none can
challenge the experience had by the Jnani that he has the Brahman-experience
simultaneously with the knowledge that there is the body continuing.

In fact Shankara, if one grants is a Jnani, was able to say this statement,
or rather write this bhashya, only because He had the ego, mind and the
body. In the absence of these, we would not have had the blessing of having
His Bhashya. There are evidences from His own words in the Gita and
Taittiriya Bhashya and even the Sutra bhashya where the presence of 'ego' in
Him is expressed by Himself. We shall present those sentences in a different
thread, if occasion arises.

In no place has the Sarvajna Shankara made the statement in the prasthAna
traya bhashya that it is ajnanis who posit a body, mind, etc. on a Jnani.
The above bhashya statement itself is a testimony to that.

We do not value any Mahatma's statement that contradicts what Shankara has
said on these matters. All statements of all Mahatmas will be acceptable to
the follower of Shankara-advaita only if they do not contradict Shankara's
statements, expressed or implied. If they are found to contradict what the
Acharya has said, they will have to be rejected, as Shankara Himself has
taught in the Gita Bhashya, as 'asampradAyavit's statements'.

Om Tat Sat

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