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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 12 23:39:41 CDT 2010

--- On Mon, 7/12/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste.
> It is true that a Tattvavit will not have the 'erroneous'
> identification of
> the nature of 'I am this' or 'This is mind'.  Yet, a
> jivanmukta who is
> undoubtedly with a body-mind apparatus and in vyavahara can
> and does have a
> 'knowledgeable' identification with the body or the mind or
> the intellect
> purely for the purpose of vyavahara. And this
> identification alone makes
> jivanmukti a possibility.

There is absolutely no question of the sthitapraGYa having the "I-am-the-doer" idea. Read for example the gItA 5.8-9 along with the bhAShy (courtesy of the Gita Supersite http://www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/ ):

naiva kiJNchit karomiiti yuktaH samaahitaH san manyeta chintayet, tattvavit
aatmano yaathaatmyaM tattvaM vettiiti tattvavit paramaarthadarshiityarthaH..
kadaa kathaM vaa tattvamavadhaarayan manyeta iti, uchyate -- pashyanniti.
manyeta iti puurveNa saMbandhaH. yasya evaM tattvavidaH
sarvakaaryakaraNacheshhTaasu karmasu akarmaiva, pashyataH
samyagdarshinaH tasya sarvakarmasaMnyaase eva adhikaaraH, karmaNaH
abhaavadarshanaat. na hi mRRigatRRishhNikaayaam udakabuddhyaa paanaaya pravRRittaH
udakaabhaavaGYaane.api tatraiva paanaprayojanaaya pravartate..
yastu punaH atattvavit pravRRittashcha karmayoge

Yuktah, remaining absorbed in the Self; tattva-vit, the knower of
Reality-knower of the real nature of Truth, of the Self, i.e., the seer of the
supreme Reality; manyeta, should think; 'na karomi eva, I certainly do
not do; kincit, anything.' Having realized the Truth, when or how should
he think? This is being answered; Api, even; pasyan, while seeing;
srnvan, hearing; sprsan, touching; jighran, smelling; asnan, eating;
gacchan, moving; svapan, sleeping; svasan, breathing; pralapan,
speaking; visrjan, releasing; grhnan, holding; unmisan, opening; nimisan,
closing the eyes. All these are to be connected with the above manyeta
(should think). For the man who has known the Truth thus, who finds
nothing but inaction in action-in all the movements of the body and
organs-, and who has full realization, there is competence only for giving
up all actions because of his realization of the nonexistence of actions.
Indeed, one who proceeds to drink water in a mirage thinking that water
is there, surely does not go there itself for drinking water even after
knowing that no water exists there!

Krishna stresses that even minor actions like unmiShan and nimiShan does not have the imprint of the "I-am-the-doer" thought in the tattva-vit. How then can there be any trace of "I-am-the-body" in him?

> Consider these two cases:
> 1.  //He who imagines the characteristics of the
> body and organs to be his own, who has self-identification
> with the body
> and the organs, and who, through ignorance, believes the
> activities to be
> his own-, he thinks,* 'I am the doer of those diverse
> activities.'//*
> [quoted from the Gitabhashya excerpt provided by you]
> 2. In the Bhagavadgita Bhashya, while writing the
> introduction,  Shankara
> says:  tadidam gitAshAstram
> samasta-vedArthasArasamgrahabhUtam
> durvijneyaartham.  .....viruddha anekaarthatvena
> loukikaiH
> gRuhyamANamupalabhya *aham* vivekato artha nirdhAraNArtham
> samkShepato
> vivaraNam* kariShyAmi.*

I do not consider this to be a serious argument, for Sankara here only speaks to a layperson (aka "fool", who still suffers from the identification of "I-am-this-body") by stooping down to the layperson's level of thinking. This should not be held against Sankara!

An analogy may help here. A great astronomer may say in the preface of his work that he "wrote the book from sunrise to sunset for a month". But if one takes these innocent words in the sense that "the astronomer believes in the geocentric theory of the sun moving around the earth because he said the sun 'rises', which is applicable only in the geocentric model", then this is a complete misunderstanding of the astronomer's views.

>  [Though, to afford a clear view of its teaching, the Gita
> has been
> explained word by word and sentence by sentence, ....by
> several
> commentators, still* I have found* that to the laity it
> appears to teach
> diverse and quite contradictory doctrines.  *I
> propose,* therefore, t*o
> write a brief commentary with a view to determine its
> precise meaning. ] //
> *
> Quote No. 1 is an example of an ajnani's expression of the
> ego.
> Quote No.2 is an example of a jnani, in this case, Shankara
> Himself, giving
> expression to the ego.  In both the cases the use of
> 'I' is there.  Both the
> cases refer to some action.
> Supposing someone asks in an open assembly holding up a
> sentence from
> Shankara's Brahma Sutra Bhashya:  'Whose is this
> sentence?  Who has said
> this?'.  Supposing  Shankaracharya is in that
> assembly of scholars, He would
> certainly reply:  'That is My sentence.  I have
> said that in the context of
> Sutra No 1.1.4'.   By this much
> Shankaracharya would not become an ajnani.

There are other ways of resolving this - the sentences, the activities, etc. were all Ishvara's, with not the slightest bit of "I-am-writing-this-bhasshya" ever appearing.

Or, the activities may be going on, but still the thought "I-undergo-these-changes" will be absent in the GYAnI.

> A detailed artile on the above topic, centering on the ego
> of a Jnani, is
> posted now which may please be read for further quotes and
> observations.
> Best regards,
> subbu



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