[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 5 16:37:33 CST 2010

> Dear Sri Vidyasankarji,
> You have said:
> "We cannot claim that the jnAnI has NO mind
> whatsoever, because we do admit that the jnAnI's physical body
> appears before us."
> It seems by implication that the mind of the Gnyaani is thus established!

I made the analogy only because the mind, just like the physical body,
is also ultimately material.

> Mind is not an object yet we generalize them. (All that are generalized
> have to be more than one. All that are in multiples are objects. Anything
> that is an object can be controlled.)

I'm not sure where you are going with this line of argument, so I will
say very little about it for now. You seem to be claiming that no human
being can validly say that another person has a mind. Is that what you
are aiming at? If so, why even claim a special non-mind status for a
jnAnI? As far as I can know, I can say nothing about the mind of any
person other than me, be it a jnAnI or an ajnAnI. Under this line of
thinking, there is nothing special about the jnAnI, when it comes to
the mind!


> So the mind of a gnyaani, by this logic, can be controlled!

By the jnAnI, yes indeed. The difference between a jnAnI and an ajnAnI
is that the jnAnI never identifies the self with the operation of the mind,
whereas the ajnAnI habitually mutually superimposes himself and his mind.
This is brought out very pithily in the adhyAsa bhAshya that is quoted so
often by so many!

> Sir, when I say 'my mind' it is certainly an object for me, however it is no
> object for everyone. You would know of my mind if I speak about it,
> otherwise you would not know. You cannot even question the truth of what I
> speak of my mind. Would you agree?

Not really. I am newly a father and I see how my wife and I are molding
the mind of my daughter on a daily basis. At this stage, my daughter's
mind is certainly an object for her parents to influence and control. The
child is still too young for her to speak to us about her mind!


Even as full-fledged adults, when two people engage in a discussion,
what each person is really doing is trying to influence, if not control,
the mind of the other. As such, the object-nature of another person's
mind is a given, although the other person's mind is not perceived
through any of the senses. Without this acceptance on my part that
others also have minds, I cannot engage in any loka vyavahAra at all.

> What differentiates Bhagavan Ramana from all others in respect of the mind
> is that He advocated 'manOnaasam'. He, in my conviction, spoke of it after
> having achieved it Himself.

Even the gauDapAda kArikA, written well before Sankara's times, has
a verse that talks of the amanI-bhAva of the manas.  There have been
innumerable teachers of advaita through the ages, who have described
mano-nASa. By the same token, there have also been innumerable
teachers of advaita through the ages, who have talked of the mind,
its operation and control even for the jnAnI. Each position has to be
understood as per context.



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