[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Mar 8 00:33:26 CST 2010

On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 7:06 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> It is not only an assumption that all living beings have minds.
> Sruti and smRti also convey to us information about the mind.
> When bhagavAn kRshNa says, ISvaras sarvabhUtAnAM hRd-deSe
> 'rjuna tishThati, we are explicitly taught that all beings (sarva
> bhUta) have something called a hRt, which is but another term
> for what is called mind in the English language. As such, I don't
> need to assume anything at all about the existence or otherwise
> of another's mind. As I said in an earlier post, there can be no
> loka vyavahAra at all, without granting the mental processes of
> all beings. Whether the mind is ultimately real or not, or whether
> it is destroyed or not, or when it is destroyed, that is not the
> issue at all for your fundamental argument above.
Here are some passages on the existence of the mind, manas, and intellect,
buddhi.  In the following mantras one can see the teaching about the
existence of the mind and the intellect and how they can be sources of
bondage, samsara, and when trained, cultivated, properly according to the
teaching of the Scripture and the Acharya, can be the cause of liberation,
moksha, as well.  The inevitability of the mind in attaining moksha is also
brought out by these mantras:

आत्मेन्द्रिय-मनो-युक्तं भोक्तेत्याहुर्मनीषिणः (kaThopanishat)

* Chapter III *

1     Two there are who dwell within the body, in the intellect, the supreme
akasa of the heart, enjoying the sure rewards of their own actions. The
knowers of Brahman describe them as light and shade, as do those
householders who have offered oblations in the Five Fires and also those who
have thrice performed the Nachiketa sacrifice.

2     We know how to perform the Nachiketa sacrifice, which is the bridge
for sacrificers; and we know also that supreme, imperishable Brahman, which
is sought by those who wish to cross over to the shore where there is no

3     Know the atman to be the master of the chariot; the body, chariot; the
intellect, the charioteer; and the mind, the reins.

4     The senses, they say, are the horses; the objects, the roads. The wise
call the atman—united with the body, the senses and the mind—the enjoyer.

5     If the buddhi, being related to a mind that is always distracted,
loses its discriminations, then the senses become uncontrolled, like the
vicious horses of a charioteer.

6     But if the buddhi, being related to a mind that is always restrained,
possesses discrimination, then the senses come under control, like the good
horses of a charioteer.

7     If the buddhi, being related to a distracted mind, loses its
discrimination and therefore always remains impure, then the embodied soul
never attains the goal, but enters into the round of births.

8     But if the buddhi, being related to a mind that is restrained,
possesses discrimination and therefore always remains pure, then the
embodied soul attains that goal from which he is not born again.

9     A man who has discrimination for his charioteer and holds the reins of
the mind firmly, reaches the end of the road; and that is the supreme
position of Vishnu.

10—11     Beyond the senses are the objects; beyond the objects is the mind;
beyond the mind, the intellect; beyond the intellect, the Great Atman;
beyond the Great Atman, the Unmanifest; beyond the Unmanifest, the Purusha.
Beyond the Purusha there is nothing: this is the end, the Supreme Goal.

12     That Self hidden in all beings does not shine forth; but It is seen
by subtle seers through their one—pointed and subtle intellects.

13     The wise man should merge his speech in his mind and his mind in his
intellect. He should merge his intellect in the Cosmic Mind and the Cosmic
Mind in the Tranquil Self.

Apart from these, the Taittiriya Upanishad speaks extensively of the
mano-maya and vijnAna (buddhi)-maya kosha-s.

Here is another important mantra:

This one 'definition' of the mind, among many, could be useful from
sadhana point of view:

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः ।

बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्त्यै निर्विषयं स्म्रुतम् ॥

mana yeva manuShYANAm kAraNam bandha-mokShayoH |
bandhAya viShayAsaktam muktyai nirviShayam smRtam ||

[Amritabindu (amRRitabindu) upanishad is also known as Brahmabindu
upanishad. The above quoted mantra also is in: Shatyayani upan. #1;
Maitrayani (Maitri) upan. 6:34 Tripuratapini upan. 5:3 ]

Meaning: The mind alone is the root cause of bondage as well as liberation.
mind attached to objects (both external and internal) is causative of
and the mind freed from such compelling attachment is conducive for

The above verse identifies the cause of the problem of bondage and spells
the means to liberation as well. All sadhana specified in the scripture is
centered on this one goal: freeing the mind of its slavery to objects.

>From the above we can say that that which is called 'mind' is an inscrutable
power, shakti. When one does not know how to handle this power, he becomes
victim: it keeps him in bondage. When one, being guided by the Scripture and
the Guru, learns to handle this power, this very same power confers the
boon of liberation. Ultimately, this 'power' is Maya. AvidyA mAyA causes
bondage, vidyA mAyA liberates.

The Bhagavadgita also abounds in verses that teach the existence of the mind
as a part of the composite jiva, the presence/manifestation of the Lord,
Atman, in the mind, the need for cleansing the mind in order to get the
vision of the Atman there and the binding nature of the mind.

Om Tat Sat

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