[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 24 17:27:41 CDT 2010


> Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 11:32:56 -0400
> From: anbesivam2 at gmail.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru
> ".......... have something called a hRt, which is but another term
> for what is called mind in the English language."
> Mind is the sthalam and the hRth is Easwara the saguNa Brahman. It is also
> called pundareekam where hRt dwells.

If hRt is the same as ISvara, then please explain the gItA verse, where ISvara
dwells in the hRdaya!


Permit me to reiterate what I wrote yesterday - I absolutely do not like to
argue merely for the sake of arguing. Rather than making arbitrary generalisms,
let me merely point you to the bhAshya on muNDakopanishat, verses 2.2.7-8
(manomayaH ... hRdayaM sannidhAya ... bhidyante hRdaya-granthiS chidyante ...).


In the commentary on verse 2.2.7, Sankara bhagavatpAda equates hRdaya
with buddhi, not the Atman. And in the commentary on verse 2.2.8, there
is a specific statement "... hRdaya-ASrayAH, na AtmASrayAH". Here, hRdaya
is expressly distinguished from Atman. Please read those bhAshya passages
carefully. Other relevant bhAshya passages would be on taittirIya 1.6 (sa ya
esho 'ntar hRdaya AkASaH . tasminn ayaM purusho manomayaH ..) and of
course, on gItA 18.61 (ISvaras sarvabhUtAnAM hRd-deSe ...).

I am deliberately not translating these here, because I do not want to impose
my English translation upon you. I think that in many places where hRdaya/hRt
is used, what is meant overlaps largely with the connotation of the English
word "mind", but you want to find fault with that. So, please go to the original
Sanskrit wording of the muNDaka bhAshya and satisfy yourself whether your
blanket equation of hRdaya/hRt with the Atman is valid.


Nothing further from me on this,

Best regards,



ps. In the bhAshya-s, Sankara bhagavatpAda does not see any reason to
distinguish between the physical heart and a so-called spiritual heart. Across
the world, the heart (not the brain) was traditionally considered the seat of
the mind. And there is both a literal and a metaphorical usage of the word
"heart" in the texts, ranging across multiple systems of thought. As far as I
can see, all this talk of a "spiritual heart" that is different from the physical
heart (and then going on to specify a physical location for this spiritual heart!
- why?!!) is a 19th century reaction to the prevailing medical view of the heart
as a mere blood pump. Today, there is increasing scientific recognition that
the heart is a much more complicated organ, and there is even a field of
medicine called neurocardiology.
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