[Advaita-l] Prapatti - Jiiva and Iswara Prapatti - Jiiva and Iswara

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 20 20:37:40 CST 2012

Kalyanji - PraNAms

Your questions are quite deep. In vedanta paribhaashya - epistemological aspects are extensively discussed. 

Just to answer briefly.

Pure consciousness cannot know, since knowing involves knower-known duality. Pure consciousness is of the nature of unqualified knowledge - satyam jnaanam anantam. Hence by itself it cannot know.

Mind being inert by itself cannot know. 

Your question is who is the knower then. First answer is it is a mystery. Pure all pervading consciousness which is like the nature of light is reflected by the mind since mind like a mirror has that capacity, being a subtle matter. Hence wherever there is mind - there is chidaabhaasa or reflection of the consciousness. In the process of reflection, the mind becomes active - since the reflecting light is light of consciousness - hence mind becomes a conscious entity - like moon is illuminating entity in the night although moon does not have a light of its own. We say in the moon light I can see everything on a full-moon night. What you are seeing is actually sunlight via the moon. - That moon light falls on the object and gets further reflected and that falls in your retina for you to see the object in the moon light. Exactly similar process occur in the knowledge of an object. The all pervading light of consciousness gets reflected by the mind first,
 and then falls on the vRitti or thought that arises when one sees the object and the reflected light from that vRitti is the knowledge of the vRitti and knowledge of the vRitti is the knowledge of the object out there since vRitti is formed when the mind with senses perceive the object out there. Since it is the light of consciousness that is involved in these first and second order reflections (first by the mind directly and second via the mind the thought that rises in the mind) there is knowledge of the object or consciousness of the existence of the object with attributes as determined by the senses. Now who is the knower here? - a notion that I am the knower arises in the mind when it sees its borrowed light of consciousness getting reflected by the vRitti. Now to answer your question - we can say I the pure consciousness using the mind is the knower. Without the mind I cannot know. Mind by itself cannot know. This mixture I am + this mind becomes
 a composite entity as a knower knowing this, where this is object out there. This is a pot, that is the object, I know this is a pot, a subject thought- Both duality occurs in the mind only. In addition mind itself I know - who is that I -  again I identifying myself with the mind say I know my mind. Mind acts as though both subject and object like spects on my eyes. They are object when I am searching for them. But once I put them on - they are part of me and I say I am am able to see everything via glasses but I do not at that time glasses also as objects that I am seeing. 

Now just for thought - meditation is like seeing sunlight on the full moon night while seeing objects - in essence I am seeing only the light that is getting primarily by the moon and secondarily by the object. Similarly I am the light that is seen every knowledge of the object as discussed above - first getting reflected by the mind and second reflected by the vRitti or thought in the mind and thought itself formed by perceptual process. Hence kena says pratibodha viditam matam - I can see myself in every knowledge that takes place. That is self-realization. 

More is discussed in the articles on Vedanta paribhaasha that I referred earlier.

Hari Om!

--- On Mon, 2/20/12, Kalyan K <kalyankc.81 at gmail.com> wrote:

Date: Monday, February 20, 2012, 1:15 PM
> Dear Sri Subramanian and Sri
> Sadananda,
> I want to post my thoughts on the on-going discussion, that
> I find to be
> very interesting. Let me thank you for your patient
> responses.
> As I understand things, the question that I have is - who is
> the knower? Is
> it the Self/brahman or is it the mind? The answer to this
> question has a
> bearing on the topics that are being discussed. 

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