[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Topic for discussion: Who is a Jeeva? Or whom am I? I

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 12 13:48:52 CST 2016

Dear Ramana Sharmaji,

There are simple ways of looking at Vedanta, and Shri Ramakrishna Paramhamsha used to express Vedantic truths without any jargon and in a way that is easy for all.. He even assured that a day will soon come when one will understand the Vedanta in a day. In our forum, Shri Sadanandaji has raised the very important questions for all of us to participate and our expressions may vary in our search of the knowledge.

One can look at the question "who is a Jeeva?, Or who am I?", by taking the case of a person with a coloured sunglass and noticing that whatever one sees is coloured by the glass. So also whatever we wear influences us, the Jeevas. When one of us wears a particular dress or  uniform, that effects our thinking. In fact we are all wearing our bodies made to our desire's order. Having received the ordered bodies we look at (or sense) the world through the sense organs that our body has. We get different bodies at different births arising out of our own desires. Kapila hints that a man who is enamored by a woman's body and its attributes is likely to be born as woman in the next birth and so also a woman enamored by man may be born as man in the next birth. This is probably behind the saying that the marriage can bring man and woman together for seven births, by alternating the  births, which can probably bring in the realization that  we are beyond our bodies. We all have taken many different births in the past and thus we have climbed up to take the human birth, where we are fortunate to be able to develop the jijnasha as to who am I? Probably it is better for any beginner to look at the theory of rebirth. There are some books on this but the one I liked was by late Radhanath phukan (my grandmother's elder brother). He also went on to write books on Sankhya and Vedanta, but I do not know if these books are available in the market now.

Now coming to the body,. the Trigunatmak Prakriti has given us the body as we desired. The five Sukshma-bhootas and then the five Maha-bhootas came form the Tamoguna. Rajoguna acting on that gave us the Karmendriyas and the Satvaguna acting on all that preceded, gave us the Jnanendriyas and then the Manas, the Ahamkara and  the Buddhi or Mahat. Beyond that is the Avyakta and then the Purusha. Sankhya based Jijnasha leads us to this level, as limited by the scope of Sankhya. Sankhya tells us that there  are 25 tattvas and when the 25th tattva (the Purusha) realizes what the Prakrti really is, the Prakrti hides herself from the Purusha, never to be seen again and the Purusha becomes free from the Prakriti. Mind that, limited by its scope the Sankhya can lead us up  to the the stage when the Purusha is free from the Prakrti but this also means that there could be many Purushas. Kapila hints at the possibility of  dilly-dallying with the Prakrti  leading to bondage again and that is why one has to be a true Jnani or Buddha, but he does not elaborate on this. Lord Gautama Buddha too did not agree that the knowledge of Sankhya leading to many Purushas can be sufficient to guarantee complete freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Lord Buddha leads us to the oneness of all the Purushas when the five Skandhas or Koshas (which is constituted of the tattvas of the Prakrti)  are emptied or the Shunyata is achieved and in that process the individual Purushas are also dissolved. Lord Buddha also mentioned about the Brahman in the Tevijja sutta but he did not explicitly teach us in the Vedantic way. 

Yogasutra brings in the 26th Tattva and that is Ishvara, who is free from the Parakrti and that with the help of Ishvara one can achieve the liberation from Prakrti. Yoga too did not explicitly say the the Purusha merges in Ishvara.

It was left to the Vedanta, which also talks about the five koshas, to tell us that there is only the Brahman and there is nothing but the Brahman and the purusha is only the higher prakrti or para-Prakrti. 

All these goes to show that Purusha under the influence of (or rather with the avarana or covering of) the Prakrti is the Jeeva. 

Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

On Fri, 2/12/16, Vrsarma Podury rpodury at gmail.com [advaitin] <advaitin at yahoogroups.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [advaitin] Topic for discussion: Who is a Jeeva? Or whom am I? I
 To: advaitin at yahoogroups.com
 Date: Friday, February 12, 2016, 5:39 AM
       Pranams to All
 I have a general request to those
 who would be participating in this or other
 discussions. It would be better if the posts are
 not like those from an expert to another
 expert.Whenever Sanskrit text is quoted, it
 would be helpful if the English translation is provided. It
 would save a lot of time for those who-who would like to
 know the meaning of those Sanskrit quotes. In
 our student days, we used to like those lecturers who give
 lectures in their own simple words than those who were
 reading from the textbooks. 
 With regards to all
 Ramana Sarma
 On 12 February 2016 at
 18:32, kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
 [advaitin] <advaitin at yahoogroups.com>
 Topic I. I have not forgotten the topics for discussion. I
 was hoping that people would discuss the slokas from B.G.
 that they think  are most important and why? This topic
 open for everyone to participate by providing their
 perspective. We encourage discussions than providing some
 references for people to investigate.
 We had discussions on Why do I need a teacher and Why study
 The new topic for discussion:
 !. Who am I? Or who is Jeeva? and who realizes what? The
 topic includes who is the doer, knower, enjoyer, I? Who has
 to realize what?
 2. Is - who am I - inquiry sufficient for self-realization -
 that brings back to why then study Vedanta?
 3. Can Self itself become a teacher as some claim - why and
 why not? If so how does the self teach?
 We welcome discussions with open mind from everyone.
 Hari Om!
 Posted by: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
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