The problem with the human mind

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Aug 5 15:38:35 CDT 1996

          I posted this two weeks ago with no response from any learned
          members of  the Discussion Group. I do not think the views
          expressed here are so outrageous that members, through kindness
          of heart, felt ignoring the posting is the kindest thing.  I would
          to know whether my thoughts are in the proper direction. I am in
          the state of the ostrich [ref: Sashikanth Hosur's posting -  Flamingo
          and the ostrich  by Amber (Fwd) ] before he met the tiger. Any
          response from members (even a roar like the tiger in Sashikant
          Hosur's posting) is appreciated.



          Subject: The problem with the human mind

          The worldly I is used here, this being the Parabrahman that resides
          in  me + all the upadhis that were added on to become the worldly

          Human mind is an amazing thing and has been recognized as such.
          People marvel at its complex structure, its capacity to retain
          information, the logical way in which it works and its amazing
          power of recall.  While agreeing with this assessment, I submit that
          the sense in which the mind is directed is a direct cause for our
          ajnana (avidya, nescience) and for our not recognizing that the
          Atman and Nirguna Brahman are one and the same.

          I feel that the sense of direction of the mind is the biggest
          in our not recognizing the Self. As Sadananda pointed out in his
          posting two weeks ago [Re: Desire for salvation (Re: who am I ?)],
          even when one sits at the meditation seat for contemplation on the
          Self, the mind sometimes wanders. I assume this is partly because
          our sense-organs are directed outward rather than inward, and the
          perceptions of the outside world picked up by the sense-organs are
          collected by the mind. While the sense-organs and the mind explore
          the outside world, the I, the Paramatma, the Nirguna Brahman is
          inside us, willing and ready to be known. That is not to say, that
          Nirguna Brahman is not all-pervading, but the tendency of the mind
          (which is a product of mAya) is to see the world which is also a
          product of mAya. Thus the mind and the sense-organs, with their
          outward direction, inhibit the Self-enquiry, except only in a selected
          few who have the control of the mind.  If only the mind is directed
          inward ! Sri Sankara in Sivanandalaharii [verse 20] implores Lord
          Siva to accept Sankara's mind [hR^dayakapimatyantachapalam] as a
          gift and tie it down tightly under Lord Siva's control. Unless the
          mind and the sense-organs  are inward-directed, there can be no
          knowing of the Self. Is this one of the reasons why Self-enquiry and
          the recognition of the sameness of Atman and Nirguna Brahman is
          so difficult ?

          I have another related question to the learned members of the
          Group.  What about mentally-challenged humans (for e.g. people
          with Down's syndrome or other what we call "mental disorders") ?
          Are they also under the influence of mAya? How difficult is it for
          them for Self-realization? We do not know about their
          Self-Realization, but they might not have been  deluded or
          mesmerized by mAya. In that, they may have an advantage. Am I
          correct in this thinking? Is their mind at peace or is there a
          going in their minds also?

          The people who believe in karma-siddhAnta lament about such
          persons  "The person  (with "mental disorder" is "born" that way as
          a result of his/her previous karma". I question that concept,
          particularly lamenting about them. The person whom we label
           as with "mental disorder" does not feel anything. If  at all, he/she
          will not feel the worldly what we call "pleasures" and so much good
          for that person.

          These questions arise only in a world created by mAya
          [mAya-kalpita desa kAla kalanAvychitra citrIkR^tam as Sri
          Sankara put it so well in DakshiNamurthy stOtra]. In the
          framework of ultimate Reality of the Nirguna Brahman,
          these questions are mute. The worldly I likes to put these sentences
          to keep reminding myself that we are indeed in a world created by
          mAya. I would like to see any thought in two frameworks, one
          attached to the illusory world, and the other attached to
          ParamAtma. I do hope that learned members of the Group do not
          get annoyed by seeing these two sentences at the end of each of the

          Gummuluru Murthy
Adau ante ca yan nAsti vartamAnepi tat tathA !
                                GaudapAda in Mandukya kArika
What did not exist at the beginning and what is not going to exist at the
 end is as good as non-existent even in the present.

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