PGS : Atma Bodha - Verse 04

ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 7 20:22:52 CDT 2001

Sorry for this delayed post. I was waiting for advaita list to come back up.

On Sun, 17 Jun 2001 03:30:37 -0400, nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM>

>Ah Ashish, I see that you've progressed from the days you were enquiring
>about Praakriti and Purusha.


>>Similar approach would put me everywhere if I exist but without locus. >I
>>exist everywhere as consciousness as that is my nature - no one can >deny
>You know that I exist - as I'm writing this mail to you. But do you know
>where I am? No. So will that lead you to conclude that I exist everywhere?

The "you" that exists for the "i" that percieves it are both limited
notions in that they are mutable and not absolute. "i" may not know where
you are but what I have already mentioned in my previous post was that the
presence of the "Self" (not the "I" as it may get confusing) is necessary
for there to be a notion of "you" or "i". Since this knowledge (i or you)
itself is negated, it cannot be that it was absolute knowledge. So to put
it in another way, the notion of everywhere itself is wrong when we are
talking about consicousness and want to ensure that false knowledge i.e.
born of the deliberations of the intellect, does not set in.

>As a normal man I am bound by space and time. At any point in time I exist
>in a particular geographical position. Likewise you too. Though you are
>to identify yourself as something apart from the body/mind/senses, but
>are not able to pin point yourself - that cannot mean that you exist
>everywhere - for the simple reason that if you did you'll experience
>everything happening everywhere - which is not normal psychological

I look at it this way - the idea of you there and I here and some space
between us is itself prone to getting destroyed. So how can it be true
knowledge. This is not mere quibbling about some ghost of my invention but
a very valid point as I see it.

>Also though you are not able to pinpoint yourself - still you've the
>experience of the fact that "you are" and "you exist". And that experience
>is only limited to a particular space, right? You've the experience of
>yourself only where you are at the moment and not a place 5 miles away from

Yes I do have that experience and I also know that it is a wrong notion and
hence the experience cannot be described as being absolutely real. The
notion of 5 miles or here or the universe exists only in the intellect that
does not exist in deep sleep. There is no harm in relating to the absolute
truth, and negating a non-apparent falsehood, even if it means negating the
sense perception that presents this (false) knowledge.

>The fundamental problem is looking at yourself objectively (the Naiyaayikas
>are prone to this error because they are logicians - but philosophy is more
>than logic). But you're not the object are you - you are the subject whose
>existence is self-established and self-proved.

Exactly how do you conclude that self-proven state? Would it not be by
negating everything including the antahkarana ? One may say that one is the
body, mind and intellect combined, but we are looking for the true "I"
which always is. If that "I" cannot be found, this question itself becomes
meaningless. But the fact that the question exists, in that one is not
convinced that one is a changing entity, that makes one want to know what
one truly is. The first step would be to define if there is any permanent
entity which is unchanging, and hence would qualify to be called the truth.
Then one can think of whether there is a relation between oneself and that
unchaning reality. As I see it, nothing that I have is permanent, including
the notion of "I". And yet I feel a continuity in myself. I am not looking
at myself objectively but am trying to identify myself only with what is
forever and whose existence cannot be questioned.

>>I have already said that I know that I am not the body, mind or >intellect
>>by direct experience.
>Do you really know? Can you distinguish yourself apart from thought as they
>occur? You only know them when they have passed. Psychology is much more

Its true that all my knowledge seems to come from the intellect. However,
direct experience tells me that even that (intellect) is not always
present. So what can be my conclusion if I am to exist as a conscious
entity - which is beyond doubt - unless it is that I am separate from them
all (ego, mind, body, intellect etc)?

>>Consciousness being the cause of all knowledge in the first place,
>Is that really true? Can consciousness function without the subject which
>conscious and the object which the subject is conscious of? It is an
>interlinked chain - remove the subject or object, there can be no
>consciousness either. Objects need not only be external physical objects,
>they can also be internal mental objects - objects of thoughts.

>From our direct experience, we would define consciousness as consciousness-
existence - as what is conscious must exist as well. That being the case,
how do I know that the intellect is not consicous? When I wake up from deep
sleep, I have the experience that "I slept well" or "I did not know
anything then". Can we say that consicousness slept well? That would be
absurd. If I have no memory of that state (of deep sleep), it must mean
that my mind was not present there - as no impressions were formed on it -
and the mind being absent, intellect had nothing to deliberate on - the
intellect was not there as well. If the intellect was not there, there was
something else that makes the intellect aware , upon waking up, of the fact
that it (intellect) was not there. Only when this knowledge becomes
avialable to the intellect does it make the assertion that "I did not know
anything". So we cannot also say that it was I (me) without the intellect
that went through that deep sleep as this "I" lives in the antahkarana.
Moreover, there is no memory of "I" or "him" or "this" or "that" in that
state. Therefore it would be incorrect to conclude that it was the "subject
I" who had that experience as the subject needs a counterpart object. We
can say nothing else about that state except that it was. Any notion of
identifying "I" or a subject with that state would be knowledge born in the
intellect of something it(intellect) is not aware of, and hence negatable
as well as untrue. So something was there that makes the intellect aware of
its own non-consciousness. You can call it Brahman or Atman or self - it
does not matter but you cannot deny that it existed. How do we know it was
conscious? By inferring that it must be its very nature as a non-conscious
intellect cannot become consicous of its own non-conscious nature without
there being something conscious that imparts this knowledge (of
consciousness) to it. If you agree with this, it will not take too much to
show that without the presence of That consicousness, nothing is known.

Very well then - how do we know it is the cause of all knowledge? By
inferring that without it, the intellect would not function - because the
intellect is the only receptacle of knowledge in waking or dream states. In
deep sleep of course, the intellect also is not there. So the cause of
knowledge can only be what is consicous itself. It does not need anything
to operate upon (in terms of subject-object) - it just is. It is the others
that draw upon its knowledge in multifarious ways like you feeling happy
and another, sad or there being subject and objects or the intellect
thinking of itself as a conscious entity of its own accord.

>You can experience this psychologically too - except for deep sleep where
>you've no consciousness - is there anytime in the waking or dream state
>you do not experience an object of consciousness? You are always conscious
>of something - either an external physical object or an object of thought.
>Even in so called "self consciousness" - your ego becomes the object of

I do in waking and dream states but it is an error on my part if I do. I
have already given my explanation for this. One cannot say that it was I
who existed in deep sleep as the knowledge of I and the rest is born after
one goes through that experience. So existence and consciousness was known
in deep sleep but not the idea of "I". Known by whom then? Known by the
intellect that comes into the picture on waking up. Made known by what? By
that which imparts knowledge to the non-conscious intellect which is
nothing but consicousness-existence. Nothing more can be said about the
experience as it is percieved later.

>>it is not viable to admit that it is unaware of itself (so what other
>> >people know or do not know is already known to me as I am their cause).
>As said above - first you've to prove that consciousness can exist in
>apart from the subject and object, before we can even think about it
>cognizing itself.

Perhaps I have shown how consicousness does not need anything to exist -
not even an object to operate upon. The world as percieved in the intellect
comes and goes, and with the experience of deep sleep added to this, the
intellect comes and goes as well. Once this knowledge is inferred, one
becomes aware that there is a consciousness separate from the body-senses-
antahkarana complex. It is perhaps the beauty and honesty of the intellect
that it can say "I did not exist". Then who is consicous of all this? That
is to be known by the intellect, that is what it wishes to know, that is
called discrimination between the self and the non-self and that is the
setting in of viveka, the first saadhanaa chaatushtya component. It is not
for nothing that our teachers have always taught that the mind and
intellect can only take you so far even in intense saadhanaa. It is
something else altogether (amAnava mAnava) that takes over after a certain
point. It is not that the intellect has to be convinced that it is not - it
must cause its own complete annihilation. The latter part is much much more
difficult than the first where the knowledge that one is 'not this not
this' takes an intellectual hold.

When I first posted in this thread, I only had questions. But thinking
about the last few days, I think I have come to some reasonable (AFAIK)
conclusions. But one only learns by reading and disucussions - for us,
there is no other vikalpa.

>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Tue Jul 10 12:09:49 2001
Message-Id: <TUE.10.JUL.2001.120949.0400.ADVAITAL at LISTS.ADVAITAVEDANTA.ORG>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 12:09:49 -0400
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
Subject: New member introduction: Artemis Carr
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

[Apologies if you are seeing this twice.  I thought I'd sent it but I
don't see it in the archives.]

Hello, and thank you for inviting me to introduce myself.  I would like to
be a member of your list, as I am very interested in Advaita Vedanta, BUT,
I am not as familiar with it as I would like to be.  I would like to join
your group and learn more about the "understanding of our Dharma from a
traditional stand", as you had mentioned in your email to me.  I am very
open to any suggested readings on Advaita Vedanta that you or the other
group members would recommend, so that I can contribute my own thoughts to
the group.

I have read some works on Vedanta, but there seems to be so many varieties
of this philosophy, and I would like to have a better understanding of
this, so that I can apply it to my life and my world.

I hope to be accepted into your group, and I'm looking
forward to hearing back from you.

"artemis19762001 at"

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