[Advaita-l] Self-knowledge

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 22:59:53 CST 2006


As Amuthan has clearly shown, the destruction of the intellect comes
AFTER the attainment of self knowledge. Note that in padArthAbhAvanI,
the the Self has been realized but the intellect has not been
destroyed. Only upon turIya is this intellect destroyed.

If intellectual is defined in terms of intelligence, which is
understood as a function of the mind, which runs on the brain, then
Self-knowledge having an intellectual nature is incidently well
supported by science. on Mahesh ji's words about the nonintellectual
nature of emotions like love, I have the following to say. I am only
stating well researched results in cognition.

remailing what I mailed to Mahesh ji privately. apologies to Mahesh ji
for his receiving it twice.

the illustration (of the lady and the tigers) does not prove some
esoteric form of love seperate from the body. scientific explanation:
the sight (and smell, etc.) of the saintly lady did NOT trigger the
adrenalin hormone (and others) responsible for the tiger's usually
"violent" behavior towards humans. The tigers simply did not feel
threatened. this "feeling threatened" again can be explained in terms
of survival instincts, which are nothing but hardwired brain (and
spinal chord) constructs. It is commonly known that tigers do not eat
human flesh unless absolutely necessary for survival. so their usual
violence occurs because of the hormones responsible for fear, threat,
etc. if this reaction does not happen (the lady is observed by the
animal as graceful, peaceful enough), violence does not occur.

/*** below is a lot of my arguments about scientific explanations for
emotions ***/
in fact being at peace with tigers, lions, etc. is a common
phenomenon, even among western naturalists. remember that animals have
much of the same mechanisms as humans, including hormones, and to some
extent even the structure of the brain. this bond of friendship
between species that you talk about is well studied and boils down to
being the same as is the case between human and human: the response to
stimuli. certain hormones induce "love", others induce "violence".

there have been scientific studies in which a simple injection of
certain combinations of hormones has induced emotions like hatred,
love, anger, etc. How do you suppose this one works? the event of the
injection was directly followed by a sudden feeling of love (or anger,
etc.) in the subject. tell me how an injection gave rise to esoteric
"love" which is not of this body (or in the hormones).

reiterating, emotions are the observable reactions (secretion of
hormones) of the brain to stimuli, that are felt by the body (wherever
these hormones affect). scientists can give you injections for many of
these emotions, but ofcourse it is considered widely unethical and so
is not popularised. you only need to search in the academic journals
for hormonal research.

e.g.: A senses (sees/smells/hears/touches/tastes/etc.) B. This causes
certain electrical signals to be sent to the brain. every brain has a
unique structure, and reacts distinctively to distinct signal
patterns. within the same species, the extent of this distinctness is
very little. and so we have a common "sense" understanding of various
emotions, like love, anger, etc. so the brain reacts correspondingly,
causing secretion of certain chemicals. this reaction is hardwired
into the brain probably through the process of evolution.
/******************* end of scientific explanation for emotions

anyway, why is it important for you that love and other emotions not
be merely physical constructs? remember vedAnta itself teaches that
emotions are temporary, even bodily. joy and sorrow are temporary,
etc. we have always heard this. so is personal love.

Yes, in final brahman-hood the intellect does not remain (beyond
jIvanmuktI), but before that stage, the intellect plays a vital role
(for many) in the attaining and sustainence of Atmaj~NAna

Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad AT gmail.com

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