[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.21

Satyan Chidambaran satyan_c at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 27 00:00:04 CST 2006

Namaste Sri Amuthan,
  I enjoy following your Gita Postings, especially the points brought out  from the various bhAshyAs. Please keep up the good work and I must  congratulate you on getting involved in these topics at your age.
  In this particular discussion, are we mixing up the Self and 'Self  Knowledge'. Clearly the Self is beyond the intellect. However, 'Self  Knowledge' is required for someone who has 'Self Ignorance'. Only the  one who thinks that he is bound needs liberation. 
  In that sense, 'Self Knowledge' is required for the one who is has  wrongly assessed the Self in his own intellect. The one who has been  superimposing all kinds of subtle and/or gross things on the Self and  is suffering from samsAra (ie a samsAri) is the one who needs Self  Knowledge. The Self doesn't need Self Knowledge. The one who  erroneously thinks 'I am Limited a limited jIva' needs it.
  What is the locus of Self Ignorance? It is the intellect. Hence, where  else can be the locus of Self Knowledge (or Atma jnAnam, which are  synonymous)?
  I had written a brief note on this topic once, which is available at:

Amuthan <aparyap at yahoo.co.in> wrote:  namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI rAm garib,

--- Ram Garib  wrote:
> This particular modification of mind which has been
> called "akhandaakaara vritti" is also a vritti,
> isn't
> it? Since a vritti can occur only in mind, how can
> it
> be called non-intellectual? "manasa eva
> anudrashtavyam" clearly rules out any mysterious
> connotations associated with self-knowledge. Only
> thing that differentiates self-knowledge from others
> is the nature of akhandaakara vritti which does not
> have a subject-object relationship.

akhaNDAkAra vR^Itti is indeed a modification of the
mind only. it is intellectual, but it is NOT the same
as Atma j~nAna. all references to the shruti that
apparently suggest that self knowledge is intellectual
refer only to this akhaNDAkAra vR^itti. the self is,
by it's own nature, a j~nAna svarUpa and does not
require a buddhi to know itself. if we maintain that
self knowledge is only intellectual, we cannot explain
shruti-s like 'satyaM j~nAnam anantaM brahma'. here,
calling the self as 'j~nAnam' does not mean that we
have to superimpose a buddhi onto the self and assert
that the knowledge exists there. this j~nAna is
intrinsic to the self. the confusion arises because
both self knowledge and intellectual knowledge are
used with the same name - 'j~nAna'. 

btw, there is nothing mysterious about all these it
provided you don't call the self mysterious :-)

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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