[Advaita-l] Mind

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Thu Jul 20 19:11:47 CDT 2006

This brings up another question that was bothering me with regard to the
Atman. If we consider two schools - Jaina and Samkhya - both regard the soul
as omniscient, then how is it that they differ in the above regard? Both
schools believe that a person can get omniscient knowledge (kevali jnana and
kaivalya mukti respectively) while alive so supposedly, their teachings
should have corroborated. Why this difference then?

Humble pranams, Mahesh

I have not studied Jaina philosophy and so I am not able to answer this
question. As regards Sankhya, they consider the Purusha as pure
consciousness and devoid of any activity. Omniscience implies the act of
knowing. So the Purusha in Sankhya is not 'omniscient' because it has no
activity.It is only consciousness. In Advaita also, Brahman is not
'omniscient'. It is pure consciousness. Brahman associated with mAyA, i.e.
ISvara, is omniscient. The word sarvajnah, when applied to Brahman, has to
be split up as sarvam cha jnah ca iti sarvajnah; i.e. what is all, and
jnaptisvarUpa or pure consciousness is Brahman. When the word sarvajnah is
applied to ISvara, it has to be split up as sarvam jAnAti iti sarvajnah- one
who knows everything.


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