[Advaita-l] Question on Katopanishad bhashyam (v 1-3-10) - (Typo Fixed)

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 29 01:21:22 CDT 2008

Murali Manohar garu, namaskaaram.
The context is Yama teaching the Brahman to Nachiketas. The third valli of the first adhyaaya starts with the description of the higher and lower brahman and then is given the chariot example, where the aatman is described as the master of the chariot (rathin); body is described as the chariot; intellect, charioteer; manas, the reins; senses (indriyas), horses; objects (vishayas, or arthas), the road and the aatman united with the body, senses and mind as the enjoyer.
Thereafter each of senses, objects, manas, intellect, the aatman called mahat, the unmanifest (avyakta) and the Purusha (Brahman - on the strength of Brahma Sutras) are described as progressively beyond the earlier. And beyond Purusha is nothing. Purusha is the end, the supreme goal.
Thus we see that there is a specific usage of terms which need to be understood with a specific meaning. both your questions, I think, relate to fixing this specific meaning. 
First more about what exactly manas is. The first definition given by the bhagavatpaada is 'mahatpratyagaatmabhutam' - like/comparable-to the individual-soul called mahat.
I think this is where for some confusion might arise as to whether this individual soul is the ultimate goal - paramaartha. The uncritical mind might not get such a doubt, but some might get. We often see such confusion in statements like "avidyaa is natural to the mind". Such confusion can be clarified if the near-equation of manas with mahat is more clearly explained.
This is what is explained by "manasah aarambhakam bhutasookShamam" - from manas has started the subtle form of life. Why? samkalpa-vikalpa-aadi aarambhakatvaat - on account of the thought preceding the creation [and mind being the seat of thought].
And to more clearly nail manas in its proper place, Anandagiryaacharya has further clarified that this manas is a physical entity. If this clarification were not there, one might be led to think that the since the first thought was that of the Creator, the manas referred here might be that of the Creator. How can the Creator have organs or parts when He is verily the whole, purNah? Hence it is clarifed that the manas referred here is physical - bhoutikatvameva tat.
Therefore, the relation between the subtlety and physicality of mind is that what is subtle is the physical mind, not that of the Creator. As we see later in the Upanishad something else, Purusha here, is beyond everything and is the ultimate goal.
At least this is what it seems to be. Other members may please correct my understanding.

----- Original Message ----
> From: Murali Karamchedu <murali_m_k at msn.com>
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 10:02:55 AM
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Question on Katopanishad bhashyam (v 1-3-10) - (Typo Fixed)
> I typed a little fast in my previous post:
> >tacca para evA’’tmabhUtamiti keshAncidbhramaha tannirAsayoktam. manaha 
> >SabdavAcyam bhUtasUkSmamiti |
> Instead please read this as:
> tacca paramArthata evA’’tmabhUtamiti keshAncidbhramaha tannirAsayoktam. 
> manaha
> SabdavAcyam bhUtasUkSmamiti |
> -Murali Manohar


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