[Advaita-l] Cotard Syndrome and Brahman Realisation

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 5 14:42:11 CDT 2012

While thinking about these issues, vedAntin-s, students of vedAnta and neuroscientists
would do well to remember that, 
a. brahman realization is NOT a result of meditation on the idea "I am brahman." Any
    change that nididhyAsana may bring to the brain is of the nature of making it give
    up its misconceptions about itself. nididhyAsana does not cause brahman realization,
    it only uncovers the underlying truth that was always there;
b. our SAstra-s do not teach that the mind is completely different from matter. They
    tend to identify it with the heart, whereas neuroscientists focus on the brain, but
    the fact remains that the SAstra-s actually agree with modern science in saying that
    the mind is material. This is unlike a lot of old Western thinking on the mind, which
    has got supplanted by modern scientific thinking about it; and
c. those with neuropathologies, who believe things such as, "THIS is not me", usually
   substitute other beliefs to the effect, "THAT is me". In other words, there is some
   other "this" defining the "me". They rarely, if ever, come to the point where they 
   reject all attempts at defining the real "me". This is drastically different from what
   advaita says about the realization ahaM brahmAsmi.

> Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2012 17:50:24 +0100
> From: rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Cotard Syndrome and Brahman Realisation
> There are two types of supernatural powers or siddhis reported by astikas
> with respect to their acharyas. The first is the mental type where the
> acharya is able to read minds, predict future etc. The second is where he
> is able to manifest a physical object including his own body. I do not know
> if we will be able to understand these anecdotes logically with a deeper
> understanding of the world. From a vedanta point of view, these siddhis
> are the result of certain types of karma and not due to atmajnana.
> Ultimately, these siddhis are of no value to a Vedantin because they have
> temporary results. The Vedantin's focus is on the realisation "I am
> Brahman". Here, through application of pramanas (pratyaksha, anumana,
> upamana and especially sabda), one develops a firm conviction that the
> perceived world (Jiva, Jagat and Ishwara triad) is a sort of myth (mithya)
> and the underlying reality that is completely independent of all objects of
> perception, the Self alone is real. I am that. The later afflictions of the
> body or the mind (e.g. alzheimer's) or residual ignorance that has to be
> only exhausted through experience of prarabda does not interfere with
> brahman realisation. There is no rebirth for the jnani. (Thanks Sri
> Subrahmanian for your clarifications from a traditional point of view and
> hope I got it exactly as you intended to convey).

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