[Advaita-l] Fwd: Cotard Syndrome and Brahman Realisation

Gopal gopal.gopinath at gmail.com
Sat Jun 9 09:40:15 CDT 2012

I am attaching below a couple of responses from the retired neurologist Dr.
Srinath Bellur who had written the article on Jivanmuktas cited earlier.
Sri V. Subrahmanian  had pointed out a couple of corrections needed in the
article.  Accepting those corrections, Dr. Srinath Bellur went further to
shed some light on the subject line Cotard Syndrome as a (retired) medical

The two sets of email texts are listed one below the other.  First, is the
explanation of Dr. Srinath Bellur about Cotard Syndrome. Below that is Sri
Subrahmanian's comment on the article pointing out some specifics in the
article and Dr. Srinath Bellur' s response.

Kindly go over this if you are interested.  My sincere thanks to Dr.
Srinath Bellur and Sri Subrahmaniam for their mails.



***Mail 1: Text by Dr. Srinath Bellur on Cotard Syndrome within the current

Incidentally, the mention of Cotard syndrome in the Subject-line of our
communications caught my attention.

I have attached below a useful link, which summarizes the cardinal features
of Cotard Syndrome, published in the current psychiatric literature:


>From a Vedantic perspective, Cotard Syndrome represents a state of
malfunction of the Antahkarana with ensuing symptoms that are characterized
by :  Brhama/भ्रमा (delusions), Pramada (Errors in judgement due to
delusions) and Aalassya (psychomotor retardation secondary to depression).
 As is well known, the Gita annunciates that Brhama, Alassya and Pramada
are the archetypical characteristics of Tamo Guna.  Thus, Cotard Syndrome
is the result of Prarabdha Karmas that result in an Antahkarana seeped with
an excess of Tamo Guna.

The Nihilistic denial of one's self and the Samsara surrounding one, seen
in Cortad Syndrome, is the product of Brhama(भ्रमा) and not Brahma Jnaana
(ब्रह्म ज्ञाना).

In Brahma Jnaana there is a total dissolution of Samsaara and one's
Dehabhimaana secondary to Svarupa Jnaana.  Just like the disappearance of
the snake with a correct knowledge of the rope.

Whereas, in Cortad Syndrome there is no Svarupa Jnaana but a mere Brhanti
on account of which Samasaara and one's own Deha may appear unreal or

There is total Mano Nasha in Brahma Jnaana, with unending Bliss.  However,
despite denial of one's self, or the surrounding Samsaara, there is
continued functioning of the Antahkarana in Cortad Syndrome. Thus, Cortad
Syndrome is always accompanied by extreme distress, depression and intense
psychological pain.

I do hope you will forgive my unsolicited comments regarding Cortad

Despite being retired, the Vasanaas of my being an ex-neurologist just wont
shut up.

With warm regards to all,


 ***Mail 2: Exchange betwee  Dr. Srinath Bellur and Sri Subrahmaniam about
the article

On Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 5:50 PM,

 Aneka Namaskaras to Sri. Gopal & Sri. Subramanyam:
> Sri. Subramaniam is quite right in pointing out the nature of my oversight.
> To be precise the Saadhana Chatushtaya Sampatti (fourfold means for
> liberation)  conists of four elements:
>    1)  Viveka
>    2)  Vairagya
>    3)  Shamadi Shatka Sampatti.
> & 4)  Mumukshuttvam
> Item #3)Shamadi Shatka Sampatti, which is a subcategory of the Sadhana
> Chatushtaya, as its name indicates, consists of six additional elements,
> namely:
> - Shama
> - Dama
> - Uparati
> - Titiksha
> - Shraddha
> - Samaadhaana.
> In my eagerness to be brief, I have committed not only an act of omission
> but also one of commission.  My sincere apologies to all for the same. I do
> not know if at this stage it is possible to make a correction or amend an
> erratum to the article. If it is indeed possible, it would be my incumbent
> duty to consent to the same.
> I sincerely appreciate Sri. Subramaniam's scholarship, input and
> benevolence.
> With warm regards to all,
> Srinath
> On Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Dear Gopal,
>> Thanks for intimating the List about the article on HH Sri
>> Chandrashekhara Bharati Swamiji by Dr.S. Bellur MD.  I request you to
>> kindly forward to him the following message on my behalf as I do not have
>> his mail id:
>> Dear Dr. Bellur,
>> Namaste.  It is a great experience to read through your article on the
>> Jivanmukta Acharya HH Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati SwaminaH of Sringeri
>> Peetham.  Your article pays rich devotional tributes to the Great Acharya
>> whose life inspires everyone who has come across His unique sojourn on this
>> earth.  I am recommending this article to many of my friends.  I wish to
>> draw your attention to the following on the fourth page 3 of the pdf
>> article:
>> //By the term shamAdi shatka sampatti
>> is meant: 1) A Capacity to discriminate between what is
>> impermanent and what is real, 2) Lack of attachment to
>> worldly desires and pleasures not only in this life but in
>> those following the present one, 3) Capacity to keep under
>> control internal and external organs, 3) Endurance of pain
>> and sorrow without reacting to them, 4) Faith in the scriptures,
>> 6) Desisting from worldly action and an 6) Intense
>> desire for liberation.//
>> Actually the above is a depiction of the sAdhana chatuShTaya sampatti
>> comprising of the four members: Viveka, Vairagya, shamAdiShaTka sampatti
>> and Mumukshutvam.  While Sl. no.1 and 2 are the two I have enumerated here,
>> the following that you mention requires a rewording:
>> //3) Capacity to keep under
>> control internal and external organs, 3) Endurance of pain
>> and sorrow without reacting to them, 4) Faith in the scriptures,
>> 6) Desisting from worldly action.  //
>> You can call this entire group: shamAdi ShaTka: (the hexad of
>> disciplines): 1. capacity to control internal organ: shama, 2. capacity to
>> control the external organs, dama, 3. Desisting from all actions, uparati,
>> 4. Endurance of pain and sorrow without reacting to them, titikShA, 5.
>> Faith in the teachings of the scriptures and the Acharya, shraddhA and
>> 6.Equipoise at all times.
>> After this hexad which is actually no.3 in the order that I have
>> specified in the earlier paragraph, comes the fourth qualification:
>> mumukshutva, intense desire for liberation.
>> With this rewording/rearrangement the portion I have drawn your attention
>> to will be a fine presentation of the sAdhana chatuShTaya.  I know it will
>> not be possible to change these in the already printed version but you may
>> choose to do that in the pdf that you might wish to circulate among
>> friends/interested persons.
>> I once again thank you for penning such an enchanting article on the
>> Acharya.
>> With humble pranams,
>> subrahmanian.v
>> email: v.subrahmanian at gmail.com

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