[Advaita-l] Cotard Syndrome and Brahman Realisation

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 00:43:39 CDT 2012

On Tuesday, June 12, 2012, V Subrahmanian wrote:
> To the question  'what instrument does he use to see'? it is to be
> clarified that according to Vedanta the Atman is not an instrument of
> knowledge.  It is neither the jnAtA nor a jnAna karaNam (not kAraNam).
> Whenever we say 'the Atman knows or is aware' we mean the sAkshi which is
> said to be 'sAkShAt draShTari samjnAyAm,', admitting that 'it sees
> directly' without the need for an instrument. The deep sleep experience,
> that we recount upon waking, is admitted to be the experience of the
> sAkshi, only to be recounted by the jiva upon waking.  Even here, Swami
> Vidyaranya in the Panchadashi has presented a mechanism: He says: in deep
> sleep it is not that the mind in  its entirely is dysfunctional/ layam
> gatam.  Only the manomaya/vijnAnamaya aspects of the mind are admitted to
> be resolved.  The Anandamaya aspect is the one that is 'awake' then.  So,
> in deep sleep, with the help of a special avidyA vRtti, this anandamaya
> aspect of the mind, experiences the bliss/ignorance of deep sleep and when
> the waking occurs, the vijnanamaya aspect is also awake, and through this
> vijnanamaya the mind/anandamaya, expresses the experience of deep sleep in
> the form: 'I slept happily, I did not know anything then.'  Thus the
> inevitable presence of the instrument for knowledge generation is admitted
> even in Vedanta.
> These points could be leads in understanding the phenomenon of a Jnani, in
> extreme cases, said to be able to be aware of his own mind's
> mal/dysfunctioning.

RV: Sri Sudhakar also said that sakshi is the seer.  The sakshi always
witnesses. So, why is the jnani sometimes aware of his mind
(mal)functioning and not always? You have also added a small complication
to that position that the anandamaya aspect of the mind is awake even in
deep sleep etc. So, is it the sakshi that sees or an aspect of the mind?

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