Jivanmukta and Jivanmukti – 10/12:

[Part – 9/12]

[NDM: Also what about this sensitive money issue that seems to hit a raw nerve when ever it’s raised. 

Is there anything right or wrong with doing this?  Is there anything right or wrong with making a few , rupee’s on this ancient non dual teaching?  What is your take on this controversial and almost taboo question?]

Ramesam Vemuri:  First of all no question need be a taboo.  If a particular doubt posits itself as a stumbling block, well, it should be attended to.

The ancient Indian system advises a student to redeem his indebtedness to the teacher by rendering service, by payment in kind or cash or in the absence of any other means of repaying, by passing on the wisdom obtained by him to others after taking Guru’s permission.  This obviously shows the necessity of some accepted social structural norm to preserve and propagate the knowledge to others.  Does this mean that the ‘wisdom’ is on sale or available for prostitution by the highest bidder?  Moreover, a seeker had to be eligible to receive the wisdom, the most important criterion being his single minded unswerving devotion for liberation in exclusion to any other desire (including food, clothing, wealth, status etc.).

The ancient sages foresaw a danger also in throwing open the knowledge for one and all because it can be detrimental to the very health of the individual and the society, if it is misunderstood and/or incompletely understood.

For example, if everything is brahman, is it okay to feed dog shit to a hungry beggar?  Or because all is One and there is nothing like right or wrong, is it okay to go on chopping off the heads like the Queen in Alice’s wonderland?  Is not one accountable for a crime as per Advaita?

The point is one has to stick to the full course of Self-inquiry, right up to the very end – the end being he, i.e. his separate individuating ego with all its desires, plans, wishes, needs etc. etc., is completely dissolved.  When that happens a spontaneous morality will shine in him, not an acquired or assumed or imposed social order under the name of ethics or morality.

As declared in the Upanishads and repeated in Bhagavad-Gita, a liberated man is feared by none. Nor is he  afraid of anyone.  He harms no body nor does anybody harm him.

Such sages were the conscience keepers of the nation state whose rulers always sought their guidance and advice (by visiting their forest dwellings, if necessary) in the governance of the country in the ancient times.

The social fabric too was structured and designed in such a way as to facilitate the development of the individual through four stages of life – learner, householder, forest dweller (for contemplation – a recent research paper, incidentally, says life in forests contributes to good health) and renouncer.   A supportive economic rubric was built accordingly as though the entire nation state is one single organism.

Under those circumstances what for are the green backs or red francs required by a Jivanmukta?

In the modern time, the cyber-guru has thrown open free access to the knowledge without the support structure. It promises misleadingly (in some cases at least) permanent happiness even in the absence of some ground preparation.  Have we made the Wisdom vulnerable to the gimmicks of market forces and ad campaigns?

NDM: If one is pure actionless Non-dual awareness, A Jivanmukta, then who is doing the spending of this money that is earned through the teaching?  Who is the doer/enjoyer/spender/earner?   Would a so called Jivanmukta, or a so called arharant be interested in making some rupees from this knowledge? 

Ramesam Vemuri:  We have already seen that a full blown Jivanmukta who does not have even the consciousness that there is a separate body with limbs for him would hardly need any money.  His life goes ‘effortlessly’ taking things as they happen, eating whatever is available, sleeping wherever possible without any sense of possessions, without any claims of ownership or doership or even experiencership.

But as we have also seen there is a time gap between the attainment of firm abidance as brahman and obtaining Knowledge about brahman.  He is not totally unaware of his body and the need to feed it during this intermittent period. How will he survive in this phase?

The guiding texts in the traditional system of teaching for the three stages of Listening (shravana), Reflection (manana) and Contemplative Meditation (nididhyAsana) are the Upanishads, Brahmasutras and Bhagavad-Gita respectively.  Thus Bhagvad-Gita is the life-strategy manual to answer any questions regarding one’s actions in the third phase.  That was the system followed in the olden days.

But we are now in instant coffee days.  We want instant enlightenment and instant permanent abidance as/in brahman.  Unfortunately we are unable to shed the accumulated baggage of habits and thought patterns equally instantly!

It is as though we have the super structure but the lower floor doesn’t exist.  Consequently, driven by market forces, we would like to promote a slogan that works as our USP and present the Non-dual wisdom as if it’s a distinct ornamentation to be worn.  We put it up for sale as a commodity to make our both ends meet.  In the process we forget that we are back in the game of the worldly miasma.

(To Continue  … … Part: 11/12)

19 thoughts on “Jivanmukta and Jivanmukti – 10/12:

  1. Dear Ramesam,

    Continues to be a fascinating account, especially of the background ‘history’. I hadn’t appreciated the relationship of prasthAna traya to shravaNa, manana, nididhyAsana for example.

    I would just clarify the one (key) statement, though. You say: “But as we have also seen there is a time gap between the attainment of firm abidance as brahman and obtaining Knowledge about brahman.”

    Since one is always only Brahman (Brahman being all that there is), nothing can change the fact that we are already ‘abiding as’ Brahman (in the archaic sense of ‘to abide’). I.e. there is no ‘time gap’ between anything in reality. (Indeed there are not two things of course.)

    Our problem is simply that we are initially not aware of this. Consequently, it is certainly true that, empirically, we do have to get to know it. And, once we know it, we can call ourselves j~nAnI-s. What you are talking about is (simply!) achieving an irreversible change in outlook (in duality) having gained the knowledge that ‘I am Brahman’. I think it is important to divest the idea of its mystical connotations.

    Best wishes,

    • Dear Dennis,

      Thank you for the interesting observations.

      1. Regarding the Comment on prashthAna traya and shravaNa etc.:

      I think they are related to the four mahA vAkya-s also. I am copying below an excerpt from one of my articles written a few years ago:

      “If a man’s spiritual growth in life is compared to a journey, one can demarcate three distinct phases in this journey. The basic philosophical teaching (upadesha) is learnt by the spiritual aspirant in the first or shravaNa phase. Next comes the manana phase consisting of a deep reflection utilizing logic (yukti) on what is heard/learnt so that not even an iota of doubt is left in the mind of the seeker about the teaching. It is followed by nididhyAsana (Deep contemplative meditation until one achieves an unbroken abidance in the Knowledge gained). Each phase begins with a specific scriptural text which can be described as the ‘travel guide’ for that phase.

      In the Non-dual tradition, Upanishadic texts constitute the guide books for the first phase. Accordingly, they are called the upadesa prasthAna. brahma sUtra-s along with the commentaries there on are the yukti prashtAna. Bhagavad-Gita is the third and the last of the prasthAnatrayi. It is known as the sAdhana prasthAna. (Shankara himself described the three canonical texts with those names).

      The Table 1 below shows the various phases, the objective and the expected outcome at the end of each phase.

      Table 1: The three phases in the study and understanding of Advaita.

      [I am unable to copy the Table here and I am mailing it to you and Martin.]

      It is not necessary that all the three stages have to be gone through by every spiritual aspirant. The three stages can happen concurrently, in serial or in tandem. ”

      The Table shows the linkage between the teaching phase, the prasthAna trayI, and the mahAvAkya-s.

      (contd … …)

    • Thanks again for the link, Venkat. He really is excellent. If we substitute ‘j~nAna’ for ‘knowledge’ and ‘jIvanmukti’ for ‘realization’, this is what I (Swamis D and P) have been saying all along. Just a slight matter of definition of terms.

      Best wishes,

      • Dennis,

        I don’t think that is correct. As I have said before Swamis D and P sell medicine oil of a 3 year course, at the end of which you will be a jnani, because you ‘know’ the scriptures inside out. it is self-deception, but plays well to the ego.

        Sankara makes it clear in BSB and BG that jnana is coincidental with jivanmukta.

        The issue, as Swami S makes clear, is that it is one thing to have an intellectual knowledge of ‘that thou art’, it is an entirely different matter, for the mind to be entirely consumed by this. This is why Sankara emphasises renunciation as a injunction alongside knowledge. This is why SSSS emphasises ahdyatma yoga. This is why sadhana (which is effectively to ameliorate the ego) is prescribed as a pre-requisite to hearing the truth; and to the extent that the mumuksha has effectively pursued this sadhana, then perhaps sravana will be sufficient.

        Anyhow, you and I can quote / interpret Sankara to support our points till the cows come home. It is for each of us to find truth for ourselves, for it is only ourselves that we are deceiving or not.

        Best wishes,

  2. Dear Dennis,

    (Continuing – for some reason the continuation part disappeared when I tried to publish it. So I have redrafted that part and posting it separately).

    2. Regarding the second point about “one is always only Brahman”:

    That is a statement that holds good only AFTER the Non-dual Oneness is fully “realized” (i.e. the absence of the existence of a separate ‘me” is ingested totally, and not merely at an intellectual level).

    As long as one continues to be a ‘me,’ with individual name-Tags (a Mr. Smelly So-and-So or a Ms Smiley So-and-so), and functions retaining his/her sense of a separate self, one can and do NEVER DIRECTLY KNOW the Absolute Reality. The separate self with which “I” identify myself will be the ‘doer’ and consequently, I will be the ‘experiencer’ of the effects of the actions.

    The really real “Spark” that is within and has the actual “Sentience” and has the nature (intrinsic quality) of “Knowing,” EVER KNOWS the Reality as Being Itself.

    Hence we have to be extremely clear and cautious about the antecedent noun for who the pronoun “we” refers to in the statements like : “we are already ‘abiding as’ Brahman;” and, “we are initially not aware of this. Consequently, it is certainly true that, empirically, we do have to get to know it.”

    In the normal parlance and understanding, the “we” stands for the finite object oriented mind. The limited minded ‘me’ cannot know or be brahman. The mind that ‘knows’ brahman has to be of the nature of brahmAkAra vRitti (accepting the vRitti ‘model’ of description). The sense of separate doership and claim of ownership cannot and does not exist in the mind that takes the brahmAkAra vRitti.


  3. Dear Ramesam,

    I do not dispute how things SEEM. Of course we do not initially know about Brahman and go about our apparently dualistic lives, suffering the consequences. But equally you cannot dispute that we already ARE Brahman, whether or not we know it. Since there is ONLY Brahman, this has to be so. It cannot be the case that the FACT of Brahman only appertains once we know it to be so.

    Are you denying this?

    Also, I (and Shankara I believe) maintain that it is the mind alone that knows this (or not). If, by ‘the spark within’, you mean Atman/Brahman, it does not ‘know’ anything. You can say ‘it is knowledge’ if you like, although this has to be very carefully unfolded if confusion and misunderstanding are not to result.

    Best wishes,

  4. Dear Dennis,

    Thank you for what you say.
    I know that you know and you know that I know what’s going on.
    Therefore, it is not definitely worth the time to belabor on this issue.

    However, it does appear to me that a very subtle point (even as per Shankara’s teaching) is being overlooked in statements like “we already ARE Brahman.”

    As you are aware of the Vedantic terms, I am using those terms below to clarify my thoughts. This helps me to avoid long winded explanation.

    The “we” in “we already ARE Brahman” is pratyagAtmA.
    The “we” (or I) that we wear and go about is mithyAtmA in a world that is gauNAtmA.
    mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA are not brahman.
    brahman is Self-effulgent and neither mithyAtmA nor gauNAtmA is self-effulgent.
    If , mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA were to be brahman, no teaching is ever necessary. After all, what does it matter whether I know it or not, whatever I am, I am already brahman.

    Shankara in his commentary at 1.1.4, BSB beautifully brings out the difference between the AtamA and ahamkAra through the examples of getting ‘cured’ from a disease or cleaned by a bath etc. Thus one should not confuse the ‘we’ in “”we already ARE Brahman” with the ‘ahamkAra.’

    Regarding mind:
    Though the scripture does use the word manaH for that with which we understand brahman, the reference is to buddhi and not to the mind (thoughts + counter thoughts). The understanding happens in buddhi.

    The mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA are paricchinna and prameya (fragmented, finite and limited).
    That limited mind can NEVER know brahman which is aprameya and aparicchinna.

    The limitation has to be shed.
    The moment limitation gets shed, it is not the same mind or “we” — the hat we had been wearing.


  5. Commenting on the YouTube link given by Venkat to the Talk by Sw-Sarva, Dennis says: “If we substitute ‘j~nAna’ for ‘knowledge’ and ‘jIvanmukti’ for ‘realization’, this is what I (Swamis D and P) have been saying all along.”

    Dear Venkat and Dennis,

    Right about the beginning of the Video, the Swami observes (about 0.45 min) that if a seeker says that he understood Advaita teaching and continues with a question adding “but,” it clearly shows that he has NOT understood the Non-dual message. That is PERFECT.

    I will add to what the Swami said. Not merely a question like “What am I to do now” but also an affirmative statement like “I still have to continue ‘doing’ X or Y for achieving full results” tells me that he has NOT understood the message!

    At about 1 min later the Swami clearly says that only in Advaita (and perhaps Dzogchen) nothing has to be done unlike in other dualistic philosophies.

    At about 3 min, he commits the cardinal sin – bringing in the Vivekananda flavor of deriving “Apps for the benefit of living / society.” I am surprised that Dennis does not raise the BIG RED FLAG.” The dilution and misdirection of Advaita begins right there with that misconception of Apps.

    The Swami suddenly shifts to “Religion” without warning, without notice, from philosophy. He says, quoting Vivekananda that “Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity within us.”

    And the misdirection gets more and more amplified and continues in his talk.

    “mumukShatva” is ending all desires – including the desire for liberation! It is “sarva sankalpa parityAga” (giving up all ‘intentions’ – for example BG 4.19; 18.2 and the commentaries of Shankara there on) in order to achieve the jIva-brahma aikya. But ‘liberation’ is not about seeking “visible” improved benefits in ‘my’ life” nor manifesting them in my living for the benefit of my friends, family and society.

    Further on his speech fluctuates – at about 4:30 min it makes sense, at about 5 min he is wrong (he says at 5:26 “At least I must be able to solve my own problem” – a problem for one who understood ‘he is brahman’?). It DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

    I give up.


    Shankara at many places in his bhAShya-s is very clear that nothing ‘else’ needs to be done once the ekatva is “realized” (understood). For example see his commentary at 1.1.6, muNDaka:

    “There is nothing here to be done in the matter of the knowledge of the brahman . It is accomplished **simultaneously** with the realization of the import of the text; for, there is nothing here except being centered in the knowledge revealed by mere words. [Translation: S. Sitarama Sastri, 1905).]

    At 1.1.4, BSB he cites many Upanishad mantras to say that there is no ‘gap’ between mokSha and understanding the Oneness.

  6. Dear Ramesam

    Thanks for the challenging critique of the Swami S video. I suggest that he has customised the philosophy for the audience.

    I think when he says the “divinity must be expressed, the benefits must accrue”, he is positing a test for ourselves to see if we have really understood. It is, if you like, a non-volitional, passive “expression” – that one lives one’s life without suffering and in behaviour shows no distinction / preference between one body and another.

    At 6.40mins he says that until that time that the benefits accrue (again, he is using short-hand for the audience), “I must make an effort to live in the light of my knowledge; if I know it to be true, I know it to be real, why can’t I live accordingly?” These words are to the seeker not the jnani. And surely this is just the sadhana that is a prerequisite for understanding and realisation. Isn’t that why Krishna explains to Arjuna in chapter 2 how the wise one lives? Isn’t that why Sankara prescribes sannyasa as an injunction for realisation – living the understanding that you are not the body.

    “You are the Supreme Reality beyond the world and its creator, beyond consciousness and the witness, beyond all assertions and denials. Remember it, think on it, act on it. Abandon all sense of separation, see yourself in all and act accordingly. With action bliss will come and with bliss conviction. You are living by memory anyhow. I am merely asking you to replace the old memories by the memory of what I told you. As you were acting on your old memories, act on the new one. Don’t be afraid. For some time there is bound to be a conflict between the old and the new, but if you put yourself resolutely on the side of the new, the strife will soon come to an end and you will realise the effortless state of being oneself, of not being deceived by desires and fears born of illusion.”

    Nisargadatta later says, perhaps more ‘passively’ / non-volitionally:
    “The indication of one’s progress is shown by your disinclination to associate with so-called ‘normal’ people. Your desires and expectations get less and less.”

    I do agree that his talk does confuse matters by implying that there is a ‘me’ that is to benefit from knowledge – rather than the utter dissolution of the ‘me’.

    With best wishes,

  7. Dear Ramesam,

    I know you know I know you know. These discussions are mostly for the benefit of those who do not know, rather than for ourselves. For this reason, I do think it is important to make things very clear, even if this entails repetition and apparent disagreement. I’m sure you will agree.

    You say: “mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA are not brahman. brahman is Self-effulgent and neither mithyAtmA nor gauNAtmA is self-effulgent.”

    I would not put it like that. I would say that mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA ARE brahman – ultimately. Just as the ring is really only gold, so the world is really only Brahman. A stone IS brahman. The difference between you and the stone is that the latter does not MANIFEST Consciousness.

    Teaching is necessary for that mind that is ‘covered by ignorance’. The ignorant jIva is still brahman but the mind does not know it. You ask ‘what does it matter?’ It matters to the mind of the jIva in this lifetime. Ultimately, of course, it does not matter.

    I agree that it is buddhi that gains the Self-knowledge. But this really only refers to a function, not to a different organ. I also agree that mind cannot ‘know’ brahman in any objective sense. Perhaps ‘recognition that I am brahman’ is a better way of putting it.

    I am not sure what you are saying by ‘limitation has to be shed’ and then ‘it is not the same mind’. From non-realization to realization is certainly a massive paradigm shift and changer-of-outlook etc. But what exactly do you mean by ‘not the same mind’? You know I do not accept the idea of manonAsha in a literal sense. (And nor did Shankara according to myunderstanding.)

    Best wishes,

  8. Dear Venkat,

    No, I am not criticizing the Swami, as you must have guessed. So you need not have to defend him. I hold him as one of the smart and very clear-headed monks of the RK Order, and as I said elsewhere, I am sure he will head the organization one day!

    My critique of his talk was in the very narrow context of our discussions here.
    Much like the AVG for whom the RK Mission is a precedent, the organization is also interested in ‘promoting Advaita’ with a missionary approach. So they do talk of ‘enjoying’ the “fruits of Self-realization” which must have made Dennis to clap for the Swami’s Talk, though he (Dennis) does not agree with Vivekananda who had an insatiable zeal for social reformation.

    I am aware of the second Video that you linked and I did watch it some days ago.
    And I suppose, I wouldn’t end with saying that the “Mind is not worth bothering about.” The real understanding that the committed seeker has to come to is that the mind and the world and everything that IS right here and now is brahman fully dissolving the ‘I,’ the separate doer/experiencer.


  9. Dear Dennis,

    I am very happy to see the words you express now writing, ” I would say that mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA ARE brahman – ultimately. ”

    In saying so, you have inadvertently shifted to a different “model” in the teaching.
    Earlier, the model adopted by you was that ‘brahman’ does “not know” or “do” anything. But the moment you accept that “mithyAtmA and gauNAtmA ARE brahman,” it amounts to admit that “kriya” is also brahman! Consequently, it means brahman does know and does act! Yes, nAma-rUpa-kriya are brahman. IOW, there is no ‘abhAsa’ as abhAsa is taken as brahman like saying swarUpa and vibhUti.

    2. Next you asked me: “But what exactly do you mean by ‘not the same mind’? You know I do not accept the idea of manonAsha in a literal sense. ”

    I am fully with you with regard to the misunderstanding of the word “manonAsha” which is wrongly presented as “destruction of the mind” and total annihilation of the mind translating the word “nAsha” to mean destruction. We shall await your new book / post for further discussion on this topic.

    So for the present, let me answer the specific question about what I meant by ‘not the same mind.’

    Prior to Self-realization, the mind was finite and (accepting the vRitti model), it is in ‘viShayAkAra vRitti.’ To cognize the actual object (viShaya), the vRitti has to be followed up by ‘phala vyApti.’

    But with the Self-realization, the mind is now infinite and is of the nature of akhaNDAkAra or AtmAkAra. There is no “follow up” phalavyApti. That Itself, by Itself, is brahman.

    Secondly, the triad is operational when the mind is in viShyAkAra vRitti mode.
    In the akhaNDAkAra mode, the triad does not exist.

    More importantly, the finite mind has a definite ‘shape’ or form. Hence, it is not all-pervasive and limited. With the attainment of brahmAkAra, it becomes “formless” and hence all-pervasive.”
    (I am sure you know that formlessness goes with all-pervasion and non-localization).

    You can thus see the difference in the pre- and post status of the mind.
    In fact, calling the mind in the brahmAkAra mode as mind is just for communication purposes and it is not strictly legit to call it as mind.


  10. Dear Ramesam,

    I do not agree with most of this I’m afraid.

    I do not accept that I have ‘changed model’. Yes, kriyA is brahman. It has to be, since everything is brahman! But this does not make brahman a knower-actor. The ring is gold but gold is not a ring; I am brahman but brahman is not me.

    I also do not accept that ‘with Self-realization, the mind is now infinite’. If you said “on Self-realization, the mind realizes that ‘I am infinite’”, then I would agree with you but I don’t think that you mean that. Before realization, the mind is simply name and form of brahman; after realization, the mind is simply name and form of brahman but now knows this to be so.

    Nothing really happens on enlightenment. Brahman is nirvikAra. The apparent is still the apparent but we now know it is really brahman. The apparent still apparently functions but doesn’t really do anything at all. The mind does not become formless or all-pervasive. (Wouldn’t that invite the old discussions about why does the enlightened man not read other people’s minds and similar silly ideas?) If you are talking about ‘mind’ you are still in vyavahAra and that means minds still function as minds! If you talk about minds becoming infinite, you are mixing levels and not making sense. (By the way, I don’t want to start a discussion on levels – I think that is for the next volume of the book! 🙂 )

    Best wishes,

  11. “Before realization, the mind is simply name and form of brahman; after realization, the mind is simply name and form of brahman but now knows this to be so.”

    Sankara / Gaudapada imply more than this.

    Extracts from Sankara’s bhasya on:

    MK3.31: Duality is perceived when the mind acts and it vanishes when the mind ceases to act; that is to say when the mind is withdrawn unto itself by the knowledge got through discrimination, repeated practice, and renunciation – like the disappearance of the snake in the rope – or during deep sleep.

    MK3.32: The mind having attained to that knowledge does not imagine, as there remains nothing to be imagined. The mind then is like fire when there is no fuel to burn. When the mind thus does no longer imagine, it ceases to be mind . . . that is, free from all cognition.

    MK3.35: When the mind becomes free from all ideas of the perceiver and the perceived – the dual evils caused by ignorance – it verily becomes one with the Supreme and non-dual Brahman . . . this knowledge of Brahman is without break and all-pervading like the ether.

    Brhad 2.4.12: After attaining this oneness the self, freed from the body and organs has no more particular consciousness . . for it is due to ignorance and since ignorance is absolutely destroyed by the realisation of Brahman, how can the knower of Brahman, who is established in his nature as Pure Intelligence, possibly have any such particular consciousness? `Even when a man is in the body, particular consciousness is sometimes impossible; so how can it ever exist in a man who has been absolutely freed from the body and organs?

    • Dear Venkat,

      ‘Destruction of the mind’ in this context just means realisation that the mind is mithyA, in the same way that we figuratively ‘destroy’ the pot when we realize it is just name and form of clay. Just as we continue to use the pot subsequently, so we continue to use the mind. A j~nAnI without a mind knows nothing!

      Best wishes,

  12. Dear Dennis,

    It looks to me that I could not convey fully to you what I wanted to or you have not fully understood what I expressed.

    Let me see if I can bring some clarity so that ‘other readers’ do not end up misreading what I intended to say.

    1. You said: “The ring is gold but gold is not a ring; I am brahman but brahman is not me.”

    That’s what I also said. I did not say that brahman is kriya.
    Just like saying necklace is gold, the ring is ‘also’ gold, I said “kriya is also brahman.”

    “kriya” is action.

    Whether one knows or not, as you also agreed, there is always brahman only and there is no second entity. Together with this sentence, read also the sentence “kriya (action) is brahman.”

    I leave at that for the reader to conclude what happens reading the two sentences together.

    2. You say: ” If you said “on Self-realization, the mind realizes that ‘I am infinite’”, then I would agree with you …”

    If the position of the mind is just the same, then is not then the situation comparable to saying the mind realizes that ‘I am a physicist’ or ‘I know Dennis’?

    The statement ‘I am brahman’ has become a viShaya for the mind. It is a classical example of ‘objectification’ of brahman.

    So something else, beyond intellectual viShyAkAra vRitti, has to happen to the mind on Self-realization.

    3. You say: ” If you are talking about ‘mind’ you are still in vyavahAra and that means minds still function as minds! If you talk about minds becoming infinite …”

    In the case of a jIvanmukta, the ordinary ‘finite’ mind “keeps coming back by force of habit’ preventing him/her from *UNBROKEN* abidance (tailadhAravat) as brahman. Hence s/he has to continue on with nididhyAsana.

    As the frequency of the mind coming back to its habituated finiteness reduces, the Jivanmukta will be that much more abiding as brahman, i.e. as Infiniteness.

    A case can be cited in support of the above possibility. Ramana, as a boy after ‘Realization,’ was sitting in a temple and felt very hungry. He almost begged for food. By the time the priest came back with the food, he was deeply lost and stayed in that position for 24 hours without any awareness of having to eat food.

    Hence, it is neither a ‘mix up of levels’ as you suggested nor is it about the question of how a Jivanmukta functions. The scripture itself provides an analogy for the functioning of the ‘mind’ of a full fledged Jivanmukta. It says that the mind may barely retain the ‘form’ like a “burnt rope.” That semblance of a ‘form’ gives enough support for attending to his bodily needs.

    Until that time, metaphorically speaking, the rope is not fully burnt, the mind keeps sort of shifting from being finite to brahmAkAra.


    P.S. Thanks for the quotes, Venkat. I saw your post after I posed mine!

  13. Dear Dennis,

    About brahman and action.

    I recall we discussed this issue through e-mails a few months ago.
    I thought you were convinced at least to some extent about brahman acting from all the shruti quotes and Shankara commentary I presented.

    Should we revisit the discussion?


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