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Re : Consciousness in the state of moksha

From: bindinganavale suresh (
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 14:38:47 PST

Dear Mani vardarajan,
                     You wrote :-
Dear Friends,
I have a doubt regarding Sri Ramanuja's opinion on an
aspect of moksha.  The question is as follows.  In the
state of moksha,the jIva is said to regain its true
nature as a monadic centre of infinite consciousness. 
All identification with the body ceases and the jIva
is hereon blessed with the blissful vision of
the paramAtman which overflows into divine service.
However, does the jIva retain its memory of all its
past births and its countless individual identities?
Or does the jIva lose all idea of this
identity and solely know itself as sesha of the
paramAtman,without reference to any past karmas?

Mani,the question is nice,i thought about it and as
you have said,even i could not recall Bhagavad
Ramanuja commenting about the question anywhere in his
works.But,as i see it the answer is logical and
straight and can be constructed easily from the
philosophy of Ramanuja.I will also take the help of
Bhagavad gita Bhashya for answering this.

Bondage according to visista advaita philosophy is the
contraction of the attributive consciousness of the
jiva due to forces of karma.The symptoms of the
disease of bondage are ignorance,poor memory(due to
the prakriti guna tamas)etc.
Release or Liberation of a jiva is of a nature quite
opposite to that of the nature of bondage i.e perfect
knowledge and perfect memory.

Now,i draw your attention to the chapter 4,verse 1
through verse 5. In the verse 5 of the gita,Lord
Krishna answers to arjuna's doubt of krishna having
taught the karma yoga to vivasvan who lived much
before krishna and not a contemprary of the same.I
feel this answer answers your doubt.
Krishna says"Many births of yours and mine have
passed.I remember all i.e mine and yours,but you do
not remember them".
Now,the above statements prove the state of
krishna,who is yogiswara,gunaathitha i.e transcended
the gunas of prakriti,having perfect knowledge and
memory and on the other hand the state of a typical
jiva identifying itself with the series of identities 
from bondage to release in such a way that there is
complete loss of memory of the previous identity(To be
more precise i see a problem of memory in a single
birth itself i.e most people can't recall completley 
their own childhood or even events that might have
happened a few years or days back.When such is the
symptom of bondage in one single birth,it is no wonder
that we easily forget our previous births).
Observe that Lord Krishna is able to recall all his
avataras and all our births because he "already has
perfect memory,as his state is such that he has
transcended the gunas of prakriti" unlike us who
suffer loss of memory due bondage in gunas of
The above analysis proves that only an entity whose
consciousness is infinite like Sri krishna's can
recall all its previous births i.e identities,because
in and through all these infinite identities the
perfect entity can still differentiate between its
true nature i.e identity and the passing identities
resulting due to misapprehension of the body as the
soul with an added perfection of not succumbing to the
effect of Tamas,the guna of prakriti causing loss of
memory.This means only nitya sooris and muktha
atmas,who are at a similar state of Sri krishna can
recall their avataras that they have taken.The
attainment of this state is asserted by sri krishna in
his gita in chapter 13,verse 19 and chapter 14th,verse
1 and 2.
In short,a jiva in bondage cannot recall "all" his
previous births.In Release or Liberation,the jiva
attains its true nature and in this state it can
"recall all its previous avataras taken in the state
of its true nature as it is now free from tamas making
way for perfect memory and not all the births taken in
the state of bondage unless it is blessed by Lord
Krishna,who has powers,which even a jiva in its true
state cannot comprehend".

I hope the above analysis satisfies your doubt.All
errors(if any) above are mine and correction of the
same is welcomed.

Sri krishnaarpanamasthu
Suresh B.N.

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