You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 2001

Re: Consciousness in the state of moksha

From: K. Sadananda (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 09:51:37 PST

Sriram wrote:

>avidya is not the intrinsic nature of jIva, because jIva is the substrate of
>knowledge, with knowledge as the key attribute. jIvas are eternal,
>self-luminous, spiritual entities that retain their individuality always.

I am trying to understand between the meaning of these words.  Please 
bear with me.  I understand avidya is not jiiva-s intrisic nature - 
avidya goes away when knowledge comes - on that basis that which 
comes (knowledge) is not his intrinsic nature either - Not sure the 
significance of  the word key attribute imply - I presume that helps 
him to get liberated from bondage.  How did jiiva-s end up in avidya 
to start with  or in bondage - Essentially I am trying to find out 
How Bhagavaan Ramanuja explains how jiiva got into this aj~naana 
mess. That is my basic question here.

About the knowledge - I presume it involves -  (a) I am aswatantra 
(b) Lord is swatantra and (c) I am dependent on the Lord - or his 
relationship with the Lord. Any thing more involved?
Should I say - aswatatra is his intrinsic nature of the jiiva? - not 
the knowledge or avidya per sec since they are not intrinsic to him - 
since one goes and the other comes.

Eternal aspect I understand in terms of only time wise.- but on 
substance basis since what constitute jiiva is not clear yet. - 
Self-luminous -Is this an intrinsic nature of mine or is it again 
attribute of mine.  I am not sure I understand its implication - 
luminosity I presume means I am conscious and  I am 
self-consciousness should mean I know myself all the time or I am 
conscious of myself all the time - is consciousness  that I am 
operating on myself to know my self all the time - is it an attribute 
of mine or is it my intrinsic nature.  How is this differentiated - 
my swaruupa lakshaNa and my attributes - Here is where  I have 
problem and it goes back to the question I have asked - the 
difference between attributes and the locus of the attributes. How do 
we know. - I have the same problem with the rest of the words in the 
above sentence - spiritual entities and individualities etc - what do 
these  words mean I do not know yet-

>The bondage occurs when jIva is associated with a sarIra - the "birth" of a
>being, due to past karmA (good and bad or pApa and punyA).

I think we have already jumped to the next level of arguments  which 
raises lot more questions.  aj~naana of my aswatrantra nature is the 
beginning -(If my understanding is right)  How and when did shariira 
come into picture to have the karma cycles - there seems to be lot of 
assumptions in between.  I am not sure the sequence and implications 
here.  I would like to go step by step to make sure I understand 
correctly the doctrine.

>Through bhakti yoga, we receive Sriman nArayanA's grace that helps to
>overcome the karmic consequences. Hence, upon "death" a blessed jIva attains
>mOksham after shedding the physical body (sarIra), thereby beginning a new
>"life" of service to the Lord - which is jIva's default or real nature.

My foundations are still shaky to follow the rest of the arguments. 
I do understand the sequence although I am not sure what does service 
really means - why does jiiva has to serve  or is it implied in his 
aswatantra nature and what does he has to serve or what does service 
really means. I need to serve my master since master needs depends on 
me - Lord by very definition of the term does not need our service - 
and he does not depend on our service nor expect us to serve.  Since 
He is ananta in all respects.  Therefore it should means something 
else that I am not clear about in terms of service.
>Due to God's grace, in mOksa, a jIva can summon past associations when
>required, yet remain unaffected by the same. Why would a jIva in such a
>blissful state need to remember its past? Perhaps, the past will serve to
>appreciate the state of mOksa more!
>As I understand it now, the basic or intrinsic nature of a jIva is that by
>way of self-knowledge a jIva recognizes that it is distinct from Brahman or
>God even though it closely related to and is part of Brahman/God.

I thought that is  knowledge and not self-knowledge   Self-knowledge 
being self consciousness - Am I right? I still have problem of 
knowing the intrinsic nature of the jiiva what does the individuality 
means for jiiva to jiiva or how does one jiiva is different from 
other jiiva-s - jiiva-jiiva bhinnatvam - is that bhinnatvam is 
intrinsic nature as swaruupa lakshaNa and why so  or on what basis. 
Not clear about these.

>It is said that, Sri Ramanuja vaguely refers to two states of jIva: kaivalya
>and mOksa. Kaivalya is said to be a transient state of aloofness where the
>jIva realizes its position with respect to God. It is in mOksa, a jIva
>regains true enlightenment regarding the sesa-sesi relationship with Sriman

Dear Sriram - may be I am not tuned yet - unable to get the true 
import of these words - jiiva regains true enlightenment of its 
position with respect to God in moksha - I understand that 
sesha-seshii relation is aswatantra-swatrantra aspect - other than 
that I do not understand the enlightenment and relationship of Shree 
NaarayaNa means and what it implies.

I do not want to flood the list with my ignorance anymore.  I will 
refrain from posting on this topics and just study the responses and 
think on them for some time.

I must express that this forum has provided me  a means to get to 
know lot of people and some members have provided avenues to explore 

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to