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Re: Consciousness in the state of moksha

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 11:42:25 PST

I thank all of you for your informative replies. Most people
who replied to my query have answered somewhat convincingly that 
the liberated jIva does remember its prior births and deaths.
Good arguments were put forth by Sri B.N. Suresh, and Sri Anand
Karalapakkam (private note) in this regard, focussing primarily
on the sarvjnatva of the jIva.  Sri Anand follows up that while
the jIva has the ability to recall and reenvision its conventional
mothers and fathers, it has no desire to do so since it is a 
true jnAni. Bhagavad Ramanuja specifies that a jnAni is "bhagavat-
seshataika-Atma-svarupa-vit", one who recognizes that his
or her svarUpa lies solely in being sesha to Bhagavan. Therefore,
the liberated jIva will only be immersed the bliss of Bhagavan 
overflowing into divine service. The prior parents, etc., are
only recollected if Bhagavan's will so dictates.

This is all convincing, but some technical questions remain, which
a couple of other respondents have also brought up.  The problem
concerns *where* such memories are stored, if the jIva does indeed
remember in such an individualistic fashion.

Sri P.T. Srinivasan writes:

  The jiva does not remember anything about its past
  since the property of remeberance is attributed to
  perception by sense organs....  

  Mukti, in the correct sense of
  the term, is that state of the individual self in
  which it is totally dissociated from the vital breath,
  sense organs and physical body. so the question of
  rememberance of the previous births etc is ruled out.
  An individual soul connected with prana, indriyas and
  physical body is its embodied state (jivana).  The
  two states - disembodied and embodied - are mutually
  opposed to each other.  one who is embodied cannot
  therefore be mukta or disembodied.  Therefore the
  theory of rememberance of the past life is the state
  of moksa is unsound.

Sri T.G. Ramkumar has asked questions along similar lines
and has succinctly and appropriately phrased the problematic 
issues at hand:

  Here is my technical thoughts/questions on the subject -

  My understanding is pUrva-prAkRta-SarIram of the muktA was due to karma 
  ( == bhagavan-nigraha-sankalpam which in turn is merely a prior state [avatha]
   of permumAL's dharma-bhUta-gyAnam (= an ajaDa-achEtanam? ) )

  So the question boils down to  - 
  "Is the past bhagavan-nigraha/anugraha-sankalpam accessible to the mukta?"   
 
  Does the dharma-bhUta-jnAnam  associated with the chEtanam,
  keep a trail of all its historical state changes ?
 
  (For instance, if an acEtanam like ghaTam (kAryam) breaks, mRt-piNDam (the kAraNam)
   enters a new state, "broken-pieces" and the prior state, gaTam no longer exists.
   Does an observing jIva (chEtanam) record these state-changes in its dharma-bhUta-jnAnam?

  What is the mechanics of memory access (smRti) during baddha-daSa 
  in terms of the tattva-trayam ?  
 
  Is it stored in the indriya-s but accessed thru dharma-bhUta-jnAnam by the jIvAtmA?
 
  If it is stored in sUkshmEndriya (like the manas) would it not be lost in the 
  virajA before the jIva reaches SrI-vaikuNTham? 
 
  If so, none of the pUrva-puNya-pApa-rUpa-karma will be remembered after mukti ?


I await answers to these intriguing questions.

I remain,
aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
Mani


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