Who gets enlightened- Mind, awareness or both?

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Who gets enlightened- Mind, awareness or both?

Postby dijmart » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:39 pm

I had written this reply to a Vedanta teacher I email and thought it may help someone or be interesting- (I have put explanations for Sanskrit words, ect)

Me- "It seems that since the mind is inert matter and the Self/awareness, doesn't have a mind (is not an entity),  neither by themselves could be enlightened.
Being that the Self is not ignorant of it's nature and the mind can't know anything on it's own. So, it must be the combination of mind/intellect, illumined by awareness, that then is either ignorant or Self realized and it's the mind/intellect that benefits from Self realization, however the "benefit" is to realize, it's really the Self/awareness and it (the mind/body/sense complex) is only an "apparent" manifestation of awareness itself.

So, without the combination (mind/awareness), there wouldn't even be "Self realization" or Moksa (freedom/liberation) at all, as there would be no need for either one."

Vedanta teacher- "you got it!"
Take what you like and leave the rest.
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Re: Who gets enlightened- Mind, awareness or both?

Postby Rob X » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:34 pm

dijmart wrote:I had written this reply to a Vedanta teacher I email and thought it may help someone or be interesting- (I have put explanations for Sanskrit words, ect)

Me- "It seems that since the mind is inert matter and the Self/awareness, doesn't have a mind (is not an entity),  neither by themselves could be enlightened.
Being that the Self is not ignorant of it's nature and the mind can't know anything on it's own. So, it must be the combination of mind/intellect, illumined by awareness, that then is either ignorant or Self realized and it's the mind/intellect that benefits from Self realization, however the "benefit" is to realize, it's really the Self/awareness and it (the mind/body/sense complex) is only an "apparent" manifestation of awareness itself.

So, without the combination (mind/awareness), there wouldn't even be "Self realization" or Moksa (freedom/liberation) at all, as there would be no need for either one."

Vedanta teacher- "you got it!"


This reminded me of a similar conversation that I had with the Advaita writer/teacher Dennis Waite about seven years ago. Here is an edited excerpt (it was a long discussion) which gets to the heart of it. I was basically interested in the implications of Advaita's assertion that enlightenment is in the mind (which, of course I agree with.)

ROB: To sum up:



1. Realizations, like all conditioned things, are impermanent.



2. THAT which is realized is not impermanent.



The confusion of these two statements is the crucial issue here. 

Enlightenment is not simply the BE-ing of Supreme Reality, it is the recognition of this fact.


So we are left with a rather paradoxical situation; recognition by its very nature is a mithya recognition - enlightenment is a mithya enlightenment.

 The only way out of this as far as I can see, is to recognize that it's mithya all the way down.



We can throw out ALL conclusions regarding Reality - and yet Reality itself is irrefutable. The 'what', 'who', 'why' etc., can only ever remain speculative.



DENNIS: I freely admit that enlightenment is part of vyavahAra. Since it is an event in the mind (which is mithyA), how could it not be?

Secondly, I don’t believe I have ever confused your two statements: “1. Realizations, like all conditioned things, are impermanent. 2. THAT which is realized is not impermanent.” Again, since enlightenment is an event in the mind, and since the mind of a realized person comes to an end upon death of that body, the first statement necessarily follows. So I don’t see that there is any paradox here. And realization that *everything* other than brahman is mithyA is another description of enlightenment.
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Re: Who gets enlightened- Mind, awareness or both?

Postby dijmart » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:48 pm

Thanks for sharing that Rob!
Take what you like and leave the rest.
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