Location: India

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jeeva as per Charvaakas - 1

Hari OM,

This topic is very vast but can be easily concluded with Sankara’s statement that “jeevo brahmaiva na parah” – Jeeva is Brahman alone and not different from Brahman. But lot of analysis goes before coming to this conclusion. There is a very progressive approach where Jeeva is termed something as per some system & this being refuted in the next system – thus finally leading to the ultimate reality of Brahman.

Let’s start off with the theory of Charvaakas who accept only the four bhootas (not ghostJ but gross elements) of Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Ether or Space is not accepted because it is not perceived (Materialists have only pratyaksha pramaana – whatever they see alone is valid for them). For these people, the Self is the body composed of the mixture of the four elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

Thus Jeeva (or the Tvam pada in TAT TVAM ASI) is SHAREERA or body composed of the four elements.

Now let’s try to analyze why the jeeva or “I” cannot be the body.

AHAM or “I” is what is called as jeeva or conscious being in all the systems. The following can be said to be various reasons for jeeva not being the body.

“I” cannot be the body as body is jadam or insentient whereas I am sentient
“I” cannot be the body as body is something caused (out of annam and hence it is annam alone)
“I” cannot be the body as the body is accidental (aagantuka) – accidental because it seems to be temporarily present – before the body too I was present & after body vanishes too I will be present. Else we cannot say that “I” am born – this statement is possible only I witness by birth which is getting a new body. Thus Body is accidental or nimittam alone whereas “I” is eternal
“I” cannot be the body as the body gets destroyed whereas “I” am beyond any destruction.
“I” am not the body as body changes whereas I am changeless from birth till death and even beyond that (as recollection of previous births also do happen).
“I” am not the body because of the experience of “my body” even like “my house”. Since I am different from the house, similarly I am different from the body too.
“I” have no parts whereas body has parts – therefore I am not the body.
The gross body is not there is dream where there is only subtle body. Both these bodies are not there in deep sleep (as it isn’t experienced due to perception etc.) but still in deep sleep I exist as after waking up it is said “I slept well, I did not know anything”. Therefore I am not the body which was not present in deep sleep but I was present.

The above are the various reasons (original in Sanskrit using anumaana or inference) given by various Acharyas like Sankara, Sureshwaracharya in Tattva bodha, Naishkarmya Siddhi etc. In Naishkarmya Siddhi, sureswaracharya gives almost 5-6 reasons saying that “I am not the body” and that too to instigate vairagya in the seeker.

Apart from the above mentioned inferences, there is one proof as per scriptures and logic which acharyas use to show that “I” am not the body.

Quoting from Panchadashi 3.4

Purva janmani asat etat janma sampaadayet katham
Bhaavi janmani asat karma bhunjeeta iha sanchitam

If there was no previous birth, then how can this birth be attained (as it is already attained)?
If there is no next birth, then the fruit of all actions should be enjoyed in this birth itself.

Both the above are not possible if I am the body. If I am the body, then the body takes birth and deaths. Scriptures tell that body is due to karmas alone and the karma that we do now may not fructify this birth itself (this is experience of each person). Thus the body that has been attained now has to have some cause which should be karma before the body – since I am the body, there is nothing before birth – this means there was no karma before birth & so how can this birth be got???????

The second thing is I do actions and some of those are fructified whereas some are not. So those which are not fructified are completely destroyed in that case. This is illogical and against law of karma that all actions have reactions (since there is no reaction in this birth, next birth should be there to enjoy that reaction or fruits).

The above both prove thus that I am not the body.

The Sanskrit terminologies used for this is:

For the first point of how this body is achieved – akritha abhyaagama – what I haven’t done or performed, I reapJ As good as telling that without sadhana, I will realized – without working, infy will pay me money Hope the CCD are not tracking this mail (just joking).
Thus without any action, I get fruit which is impossible and wrong.

For second point, the body vanishes without enjoying all fruits of karmas – kritha haani – whatever has been done is destroyed without giving its efforts. As good as telling that I will type this mail but the mail will vanish after I type I will work but infy will not pay me this is also not possible.

(The above points are taken from Ramakrishna’s pada dipika commentary on Vidyaranya’s Panchadashi as well as from Tattva anusandhaanam, another advaitic work)

To conclude (in anumaana form):

Dehah na atmaa bhavathi, anyathaa “kritha haanih” “akritha abhyaagama” prasangaath

The body is not the Self, as if it is the Self there are the faults of “actions not giving fruits” and “getting fruits for those actions which are not performed”.

Dehah na atmaa, karyatvaat, ghataadi vat (this is how Ramakrishna concludes his commentary to the above sloka of Panchadashi)
The body is not the Self as it is an effect like pot (any effect is not the Self as the Self can never be caused or it can never become an effect).

Hope the above part clearly and convincingly proves that the body is not the Self and thus the jeeva of charvaaka (which is the body) is wrong, against all pramaanas and thus should be renounced (renunciation of the thought that “I am the body”).

Hari OM


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