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We are not the body nor the mind, but at the same time we have to be the body and mind since we are the ALL, give me your explanation?

Maya/the illusion is when someone is bound and emprisoned by the material world and believes it to be the absolute reality separating himself from his true Self. However paradoxally, if you say that you are not the mind nor the body, but the spirit/soul then you are again separating yourself from the all as you make yourself distinct from the Material world. Would it not be more correct to say that we are the ALL which would including being our own mind and body - feelings,thoughts,emotions,memories etc...?

What is the meaning of detaching from the body and mind, this would just gain the same effect as thinking you are the mind and body hence you separate yourself from one aspect of God once again, ever thought of that one?

  • Good question. You are indeed even world as well, to realize this world as your own self is called as Shiv Vyapti. But to realize world as your own self you will have to first achieve Ātma Vyapti which is to realize you are separate from the world. You are currently object ( enjoyer), to become subject ( witness) you will need to practice meditation to reject notion of duality. When subjective state remains constant one knows the truth. Once knower is fully established, there comes a state ( Shiv Vyapti) then your consciousness expands & your very body becomes universe. – Mr. Sigma. Jul 7 '17 at 18:36
  • Rejecting world mentally ( not physically) is actually a meditation technique. I'm not this, not this, not this. This is contemplation on Neti Neti. – Mr. Sigma. Jul 7 '17 at 18:38
  • Oh thank you! So if I get you right: It's NOT that we are NOT the body or the mind and it's NOT that we are only the soul needing to separate from the body/mind, but rather we are "everything" and "nothing" including our body,mind,soul,thoughts,emotions,feelings,and even that which our body does not percieve. We are Maya but also not Maya and we are everything physical/material but at the same time WE are not JUST the physical and material. Did I get it? :P – Prefer anonymous Jul 7 '17 at 18:43
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    Wow, very good! I like your explanation. I think this was the best explanation and made it very very clear. – Prefer anonymous Jul 7 '17 at 19:48
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    But now the questions is...... Just kidding! :D – Prefer anonymous Jul 7 '17 at 19:49
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The `question is

We are not the body nor the mind, but at the same time we have to be the body and mind since we are the ALL, give me your explanation?


The following is an excerpt from the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi.

1. On identifying Self to be body - (P.59)

D.: The body moves and does all.

M.: Quite so. Now that you identify yourself with the body you feel the trouble. The trouble is in your mind. You think that you are the body or that you are the mind. But there are occasions when you are free from both. For example in deep slumber, you create a body and a world in your dream. That represents your mental activities. In your waking state you think that you are the body and then the idea of forest and the rest arise.

Now, consider the situation. You are an unchanging and continuous being who remains in all these states which are constantly changing and therefore transient. But you are always there. It follows that these fleeting objects are mere phenomena which appear on your being like pictures which move across a screen. The screen does not move when the picture moves. Similarly, you do not move from where you are even when the body leaves the home and mixes in society. Your body, the society, the forest and the ways are all in you; you are not in them. You are the body also but not this body only. If you remain as your pure Self, the body and its movements need not affect you.


The idea of confining oneself to the body eminates out of ignorance of Self. This ignorance was described in Rig Veda as hiding of waters by Vritra. Here, Vritra is ignorance and water is Knowledge of Self, mentioned in an Esorteric sense.

I WILL declare the manly deeds of Indra, the first that he achieved, the Thunder-wielder. He slew the Dragon, then disclosed the waters, and cleft the channels of the mountain torrents.

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  • k v-- now and then you bless us through the excerpts from the teaching of Shradhheya Shri Raman Maharsi. Such a mind arousing and mesmerizing teachings !! In which particular collection ( Book) may I find all such sublime teachings. Pl be gracious to inform. Regards, Hare Krishna. – Hare krishna May 2 at 12:30
  • You can go through the book "Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi" (holybooks.com/talks-sri-ramana-maharshi) @Harekrishna – srimannarayana k v May 3 at 1:48
  • Indeed feel blessed! – Hare krishna May 3 at 2:05
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Your body is yours but you are not of your body as body is temporary but soul is eternal, there is no paradox in it, just like a painting is drawn by a painter not the vice versa, just like a house is built on land not in sky, similarly one's body and its ambiance is product of all previous birth's collective Karmas. An object is driven by subject, similarly Prakriti/Maya i.e. mind, body, intellect are driven by soul/consciousness also known as Purusha in Samkhya.

Geeta Chapter 2

2.22 As a person sheds worn-out garments and wears new ones, likewise, at the time of death, the soul casts off its worn-out body and enters a new one.

2.23 Weapons cannot shred the soul, nor can fire burn it. Water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it.

2.24 The soul is unbreakable and incombustible; it can neither be dampened nor dried. It is everlasting, in all places, unalterable, immutable, and primordial.

2.25 The soul is spoken of as invisible, inconceivable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.

2.27 Death is certain for one who has been born, and rebirth is inevitable for one who has died. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable.

Basically, like while playing some modern computer game, one chooses a character but death of character within the game doesnot kill the player in reality, similarly death of physical body does not kill the soul as parting of soul/consciousness from the current body immediately makes object i.e body inert and rotting. Now an animal can never realize its real nature i.e. soul because of lack of intellect, its only in human birth a soul can self-realize its true nature i.e. Moksha and be free from dependency of Maya and need of reincarnation. More explanation of Purusha-Prakriti or Kshetragya-Kshetra.

Geeta Chapter 13

Bhagavad Gita 13.1 Arjun said, “O Keshav, I wish to understand what are prakṛiti and puruṣh, and what are kṣhetra and kṣhetrajña? I also wish to know what is true knowledge, and what is the goal of this knowledge?

Bhagavad Gita 13.2 The Supreme Divine Lord said: O Arjun, this body is termed as kṣhetra (the field of activities), and the one who knows this body is called kṣhetrajña (the knower of the field) by the sages who discern the truth about both.

Bhagavad Gita 13.3 O scion of Bharat, I am also the knower of all the individual fields of activity. The understanding of the body as the field of activities, and the soul and God as the knowers of the field, this I hold to be true knowledge.

Bhagavad Gita 13.5 Great sages have sung the truth about the field and the knower of the field in manifold ways. It has been stated in various Vedic hymns, and especially revealed in the Brahma Sūtra, with sound logic and conclusive evidence.

Bhagavad Gita 13.6 The field of activities is composed of the five great elements, the ego, the intellect, the unmanifest primordial matter, the eleven senses (five knowledge senses, five working senses, and mind), and the five objects of the senses.

Bhagavad Gita 13.7 Desire and aversion, happiness and misery, the body, consciousness, and the will—all these comprise the field and its modifications.

Bhagavad Gita 13.8 – 13.12 Humbleness; freedom from hypocrisy; non-violence; forgiveness; simplicity; service of the Guru; cleanliness of body and mind; steadfastness; and self-control; dispassion toward the objects of the senses; absence of egotism; keeping in mind the evils of birth, disease, old age, and death; non-attachment; absence of clinging to spouse, children, home, and so on; even-mindedness amidst desired and undesired events in life; constant and exclusive devotion toward Me; an inclination for solitary places and an aversion for mundane society; constancy in spiritual knowledge; and philosophical pursuit of the Absolute Truth—all these I declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to it, I call ignorance.

Bhagavad Gita 13.13 I shall now reveal to you that which ought to be known, and by knowing which, one attains immortality. It is the beginningless Brahman, which lies beyond existence and non-existence.

Bhagavad Gita 13.14 Everywhere are His hands and feet, eyes, heads, and faces. His ears too are in all places, for He pervades everything in the universe.

Bhagavad Gita 13.16 He exists outside and inside all living beings, those that are moving and not moving. He is subtle, and hence, He is incomprehensible. He is very far, but He is also very near.

Bhagavad Gita 13.17 He is indivisible, yet He appears to be divided amongst living beings. Know the Supreme Entity to be the Sustainer, Annihilator, and Creator of all beings.

The four Mahavakyas of Vedanata are also step by step explanation of same reality ending in Anubhava Vakya 'Aham Brahmasmi'.

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