Bhagavadgita, cognition, Buddhism?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 29 20:52:58 UTC 2000

Re: sa.mghaata, there are numerous references to dehendriya-sa.mghaata or
;sariirendriya-sa.mghaata, in Sankara's commentary on BU also.

>the body and senses, when fatigued, are sustained (dhriyante)' sounds like
>'endurance' to me. And of course that is one possible meaning; but it

How about sustenance? Or sustentation, in the meaning of - "the action of
maintaining a person or concrete thing in being or activity, or of keeping
it from failing or perishing; esp. in the 17th cent. of divine support. Now
rare." (OED) There may be a similar meaning in the Gita too - compare daiva
in 18.14, along with adhi.s.thaana, kartaa, and p.rthak-ce.s.taa.h.

>not strike me as the likely one in this particular context. Equating dh.rti
>with a also sounds rather far-fetched to me, and not supported by
>text-internal evidence.

Coming to think of it, I have to revise my guess. Although can be a
generic word, to denote the sense organs, I've never seen the reverse case,
where is equated with an or v.rtti anywhere. So
when Sankara equates dh.rti with an aspect of the internal organ, he
probably does not intend the You must be right to hold that as in
other references in the text, the word is aligned with buddhi, medhaa,
cetanaa etc.

>Not only that; it seems out of place because (with the 'standard'
>interpretation) dh.rti 'endurance etc.' appears to be a mental quality
>(anta.hkara.nadharma, as Sankara says) chosen completely at random, and
>hardly on a par with such fundamental units as 'body' (sa.mghaata) and
>'mind' (cetanaa).

This is where the connection with holding together the body and senses comes
in, I suppose. Without it, one cannot distinguish between a dead thing and a
living organism that interacts with the surroundings and "knows". In any
case, also see saa.mkhyakaarikaa 29-33 - the references to the 13 organs,
the 18-fold subtle body, and the activity of manas, buddhi and aha.mkaara in
sustaining the purya.s.taka/praa.naa.s.taka.


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