Body and Mind

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 11 11:22:59 UTC 2011

Forwarded message from Alex Watson (alex_watson_uk at

Dear Prof. Dehejia

If you mean by mind what is referred to in the Brahmanical schools (or in Śaivism) as saṃvit, saṃvedana, cit, cetanā, caitanya, jñāna etc. (consiousness, cognition), I doubt you will find such a statement since the view is that these are ontologically utterly distinct from the body.

If you mean by mind what the Naiyāyikas and Vaiśeṣikas term the manas (a faculty of attention that provides a link between the self and the particular sense faculty whose data is being attended to), this was not regarded as forming a `continuum' with the body in any usual sense of that term.

The four mental skandhas in Buddhism are not usually characterised as forming a continuum with the rūpaskandha, but rather a conglomerate (samudāya) or a causal complex (sāmagrī).

If you mean the buddhi or manas or ahaṅkāra in Sāṅkhya, or the combination of all three, at least here they fall on the same side of the fundamental divide between puruṣa and prakṛti, as does jñāna according to this tradition.

But your best bet may be Cārvāka/Bhūtacaitanyavāda contexts:

1) Ontological Continuity

One `Cārvāka sūtra' was  
tebhyaś caitanyam to which it is claimed (for example by Kamalaśīla and Prabhācandra) that commentators supplied either utpadyate or abhivyajyate, of which the former serves your purpose best:
`Conscious emerges from the [material elements].'

The Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha clarifies:
tatra pṛthivyādīni bhūtāni catvāri tattvāni.  tebhya eva dehākārapariṇatebhyaḥ kiṇvādibhyo madaśaktivac caitanyam upajāyate.
`There the elements, earth and [water, fire and air]' are the four tattvas.  Consciousness emerges from them alone when they have been transformed into the form of a body, as alcohol's power to intoxicate emerges from kiṇva [yeast, molasses] etc. [when they are mixed in suitable proportions, even though they are not intoxicating separately or when combined in the wrong proportions, just as matter is not conscious when not transformed into the shape of a body].

2) Continuity in the sense of necessity of mutual influence

Nyāyamañjarī, Vol II, p. 289, Mysore edition:

nanu jñānam api tadanvayavyatirekānuvidhāyi prāyeṇa dṛśyate. bhūteṣv annapānādyupayogapuṣṭeṣu paṭvī cetanā bhavati, tadviparyaye viparyayaḥ. brāhmīghṛtādyupayogasaṃskṛte ca kumāraśarīre paṭuprajñatā jāyate.
caitanye ca gurulāghavavyavahāro 'pi bhūtātiśayasadasattvakṛto bhaviṣyati.

[Cārvāka:] We can observe that for the most part consciousness conforms to positive and negative concomitance with the body.  When the elements [in our body] are well nourished by the consuming of food and drink etc., consciousness becomes sharp; and when the elements are not nourished, the opposite kind of consciousness arises.  And when the body of a young boy is purified by the eating of things like the ayurvedic concoction called brāhmīghṛta, the boy becomes sharp-minded.
And the linguistic usage of heaviness and lightness referring to consciousness can be caused by the existence or non-existence of excellence in the elements. 

3) Continuity in the sense that mental attributes arise from physical attributes:

Tattvasaṅgrahapañjikā, avataraṇikā to verse 1960:

śleṣmaṇaḥ sakāśād rāgaḥ, pittād dveṣaḥ, vātān moha iti.

If you would like information on secondary literature on these Cārvāka views (e.g. by Franco, Preisendanz, Steinkellner, Namai, Ramkrishna Bhattacarya), or more Sanskrit passages, let me know.

Yours Alex

On 08-Apr-2011, at 1:19 AM, Harsha Dehejia wrote:

> Friends~
> I need a sentence or two in Sanskrit which expresses the basic idea that the body and mind are a continuum.
> Any help would be hugely appreciated.
> Regards.
> Harsha
> Prof. Harsha V. Dehejia
> Proessor of Indian Studies, Carleton University
> Ottawa, ON., Canada.

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