joejo's picture

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Vedanta uses a very strange term called 'Manonasha' or destruction of the mind. It seems strange for the mind being destroyed what is left, are we supposed to be zombies. The error arises because mind here is used as synonym of latent tendencies or impressions called Vasana or conditioning. Yet it is not ordinary conditioning but something that has an element of energy (emotion) that makes us impelled to do things often against reason. Mind as defined in Brihadaranyaka Upnishad is:-

"Desire, Resolve, doubt, faith, want of faith, steadiness,
unsteadiness, shame, intelligence and fear - all these
are but the mind (BU 1.5.3)"

Now Vasana is defined as:-

"The perceiving of things through intense feeling, giving up even the consideration for the antecedence or consequence (i.e. giving up all hesitations), is described as Vasana."(Jivan Mukti Viveka of Swami Vidyaranya)

Therefore the antidote:-

"Bondage is due to Vasana, and the mind is liberated when it is free of them. By viveka (discrimination), O Rama, acquire the state of being free of Vasana, as soon as possible." (Laghu Yoga Vasishtha 16.45)

To conclude Vedanta is not a set of intellectual gymnastics but a deep method of discriminating enquiry done lovingly to find the root of conditioning and undo the knots of Heart namely, Ignorance (Avidya), Desire (Kama) and Action (Karma).