Journal : Giving, Atheists, The Run

The one who gives to the other instantly becomes the elder in a relationship. But who doesn’t, if we discount the occidental economics-alone value system. That is one way the oriental is so diametrically different : how it keeps the 360 degree 3-D view, suggests and exalts the skill in its heritage and tradition. It has found wide acceptance in the West, not by any ‘rational’ ground at its foundation but by how nature itself really has little value for money in its working. The child suckles at the the tangible breast-milk but it is the mother who takes the intangible ‘everything’ from the child.

I saw the movie INTERSTELLAR because the younger man wanted me to. Alongwith the MATRIX series earlier, these productions kind of shock its audience into ‘opening their eyes’ into another reality… ones other than and far removed from this material focus on tangibles : money and goods, in short. To me, they all seemed so imagined, so hyped up and crafted ! They are nowhere close to truth, the facts evident in our threefold being : material, mental and spiritual… one gross space pervaded by the subtler one, space within space, each with access limits and laws of their own. Existence is stranger than fiction, and simpler if you happen to know.

Inevitably, the discussion runs into ‘God’ ! I tire of this Christian Big Daddy in the sky the word has come to imply — another occidental export to the orient that, unfortunately, preys upon the yet unevolved who the oriental thought-system embraces and allows to ‘utilise’ whatever symbols they might prefer to aid their spiritual awakening. It doesn’t surprise that the Vatican’s conversion program is backed by billions of dollars to materially lubricate the individual come-over process !

The theist and atheist position are more simply etched, in say the way people deal with worry. The anxiety a parent has while sending his son off to faraway place is killing : very physiological, material and tangible. The theist prays and actually finds his comfort and quiet in virtually an instant. What does the atheist do ? Reason, rationalise and intellectualise ? Does it quell his anxiety ? I think, no. And, no one needs to quarrel with me over this : just try, observe in others, and watch for the effects. You will know. And we do not even need to know who or what does the theist prays to !

In this same thread, I find it strange that the celestial song — BHAGVAD GITA — is sold in streets in the West. The wonder is genuine : what and how do they make sense of the Lord’s exhort … Work to ensure success, giving your all; the result however, the consequence, the fruit so to say, is of no concern of yours, of no value to you ! There is no way to decode the suggestion without the knowledge that the two parts refer to different spaces in which our being is tri-compartmentalised. What integrates it, the fourth, is wholly another matter.

The Essence Of Vedas

It is a humble work … now in the making : a free-flow rendering in English of sentiments inspired by Sanskrit hymns Arya masters expressed several millennia ago, when life had resumed in the Indian subcontinent after the most recent Ice Age. The verses released therein are not as pithy as their Vedic hymn yet, though not put to test, are intended to have similar content in terms of felt truth projected in their inspiration uttered then, either sung by river banks, in secluded monasteries, or during public ceremonies and discourses.

Veda texts are now easily available in print and on the web, both as Sanskrit original and their numerous translations, with and without commentaries of authors past and present. What brought me to the task was a personal realisation of the self-integrated sentiment of immense beauty and truth they express. It was not long before I could also fathom how they have been coloured, tainted rather than tinted, by formal hard-etched concepts of religion that burdens the Western mind, on one hand, and by the intellectual rigour to which modern scholars must necessarily subject these alien verses, on the other.

It is impossible even in imagination for an uniniatiated layman like myself to stand with those masters in hoary past, in their setting, hearing their words, singing along as they fluently intone with barely a pause, and keep pace with the etymological and contextual meaning of expressions crafted into the hymns. What I could hear and feel in them today is the same beauty, truth, longing, love and peace, they carry to this day. Unavoidably, their modern presentations also brought to my experience the discordant religious, intellectual or philosophical hues superimposed on them. Hence the need to reduce at least select Vedic texts to their simple, easy-to-read-and-appreciate form. Only you, dear reader, and others over time, would be able to sound back if the attempt succeeds, and if it works enough to add to the reach these texts have hitherto had among common gentry.

I sincerely seek to obtain your first feel of the impression the work leaves with you. Those who would like to associate with it long term, as an editor or reader, are encouraged to write in.

Page17

Universe, World And The Self

This essay arose of a conversation that remained incomplete, largely because of the apparent unfamiliarity my interlocutor had with the subject, which factor lent an air of abstraction to the matter despite it being so obvious and close a phenomenon to ourself. The difficulty at the core of its seeming obtruseness was two-fold : one, the meaning we carry of the terms are so very formal that they remain distant from ourself, compared to the carnal and electronic objects that readily engage the youth of our day; and two, any attempt to segregate the entities, and their phenomenal effervescence in our mind, fails to start because we ourself are too caught up in the mix to lay out the categories at play separately, sequentially and seamlessly between the universe yonder, our world at hand, and the heady couldron of vitality playing things up as feelings, emotions and thoughts in our mind.

Universe, World And The Self

The Terms

The universe is the endless expanse, the mother set, containing all the astronomical and heavenly bodies, visible and invisible, known and mysterious. It includes our world and our self within it.

The world about us reduces to “our” world for all practical purposes, with objects that actually occupy our memory and mind more or less, in some way or other. The entities come in all shape and form, state of animation and consciousness, nature and character, and value to ourself in the long and short term.

The self — our self — is the being we are, the person who decides the right and wrong for ourself, who is curious and who engages with the objects in our world, who notices the feeling and identifies with the prevailing will and emotion, happy or sad, enthused or indifferent.

The Personal Phenomena

Our individual being involves our world and our self, with all the objects and entities about us, which we live in the midst of and value, positively and negatively, often in the same single thing, person or being. There is a wider world out there, distinct from our world, that we are either not intimately aware of or to which we are indifferent because it does not touch us, that does not engage us in the least for now. But our living being is restricted to all that affects us, physically or by their presence in our memory, in the way it makes our vitality rise and ebb, outward to action or inward to feeling quickened or depressed, draws our emotion to flare with a will of its own, triggers our thought stream hither and thither, making our desire next sprout or dry, and leads our self through an experience memorable or forgettable.

Our experience of life, and indeed our life itself, is an endless train of such streaming consciousness constituted of this mix : feelings and emotions, will and thought, desire and knowledge, memory and more, with the self — the sense we have of ourself — often helpless like a ball ricocheting  from the walls upon a momentum imparted in unknown past or an oarless boat in the middle of  flowing waters. What we gather along the journey in life, through our growing up years, is knowledge and memory of the character or nature of things, person or individual beings, usually in binary terms : happy, or not. Each encounter or recall of this summary sense, as it happens, brings in its trail the emotion and will that our psychological or attitudinal behaviour, caution or enthusiasm and more extreme expressions at the juncture. And thus life continues to happen : happy or sad, or in the pall of any other shade in between.

The Exploring And Analysing Self

There are several reasons why we wake up to need of reviewing the momentum of the personal phenomena upon which we are carried, and to the burning will to intervene. Often it is the consequences, material and mental, that leave us dissatisfied, inadequate, delinquent or destitute. Or, usually in comparison with our peers or with inspiration from other people’s lives past or present, there is a sense of not doing justice to what we have and what more we could do with greater control over our phenomenal being, with empowering our psychological self at making the most of our situation, spotting opportunities and playing up to our strengths. Too, it is extremely deflating to our self-esteem to realise that we are living the animal way, to our lowest nature, or are being merely passive or reactive to our happennings. And lastly, we might discover that the unexamined knowledge we have gathered is mostly untrue, that we need to revisit each as they come and bring our conclusion up to date. Whatever the cause, we then want to put an end to our self-cipher outside-in existence and steel ourself to imposing our will inside-out, to being what and how we want ourself to be and experiencing a life by our own choices than by what fate or our world has thus far deemed it to be.

A true awakening is more a phase than a moment : outwardly langorous and dilated but hyperactive inwardly. In that state of concentrated awareness, we refuse to be moved even as we go through the motions and insist on observing and knowing the details of our personal phenomena as it occurs : the feeling caused by an object on our world, the emotion representative of our reaction to it, our will that automatically presents itself … that jucture when we can choose to react or contemplate the pros and cons of alternate courses, the thoughts at reviewing the object, the feeling and the emotion, the will we were ready to commit ourself to, and the state of our own being, the quality of our self … We hold ourself at it, intending to exhaust the fulness of one series : object, feeling, emotion to the object and to the feeling it causes, the will and the choices, the doubts, the light on ourself, and the values we hold to ourself in the shadows of our each thought and glance at the categories and their possibilities thus laid out.

Our Self And Our ValuesSelf and Values

To fast forward, we may now observe the continuous series of categories laid out before us, connecting seamlessly the universe and the self :

[ Universe ] — [ World ] — [ Our World ] — [ Objects, Entities, Plants, Trees, Animals, People, Food, Sex, Beautiful Form, Panorama, Family, Friends…] — [ Senses : Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, Hear ; Mind ] — [ Feeling ] — [ Emotion : Will ] — [ Thought : Doubt, Examination, Analysis, Possibility ] — [ Knowledge ] — [ Self : State, Quality, Values ]

Of  the above, we notice, animals are arrested by their emotions and accompanying will; and so are we. The only interactive behaviour that sets them to peace, and is hence both necessary and sufficient, is love. And so it with us, as far as others are involved and our interactive behaviour goes.

However, as human beings with the power to be pro-active, to change ourselves and our world about us, we need to choose our values and therefore need to know what works, which yields what and how. The knowledge and values are already indicated by our history, our myths, our texts ancient and modern, our epics, our traditions and our ways of life. It is upto each one of us to inform ourself, know and choose for ourself, and to embark upon that journey of examining and clarifying from experience that which is absolute and invariable and those that are relative and dependent upon situation and circumstance.

Some truths are universal though :

—   Feelings are nature’s means to reveal itself to us. Men do not cause feelings, our world does. We do not stop feeling except when we are literally or sort of dead.

—  Emotions are our own and arise almost always from the dark and unexamined part of our within. They are mostly wasteful except when prompted of love.

—   Our mind is a means and an instrument to feel, examine and know our world, our emotions and will, our memory and impressions from past, as also to sense the state and quality of our self and the values we associate with.

—   The values we choose and commit ourselves to provides a firm unshakeable ground to ourself; nothing else does. The self committed to values empowers the will to choose the right course of action; nothing else does.

—   There is no truth apart from our self. It is lost in the mind, in thoughts and habitual emotions, in addictive feelings, when we begin our search for our self. The process of extricating our self and living in the light of its truth is the eternal way.

Let’s walk it.

Footprints

Facet : Life And Truth

I am actually moved to introduce this work of John Steinbeck …To A God Unknown … with reference to just one facet, as it happens early in the work, amongst other great emotions that fill it.

To A God UnknownThe story is simple but in common with most of his works the narration is on a grand scale, though a version smaller than that of his epic East Of Eden. Thirty five year old Joseph has begun life in Nuestra Senora valley in California, away from Vermont where he grew up. His brothers Thomas, Burton and Benjy had joined him soon after he set himself on a 160 acre farm, practically for free; the pooled size of the ranch is now 640 acres.

One day … (quote) … Joseph stood by the pasture fence, watching a bull with a cow. He beat his hands against the fence rail; a red light burned in his eyes. As Burton approached him from behind, Joseph whipped off his hat and flung it down and tore open the collar of his shirt. He shouted, “Mount, you fool ! She’s ready. Mount now !”

“Are you crazy, Joseph ?” Burton asked sternly.

Joseph swung around. “Crazy ? What do you mean ?”

“You’re acting queerly, Joseph. Someone might see you here.” Burton looked about to see if it was true.

“I want calves,” Joseph said sullenly. “Where’s the harm in that, even to you ?”

“Well, Joseph—” Burton’s tone was firm and kind as he implanted his lesson, “—everyone knows such things are natural. Everyone knows such things must happen if the race is to go on. But people don’t watch it unless it’s necessary. You might be seen acting this way.”

Joseph reluctantly tore his eyes from the bull and faced his brother. “What if they did ?” he demanded. “Is it a crime ? I want calves.”

Burton looked down in shame for the thing he had to say “People might say things if they heard you talking as I just did.”

“And what could they say ?”

“Surely, Joseph, you don’t want me to say it. The Scripture mentions such forbidden things. People might think your interest was—personal.” He looked at his hands and then hid them quickly in his pockets as though to keep them from hearing what he said.

“Ah—” Joseph puzzled. “They might say—I see.” His voice turned brutal. “They might say I felt like the bull. Well, I do, Burton. And if I could mount a cow and fertilize it, do you think I’d hesitate ? Look, Burton, that bull can hit twenty cows a day. If feeling could put a cow with a calf, I could mount a hundred. That’s how I feel, Burton.”

Then Joseph saw the grey, sick horror that had come over his brother’s face. “You don’t understand it, Burton,” he said gently. “I want increase. I want the land to swarm with life. Everywhere I want things growing up.” Burton turned sulkily away. “Listen to me, Burton, I think I need a wife. Everything on the land is reproducing. I am the only sterile thing. I need a wife.”

Burton had started to move away, but he turned around and spat his words, “You need prayer more than anything. Come to me when you can pray.”

Joseph watched his brother walk away and he shook his head in bewilderment. “I wonder what he knows that I don’t know,” he said to himself. “He has a secret in him that makes everything I think or do unclean. I have heard the telling of the secret and it means nothing to me.” He ran his fingers through his long hair, picked up his soiled black hat and put it on. The bull came near the fence, lowered its head and snorted. Then Joseph smiled and whistled shrilly, and at the whistle, Juanito’s head popped out of the barn. “Saddle a horse,” Joseph cried. “There’s more in this old boy. Drive in another cow.”   … (unquote) …

Years pass in abundance, much work and many happenings. Joseph marries, has a son, then his wife dies. The oak by which he had built his house dies. The land is visited by the dry years; all water holes go dry and it is now deserted. There is just Joseph on the land he identifies with.

A little away from the cluster of houses, all empty and locked, there a huge rock that has small cave from which a thin stream yet trickles. Joseph carries a tent and takes to spending his days and nights by the rock, getting up every half an hour to water the moss covering the rock. The enemy driving the land go dry is Joseph’s own nemesis too, one whom he fights with the whole of his being … (quote) …

The light had come secretly in, and the sky and the trees and the rock were grey. Joseph walked slowly across the glade and knelt by the little stream. And the stream was gone. He sat quietly down and put his hand in the bed. The gravel was still damp, but no water moved out of the little cave any more.

Joseph was very tired. The wind howling around the grove and the stealthy drought were too much to fight. He thought. “Now it is over. I think I knew it would be.”

… … …

“I’ll go !” he cried suddenly. He picked up his saddle and ran across the glade with it. The horse raised its head and snorted with fear. Joseph lifted the heavy saddle, and as the tapadero struck the horse’s side, it reared, plunged away and broke its tether. The saddle was flung back on Joseph’s chest. He stood smiling a little while he watched the horse run out of the glade and away. And now the calm redescended upon him, and his fear was gone.

“I’ll climb up on the rock and sleep a while,” he said. He felt a little pain on his wrist and lifted his arm to look. A saddle buckle had cut him; his wrist and palm were bloody. As he looked at the little wound, the calm grew more secure about him, and the aloofness cut him off from the grove and from all the world.

“Of course,” he said, “I’ll climb up on the rock.” He worked his way carefully up its steep sides until at last he lay in the deep soft moss on the rock’s top. When he had rested a few minutes, he took out his knife again and carefully, gently opened the vessels of his wrist. The pain was sharp at first, but in a moment its sharpness dulled. He watched the bright blood cascading over the moss, and he heard the shouting of the wind around the grove. The sky was growing grey. And time passed and Joseph grew grey too. He lay on his side with his wrist outstretched and looked down the long black mountain range of his body. Then his body grew huge and light. It arose into the sky, and out of it came the streaking rain.

“I should have known,” he whispered. “I am the rain.” And yet he looked dully down the mountains of his body where the hills fell to an abyss. He felt the driving rain, and heard it whipping down, pattering on the ground. He saw his hills grow dark with moisture. Then a lancing pain shot through the heart of the world. “I am the land,” he said, “and I am the rain. The grass will grow out of me in a little while.”

And the storm thickened, and covered the world with darkness, and with the rush of waters.  … (unquote) …

* * *

John Steinbeck prefaces the work from the Vedas that runs as here below :

He is the giver of breath, and strength is his gift.

The high Gods revere his commandments.

His shadow is life, his shadow is death;

Who is He to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ?

 

Through His might

He became lord of the living and glittering world

And he rides the world and the men and the beasts

Who is He to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ?

From His strength the mountains take being,

And the sea, they say, and the distant river;

And these are his body and his two arms.

Who is He to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ?

He made the sky and the earth, and His will fixed their places,

Yet they look to Him and tremble.

The risen sun shines forth over Him.

Who is He to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ?

He looked over the waters

Which stored His power and gendered the sacrifice.

He is God over Gods.

Who is He to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ?

May He not hurt us,

He who made earth,

Who made the sky and the shining sea.

Who is the God to whom we shall offer sacrifice ?

—VEDA

Ramana Advaita : A Clear Brief

In Maharishi Ramana’s own words …

This is a special post.

Only very pertinent comments will be approved

What is reality ? 
You are the supreme reality to yourself – the Self, the I that remains the same, still and silent, awake and aware, through your wakeful, dream and deep sleep states in life, from birth through death. 

Clearly, it is not the ego-being that waxes and wanes with its happy and miserable experience. 
You are awareness. Awareness is your another name. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it.

Your present knowledge is due to the ego and is only relative. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object, whereas the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object. 

People want to see the Self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as a blazing light etc. How can it be so ? It is not light, not darkness. It is only as it is. It cannot be defined. 

When a man realises the Self, what will he see ? 
There is no seeing. There is only being. The state of Self-realisation, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. 

All that is needed is that you give up taking the not-true as true. All of us are regarding as real that which is not real. We have only to give up this practice on our part.

At one stage you will laugh at yourself for trying to discover the Self which is so self-evident. There is no seer there to see anything. The seer who is seeing all this now ceases to exist and the Self alone remains. 

For those who live in Self as the beauty devoid of thought, there is nothing which should be thought of. That which should be 
adhered to is only the experience of silence, because in that supreme state nothing exists to be attained other than oneself.

It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise ? The real is as it always is. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. 

The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone. 

Liberation is our very nature. We are that. The very fact that we wish for liberation shows that freedom from all bondage is our real nature. It is not to be freshly acquired. All that is necessary is to get rid of the false notion that we are bound. When we achieve that, there will be no desire or thought of any sort. So long as one desires liberation, so long, you may take it, one is in bondage.

If you remain as you are now, you are in the wakeful state; this becomes hidden in the dream state; and the dream state disappears when you are in deep sleep. You were there then, you are there now, and you are there at all times. The three states come and go, but you are always there. 

It is like a cinema. The screen is always there but several types of pictures appear on the screen and then disappear. Nothing sticks to the screen, it remains a screen. Similarly, you remain your own Self in all the three states. If you know that, the three states will not trouble you, just as the pictures which appear on the screen do not stick to it. On the screen, you sometimes see a huge ocean with endless waves; that disappears. Another time, you see fire spreading all around; that too disappears. The screen is there on both occasions. Did the screen get wet with the water or did it get burned by the fire? Nothing affected the screen. In the same way, the things that happen during the wakeful, dream and sleep states do not affect you at all; you remain your own Self. 

There is only one state, that of consciousness or awareness or existence. The three states of waking, dream and sleep cannot be real. They simply come and go. It is the seer who says these come and go. The seer and the seen together constitute the mind. See if there is such a thing as the mind. Then, the mind merges in the Self, and there is neither the seer nor the seen. So the real answer to your question is, `They neither come nor go.' 

What is the difference between the mind and the Self ? 
There is no difference. The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world. Cotton made into various clothes we call by various names. Gold made into various ornaments, we call by various names. But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold. The one is real, the many are mere names and forms. 

But the mind does not exist apart from the Self, that is, it has no independent existence. The Self exists without the mind, never the mind without the Self. 

Brahman is said to be sat-chit-ananda. What does that mean ? 
Yes. That is so. That which is, is only sat – truth, being. That is called Brahman. The luster of sat is chit – consciousness, knowledge, awareness; and its nature is ananda -- bliss. These are not different from sat. All the three together are known as satchidananda. 

If a man thinks that his happiness is due to external causes and his possessions, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore if he is devoid of possessions, his happiness should be nil. 

What is the real experience of man ? Does it conform to this view ? 
In deep sleep man is devoid of possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realise the Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.

Existence is the same as happiness and happiness is the same as being. The word mukti – liberation, freedom -- is so provoking. Why should one seek it ? One believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation.

Parable of ten foolish men ...
The ten foolish men in the parable forded a stream and on reaching the other shore wanted to make sure that all of them had 
in fact safely crossed the stream. One of the ten began to count, but while counting the others left himself out. `I see only nine; sure enough, we have lost one. Who can it be ?' he said. 

`Did you count correctly ?' asked another, and did the counting himself. But he too counted only nine. One after the other, each of the ten counted only nine, missing himself. 

`We are only nine', they all agreed, `but who is the missing one?' they asked themselves. Every effort they made to discover the `missing' individual failed.

`Whoever he is that is drowned', said the most sentimental of the ten fools, `we have lost him.' So saying he burst into tears, and the others followed suit. 

Seeing them weeping on the river bank, a sympathetic wayfarer enquired about the cause. They related what had happened and said that even after counting themselves several times they could find no more than nine. On hearing the story, but seeing all the ten before him, the wayfarer guessed what had happened. 

In order to make them know for themselves they were really ten, that all of them had survived the crossing, he told them, `Let each of you count for himself but one after the other serially, one, two, three and so on, while I shall give you each a blow so that all of you may be sure of having been included in the count, and included only once. The tenth missing man will then be found.' 

Hearing this they rejoiced at the prospect of finding their `lost' comrade and accepted the method suggested by the wayfarer. While the kind wayfarer gave a blow to each of the ten in turn, he that got the blow counted himself aloud. `Ten,' said the last man as he got the last blow in his turn. Bewildered they looked at one another. 

`We are ten,' they said with one voice and thanked the wayfarer for having removed their grief. 

However often Bhagavan * teaches us, we are not able to understand. 
* reverential address, meaning God 

People say that they are not able to know the Self that is all pervading. What can I do ? 
Even the smallest child says, `I exist; I do; this is mine.' 
So, everyone understands that the thing `I' is always existent.

What is the ego-self ? How is it related to the real Self ? 
The ego-Self appears and disappears and is transitory, whereas the real Self is permanent. Though you are actually the true Self you wrongly identify the real Self with the ego-self. 

How does the mistake come about ? 
See if it has come about. 

One has to sublimate the ego-self into the true Self. 
The ego-self does not exist at all. 

Why does it give us trouble ? 
To whom is the trouble ? 
The trouble also is imagined. Trouble and pleasure are only for the ego. 

Why is the world so wrapped up in ignorance ? 
Take care of yourself. Let the world take care of itself. 
See your Self. If you are the body there is the gross world also. If you are spirit all is spirit alone. 

It will hold good for the individual, but what of the rest ? 
Do it first and then see if the question arises afterwards. 

Is there avidya [ignorance] ? 
For whom is it ?  For the ego-self. 
Yes, for the ego. Remove the ego and avidya is gone. Look for it, the ego vanishes and the real Self alone remains. The ego professing avidya is not to be seen. There is no avidya in reality. All sastras [scriptures] are meant to disprove the existence of avidya. 

How did the ego arise ? 
Ego is not. Otherwise do you admit of two selves ?

How has the unreal come ? Can the unreal spring from the real ? 
See if it has sprung. There is no such thing as the unreal, from another standpoint. The Self alone exists. When you try to trace the ego, which is the basis of the perception of the world and everything else, you find the ego does not exist at all and neither does all this creation that you see. 

It is cruel of God's leela (play) to make the knowledge of the Self so hard. 
Knowing the Self is being the Self, and being means existence, one's own existence. No one denies one's existence any more than one denies one's eyes, although one cannot see them. The trouble lies with your desire to objectify the Self, in the same way as you objectify your eyes when you place a mirror before them. You have been so accustomed to objectivity that you have lost the knowledge of yourself, simply because the Self cannot be objectified. 

Who is to know the Self ? Can the insentient body know it ?  All the time you speak and think of your `I', yet when questioned you deny knowledge of it. You are the Self, yet you ask how to know the Self. Where then is God's leela and where is its cruelty ? Because of this denial of the Self by people the sastras speak of maya, leela, etc. 

Does my realisation help others ? 
Yes, certainly. It is the best help possible. But there are no others to be helped. 

That will take some years. 
Why years ? The idea of time is only in your mind. It is not in the Self. There is no time for the Self. Time arises as an idea after the ego arises. But you are the Self beyond time and space. You exist even in the absence of time and space. 

All books say that the guidance of a Guru is necessary. 
The Guru will say only what I am saying now. He will not give you anything you have not already got. It is impossible for anyone to get what he has not got already.

I see you doing things. How can you say that you never perform actions ? 
The radio sings and speaks, but if you open it you will find no one inside. Similarly, my existence is like the space; thou this body speaks like the radio, there is no one inside as a doer. 

I find this hard to understand. Could you please elaborate on this ? 
Various illustrations are given in books to enable us to understand how the jnani can live and act without the mind, although living and acting require the use of the mind. The potter's wheel goes on turning round even after the potter has ceased to turn it because the pot is finished. In the same way, the electric fan goes on revolving for some minutes after we switch off the current. The prarabdha [predestined karma] which created the body will make it go through whatever activities it was meant for. But the jnani goes through all these activities without the notion that he is the doer of them. 

It is hard to understand how this is possible. The illustration generally given is that the jnani performs actions in some such way as a child that is roused from sleep to eat eats but does not remember next morning that it ate. 

It has to be remembered that all these explanations are not for the jnani. He knows and has no doubts. He knows that he is not the body and he knows that he is not doing anything even though his body may be engaged in some activity. These explanations are for the onlookers who think of the jnani as one with a body and cannot help identifying him with his body. 

You are Bhagavan. So you should know when I shall get jnana. 
Tell me when I shall be a jnani. 

If I am Bhagavan there is no one besides the Self - therefore no jnani or ajnani. If otherwise, I am as good as you are and know as much as yourself. Either way I cannot answer your question. 

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.beasyouare.info/beasyouare.html

The Spiritual Content Of Vedas

A portrayal of Vyasa, who classified the Vedas...

Adapted from Dr Kenneth Chandler’s Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

What is Rig Veda and the Vedic literature ?

What is the Vedic tradition really about ?

What is Vedic Cognition and How is it Passed On ?

The Rig Veda was not “created” out the human imagination, as works of poetry or literature are created. Unlike poetry or literature, the Veda is experienced and then the experience of the Veda is recited in hymns that directly express the experience of the Veda. This is called Vedic cognition. Cognition means that the Vedic rishis or seers heard what is there in the universal field of consciousness and they sang out the sounds that they heard.

This experience is what the recited sounds of the Veda express. But the hymns of the Rig Veda are not about the Veda, as if the expression were something different from the Veda itself, which they were describing. The rishis heard the Veda and saw its structure, and this sound itself is expressed in the hymns of the Rig Veda. The experience of the Rig Veda flowed through the rishis into the hymns of the Rig Veda.

The hymns of the Rig Veda sought out those rishis who were fully awake and made themselves known to them, and the rishis passed on these hymns in a long unbroken tradition that endures to the present. The Rig Veda, the most ancient hymns of the Vedic tradition, has been preserved over time by a method of memorisation and recitation, and passed over from father to son in an unbroken sequence over vast stretches of time. By two pundits chanting the hymns (and by chanting them forwards and backwards), a method of ensuring their purity was established that allowed these hymns to be passed on over thousands of years without loss. The Veda we possess today, unbelievable as it may seem, is thus an expression of the sounds heard many thousands of years ago.

It was only in relatively recent times, probably around 3000 BC, that the Veda and Vedic literature, were committed to writing. Before that Veda was an oral tradition.

There are at least 40 distinct branches of the Veda and the Vedic literature. These include, first and foremost, the Rig Veda samhita, and the Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. These four bodies of sound are what is meant by the Veda. In addition to the Veda, the Vedic literature includes 36 branches, all based on the Veda itself : six branches of Vedanga, six branches of Upanga, and six branches of Ayur-Veda, for example. All branches of Vedic literature are considered, like the Veda itself, uncreated or eternal structures of knowledge.

The extent of the Veda and the entire Vedic literature is vast, huge—much larger, for example, than the remaining body of literature of all of ancient Greece and Rome. There are ten volumes of the Rig Veda alone in one of the best editions available in English (the Wilson translation). There are 54 books of Kalpa, just one of six branches of the Vedangas. There are 18 books of Puranas. The Itihasa includes the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the latter printed in an English edition having 20 volumes. There are thus, for example, over a hundred volumes in just these four branches of the Veda and the Vedic literature.

Seers see this vast body of the Veda and the Vedic literature as a systematic body of literature that has a detailed, intricate structure in every part, and all systematically related in a whole. It is systematic in the sense that is not a random collection of books that were written over vast stretches of time, but it forms a complete whole, with a comprehensive organisation and structure. Each of the books of Vedic literature relates in a systematic way to all the others and each forms an essential part of the whole of Vedic literature.

The Veda itself, which is expressed in the Vedas, exists in the unmanifest field of unbounded pure consciousness, called param vyoman. This is a universal silent field of consciousness that pervades everything in the universe. Since it is all-pervading, it pervades the body and mind of every individual. It exists on the most subtle, or fine scale, of activity. It is smaller than the smallest particle of the atomic nucleus. It is on a scale smaller than the smallest quark and lepton. It is the field of consciousness in its least excited state. Everything in nature is an excitation of this field. All particles of matter and force are excited states of this one all-pervading field.

To know the Veda, which is everywhere as the most subtle foundation of the world, we have only to take our awareness from the excited states of consciousness to the least excited state of consciousness. By taking our awareness from the active, gross level of activity to the silent field of pure consciousness, we allow our individual mind to become settled and stilled to that state of wakeful silence, and in that state the mind spreads out to identify with the all-pervading field of consciousness. On that level of awareness, the entire Veda and Vedic literature can be directly experienced as the fabrics of our own consciousness. We simply dive from the surface level of activity to the silent all-pervading depth where consciousness is eternally awake and interacting within itself. This self-interaction of consciousness as its flows from unity into diversity is the Veda. It is the eternal reality at the foundation of everything that exists in the observable manifest world.

The Veda has a structure. It is structured in the form of mandalas, or circles. The structure of the Veda and the Vedic literature is a flow of knowledge, not a static, frozen structure. As the eternal consciousness flowing within itself and knowing itself, it flows and creates within itself a structure that is dynamic and flowing. This flowing structure of Veda is an eternal flow of pure knowledge of the self as it unfolds knowledge of itself. It is the flow of consciousness as it knows itself while it flows from unity to diversity. It is the flow of self-knowledge within consciousness, giving rise to the entire diversity of creation. It is the flow of the oneness of eternal pure consciousness into the many formed unity of the Veda and, from there, to the forms and phenomena of the manifest universe, the visible material world.

The first flow of knowledge of the Veda is the flow from the One into the many. The eternal oneness of pure Being or pure consciousness knows itself. And in knowing itself, it breaks itself into many. The infinite One collapses into a point, and into infinitely many points. These points of consciousness are finite, separate, isolated points of individual consciousness. But they are all ultimately points of the one infinite whole of consciousness. Each is a collapsed point of the infinite whole, and in the process of returning to wholeness, the finite points of consciousness expand back into the infinite One from which they began. This is the fundamental process of creation that is expressed in the Rig Veda and in the Vedic literature.

The Rig Veda expresses this process in sound. The Rig Veda is essentially this sequence of vibrations that manifest as the process of consciousness knowing itself. It unfolds out of the process of consciousness knowing itself. This entire process is a necessary sequence of sounds that unfold the pure knowledge of consciousness to itself. It is the eternal murmuring of consciousness to itself.

The Rig Veda does not describe the process in articulate language, using descriptive terms, the way a scientist might describe an object of nature. The vibrations of consciousness as it moves within itself create unmanifest sounds in the unmanifest field of pure consciousness, which manifest as the sound of the Veda, and these sounds within the infinite field of pure consciousness become the vibrations that manifest in the forms and phenomena of physical creation.

The basic process of consciousness knowing itself takes the form of a collapse of the infinite whole of pure consciousness into finite points of consciousness. This process of infinity collapsing to a point, and the points expanding into infinity, is the basic process that structures the Veda. It is the process by which the eternal Oneness of pure consciousness knows itself.

The Rig Veda has a marvelous structure in which each of the parts reflects the structure of the whole. Thus, for example, the First Mandala of the Rig Veda, which gives the meaning of the Veda as a whole, has 192 suktas. The Tenth Mandala has the same number of suktas, mirroring the gaps between the suktas of the First Mandala. This is not an accidental structural parallel, but an indication of the intricately interlocked structure of the Veda as a whole. This kind of structural identity is reiterated in many places throughout Vedic literature.

First Syllable,  First Verse…

The first syllable of the Rig Veda, “Ak,” could be seen as containing the whole Rig Veda within itself. It represents the collapse of the continuum of flow of infinite wholeness to its own point. The “A” sound represents flow or continuum, and the “k” sound represents the stop, or collapse of the flow. This sound is actually the process of the infinite whole of consciousness collapsing to its point values. The line however continues …

अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवं रत्वीजम होतारं रत्नधातमम ||

aghnimīḷe purohitaṃ yajñasya devaṃ ṛtvījam | 

hotāraṃ ratnadhātamam || 

Griffith translates it as :

I Laud Agni,

The chosen Priest,

God, minister of sacrifice,

The Hotar, lavisher of wealth.

The traslation above is purely “Adhiyajñika“, in accord with Sayana’s commentary of 14th Century AD. It interprets the Vedic rik at ritual level in terms of performance of works accompanying its utterance. It entirely misses the Ādhyātmika sense that the mantra includes at the spiritual and psychological level in terms of being, individual and universal, commonly signified with use of terms such as God, Heaven, etc. And, lastly, there is always the Ādhidaivika or naturalistic or cosmological sense the reader or hearer obtains, pertaining to phenomenal creation and its laws observed in nature.

The unstrung Adhyatmika sense is included in the syllables as herebelow :

Agnim [Arc : to illuminate + Nī : to lead]

Īle [Īḍ : to praise, to glorify]

Purohitaṃ [Pṝ : full, complete, first

+ Hu : to sacrifice, to conduct]

Yajñasya [Yaj : to exalt, to offer]

Devam [Div(u) : to shine with power]

Ṛtvijaṃ [Ṛ : to guide rightly, to steer

+ Vij : to arouse, to strengthen]

Hotāraṃ [(1) Hve : to call;

(2) Hu : to sacrifice, conduct]

Ratna [Ram : to be or make content, to please]

Dhātamaṃ [(1) Dhā: to put, to order, to set in place;

(2) Dhṛ: to hold, to sustain]

Source : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/hinduism-dir/143750-rigveda-mandala-1-sukta-1-mantra.html

Left unstrung, the sense which arises with utterance of syllable would fill the heart and intellect in accord with one’s own age, exposure and acquired sagacity, leaving the individual with his own meaning overall as his mind would string the parts up.

One such Adhyatmika translation would perhaps read thus :

Praise, the Prime Illuminator

Who lights up all and enlightens;

The Supreme who offers all

Whose exalted act

At first offered all in creation;

Who gloriously shines of own power

Who vests strength in each to arise;

Who rightly guides and steers all

With the call to our being

To be, to be blissful and content;

And sets each to order

In our own place.

The material or naturalistic is not attempted here for want of context.

In line with the spiritual sense offered above, the first syllable of the Rig Veda is elaborated and commented on in the first 24 richa (verses), which are further elaborated in the corresponding 24 pada (phrases) of the next eight richa, giving 192 meaning of the syllable Ak or [Arc]. These all emerge from the 24 sandhi (gaps) of the first richa. From the 192 gaps between the 192 akshara (syllables) of richa 2-9, emerge the 192 suktas of the First Mandala of the Rig Veda.

The 192 sandhi between the 192 suktas of the first Mandala give rise to the 192 suktas of the Tenth Mandala, a circular structure that precisely fills the gaps of the First Mandala. Similarly, the gaps between the nine richas of the first sukta are elaborated in Mandala 2-9 of Rig Veda, unfolding the total Rig Veda with all its ten Mandalas.

The whole of the Rig Veda has therefore a marvelous and intricately interwoven structure that is beyond the capacity of the human mind to create. It was not created, but cognised by the seers of ancient India. This is part of the reason that seers recognise the tradition and agree that the Veda and the Vedic literature is “eternal” or uncreated.

 *** See Tony Nader, The Human Physiology : Expression of Veda and the Vedic Literature,

(Vlodrop, Holland: Maharishi Vedic University Press, 2000), p. 57.

The Three-in-One Structure of Pure Knowledge

The flow of Rishi, Devata, and Chhandas in the Structure of the Veda is one other structure of the Veda that is basic to understanding the Veda. In the process of knowing itself, the infinite pure consciousness, which is eternal knows itself, creates a division within itself of knower, known, and process of knowing. This is necessary for it to know itself. It is both eternally one and yet eternally three—knower, knowing, and known—making a three-in-one structure of self-knowing consciousness.

This is another fundamental feature of pure consciousness that it is both eternally one and eternally many. From the three-fold structure of knower, known, and process of knowing, consciousness continues to reflect on itself, giving rise to many more reiterations of itself, until the one has evolved into the diversity of the entire Veda.

This threefold structure of pure knowledge, that it is one and three at the same time, seers call “the three-in-one structure of pure knowledge.” It is expressed in the Veda in the terms rishi (knower), devata (process of knowing) and chhandas (known). Every sukta of the Rig Veda has a structure of rishi, devata, and chhandas, which is announced at the beginning of the hymn. There are infinitely many values of rishi, infinitely many values of devata, and infinitely many values of chhandas. These provide the basic key to understanding the structure of the Rig Veda, as well as Sama, Atharva, and Yajur Veda.

Not only the Veda but all of Vedic literature reflects this structure of knower, knowing, and known. Each branch of the Vedic literature flows out of the mechanics of self-knowing consciousness. The Vedic literature, with its six-fold organisation, reflects the process of movement from rishi, to devata, to chhandas, and from chhandas back to devata and rishi. This process is the basic process that structures the entire Rig Veda and the entire Vedic literature. It is the process of self-knowing consciousness.

Readers are encouraged to rediscover the structure of the entire Veda and Vedic literature. This is an immense voyage of discovery into a new world of knowledge that has been lost for thousands of years. It is a journey into the fabric of our own consciousness. It is regaining lost knowledge of our own infinite Self.

English: Student learning Veda. Location: Nach...

Student learning Veda. http://parampara.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Spiritual Content Of Vedas

English: Student learning Veda. Location: Nach...

Student learning Veda. Location: Nachiyar Kovil, Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu. http://parampara.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adapted from Dr Kenneth Chandler’s Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

What is Rig Veda and the Vedic literature ?

What is the Vedic tradition really about ?

It is as if we have been on an archeological dig on an ancient site in the Indus Valley and find a treasure room of vast extent, filled with books that are about an ancient science. As we decipher these ancient codes, we discover a body of knowledge more advanced than any science known to humanity today. Such is the excitement of the rediscovery of the Veda.

If the European scholars got the dates of the Vedic tradition and the invasion theory entirely wrong, neither did they understand anything of what was going on in the Vedic tradition. It takes direct experience to understand its transcendent revelations.

Veda means knowledge, the one structured within the inner silence of consciousness itself. It is knowledge unravelled by oneself when conscious of itself, of its own nature free of all physical-mental-intellectual terms. It exists on the reverse of how we are otherwise directed, away from ourself. The unbroken Vedic tradition yet holds the ancient, and now lost, knowledge of that conscious method of going within, like turning the sight away from objects in order to look at itself.

We too can experience the Veda deep within our own consciousness; if we do not, it because we are out of touch with the method of going within, of giving up our ‘individual’ occupation with differentiated consciousness of finite being and transiting over to our primordial, undifferentiated stillness and its infinite homogeneous depths. It is on the way that Vedic knowledge arises of its own accord in seer consciousness … of knowledge pure, of inclusive perspective to being in truth, and of human moral values at their source. With this experience, the seers know and declare that the Veda is eternal and safe forever in its transcendent realm.

The Veda is expression of the knowledge the seer passes by while transcending beyond the individual consciousness formed in gross and subtle receptacles available in the mind-body complex, or during the descent from that undifferentiated sublimity. Whilst cleansing the seer’s own mental and intellectual universe of all flaws and taints, the direct experience also retains the awareness of that oneness pervading all creation. It is not localised to individual awareness, as is confirmed by several seers contemporary, before and after; it is universal. Anyone else too can gain the same transcendental experience of the infinite, unbounded silence, and confirm the truth.

The infinite silence is not seen, as one sees an object separate from the self. It is what the seer becomes — the undifferentiated infinite. Since the Veda is structured in consciousness itself, which is not individual but universal and all-pervading, it exists within and is available to everyone. Every individual consciousness grows out of the vast ocean of universal consciousness, which is the Veda. By diving within our individual consciousness and beyond, to the infinite sea of universal consciousness, we can experience the self-interacting dynamics by which the world is created within the eternal sea of consciousness. This is to witness the mechanics of creation. Veda is this mechanics of creation.

The Vedic tradition grew out of a discovery of a way to go within consciousness and directly experience the Veda, which exists deep within it. It is only through this experience that there can be genuine knowledge of the Veda at all. It is for this reason that the seers laid out the method for everyone to go within and directly experience the silent expanse of consciousness. The method is as sacred as the Veda itself, for without it there would have been no way to verify and affirm the truth through unbroken tradition since antiquity. It has enabled humanity to access the silent, unconditioned, universal consciousness that underlies and pervades all manifest objects in the physical world.

The Vedic tradition therefore contrasts starkly with the monotheistic religions of the Book, principally Christianity and Islam. They offer no solid foundation – the method — for knowledge and understanding of their respective personal and personified God or Allah. Adherents of those religions are asked to keep faith, believe and pray; there is no tradition of exploring the fundamental inner silence of pure consciousness itself, that every human being is heir to. As a result, no one in those religions has the direct experience of that level of reality—the silent foundation of universal consciousness— which they write and speak of, exhort and preach about, but without the authority of personal evidence.

The Veda reveals the reality of consciousness through a constant stream of aligned expression, which was meant to be heard and repeated, contemplated and mediated upon, till the same essence of the revelation at source was imbibed and absorbed enough to yield its indescribable reality. The Vedic tradition carries knowledge of that spiritual method over time; amazingly, in fact, through six millennia or so. And Vedic civilisation was raised on that uniquely mystical experience, connecting the universal with the ephemeral !

The Rig Veda and the Vedic literature are a systematic expression of consciousness and the knowledge of consciousness. The Veda tells us something about our own consciousness, about our human potential to be in and to experience a universal field of consciousness that underlies all created things. The essential meaning of the Veda escaped the Western scholars. They failed to appreciate that, to people nurtured in Vedic tradition, the esoteric fulness signified in the Veda and eclectic means that seers have revealed through the ages are of immense practical import, far greater than any other method of knowledge.

Which is why the Veda is preserved as expression of deep knowledge and has survived over many thousands of years in virtually perfect condition, and that it holds the secret to unlocking new knowledge and a new approach to knowledge that will enhance civilisations everywhere more than any other discovery in the history of mankind.

Veda pathashala students doing sandhya vandana...

The Death Phenomenon

Source : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.adidaupclose.org/extraordinary_evidence/tour.html

A Cosmic Journey

Connie Mantas


Connie Mantas has been a devotee of Adi Da since the early 1970’s. She is a registered nurse who at the time worked with the dying. Connie was taken through a remarkable experience by Avatar Adi Da . . . Avatar Adi Da walked over to her during a gathering at His House at The Mountain Of Attention, and asked her to lie down on the floor next to Him. He lay flat on His back next to her and closed His eyes, saying “Now do exactly as I do.” Then, through silent Instruction, He guided her through the patterns of conditional existence that are experienced in the death transition.

This story was taken from Chapter 8 of The Promised God-Man Is Here, by Carolyn Lee.

Connie MantasFirst there was an explosion of inner sounds. Then I felt the layers of the body-mind release and fall away. “I” was separating out from the physical body and seemed to fly upwards, whirling through dark space at an incredible speed. I was moving toward an overwhelming, brilliant light. At one point, I recall slipping through a kind of “grid” as a speck of consciousness.

For an instant, I did seem to lose all self-awareness, but throughout the rest of the experience I was aware of the most remarkable clarity. I found that I felt more familiar and at ease traveling without the body than when I was dragging it along, anchored to it by my usual physical-body identification. I felt myself to be alive as Consciousness, at ease as the witness of mind and attention.

At different moments in this Cosmic journey, I felt the deep urges of the body-mind drawing me back towards embodiment, and I sensed the frustration of having no physical body through which to enact or fulfill desires. This made a stunning impression on me, and I remember feeling how foolish it would be to waste the opportunity of a human lifetime to do the [spiritual practice] that could help free me of the binding attachments I had now seen so clearly.

Then I became aware of a loud buzzing or humming sound as I slowly came back into [identification with] the body-mind, taking on each layer [or sheath], starting with the most subtle. The inner sounds quieted until once again I was aware of lying on the floor.

When I opened my eyes, the face of Beloved Adi Da was right next to mine, and He was grinning at me with a gigantic smile. He opened His mouth and started to laugh. It was more than a laugh — it was a victorious and triumphant Shout, glorious to hear. Instead of being awestruck by this remarkable journey I had just taken with Him, I felt sheer marvel at Who He Is. I felt, “Yes! There is this great scheme of conditional existence, of which human embodiment is a part. But first, and most importantly, HE IS THE MASTER OF IT ALL! And I have a relationship with That One!”

Without exchanging a word with me, Beloved Adi Da got up, walked to His Chair and began a discourse on death and the “grid” through which we pass at death. This was one of the first occasions at which Beloved Adi Da spoke of the total pattern of phenomena, or the Cosmic Mandala, as He would later describe it. As always, He had one primary message — no experience, high or low, is the answer to our suffering. No “one” survives in the Great Plastic of forms. Only Consciousness Itself persists, the Eternal “I”, the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Condition of all, Beyond the grid of appearances.

The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Lake Co...

The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Lake County, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MATTER TO CONSCIOUSNESS

Devanagari Invocation of Isha Upanishad

Invocation of Isha Upanishad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sarva Darshana Sangraha

by Madhava Vidyaranya,

Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi

14th Century AD.

A compendium of all thought and 16 belief – systems that men have lived with over extended period,

that they chose over others for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through … 

Chapter V : Madhva’s Eternal Dualism

Madhva, also known as Madhvacharya or Anand-Tirtha “Purna Prajna,” accepts much of Ramanuj’s Qualified Monism but irrevocably departs in his principle of eternal dependence of individual souls on the one Supreme that alone is independent. He agrees with Ramanuj’s belief system of atomic size of the soul and its subservience to Supreme entity, the authenticity of Vedas, the self-evidence of the instruments of knowledge, the triad of evidences, dependency upon the Panch-ratra, and the reality of plurality in the universe. 

But in his doctrine, ultimate principles are dichotomised into the one independent and the many dependent; as it is stated in the Tattva-viveka : Independent and dependent, two principles are received ; the independent is Vishnu the Lord, exempt from imperfections, and of inexhaustible excellences. He brushes aside the interpretation of the absolute principle being void, in the face of proofs positive of duality : perception, for example, of “This” – the individual being – is different from “That” – the Universal being.

The Pure Monists (Advaitin) rejoin : Do you hold that perception is cognisant of a perceptional difference, or of a difference constituted by the thing and its opposite ? The former will not hold : for without a cognition of the thing and its opposite, the recognition of the difference which presupposes such a cognition, will be impossible. If the latter alternative : is the apprehension of the difference preceded by an apprehension of the thing and its contrary, or are all the three (the thing, its contrary, and the contrariety) simultaneously apprehended ? It cannot be thus preceded, for the operation of the intellect is without delay (or without successive steps), and there would also result a logical seesaw (apprehension of the difference presupposing apprehension of the thing and its contrary, and apprehension of the thing and its contrary presupposing apprehension of the difference). Nor can there be a simultaneous apprehension (of the thing, its contrary, and the difference) ; for cognitions related as cause and effect cannot be simultaneous, and the cognition of the thing is the cause of the recognition of the difference; the causal relation between the two being recognised by a concomitance and non-concomitance (mutual exclusion), the difference not being cognised even when the thing is present, without a cognition of its absent contrary. The perception of difference, therefore (the Monists conclude), is not easily admissible. 

To this Madhva replies as follows : Are these objections proclaimed against one who maintains a difference things in themselves, or against one who maintains a difference between things as subjects of their attributes ? In the former case, you will be, as the saying runs, punishing a respectable Brahman for the offence of a thief. In considering the Upanishad saying, “Thou art That,” if the difference is in their essence, then an actual cognition of “That” is unnecessary; the difference is eternally underscored since the difference presupposes a contrary counterpart. 

If the difference is by their attributes, which form the determinate usage (name and notion) we have of them in our understanding, then too their essential contrariness remains as actual contrary counterparts; for example, the essence of a thing so far as constituted by its dimensions is first cognised, and afterwards it becomes the object of some determinate judgment, as long or short in relation to some particular counterpart (or contrasted object). Accordingly, it is said in the Vishnu-tattva-nirnaya : Difference is not proved to exist by the relation of determinant and determinate ; for this relation of determinant and determinate (or predicate and subject) presupposes difference; and if difference were proved to depend upon the thing and its counterpart, and the thing and its counterpart to presuppose difference, difference as involving a logical circle could not be accounted for ; but difference is itself a real predicament (or ultimate entity). 

For this reason (viz. because difference is the thing in itself), Madhva continues, it is that men in quest of a cow do not act as if they had found her when they see a gayal, seeing which they do not recall the word cow. Nor let it be objected that if difference be a real entity between, say, milk and water, then the same difference should be perceived in a mixture of milk and water as well; for the absence of any manifestation of, and judgment about, the difference, may be accounted for by the force of some obstructions that hinder the perception viz. aggregation of similars and the rest. 

Thus it has been said (in the Sankhya-karika, v. vii.) : From too great remoteness, from too great nearness, from defect in the organs, from instability of the common sensory, from subtlety, from interposition, from being overpowered, and from aggregation of similars.

There is no perception respectively of a tree and the like on the (barren) peak of amountain, because of its too great remoteness ; of the collyrium applied to eyes because of too much proximity ; of lightning and the like because of a defect in the organs; of a jar or the like in broad daylight, by one whose common sensory is bewildered by lust and other passions, because of instability of the common sensory ; of an atom and the like, because of their subtlety ; of things behind a wall, and so forth, because of interposition ; of the light of a lamp and the like, in the day-time, because of its being overpowered ; of milk and water, because of the aggregation of similars. 

Difference (duality) is also ascertained by inference. Thus the Supreme Lord differs from the individual soul as the object of its obedience ; and he who is to be obeyed by any person differs from that person : a king, for instance, from his attendant. For men, desiring as they do – let me have pleasure, let me not have the slightest pain – if they covet the position of their lord, they do not become objects of his favour; nay, rather, they become recipients of all kinds of evil. He who asserts his own inferiority and the excellence of his superior, he it is who is to be commended; and the gratified superior grants his eulogist his desire. 

Therefore it has been said : “Kings destroy those who assert themselves to be kings, and grant to those who proclaim their kingly preeminence in all that they desire.” 

Thus is the statement of those (Advaita-vadins) in their thirst to be one with the Supreme Lord, that the supreme excellence of Vishnu is like a mirage. Through offending this supreme Vishnu, they must enter into the hell of blind darkness (andha-tamasa), as is laid down by Madhya-mandira in the Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya : 

” Daityas, enemies of the eternal Vishnu, cause his anger to wax great ; He hurls the Daityas into the blind darkness, because they decide blindly.” 

This service (or obedience of which we have spoken) is trichotomised into (i) stigmatisation, (2) imposition of names, and (3) worship. Of these, stigmatisation is (the branding upon one self) of the weapons of Narayana (or Vishnu) as a memorial of him, and as a means of attaining the end which is needful (emancipation). Thus the sequel of the Sakalya-samhita : “The man who bears branded in him the discus of the immortal Vishnu, which is the might of the gods, He, shaking off his guilt, goes to the heaven (Vaikuntha) which ascetics, whose desires are passed away, enter into.

Imposition of names is the appellation of sons and others by such names as Kesava, as a continual memorial of the name of the Supreme Lord. 

Worship is of ten kinds, viz. [A] with the voice : (1) veracity (2) usefulness (3) kindliness (4) sacred study ;

[B] with the body : (5) almsgiving (6) defence (7) protection ;

[C] with the common sensory : (8) mercy (9) longing and (10) faith. 

Worship is the dedication to Narayana of each of these as it is realised.

Thus it has been said : ” Stigmatisation, imposition of names, worship; the last is of ten kinds.” 

Difference (or duality between the Supreme Being and the universe) may also be inferred from cognisability and other marks. So also difference (or duality) may be understood from revelation, from texts setting out duality in emancipation and beatitude, such as : ” All rejoice over truth attained ; truthful, and celebrating the gift of the divine Indra, they recount his glory ; among those that know the truth, Brahman is in the universe ; He is the true spirit ; true indeed is individual spirit ; truth is duality, truth is duality … in me is illusion, in me illusion, in me illusion.” 

Again : “After attaining this knowledge, becoming like unto me, in creation they are not born again, in retractation they perish not” (Bhagavad-gita, xiv. 2). 

Nor should suggestion be made that individual spirit is God in virtue of the text, He that knows the absolute becomes the absolute; for this text is hyperbolically eulogistic, like the text, “Worshipping a Brahman devoutly, a Sudra becomes a Brahman,” i.e. becomes exalted. 

If people urge that according to the text : “If the universe existed it would doubtless come to an end,” this duality is merely illusory, and in reality a unity, and that duality is learnt to be illusorily imagined ; it may be replied : What you say is true, but you do not understand its meaning ; for the real meaning is, if this world had been produced, it would without doubt come to an end; but since it does not, it is everlasting, a five-fold dual universe. Illusion is deemed to be the will of the Lord, in virtue of the testimony of many passages such as : 

” The great illusion, ignorance, necessity, the bewilderment … The originant, ideation, thus is thy will called, Infinite. 

The originant, because it originates endlessly ; ideation, because it produces all ideas. The illusion of Hari, who is called a-, is termed (a-vidya) ignorance : Styled (vidya) illusion, because it is pre-eminent, for the name vidya is used of the pre-eminent. The excellent knowledge of Vishnu who, though one, is calledby these names; for knowledge of Hari is characterised by spontaneous beatitude it bestows.” 

That in which this excellent knowledge produces knowledge and effects thereof is pure illusion, as known and sustained by the Supreme Lord; therefore duality is not illusorily imagined. For in the Lord illusory imagination of the universe is not possible, illusory imagination arising from non-perception of differences (which as an imperfection is inconsistent with the divine nature). 

If it be asked how then that (illusory duality) is predicated, the answer is that in truth there is a non-duality that is real; Vishnu, being better than all else, has no equal and no superior. Accordingly, the grand revelation : 

” A difference between soul and the Lord, a difference between the unsentient and the Lord, a difference among souls, and a difference of the unsentient and the soul, each from the other. Also the difference of unsentient things from one another, the world with its five divisions. This same is real and from all eternity ; if it had had a beginning it would have an end : Whereas it does not come to an end ; and it is not illusorily imagined : For if it were imagined it would cease, but it never ceases. That there is no duality is therefore the doctrine of those that lack knowledge ; and this doctrine of those that have knowledge is known and sustained by Vishnu.” 

The purpose, then, of all revelations is to set out the supreme excellence of Vishnu. With this in view the Lord declared : 

” Two are these beings in the universe, the perishable and the imperishable ; the perishable is all the elements, the imperishable is the unmodified. The other, the most excellent person called the Supreme Spirit, is the undecaying Lord, who pervading sustains the three worlds. Since, transcending the perishable, I am more excellent than the imperishable (soul), hence I am celebrated among men and in the Veda as the best of persons (Purushottama). He who uninfatuated knows me thus as the best of persons, he all-knowing worships me in every wise. Thus this most mysterious institute is declared, blameless (Arjuna) : ” Knowing this a man may be wise, and may have done what he has to do, Bharata” (Gita, xv. 16-20). 

While merit, wealth, and enjoyment are transitory, emancipation is eternal ; therefore a wise man should strive unceasingly to attain thereto. And emancipation is not won without the grace of Vishnu, according to the text of the Narayana Upanishad : Through whose grace is the highest state, through whose essence he is liberated from transmigration, while inferior men propitiating the divinities are not emancipated ; the supreme object of discernment to those who desire to be liberated from this snare of works. 

According to the words of the Vishnu-purana : If he be propitiated, what here may not be won ? Enough of all wealth and enjoyments. These are scanty enough. On climbing the tree of the supreme essence, without doubt a man attains to the fruit of emancipation.

And it is declared that the grace of Vishnu is won only through the knowledge of his excellence, not through the knowledge of non-duality. Nor is there in this doctrine any connection with texts declaratory of the identity (of personal and impersonal spirit) such as, That art thou; for this pretended identity is mere babbling from ignorance of the real purport. 

“The word That, when undetermined, designates the eternally unknown. The word Thou designates a knowable entity; how can these be one ? “ 

And this text (That art Thou) indicates similarity (not identity) … Not essential unity, for even when one is emancipated it remains different.” The difference is in the independence and completeness of the Supreme Spirit and thesmallness and dependence in the individual spirit.

Vishnu is the refuge of liberated souls, and their supreme ruler. 

There is no proof anywhere, then, that the world is unreal. Besides, we would ask :

Is the statement that the world is false itself true or false ?

If the statement is true, there is a violation of a real non-duality.

If the statement is untrue, it follows that the world is true. 

Perhaps it may be objected that this dilemma is a kind of fallacious reasoning, like the dilemma :

Is transitoriness permanent or transitory ?

There is a difficulty in either case. As it is said by the author of the Nyaya-nirvana : The proof of the permanence of the transitory, as being both permanent and transitory, is a paralogism. And in the Tarkika-raksha, “When a mode cannot be evinced to be either such and such, or not such and such, the denial of a subject characterised by such a mode is called Nitya-sama. “

If you (Advaita-vadin) reply : We accept the unreality (or falsity) of the world, not its non-existence, this reply is about as wise as the procedure of the carter who will lose his head rather than pay a hundred pieces of money, but will at once give five score. 

For falsity and non-existence are synonymous. We dismiss further prolixity. 

Shivalli Brahmins

Shivalli Brahmins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MATTER TO CONSCIOUSNESS

 

Sarva Darshana Sangraha

by Madhava Vidyaranya,

Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi

14th Century AD.

A compendium of all thought and 16 belief – systems that men have lived with over extended period,

that they chose over others for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through … 

Chapter IV : Ramanuj‘s Qualified Monism

Before elaborating on Ramanuj’s wonderful amalgamation of Madhvacharya’s Devotional Dualism and Shankar’s Absolute Monism, the “Sangraha” author – Madhava Vidyaranya – takes the opportunity to rationally condemn the Arhat’s doctrine. He says … The simultaneous co-existence of existence, non-existence and other modes in a plurality of really existing things is an impossibility. Nor should any one say : Granting the impossibility of the co-existence of existence and non-existence, which are reciprocally contradictory, why should there not be an alternation between existence and non-existenc, there being the rule that it is action that alternates. Nor let it be supposed that the whole universe is multiform, in reliance upon the examples of the elephant-headed Ganesa and of the incarnation of Vishnu as half man, half lion ; for the elephantine and the leonine nature existing in one part, and the human in another, and consequently there being no contradiction, those parts being different, these examples are inapplicable to the maintenance of a nature that is itself multiform, as being both existent and non-existent in one and the same part (or place). 

Again, if any one urge : Let there be existence in one form, and non-existence in another, and thus both will be compatible ; we rejoin : Not so, for if you had said that at different times existence and non-existence may be the nature of anything, then indeed there would have been no vice in your procedure… And so the Sangraha author’s acute observations go on to demolish the Arhat belief construct. He even mocks … “you have not proved what you wished to prove, a multiform statement (as both existent and non-existent) proving nothing. In either case, there is rope for a noose for the neck of the Syad-Vadin.” Disapperance-Day-of-Sri-Ramanujacharya

And : “An admirable author of institutes has the founder of the Arhata system, dear to gods (uninquiring pietist), proved himself to be … when he has not ascertained whether his result is the settling of nine or of seven principles, nor the investigator who settles them, nor his organon, the modes of evidence, nor the matter to be evidenced, whether it be nine-fold or not ! 

In like manner if it be admitted that the soul has (as the Arhatas say), an extension equal to that of the body, it will follow that in the case of the souls of ascetics, who by the efficacy of asceticism assume a plurality of bodies, there is a differentiation of the soul for each of those bodies. A soul of the size of a human body would not (in the course of its transmigrations) be able to occupy the whole body of an elephant; and again, when it laid aside its elephantine body to enter into that of an ant, it would lose its capacity of filling its former frame. And it cannot be supposed that the soul resides successively in the human, elephantine, and other bodies, like the light of a lamp which is capable of contraction and expansion, according as it occupies the interior of a little station on the roadside in which travellers are supplied with water, or the interior of a stately mansion ; for it would follow (from such a supposition) that the soul being susceptible of modifications and consequently non-eternal, there would be a loss of merits and a fruition of good and evil unmerited.”

The author says : The Arhat doctrine, therefore, as repugnant to the eternal, infallible revelation, cannot be adopted. The venerated Vyasa accordingly propounded the aphorism (ii. 2, 33), ” Nay, because it is impossible in one ; ” and this same aphorism has been analysed by Ramanuja with the express purpose of shutting out the doctrine of the Jains. The tenets of Ramanuja are as follows : Three categories are established, as soul, not-soul, and Lord; or as subject, object, and supreme disposer. Thus it has been said, “Lord, soul, and not-soul are the triad of principles : Hari (Vishnu) is Lord ; individual spirits are souls ; and the visible world is not-soul.”

Next follows a very fine series of arguments and counterarguments over Ramanuj’s belief system and that of Adi Shankar. The author brings their respective core affirmations face to face. 

Others, again (the followers of Sankaracharya), maintain that pure intelligence, exempt from all differences, the absolute, alone is really existent ; and that this absolute whose essence is eternal, pure, intelligent, and free, the identity of which with the individuated spirit is learnt from the “reference to the same object” (predication), ” That art thou,” undergoes bondage and emancipation. The universe of differences (or conditions), such as that of subject and object, is all illusorily imagined uner the spell of ignorance. Existent alone was this in the beginning, One only without a second, and so forth. 

To the Pure Monists, Ramanuj replies : All of what you say is about as profitable as it would be for a ruminant animal to ruminate upon ether ; for an entitative primordial ignorance is not more supposable than an absence of knowledge. For (we would ask), is any self-conscious principle presented, as an object and as a subject of ignorance, as distinct from cognition ? If it is presented, how can the ignorance continue since ignorance of a thing is terminable by knowledge of its essence ? If on the other hand none such is presented, how can we be conscious of an ignorance which has no subject and no object ? 

If you say : A pure manifestation of the spiritual essence is revealed only by the cognition opposed to ignorance (or illusion), and thus there is no absurdity in the consciousness of ignorance accompanied with a consciousness of its subject and object ; then we rejoin : Unfortunately for you, this (consciousness of subject) must arise equally in the absence of knowledge (for such we define illusion to be), notwithstanding your assertion to the contrary. It must, therefore, be acknowledged that the cognition, I am ignorant, I know not myself and other things, is conversant about an absence of cognition allowed by us both. 

Well, then the Monists may contend, let the form of cognition evidentiary of illusion, which is under disputation, be inference, as follows : Right knowledge must have had for its antecedent another entity (such as, illusion), an entity different from mere prior non-existence of knowledge, which envelops the objects of knowledge, which is terminable by knowledge, which occupies the place of knowledge, in as much as it (the right knowledge) illuminates an object not before illuminated, like the light of a lamp springing up for the first time in the darkness. 

This argument, Ramanuj replies, will not stand grinding (in the dialectic mill) ; for to prove the antecedent illusion, you will require an ulterior illusion which you do not admit, and a violation of your own tenets will ensue, while if you do not so prove it, it may or may not exist ; and, moreover, the example is incompatible with the argument, for it cannot be the lamp that illumines the hitherto unillumined object, since it is knowledge only that illumines ; and an illumination of objects may be effected by knowledge even without the lamp, while the light of the lamp is only ancillary to the visual organ which effectuates the cognition, ancillary mediately through the dispulsion of the obstruent darkness. We dismiss further prolixity. 

The Veda never sets out an inexplicable illusion. Nor (is the cosmical illusion to be inferred from the “grand text,” That art thou), inasmuch as the words, That art thou, being incompetent to teach unity, and indicating a conditionate Supreme Spirit, we cannot understand by them the essential unity of the mutually exclusive supreme and individual spirits ; for such a supposition (as that they are identical) would violate the law of excluded middle. To explain this. The term “That” denotes the Supreme Spirit exempt from all imperfections, of illimitable excellence, a repository of innumerable auspicious attributes, to whom the emanation, sustentation, retractation of the universe is a pastime ; such being the Supreme Spirit, spoken of in such texts as, “That desired,” “let me be many,” “let me bring forth.” Perhaps the word “Thou,” referring to the same object (as the word “That”), denotes the Supreme Spirit characterised by consciousness, having all individual spirits as his body; for a “reference to the same object” designates one thing determined by two modes. 

Here, perhaps, an Advaita-vadin may reply : Why is there an absurdity (as the Sankaras would say), on the hypothesis enunciatory of the reality of the universe, in affirming that by a cognition of one there is a cognition of all things : for it is easily evinced that the mundane egg, consisting of the primary cause (prakriti), intellect, self-position, the rudimentary elements, the gross elements, the organs (of sense and of action), and the fourteen worlds, and the gods, animals, men, immovable things, and so forth, that exist within it, constituting a complex of all forms, is all an effect, and that from the single cognition of absolute spirit as its (emanative) cause, when we recognise that all this is absolute spirit (there being a tautology between cause and effect), there arises cognition of all things, and thus by cognition of one cognition of all. Besides, if all else than absolute spirit were unreal, then all being non-existent, it would follow that by one cognition all cognition would be sublated. 

But Ramanuj’s tenets have no cognition of an ideated dissolution of Illusory effects evident as mundane, which the Pure Monists affirm is the fruit experienced by anyone who has realised his true nature, that is Brahman. It is laid down by the Ramanujas that retractation into the universe (pralaya) is when the universe, the body whereof consists of souls and the originant (prakriti), returns to its imperceptible state, unsusceptible of division by names and forms, existing as absolute spirit – the emanative cause ; and that creation (or emanation) is the gross or perceptible condition of absolute spirit, the body whereof is soul, and not souls divided by diversity of names and forms, in the condition of the (emanative) effect of absolute spirit. In this way the identity of cause and effect laid down in the aphorism (of Vyasa) treating of origination, is easily explicable. 

The statements that the Supreme Spirit is void of attributes, are intended (it is shown) to deny thereof phenomenal qualities which are to be escaped from by those that desire emancipation. The texts which deny plurality are explained as allowed to be employed for the denial of the real existence of things apart from the Supreme Spirit, which is identical with all things, it being Supreme Spirit which subsists under all forms as the soul of all, all things sentient and unsentient being forms as being the body of absolute Spirit.

What is the principle here involved, pluralism or monism, or a universe both one and more than one? Of these alternatives monism is admitted in saying that Supreme Spirit alone subsists in all forms as all is its body ; both unity and plurality are admitted in saying that one Supreme Spirit only subsists under a plurality of forms diverse as soul and not-soul ; and plurality is admitted in saying that the essential natures of soul, not-soul, and the Lord, are different, and not to be confounded. 

Of these (soul, not-soul, and the Lord), individual spirits, or souls, consisting of uncontracted and unlimited pure knowledge, but enveloped in illusion, that is, in works from all eternity, undergo contraction and expansion of knowledge according to the degrees of their merits. Soul experiences fruition, and after reaping pleasures and pains proportionate to merits and demerits, there ensues knowledge of the Lord, or attainment of the sphere of the Lord. 

Of things which are not-soul, and which are objects of fruition (or experience of pleasure and pain), unconsciousness, unconduciveness to the end of man, susceptibility of modification, and the like, are the properties.

Of the Supreme Lord the attributes are subsistence, as the internal controller (or animator) of both the subjects and the objects of fruition ; the boundless glory of illimitable knowledge, dominion, majesty, power, brightness, and the like, the countless multitude of auspicious qualities ; the generation at will of all things other than himself, whether spiritual or non-spiritual ; various and infinite adornment with unsurpassable excellence, singular, uniform, and divine. 

Venkatanatha has given the following distribution of things : 

” Those who know it have declared the principle to be twofold, substance and non-substance ; Substance is dichotomised as unsentient and sentient ; the former being the unevolved (avyakta), and time. The latter is the near and the distant ; the near being twofold, as either soul or the Lord ; The distant is eternal glory and intelligence.”

Of these ” Substance undergoes a plurality of conditions ; the origiuant is possessed of goodness and the other cords ; Time has the form of years, etc. ; soul is atomic and cognisant ; the other spirit is the Lord ; Eternal bliss has been declared as transcending the three cords (or modes of phenomenal existence), and also as characterised by goodness ; The cognisable manifestation of the cognisant is intelligence ; thus are the characteristics of substance summarily recounted.” 

Of these (soul, not-soul, and the Lord), individual spirits, called souls, are different from the Supreme Spirit and eternal. Thus the text : Two birds, companions, friends, etc. (Rig-Veda, i. 164, 20). Accordingly it is stated (in the aphorisms of Kanada, iii. 2, 20), Souls are diverse by reason of diversity of conditions. The eternity of souls is often spoken of in revelation, “The soul is neither born, nor dies, nor having been shall it again cease to be ; Unborn, unchanging, eternal, this ancient of days is not killed when the body is killed ” (Bhagavad-gita, ii. 20). 

Otherwise (were the soul not eternal) there would follow a failure of requital and a fruition (of pleasures and pains) unmerited. It has accordingly been said (in the aphorisms of Gautama, iii. 25) : Because no birth is seen of one who is devoid of desire. That the soul is atomic is well known from revelation, ” If the hundredth part of a hair be imagined to be divided a hundred times, the soul may be supposed a part of that, and yet it is capable of infinity.”

And again : ” Soul is of the size of the extremity of the spoke of a wheel. Spirit is to be recognised by the intelligence as atomic.” 

The visible, unsentient world, designated by the term not-soul, is divided into three, as the object, the instrument, or the site of fruition. Of this world the efficient and substantial cause is the Deity, known under the names Purnshottama (best of spirits), Vasudeva (a patronymic of Krishna), and the like. 

” Vasudeva is the supreme absolute spirit, endowed with auspicious attributes,

   the substantial cause, the efficient of the worlds, the animator of spirits.” 

The worship of the Deity is described in the Pancharatra as consisting of five elements, viz., (1) the access, (2) the preparation, (3) oblation, (4) recitation, (5) devotion. Of these, access is the sweeping, smearing, and so forth, of the way to the temple. The preparation is the provision of perfumes, flowers, and the like appliances of worship. Oblation is worship of the deities. Recitation is the muttered ejaculation of sacred texts, with attention to what they mean, the rehearsal of hymns and lauds of Vishnu, the commemoration of his names, and study of institutes which set forth the truth. Devotion is meditation on the Deity. When the vision of the visible world has been brought to a close by knowledge accumulated by the merit of such worship, the infinitely compassionate Supreme Spirit, tender to his votaries, bestows upon the votary devoted to his lord and absorbed in his lord, his own sphere – infinite and endless, and marked by consciousness of being like him, from which there is no future return to the sorrows of transmigratory existence. 

So the traditionary text : “When they have come to me, the high-souled no longer undergo future “birth, a receptacle of pain, transitory, having attained to the supreme consummation.” 

” Vasudeva, having found his votary, bestows upon him his own mansion, blissful,

   undecaying, from whence there is no more return.” 

After laying up all this in his heart, leaning upon the teaching of the great Upanishad, and finding the gloss – Brahmasutra – on the Vedanta aphorisms by the venerated Bodhayanacharya too prolix, Ramanuja composed a commentary on the Sariraka-mimansa (or Vedanta theosophy). In this the sense of the first aphorism, ” Then hence the absolute must be desired to be known,” is given as follows : The word then in this aphorism means, after understanding the hitherto-current sacred rites. Thus the glossator writes : ” After learning the sacred rites,” he desires to know the absolute. The word hence states the reason, viz., because one who has read the Veda and its appendages and understands its meaning is averse from sacred rites, their recompense being perishable. The wish to know the absolute springs up in one who longs for permanent liberation, as being the means of such liberation. 

By the word absolute is designated the Supreme Spirit, from whom are essentially excluded all imperfections, who is of illimitable excellence, and of innumerable auspicious attributes. Since then the knowledge of sacred rites and the performance of those rites is mediately through engendering dispassionateness, and through putting away the defilement of the understanding, an instrument of the knowledge of the absolute; and knowledge of sacred rites and knowledge of the absolute being consequently cause and effect, the former and the latter Mimansa constitute one system of institutes.

On this account the glossator has described this system as one with the sixteen-fold system of Jaimini. That the fruit of sacred rites is perishable, and that of the knowledge of the absolute imperishable, has been laid down in virtue of Vedic texts, such as : Scanning the spheres gained by rites, let him become passionless ; Not wrought by the rite performed, accompanied with inference and disjunctive reasoning. Revelation, by censuring each when unaccompanied by the other, shows that it is knowledge together with works that is efficacious of emancipation, in the words : Blind darkness they enter who prefer illusion, and a greater darkness still do they enter who delight in knowledge only ; knowledge and illusion, he who knows both passes beyond death together with illusion, tastes immortality by knowledge. Conformably it is said in the Paficharatra-rahasya : “That ocean of compassion, the Lord, tender to his votaries for his worshipper’s sake, takes five embodiments upon him. These are styled Adoration, Emanation, Manifestation, the Subtile, the Internal Controller.” 

And : ” Cut is his heart s knot, solved are all his doubts, and exhausted are all his works, when he has seen the Highest and Lowest,” because he becomes one with that Supreme.

 Mandana-Misra-and-AdiShankaras-debate

Awakening …

Of  Religion, Enlightenment and Liberation (Moksha) …

” It’s great to be born into religion but terrible to die in one.”  ~ Swami Vivekananda

Русский: Свами Вивекананда Свами Вивекананда в...

Religion has connotations :

To the historically aware in the West, it is dogmatic …

and has led to cramping of man’s urge for freedom, Inquisition, Crusades,

social hold to power by the clergy, priviledged heirarchy

of self-proclaimed God representativess … That’s a lot of history to beware of !

In India, on the #Sanatan way, religion has aimed for liberation, of absolute kind …

to freeing the individual of all books, limiting religious practices,

and every other hold on man’s spiritual expansion.

It’s all that man needs for his spiritual, mental and physical well-being !

Hence, “secularism” has a meaning in the Western context,

and our West inspired members of Constituent Assembly included it our constitution.

Indian courts of law have consistently deemed Hinduism to be non-religious, to being a way of life.

The word “secularism” has hence no meaning, no context in the #Sanatan way.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures (forms) of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ~ Carl Jung

Deutsch: Carl Gustav Jung

Secular enlightenment sets the human being up with knowledge,

intellectual insight –  with humanity and humanism.

Spiritual enlightenment is the next level,

where the entire life and the whole existence is embraced.

 

Liberation, the summum bonum, is quite quite another …

–  where the discrimination between mtl form and ego being is absolute and permanent.

–  where the discrimination between mental form and witness being is absolute and permanent.

–  where discrimination between spiritual form and pure consciousness is absolute and permanent.

" Die Inquisition in Portugall " - O...

 

* * *

I’m back to challenge this namby-pamby-ness … (in the Buddhist way of constant prayer to save oneself from the rough impacts of life on our being, cycles of peace and discontentment, agitation and calm, etc.)

One, the mind is agitated not only because of discontentment. Sometimes, life throws up a situation when we have fight for what seems just, or an event is rolling in to harm all that is dear to us … but this love for fake peace will forever throw us into a paralysis, when the need of the hour is that we deliberately allow power to flow into the mind and vitality, and wield it. 

Two, even in the case of discontentment, when the mind is agitated, it is good … for that is how it will exhast itself. We only need to be awake while it happens. That capacity to remain wakeful is important, not a constant call for some imagined calm.

Life is … face it with strength, embrace it with love. Come what agitation, we must remain awake to make deliberate choices, love even the enemy we are fighting against, and live through the experience mindfully as it happens.

With that strength and capacity to discriminate, love and struggle, perhaps, life itself will sue for peace that we will gratefully accept with honour, while putting aside our guard and allowing relief to take over. One day … life itself will open the way to peace and contentment — in reality, not just in our wailing imagination.

That is the Sanatan way … as distinct from the Buddhist one.

Dare To Know …

What Is Enlightenment ?

Immanuel Kant 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding,” is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind–among them the entire fair sex–should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts.

Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas, these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use–or rather abuse–of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting nonage. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds.

It is more nearly possible, however, for the public to enlighten itself; indeed, if it is only given freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. There will always be a few independent thinkers, even among the self-appointed guardians of the multitude. Once such men have thrown off the yoke of nonage, they will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable appreciation of man’s value and of his duty to think for himself. It is especially to be noted that the public which was earlier brought under the yoke by these men afterwards forces these very guardians to remain in submission, if it is so incited by some of its guardians who are themselves incapable of any enlightenment. That shows how pernicious it is to implant prejudices: they will eventually revenge themselves upon their authors or their authors’ descendants. Therefore, a public can achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought. New prejudices will serve, in place of the old, as guide lines for the unthinking multitude.

This enlightenment requires nothing but freedom–and the most innocent of all that may be called “freedom”: freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters. Now I hear the cry from all sides: “Do not argue!” The officer says: “Do not argue–drill!” The tax collector: “Do not argue–pay!” The pastor: “Do not argue–believe!” Only one ruler in the world says: “Argue as much as you please, but obey!” We find restrictions on freedom everywhere. But which restriction is harmful to enlightenment? Which restriction is innocent, and which advances enlightenment? I reply: the public use of one’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment to mankind.

On the other hand, the private use of reason may frequently be narrowly restricted without especially hindering the progress of enlightenment. By “public use of one’s reason” I mean that use which a man, as scholar, makes of it before the reading public. I call “private use” that use which a man makes of his reason in a civic post that has been entrusted to him. In some affairs affecting the interest of the community a certain [governmental] mechanism is necessary in which some members of the community remain passive. This creates an artificial unanimity which will serve the fulfillment of public objectives, or at least keep these objectives from being destroyed. Here arguing is not permitted: one must obey. Insofar as a part of this machine considers himself at the same time a member of a universal community–a world society of citizens–(let us say that he thinks of himself as a scholar rationally addressing his public through his writings) he may indeed argue, and the affairs with which he is associated in part as a passive member will not suffer. Thus it would be very unfortunate if an officer on duty and under orders from his superiors should want to criticize the appropriateness or utility of his orders. He must obey. But as a scholar he could not rightfully be prevented from taking notice of the mistakes in the military service and from submitting his views to his public for its judgment. The citizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes levied upon him; indeed, impertinent censure of such taxes could be punished as a scandal that might cause general disobedience. Nevertheless, this man does not violate the duties of a citizen if, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his objections to the impropriety or possible injustice of such levies. A pastor, too, is bound to preach to his congregation in accord with the doctrines of the church which he serves, for he was ordained on that condition. But as a scholar he has full freedom, indeed the obligation, to communicate to his public all his carefully examined and constructive thoughts concerning errors in that doctrine and his proposals concerning improvement of religious dogma and church institutions. This is nothing that could burden his conscience. For what he teaches in pursuance of his office as representative of the church, he represents as something which he is not free to teach as he sees it. He speaks as one who is employed to speak in the name and under the orders of another. He will say: “Our church teaches this or that; these are the proofs which it employs.” Thus he will benefit his congregation as much as possible by presenting doctrines to which he may not subscribe with full conviction. He can commit himself to teach them because it is not completely impossible that they may contain hidden truth. In any event, he has found nothing in the doctrines that contradicts the heart of religion. For if he believed that such contradictions existed he would not be able to administer his office with a clear conscience. He would have to resign it. Therefore the use which a scholar makes of his reason before the congregation that employs him is only a private use, for no matter how sizable, this is only a domestic audience. In view of this he, as preacher, is not free and ought not to be free, since he is carrying out the orders of others. On the other hand, as the scholar who speaks to his own public (the world) through his writings, the minister in the public use of his reason enjoys unlimited freedom to use his own reason and to speak for himself. That the spiritual guardians of the people should themselves be treated as minors is an absurdity which would result in perpetuating absurdities.

But should a society of ministers, say a Church Council, . . . have the right to commit itself by oath to a certain unalterable doctrine, in order to secure perpetual guardianship over all its members and through them over the people? I say that this is quite impossible. Such a contract, concluded to keep all further enlightenment from humanity, is simply null and void even if it should be confirmed by the sovereign power, by parliaments, and the most solemn treaties. An epoch cannot conclude a pact that will commit succeeding ages, prevent them from increasing their significant insights, purging themselves of errors, and generally progressing in enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature whose proper destiny lies precisely in such progress. Therefore, succeeding ages are fully entitled to repudiate such decisions as unauthorized and outrageous. The touchstone of all those decisions that may be made into law for a people lies in this question: Could a people impose such a law upon itself? Now it might be possible to introduce a certain order for a definite short period of time in expectation of better order. But, while this provisional order continues, each citizen (above all, each pastor acting as a scholar) should be left free to publish his criticisms of the faults of existing institutions. This should continue until public understanding of these matters has gone so far that, by uniting the voices of many (although not necessarily all) scholars, reform proposals could be brought before the sovereign to protect those congregations which had decided according to their best lights upon an altered religious order, without, however, hindering those who want to remain true to the old institutions. But to agree to a perpetual religious constitution which is not publicly questioned by anyone would be, as it were, to annihilate a period of time in the progress of man’s improvement. This must be absolutely forbidden.

A man may postpone his own enlightenment, but only for a limited period of time. And to give up enlightenment altogether, either for oneself or one’s descendants, is to violate and to trample upon the sacred rights of man. What a people may not decide for itself may even less be decided for it by a monarch, for his reputation as a ruler consists precisely in the way in which he unites the will of the whole people within his own. If he only sees to it that all true or supposed [religious] improvement remains in step with the civic order, he can for the rest leave his subjects alone to do what they find necessary for the salvation of their souls. Salvation is none of his business; it is his business to prevent one man from forcibly keeping another from determining and promoting his salvation to the best of his ability. Indeed, it would be prejudicial to his majesty if he meddled in these matters and supervised the writings in which his subjects seek to bring their [religious] views into the open, even when he does this from his own highest insight, because then he exposes himself to the reproach:Caesar non est supra grammaticos. 2    It is worse when he debases his sovereign power so far as to support the spiritual despotism of a few tyrants in his state over the rest of his subjects.

When we ask, Are we now living in an enlightened age? the answer is, No, but we live in an age of enlightenment. As matters now stand it is still far from true that men are already capable of using their own reason in religious matters confidently and correctly without external guidance. Still, we have some obvious indications that the field of working toward the goal [of religious truth] is now opened. What is more, the hindrances against general enlightenment or the emergence from self-imposed nonage are gradually diminishing. In this respect this is the age of the enlightenment and the century of Frederick [the Great].

A prince ought not to deem it beneath his dignity to state that he considers it his duty not to dictate anything to his subjects in religious matters, but to leave them complete freedom. If he repudiates the arrogant word “tolerant”, he is himself enlightened; he deserves to be praised by a grateful world and posterity as that man who was the first to liberate mankind from dependence, at least on the government, and let everybody use his own reason in matters of conscience. Under his reign, honorable pastors, acting as scholars and regardless of the duties of their office, can freely and openly publish their ideas to the world for inspection, although they deviate here and there from accepted doctrine. This is even more true of every person not restrained by any oath of office. This spirit of freedom is spreading beyond the boundaries [of Prussia] even where it has to struggle against the external hindrances established by a government that fails to grasp its true interest. [Frederick’s Prussia] is a shining example that freedom need not cause the least worry concerning public order or the unity of the community. When one does not deliberately attempt to keep men in barbarism, they will gradually work out of that condition by themselves.

I have emphasized the main point of the enlightenment–man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage–primarily in religious matters, because our rulers have no interest in playing the guardian to their subjects in the arts and sciences. Above all, nonage in religion is not only the most harmful but the most dishonorable. But the disposition of a sovereign ruler who favors freedom in the arts and sciences goes even further: he knows that there is no danger in permitting his subjects to make public use of their reason and to publish their ideas concerning a better constitution, as well as candid criticism of existing basic laws. We already have a striking example [of such freedom], and no monarch can match the one whom we venerate.

But only the man who is himself enlightened, who is not afraid of shadows, and who commands at the same time a well disciplined and numerous army as guarantor of public peace–only he can say what [the sovereign of] a free state cannot dare to say: “Argue as much as you like, and about what you like, but obey!” Thus we observe here as elsewhere in human affairs, in which almost everything is paradoxical, a surprising and unexpected course of events: a large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. Nature, then, has carefully cultivated the seed within the hard core–namely the urge for and the vocation of free thought. And this free thought gradually reacts back on the modes of thought of the people, and men become more and more capable of acting in freedom. At last free thought acts even on the fundamentals of government and the state finds it agreeable to treat man, who is now more than a machine, in accord with his dignity.

Resource :  http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – IV

Truth in one’s knowledge

Love in one’s heart

Beauty in one’s eye

Leads to … Perspective …

to raising consciousness right up to the start of Big Bang

and witnessing time and space evolve in form and faculty

Values Orientation

Moral Strength

Right Action.

The Householder

What does our readiness to gain the mandate to change or transform mean, and involve ?

Since happiness is the very destination of our quest, we are duty-bound to orient ourselves individually to how it would best serve our own well-being and the common welfare.

Yet how do we proceed, what do we focus on ? Truth-realisation is fundamental to rise of long-scale wisdom, to avoiding that tread on which misery trails our good intentions.

The monotheistic religions have no concern with truth. What they seek is followership, the numbers in submission. Both Christianity and Islam abhor freedom of quest, without acceptance of their tenets that bar such curiosity in the first place, and definitely have no place for the challenging questions.

The Hindu has been fortunate : there is no regulator to pry into or question his individual quest. But the problem of diversity remains before the individual : what and which to pursue ?

In the Vishnu Purana, Lord Vishnu is highly eulogised and a secondary place is given to Lord Shiva. In the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva is immensely praised whilst Lord Vishnu is assigned a secondary status. In the Devi Bhagavatam, the Divine Mother is given prominence over Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. All this is done in order to create in the aspirant an intense and unswerving faith in his own favourite Deity. It seems to be declaring : there is nothing that is not absolute; pursue precisely what suits you. All Deities are one; they are different aspects of the same truth. It is simply absurd to believe that the anthropomorphic Shiva is inferior to Vishnu, or vice versa.

In the same manner, in Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna praises Karma Yoga in one place : “The Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action”—V.2. 

In another place, He praises Raja Yoga : “The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action. Therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna!”—VI.46. 

In yet another place, Lord Krishna praises the path of Bhakti Yoga : “The highest Purusha, O Arjuna, is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone within whom all beings dwell and by whom all this is pervaded!”—VIII.22. 

Again, He praises Jnana Yoga : “Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal”—VII.18.

But this embracing of diversity, primacy to individual nature and proclivity, becomes a cause for conflict to the linear, logical rationality of the thinking person. A beginner is confused when he comes across these seemingly contradictory verses. It is with some contemplation that we realise … Krishna is praising each path to the same Yoga in order to create interest in the aspirant in his own particular path, as it suits. The Gita is a book for the people of the world at large. It was not meant for Arjuna alone. Each Yoga is as efficacious as the other.

Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is born of Sattva. The former is relatively a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not stumbling-blocks but stepping stones to success.

Just as coloured dye stands out more clearly only when the original material is pure white, so also the instructions of a sage penetrate and settle down only in the hearts of aspirants whose minds are calm, who have no desire for enjoyments and whose impurities have been destroyed. For this reason an aspirant is expected to possess the qualifications of keen discrimination, dispassion, control of the mind and senses, and aversion to worldly attractions, before he can practise the three-fold Sadhana of hearing the scriptures, reflecting upon them, and meditating upon their significance. Discipline and purification of the mind and the senses are prerequisites for aspirants on the path of Truth-realisation.

Even when the nature of Truth is explained, those who have not been purged of their faults and impurities would either disbelieve or misbelieve it, as was the case with Indra and Virochana. Therefore knowledge, as it is, arises only in him who has purified himself by austerity, either in this life or in a previous birth. The man waiting for his libido to crank up will do just that.

Devils can also quote scriptures, as most people in the West and inspired ones in the East are doing. Unwittingly, they are following the Virochana school. They are evil-doing, deluded and the vilest of men. They cannot understand that there is no truth without freedom and diversity. 

May Truth grant them a more subtle and purer intellect !

The highest unity is realised only upon embracing the diversity about us.


Journal : My Odyssey

Light

Light – Courtesy @Doug88888)

This publication is my tribute  

to  the wayward amongst us;

and especially to ones who outgrew it.

……   ……

This spiritual saga over years score

Shimmers alive at a temple door…

Today, I hold myself erect

Halt at the temple entrance

But skip the practice ancient

I demand my own light

Submission I refuse

And all forms I deny

Here and now, O’ Deity

At your hallowed shrine.

Great you are, same

Being in all

The Master Grand

Cause primordial

But screened in

By our ceremonials.

Thy ritual dos and donts

No more compel, thy priests

With faith without love

Seem just a cartel

In their cloister of sad smiles

Flags, façades and piety.

*  *  *

Now this burden of life

I take upon myself

To costs I agree

Its choices I embrace

I know It’s me…

Small and weak

But the sole thing too

That’s known to me.

It’s where I’ll stay

Whom I’ll discover

Shrink all space

Let Time arch over.

I will break in, O’ Deity

To the depths of peace

And its light revealing.

*  *  *

Sure, it daunts

The vastness barred

In me haunts

Unknown and spread dark.

But the alternates just distract

And I reject yet the game false

Upon all souls hangs its pall –

Our fear masked in playful calls.

I trundle long in black tunnels

Fail to grasp a speck of heaven

Fling off hard and bounce sharp

But crash back in with vengeance

It shocks and tries, draws to test

The mind taut : deny or consent ?

In my eye rise each term and form

As a vagina wet stands in witness

Alluring still, accusing harsh

The dripping penis caught offguard.

And so goes the series march

Boxing me to voluting prompts

Libidinous – the despised rot

Bonds of yore, cravings taunt

Teeming abrim but worth nought

Transitioning nights, vague dawns

On empty core, bombed raw

Vigil in pits … awake now –

Cannot yet embrace myself

With choices diseased

I no longer defend

In that dungeon dark

Though depressed

Transfixed, yes

I refuse to crank

And I frozen face

Edgy sandstorms

Moral marshlands

Whirling sqall

In my mind’s mirror

In which I’m had

My universe

In cloudy bands

Where the soul bleeds

Pinned stiff

Lacerated within

By revelations demonic …

There’s more

Stubbed senses for sure

Of imposing forms

Unblessed, forlorn

The far sound of running tap

Unnerves the neural nap

Dead, dumped odd

Hung estranged, out cast

On just a thought nebulous

Of a hurl sudden, victorious.

I yet honour the memory

Of many a false start

Of fired highs

And puffed starch

So I sit over the furled self

Unharmed by head

Its mingled thoughts

Into feelings on the lurch

Bear unmoved

The throbbing pulse

Alassed recount

Of acts corrupt :

This licentious prisoner hovers

On wracked breath

And draining cough

But is in fact choked

On a past present

Of ambitions frayed.

*  *  *

‘Twas a journey long, my dear

To witness all and keep safe

On the path blank but unclear

For a spark just my trust’d pave

For those late mornings clear

Unencumbered winter delights

With a sun warm and mellow

On lazy cats half asleep alive

Contrary to that unsure bed

To discordant shades my will would take

Spent on view

On the first cue

At body feast, gazing vivid

With overrun sensuality

Chasing the shapely hind

Tinge in fancy nets sweet

” Possess not, O Youth !” I knew

But the sage call seemed so far

Too wrongheaded for my regard !

But then I began to see

With just half a good eye

Wherein it reflected strange

The world, its masks

Its ugly mirage

Stranger ways

Roles – give and take

Swings mighty fake

Without root or heart

Faith or permanence.

‘Twas a blind alley, O’ Deity

But that half eye was yours

Which saw the farce

Lent weight to pause

For the burst of shine

On a cold summit

Impelled glad dance

And bells resonating repeat.

I wait … instead

With familiar anti-self

Same paths of lure

“Not mine,” I sense

Then hold dilemmas clear

In my spirit –

Where light still flickers

In snag heaps

And weaning disunion.

*  *  *

Barely upright, on what I know

I doubt each moment in the flow

Witness, accept and now embrace

The rocky views, their barrenness

Slip, collide, slide into wreckage

Stare close at the mind, incessant

Holding myself with love

Wipe off the damned tears

Pat the fears to sleep

And dress up my own sears

For day next in odyssey

Wade into pains

Burn the same

To be free …

Untill that day, in radiance

Enveloped with transcending sense

I stood high

On the walling fence

Still hauling up

The rest of myself

Eyeing all

The being in morn

Before the rising peer

Basking healed

In its glowing balm

With nothing

Not a trace in between.

Unburdened complete I found myself

Stripped neat

Free of subtexts

Layers mental

And body zones

Sans celebrations then

Just smiles about

Beaming from the sun

And lit I everywhere

No hope or fear

No gain or loss

No being made

… Homogeneous.

I met myself much later

The buddy from start

Then witness dear

Of all that I thought.

There was no being–for–itself ever

The one who lived was a prayer

By whom I know not, O’ Deity

To whom or why is the mystery.

*  *  *       *  *  *

This is an intimate poem, started in late 1980s,

reviewed umpteen times and finished minutes before.

Body-Mind-Spirit s

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

 

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – III

What is the most important thing about us, in the way we are ? Admittedly, it would be everything for someone or other, more or less : survival and daily ablutions, basic needs, food, sex, house, travel, car, possessions, girlfriend or wife and family, clothes and sartorial accessoties, home, friends, countryside, fishing or other hobbies, rest and leisure and, of course, money. 

There is nothing the wrong with any of it and there is nothing complete about each of them either. Every time we are fulfilled with these, the fulness lasts for a while, more or less, and recedes. The right or wrong about them lies in ourself, in the limiting manner we are held up by them or in the way we acknowledge it with gratitude and move on in our quest. It is common to begin being defined by what things comes to mean to us, in the way each one of them cyclically fulfills us in some measure, more or less, over and above their truth in the balance. We start with liking them, then are obsessed by them, which we deem as “love,” which but is nothing more than a auto-suggested habit, as it happens in case of addiction.

What would we move on to ? The wit says, self-improvement, which is a wise thing to point but needs more specific pointers to direct ourselves. Improvement along what lines ? It speaks of a more exact and real understanding, a more calm and non-violent values orientation, more moral strength to stand by one’s values, and an evolution towards obtaining a more adequate and complete understanding in truth. But, in a way, I seem to be repeating myself, for all of these are inter-related and inter-dependent. 

The picture then emerges of broadly two kinds of humans, by their spiritual make-up : one that projects and is ready for the conflict and violence and, the other, of one who is involved in examination and understanding than in projecting oneself. So, how do we distinguish them ? By naming the categories and mapping out the essentials of the human animal and the human human. It would be difficult to accept the nomenclature but it is no more than the commonly encountered attitude against admitting that one is imperfect and that one needs to improve !

The mapped essentials are sketched out here below :

 The Human Animal Loop

The Human Human Loop

On the whole, spiritual evolution, moral strength and values orientation are more a matter of understanding and truth, ability and skills, than God, faith and religion. It takes immense effort to understand anything material or mental, and the difficulty only increases when it comes to knowing oneself. There are so many material distractions and preoccupations to overcome, so many trapping psychological hold-ups to encounter, so much failure to persist and retain the quest in focus … When, in fact, the only obstacles are our own naturalised habits !

But the super-human arises out of this battle against oneself. The Vedas and Krishna, in Bhagwad-Gita, acknowledge : ” It’s a wonder. It’s a wonder. It’s a wonder.”

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – II

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/journal-awakening-into-the-truth-10/ … Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself… contd

Karmas are attracted by the activity of mind, ...

The mind is not in the horizontal spread of, and of the same order as, the material universe, in which the body-identified individual finds itself as one amongst trillions. The Mental Space is a vertical shift away within the self and, phenomenally speaking, is of an entirely different order. A view of one’s mind is available only to the particular individual to whom the specific mind unit belongs. So, there can be no group study, examination or observation, of the mind. 

The task is an uphill one : for, the individual-self must rise to identify with the witness consciousness peering through the buddhi or the intellect to avail of the toehold unaffected by the mind, against one’s own sensory habits anchored to material objects that, to our vitalised sensibility rooted in subconscious drives, promise what we all prefer in our experience : pleasure, joy, ecstasy and happiness. 

But that involves allowing the emotion-backed will to take over our self, consenting to the consequential intent, wading into action for specific result, and pushing ourself through hope and despair. That choice we commit ourself to, through consent and action, is our Karma; and the habitual proclivity in the nature of our mind, to act in order to avail, is a display of the dominating Guna or the Great Qualifier of each thing or being manifest, which in this instance is Rajas.

The entire creation, gross and subtle, is qualified by the three Gunas : Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Though all three Gunas are present in each being, there is predominance of one at any given point in time in accord with its Karma or the nature of choices it has habituated itself to, the general character of the species to which it belongs, and the environment it finds itself in. 

Typically, the dominance of Sattva leads one to arise and rise into more calm and peace, non-violence, quest for truth, inclination to focused contemplation and persevere at effort to gain knowledge, patience and honest conduct, freedom from envy and covetousness, and attenuation of worldly ambitions. Rajas makes one more driven to action, more given to vitality and less to self-examination, reduced scrupulousness, to more ambition for material acquisition and attachment to sensory pleasures, and to more agitated states of the mind. Tamas causes the tendency to remain in inertia and general inaction, and easy slide down into mere physical pleasure, without assuming responsibility or striving to exert.

The mind is made of wholly non-material impressions left by our Karma in the unit mind. These too determine the predominant Gunas that characterise the mind unit and qualify the “person” or the individual self attached to it. Hence, phenomenally, one with reduced residual karma would have progressively attenuated activity in Chitta and Manas, in that order. 

Theoretically, an individual without any residual karma, with his quest for knowledge and experience quenched, will not have a mind unit as the rest of us are attached to. Such a person will no longer be an “individual” but will be unified with the undifferentiated infinitude of the Causal Space, where the three gunas exist in a state of perfect balance and there are no object things or differentiated beings to observe ! 

One is then the being itself, of which all beings are manifest and de-manifest; one is then knowledge itself, of which finite knowledge forms arise and become extinct; and, one is then bliss itself, of which all transient pleasures and joys are experienced and which all beings constantly desire. One is then the Soul of the universe, pervading the Mental and Material spaces, pervading all phenomena and beings in them.

Buddha, The Conqeror

Courtesy Nicholas Roerich archives : http://www.roerich.org/wwp.html

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – I

What is the mind ? Where is it located ? What is it made of; its warp and woof, so to say ?

Of what does it take on its distinct, individual character ? What is it that determines it ?

I’ve asked a couple of these questions at a time on all social media forums I frequent. Predictably, but surprising nonetheless, there wasn’t a single response, not even a tentative one. The reason however is not difficul;t to fathom : none had spent time exploring it and, therefore, had no idea to contrbute. The most the “gurus” online dish out are generic advisories, dos and dont’s, promises and dreams.

A clear, self-verified knowledge, cutting through the mind’s inscrutability and myths alike, would be more enlightening and useful to every interested individual on the planet. For everybody has a mind in which all one’s experience is sensed, in which all reactive emotions arise with will and thoughts respective to each, and where the wilful ego takes on the colours of the moment. It’s the animal loop within us, largely characterised by auto-inputs from the subconscious.

Of course, we all have the human loop in the mind as well, starting with the triggered or imagined thought but brought over to intellect and conscious memory. It leads us to analyse, comprehend, corelate with facts in memory, conduct further research, form defining ideas, understand, contemplate, and arrive at the truth or fulness that abides. It takes effort, at times much, to direct oneself along this loop, keeping calm all the while and pushing oneself on to that peace where our understanding is complete.

This line of investigation of the mind, which can virtually contain the whole of the universe within it, brooks no presence of God, faith, religion or cleric. It is about the individual and his mind : what is it, how does it work, etc. But before one can take the inquiry any further, the reality of the mind must be acknowledged, as distinct from our material appendages such as limbs and organs. The mind seems virtual in comparison and hence comes to preoccupy few amongst us. Those who are taken up however would vouch that the mind is more real, more fundamental to being human, than the body or its parts !

The inscrutability of the mind is both a cause and a consequence of the complexity involved in our understanding of it, of perception perceiving itself : it is already defined by the very mind we seek to understand. We will need a place apart to stand on before, to paraphrase Archimedes’ famous quote, we can observe the happenings in the mind objectively. It takes a while, usually a long while, before our individual-self becomes free enough to witness the mind-field phenomena.

Once the individual-self graduates to the witness mode, he begins to observe the nature of the mind, its propensities and their root, which Vivekananda best summarises, “As pleasure and pain pass before the soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called a person’s “character.” If you take the character of any person, it is really but the aggregate of tendencies, the sum total of the bent of the person’s mind. You will find that misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of that character. Good and evil have an equal share in molding character, and in some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness.”

Unlike the physical body that grows old and weak and lies forsaken, inanimate, upon its death, the mind has no such limitation of lifetime or ageing. It temporarily ceases to be during our deep sleep state; but it comes back to being with the same structure and architecture, specific tendencies and identities that it held before. It is subject to laws that are of entirely different nature than the ones that prevail in the Material Space. The space in which the individual mind exists is infinitely more subtle, such as to be invisible to the physical eye. The individual self however, being more subtle than the mind, can perceive the latter if it is lead to shed its engagement or preoccupation with gross objects, by cutting asunder the attraction they hold for our respective sense organs – smell taste, sight, hearing and touch.

The Mental Space is the transit buffer between the manifest and unmanifest universe, along both directions : projection and absorption. This domain is available to our awareness, to all beings that have a developed brain and nervous system. The unit mind is trifurcate : Chitta – Feeling and Emotion, powered into action by vitality, in which our animal will arises and most instantly overpowers the individual self; Manas – Thought and Ideas, where doubt and rationality works itself out to the contemplating self; and, Buddhi – Knowledge and Wisdom, where true witness conscious self resides and avails of long-term integration of learning impressed from past experiences in current lifetime.

Mind - Sructure


Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself.

To be continued …

English: Photo of Swami Vivekananda at Jaipur ...

Swami Vivekananda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journal : Awakening… Into The Truth

LOVE AND HAPPINESS

Everybody loves and is happy, more or less. None of which abides though : loves meet the gutter and happiness is flushed in the sink. If we are into possessions, there is always more to have; if sensory experience, more to consume. Feelings and emotions ? There is nothing more mutable than them, by the minute. Thoughts and actions follow … for the same : love and happiness.

There is a love though that is not people- or thing-specific, not even beholden to returns in cash, behaviour or kind. It is not abstract but palpable, like the love we have of ourself … but only to one that is de-identified with lineage, station or familly, with the body, sex or vitality, or with knowledge and ability. 

Such love abides : without the necessity of give and take. It is unworldly, so to say. It not an idea but is ideal, resting on the reality of the truth of an idea realised. It is of the heart, in love with that reverberating in its beat. It needs no other and is more than adequate for all – in nature, people, animals, things, good, bad and ugly – despite conflicts and contradictions in our world of action and thought. One could be opposing to restrain, fight to disable or kill to eliminate, be it one who praises or humiliates, even watch horrible conduct flow out of one’s own self … but that realised idea shines unblemished and with it, the love : perfect in the midst of imperfections, calm through the trail of agitation.

The love we each already have is not dependent on preferred happenings, though we would give ourselves with our whole heart to make things happen. It seeks no change, even while we would be working hard to bring it about. It is placid, in its own thanks of being, in its own freedom from identity and preference, in its own knowledge of truth in one’s own regard, in its own unity with the manifest, felt and unmanifest universe, and in its own bliss, eternal and infinite.

The concomitant happiness is of the nature of peace to which its variants converge with diverse hues : pleasure, joy, satisfaction, contentment, enthusiasm, discovery, welcome, fulness, exhilaration, ecstasy … There is no abiding happiness without eternal love, nor that without true knowledge. 

Though we pick up the words floating in material space, our quest for love and happiness completes itself in the transcendent space of knowledge infinite, where the terms morph into forms unrecognisable from our references in the gross and subtle spaces !

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

THE SANATAN WAY

The world capitalises on our need to be happy in a variety of ways : by the economic order in which food is available to those who either have land and money for inputs to grow and harvest or have the money to buy it in the marketplace; it keeps billions on our planet hungry and deprived, and enslaved. There are regions where water is sold by owners of fresh water bodies and clean air to breathe can be had only in costly air-conditioned areas. Governments and oligarchs big and small buy up natural resources held untill then in common and, as “property owners,” do as they please untill the environment is too polluted and is no longer self-generating, leaving the “public” more in want of fish, firewood and animals, even air and water that was earlier consumable and freely available till then.

Then, there is the ubiquitous media and “urban” advancements – food, gadgets, civic amenities, security, transport, communication, entertainment, lifestyle – that get propagated to multiply people’s needs, create where there was not, which again ropes in a much larger population that perpetually feel disatisfied, constantly aspires to enter the set graded channels and end up either enslaving, being enslaved, or becoming mediates in between.

The apparent priviledges of the masters too is less real than it seems : they might have more than they need, but the needs multiply, with real risks to their wealth and income; that it all might disappear in a jiffy or diminish alarmingly for any number of causes, leaving them rather poor. If not enslaved by bigger cats in business, there would be robbers and killers on the prowl, or taxmen and politicians who may or may not be humoured unless the stakes are met on the high. Money itself begins to enslave the masters and dangerously too, like a man astride a tiger !

Apart from material causes, rather as perceived material causes, images or impressions in memory, or imagination, trigger the same persistent emotional distress – pain, want, anger or despair, nowhere thoughts, darkness in awareness and inadequacy of being. Every craving that issues of recall and takes us over, everytime we are lost in the maze of thought or are unable to extend it to light, we suffer the same smallness of the slave, of being a mere for-other distressed robot under remote control. Occasionally, some of us meet a guide or chance on our own the ability to hold the dissatisfaction in our very hand and summon the intuitive will to take the grapple on to the next level, where our purity of being fills us with manifold more moral strength and intellectual acuity required to wring the truth out of matters in our subconscious and those thrown up by out mental ground.

Few are fortunate and sagacious enough to remove themselves from this worldly game of being in the master-slave trap, of ensnaring and entrapping others into it. But it continues blatantly for the billions in every secular and religious walk of life; yes, every ‘faith’ plays by it, more or less. 

In the Sanatan way, its varnashrama society codifies the “householder” period of life during which the man is expected to fulfill two goals : acquire income and wealth and attain physical pleasures and sensuous joys. The period covers approximately 25 years, one-fourth of the total, after he has gone through the rigours of leading a celibate life and educating himself in a whole range of disciplines including dharma, which equips him with moral clarity, ethical norms, and a well-etched perspective of matters in truth and the ability to discriminate between right and wrong.

Unlike the contracted souls of bleak, colder climes in the West with fewer hands, less sunshine and deficient resources, which conditions tethered them to survival-induced barbary amongst themselves and compelled them to colonise faraway lands and its populations, the agriculturally rich energy-surplus tropical lands fostered far more expansive and embracing ways of life in the Indian subcontinent. The Sanatan way evolved with the refinement of the thread of thought from Vedic antiquity, its culmination in the Upanishad era and popularisation through the Epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas and, above all, the Bhagavad Gita. 

Though there were codified norms laid out by various authorities for public behaviour and conduct in private, the evolution of both the community and the individual was more an integrated and inherited affair, with rules and values perspective even the unlettered were aware of. The elite and the laity grew into the Sanatan way without an elaborate enforcement bureaucracy or judicial vertical, and fell in step in accord with their nature and station. The community was responsible for the welfare of its people; and individuals for themselves, for each other and the community. 

A community of people that lives responsibly must have collective institutions and agreed processes to educate and skill its people in diverse arts and sciences. It must also value truth : as God to theists and as pure knowledge to atheists. The truth is self-evident to the man unified with himself, his day and his environment, his people and his time. How the man’s being expands with thought and action issuing from the unified self, and contracts of segregagtion or alienation, also yields his moral and ethical values. The book merely records them and makes it formal.

The Sanatan way, and the Hindu country, produces scriptures and saints. Untill history began with kings and monuments, and truth was no longer evident : it only remained in debates and arguments. People were no more responsible for their karma, for living out the consequences in their awareness in order to learn, know and remember, and transcend with their awakening. Instead, men and women came to be seized by concerns of wealth and power, slave and enslave !

Karma is the thread vibrating between our immortality and now, over the seen and unseen. It spans the five sheaths of our being across the three great spaces, in our life and death and beyond through umpteen iteration of forms gross, making or unmaking the subtle untill its unity with the causal and ultimate turning away for liberation absolute. Our preoccupation with the body, with material possessions and worldly station only distracts us from the primary task here and now : of attending to the karma pulsating in the unseen. The shrink is of no help … for he only takes his norm and references from the mundane.

Awakening … Into Truth

THE CORE ASPECT

Hypothetically, to a stone, the truth is manifest in its existence but is not perceived; to a tree, it is sensed and even responded to but not thought of; with animals, it is sensed and thought of but not questioned and understood; and, in humans, truth is pondered over, inquired about and progressively understood.

There has never been and will never be when men, some of us, will stop enquiring and examining for this elusive certainty in respect of uncertain existence. Nothing else offers to us a sure ground that stays even when calamity falls, when all is lost or death is at hand, as all else falls short, deserts, changes, moves past or alienates.

Men are happy when their desire is met : whether upon material affluence, when relationship blossoms, our creation comes to shape, a drink is before us, a panorama engulfs us in its beauty, or when unpleasantness departs. Just then, when our “self” is free from prevailing want, without the craving in thought for us to coil about, without the emotion whirling with need to which we get anchored … just then, our self finds itself “released,” detached and un-anchored; our being expands. That freedom, accompanied with expansion of being, with nothing to hold us down, spells happiness. Un-tethered to the pegs of want, unburdened by the weight of need and unagitated by our own dissatisfaction, our being expands of its own, in itself, as we are by ourself.

But our happiness deserts us of the same causes in the reverse : the want resurfaces, a need arises, a desire pre-occupies … the pegs again come to tether us, we again contract to coil about the iterating thought and are again attached to the urge in our emotion. We then become unhappy, over a far more stretched period of time because desires are not met everyday, needs are not fulfilled pronto and our wants remain for long, perhaps forever. 

This is a, nay, the core aspect of our life between long stretches of dissatisfaction and fleeting spikes of happiness, over a stagnant bed of frustration from ever. 

Truth is our home, so to say, knowing which we find ourselves connected with our being, with all being and space itself, to our own situation, all situation and time itself. The object may be without – physical or material – but the want, disatisfaction and joyous phenomenon is our own, within our being, in our vitality, mind and ego-self. No, it does not occur in absolute isolation, without a peer … there is a witness-consciousness peering through the intellect which, if and when we are ready to methodically recall, enlightens us with moment-by-moment facts, the knowledge if which empowers us with the overriding mandate to breaking through the process as it occurs and halt the cyclic phenomenon at our will…  to be continued

Previous Older Entries

Copyright

All rights to material on this blog site is reserved.
Copyrights rest with either with the owner / author of this site or with those whose ownership / authorship is acknowledged.
Please do not copy, quote, print or publish without permission.
%d bloggers like this: