Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Soul..There Yet Not There?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    October 2009
    Location
    malaysia
    Posts
    134
    Rep Power
    0

    Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Namaste,

    I was reading a few line from Brahma Sutra Bashya(BSB) and I wanted to discuss this.

    BSB says:


    1)The individual soul has no origin, because the Upanishads do not mention this because its eternality is known from them and(because of other reasons).

    then this line is supported by Taittiriya Upanishad that says "He made Himself by Himself" therefore the individual soul has no origin.


    Next

    2)The Vedantin says: The individual soul should be a part of God even as a spark is of fire.The individual is a part of only apparent, for the partless Brahman can have no part in the literal sense.



    Next

    3) The Individual soul is only a reflection of the Supreme Self to be sure.

    Commentary: And this has to be understood that this individual soul is a reflection of the Supreme Self like the semblance of the sun in water.
    Not that the soul is the Self Itself nor is it something else.



    Ok what I would like to discuss here is:

    1)So it seems that the individual soul has no origin and is merely a reflection of the Supreme Self that is sort of compartmentalized Supreme Self Reflections like a house of mirrors..that is one man enters a house of mirrors and see countless reflections of himself.

    So the Supreme Self here is reflected as the soul in the house of mirrors of Maya and we have the countless Jeevatamas(Souls)



    2)So going by this..that means to say that a soul as an individual existence that is divorced from Brahman is not possible because Brahman is partless.

    Only a reflection as many but yet partless is possible.

    3)That means that Technically Jeevas are just reflections so it can be said that a Soul on it own has no origin or does not really "exists" in the real sense.



    I was just linking this to Lord Buddhas teachings when He said there is no soul.

    It could be that He was not denying the presence of a Jeevatma (soul) as in reflection of Brahman but the fact that its only a reflection renders it not having an independent existence and what He said got misunderstood that there is no soul.

    Because Lord Buddha did preach about Karma and without the presence of the reflections of Brahman as Jeevas the Karma theory can not stand.


    So is this what Lord Buddha really meant?

    It seems to have a standing in Brahma Sutra Bashya.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    December 2007
    Age
    56
    Posts
    3,204
    Rep Power
    4664

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Namaste Renuka,

    I have thought on this issue for long. Buddha or anyone in quest of the Truth must reach the same destination and even if there are issues in choosing the right words/terms, they would more or less mean the same.

    The relationship between Jeeva and Brahman is the most difficult part to understand. Whatever language/words/terms/analogy you choose, it cannot be described as it really is. This is because, this Jeeva perceives differences very strongly and has most characteristics of being labelled as "existing". Otherwise valid questions are : "If there is no Jeeva, who takes birth, who accumulated karma, who dies and who is re-born ? If Jeeva is non-existent then what is Karma, what is bondage and what is liberation ?" ... and yet, Upanishads say unequivocally that there is Self alone and anyone "who sees differences here goes from death to death" (Ref : Kathopanishad) ! So, we take the analogy of rope and snake, imagined reality over the absolute reality.

    Buddha faced similar dilemma. Perhaps, that is why he chose not to indulge into such discussions. Such discussion, anyway won't lead to anywhere and it would hardly help in attaining liberation. We must keep in mind that Buddha was able to spread his message to masses whereas Advaita had difficulty in making this common. This was because in Advaita VedAnta, discussion and enquiry are of such a high level that unless one is more intelligent than average, he won't be able to make any headway in this discussion. So, Advaita VedAnta failed in being spread in common public even though it addressed the reality in much better way than Buddha did.

    I think Buddha did it purposefully so that people don't waste time in discussion and straightway aim for the highest goal through meditation. Again, Buddha aims for the highest goal and not anything less than that. That is Turiya state or Buddha state. By holding on to any notion strongly, one cannot reach this state. Even holding on to concept of God can be a hindrance in attaining this state as happened to Ramkrishna Paramhansa. That is why Buddha, perhaps thought not to encourage having any concept of "individual soul" or "jeeva" or even "Self" in his preaching. He advises to be patient in meditation and wait for the Reality to reveal Itself upon the seeker. He feels that any concept which has to be abandoned in the end is only a hindrance and therefore there is no need to keep on head any baggage even in the beginning.

    If you say that there is Jeeva your natural tendency is to hold on to the concept of Jeeva. Even if you don't mention anything about Jeeva, the sense of individuality tries to make us feel that we have separate existence. Therefore, Buddha wants that this concept must be denied any cognizance from the beginning itself. Even the word "Self' gives a notion of some entity other than "ourselves" and that becomes a hindrance !

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  3. #3

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Pranams devotee


    Even the word "Self' gives a notion of some entity other than "ourselves" and that becomes a hindrance !
    This is such an important point. In Zen there is a saying, if you see the Buddha on the road kill him. Of course this is not a an action of killing, but the self is not outside the self, we dont make the mistake of mistaking phenomena even if it is seemingly divine as self. We dont see self we are self, and according to their practice its more or less impossible to see self because its blocked by a wall of material phenomena, so sometimes our projection of pure self can be just that, a projection of the mind/consciousness of subtle habitual grasping to the phenomena of self.

  4. #4

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Quote Originally Posted by renuka View Post

    Because Lord Buddha did preach about Karma and without the presence of the reflections of Brahman as Jeevas the Karma theory can not stand.


    .
    Why is that?

    Buddha taught that there is no Atman and there is no Brahman. He didn't exactly say there is no soul, since that is an english word which invokes a western concept, denial of which normally entails the denial of any continued existence after death

  5. #5

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Quote Originally Posted by rainycity View Post
    Why is that?

    Buddha taught that there is no Atman and there is no Brahman. He didn't exactly say there is no soul, since that is an english word which invokes a western concept, denial of which normally entails the denial of any continued existence after death
    Hi,

    The Buddha never denied Brahman in the Pali texts actually........Brahma, the god, asked him to teach the Dhamma.

    This is a common misunderstanding as is the term "atta" hence AN-atta or Anatman.

    The word atta/atman had various meanings back in the Buddha's day and we don't know what he denied exactly as there is no clear definition of
    the term atta/atman as he understood it.

    Mangalam,
    Stefos

  6. #6

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Namaste Stefos,

    The word BrahmA as in BrahmA Deva, whose was known back then as brahmA sahampati is not the same as Brahma as Brahman, there is grammatical and pronunciation differences so The two are different, there is a lot of reference to Brahman~Brahma in Pali Suttas, which is only one of the 5 main schools, and only came into texts forms or suttas 300 years after Siddharta.

    They seem to always want to distance themselves for some reason from the other Hindu teachings. Many names with Brahma were associated with High Level Bikkhus. Interestingly that only Siddharta was known as Tathagatha, and this transcended the limited being contained within the elements and can never be described with words, and all others who reached a stage of Arahatship or Sainthood, this has wonderful meaning when deliberated on, Tathagata can not be limited to or contained to just one individual being, but a saint can, but the Arahts being is no longer limited to his own self identification as a limited individual being, along these lines.......

    In terms of being liberated or secure on the path for final realization can be attained in 4th Jhana where one becomes stream enterer or stream winner, meaning they are on a irreversible path but not quite at the destination, but are carried onwards.

    In short Buddhism rejects all ways to truth by philosophical systems or punditry or debate to find the truth. Vedanta and all yogas systems the same too, the knowledge's are there to strike at the heart of Kleshas through upayas or subtle and skillful means and Siddharta's stress was on good living and perfection within the meditations or jhana and dhyana as way to liberation. This isnt to say that we dont study Shastra, for this day and age where its harder for the average person to see subtle truths as inherent in natural sattvic equanimity of pure mind, but one one should use the study of Shastra and the epistemology with introspection and reflection to help enter into meditation and literal meaning should be avoided because it hampers growth.

    Pranam
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 09 February 2017 at 06:11 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Namaste....


    Let me take this opportunity to explain my views on how maya can be a reality along with nirguna brahman of advaita. Let us say we are in a reality that is the same as that of nirguna brahman. Since nirguna brahman is said to be the ultimate reality, in a similar reality we would feel that everything is real. Now consider another experience where we are in something that would make us feel whatever unreal is real. This experience would be similar to one under a reality such as maya.

    Nirguna brahman is the ulimate reality and the experience would not include anything unreal and it sees only the real, from the point of view of nirguna brahman or the ultimate reality there is no maya. But both nirguna brahman and maya are said to be timeless. We have to view maya as the natural concomitance of nirguna brahman and all the projections such as saguna brahman, space and time, jivatmas are a result of the existence of both nirguna brahman and maya. But let me emphasize, maya does not exist for nirguna brahman.

    There is only one ultimate reality and all including the souls or jivatmas are just projections or reflections, whatever you may call it. In reality individual souls do not exist just as physical entities, space and time do not exist.

  8. #8

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefos View Post
    Hi,

    The Buddha never denied Brahman in the Pali texts actually........Brahma, the god, asked him to teach the Dhamma.
    World soul, Ishvara, and the ultimate, true existence of any kind of self were denied by Buddha. As I understand it, normally Brahman is considered to have the nature of self, as the ultimate cosmic self underlying the entire reality, and is considered to be the essence and substance of reality. All of these were denied by the Buddha; self, essence and substance, particularly in regards to what ultimately, truly exists, and the nature of the entire reality, down to the metaphysical level. Brahma in the pali canon is a deva and a class of devas, there are multiple brahmas and a brahma realm, which is a deva realm.

    This is a common misunderstanding as is the term "atta" hence AN-atta or Anatman.

    The word atta/atman had various meanings back in the Buddha's day and we don't know what he denied exactly as there is no clear definition of
    the term atta/atman as he understood it.

    Mangalam,
    Stefos
    It is clearly defined in my opinion. The pali canon goes into elaborate detail on what atta is, and all the various conceptions and doctrines of atta, and what is denied (all of it).

  9. #9

    Re: Soul..There Yet Not There?

    Namaste Rainycity,

    It is clearly defined in my opinion. The pali canon goes into elaborate detail on what atta is, and all the various conceptions and doctrines of atta, and what is denied (all of it).
    Your right the Pali Cannon does go into detail on what is atta, but we need to find the real context within the whole of the teaching.

    There is a very important sutta as you may know called brahmajala sutta. This is translated as the net of views. Like many of us do we reduce the Absolute into a human conditioned view, we keep limiting it to the intellect. This is fine to some degree but at some point all of that needs to be let go of, as views can cause disharmony, as we see with beliefs and faith, I may believe in something and have faith in something not yet realised and someone else may have something of the same nature and they may oppose each other and it could lead to aversion, anger and even war.

    The main theme of the pali suttas is to remove the 3 main hindrances of greed, hatred and delusion. All conditioned beings are ruled by these 3 hindrances to varying degrees, and within each sutta the Buddha spoke in skillful way to get release from these. When the grip of greed, hatred and ignorance is weakened and overcome natural insight and knowledge arises. So in the Pali suttas each sutta skillfully deals with the removal of veil that hides the true brilliance which is self explanatory and needs no verification, it has its own language.

    Lets say for example the Buddha denied the Atma-Brahman then it would contradict his own teaching. He said to give up the view of the self and also to give up the view that there is no self and all views lead to confusion, tension and anger.

    Now did he deny the self..

    Very much so, so does Vedanta in neti neti.

    But without to much cross reference let us look briefly at what Buddha taught as atta self.

    form he said is not self

    feelings he said is not self

    consciousness he said is not self

    no self is existing within the conditions.

    The tricky one for many people is consciousness~viññāṇa as usually we think that consciousness is the spiritual self. The context of viññāṇa is the compounded consciousness which makes up the individual. The individual is not his real self.

    There is a very nice sutta Kevatta Sutta in which the Buddha talks about many things, the iddhis~siddhis, the means of travel in the cosmos~samadhi to meet the devas and ultimate realization , seeing~vision of tathagatha, one thus gone and one in suchness.

    There is a word used in this sutta, Anidassana-vinnana. This was used in this teaching that the there is a type of consciousness that has no footing within the elements, MahaBhutas, which is sign-less, boundless, all-luminous. This is the awakened state the Buddha.

    If need be I can compose it much better using the romanized pali, whith translations from Theravadin traditions, which is always being updated to find a better context within English.

    Reecently I was listening to one sutta, and the Buddha introduced himself as Aham, I will with some effort try to find that sutta. The English goes along the lines of Aham I am, that consciousness, which is unbounded, freed from taints, from ignorance, from greed, harm and ill will , unbounded, luminous etc etc.

    Aham is not really I am in the individual sense. It is this individual being that is atta and anatta is the insight to reach that illuminating, boundless sign-less, Anidassana-vinnana.

    Pranams
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 24 August 2017 at 05:46 AM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Schools of Vedanta
    By Parikh1019 in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 30 March 2012, 10:39 PM
  2. Does killing a body damage the soul?
    By Ramakrishna in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05 March 2010, 10:39 PM
  3. Shiva and Dionysos
    By Tyrannos in forum Shaiva
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 25 December 2008, 01:58 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •