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    great (profound) questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    Often I admire questions that are posed within our śāstra-s that are so poignant & profound it gives me pause and delight. I thought I would list a few of them out.

    I have written them in this folder ( uttara¹) due to their weight. They are not casual conversational questions. Some have answers ( that are digestible) and others do not.

    Let me start with one of my favorites…

    The student within the vivekacūḍāmaṇi¹ is being instructed on the SELF. The master talks of the 5 sheaths or coverings ( pañcānṁ kośānāṁ) and that the SELF is distinct from these. He informs the student that when all 5 covers have been eliminated by reasoning ( and perhaps by being transcending) what remains is the witness of all, the substratum of all, the Self ( in this case called bodharūpa¹).

    So the astute student (śiṣya) says , after these 5 coverings have been eliminated as not real, I am nothing but absolute void; by which entity then should the wise realize their identity with the Self ?

    This is a brilliant question … it says all the organs of perception of knowledge have been eliminated as they reside in various 5 covers (this is without getting too specific) ; now what is left then ? What tool remains for me to recognize this Self if all have been eliminated ?

    iti śivaṁ
    words
    • uttara - lofty, excellent; northern; adhikaraṇa within the mīmāṁsā school; this adhikaraṇa is the act of placing at the head or supremacy. It is the fourth member of an adhikaraṇa or case
    • vivekacūḍāmaṇi or the Crown jewel of Discrimination ( some say crest jewel) ; the author and master is ādi śaṅkara-ji.
    • bodharūpa = bodha+ rūpa = knowledge, intelligence + mark, sign, known absolute
    Last edited by yajvan; 26 September 2014 at 06:44 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: great (profound) questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Naciketas ( from the kaha¹ upaniṣad) asks yama a great question.

    Now ( for me) knowing the meaning of naciketas adds to the greatness of the question. We can look at naciketas as naciketa, which means ‘of a man’. And we can look at it as na + ci + keta = not + to collect , gather together , accumulate + desire, wish.
    This means he (naciketas) has no desire to collect or gather for himself. If you read the story he is doing things for the benefit of his father.

    Now the alternative meaning of this na +ci + keta is revealed by the term ci. The term ci also means ‘to make inquiries’ and when we look at it from this point of view na + ci + keta also can suggest he (naciketas) does not know ( na) the inquiry ( ci) he wishes ( keta) to have answered. This can mean two things:
    • His question is quite profound even he (naciketas) cannot comprehend the gravity of the question, or;
    • he is so innocent he also misses the gravity of the question he wishes to have answered.
    So, what is this question ? There’s 3 , but the one I think with the gravity aligned to the definition I offered above of na +ci + keta is the following:
    Uncertainty remains among men concerning the departed. Some say they continue to exist, others say they do not. Taught by you (yama) I would like to know the truth ( on this matter).

    Yama addresses naciketas and says don’t press me for an answer on this… even the devatā-s have doubts about this matter. Chose something else! Give this up for my sake (says yama).

    Naciketas says if the devatā-s are confused on this matter, then I have chosen no better teacher to explain it to me. Please proceed to grant my boon ( question put forth).

    I will let the interested reader pursue the answer offered by yama found in this upaniṣad.

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    kaha has several meanings…
    • Distress when used in the neuter grammatical gender
    • A pupil or follower of kaṭha , the pupil of vaiśampāyana and founder of a branch of the yajur-veda , called after him
    • If we end it with a long ā or kathā it is a conversation , speech , talking together; this applies as naciketas converses with yama.
    Last edited by yajvan; 27 September 2014 at 06:49 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: great (profound) questions...

    Dear Yajvan ji,


    Very nice thread. Thanks for the nachiketas meaning and explanation.

    A small comment:

    5 covers have been eliminated by reasoning ( and perhaps by being transcending)
    Its not transcending. Who transcends ? The mind cannot transcend.
    Wrong perception being of mind can be negated at the level of mind alone.
    And Self is ever beyond ! untouched.

    Thus reasoning is the right word. Sruthi - Yukti - Anubhavah
    Anubhavam = anu-Consequent, following. Bhav, to Be.
    Following what? Following Sravanam of Sruthi and proper mananam, Yukthi.

    Thus reasoning is indeed the word.

    Modern day sadhus have made reasoning into a ghost! Tarka is good ku-tarka can be a problem.

    Love!
    Silence
    Come up, O Lions, and shake off the delusion that you are a sheep

  4. #4
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    Re: great (profound) questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by silence_speaks View Post
    Dear Yajvan ji,


    Very nice thread. Thanks for the nachiketas meaning and explanation.

    A small comment:
    Its not transcending. Who transcends ? The mind cannot transcend.
    Wrong perception being of mind can be negated at the level of mind alone.
    And Self is ever beyond ! untouched.

    Thus reasoning is the right word. Sruthi - Yukti - Anubhavah
    Anubhavam = anu-Consequent, following. Bhav, to Be.
    Following what? Following Sravanam of Sruthi and proper mananam, Yukthi.

    Thus reasoning is indeed the word.

    Modern day sadhus have made reasoning into a ghost! Tarka is good ku-tarka can be a problem.

    Love!
    Silence
    I see it differently. Transcending is the ~relative~ experience of what occurs. It is the term used in association with 'seedless' samādhi albeit not samādhi itself but a vehicle.

    One needs to come to grips ( sooner or later) on the notion of the mind. It is not one thing, but a collection, grouping. So as one goes on the inward march though the 5 covers (pañcān kośānāṁ) the final cover is then transcended.

    You ask who transcends ? Properly asked is 'what' transcends ? It is awareness. Now one asks is this awareness part-and-parcel of the mind ? That would deter the whole conversation at this point.
    Upon direct personal experience, a person will akin this movement ( even though staying in one place) as a transcending experience¹. Said another way, when this awareness is co-mingled with ego there are thoughts, feelings, etc. , the waves of the mind. Yet when one goes from this co-mingling to that of awareness resting in itself there is this expansion experience. This is the ~relative~ experience of transcending. The purity of awareness in and of itself. Another name for seedless samādhi.

    iti śivaṁ

    1. within patañjali’s yogadarśana you will find this called out in chapter 2 verse 10. The term used is pratiprasava. It is called returning to the original state or original cause; some call it reversing the process of giving birth ( in our case the birth of thoughts); you will find this pratiprasava also within the chāndogya upaniṣad, 6th chapter, where the notion of returning to sat, or the original state is reviewed.
    Last edited by yajvan; 28 September 2014 at 06:44 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5
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    Re: great (profound) questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~~
    namasté


    Within the praśna upaniṣad there are 6 śiṣya-s with 6 questions. In fact the name of the upaniṣad, praśna, means inquiry or examination, question. I will offer 1 of the 6 , but each are worthy of one’s time and study.

    Here is the 6th one. The way the 6th question is offered suggests its subtly and gravity. The śiṣya named sukeśa¹ asks the question but in a very modest way.
    He says he was asked this question by a prince ( the country of kosala) and could not respond i.e. he did not know the answer. He asks, now I ask you the same question: do you know the puruśa of 16 kalā –s ? Wherein is that puruśa ?

    One must ask why did sukeśa offer this question in this manner ? Sukeśa was introduced first to the Teacher, then he was the last to ask his question. This infers the weightiness of the question.
    Asking from the once-removed position suggests its subtly i.e. asking from another question that was not answered suggests this as it is considered the indirect way.

    The question itself speaks of wholeness and diversity. How is there wholeness in this diversity of 16 kalā-s. We know a kalā is single part or portion of a whole; it is also 1/16th of the moon’s diameter. This 16 is another symbol for wholeness. So it is suggesting, even in diversity of portions, of seemingly divided things there is wholeness.

    The master ( pippalāda) goes on to answer this question in the 6th chapter. It is worth the read.

    iti śivaṁ


    1. sukeśa – for those that love word roots, consider looking up the meaning of sukeśa and su+ keśa.
    Last edited by yajvan; 28 September 2014 at 12:49 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #6

    Re: great (profound) questions...

    Der Yajvan ji,
    Namasthe!

    Upon direct personal experience, a person will akin this movement ( even though staying in one place) as a transcending experience¹. Said another way, when this awareness is co-mingled with ego there are thoughts, feelings, etc. , the waves of the mind. Yet when one goes from this co-mingling to that of awareness resting in itself there is this expansion experience. This is the ~relative~ experience of transcending.
    Humm, we seem to be saying the same thing - but differently verbalized.

    Your posts, as usual are very beautiful.

    A small suggestion. If you can pick up a small text .... and together if we can study it carefully :fully analyzing , carefully questioning and deeply meditating on its teaching --- That can be a wonderful thing to do.

    I would suggest a small upanishad like "amrtabindu Upanishad" or even a prakarana grantha like Hastamalaka Stotram or Ramana Maharshi's Upadesha Saram.

    In Buddhist tradition they have the concept of a "Sangha"... a community. A community is where the Sadhakas respect each other, respect each other's views and practice together. The whole thing is absolutely beautiful. If you can take up a topic like this and we could all study that together ... it would become a sort of online Sangha for us all! Very beautiful.

    Love!
    Silence
    Come up, O Lions, and shake off the delusion that you are a sheep

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