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Thread: New-comer questions...

  1. #1

    New-comer questions...

    Hi,
    So I've read/studied the Gita, and learnt a lot, but I feel very confused and under educated still... It didn't mention much about Gods other than Krishna/Lord Vishnu, and stuff like that.. All in all I'm super lost and confused.
    Suggestions on which books to read to figure everything out? Or is there a lot of things that aren't necessarily in books but that have to be taught?
    My knowledge is so much more basic than all of the discussions I'm reading here!!
    Can someone help me out??

    bahut dhanyavaad, thank you very much!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: New-comer questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuluniverse View Post
    Hi,
    So I've read/studied the Gita, and learnt a lot, but I feel very confused and under educated still... It didn't mention much about Gods other than Krishna/Lord Vishnu, and stuff like that.. All in all I'm super lost and confused.
    Suggestions on which books to read to figure everything out? Or is there a lot of things that aren't necessarily in books but that have to be taught?
    My knowledge is so much more basic than all of the discussions I'm reading here!!
    Can someone help me out??
    You have dipped one toe into an ocean of knowledge... Please consider this post to get a lay of the land: http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...ighlight=ocean

    And this post will also accompany some additional ideas for study -
    the upaniṣad-s : http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?4617-10-upani%E1%B9%A3ad-s-worth-studying

    Note that the bhāgavad gītā is 700 verses out of 100,000 couplets ( or śloka-s). The 100,000 śloka-s ( from the
    mahābhārata)are boiled down from 250,000 so we are told.
    Yet these 700 verses ( some count more) are considered the cream of the veda-s. Why is that? The bhāgavad gītā contains all 6 schools of thought
    in it. To the unaided eye this does not pop out. It also is written in such a way that it offers 3 levels of meaning :

    • The notion of ādhibhoutika - gross external meaning; that relating to bhu, to existence - the physical world and common transactions
    • The notion that ādhidaiva which includes (within it) ādhiyajña or the praise and worship of the devatā.
    • ādhyātma - spiritual or esoteric meaning; the Supreme Spirit; belonging to the SELF


    So, within a world of 'rush-rush hurry up lets get it done, check this off my list' , the one that blossoms within sanātana dharma (some call ārṣa dharma that of the rishi's) is the one that is
    patient, persistent, and remains focused.

    If one read the bhāgavad gītā perfectly, with 100% absorption, only 6 chapters ( the 1st six) would be sufficient; Just as reading one upaniṣad is sufficient:
    Śrī rāma and hanumān-ji are talking. Śrī rāma
    says the māṇḍūkya (frog) upaniṣad's wisdom is enough to bring liberation (kaivalya). Yet if one does not achieve this via this upaniṣad ,
    then the 10 must be considered. If not the 10, then the 32 and one then should stop. He then says if desiring mokṣa without the body then read the 108.

    For some this approach just listed may work, for others the 'flight plan' is a bit different and requires more attention. What will work for you ? That is what you will need to address.

    iti śivaṁ

    Last edited by yajvan; 24 November 2015 at 10:02 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: New-comer questions...

    Ah, thank you so much!
    I'm definetly going to try the things you mentioned!
    Thank you!!

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    Re: New-comer questions...

    Namaste,

    Very grateful to you for organising this for new-comers - it's true that it is difficult to narrow down which important scriptures to read to get a good understanding of Hinduism, and you have made learning easier for us. Will keep this bookmarked.

    Dhanavad,
    FollowerJunior

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    Re: New-comer questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    For those that are new to this dárśana¹ I find many attach themselves to one school or another early on .
    They miss the lay of the land in return to become associated/aligned with one particular school ( which is not a bad thing).

    Consider the following... one moves to a new country and takes up residence in a certain city; they are unaware of
    the other cities/states that are possible. They settle-in to the city, its habits, its rhythm and this brings comfort and
    familiarity - all well and good.

    Yet what if before saying i will reside here in this city, this state, one looks at a map. They see the
    lay of the land; on this map it gives the temperature, the seasonality, etc. Then one may say this
    city, in this state looks like a good alignment to my needs and likes.

    Can this be done in sanātana dharma ? I am of the opinion you can get a reasonable 'lay of the land'
    -by allowing yourself to be introduced to the 6 systems of Indian thought.-
    This can be done in a 2 volume set called ' The Systems of Indian Philosophy' by Subodh Kapoor ISBN 81-7755-887-0 and 81-7755-889-7.

    Just like building a house one starts with the foundation... these books allows that foundation to poured, and for you to form opinions.
    It is from these foundations that various sects, religious point-of-views, etc. are formed. These books then allow one to ( really) appreciate
    the śāstra-s and āgama-s one might read, as the 6 schools are sort of the DNA to help one frame the conversation and comprehend
    the various points of view.

    The beauty of these 6 schools is they are looking at the same Reality from 6 different vantage points. They do not compete with each other ( yet some
    tend to think so); they are there for our growth and expansion.

    The 6 referred to here are :

    • sāṁkhya
    • yoga
    • vedānta (sometimes called uttarā mīmāṃsā)
    • mīmāṃsā
    • nyāya
    • vaiśeṣika

    What do these 6 schools of thought address ? The views of Reality:
    Reality = vyāvahātika + pāramārthika ( the manifest or the world of diversity + the transcendent). And what then comes of this thought ?
    How they view this Reality:

    • advaita - no separateness or not two - unity
    • dvaita - separateness or 2 - diversity
    • viśiṣṭādvaita - separate yet - unity in diversity



    It is how we get to these branches that is considered the 'study' of sanātana dharma. It is worship with a foundation. Other wise one is like a kite in the wind, blown from here to there.



    ...well begun is half done.

    iti śivaṁ

    1.
    dárśana -
    seeing , observing , looking , noticing , observation , perception; school of thought. Some call out 6, I count 16 out of 22.
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 December 2015 at 10:24 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: New-comer questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    If I were just beginning my study within/of sanātana dharma I think I’d get comfortable with the 3 guṇá-s¹. How do they relate to me, the world,
    actions, etc. Especially when we’re encouraged to become the guṇātīta¹ - beyond or without them ( from the bhāgavad gītā ).
    This HDF post may be of assistance - starting with post 3:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...C5%AB%E1%B9%81

    One thing that people miss most ( as I did some years back) is the highest qualities these guṇá-s can offer ( or develop) :

    • The highest quality of sattvoguṇa ( sattva + guṇa) within us is the ability to discern the intellect (buddhi) from the SELF (puruṣa). It is the intellect that
      ~plays~ at being the SELF which it is not; it is the stand-in Self ( so we call it self or small ‘s’) and can be considered ~in general~ the ego some like to call ahaṁkāra ( literally the ‘I’ maker or doer).
    • The highest quality of ragoguṇa is the purest/highest desire for liberation within us … some call liberation mokṣa, others kaivalya, and still others enlightenment. It is an intense desire , yet pure of passion (kāma); said another way is it śukraḥ-kāma.
    • The highest quality of tamoguṇa is the quality of the mind to be arrested (nirodhaḥ¹) from all the internal noise, allowing it to rest in pure awareness.


    Hence regarding these higher qualities:

    • sattva guna is ~like~ prakhyā or visible , clear , bright – the brightness of discrimination ; the finer levels of discernment of the mind and one’s own being.
    • ragoguna is ~like~ pravtti - moving onwards, coming forth , appearance ; conduct and behaviors; those higher aspirations for ones unfoldment .
    • tamoguna is ~like~ sthiti – ‘standing upright or firmly , not falling’ – the ability for the mind not to waiver


    iti śivaṁ


    words


    • guṇá – a single thread; yet the 3 guṇá-s are formed by 3 ~threads~ of sattva, rajas and tamas. This notion comes up often in the sāṃkhya view (school, dárśana) of reality. Then all sorts of things get discussed:
      • The guṇá-s is the key ingredient of prakṛti , chief quality of all existing things have these qualities sattva , rajas , and tamas.

    • guṇātīta - freed from or beyond all properties of the 3 guṇá-s
      • guṇātīta = guṇá + ati + ta guṇá = the 3 guṇá-s + ati = going beyond + ita = gone ( note i +i = ī or long ī as you see in this word)

    • nirodhaḥ - restraint , in check , properly controlled; ~ highly managed~

    Last edited by yajvan; 03 December 2015 at 10:27 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #7
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    Re: New-comer questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    If I were just beginning my study within/of sanātana dharma I think I’d have the following question/curiosity.


    • Consciousness, I hear so much about e.g. higher states of consciousness, the 4th level of consciousness, all that.
      • How is it defined ?
      • How is it different than awareness ( or isn’t it ?)
      • Can I live without it, like living without an arm or leg or eyeball ?


    • And, as a human, do I produce it from the assembly of neurons firing ( along with all my brain activity and all the nourishment I take in) ?
    • -or- am I like a radio tuner ? That is, once I am all ~assembled~ and have all the proper stuff working in sync I then can receive consciousness and use it.
      • That is, is it here in the universe at the elementary level; to say, it would be here even if I were not; I am not the producer but the user of it ?


    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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