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Thread: Freedom (svādhīnatā)

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    Freedom (svādhīnatā)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Nothing captures one’s imagination as the notion of freedom. Wars come-and-go predicated upon securing this freedom for the individual and society.
    It seems to be part of our DNA. When someone suggests that we are not free it strikes a nerve and many come to the conclusion,
    ‘well then, what’s the use ? What’s the use of doing what we do if we are not free? If we are being guided, cajoled, managed, or ‘pushed’ into conditions and results that
    really have little to do with our choice. ‘

    Hence the subject matter of this post… to poke around on this matter and see if there is some additional clues and knowledge regarding the notion of freedom.

    Freedom or svādhīnatā by definition is subjection to (only) one's self i.e. total and complete independence. We could expand this definition, yet for now I think it will serve our purpose.

    Two types
    It seems to me freedom can be categorized into two camps: Absolute freedom and relative freedom.
    With absolute freedom there are literally no boundaries to one’s choice. That means not even the laws
    of nature can restrict one in any way , shape or form. Any and all things are possible.
    With relative freedom ( some call liberty¹) some things are possible, and are ~ quarantined~ to the laws of nature as the boundary condition.

    A few examples of the above ( and will try to keep the ideas simple).

    • Absolute Freedom of Choice

    Let’s say I plant a seed of an oak tree. With absolute freedom of choice I chose it to become a rose bush. It becomes that.
    I choose that roses are instant and I do not have to wait some months for it to grow, I chose that it is a blooming bush
    in the next hour… and it is done. I chose to ‘smell’ the beautiful green ( I chose green) rose with my skin, not my nose.
    All of my body is able to smell the rose that is green & smells like a green apple, again my choice. It is done.

    • Relative Freedom of Choice

    I get to choose a rose bush and plant it. It is my choice from the available rose bushes, so I chose one of them. I know
    that if I chose an oak tree seed I would be choosing to get a tree and not a bush.

    I plant the rose bush in the best soil conditions and location possible. Yet I do not know for sure if I will get
    healthy roses. I hope I do , as that is my choice. I do all the things to promote this choice: Water, fertilize,
    assure it gets plenty of sun, all those things that support my choice, yet in the final analysis it is out of my hands.
    Whose ~hands~ is the final outcome of the rose bush in ? All the laws of nature and intelligence that resides within
    this world.

    See the difference in the two examples? With relative freedom it is my choice to pick or not pick a rose bush to plant.
    To do ( or not do) all those things that would support a healthy plant to grow over a period of time
    that I cannot control.
    I cannot truncate the growing period of the bush. My selections are subjected to
    the ‘rules’ , the laws of nature that preside in the universe.

    Guidence
    Now is there any śāstra that suggests this relative freedom of choice is a reasonable view ? Yes.
    Kṛṣṇa says the following in the bhāgavad gītā (chapter 2, 47th śloka)
    karmaṇi evādhikāras te
    mā phalesu kadācana |
    mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
    mā te saṅgo'stv akarmaṇi ||47


    This says, you certainly (eva) have ādhikāra (claim , right , privilege, control) of your (te or ti) karmaṇi (of your actions) , but never or not (mā) of its fruits (phalesu) .

    Just so there is no confusion - 'but never or not (mā) of its fruits (phalesu)' clearly points that the individual cannot control the outcome. You do not have a choice on the level of success or failure that may result from that action that is initiated. That is, you ‘want’ the roses to be beautiful, fragrant, perfect, yet at the end of the day it is out of your hands.
    See the point? Kṛṣṇa-ji is saying in no uncertain terms you have (we have) relative freedom.

    My intent, my choice my ādhikāra (claim , right , privilege, control) of actions karmaṇi, is mine. So , why am I offering this? Because by the grace of the Lord He gives us this privilege.

    But why on earth do I have this nagging feeling that I have this absolute freedom in me somewhere ? Why is this ? We will take a look in the next post.

    iti śivaṁ
    1. Liberty : a) the power of choice b) a right (or immunity) enjoyed by prescription or by grant
    Last edited by yajvan; 21 February 2016 at 03:13 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: Freedom (svādhīnatā)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    But why on earth do I have this nagging feeling that I have this absolute freedom in me somewhere ? Why is this ?

    Within the pratyabhijñāhṛdayam or the heart (hṛdayam) of recognition (pratyabhijñā) , a trika śāstra¹ , we are informed:
    citireva cetanapadādavarūḍhā cetyasaṅkocinī cittam||5¹

    citi (citiḥ) or universal consciousness alone (eva) descends (avarūḍhā) from the stage (padāt) of pure Consciousness (some say uncontracted consciousness or cetana), then contracts Herself (saṅkocinī) (or assumes the form of, or ) becomes the mind (cittam) and the objects of knowing (cetya)||5
    Note the term ‘cetya’ = perceivables; I took the liberty of calling it ‘the objects of knowing’. Perceivable = all of our surroundings; this too infers thoughts and emotions
    as they are perceived though apparatus other than our typical sense of touch, seeing, smelling, etc.

    So, what does mean ? That we are a condensed version of the Supreme, pure awareness.
    Okay yajvan, I follow you so far, but so what? What does this have to do with the notion of freedom? Of all the indications we hear regarding the Supreme the one
    that stands out the most, the pedestal of the Supreme is the notion of its nature, svātantrya. The Supreme and It’s energy, svātantrya śakti, are inseparable.
    And what is svātantrya? It is absolute freedom. There is no dependence on any other thing, ever, nor was this ever a condition. Any and everything is possible within the Supreme.
    There are no limits, no boundaries; this level of Being is perfectly stainless, perfectly independent.

    Since we come from this level and are a condensed version of the Supreme, it is ~natural~ to have this remnant feeling of absolute freedom I call leśādititva¹.
    One's audit trail back to the Supreme is this nagging feeling for more freedom.

    How then is the Supreme throttled-down so much to our limited condition? It is like taking the entire ocean and holding it within one drop. How can this be?
    We will take a look in the following posts.

    iti śivaṁ

    words
    • trika śāstra = non-dual kaśmir śaivism which on occasion is mentioned as svātantryavada.
      • Now why muddy the water with another name of kaśmir śaivism as svātantryavada ? Because this word (svātantryavada) means the doctrine or knowledge of freedom.

    • leśādititva = leśa+adititva . Leśa = remains, a portion, a trace of + adititva = the condition of aditi ,which is freedom , unbrokenness
    • Offered in saṃskṛt for those that wish to inspect the śloka: चितिरेव चेतनपदावरूढा चेत्यसङ्कोचिनी चित्तम्॥५











    Last edited by yajvan; 23 February 2016 at 05:32 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
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    Re: Freedom (svādhīnatā)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    How then is the Supreme throttled-down so much to our limited condition? It is like taking the entire ocean and holding it within one drop. How can this be?

    How can this be ? Only if the Supreme wants it to be… this logic seems straight forward. It’s will, the Supreme, is comprehensive, perfect, profound no less. It’s will (icchā śakti)
    and it’s compliance are perfect. It is by His will ( I use the term His, as this is conventional to do) that this occurs. What is ‘this’ ? The world of differences, things, of individuality.

    Some argue that all this world and diversity is due to māyā. All well and good, but let's look at it from this school's point of view.
    The view of non-dual kaśmir śaivism is offered in the mālinīvijayavārtika (1.173) : When śiva’s power of action reaches its most intense extroverted condition it becomes māyā. Many see this and say oh yes I see what you say…
    the Supreme
    offers this ~illusion~. From a trika/ kaśmir śaivism point of view the notion of ‘illusion’ is incongruent with this school.

    Māyā is not illusion like a magic trick; it is none other than the Infinite measured out. It is ‘as if’ one could take the Infinite and partition it
    into divisions. From our view we see diversity –
    from the person who experiences the truth on the level of perception, there
    is only wholeness, fullness everywhere.
    If you recall this conversation of māyā frequents HDF on a regular basis. Other schools may see this māyā as illusion , I do not contest their views. I have looked to the word itself for its own meaning:
    māyā is rooted in the term and that is our clue.


    The term mā has multiple definitions, it is quite flexible… Let’s look at one that is congruent with this conversation at hand.
    • mā - to measure out , apportion ; to be measured ; to measure across = traverse
    • mā – time. What is time ? We think of measuring a series of moments. Discrete packets of minutes, hours, years, eons. It is the measuring out of eternity , second by second.
    • yā – restraining, restraint , forbearance ( as in yāma and niyāma as an example)


    But yajvan where do you find the notion of the Infinite in these words, in the components? It is in . Another definition offered of ‘mā’ are the names of viṣṇu or śiva.
    They, in turn, are infinite.

    But, how did anyone get to the notion of ‘illusion’ for māyā ? Because, in my humble opinion, one of the definitions ( applications really) of is ‘not , that not , lest , would that not’ Or said another way
    ‘ it’s not that’ . If it is ‘not that’ then it is not real and can be considered ‘illusion’. In fact
    one of the definitions of māyā from an advaita vedānta point of view is this māyā is neither real or unreal.
    I take no issue with that yet choose to view
    māyā from the trika / non-dual kaśmir śaivism point of view. Why so ? Because if I agree that māyā is neither real or unreal by default one
    then can assume the Supreme ( in this case viṣṇu or śiva) must also be neither real or unreal, and that is rejected by non-dual kaśmir śaivism. It suggests that there is something that is other than the
    Supreme and outside His sovereignty ( supreme power of authority).


    Our great seers (ṛṣi-s) have given a name to this Supreme, śiva or viṣṇu ( and others). The term śiva is rooted (√) in śī defined as ‘in whom all things lie’.
    There is nothing outside of Him, where then can this māyā lie if not within Him? And what of viṣṇu ? The term is √ in viṣ , 'all-pervading’. All- pervading must be everywhere, no?
    Who then wishes to come up with the exception?


    That is my basis for māyā; and from this māyā it is that energy that is not separate from the Supreme that is applied to throttling ItSelf down and expressing

    itSelf as differentiated. The first stop is āṇavamala (āṇava + mala) or the ‘blemish’ of āṇava (exceeding smallness, limits).

    More on this as time permits.

    iti śivaṁ

    Last edited by yajvan; 25 February 2016 at 12:10 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #4
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    Re: Freedom (svādhīnatā)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    A bit more on the Supreme’s total and complete freedom (svādhīnatā). We find this verse in the paramārthasāra¹ :

    paramaṁ yat svātantryaṁ durghaṭasampādanaṁ maheśasya|
    devī māyāśaktiḥ svātmāvaraṇaṁ śivasyaitat
    ||15

    this (etad) Supreme freedom (paramam svātantryam) of the Lord (mahā-īśasya) is able to carry out (sampādanam) that which is hard to accomplish (durghaṭa),
    by that goddess (devī) māyāśakti (māyā-śaktiḥ), the Self (sva-ātma ) concealing (āvaraṇam) power (śaktiḥ) of śiva .

    Let’s be guided by the wise for a more refined insight on this śloka. Svāmī lakṣman-jū inform us that durghaṭa sampādanam means ‘ what is, and what is not’; He says ‘what is’ becomes ‘what is not’. His student ( trying to comprehend what svāmī-ji has offered) says, Oh, like what is possible becomes impossible?
    Svāmī-ji: Yes
    Student: and what is impossible becomes possible.
    Svāmī-ji: what is impossible becomes possible; what is possible becomes impossible.
    He goes on to say, It was not possible for parabhairava ( or the Supreme) to become jiva ( the limited individual); and jiva to become parabhairava. But jiva becomes parabhairava and parabhairava becomes jiva.
    This, says svāmī-ji is just māyā-śaktiḥ, this is the course; these are the courses of parabhairava.

    In ~our words~ previously used, it is like the total ocean ( the Supreme) being contained in the single-small drop of water ( impossible);
    and within that single-small drop being experienced as the ocean (impossible).

    It is this māyā-śaktiḥ that seemingly does the constriction, the condensation, the absorption.

    iti śivaṁ

    1. paramārthasāra is in essence the work of śeṣa patañjali (some call ādiśeṣa ) consisting of 85 śloka-s; abhinavagupta-ji then took the 85 and expanded
    it to 105, and adapted it to the advitīya (~ non dual~, without a second) kaśmir śaivism POV for one's kind use. Why bring this up ? It is to be noted that the 'original work' of śeṣa patañjali was more aligned to the śāṁkhya dṛṣṭa (view) as it deals with puruṣa and prakṛti.
    Last edited by yajvan; 27 February 2016 at 06:10 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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