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    observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    I happened to bump into a few things as of late and thought to share a few of them with you...

    • I read a bumper sticker that said, If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    • I read, I have no use for books for my spiritual development, it is of no value, just words.
    • A conversation with a friend brought out the notion of being reborn... the conversation was coming back again and again and the joke ( as I said it) was really on us...


    Let me offer these one at a time , in separate posts so to avoid too much co-mingling of ideas.

    If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    This in and of itself can be considered the ‘flagship’ of ignorance. When one does not know, then it is quite easy to come to a conclusion that I am what I do. I therefore am or could be a manager, a baker, a mom, dad, student, citizen, good person, bad person, etc. etc. or a myriad of things, professions and relations.

    Yet what are we told? Let’s look to one line of the aṣṭāvakra¹ gītā, 1st chapter 8th verse:
    अहं कर्तेत्यहंमानमहाकृष्णाहिदंशितः ।
    नाहं कर्तेति विश्वासामृतं पीत्वा सुखी भव ॥१-८

    ahaṁ kartetyahaṁmānamahākṛṣṇāhidaṁśitaḥ |
    nāhaṁ karteti viśvāsāmṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava ||1-8

    1st line

    • ahaṁ or ‘I’ ; some consider this the proxy for ahaṃkaraṇa ; yet ahaṁ in its ~purest~ state is pure ‘I’ or SELF
    • kartetyāhaṁ - pertaining to ‘I’ am the doer ( I added the ‘ā’ )
    • mānamahā– opinion, idea, conception + maha – strong
    • kṛṣṇa-ahi-daṁśitaḥ - bitten (daṁśitaḥ) + black (kṛṣṇa) + snake (ahi)

    2nd line

    • nāhaṁ - I am not
    • karteti - karta+iti¹ = karteti or 'thus separation' ; also ( I believe also it implies kartṛ + ti or (he) the one who makes or does or acts or effects , a doer)
    • viśvāsāmṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava
      • viśvā – to pervade
      • sāmṛtaṁ – to remember
      • pītvā – drink ( or having drunk)
      • sukhī – one who loves pleasure ; yet I think this should have been sukhaḥ meaning virtuous , happy, prosperous, gentle, ease
      • bhava – production; well-being; bringing into existence


    This says in general that you have been bitten by a black snake ( code for karta used in the verse and =
    separation, distinction or diversity) and you have the strong opinion (mānamahā) that you are the doer (kartṛ); come back to, or consume (pītvā) the remembrance (sāmṛtaṁ) that you are not the doer. Some write , 'drink the antidote of faith' for this sāmṛtaṁ or remembrance to return.

    The deal is, we are 'outfacing' beings. Everything from the intellect outwards is looking out... we can even consider our thoughts and feelings outward... that is, they can be inspected . This is what we 'expect' - to 'inspect'. We look for things, actions, feelings, places beyond the core level of Being (code for Self, or simple-and-pure awareness).
    Then someone says that which is 'you' is not caught up in this doing of running here and there, even to find out who you are! This 'you' is residing even behind thought, behind the intellect. It is not conspicuous. It is quite innocent and silent. It allows us to do all the running around yet it never needs to move (nor can it)
    one millimeter, ever.

    So, in that same bumper sticker mentioned above i.e. If I am not what I do, then who am I ? we can find the beginnings to the answer by asking who am I ?
    For some this approach is worthy of their time and effort; for others , not so much.

    I wrote above,
    When one does not know
    ,
    I'd like to return to this again for bullet point 3 offered above, as there are various states and conditions of knowing.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    terms

    • who is the muni aṣṭāvakra-ji?
      • Aṣṭāvakra is that person (son of kahoḍa) who is ‘marked’ with 8 bent or twisted forms ( deformities) those were his feet, hands, knees, chest and neck were bent. Even when you look at his name in devanāgarī saṃskṛtā अष्टावक्र you can count 8 twists. Oh, and the deformities? His his feet, hands, knees, chest and neck were bent ( 2+2+2+1+1); He was son of kahoḍa and the great teacher of king janaka.

    • iti - note this term also is used to indicate a quote; In this use it would suggest "the doer" if viewed as karteti . yet in the sentence it is nāhaṁ karteti which is 'I am not the doer' ; See post 2 below for another example of this application of 'iti'.






    Last edited by yajvan; 26 October 2016 at 10:18 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    One might ask, who then is ‘doing’ (kartṛ), all this doing I see all around me... who is the agent of action ?
    We get our clue from the bhāgavadgītā – 3rd chapter, 27th verse:

    प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः।
    अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते॥२७

    prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ|
    ahaṅkāravimūḍhātmā kartāhamiti manyate||27

    this says, actions in every case are performed by the guṇa-s ( guṇaiḥ or traiguṇya, 3 guṇa-s) of nature ( or prakṛti);
    he whose mind is diluted by the sense of ‘I’ holds “I am the doer”
    (kartāhamiti¹).

    In this verse the mind ‘as diluted’ is = to post 1 above, and the term kṛṣṇa-ahi-daṁśitaḥ - bitten (daṁśitaḥ) + black (kṛṣṇa) + snake (ahi).

    It seems to me when one looks at the world and all the moving things that are non-stop, it is not too hard to comprehend that all actions (all the laws of physics) are in play all the time; One just initiates an action and all the innumerable laws of nature take over. LIke opening a flood gate of a dam. No one has to coax the water to flow outward. The 'laws' are there and are effortless. No one has to tell the photons in a particle accelerator that once it hits other particles to break up in all the sub-particles. The 'laws' are there.


    But what is one to do? The bhāgavadgītā ( some prefer this written as śrīmad bhāgavadgītā) , chapter 2, 45th śloka excerpt:
    nistraiguṇo = nis + trai + guṇo or be without + 3 + guna-s.




    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    terms


    • kartāhamiti – I just wanted to point out ‘iti’ once again ; in this use it is informing the reader that it is the end of a quote, and therefore kartāhamiti = karta + āham + iti “I am the doer” .


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

    _

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    Re: observations



    Namaste Yajvan

    If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    .
    .
    .
    This says in general that you have been bitten by a black snake ( code for karta used in the verse and = separation, distinction or diversity) and you have the strong opinion (mānamahā) that you are the doer (kartṛ); come back to, or consume (pītvā) the remembrance (sāmṛtaṁ) that you are not the doer. Some write , 'drink the antidote of faith' for this sāmṛtaṁ or remembrance to return.
    Information shared in this thread has tried (or at least nudging to) to deviate from the theory of Karma in a simplistic form that says 'as you sow, so you reap'

    Any specific reason to use this emaciated, bow legged artifact? Any form art is an art, just curious to know if the selection was to offer some special insight?...

    Thanks
    Anirudh...

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Information shared in this thread has tried (or at least nudging to) to deviate from the theory of Karma in a simplistic form that says 'as you sow, so you reap'
    Though you have asked Yajvan ji to reply, I would also like to share my thoughts her. It is a high level of philosophy, Yajvan ji is talking about. Actually, Laws of karma can only work on Karta i.e. the doer. If there is no doer there can't be doership and when there is no doership, --- on whom will the Laws Of Karma apply ? Actually, all the actions in this universe are performed by the Prakriti, i.e. the nature. Lord Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita 3.27 :

    "In fact all the Karma are performed by the Gunas of the Nature in all respects. However, the being under the delusion of Ahamkaar (holding on to the false assumption of being the doer due to its attachment with "i") assumes (and believes) that he is the doer."
    Bhagwad Gita 5.10 says :
    "One who acts by dedicating all activities to Brahman giving up attachment (to being the doer or association with "i") is not afflicted by sins just as lotus leaf in water. "
    Actually, the arising of "i"ness is part of Prakriti (Nature) which tries to take credit for all the actions. This "i"ness or the Ahamkaar (The Prakriti s of eight parts : 5 mahabhUtas, Mann Buddhi and Ahamakaar) is one of the eight parts of Prakriti due to the effect of ChidAbhAsa effect onto Prakriti in association with AtmAn or God's reflection into inert Prakriti. All our bondage and sufferings are due to our false identification with Prakriti. When we break this nexus, the "i" dissolves into AtmAn or God (in Bhakti terms). There is no separate "i" left, so there is no ownership of Karma left and therefore no Laws of Karma can apply.

    Any specific reason to use this emaciated, bow legged artifact? Any form art is an art, just curious to know if the selection was to offer some special insight?

    That picture is depiction of the great Rishi AshtAvakra who was the son of Rishi Kahoda. He was self-realised even he was in his mother's womb. However, his being more knowledgeable than his own father became the reason for his being cursed by his father. While in mother's womb he heard his father reciting a verse wrongly and he tried to correct that. Rishi Kahoda felt insulted in front of his disciples due to such intervention by this unborn child and he cursed the child to have his eight limbs crooked. Due to this curse, this great Rishi was born with severe deformities in his limbs.

    http://www.indolink.com/kidz/ashtavkr.html

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Devotee,

    Thank you Devotee for the explanation, I have one question regarding the information you shared about Rishi AshtAvakra. I ll send you a PM as my doubt is irrelevant to this thread.

    When we break this nexus, the "i" dissolves into AtmAn or God (in Bhakti terms). There is no separate "i" left, so there is no ownership of Karma left and therefore no Laws of Karma can apply.
    In the past probably have raised this question in a different way, so please don't take this as an offense.

    Also I don't want to digress this thread, but, think for a moment, in the present world we live, with each and every individual trying to (finish or) compete with the other, is this idea of separating 'I'ness really possible?

    Say for eg, When India wins a gold medal, we all are exited. The desire to win comes from I, me, mine, my family, my country and so on. After every Olympics, don't we blame the governance as we have failed to secure one gold medal in the last so many number of years. I am not advocating ego, but, when there is no ownership of what we do, how do we differentiate between good and evil or positive and negative outcome. I surrender to Sriman Naaraayan, but, do I not go about executing my duty in a way favorable to me? I work hard to live happily, in the due course, knowingly or unknowingly, grab other person's lively hood. Aren't we upset when we aren't able to close a deal, and our opponent bag that order for which we worked very hard?

    Let me take an another example. If I mistakenly got into poisonous snake's living area, and when the snake is ready bite me, my natural instinct will be either to kill the snake or escape from the bite although I have disturbed the snake in first place. What I wish to say here is, someone's honey is another man's poison. Kindly tell me, in such a situation what should the person with no "I" do? Allow me to add bit more complication to the above scenario to suit my case. Assume in the above scenario, I am better equipped to kill the snake in comparison to the my ability to escape from the situation. Now What should I do if I have to operate without "I"ness?

    Please don't think that I am writing all this to win over the argument or to deflect the course of this thread.

    Thanks again

    Pranaam
    Anirudh...

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Also I don't want to digress this thread, but, think for a moment, in the present world we live, with each and every individual trying to (finish or) compete with the other, is this idea of separating 'I'ness really possible?

    Say for eg, When India wins a gold medal, we all are exited. The desire to win comes from I, me, mine, my family, my country and so on. After every Olympics, don't we blame the governance as we have failed to secure one gold medal in the last so many number of years. I am not advocating ego, but, when there is no ownership of what we do, how do we differentiate between good and evil or positive and negative outcome. I surrender to Sriman Naaraayan, but, do I not go about executing my duty in a way favorable to me? I work hard to live happily, in the due course, knowingly or unknowingly, grab other person's lively hood. Aren't we upset when we aren't able to close a deal, and our opponent bag that order for which we worked very hard?

    Let me take an another example. If I mistakenly got into poisonous snake's living area, and when the snake is ready bite me, my natural instinct will be either to kill the snake or escape from the bite although I have disturbed the snake in first place. What I wish to say here is, someone's honey is another man's poison. Kindly tell me, in such a situation what should the person with no "I" do? Allow me to add bit more complication to the above scenario to suit my case. Assume in the above scenario, I am better equipped to kill the snake in comparison to the my ability to escape from the situation. Now What should I do if I have to operate without "I"ness?
    You are right. It is difficult. It is difficult to the point of appearing to be an impossibility. But why is it so ? It is because of our attachment with the world / worldly affairs. It is because we think that "This body is ours. This country is ours. We have our responsibility to take care of our bodies, our family, our society, our country etc.". Now, these thoughts are not bad or wrong. In fact, these actions are our duty and we must do it. But any sense of duty exists only till my attachment with the world exists.
    At the spiritual level where we are, we must do our duty to save our body and kill the snake, cheer for the victory of our country etc. But King Janaka and Rishi AshTAvakra are at much higher level of spirituality. Even if they act, their actions don't bear any Karma because of their firm conviction that they are not the doer. Being on the path of Advaita, some of our practices give us a glimpse of dissolving of "i" and it is such a nice feeling, so liberating, so much free from all fears and anxiety.

    So, the reality is what it is. It doesn't change because of whether we are capable of attaining the state or not. In fact, there is nothing that we cannot achieve or attain because we all are essentially Brahman.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    I am happy with the conversations of Anirudh and devotee... Devotee has done a fine job of explaining doer ship (kartṛtva¹)
    . In ignorance doership takes the assumed authorship of 'me' and 'i'. When fully awake, this doership is that of the Supreme. Then the question must be, if doership is , in the final analysis, done by the Intelligence of Being, it must have been done before one became realized, no ? Some call this the will of the Lord ( all the laws of nature); hence it was Him all along.


    All this knowledge is within our
    śāstra-s & āgama-s and was pointed out in the
    bhāgavadgītā. It is offered so one can begin the process of figuring it all out. I hope the conversations continue.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1.
    kartṛtva - the state of being the performer or author of anything
    Last edited by yajvan; 27 October 2016 at 02:14 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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