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Thread: How can maya lead to knowledge of brahman

  1. #21
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    Re: How can maya lead to knowledge of brahman

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ om̐
    ~~~~~~

    namasté jopmala,


    your questions show a sharp intellect - this is a good thing. So as to not boil the ocean I have divided your post into 5 questions. With your permission this will allow you and the HDF reader to consider several offers and points of view. I may jump around from one question to another, but allow me that liberty to do so and I think perhaps you will see why. Also, I think it's best not to answer all the questions all at once as that will be like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose... just too much at one time and nothing really gets digested. Let's start with Question1 and then procede to the others, in the next few posts.



    Question 1 - how can we achieve mukthi by practicing something which involves body mind intellect ?
    I look to the muṇḍaka upaniṣad ( some spell muṇḍkopaniṣad ) 1st chapter ( or khaṇḍa) 2nd section, 12th śloka ( verse) as it informs us , nāsti akṛtaḥ kṛtena. I am only using this for now to support what you have said, and then we will culture and expand the answer with more knowledge.

    nāsti akṛtaḥ kṛtena

    • nāsti= na + asti = not + existent
    • akṛtaḥ = a + kṛtaḥ = not + made
    • kṛtena = obtained , gained , acquired


    What does this say? the not-made is not obtained by made-up means. Well, that certainly did not bring much clarity to the conversation now does it?
    It is telling us, that Reality that one is looking for (established Reality in one's consciousness = liberation = mukti) is eternal; the not-made is ajāta, unborn and stainless, pure Being. Its attainment (kṛtena) is not possible through made-up means.This Reality never came to Being as the result of any action.

    That which is made of actions (house, job, car, family, friends, money, the body) is attainable by actions (work, ritual, p
    ūja, trying, taking, etc). Hence to strive after It ( Being/Brahman) with 'made-up means' i.e. actions, will not produce the result one is looking for as they remain in the field of action.

    So if we arrange the words just a bit differently we can say the following:
    akṛtaḥ na asti kṛtena kim ( I added kim) - this now says, the not-made (Being/brahman) is not made as the result of action, why then (kim) yet another action ?

    See the beauty and the profound insight here - and at the same time the dilemmia? What does one do? Are we stuck forever in the situation we are faced with. That of establishing Being (once again) as our full frame of reference or are we stuck as this paśúnā¹ ? One could quickly argue if this is the case how did the sages, yogi's, and seers (ṛṣi’s) find their way? We then know it must be possible.

    First we need to eliminate one notion of doing nothing. The logic is, 'if actions are at fault here, then I will do nothing!' We are guided by the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā , 3rd chapter where we are informed:
    · no one can exist even for an instant without performing action - 5th śloka
    · not by abstaining from action does a man achieve non-action (naiṣkarmya) - 4th śloka
    · action is superior to inaction - 8th śloka
    · actions in every case are performed by the 3 guṇa-s - 27th śloka
    · by action alone did Janaka and others gain perfection - 20th śloka

    So , what is one to do? One needs to learn and comprehend 'skill in action'. In my terms ( and my terms only) It is learning to do nothing perfectly. Using the terms of the
    bhāgavad gītā (chapter 2, 48th śloka) yogasthaḥ kuru karmānī- established (or steadfast) in yoga ( union) perform actions (karma). This union is with SELF as one's reference point for everything. Being established in yoga = being established in the SELF. This is not a concept or philosophical notion some choose to believe. It is a real, actual level of existence (sattā) one can experience.
    What occurs in this state? Nirodha निरोध - stillness, silence of the mind, established in Being. And what is experienced ? Nirvikalpa निर्विकल्प - free from change or differences (the not-made or akṛtaḥ); not wavering. Completely possessed of this universal status of SELF. Its also called kevala केवल conclusion, entirely , wholly , absolutely i.e. liberation from birth-after-birth.

    How is this possible ? Because of the following just mentioned above:

    • actions in every case are performed by the 3 guṇa-s - 27th śloka ( the field of the made, of doing)


    You see, you leave the made ( field of actions, the field of the 'made') and experience the 'not made'. To say you 'experience it' is more of words for one's comprehension. You are it, you become it again without distractions of the 'made', the 3 guṇa-s. Let the
    3 guṇa-s do what they wish, "I" am not that. You see there is nothing to be gained here. If it is something that is 'gained', it is still in the field of action ( this takes some getting used to ). And to say you experience it, suggests there must be 2 , the object of experience and the experiencer. This also cannot be, because the final experiencer is pure awareness , Being, brahman, it is the final subject.
    As our upaniṣad-s inform us, It is the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear, etc. It is that consciousness that provides awareness to all the senses, intellect, mind, etc. So when some one says they 'experience it' it is really becoming it, because there is nothing finer, more subtler than that to experience 'it' as an object. It is never the object.

    Said from a different point of view and a different school ( kaśmir śaivism and our trika śāstra-s); in the 20th kārikā, bhairava informs us that :
    tatdāsauśivarūpī sayāt śaivī mukhamihocyate ||20
    In laymen's terms, śivaḥ is known through śaivī (śakti).

    We will not purse this statement now, but is is also quite profound and on the same foundation as
    yogasthaḥ kuru karmānī.

    So, 'how can we achieve mukthi by practicing something which involves body mind intellect ?' --> Skill in action.



    On to another question a bit later...

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    terms


    • paśu or paśúnā - any tethered animal, singularly or collectively
      • 'a herd '; 5 kinds are enumerated , " men , kine , horses , goats and sheep "
      • paśutā - the state of an animal
      • paśutva - (with māheśvara-s and pāśupata-s) being the individual soul
      • paśavya - belonging to a herd; a drove of cattle

    pranam


    I am confused over your statement that ‘ not made’ can not be obtained by ‘made up’ means. If your ‘made up means’ indicate karma or actions , I do not agree with you at this statement. I think the back ground of the sloka 12th may be found in slokas 10 and 11 where it is clearly mentioned that ignorant men regards sacrificial acts ‘ istam’ karma enjoined by the srutis and charitable acts ‘ purtam’ karma enjoined by the smrtis ( digging of pools wells tanks etc) most important or ‘varistham’ and do not know any other help of bliss ; having enjoyed in the heights of heaven, the abode of pleasures, they enter again into this or even inferior world. ( Sloka 10). Gita verse 21 of chapter 9 states the same thing. It is very evident that the actions or karma here means “actions with desire” or sakama karma

    But sloka 11 explains “ actions without desire” or niskama karma . sloka 11 says that those who perform tapas and sraddha in the forest ( like hermit) , having control over their senses, learned and living the life of a begger go through the orb of the sun their good and bad deeds consumed, to where the immortal and undecaying purusha is. Here very clearly mentioned that “ through the action without desire” one can reach to Brahman. My point is liberation can be attained through made up means that is if one performs actions without desires.

    Now sloka 12 states that ‘ having examined the worlds attainable through karma ( of course actions with desire) a Brahmin should get dispassionate ( vairagya) towards them. To know that , he with sacrificial fuel in hand, must approach a guru who is well versed in Vedas and absolutely devoted to the realization of Brahman.’ Here my point is jnan can not be obtained without a guru but to follow the advice of the guru one must performs actions. So without actions jnan can not be attained. Therefore, “made up means” should not include actions without desire or niskama karma. In other words, through made up means i.e. action with desire , Brahman can not be attained. This is the trune explanation of the sloka, according to me.

    Now come to what Srimad bhagavad Gita states. But before that , I must tell you that although the not made is not made by any action but the actions or ‘made up means’ is made by the ‘not made’ itself. Gita verse 15 of chapter 3 which says “ actions derive from the Vedas, the Vedas derive from the imperishable one” . further This creation is nothing but actions and sri krishna says that it is under his lead that nature brings forth all things both animate and inanimate. Therefore actions come from him alone. Thus your statement that through made up means the Brahman can not be attained may not be right if you go through the Gita verse 27-28 of chapter 9. Whereas, Verse 27 says “ what ever you do eat or give whatever you offer as sacrifice and whatever austerities you perform, do that as an offering unto me” and verse 28 says “ if you offer all actions unto me you shall free yourself from both the good and evil effects of your actions. With your mind firmly planted in renunciation, liberated you shall come unto me” . Therefore, I do not accept that through made up means one cannot attain not made . But yes one can not attain the not made through actions with desire or sakama karma.

    I do not see any dilemmia here . All we have to understand sakama karma and niskama karma that’s all. Niskama karma though ‘ made up means’ can take us to the Brahman. Gita verses 2 to 10 of chapter 5 very clearly discussed this issue. Sloka 12 of above mentioned in the Mundoka upnishad and Gita verses have no difference. Verse 48 of chapter 2 of Gita is nothing but Nismaka karmayoga. Here yoga is defined in simple way that the spirit of equivalence is yoga. I think second part of the verse explains the meaning of yoga which says “ siddhyasiddhyoh samo bhutva” is yoga . so No other meaning of yoga is required to explain this verse. Attaining such a state is called ‘Sthitaprajnasya’ as stated in the Gita. You may call it Nirvikalpa or state of kevala. Gita says to attain such a state, controlling of the senses plays the important role. Verse 61 of chapter 2 of Gita says “ He who worships me with single minded devotion can control his senses and rest with his mind centered in me”. I do not know if there is any other way out to attain the state of Sthitaprajnasya ?

    Do you mean attaining the state of Sthitaprajnasya/kevala is becoming the imperishable Brahman ? whereas, even the brahma is also under the domain of maya. Sri Krishna says in verse 50 of chapter 18 of Gita that attaining brahmabhava is the ultimate goal of jnan ( jnanasya ya para). Verse 54 says after attaining brhamabhava the seeker attains supreme devotion unto me. Then verse 55 says through such devotion , he comes to know me and having known to me in truth, he forthwith enters into me. Therefore, attaining kevala is not the end of journey.

    According to Gita“ skill in action’ consists in performing things being informed by a sense of equivalence ( ‘yogah karmasu kaushalam’ verse 50 of chapter 2 read with verse 57 of chapter 18).

    Your assertion that by leaving the made one can become not made that is to say if one leaves action he can become Brahman. This is against the karma tattva of Gita which says that no one can leave karma ( verse 5 chap 3). If you say let the 3 gunas do what they like , I am not that. Then you have to remember Gita verse 19 of chapter 13 which says “ purusha being identified with prakriti enjoys the modes born of prakriti. His attachment to them is the cause of good and evil birth” and verse 22 of the same chapter says “ The supreme spirit dwelling in this body is said to be the witness, sanctioner. sustainer, experience, Lord of lords and supreme self”. More over, 3 gunas are not independent to act. They have to depend on purusha. If you believe it is the eye of the eye, ear of the ear then why don’t you believe it is the soul of the soul as well.
    Last edited by jopmala; 09 July 2017 at 12:57 PM.

  2. #22
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    Re: How can maya lead to knowledge of brahman

    hariḥ om̐
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    I am happy you took the time to respond in a meaningful way... There are so many things to respond to I think it will be a substantial task. For that, a discussion in length and breath is needed.

    I stand by what I offered, nāsti akṛtaḥ kṛtena (really by what muṇḍkopaniṣad offers us) . Now does this suggest I think that actions ( right actions that is) are not important to one's development ( the term I think is proper is unfoldment) ? No they are, as they purifiy one's perception and ability to discriminate.

    Yet to go deeper and wider is to stand on the shoulders of sureśvarācārya and his offer naiṣkarmyaṣiddhim2 (perfect non-doing) and to continue to refer back to
    gauḍapādacharya’s2​ work called the māṇḍūkyopaniṣatkārikā.

    So, the question is, do I have the stamina to pursue this? Not at this time.

    Yet if one was eager to get to the bottom of this , which would quench one's thirst substantially, the I would recommend reading
    gauḍapādacharya’s work, māṇḍūkyopaniṣatkārikā , as the answers in full can be found there.


    ... do as you see fit.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1. naiṣkarmyaṣiddhim - It’s said ādi śaṅkara-ji wanted sureśvarācārya to write a vārttika onhis (śaṅkara’s) commentary
    called a sūtra-bhāṣya of the brahma-sūtras. This naiṣkarmyaṣiddhi is that work.
    2. g
    auḍapāda-ji was the guru of govinda bhagavatpāda who, in turn was the guru of ādi śaṅkara (śaṅkara bhagavatpāda); hence
    gauḍapāda-ji is the teacher’s teacher of ādi śaṅkara, sometimes referred to as one’s grand-master. It is these masters that formed and shaped the knowledge of advaita ( non-dual) vedānta.
    Last edited by yajvan; 11 July 2017 at 11:13 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #23
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    Re: How can maya lead to knowledge of brahman

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ om̐
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    I am happy you took the time to respond in a meaningful way... There are so many things to respond to I think it will be a substantial task. For that, a discussion in length and breath is needed.

    I stand by what I offered, nāsti akṛtaḥ kṛtena (really by what muṇḍkopaniṣad offers us) . Now does this suggest I think that actions ( right actions that is) are not important to one's development ( the term I think is proper is unfoldment) ? No they are, as they purifiy one's perception and ability to discriminate.

    Yet to go deeper and wider is to stand on the shoulders of sureśvarācārya and his offer naiṣkarmyaṣiddhim2 (perfect non-doing) and to continue to refer back to
    gauḍapādacharya’s2​ work called the māṇḍūkyopaniṣatkārikā.

    So, the question is, do I have the stamina to pursue this? Not at this time.

    Yet if one was eager to get to the bottom of this , which would quench one's thirst substantially, the I would recommend reading
    gauḍapādacharya’s work, māṇḍūkyopaniṣatkārikā , as the answers in full can be found there.


    ... do as you see fit.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1. naiṣkarmyaṣiddhim - It’s said ādi śaṅkara-ji wanted sureśvarācārya to write a vārttika onhis (śaṅkara’s) commentary
    called a sūtra-bhāṣya of the brahma-sūtras. This naiṣkarmyaṣiddhi is that work.
    2. g
    auḍapāda-ji was the guru of govinda bhagavatpāda who, in turn was the guru of ādi śaṅkara (śaṅkara bhagavatpāda); hence
    gauḍapāda-ji is the teacher’s teacher of ādi śaṅkara, sometimes referred to as one’s grand-master. It is these masters that formed and shaped the knowledge of advaita ( non-dual) vedānta.
    Pranam Yajvanji

    I accept that I am too late to respond but that does not dilute my contention. if “
    actions ( right actions ) are important to one's development as they purifiy one's perception and ability to discriminate”. But actions are not possible without maya. Without body mind intellect , actions not possible. Therefore, how can action or maya purify one perception. According to advaita philosophy maya always projects false or conceals the truth. I think that’s why action or karma is not an important aspect of advaita philosophy. One more thing, if I conclude that the writings on advaita philosophy ( of course to write is an action) also guided by maya , shall I be wrong ? please dont take it otherwise. I think you are an open minded person.


  4. #24
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    Re: How can maya lead to knowledge of brahman

    hariḥ om̐
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by jopmala View Post
    Pranam Yajvanji

    I accept that I am too late to respond but that does not dilute my contention. if “
    actions ( right actions ) are important to one's development as they purifiy one's perception and ability to discriminate”. But actions are not possible without maya. Without body mind intellect , actions not possible. Therefore, how can action or maya purify one perception. According to advaita philosophy maya always projects false or conceals the truth. I think that’s why action or karma is not an important aspect of advaita philosophy. One more thing, if I conclude that the writings on advaita philosophy ( of course to write is an action) also guided by maya , shall I be wrong ? please dont take it otherwise. I think you are an open minded person.
    Here is my conundrum,
    There are so many ideas and knowledge here that one is predicated upon another, and that then causes the conversation to expand. I am not opposed to this, but there are several things you have mentioned that infer an ~ absolute~ point of view, but pending the school of advaita one aligns to can be looked at differently - shall I dare say disputed. Hence for me to answer with a high level of insight it requires me to go deeper in those points. Examples:

    1. Actions are not possible without māy​ā – yet what of that person that is śivatadātmyamāpannā i.e. united with śiva ( pure Being); then there is no māy​ā ( for him/her)
    yet actions continue day and night. How to explain this?
    2. māy​ā - from a trika point of view is none other than the Supreme’s śakti - if this māy​ā is false does that infer that the Supreme is false? No. It is
    His śakti ( specifically a component of svāntantrya śakti, of which we recognize 3 for certain conversations).
    3. there are 3 more things for a total of 5 rebuttals to the email – (rebuttal = response, not contentious, or jalpa). Yet these cannot be offered ( in depth) without the wisdom of naiṣkarmyaṣiddhim & māṇḍūkyopaniṣatkārikā which brings the greatest light to this conversation. There are other books that I would like to suggest, yet that takes us down another path, ( albeit a most enlightened one) for now these are the ones. Why ? They are succinct, and have the weight of the realized (sūraḥ).

    As previously mentioned
    This then is māyā. It is the wave thinking there are only waves, with no ocean underneath it. That the world is only differentiated and fractured. It misses the truth of its own foundation
    māyā is not the ‘bad guy’; yet over the years it has become so.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    Last edited by yajvan; 17 July 2017 at 04:56 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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