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  1. #1

    Lots of questions???

    Hello everyone. Just have a few questions. What are the differences between the Self, awareness and consciousness? Are they all different? I have more questions but this is a good place to start.

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    Re: Lots of questions???

    Namaste Bhairava,

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhairava8 View Post
    What are the differences between the Self, awareness and consciousness? Are they all different? I have more questionsbut this is a good place to start.
    Self :

    What is Self ? Self is our essence and that is why it is called "Self". "Self" is Brahman. It alone is the unchanging Reality covering the whole creation through and through. We all are Self but due to action of MAyA, we exhibit different characteristics.

    Consciousness :

    Consciousness is Brahman i.e. Self. However, that is one state of Brahman / Self. In its fourth state, it cannot be described by any terms. However, to begin with, we can say that Pure Consciousness is Self or Brahman.

    Awareness :

    By the Neo-Advaitins "Awareness" term has been used in place of Consciousness. One of the vital signs of consciousness is awareness but truly speaking Consciousness plays even more role than just being aware. Consciousness acting within influence of Prakriti / Maya / Nature gives rise to "Individuality" ((sense of being a separate entity than "others"), "Observing mind which stores within itself impressions of all what it observes and intelligence (the attribute which helps in making decisions).

    I hope it answers your query.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  3. #3

    Re: Lots of questions???

    Namaste


    In Advaita consciousness is in 3 states, Jagrat empirical world consciousness of body and the senses, gross matter. Swapna which is the mental or mind consciousness of concepts and mental formations and impressions, thoughts, this is subtle matter. Sushupti which is consciousness without awareness of either jagrat or swapna, pure consciousness. Then there is Turiya which is ever present in all 3 states but is of a transcendent nature being unaffected or having any of the attributes of waking consciousness, mental consciousness or pure consciousness.


    The 4 states of consciousness ( for want of a better term ) form the letter the OM ॐ the 3 shaped is jagrat, the loop line is swapna, and these are connected, then there is sushupti which can be experienced without awareness of the previous two and above both, and the dot at the top turiya is transcendent. Turiya is not consciousness its Self which is Self absorbed into its own nature, i'm not totally comfortable with the word consciousness for the sanskrit term tat. If tat wants to experience the world then it will incarnate into the purified body, senses, mind and chitta and act only in auspiciousness.

    Self is the basis of all but has no external attributes as per my understanding, its a bit of koan, there to frustrate the intellect. Neither jagrat, swapna or sushupti can exist without Turiya, but Turiya can exist and does exist without Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupti.
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 01 January 2018 at 05:26 AM.

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    Re: Lots of questions???

    Namaste Markandeya,

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Turiya is not consciousness its Self which is Self absorbed into its own nature, i'm not totally comfortable with the word consciousness for the sanskrit term tat.
    Well chosen words ! However, it is too difficult to grasp for our mind - from where the words and mind return i.e. they cannot reach there.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  5. #5

    Re: Lots of questions???

    Namaste,


    The way I see the wording of consciousness, awareness and Self is best described as consciousness is a compounded phenomenon or made of parts which is within the domain of mind, body and sense consciousness, mind and body consciousness is not one as it changes due to varying conditions superimposed and dependently arising so consciousness is more related to jagrat and swapna, so that cant be tat or chit.


    The contacts of the senses with the objects, O son of Kunti, which cause pleasure and pain, like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer, have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent; learn to endure them without being disturbed, O Arjuna! Bhagavad Gita 2.14




    Sushupti is closer to pure awareness, empty or sunyata of the distinctions in swapna and jagrat and Self as Brahman the ground of all being. Pure mind or unmodified mind would be the the perfect place or receptivity, emptiness, sunyata would not mean a void just an absence of the activity of mind, body and sense consciousness.


    Sushupti is supra-mundane or para above, although the word above is best applied to subtle or refined, the original nature of mind before the creative impulse is activated, purified Chitta or Pure Chitta. All sadhana's and practices are to retrain the chitta to abide in its orginal pure nature of receptivity and wakefulness beyond the conditions.


    Chapter 3 Bhagavad Gita: Karma-yogaTEXT 42


    indriyani parany ahur
    indriyebhyah param manah
    manasas tu para buddhir
    yo buddheh paratas tu sah


    SYNONYMS


    indriyani—senses; parani—superior; ahuh—is said; indriyebhyah—more than the senses; param—superior; manah—the mind; manasah—more than the mind; tu—also; para—superior; buddhih—intelligence; yah—one which; buddheh—more than the intelligence; paratah—superior; tu—but; sah—he.


    TRANSLATION


    The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and He (Self) is even higher than the intelligence.


    Its an in~depth study and can be applied and understood in many ways but the truth and reality is one. The word Buddhi is of great interest to me and is where real spiritual life and knowledge~Jnana starts, Budh means to awaken and Dhi is the spiritual intellect the supra~mental faculty.


    To understand this properly, knowledge ( cognitive, not by empirical intelligence ) arises from sama or evenness or the calming of the mind functions and sense and bodily attachments. Self is only known through anugraha which at some point impregnates Sushupti, to reveal its own birthless transcendent nature and this cant be described by mind or intellectual means, only experienced and then pointed towards via pratyaksha, which is the revelations of the Rishis. As the Upanishads says the Self reveals itself to whom in chooses ( cant find the exact quote).


    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali succinctly outlines the art and science of Yoga meditation
    for Self-Realization. It is a process of systematically encountering, examining, and
    transcending each of the various gross and subtle levels of false identity in the mind
    field, until the jewel of the true Self comes shining through.


    In the cave of the body is eternally set the one unborn.


    The earth is His body. (Though) moving within the earth, the earth knows Him not.


    The water is His body. (Though) moving within the water, the water knows
    Him not.


    The fire is His body. (Though) moving within the fire, the fire
    knows Him not.


    The air is His body. (Though) moving within the air, the
    air knows Him not.


    The ether is His body. (Though) moving within the
    ether, the ether knows Him not.


    The mind is His body. (Though) moving within the mind, the mind knows Him not.


    The intellect is His body. (Though) moving within the intellect, the intellect knows Him not.


    The ego is His body. (Though) moving within the ego, the ego knows Him
    not. The mind-stuff is His body.


    (Though) moving within the mind-stuff, the mind-stuff knows Him not.


    The unmanifest is His body. (Though) moving within the unmanifest, the unmanifest knows Him not.


    The imperishable is His body. (Though) moving within the imperishable, the
    imperishable knows Him not.


    The Death is His body. (Though) moving within Death, Death knows Him not. He, then, is the inner-self of all
    beings, sinless, heaven-born, luminous, the sole Narayana. ( could do with a better translation on some words)


    Adhyatma Upanishad


    I've been reflecting for some now about the 4 states and how the relate to the four speeches or Vaks which gradually evolve one into the Ultimate state of realization of Turiya the transcendent and also the non linear time lines of the yugas. Jagrat consciousness as Kali Yuga, Dwarpa Yuga as related to Swapna, Treyta Yuga as related to sushupti and Satya as related to Turiya. There is also the matter of turiyatita the 5th dimension.




    I have a feeling that the 4 states, 4 speeches and 4 yugas also has one more link with 4 but I havent found it yet....

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    Re: Lots of questions???

    Namaste Markandeya,

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    The way I see the wording of consciousness, awareness and Self is best described as consciousness is a compounded phenomenon or made of parts which is within the domain of mind, body and sense consciousness, mind and body consciousness is not one as it changes due to varying conditions superimposed and dependently arising so consciousness is more related to jagrat and swapna, so that cant be tat or chit.
    My this post is not an attempt to contradict you but just to exchange our views for better clarity. Let me give you my understanding in detail :

    a) MAndukya Upanishad in the beginning says this : Sarva hi etad Brahman ===> This all is Brahman. What is this "all" ? ==> Is it living beings, non-living beings, Beings or non-beings ? The Upanishad doesn't differentiate. So, this "all" doesn't leave anything excluded from its domain. It includes all.

    Bhagwad Gita says, "VAsudevah sarvam iti". What is this "sarvam" ? ==> It is not "Sarve" but "Sarvam" and it is a very carefully chosen term that God uses in this verse. This Sarvam includes everything i.e. all beings / non-beings. Bhagwan Krishna says in another place : This beginningless Brahman : "Na Sat na sat uchyate" i.e. it is neither being nor non-being.

    Coming back to MAndukya Upanishad again -- It says : "Ayam AtmAn Brahman" ===> This Self is Brahman. And extends this understanding further by adding this : "So ayam AtmAn chatuspAt" ===> "So Ayam AtmAn" ==> This very Self (about which this Upanishad stated earlier that It is Brahman and All that is, is Brahman) (is) ==> ChatuspAt ===> This AtmAn has four parts or four feet.

    Now let's read this Upanishad backward from TuriyA's defining verse :

    7. That is known as the fourth quarter: neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness, nor the two together; not an undifferentiated mass of consciousness; neither knowing, nor unknowing; invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, inconceivable, indefinable, its sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self; the coming to rest of all relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful; blissful: without a second: this is the Ātman, the Self; this is to be realised.
    This verse tries to explain what cannot be explained in words. And this verse makes it clear that it is consciousness but it of its own Self. It is neither inward-turned consciousness nor outward-turned consciousness. It is Consciousness but it neither sees inward nor cognises outward. It only cognizes Itself. Neither Knowing nor Unknowing ==> As there is no "other" in this state there is no knowing or unknowing as these terms have meaning only when there is something different from Itself around. And as It knows Its own Self, It cannot be called unknowing too. What does it know ? That cannot be described because the knowledge and the knower cannot be differentiated in this state. The Knower is the Knowledge or vice-versa.

    When there is no "Other" in this state, when all other states (JAgrat (Waking), Swapna (Sleeping) and Sushupti (Dreamless sleep) ... all these phenomena stop (coming to rest of all relative existence) ===> Turiya shines. And this verse says : This is Self and this is "One without a second" (i.e. This alone exists. All other existence don't exist in reality.)

    So, that is the True state of Brahman / Self. It is devoid of first three states i.e. JAgrat (Waking), Swapna (Sleeping) and Sushupti (Dreamless Sleep).

    But then how the Upanishad says : So, Ayam AtmAn chatuspAt ===> This very AtmAn / Self has four parts/states/feet ? So, we have to see this Self existing in two dimensions of existence simultaneously. In one dimension, it is utterly peaceful, devoid of the other three states shining all alone just being consciousness of Itself. And in other dimension of Reality (Existence), there are three different states.

    b) Now coming to the three states of relative existence. These three can be perceived as One and from that One three are to be perceived. That One is God -- the origin and end of all beings in the two states. MAndukya Upanishad says : "This is the Lord of All; the Omniscient; the Indwelling Controller; the Source of All. This is the beginning and end of all beings." This state of Self is God, the VAsudeva, the Shiva, the Adishakti Mother Goddess --> the Saguna Brahman. Because it is Source of all and beginning and end of all beings, we may imagine the two other states (JAgrat and Swapna) within this state. Lord Krishna says : "MayA tatam idam sarvam" ===> This all is pervaded by ME through and through (as water pervades a piece of ice). In Chapter-2 BG He says, "AvinAshi tu tadviddhi yena sarvam idam tatam" ===> Know that alone to be indestructible by which this all is pervaded through and through (or which alone is the essence of all). And that indestructible is God, the VAsudeva.

    How does God exist ? It is pervading all in this universe through and through. It is like Infinite Ocean and floating of pieces of ice and water vapour over the Infinite Ocean. The Ice is not separate from the Ocean. The water vapour above the water body is also part of the ocean. It is just one ocean and it appears as three in three different states. The Ice and water-vapour originate and dissolve back into the Ocean. This Infinite Ocean (of God) is undifferentiated Mass of Consciousness. This is Ekibhootah (Unified/undifferentiated), PraGyanghan (Mass of Consiousness), Blissful, whose mouth is consciousness and which enjoys bliss and that is the Third state of Brahman/ Self.

    This third state of Brahman is capable of (with its Power which is also called the Prakriti or MAyA or Nature) creating, maintaining and destroying the two states i.e. the JAgrat and the Swapna.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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