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Thread: Practical Advaita

  1. #31
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    Re: Practical Advaita

    Mahavakyas of the Upanishads

    Prepared by Jayaram Srinivasan


    Prajnanam Brahma: Consciousness is Brahman

    (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3, of Rg Veda)


    Ayam Atma Brahma: This Self is Brahman

    (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2, of Atharva Veda)


    Tat Tvam Asi: Thou art that

    (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, of Sama Veda, Kaivalya Upanishad)


    Aham Brahmasmi: I am Brahman

    (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10, of Yajur Veda, Mahanarayana Upanishad)


    Prajnanam Brahma: Consciousness is Brahman

    (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3, of Rg Veda)

    Other Translations: Brahman is pure consciousness; Brahman is knowing; Brahman is intelligence

    In the sentence, ‘Prajnanam Brahma’ or Consciousness is Brahman, a definition of Reality is given. The best definition of Brahman would be to give expression to its supra-essential essence, and not to describe it with reference to accidental attributes, such as creatorship etc. That which is ultimately responsible for all our sensory activities, as seeing, hearing, etc., is Consciousness. Though Consciousness does not directly see or hear, it is impossible to have these sensory operations without it. Hence it should be considered as the final meaning of our mental and physical activities. Brahman is that which is Absolute, fills all space, is complete in itself, to which there is no second, and which is continuously present in everything, from the creator down to the lowest of matter. It, being everywhere, is also in each and every individual. This is the meaning of Prajnanam Brahma occurring in the Aitareya Upanishad.**


    Ayam Atma Brahma: This Self is Brahman

    (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2, of Atharva Veda)

    Other Translations: Brahman is this Self; This Self is Brahma

    The Mahavakya, ‘Ayam Atma Brahma’ or ‘This Self is Brahman,’ occurs in the Mandukya Upanishad. ‘Ayam’ means ‘this,’ and here ‘thisness’ refers to the self-luminous and non-mediate nature of the Self, which is internal to everything, from the Ahamkara or ego down to the physical body. This Self is Brahman, which is the substance out of which all things are really made. That which is everywhere, is also within us, and what is within us is everywhere. This is called ‘Brahman,’ because it is plenum, fills all space, expands into all existence, and is vast beyond all measure of perception or knowledge. On account of self-luminosity, non-relativity and universality, Atman and Brahman are the same. This identification of the Self with Absolute is not any act of bringing together two differing natures, but is an affirmation that absoluteness or universality includes everything, and there is nothing outside it.**


    Tat Tvam Asi: Thou art that

    (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, of Sama Veda, Kaivalya Upanishad)


    Other Translations: That is how you are; That art thou

    In the Chandogya Upanishad occurs the Mahavakya, ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ or ‘That thou art.’ Sage Uddalaka mentions this nine times, while instructing his disciple Svetaketu in the nature of Reality. That which is one alone without a second, without name and form, and which existed before creation, as well as after creation, as pure Existence alone, is what is referred to as Tat or That, in this sentence. The term Tvam stands for that which is in the innermost recesses of the student or the aspirant, but which is transcendent to the intellect, mind, senses, etc., and is the real 'I' of the student addressed in the teaching. The union of Tat and Tvam is by the term Asi or are. That Reality is remote is a misconception, which is removed by the instruction that it is within one’s own self. The erroneous notion that the Self is limited is dispelled by the instruction that it is the same as Reality.**

    Aham Brahmasmi: I am Brahman.

    (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10, of Yajur Veda, Mahanarayana Upanishad)


    In the sentence, ‘Aham Brahmasmi,’ or I am Brahman, the ‘I’ is that which is the One Witnessing Consciousness, standing apart from even the intellect, different from the ego-principle, and shining through every act of thinking, feeling, etc. This Witness-Consciousness, being the same in all, is universal, and cannot be distinguished from Brahman, which is the Absolute. Hence the essential ‘I’ which is full, super-rational and resplendent, should be the same as Brahman. This is not the identification of the limited individual ‘I’ with Brahman, but it is the Universal Substratum of individuality that is asserted to be what it is. The copula ‘am’ does not signify any empirical relation between two entities, but affirms the non-duality of essence. This dictum is from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad.**


    ** Excerpted from: Swami Krishnananda, The Philosophy of the Panchadasi, “Chapter V: Discrimination of the Mahavakyas,” The Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, India.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  2. #32
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    Re: Practical Advaita

    According to Shri Atmananda, the four Mahavakyas lead a 'sAdhaka' (seeker) to the ultimate Absolute Reality, abolishing all traces of non-duality in these stages:

    1. 'tat tvam asi' or 'You are that.' This represents the guidance of a living teacher, essential to bring mere words and symbols to life, so that a disciple may come to living truth.

    2. 'aham brahmAsmi' or 'I am complete reality.' This broadens ego's narrowness, in preparation for a non-dual realization that must come about through a knowing in identity.

    3. 'ayam AtmA brahma' or 'This self is all reality.' Here, the same thing is said as in the previous Mahavakya, but in a way that is impersonal, using the phrase 'this self' instead of the word 'I'. For the 'I' may still have a sense of the personal in it -– even after the broadening of ego's petty considerations.

    4. 'prajnyAnam brahma' or 'Consciousness is all there is.' This finally establishes the true nature of the self, known purely in identity, as consciousness that is identical with everything that’s known.

    Quoted from the book Some teachings from Shri Atmananda by Krishna Menon (http://www.advaitin.net/Ananda/SomeTeachings.pdf - 251 KB)

  3. #33
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    Arrow Re: Practical Advaita

    Namaste,

    See also: mahAvAkyam

  4. #34
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    Does the world exist independent of an observer? Inexplicable.

    Dr. K. Sadananda


    Does the world exist independent of an observer?

    First, let us ask some basic questions which might have escaped the attention of many. How do we know that there is a world out there? What kind of question is that? I know the world because I experience the world every day, in fact every minute. I am in the world; everything reminds me of that fact including your question.

    Good. Let us pose the next question, does the world exists if we do not experience it?

    Of course it does, whether we experience it or not. We come into this world and we exit from the world; the world has always been there from our forefathers’ time and it will be there even after we leave. We exit from this world, but the world will always exist.

    Is that so? But, how do you know that? Does the world tell you that it exists? Or do you infer that the world exists based on the information you have gathered from books or listening to others?

    If there is no conscious entity to report the fact, can one prove that the world exists? The world cannot declare that it exists, since it is inert. Others, including historians, report that the universe has existed from the time of the big bang and there is no reason why it should disappear. In fact, matter can never be destroyed – that is the law.

    But we are not discussing here the destruction of matter; we are questioning the very existence of matter, before we talk about its destruction. Can one prove the existence of matter or any inert entity without a conscious entity to establish its existence? Essentially, can one establish the existence of the universe independent of a conscious entity?

    Histories and theories etc. are all products of the conscious entity based on observations and deductions. The fact of the matter is that the existence of the world can never be proved without a conscious entity being present. Let us pose the question in a different way. Does the world exist when you go into the deep sleep state?

    Of course it exists - when I get up in the morning, everything is in the same place that I left it in the night, including all the problems that I had. The world was there before you went to sleep, since you were there to experience it. The world is there in the morning, since you are there to experience it. The question is: without the presence of an experiencer, a conscious entity, can one prove the existence of the inert world on its own?

    Remember we posed a similar question when you are in a pitch dark room. You are there independent of any means of knowledge or pramANa since you are a self-conscious entity and therefore a self-existent entity. But you were not sure about the presence of any objects in the dark room since you could not see them or experience them. The question is the same, but is now being asked in terms of the world of objects, in fact the whole universe that includes not only objects but other beings as well. (From my reference point, all other beings are only objects, since I can only perceive their body and at best make inferences about their minds or the manifested aspects of their consciousness).

    The existence of the world independent of a conscious entity is not possible since the world is not self-conscious and therefore not a self-existent entity. One can infer its existence based on the continuity principle but even to infer that, I have to be there. Whether the world can exist independent of me becomes a moot question since there is no way to prove that existence. Hence Shankara calls it ‘anirvachanIya’ – inexplicable. In the world of math it is called an indeterminate problem. That is, one cannot say the world is nor can one say the world is not; and to say ‘is’ or ‘is not’, I the conscious entity have to exist first.

    Furthermore, I should also illumine the world for me to be conscious of the world. This is in addition to any other illuminating factors needed to illumine the objects for me to be conscious of them. Recall the example of the pitch dark room. I am there alright, but I also need another light to see the existence or non-existence of the objects in that room. Otherwise I can only illumine the darkness that envelopes all the objects. Until I illumine the objects too, in the presence of a light, I cannot say whether the objects in the room exist or not - their existence is indeterminate. Suppose I am not there, but there is a bright light burning in that room. I still would not know if there are any objects in that room or not. This means that two factors are needed to establish the existence of the universe. One is a conscious entity that I am, and the other factor is presence of all the factors needed for complete operation of the means of knowledge or pramANa. If I am there but the light is too dim for me to see clearly, I may see snakes instead of ropes. The bottom line is that, without the presence of ‘I am’, the existence of the world cannot be established.

    You can postulate that the world is real and is always present, as some philosophers propose. But even to postulate that, I have to be there. No, No, Vedas say so! – Sir, that is your interpretation. Vedanta says in fact the opposite, in tune with the above analysis. But the fact of the matter is that, even to validate what Vedanta says, I have to be there. The Vedas are also part of this world, not out of this world. No – they are apauruSheya, not written by a human being and they eternally exist. Yes, even to believe that I have to be there first. This is blasphemy. No. Vedas are scientific truths and they themselves declare that they come under apara vidyA [superior knowledge], like any other scientific truths, which are eternal. However, I have to be there even to validate the existence of the Vedas too. In short, ‘I am’ comes before the world comes into existence.

    This is really weird. You have mentioned before that the Vedas are only pramANa or a means of knowledge to know the absolute. And now, you are dismissing the Vedas too, along with the world. You are contradicting yourself. How can the Vedas which are part of the world be a means of knowledge for that which is beyond the world of plurality? This is not Vedanta.

    Sir, contradictions are only at the level of the mind. Vedas are pramANa for POINTING in the direction of the truth that is beyond any means of knowledge. The truth as we said before is ‘aprameyam’, beyond any means of knowledge. What we said is that Vedanta, in the hands of a teacher, becomes the means for a well-prepared mind to take off to a ‘state’ beyond any description and beyond that even Vedas describe as indescribable – ‘adRRiShTam, avyapadeshyam, agrAhyam, achintyam, - imperceptible, indescribable, unattainable, unthinkable etc.
    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  5. #35
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    Re: Practical Advaita

    Namaste All,

    There has been some auspicious discussion regarding the nature of Brahman and Maya in another thread, which being now closed, I post a few points herein. These are my POVs, which may differ from other Advaitins without altering the verity of Advaita, even by a hair’s width.

    Upanishads give three kinds of definitions for Brahman: ‘creator’ etc, ‘satchidanandam’ and ‘alakshana’. Mandukya clearly says this self is Brahman and defines the true self-the fourth as Alakshana, yet as Shiva, the all good on account of being absolute non-dual. While quenching a fire-brand, the fire should be recognised as the true nature of the circular (or crooked) shaped fire-brand, appearing to be so due to movement. Similarly, it will be a failure, if we do not see the Good in the world. Removing forms and names, the essential nature of the Universe is found to be Non-Dual Good alone.

    Maya is never existent. Sat, Non-Dual Good one is the One and only being. To posit Maya as Asat, however, allows Dvaitins to give almost equal status to Maya (which they do by positing Vishnu as opposed to Shiva as if) and even point towards a superiority of Maya (as if it is another person) in that it is able to hide Brahman. As if Maya is another being. They have a point since, an Asat thing (which never existed or which can never exist – such as a barren women’s son) cannot hide Brahman, which is self resplendent.

    Shankara has indeed taught that Maya is never existent, being just illusory. It has no comparison basis with the TRUE-SAT being. And thus Shankara teaches, for such illusory beings, resulting as if from Maya, the definitions of ‘a being’ or ‘not a being’ simply do not apply. It is just Avidya – a wrong notion, similar to crooked shape of moon seen in turbulent water. When seen through senses, Brahman will appear crooked or circular – just as fire may appear to be crooked or circular when waved. True Seer/Knower is Brahman itself as there is no second. But the Avidya is ego – ruling the sense of a separate knower/seer who sees only name and form bearing bodies as real. That is why Neti-Neti s auspicious.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  6. #36

    Re: Practical Advaita

    dear sirs

    Brahman being in thought is also a guess only. How do you explain the nAsadiya sukta and the Taittiriya Up where the Brahman is said to have desired to become many?

    brahman becomes many and stays one. it ist the source of creation which actualy does NOT take place. this "seemingly taking place" is metaphoricaly expressed by "it desires to become many". this "seeming" is maya.
    maya follows after the identifacation with mind body and is its cause. thus "I" am here and there is the world (the other) = duality. you can call it leela( the game of the absolut). it stays one and uses the mind to appear as many WITHIN the range of the mind. but still this appearances (like person and a universe) are brahman.
    modern sience more and more proves, that there is no world outside the mind. believing that there IS, a real world outside means avidya.

    Adi Shankara has said that no independent being ( God) would ever voluntarily go into real or imaginary bondage( like thoughts). By no means of imagination, can this be an accident since the Lord is omnipotent. It cannot have been planned either.

    like the sun never will be obscoured, brahman can never be not-brahman. the mind is a system believing in its own reality. in this way it appears to the mind, to be seperate. when the notion of "i am somebody" (ego) ends, that which is allways, shines as allways.

    But creation is happening in beautiful periodic cycles in vyavaharika. Thus, it must imply something more than a random thought process , certainly beyond human understanding.

    time, space and creation happen in your mind. the feeling: there is a creation is also in your mind. so everything is just vritti (motion in mind).
    even the feeling of your head banging a tree and the pain is in your mind.
    just switch of the mind...there is no tree, no head, no pain, no creation.
    thats maya. beyond is ME. the real self, brahman.

    regards
    karun

  7. #37
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    Re: Practical Advaita

    A nice interesting way to explain.

    http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/a...n-advaita.html

    What is Advaita? - Dennis Waite



    "So, Swami-ji, what would you say that Advaita is?" The eager young woman
    crossed her legs and sat expectantly, pencil poised above a pristine pad of
    paper.

    "It simply means 'not two' - the ultimate truth is non-dual," replied the
    Sage, reclining in a large and comfortable-looking armchair and not sitting
    in an upright lotus position, as he ought to have been, for the sake of the
    photograph that she had just taken, if nothing else.

    She continued to wait for further elucidation before beginning to write but
    it soon became apparent that the answer had been given. "But is it a
    religion? Do you believe in God, for example?"

    "Ah, well, that would depend upon what you mean by those words, wouldn't
    it?" he responded, irritatingly. "If, by 'religion', you mean does it have
    priests and churches and a band of followers who are prepared to kill
    non-believers, then the answer is no. If, on the other hand, you refer to
    the original, literal meaning of the word, namely to 'bind again', to
    reunite the mistaken person that we think we are with the Self that we truly
    are, then yes, it is a religion. Similarly, if by 'God' you mean a separate,
    supernatural being who created the universe and will reward us by sending us
    to heaven if we do what He wants, then the answer is no. If you use the term
    in the sense of the unmanifest, non-dual reality, then yes, I most certainly
    do believe in God."

    The pencil raced across the paper, recording the answer for the benefit of
    the magazine's readers but, as the words clashed with previous ideas in her
    memory, the lack of a clear resolution of her questions was reflected by an
    increasing puzzlement in her expression.

    He registered this with compassion and held out his hand towards her. "Give
    me a piece of paper from your pad."

    She looked up, mouth slightly open as she wondered why he could possibly
    want that. But she turned the pad over, carefully tore off the bottom sheet
    and placed it in his outstretched hand. He turned to the table at his right
    and deftly began to fold and refold the paper. After a few moments, he
    turned back and, before she had had time to see what he had done, he held
    the paper aloft and launched it into the air. It rose quickly and circled
    gracefully around the room before losing momentum and diving to meet a
    sudden end when its pointed nose hit a sauce bottle on the dining table.
    "Could you bring it back over here do you think?" he asked.

    "So, what would you say that we have here?" he asked, as she handed it back
    to him.

    "It's a paper aeroplane," she replied, with just a hint of questioning in
    her voice, since the answer was so obvious that she felt he must have some
    other purpose in mind.

    "Really?" he responded and, in an instant, he screwed up the object and,
    with a practised, over-arm movement, threw it effortlessly in a wide arc,
    from which it landed just short of the waste paper basket in the corner of
    the room. "And now?" he asked.

    "It's a screwed-up ball of paper", she said, without any doubt in her voice
    this time.

    "Could you bring it back again, please", he continued. She did so, wondering
    if this was typical of such an interview, spending the session chasing about
    after bits of paper like a dog running after a stick. He took the ball and
    carefully unfolded it, spread it out on the table and smoothed his hand over
    it a few times before handing it back to her. "And now it is just a sheet of
    paper again," he said, "although I'm afraid it's a bit crumpled now!"

    He looked at her, apparently anticipating some sign of understanding if not
    actual revelation but none was forthcoming. He looked around the room and,
    after a moment, he stood up, walked over to the window and removed a rose
    from a vase standing in the alcove. Returning to his seat, he held the rose
    out to her and asked, "What is this?"

    She was feeling increasingly embarrassed as it was clear he was trying to
    explain something fundamental, which she was not understanding. Either that
    or he was mad or deliberately provoking her, neither of which seemed likely,
    since he remained calm and open and somehow intensely present. "It's a
    flower," she replied eventually.

    He then deliberately took one of the petals between his right-hand thumb and
    fore-finger and plucked it. He looked at her and said, "And now?" She didn't
    reply, though it seemed that this time he didn't really expect an answer. He
    continued to remove the petals one by one until none remained, looking up at
    her after each action. Finally, he pulled the remaining parts of the flower
    head off the stem and dropped them onto the floor, leaving the bare stalk,
    which he held out to her. "Where is the flower now?" he asked. Receiving no
    reply, he bent down and picked up all of the petals, eventually displaying
    them in his open hand. "Is this a flower?" he asked.

    She shook her head slowly. "It was a flower only when all of the petals and
    the other bits were all attached to the stem."

    "Good!" he said, appreciatively. "Flower is the name that we give to that
    particular arrangement of all of the parts. Once we have separated it into
    its component parts, the flower ceases to exist. But was there ever an
    actual, separate thing called 'flower'? All of the material that constituted
    the original form is still here in these parts in my hand.

    "The paper aeroplane is an even simpler example. There never was an
    aeroplane was there? And I don't just mean that it was only a toy. There was
    only ever paper. To begin with, the paper was in the form of a flat sheet
    for writing on. Then, I folded it in various ways so that it took on an
    aerodynamic shape which could fly through the air slowly. The name that we
    give to that form is 'aeroplane'. When I screwed it up, the ball-shape could
    be thrown more accurately. 'Aeroplane' and 'ball' were names relating to
    particular forms of the paper but at all times, all that ever actually
    existed was paper.

    "Now, this sort of analysis applies to every 'thing' that you care to think
    of. Look at that table over there and this chair on which you are sitting.
    What are they made of? You will probably say that they are wooden chairs?"

    He looked at her questioningly and she nodded, knowing at the same time that
    he was going to contradict her.

    "Well, they are made of wood certainly, but that does not mean that they are
    wooden chairs! On the contrary, I would say that this, that you are sitting
    on, is actually chairy wood, and that object over there is tably wood. What
    do you say to that?"

    "You mean that the thing that we call 'chair' is just a name that we give to
    the wood when it is that particular shape and being used for that particular
    function?" she asked, with understanding beginning to dawn.

    "Exactly! I couldn't have put it better myself. It is quite possible that I
    could have a bag full of pieces of wood that can be slotted together in
    different ways so that at one time I might assemble them into something to
    sit upon, another time into something to put food upon and so on. We give
    the various forms distinct names and we forget that they are ONLY names and
    forms and not distinct and separate things.

    "Look - here's an apple," he said, picking one out of the bowl on the table
    and casually tossing it from one hand to the other before holding it up for
    her to examine. "It's round or to be more accurate, spherical; its reddish
    in colour and it has", he sniffed it, "a fruity smell. No doubt if I were to
    bite into it, I would find it juicy and sweet.

    "Now all of these - round, red, fruity, juicy, sweet - are adjectives
    describing the noun 'apple.' Or, to use more Advaitic terms, let me say that
    the 'apple' is the 'substantive' - the apparently real, separately existing
    thing - and all of the other words are 'attributes' of the apple - merely
    incidental qualities of the thing itself. Are you with me so far?"

    She nodded hesitantly but, after a little reflection, more positively.

    "But suppose I had carried out this analysis with the rose that we looked at
    a moment ago. I could have said that it was red, delicate, fragrant, thorny
    and so on. And we would have noted that all of those were simply attributes
    and that the actual existent thing, the substantive, was the rose. But then
    we went on to see that the rose wasn't real at all. It was just an
    assemblage of petals and sepals and so on - I'm afraid I am not a botanist!
    In the same way, we could say that the apple consists of seeds and flesh and
    skin. We may not be able to put these things together into any form
    different from an apple but Nature can.

    "If you ask a scientist what makes an apple an apple, he will probably tell
    you that is the particular configuration of nucleotides in the DNA or RNA of
    the cells. There are many different species of apple and each one will have
    a slight variation in the chromosomes and it is that which differentiates
    the species. If you want to explain to someone what the difference is
    between a Bramley and a Granny Smith, you will probably say something like
    'the Bramley is large and green, used mainly for cooking and is quite sharp
    tasting, while the Granny Smith is still green but normally much smaller and
    sweeter'. But these are all adjectives or attributes. What is actually
    different is the physical makeup of the cell nuclei.

    "But, if we look at a chromosome or a strand of DNA, are we actually looking
    at a self-existent, separate thing? If you look very closely through an
    electron microscope, you find that DNA is made up of four basic units
    arranged in pairs in a long, spiral chain. And any one of these units is
    itself made up of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, again
    arranged in a very specific way. So even those are not separate
    'things-in-themselves'; they are names given to particular forms of other,
    more fundamental things.

    "And so we arrive at atoms - even the ancient Greeks used to think that
    everything was made up of atoms. Are these the final 'substantives' with all
    of the apparent things in the world being merely attributes? Well,
    unfortunately not. Science has known for a long time that atoms mainly
    consist of empty space with electrons spinning around a central nucleus of
    protons and neutrons. And science has known for somewhat less time that
    these particles, which were once thought to be fundamental, are themselves
    not solid, self-existent things but are either made up of still smaller
    particles or are in the form of waves, merely having probabilities of
    existence at many different points in space.

    "Still more recently, science claimed that all of the different particles
    are themselves made out of different combinations of just a few particles
    called quarks and that those are the ultimately existing things. But they
    have not yet progressed far enough. The simple fact of the matter is that
    every 'thing' is ultimately only an attribute, a name and form superimposed
    upon a more fundamental substantive. We make the mistake of thinking that
    there really is a table, when actually there is only wood. We make the
    mistake of thinking that there is really wood, when actually there is only
    cellulose and sugars and proteins. We make the mistake of thinking there is
    protein when this is only a particular combination of atoms. "Ultimately,
    everything in the universe is seen to be only name and form of a single
    substantive.

    The journalist was transfixed; not exactly open-mouthed but her pencil had
    not moved for some time. Eventually, she asked in a small voice: "But then
    where do I fit into all of this?"

    "Ah", he replied. "That again depends upon what you mean by the word 'I'.
    Who you think you are - 'Sarah' - is essentially no different from the table
    and chair. You are simply name and form, imposed upon the non-dual reality.
    Who you really are, however. well, that is quite different - you are that
    non-dual reality. You see, in the final analysis, there are not two things;
    there is only non-duality. That is the truth; that is Advaita."

    ******

    Dennis Waite has been a student of Advaita for over 20 years and maintains
    one of the most visited websites on the subject. He is the present Chief
    Moderator of the Advaitin group and has published several books, including
    'The Book of One' and, this month, 'Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of
    Advaita'. For information about the books, together with endorsements and
    many extracts, visit www.advaita.org.uk.

    ******
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  8. #38
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    A funny happening

    Om

    Today morning, I took out a few cubes of ice from the fridge and kept them on kitchen slab. Nearby some water was boiling.

    I saw the ice cubes squirming in heat and telling the boiling water "What cruel thing you are, never steady and so hot. Bubbling with pride. Look at us we are so cool and steady. You are going to kill us. You are cruel". And the ice cubes died by melting and while dying they cursed the boiling water "You will have the same fate and you will die the same way".

    And the samsara goes on.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  9. #39
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    Re: Practical Advaita

    The Fourth is thought of as that which is not conscious of the internal world, nor conscious of the external world, nor conscious of both the worlds, nor dense with consciousness, nor simple consciousness, nor unconsciousness, which is unseen, actionless, incomprehensible, uninferable, unthinkable, indescribable, whose proof consists in the identity of the Self (in all states), in which all phenomena come to a cessation, and which is unchanging, auspicious, and non-dual. That is the Self; that is to be known.

    That is the Self; that is to be known" (Mandukya).

    It is unchanging, it is known as One, all phenomena come to ceasation, it is the Self -- not another one.

    Self cannot be another one. It is unchanging, so number of other souls joining it as different entities is ruled out.

    It is Advaita. Number of other souls joining it yet remaining separate entities is ruled out.

    It is actionless. So, thoughts of serving it or actual tasks undertaken to serve it are not possible.

    It is not conscious of the inner or the outer. So, the consciousness of me and another is impossible.

    It not unconsciousness either. So, it is aware of itself without inner or outer perceptions.

    It is the Self which is Brahman. So nothing exceeds it.



    Om
    Last edited by atanu; 16 June 2008 at 02:08 PM.
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  10. #40
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    Re: Practical Advaita

    Namaste Atanu,

    This thread is a mine of priceless gems on Advait. Thanks !

    Regards

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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