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Thread: The Problem Of Limited Being

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    The Problem Of Limited Being

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    A limited being is said to be an 'individual'. The word in itself states the issue. 'Individual' suggests that which is not connected to the whole. When one views out of their eyes they see more individual things - houses, trees, cars, other individuals, books, planes, trains, etc. All look as if they exist on their own - which tends to support the notion of ones individual existence.

    This is the pickle we are in. We're considered saṁsārī-s¹, passing through a succession of states , a circuit of mundane existence.
    The problem with the limited being is we do not know the vastness of our own nature. Its like trying to convince the King who bumped his head and has forgotten his position that he is the King. He would say, how can this be? I have no riches in my pockets, I do not remember (moha¹ - loss of consciousness) any crown or castle that I own, how can you tell me I am King when my memory and my pocket book tells me different!

    This then is the delusion we read and hear about, that is, being separate. The experience of separate-ness is one of the defining factors found in this state of ignorance.

    Yet on the other hand, the wise tell us of their experience, of their connectedness to the whole (bhūman). They inform us what we see is just not the whole picture, we are seeing only the top half of the ice-berg. They tell us that what we see is really part-and-parcel an expression of Brahman, of praramaśiva.

    As the Supreme, or parameśvara there are 5 great energies or śakti-s that express themselves in Creation; This expression is no different then Śiva, it lies within Him not outside of Him. These 5 have an infinite format and take on a limited format:
    • pūrṇatvan - the power of fullness/wholeness when limited is turned in to the power of being incomplete, feeling individual, separate from the whole.
    • sarvajñātvam - the power to know everything when limited is the power to know some thing(s).
    • nityatvam- the power of eternity is turned into the power of time and constraint of time i.e. aging.
    • vyāpakatvam - the power of being all pervasive (viś - to pervade&#185 is turned into the power of limited space and dimension.
    • sarvakartitvam - the power of all-doing is turned into the power of doing some thing.
    Hence once again the pickle - when we associate ourselves with the top half of the iceberg, it is one of limitations. When one 'cracks the code' and the experience of Unboundedness occurs in a bound space, then the dawn of understanding begins.

    Hence for the limited being, knowledge is important; it is said, na hi jñānena sadṛṣa pavitram i.e. certainly ~indeed (hi) there is nothing (na) so purifying (pavitram) or suitable (sadṛṣa) then knowledge (jñānena) - Bhāgavad gītā , chapter 4, 38th śloka.

    Why do I mention this 'knowledge is the greatest purifier' ? For saṁsārī-s we need a vision of possibilities, a glimpse of what is real
    some guidance to let us comprehend ( in part) what Reality is.

    For some, the resin of ignorance (avidya) is deep and clouds one's vision substantially. for others it is not so thick. It is though knowledge that this resin is removed, by the ointment of knowledge applied. This application is both intellectual knowledge and direct experience knowledge.

    Hence understanding supports ones sādhana, and ones experience does the same - both applied take one from the limited to the unlimited. There can be 4 parts (pāda) to this knowledge and experience:
    • yoga - practice or means , some may call dhāranā-s; some also call this yukti or preparation , going to , making ready for
    • caryā - way of living ~ dharma
    • kriyā - ritual and discipline
    • vidyā - knowledge or philosophy
    If we were reading Patañjali’s Yogadarśana, these 'ways' would be discussed in chapter two Sādhana Pada; he calls out the 8 limbs of yoga. Within these 8 limbs he outlines yama & niyama¹. We have several posts on this and there is little need to list them out here.

    So, for the limited being , the saṁsārī, there is plenty of help to move forward. One only needs to take the first step and come to the observation that I must be more then this . Then the notion of parāprāveśikā becomes a subject worth the pursuit.

    This word belongs to Kśemarāja-ji ( Abhinavagupta's¹ principle śiṣyaka&#185 . Parāprāveśikā = parā + prā +veśikā. Parā is the highest point , the chief object i.e. the Supreme + prā or pra is to go forward + veśikā is entrance. So parāprāveśikā is that which causes/allows/assists you to enter the Supreme.

    The saṁsārī then becomes the mumukṣu - the one with a desire for liberation, enlightenment mokṣa.


    praṇām

    words & references
    • saṁsārī is from saṁsāra संसार - passing through a succession of states , circuit of mundane existence; also called wandering through the world from birth-to-birth.
    • moha मोह- loss of consciousness, bewelderment , delusion of mind preventing the discernment of truth and leading men to believe in the reality of worldly objects.
    • na hi jñānena sadṛṣa pavitram
      • na - not , no, neither
      • hi हि indeed , assuredly , surely , of course , certainly
      • jñānena or jñāna ज्णान - knowledge,wisdom
      • sadṛṣaṁ सदृश- suitable , fit , proper , right , worthy
      • pavitram पवित्र- means of purification
      • viṣaya विषय- to extend
    • yama यम- we know this as restraint - the act of checking or curbing , suppression , restraint; self-control forbearance; It is interesting to note the Śani (Saturn) is also known as Yama. Sani brings discipline and restraint.
    • niyama नियम- we know as observances; any fixed rule or law , necessity , obligation ~ compliance
    • śiṣyaka शिष्यक- pupil or scholar
    • mumukṣu मुमुक्षु - eager to be free (from mundane existence) , striving after emancipation
    • Abhinavagupta - more here on this muni : http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3150&highlight=Abhinavagupta
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 March 2009 at 11:27 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: The Problem Of Limited Being

    Namaste Yajvan Ji,

    Thanks for a nice post. I will twist a bit of lemon hoping to make it more pickly.

    A limited being only sees another being and then there are two options: To make love till death or to make war till death. The second option is more picklier: make war then love then war again and finally die.

    Om
    Last edited by atanu; 20 March 2009 at 11:43 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.

  3. #3
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    Re: The Problem Of Limited Being

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté atanu,
    thank you for the lemon-aid!

    atanu-ji writes the following:
    A limited being only sees another being and then there are two options: To make love till death or to make war till death. The second option is more picklier: make war then love then war again and finally die.
    Let me add to the notion of '2' if I may, that of death and that of the 'many':

    The kaṭhopaniṣad¹ offers us this insight:
    Whatever is here, that is the hereafter; whatever is hearafter, that is here. (He) who percieves these 2 as different, he goes from death-to-death.

    Now what can this be saying? It informs us that whatever we see here, in this place, time and space is of the same source of the hereafter. That is, all 'this' we see is of the same essence that makes up the hereafter, and that is Reality, or SELF.

    If one sees a difference between 'here' and the 'hereafter', it is the indicator that enlightened vision has not dawned in that person . S/he continues to be the saṁsārī¹ and goes from birth-to-birth ~ death-to-death.

    The next śloka takes this knowledge a bit further:
    By (the) intuitive mind indeed one perceives that the 'many' does not exist at all; One who perceives 'many' as existng goes from death-to-death.
    That is , this 'many' is the vision of differentiated consciousness, that of diversity and an 'individual' ( from the 1st orgional post above); this notion of 'many' resides in moha or lacking a view of what 'real' is composed of.

    Let me offer one last notion and that of war. War suggests that there must be 2 (or more) to allow this fighting and/or loving to occur, no?
    The Bṛhadaraṇyaka Upaniṣad¹ tells us the following: Any time there is a sense of 2, fear arises i.e. dvitiyad vai bhayam bhavati - Fear is born of duality.

    War, then, must come from the sense of 2, that there is an 'another' to fight or war with. This in and of itself points to the pickle of the saṁsārī's leadership. That those in charge still see ( and fear) there must be 2. Hence their awareness is submerged in diversity, duality and sees only differences.

    May we graduate and be uplifted from the world of differences...


    praṇām
    • The kaṭhopaniṣad - from the 2nd adhyāya अध्यायor chapter, 1st vallī, 10th and 11th śloka
    • saṁsārī is from saṁsāra संसार- passing through a succession of states , circuit of mundane existence; also called wandering through the world from birth-to-birth.
    • moha मोह- loss of consciousness, bewelderment , delusion of mind preventing the discernment of truth and leading men to believe in the reality of worldly objects.
    • Bṛhadaraṇyaka Upaniṣad - Puruṣavidha-Brāhmaṇa, 2nd śloka.
      • dvitiyad or dvitia द्वित- 2nd or two
      • bhayam or bhaya भय - fear , alarm dread, apprehension
        ( rooted in bhī to fear for , be anxious about )
      • vai an emphasis and affirmation , generally placed after a word and laying stress on it i.e. it is usually translatable by 'indeed' , 'truly' , 'certainly'
      • bhavati or bhava भव arising or produced from , being in
    Last edited by yajvan; 23 March 2009 at 05:54 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #4
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    Re: The Problem Of Limited Being

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    I mentioned in the previous post


    • pūrṇatvan - the power of fullness/wholeness when limited is turned in to the power of being incomplete, feeling individual, separate from the whole.
    • sarvajñātvam - the power to know everything when limited is the power to know some thing(s).
    • nityatvam- the power of eternity is turned into the power of time and constraint of time i.e. aging.
    • vyāpakatvam - the power of being all pervasive (viś - to pervade&#185 is turned into the power of limited space and dimension.
    • sarvakartṛitvam - the power of all-doing is turned into the power of doing some thing
    These 5 limitations are calle kañcuka-s from the word kañ - to become small. Some call these kośa-s¹ which means a covering or a sheath.

    It is by the 5 limitations one becomes 'individual'. Let me say it another way , the way svāmī Lakṣman-jū expresses it. He says wearing these 5 coverings (+ māyā) Śiva becomes a limited being. If you recall these 5 energies are Śiva's to begin with.

    By limiting the infinite part of His being, He becomes 'individual'. This principle IMHO is quite important to appreciate. If everything and all things in all time and space is Brahman, Paramaśiva, then we too must also be that.

    So, for the vast, the full, the Supreme to express Itself fully, the Supreme experiences the full realm of possibilies - that of vastness, of infinity and that of limitations, as 'individual'. The Supreme throttles Itself back and it does this by the kośa-s or kañcuka-s. It limits Itself (niyati&#185 to boundries. Hence the full realm of possibilies from the Unbounded to the bound is expressed in His/It's nature.

    This is why (as forementioned above in post #1) that knowledge of great value. The knowledge of the āgama's, the veda-s, upaniṣads, etc. are there to remind us of who we are. They are there to tell the King that bumped his head and forgot who he was, that he is the owner of this vast land. That we in affect are extentions of the Divine.

    It is time to remember, to go beyond the kañcuka-s and just re-establish our real nature again.

    That sat ¹ , so subtle is the Self of everything in all the worlds. That is the Real, That is ātmā. Thou art that Śvetaketu…
    Chāndogya Upaniṣad (6th adhyāya or chapter, 9th vallī, 4th śloka-s)

    The next question must be, how do I remember?

    praṇām

    words
    • kañ कण् - to become small
    • kośa कोश- a sheath, case or covering; the cocoon of a silk-worm ; the membrane of an egg
    • niyati नियति - restraint , restriction , self-restraint
    • sat सत् - Being, that which really is , entity or existence , essence.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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