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Thread: adhvan - a road, journey, path

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    adhvan - a road, journey, path

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Many talk of the notion of a path. Have you given thought to consider if you are on one? There are a few types. When one does not even know there is a path there is ignorance.

    How does one find a path? When there is the realization that the direction one is going is not satisfying, then the idea of a new direction is considered.
    One then realizes they have been on a path and never knew it.

    So in the macro view we can say there are two paths - the one you wish to leave and the one you aspire to be on.

    Some call the path of the world sthūla or course , gross , rough. A subtler path is called sūkṣma (small , fine , thin , narrow , acute, refined) and considered the path to the SELF.

    In the first path the SELF is forgotten and the world is pursued. In the second path the world is forgotten and the SELF is pursued.
    When there is pure ignorance there is not even the understanding of a 1st or 2nd path and that there is a choice between the two.

    For one path the eyes are open (unmeṣa) and for the other the eyes are closed (nimeṣa).

    Is there are path for you? Do you see it, have you been on-and-off over the years, or is this idea new to you?

    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 September 2010 at 09:42 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    Vannakam yajvan,

    I will try to answer this to the best of my ability. I think my answer is totally unrelated to the question, and is more an act of intellectual vanity than a real answer.

    First off, you're probably aware of this, but the term path is an apt metaphor for life, For life is a journey, and journeys always have some path whether it be off the road or on a well tread one. but the thing about paths is that they don't always have an end, for your consideration, take a wanderer. They have no fixed destination so they are eternally walking down various paths. This is much like life in todays world. The thing about worldly paths, is that they generally have no end. We continuously search and search and search, but never find what we truly want, and maybe that is what some want. However, if you think about the use of a path in regards to Atman and Brahman, there is a definite end. The end being self realization and becoming one with the unnameable, immutable, omnipresent, formless etc.

    Having first indulged in taoism (where the term Tao literally means path or way) I found the path very nice, but it was not until recently that I reentered the path, i would definitely say I am on one, and I progress each day through sadhana, reading of the Mahabharata, and other studies. So I hope that is a sufficient answer. and also I believe that I am following a two fold path, one of worldly pursuits and spiritual. Spiritual is currently taking precedence, and the further in my sadhana i go, I'm sure it will take more and more of my thought and time. But I also feel attached to this reality, which I hope to lose eventually through the cardinal virtues

    Namaste

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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    namaste Yajvan.

    yajvan on adhvan--a good thread you have started. It seems to me that there are many dependendies and differences between the two paths you have enumerated.

    • As Eric has rightly put it, the first path, sthUla--worldly, is misguided meandering. The second, sUkShma--spiritual, has a definite purpose, but the goal and extent of liberation is set by the seeker's saMkalpa--resolution, and abilities.

    • A common goal of both paths is happiness--unmitigated, everlasting and sustained happiness. In the worldly path it is never achieved, and whatever happiness accrues is only by afflicting others. In the second, happiness accrues for the seeker without any sort of affliction to another person.

    • The inherent motive of the worldly path is to gratify the 'I'; of the spiritual path is to eliminate the 'I' that covers the Self,--or rather merge the 'I' in the Self. When the worldly path is aligned with Hindu Dharma, the elimination of the 'I' happens naturally and quickly, clearing the impediments in the spiritual path.

    • The extent of accomplishment of the spiritual path depends on the extent of purification of the 'I' in the worldly path. 'I' is purified as it learns to share, love, sacrifice, acquire humility and align itself to dharma.

    • In the worldly path, the 'I' goes out, seeks out, trying to grow. The spiritual path is not a journey per se, since what is involved is bringing the Self nearer and nearer to the 'I' for their ultimate merger.

    KAnchi ParamAchArya teaches that the first path is known as the pravRtti mArga--path of outward accretion, and the second is nivRtti mArga--path of cessation, destruction and inward direction.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric11235 View Post
    ......take a wanderer. They have no fixed destination so they are eternally walking down various paths....
    ......However, if you think about the use of a path in regards to Atman and Brahman, there is a definite end.
    Where have you been hiding O wise one?
    Your focused, succinct and well articulated post is most refreshing. Hope you get used to starting more threads with various ideas and not wait just to respond to other posts. Thanks Eric.

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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    Vannakam Believer,

    Thank you very much, it is always nice to be called wise, although I may not totally agree (Humility is the virtue I am working on). And just so you know, I have posted other ideas and concepts on the uttara and God boards. They are about existing in multiple places and the nature of the devas.


    Thanks again for the compliment, it is greatly appreciated

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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    When one is on the path (adhvan) to the Self and is given to great focus on this effort they are considered an adhikārin¹. That is, adhi+kārī - adhi = over and above + kārī = determination, the act of worship.

    As one continues and this focus blossoms, then one becomes the ātmavit - the knower of the SELF within. Yet what then becomes of his words that comes from his/her mouth?

    The chāndogya upaniṣad informs us that one becomes the ativādin.
    The śloka says He alone speaks out the unspeakable on Reality.
    This can be considered one path.

    Another path is that knower of the Self ( ātmavit ) who just chooses to remain absorbed in the silence of the Self (rūpastha&#185 . No need/desire to speak out on this Reality, but to rejoice in it.

    There are a few more paths, and we can review this in the following post.

    praṇām

    words
    √ another view of adhikārīn = adhi =concerning +kārī = exertion or one expending effort
    √ rūpastha means possessed of the form or shape. It is applied here as that sadhu that becomes absorbed and takes the form and shape of the SELF.
    Last edited by yajvan; 21 September 2010 at 09:32 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    hariḥ o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    So what of that person who is not aware of this whole concept of the Self and that of unfoldment/realization? We could call this bauddha ajñāna¹ or intellectual ignorance. What then is the path for this person?
    It is to be carried from intellectual ignorance to intellectual understanding or bauddha jñāna¹ . That is, the study of various śāstra-s that bring intellectual insights into the nature of Being, of the Self, of the Supreme. One's intellect and understanding is honed and expanded.

    This path then is to be complemented with experience. We feed the intellect to give it a better picture of Being; now for this path to have movement to vibrate ( spanda) in Reality, it needs the experiential
    side.

    Where is the beginning? It is pauruṣa¹ ajñāna. What is this? It is the ignorance (ajñāna) of one not recognizing/realizing one's own Self (puruṣa) in subtler states of awareness during one's spiritual practices ( some call upāya-s, or yukti or techniques).

    From a kaśmir śaivism POV, svāmī lakṣman-jū says it this way - it is that kind of ignorance wherein one is unaware of realizing one's own nature in samādhi. When you possess pauruṣa jñāna you realize your nature of the Self perfectly.

    So within kaśmir śaivism there are 3 types of aspirants which is saying there are 3 paths ( some say 4) that one can come to this pauruṣa jñāna or knowledge of the Self.
    These 3 have been reviewed on HDF at this string if there is interest: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=18339&postcount=4

    Also note for those reading that may be new to all this knowledge, when we use ignorance or ajñāna , it is not the person that is without a college degree,
    or a person that does not know math, science, rhetoric or geology . The ignorance we are referring to is the lack of knowing one's own Self.
    This is the ultimate ignorance for those on this earth and why , at times, the wise may call us paśu¹.

    praṇām

    words

    » bauddha - relating to the intellect or understanding
    » ajñāna - ignorant; ignorance , (in philosophy) spiritual ignorance preventing the soul from realizing its identity with brahma , causes self to appear a distinct personality ,
    and matter to appear a reality
    » jñāna - knowing, becoming acquainted with; understanding.
    » pauruṣa - belonging or sacred to puruṣa
    » paśu - any tethered animal; cattle, kine, etc. Why so? The wise see us tethered ( tied) to the body as we take it ( the body, mass, material being) as the only reality.
    Last edited by yajvan; 22 September 2010 at 08:27 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #8
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    Re: adhvan - a road, journey, path

    hariḥ o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post


    So what of that person who is not aware of this whole concept of the Self and that of unfoldment/realization? We could call this bauddha ajāna or intellectual ignorance. What then is the path for this person?
    It is to be carried from intellectual ignorance to intellectual understanding or bauddha jāna .
    Lets say a person comes to you, your friend, and says mitra-ji (friend) I have forgotten where my home is.
    I cannot remember even what my house looks like or the street I live on; what am i to do? You say to him,
    not to worry let me describe your home, your street, on which you live.

    This is a simple example of bauddha ajāna and bauddha jāna. The person is not mindful of his home and wishes to return. By providing a verbal picture of your friend's home you act like the śāstra-s, describing the home of the SELF. Intellectually, you are able to give the person a glimpse a 'feel' of his home to form this idea in his mind.

    Now what is needed? Personal experience , direct contact with 'home' and this is pauruṣa jāna , knowledge of one's home, their SELF, but direct personal experience. Once this occurs it brings satisfaction to your friend. The knowledge you gave your friend on the street, home, size of house, etc.
    comes to be better appreciated when your friend then comes to the street he lives one. He says, yes, I think I remember this, oh yes, it is coming back to me now.

    As he gets closer and closer to the his home all the things you told him come to be and he is feeling comfortable about the actions he is taking to go home.

    Like that, knowledge (śāstra) complimented with experience (pauruṣa jāna) adds to a richer and fuller experience as one unfolds the SELF.

    praṇām

    words

    bauddha - relating to the intellect or understanding
    ajāna - ignorant; ignorance , (in philosophy) spiritual ignorance preventing the soul from realizing its identity with brahma , causes self to appear a distinct personality ,
    and matter to appear a reality
    jāna - knowing, becoming acquainted with; understanding.
    pauruṣa - belonging or sacred to puruṣa
    Last edited by yajvan; 10 November 2012 at 04:59 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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