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Thread: Purana's

  1. #11
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    I wrote in post 10 above,
    Many read or hear (even on HDF) the notion of tāmasapurāṇa and then assume that śiva too must be of this tāmasic quality ( a negative view no less). So, can one explain this ? What insight is one missing regarding this notion ?

    There are a few things one can say about this matter, and it will be needed to sew the ideas together for the full picture to be shown i.e. from the sāṅkhya school ( some write khya¹ ), kaśmir śaivism , and perhaps a few others as needed. So, there will be some foundational information, then some advanced thinking for those who have the appetite for this level of knowledge.

    First we know that the 3 guna-s (rājas, sāttva, tāmas ) roll up under the tattva called prakṛti. This word if taken apart reveals its meaning pra + kṛti = filling or fulfilling + creation . Hence prakṛti is that which ‘fills’ creation. It is the ~source~ of creation ( we will use this idea in a following post).
    Within this source all the tattva-s, from a khya point of view, unfold. That would be 23 of them in this school. A total of 25 are listed¹.

    This then suggests that this quality of the 3 guna-s (rājas, sāttva, tāmas ) permeate creation. We can see then from an associative point of view i.e. not being excessively critical , why brahmā ( as creator) and śiva ( as destroyer) and viṣṇu ( as maintainer) would be involved.
    Why so ? Because this is what occurs in our universe every day. Creation-maintenance-destruction, and the ~owners~ are brahmā, viṣṇu and śiva. Note these are qualities of the Supreme being used here.
    These qualities are not only out there is space, but in us, and in our environment. Let me explain. Each thought you have has this sequence – it is created, it stays for a bit and then it is gone.
    So, this sequence occurs (brahmā -> viṣṇu -> śiva ). It occurs when you open your eyes and close your eyes, when you are in wake-dream-sleep consciousness; this sequence is in your growth. You are born , you maintain, then you pass on . Of course this is the body part of you that is made of the tattva-s.
    And what of nature ? A tree comes from a seed, it grows, blooms, then finally dies and the elements all return to their respective tattva-s.
    So, this sequence of create->maintain->destroy has been somewhat established. When it comes to the 3 guna-s (rājas, sāttva, tāmas ) we too can align these qualities to brahmā, viṣṇu, and śiva.

    So let’s take a closer look at these definitions for each one. We find entry level/mundane definitions of passion, goodness and darkness for the 3 (rājas, sāttva, tāmas). These qualities may be there but are not the full story.
    • rājas – is an active agent; it is associate with activity. It is a promoter of movement.
    • sāttva – is associated with balance; even-ness. It has the ability to purify and balance.
    • tāmas – is associated with inaction, with stillness
    Now let’s consider brahmā, viṣṇu and śiva again. But with the awareness of divine intent.
    • When a person has the continued burning desire for liberation ( the mumukṣu) this is the most refined (śodhita) level of rajoguṇa at work
    • The person with the ability to discriminate (viveka) between the intellect and the non-changing Self is an expression of the most refined level sattvaguṇa at work.
    • The person that withdraws the mind to perfect silence, perfect inactivity is an expression of the most refined level of tamoguṇa at work.
    So – the connection:
    • brahmā purāṇa-s = rājasapurāṇa-s and the higher / most refined level of rajoguṇa being considered
    • viṣṇu purāṇa-s = sāttvikapurāṇa- and the the higher / most refined level of sattvaguṇa being considered
    • śiva purāṇa-s = tāmasapurāṇa-s and the the higher / most refined level of tamoguṇa being considered
    Hence if one ties the purāṇa-s to the lower level definitions of the guṇa-s they have confused a diamond for a plain piece of glass.

    Now is there more to this ? Yes. I will add a few more items for consideration in the next post.

    praṇām

    words
    • sāṁkhya – is defined as ‘relating to a number’; it also means discrimination ; it can be ‘one who discriminates well’.
    • Within this school there is a ‘number’ of 25 tattva-s. Within this number we find prakṛti & puruṣa. 23 tattva-s + prakṛti & puruṣa = 25 tattva-s for this school.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #12
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Now is there more to this ?
    • rājas – is an active agent; it is associate with activity. It is a promoter of movement.
    • sāttva – is associated with balance; even-ness. It has the ability to purify and balance.
    • tāmas – is associated with inaction, with stillness
    This part is more for those that have greater interest and wish to really go deeper into this notion of the alignment of the guṇa-s to another point of view. Let me offer the following:

    Within the trika ( some write tṛka) school a.k.a. kaśmir śaivism these 3 guṇa-s are seen as energies.
    • icchā śakti brings forth or expresses itself as rājas or rajoguṇa
      • icchā śakti = energy of will and is considered para (the highest)
    • jñāna śakti brings forth or expresses itself as sāttva or sattvaguṇa
      • jñāna śakti = energy of knowledge and is considered parāpara ( middlemost)
    • kriyā śakti brings forth or expresses itself as tāmas or tamoguṇa
      • kriyā śakti = the energy of action and is considered āpara (or entry level)
    And it just so happens these 3 energies (śakti) align to the the upāya-s (methods , or ways) that one can engage in to re-recognize their essential, stainless nature:
    • śāmbhavopāya originates in icchā śakti
    • śāktopāya originates in jñāna śakti
    • ānavopāya originates in kriyā śakti
    ( for more on these 3 upāya-s see this HDF post http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=13352&page=2 , post 14 and 16)


    Now the ~secret~ of these upāya-s is ānavopāya leads to (deposits one) into śāktopāya; śāktopāya deposits one into śāmbhavopāya;
    and śāmbhavopāya deposits one into anupāya which I did not discuss as it is called the ‘no means’ i.e. nothing need to be done at this level.

    So, the reader should be getting a feeling that the guṇa-s and their alignment have a greater depth and breadth beyond ‘this is good, this is bad’.

    It is said , this knowledge is helpful for those that know and brings little for those that are ignorant. The point here is the depth and breadth of knowledge of our āgama-s and śāstra-s is profound. It covers the full range of life, both mundane and spiritual. The purāṇa-s reside within this body of knowledge and they address the full spectrum of wisdom. They are here for our use. No word of idea is randomly chosen – it is all for our upliftment and development.

    Hence , how then can any of these books take on the negative aspect of rajoguṇa or tamoguṇa ? It must be from the observer’s side that something is out of alignment.


    Is there more we can talk about regarding this matter ? Yes, but I will leave it for now.

    praṇām

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #13
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    Re: Purana's

    Namaste yajvanji
    Thank you for your wonderful explanation.
    My other question to you would be. Are you sure that most puranas have been transferred through the generations unaltered?
    I have read in padmapurana that tamasa puranas lead to hell while rajasa puranas lead to discontentment,.
    Now why would vyasa write puranas that send people to hell? Why should he spend so much energy if the sole intention is to send people to hell?
    Such atrocious statements in puranas make me wonder if they were altered by people to suit their belief systems?

    These days i find many verses in puranas which i think were manufactured by those lines of faith to get a mass following.
    Some one from sahaja yoga showed me verses from bhavishya purana predicting the birth of nirmala devi? While someone showed me verses predicting chaintanya of bengal as an incarnation of krishna. when i checked those verses carefully i found they were not present in the original manuscripts but were added later.
    Now how can one trust solely by intuition what he reads online belong to original manuscripts?

    My other question to you would be how would you deal with ignorant people who consider themselves the supreme devotees of god just because they follow some rituals given in those books?
    Can devotion without knowledge lead to liberation?
    I have been to some temples where i was flabbergasted at the ideas of some, who say people who worship krishna attain goloka while those worshipping shiva or others will have to take millions of births only to worship krishna again.
    How fair are such assumptions and how do you deal with such people?

  4. #14
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by ajreddy View Post
    My other question to you would be. Are you sure that most puranas have been transferred through the generations unaltered?
    Now how can one trust solely by intuition what he reads online belong to original manuscripts?

    My other question to you would be how would you deal with ignorant people who consider themselves the supreme devotees of god just because they follow some rituals given in those books?
    Can devotion without knowledge lead to liberation?
    I have been to some temples where i was flabbergasted at the ideas of some, who say people who worship krishna attain goloka while those worshipping shiva or others will have to take millions of births only to worship krishna again.
    How fair are such assumptions and how do you deal with such people?
    You have asked some good questions. I cannot say with any level of certainty that the purāṇas have not been altered here and there.

    You mention how can one trust solely by intuition what one reads? This can be answered via the notion of ṛtam.

    This ṛta is defined as right, or proper yet means enlightened , luminous, insightful, sincere, unblemished. Some call it unalloyed or pure.
    But it is much more - it is called out in the yogadarśana of patañjali ( the yoga-sūtra-s) Chapt 1, 48th sūtra, as ṛtam-bharā prajñā. This means essential cognition i.e. how one perceives the world, is filled with truth. Let's look a bit deeper:

    ṛtam ऋतम्+ bharā भर+ prajñā प्रज्णा = ṛtam (luminous, insightful unalloyed, pure) + bharā ( bearing, bestowing, carrying) + pra (great) + jñā ( to know). One perceives only the Truth. Some call this unalloyed, unvarnished great truth and becomes a part of one's daily vision. This is the practical value of knowledge + experience.
    So, when one is reading our purāṇas and being established in this ṛtam, you will only extract the truth.

    Regarding people's actions and what they think. Let me address this in another post.




    praṇām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #15

    Re: Purana's

    Namaste Yajvan ji,
    It's unacceptable to reply to your very detailed response after such a long time, but I hope that you'll receive my sincere gratitude - Thank You
    I have to admit, that much of the conversation was beyond my simple understanding , and will take this as a divine calling to improve my knowledge in this vast ocean of Hindu Dharma

    pranam

    the student,
    Prakash

  6. #16

    Re: Purana's

    Aren't the Puranas of Divine Origin ?

  7. #17
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté



    First let me confuse the conversation just for a moment …

    you mention,
    Aren't the Puranas of Divine Origin ?
    There is nothing I know of that is not of divine origin… from a particle to a wave to a galaxy; even ‘nothing’ (śūnyá) is of divine origin.
    Yet that only confuses the conversation a bit, but is the highest truth I know…others may vary in their opinion on this matter.

    Now that said back to the purāṇa-s and the idea at hand. There’s generally two methods of the ~authorship~ of knowledge transfer

    śruti
    This term śruti means ‘that which is heard’ ; it is considered apauruṣeya (author-less) meaning no one ( human) sat down and remembered it or
    crafted this knowledge. The knowledge was cognized¹ by our seers (ṛishi-s) of pure awareness . It was ‘heard’ or ‘seen’ in their inner awareness.
    This body of knowledge is known to be the veda-s, yet there are other śāstra-s and āgama-s that fall into this category of being purely heard or cognized¹.
    Said another way, the seer tunes into this knowledge, he/she does not create it, but ~ listens in~ to this level of knowledge that exists.

    smṛti
    This term smṛti = ‘that which is remembered’ and suggests there are authors to these various bodies of knowledge.
    Example: the Mahābhārata is authored by veda-vyāsa, also known as kṛṣṇa dvaipāyana; he also happens to be the author ( compiler or a vyāsa)
    of the 18 purāṇa-s. Vālmīki was the composer of the rāmāyaṇa and falls within the smṛti catagory.

    Hence the purāṇa-s fall within the domain of smṛti .


    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si

    1. cognized – see post 14 above and the notion of ṛtam-bharā prajñā. This means essential cognition i.e. how one perceives the world, is filled with truth
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #18
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    Re: Purana's

    Namaste all!!
    First of all thank you so much yajvan Ji for this knowledge.. I learned many things although many are beyond my limited knowledge to understand..

    I have no right to talk on scriptures as I have read only 1 puran upanishad and geeta yet.. But sharing my views and correcting them by listening yours will increase my knowledge..

    Puranas always confused me, even reading this thread my confusion till not gone.. So asking some question and sharing my understanding on them.. Hope members will tell me where I am wrong specially you yajvan ji..

    I have a questions which may be common.. 1. Is they really are written by ved vyasa Ji??
    I heard somewhere they are written by different peoples??
    If they are written by ved vyasa Ji then why they all are much different?

    If I try to answer my question which I do most of time ()-
    I believe that there is much difference in Upanishads and puranas, (as yajvan ji pointed on smriti and shruti) I found more knowledge in Upanishads but in puranas there are only stories of particularly one deity and say to worship only that deity and if you worship other then its waste of time...

    I am just in confusion and more I am getting deep more I am feeling confused.. I think purana are made for normal people one can say beginer in spiritual path while upanishad is for one who already established and experienced spirituality like wise brahmin..

    So I think purpose of puranas are for making normal people to realise highest truth and hence it is more focused on devotion rather than knowledge..
    Devotion is key, if one have devotion and surrender then knowledge, vairagya and other things come gradually and for devotion its necessary that one must concentrated on one particular deity (brahma, Vishnu or Shiva)

    We all knows that brahma Vishnu Shiva Krishna devi ma all are one and only one.. The wise sees no difference in any one of them but it comes with experience with the supreme bliss of that God, if we say to beginner that all are one then he will say its foolish, he may agree and accept that but he will not realised it, he will not experience it..
    So, for raising ones devotion to the one supreme deity I think puranas are made wisely by telling story of only one deity, by telling the benefit of worshipping him and no other deity to ensure that the reader will develope the true love and devotion for that particular deity..

    So my this thinking tells my mind why they are different from puranas also why they are so concentrated on Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva..

    But, then another question! Why all 18 puranas doesn't concentrate on 1 deity, isn't its simple? Why there is necessity of split them in three?

    I understand Yajvan jis insight on gunas and how they classified according to gunas of reader, yuga and age..(still not satisfied)
    Okay.. Again trying my old method to answer myself..
    Prakriti is made up of three gunas and each one of us have them in some different proportions.. Some have sattva dominant while some have tamas dominant.. As all know.. Like that if one observes, there is so much difference in forms of Shiva Vishnu or Brahma Ji.. Some may attract to form of Vishnu Ji while some to Shiva Ji according to their gunas (as each form have some deeper and subconscious meaning promoting some guna which we recognised and attract subconsciously) in simple words take an example of book of cooking.. What written in that book.? Just cooking and recipes but in some there is only veg in some there is Chinese, Italian or Indian.. The person who love Chinese will not bought Italian book but its not mean Chinese is better that other books.. It's just his choice.. Okay going so much off topic..

    I just wanted to say the prakriti contains this gunas and if anyone is absent then prakriti will destroy.. Again take example of cooking, all elements should be in proportion.. You can't make delicious food by adding only sweet or by adding only spicy.. Even human is not same at all time in all situations, he needs different gunas. You are the same but still sometime you are angry sometime happy and sometime sad.. Isn't the same person have different attributes? Then why one God can't have so many forms?
    It's just depend on situation which guna you should have, like in battle Arjuna doesn't stop fighting by leading to akarma or due to plenty of mercy he felt before battle.. Is it not according to situation?
    Assume if all are purely tamasik (inaction) then earth will destroy as no one will do anything.. If all sat and meditate like shiv ji then who will grow crops and who will make food? Like that if all are so much active and there is lack of stillness then also this sansar will not run smoothly..

    So all elements are essential, this fight is just useless! All puranas are supreme and what written in them is true..
    But this adversity have so much confusion for beginner like me.. If I read Vishnu purana and then directly shiv purana then I will definately be confused..
    What I conclude (otherwise I will keep talking ) is that we have to choose which purana is suitable for us and just follow puranas related to them, once you achieve enough devotion, knowledge and experience to understand oneness of God then you can take knowledge from other puranas so one will not get confused by them as one already has the shield of awareness with him...

    This all things come in my mind when I read this thread and I wrote them all (still many things I don't write) sorry for making it too large.. Please tell me what I am thinking is right? What should I add in this? Or this is totally wrong thinking?
    Pranam...
    Aasato ma sat gamay
    tamaso ma jotirgamay
    mrityorma amrutamgamay
    (Bring me from asat to sat, bring me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge), bring me from death to immortality)
    Om Namah Shivay
    Om Vishnave Namah

  9. #19
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté



    First let me applaud your efforts to answer your own questions... This is like the guest that come's to one's home and brings something with, some offer - this is very good.

    This confusion you mention is the ladle that stirs the soup. See it as 'okay' as it brings doubts up from the bottom of the soup - so not to worry.

    God with many forms
    He is only one , niḥśeṣa – w/o remainder, finished, complete, total, but expresses Him-self in many ways. This principle is called out in our upaniṣad-s

    as unity within diversity... the 'many' we see is really only one; this comes with development of consciousness. It is not 'logic chopping' or some
    intellectual gymnastics that one performs. With the recognition of one's Self ( pure Being, pure consciosuness) as a direct and personal experience,
    this becomes one's daily reality.

    3 Guna-s
    Note that no 1 guna can be missing. They are 3 and remain 3 all the time, yet in different proportions. Yet we are told to be without the 3 guna-s. How is that possible? By being possessed of the Self, Being, That-ness. This is where people get a brain cramp as it is not an every-day selection oh, okay I will be without the 3 gunas now. It does not occur like that. To be without them it to be anchored in pure awareness 7 days a week , 24 ours a day. It is a real experience one can have - hence spiritual practices are done for this. But note the following.... you are that already. You cannot become something you are not. All it takes it getting the 'me' out of the way so this Self is predominant. This 'me' or ego, or limitation
    is just one ray of it; We want all of it to shine and then we 'get it' , we comprehend our true nature.

    The purāṇa-s
    you menton,
    But, then another question! Why all 18 puranas doesn't concentrate on 1 deity, isn't its simple? Why there is necessity of split them in three?
    They do concentrate on 1, but in 18 different ways! It is like a person looking out from 1 building, but moving to 18 different windows to look out.
    There are so many humans and views, that the wise tries to cover all the ways one may 'taste' the Supreme. All have different tastes, backgrounds and the like.

    The beginner
    If there is some discomfort in one's comprehension it suggests to me that a more basic approach is needed. I Find this more often than not that those new to this
    vision of the Supreme bites off a bit too much - like drinking from a fire hose, it is too much to take in. So, one needs to find a place to sip, ponder and consider.
    I always recommend to get comfortable with the 6 systems of Indian philosophy. Some additional ideas ( along with the 6 systems' author) can be found here:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?14305-New-comer-questions .

    ...well begun is half done.

    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    Last edited by yajvan; 17 December 2015 at 01:08 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  10. #20
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    Re: Purana's

    Namaste Ji,
    Thank you so much for your knowledgeable reply.. It's nice to see you posting..
    Pranam...
    Aasato ma sat gamay
    tamaso ma jotirgamay
    mrityorma amrutamgamay
    (Bring me from asat to sat, bring me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge), bring me from death to immortality)
    Om Namah Shivay
    Om Vishnave Namah

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