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Thread: Purana's

  1. #21

    Re: Purana's

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post

    ~~~~~~
    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.


    Hare Krishna .
    Thank you for answering my query . By divine i meant , did the knowledge of the Puranas came down from above (from God) ? ... or are they fictitious / poetic works of the poets / sages ... Now it seems you already answered that below , so lets scroll down

    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.

    So sruti is a form of revelation right ? Like such knowledge were revealed to the ancient sages by God , or by the Demigods , either by auditary revelation or by visual revelation . Am i right ?


    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 .
    Now here you have mentioned that the Puranas fall under the smriti category (wiki says the same thing) , since they are the works of Vyasa . Now the question arises where did Vyasa get this knowledge . Did God revealed the puranic knowledge to him in the form of sruti first & then Vyasa remembered it in the form of smriti and wrote it down ?
    Is that what might have happened back then ?
    For example The puranas includes topics like cosmology , stating the position of lokas and planets , especally bhagawat puran and vishnu puran . Where do u think such valuable knowledge came from . In my opinion , they ought to be divine and were revealed to the sages by God , and in my opinion should be conidered Sruti . Don't u think ?


    Also who is supreme ... Krishna or Narayana ?
    Some of us consider them the same figure with different names , and some of us think that
    krishna is the incarnated human form of vishnu or narayana , but the ISKCON community says Krishna is the supreme being , while Narayana & Vishnu are his expansions or avataras .

    According to ISKCON , the form in which he came down on earth during dwapara yuga , which is the human krishna form (two hands with darkish complexion) , is actually his true original supreme form , and this is the form which he holds while he resides in his supreme abode Goloka . That means , the lord came to earth in his original supreme krishna form , just like the way he actually is while he stays in Goloka .
    Under Goloka , there are many lokas or dhams , like vaikuntha loka , ayodhya dham etc. where his expansions or different roopas resides . This is according to the ISKCON community .
    Whereas The Puranas speak of Narayana as the supreme being . Narayana has a bluish complexion with 4 hands , contrary to Krishna's two hands & dark complexion . Im a little confused here . Can u throw some light on this matter , like who's the supreme . Thanks

  2. #22
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    Re: Purana's

    Namaste,

    I don't think I can explain it better than Yajvan ji but I would like to say something in this regard as I see it.

    a) There are many paths within Hinduism and they have their differing views regarding how God is perceived by them. Why do these scriptures have differing views ? To cater to the needs of devotees having differences in their beliefs and comfort in dealing with a particular of form of God. Some are comfortable by seeing God as Father figure, some may feel more comfortable with Mother figure and within those figures also some people may be more comfortable than the other forms. If you read different PurANas, you will find that different PurANas describe different forms of God as the Supreme. Vaishnava PurANas describe Vishnu as the supreme whereas the Shaiva PurANas describe Shiva as the supreme. Still there is something which binds together the whole Hindu Dharma with some great wisdom acting as substratum for all the knowledge in all those scriptures.

    There is no separate being acting as God high up in the sky and yet God incarnates in varying forms ... God is also revealed in pure minds of seekers. Now, God aka the Truth aka the highest Reality cannot be grasped by mind or sense organs as It really is. It is not possible. You can realise God as God It is Only by being one with Him/It. But that state is very difficult to reach and is possible to any person only after many births of seeking God / the Truth in right earnest. Before reaching that state one ascends may stages of spirituality and has varying perceptions of God during the course of his spiritual journey over many lifetimes.

    b) All Astika schools of Hindu Dharma accept Vedas as the highest knowledge revealed to mankind. Vedas are not a compilation of books which were revealed to a certain person at a certain point of time. No. The knowledge contained in Vedas are always there eternally and can be revealed to you, me or anyone once we reach the desired spiritual state of mind. Within Vedas, there are four parts and the last part of the Vedas are called VedAnta i.e. End of Knowledge ... that is the highest level of knowledge and by knowing which there is nothing left to know. There is no difference between the knowledge and the knower at that point. VedAnta tell us :

    i) There is only one God and that cannot be described in words. It is described as "Neti-Neti" or "Not this, Not this" .... i.e. by negation of all mental concepts.
    ii) All forms are His, all organs are His ... the whole world is nothing but Him alone. You too are That. I too am That. The differences seen are due to delusion cast by the power of Nature of God.
    iii) God and its creation are not separate ... they can never be separated. Still, God can be perceived (by individual minds) different from Its creation within relative planes of existence.

    c) Now, whatever I have stated so far on Reality, you must be clear that God cannot be perceived by ordinary minds. However, there is a way out for those who need certain forms to relate to God. Mudgala Upanishad tells us that "God becomes what He is worshipped as". So, the supremacy of one form over the others is dependent on how one sees God. There is no mention of Goloka or Krishna residing there in any of the Vedas and still ISKON are not doing any mistake if they see God as Lord Krishna residing in some state called Goloka. They are right in their own way because God would act as Lord Krishna residing in Goloka for them. But that doesn't mean that Shaivas who see Supreme God in Lord Shiva residing in the Himalayas or the ShAktas seeing Goddess Durga / KAli as the supreme form of God.

    Why so ? Because all these "realities" are relative realities perceived differently on One underlying Reality. You see God as Krishna Only because you want to see Him as Krishna. You see God as Shiva because you want God to see as Shiva ... you see God as Mother Durga / KAli because you want to see her in that form. The underlying Reality, the ultimate Truth is Nirguna Brahman which is without form, without attributes perceived by human minds, infinite and unchanging. It has been called AUM or the Self in VedAnta.

    d) The Reality as It is can be revealed within our minds once our mind is in its purest state. That is Shruti.

    e) Smriti don't reveal the Reality in such naked form because of difficulty to grasp It by ordinary minds. Smritis give you the taste of Truth in diluted form. They tell you how to be righteous, how to ascend the ladders of spirituality etc. And this knowledge has been stated in the form of stories of God, celestial beings, God's incarnations etc. Their prime aim is to show the right path to people and lead them towards God. The forms are secondary. The names of God are secondary. That is not the real aim in itself.

    ****************************
    So, if you want to know the Reality as It is, you must study VedAnta and it is better under some Guru who has Realised God / Self / Brahman. However, if that doesn't suit you at your spiritual stage ... choose any form of God that suits you and accordingly take the smiriti that suits you. Being "Relative Reality" ... ISKCON's belief system is as right as that of the Shaivites. There is no question of any form being superior or inferior unless you want to see the reality as such. How can there be anything superior or inferior when there is but One Reality ??

    There is fundamental difference between concept of God in Abrahimic religions and that in Hindu Dharma. In Abrahimic religions, Truth is revealed through His messenger(s). In Hindu Dharma, God is the Truth, God is the Reality ... and that Reality or God is accepted because It is revealed in the Vedas. Vedas are revealed in purity of mind. There is no "chosen one" here. Anybody's mind is capable of realising the same Truth.

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 19 December 2015 at 10:29 PM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  3. #23

    Re: Purana's

    Thanks for enlightening me in this matter .
    So Vedanta aka Upanishads are the storehouse of real spiritual knowledge that deals with the nature of God and Soul , Right ? Are there any english translations of the Upanishads that are unabridged & at the same time the content is in simple english ?? ... The reason i want it in simple english is because these topics are new to me and in order to grasp it completely , the more simpler the words , the better its going to be for me
    I found a 4 volume set of the Upanishads online , that has been translated by Swami Nikhilananda . It has 1400 pages , but since i haven't read it myself i'm not sure about the content .

    Does the Upanishads speak of the nature of our soul in detail ? Like i heard the soul of living entities (jeev-atma) is different than that of the three bodies in which it actually resides .
    Our three bodies namely the physical body (sthula sharira) , subtle aka astral body (sookshma sharira) & causal body (karana sharira) are all different from that of the soul of the living entity (jeev-atma) . Is this true ?
    Also what kind of bodies do ghosts have ? They surely don't have a physical body . So do they have subtle aka astral body (sookshma sharira) or do they have causal body (karana sharira) ?

    Thanks & Hare Krishna

  4. #24
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    Re: Purana's

    Namaste RD,

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Drag0n View Post
    So Vedanta aka Upanishads are the storehouse of real spiritual knowledge that deals with the nature of God and Soul , Right ? Are there any english translations of the Upanishads that are unabridged & at the same time the content is in simple english ?? ... The reason i want it in simple english is because these topics are new to me and in order to grasp it completely , the more simpler the words , the better its going to be for me
    I found a 4 volume set of the Upanishads online , that has been translated by Swami Nikhilananda . It has 1400 pages , but since i haven't read it myself i'm not sure about the content .
    Upanishads are not easy to understand unless you have some prior exposure to subjects they deal with. You may start with Kathopanishad. Then you may study SvetAsvatar Upanishad. After that you may study MAndukya Upanishad. If you are able to understand these Upanishads, you will have a fair idea of the knowledge imparted by VedAnta. You may study other Upanishads if you have time and interests but in my opinion, these three Upanishads are sufficient.

    Does the Upanishads speak of the nature of our soul in detail ? Like i heard the soul of living entities (jeev-atma) is different than that of the three bodies in which it actually resides .
    Our three bodies namely the physical body (sthula sharira) , subtle aka astral body (sookshma sharira) & causal body (karana sharira) are all different from that of the soul of the living entity (jeev-atma) . Is this true ?
    Upanishads talk about the highest Truth. The three bodies that you describe are covered under 5 Koshas which are described in Taitriya Upanishad. Sthula Sharira is your physical body and you look as you see yourself in a mirror in this life. Sukshma Sharira is the subtle body which is made up of Vital force, observing mind and intellect. This body, in reality, has no form but due to impressions of its gross body in its mind and attachment, Jeeva, the entity perceives itself as such.

    Also what kind of bodies do ghosts have ? They surely don't have a physical body . So do they have subtle aka astral body (sookshma sharira) or do they have causal body (karana sharira) ?
    Jeeva in Sukshma Shariras can live in higher celestial planes or remain bound to earth. Ghosts have subtle bodies and they are bound to earth due to their strong attachment with earthly things / unfulfilled desires and their own Karmas. KArana sharira is the primordial cause behind all Shariras and therefore it is there in all Shariras. However, there is something beyond this Sharira too and that is unconditioned Brahman.

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 20 December 2015 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Typo
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  5. #25
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    Here’s some additional points of consideration to extend/add to what devotee has offered:

    The upaniṣad-s - which one’s to read? Śrī Rāmaḥ gives his recommendation to Hanumān-ji:

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...worth-studying

    Where do the upaniṣad-s fit within the body of scriptures ( śāstra-s) found within sanātana dharma ( some call ārṣa dharma or derived from the rishi’s) , consider this post: http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...ighlight=ocean


    Yet after reading many will say ‘ I don’t get it’ - this is reviewed here:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...ghlight=dharma


    You see, you will find that one’s expansion of awareness which in turn gives the expansion of comprehension also needs
    to be groomed to ‘get’ the knowledge offered. Knowledge is structured in consciousness is the point being made ;
    or said a bit differently consciousness is the foundation of knowledge. It goes hand-in-hand.

    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 December 2015 at 11:33 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #26

    Re: Purana's

    Dear Devotee and Yajvan ,

    Any particular author that you might want to recommend me , when it comes to reading the Upanishads ?
    I know Mr.Yajvan said in another post , that we should read translated works of different authors to churn out the real meaning from sanskrit texts . But for the time being i would like to start by grabbing a version of the Mukhya / Main Upanishads , that's unabridged & has a simple english translation by a decent author . That would suffice me for the time being

    And i would definitely read the Kathopanishad , Mandukya and Svetasvata upanishads as Devotee suggested . But i'm also dying to read the Taitriya Upanishad . Thanks to devotee for suggesting me the Taitriya .
    So does the Taitriya upanishad explain in detail about the 5 koshas , about the 5 types of prana , about the various functions of the subtle body ??

    I was reading a book by Swami Abhedananda (disciple of Swami RamaKrishna of Bengal) where he mentions the qualities and properties of a subtle body . He says that a subtle body has the following -

    * mind , intellect , ego , memory .
    * 5 senses of perception (sight , sound , touch , taste , smell) .
    * 5 organs of action: speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals)
    * 5 types of Prana-Shakti : Prana (respiration), Apana (evacuation of waste from the body), Vyana (blood circulation), Udana (actions like sneezing, crying, vomiting etc), Samana (digestion)


    Swami Abhedananda in his book mentions only this much & didin't explain anything in detail like how does a subtle body performs these actions ... or how these actions performed by the subtle body differs from the actions performed by the physical body .
    I mean , all that a subtle body can do , the physical body can do as well . So where's the difference .
    Does the Upanishads explain this difference in detail ?

    Also the thing that i found most shocking , is that , the subtle body can also evacuate waste products . This task is perfomed by the prana shakti called Apana . Now in my opinion , i don't think a subtle body (after the death of its physical body) would need food to survive and therefore wouldn't produce waste products either .
    Does the Upanishads explain in detail how a subtle body can perform the function of evacuating waste products ?

    Thanks

  7. #27
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    Re: Purana's

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Drag0n View Post
    Dear Devotee and Yajvan ,

    Any particular author that you might want to recommend me , when it comes to reading the Upanishads ?
    I know Mr.Yajvan said in another post , that we should read translated works of different authors to churn out the real meaning from sanskrit texts . But for the time being i would like to start by grabbing a version of the Mukhya / Main Upanishads , that's unabridged & has a simple english translation by a decent author . That would suffice me for the time being

    And i would definitely read the Kathopanishad , Mandukya and Svetasvata upanishads as Devotee suggested . But i'm also dying to read the Taitriya Upanishad . Thanks to devotee for suggesting me the Taitriya .
    So does the Taitriya upanishad explain in detail about the 5 koshas , about the 5 types of prana , about the various functions of the subtle body ??

    I was reading a book by Swami Abhedananda (disciple of Swami RamaKrishna of Bengal) where he mentions the qualities and properties of a subtle body . He says that a subtle body has the following -

    * mind , intellect , ego , memory .
    * 5 senses of perception (sight , sound , touch , taste , smell) .
    * 5 organs of action: speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals)
    * 5 types of Prana-Shakti : Prana (respiration), Apana (evacuation of waste from the body), Vyana (blood circulation), Udana (actions like sneezing, crying, vomiting etc), Samana (digestion)


    Swami Abhedananda in his book mentions only this much & didin't explain anything in detail like how does a subtle body performs these actions ... or how these actions performed by the subtle body differs from the actions performed by the physical body .
    I mean , all that a subtle body can do , the physical body can do as well . So where's the difference .
    Does the Upanishads explain this difference in detail ?

    Also the thing that i found most shocking , is that , the subtle body can also evacuate waste products . This task is perfomed by the prana shakti called Apana . Now in my opinion , i don't think a subtle body (after the death of its physical body) would need food to survive and therefore wouldn't produce waste products either .
    Does the Upanishads explain in detail how a subtle body can perform the function of evacuating waste products ?
    Thanks
    A few items for your consideration....

    I would recommend choosing 1 or 2 upaniṣad-s at a time. The notion here is simple: Avoid boiling the ocean. There is a difference between reading and studying.
    I prefer study ( others may vary). That is, avoid one-size-fits-all book of the
    upaniṣad-s and trying to inhale them all at once.

    I
    would recommend svāmī muni nārāyaṇa prāsad's books. He is clear & insightful ; are there others? Yes no doubt.
    I would start here with this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Isavasya-Mandukya-Upanisads-Translation-Commentary/dp/8124604924/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450728253&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=isavasya+upanishad

    Now that said, I am of the firm belief that to begin the
    upaniṣad-s without the insight to the 6 Indian schools of thought, one will miss the
    forest and spend time with just the trees. Hence my recommendation,
    the 6 systems' author can be found here:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?14305-New-comer-questions .

    ...do as you see fit.

    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si


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

    _

  8. #28

    Re: Purana's

    Thanks Mr.Yajvan . I went to the library and got my hands on one of the Upanishads by Swami Narayana Muni Prasad , and the english is simple and crisp just like you said . Before that , i also went thru volume 1 of Sacred Books Of The East , by Max Muller . Few upanishads are translated in it as well , but the interpretation was really hard for me to decipher . Right now im reading the Bhagavat Geeta by Prabhupada of Iskcon and when i'm done with it , i'll surely get one of the upanishads by Naranaya Muni Prasad
    Last edited by Red_Drag0n; 26 December 2015 at 02:29 AM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Purana's

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Drag0n View Post
    * mind , intellect , ego , memory .
    * 5 senses of perception (sight , sound , touch , taste , smell) .
    * 5 organs of action: speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals)
    * 5 types of Prana-Shakti : Prana (respiration), Apana (evacuation of waste from the body), Vyana (blood circulation), Udana (actions like sneezing, crying, vomiting etc), Samana (digestion)
    I would say only this much here :

    a) Upanishads are interested in higher truths and do not go into details into what bothers you. Read the Upanishads and see yourself.

    b) Do not carry the baggage of body consciousness when trying to understand things of subtle world. I will tell you how it all works :
    Subtle world is like the world of dreams. Everything in dream-world is created by impressions within mind and they appear as real as in gross-world. Aren't you able to see in dreams even when your eyes are fully closed ? Don't you hear conversation that you enter into with fellow characters in dreams when you are fully asleep and no one is speaking there in reality. You are able to see, hear, feel pain, feel joys and sorrows and can do everything including evacuation in dreams.

    The subtle worlds are in many planes. Some are placed higher and some are lower. Here, the position of being higher and lower is actually attachment of being with gross world and his body. The more he is attached to his form and the world, after death, he is likely to reside in more lower planes. As the being ascends higher in spirituality, he is fit for residing in higher planes and in higher planes there is no evacuation of waste matter or feel of pains due to heat, cold, accidents etc. It is full of bliss and happiness. There is nothing working in conflict as in gross world.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  10. #30

    Re: Purana's

    Thanks for the reply Devotee Yeah i know that according to hinduism , the spirits in the 7 higher lokas are free from hunger , thirst , pain , anger & so on . But the ones dwelling in the 7 lower lokas , because of their negetive karmas and/or attachment to the gross world , have all the characteristics of a physical body .
    And yes , as you mentioned , i've also heard that in subtle worlds , the subtle beings can manifest their desires , by the power of thought

    But what i really want to know is , how the subtle bodies (sookshma sharira) functions ?

    I know we shouldn't try to understand the subtle reality by our 5 senses or by logic because its beyond our comprehension to do so . But after i came to know that our vedic scriptures have given some characteristics of the subtle bodies , i thought , there must be more to it in these scriptures like how such subtle bodies actually functions .

    The samana (carries out the function of digestion) .
    The question that comes to my mind is , how does it consumes food in the first place in order to carry out the digestion .

    The Vyana (carries out the function of blood circulation) .
    My question is , can a subtle body like say of a ghost , possibly have blood ? ... or is the blood actually in its subtle form ?

    All these questions are arising in my mind . Does the scriptures speak of them in detail . Thank You & Hare Krishna .

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