Friday, August 20, 2010

Why go round and round, by various tortuous paths

The modern society uses people as instruments whether they are workers or scholars.  Education is in closed compartments.  Just as a mechanic tends his own machine without consideration for his own development, so a scholar contributes his fragment of research totally alien to wisdom or self-knowledge.

 The society is not greater than a man.  An anthill is greater than the single ant that composes it, but man has a divinity in his nature which potentially contains and transcends this whole world; and a society which denies this by treating people as instruments, providing no means for their spiritual development, is eating out its own vitals.

 Traditionally it has always been held that the search for Truth or Knowledge is sacred and requires no motive or justification, that it is a fit end to which to devote one's life.  Only Self-Knowledge gradually illumines or transforms the seeker.  The accumulation of mere factual knowledge is mere accumulation of dross.

There are religionists who rejects modernity altogether.  A more progressive approach should be taken by the new generation, which has to rebel against the imposing of inherited conditioning in the name of religion, god without verifying their validity.  One has find freedom from all out-dated orthodox traditions, which are imposed on in the name religion and society.   Therefore, there is a need to understand the fact that, even ancestors had accepted the changes time to time and brought new reforms and way of life.   There is a need to realize the religion is built on the false foundation is meant to bring order in the society with its code of conduct. But most of these codes of conducts are out-dated and not suited for the modern generation.  Therefore there is a need to know the ultimate truth, which only can be called as god.    

Ultimate truth has no connection with end-gaining, belief, path or process. It cannot be taught but is continuously shared, discussed, grasped, assimilated and realized. Because it is universal inheritance, no-one can lay claim to it. It needs not to be argued, proven or embellished, for it stands alone simply as it is, and can only remain unrecognized and rejected, or realized and lived.”

The religious orthodox wants to wage against modernity: secularism, science, reproductive rights, and the Enlightenment generally. The orthodox mass, argue that any and all problems with the world can be attributed to the groups and ideas which they most dislike. One of the worst aspects of this attitude is how some religion latch on to any tragedy to promote their theocratic vision. Every religion argues that only their religion and their god can cure whatever ails this world.

History speaks that   man has made it challenging and difficult to understand why he has experienced and witnessed such an array of human behavior  With constant introspection and the continued judgement of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust it has been a constant challenge to find and understand the truth behind his physical existence. This subject is super sensitive, yet if one is to continue on his pursuit of truth then there is a need for perfect understanding and assimilation. There is need to stop this wars and violence ,which is going on in the name of religion and god, by knowing and understanding and realizing  the universal  truth ,which is holding the whole universe in which the humanity exists.   The universal truth alone is god all else is mere mirage.

In Vedas the God has been described as:-
v  Sakshi (Witness)

v  Chetan (conscious)

v  Nirguna (Without form and properties)
v  Nitya (eternal)

v  Shuddha (pure)

v  Buddha (omniscient)

v  Mukta (unattached).

So, it clearly indicates that god is formless thus there is no scope for form based god. The religion and its conceptual gods, and its theories of karma, haven, hell, papa, punya. rebirth, reincarnation are based on the false self, within the false experience. Therefore, they are meant for lower mind-sets, they are of no use for those who are seeking higher truth as indicated in the scriptures.   

  There are many schools of thought in Hinduism based on Vedas. These schools of thoughts are add-ons. Therefore, these add-ons have to be bifurcated from original Vedic Religion, to get the pure Vedic essence. 

Sri, Sankara said: The world is unreal and Brahman alone is real.  It means the birth, life and death, which happens within the world, also is unreal.  If birth, life and death are unreal, then the rebirth and reincarnation and Avataric concept has to be unreal. Thus, it is for the seeker to find out, on what standpoint the world becomes unreal, to know the Brahman, which is ultimate truth.

Causality taught in the Upanishads is only to enable us to understand the supreme truth of no-origination. The world is not different from the self and the self is not different from Atman and Atman is not different from Brahman. That the non-dual absolute appears as the diverse world is only an illusion. If it really became diverse then the immortal would become mortal.
 The dualists who seek to prove the origination of the unborn, by that very enterprise try to make the immortal, mortal. Ultimate nature can never change - the immortal can never become mortal and vice versa.

Gaudapada quotes from the Upanishads: "There's no plurality here"; "The Soul through its powers appears to be many"; "those who are attached to creation or production or origination go to utter darkness"; "the unborn is never reborn, for what can produce it?

No conceptual God can exist, apart from consciousness

People are not aware of the fact that, there is no individual God can exist, apart from consciousness, which is in the form of consciousness. Thus the consciousness is the consciousness.  Consciousness is the true self.   If there is no consciousness, then there is no body, no ego, no universe, no religion and no conceptual god.

People think that there must be a creator of this universe. If one thinks physical entity or ego  as self, then there is a creator, but if one thinks the consciousness or consciousness  as the Self, then there is nothing exists other than the consciousness, which is the true self.

If one objectifies and sees a universe, then he is bound to see many things beside himself and postulate a God, the creator. Body, God and world rise and set together from, and into, the Self( soul or consciousness) . If God is apart from the Self ( soul or consciousness), then He would be Self-less, that is, outside existence, that is, non-existent.

Mahaayaanists who say: Buddha due to his excellent skill preached the truth in different ways depending on the aptitude of his disciples.

Gaudapada says that: the merciful Veda teaches karma and upaasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.

So they clearly indicate rituals and theories are not meant for those who are searching for the higher knowledge or wisdom.  

Ish Upanishads :-

Vidya and Avidya both are hindrances to Self-knowledge, but Vidya is even worse than Avidya. The word Vidya is used here in a special sense; here it means worshipping gods and goddesses. By worshipping gods and goddesses you will go after death to the world of gods and goddesses. But will that help you? The time you spend there is wasted, because if you were not there you could have spent that time moving forward towards Self-knowledge, which is your goal. In the world of gods and goddesses you cannot do that, and thus you go deeper and deeper into darkness.

Avidya is Karma and therefore a hindrance. You perform Avidya - i.e., you perform Agnihotra and other sacrifices. This is a roundabout way of purifying the mind, and it is also groping in the dark. But it may not have as heavy a toll on your time and energy as the other.

Ishopanishad "They are steeped in ignorance and sunk into the greatest depth of misery who worships the matter, instead of the All-Pervading God and those who worship things born of matter like trees, animals, man, etc. are sunk deeper in misery."

Katha Upanishad says:- Fools dwelling in darkness, but thinking themselves wise and erudite, go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind. [Ch II-5 P-14-Upanishads Nikhilananda]

It indicates that the one who is ignorant (darkness) of the true self (Atman) searches truth by accumulating knowledge of every path and practice and uncertain about the truth, and thinks every path leads towards reality. The ignorance of the true self leads one towards unreality or hallucination.

Bhad upanishd: - This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, because It is innermost. If one holding the Self dear were to say to a person who speaks of anything other than the Self as dear, that he, the latter, will lose what he holds dear—and the former is certainly competent to do so—it will indeed come true. One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. He who meditates upon the Self alone as dear—what he holds dear will not perish. [Bhad  upanishd -8-p- -211]

It is the first instance of monism in organized religion. Vedic religion remains the only religion with this concept. To call this concept 'God' would be imprecise.

The closest interpretation of the term can be found in the Taittariya Upanishad (II.1):- where Brahman is described in the following manner: Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman - "Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge and infinity". Thus, Brahman is the origin and end of all things, material or otherwise. Brahman is the root source and Divine Ground of everything that exists, and does not exist. It is defined as unknowable and Satchidananda (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss).

Since it is eternal and infinite, it comprises the only truth. The goal of Vedic religion  through the various yogas, is to realize that the consciousness (Atman) is actually nothing but Brahman.

 The Vedic pantheon of gods is said, in the Vedas and Upanishads, to be only higher manifestations of Brahman. For this reason, "ekam sat" (all is one), and all is Brahman.

Several mahā-vākyas, or great sayings, indicate what the principle of Brahman is:
prajnānam brahma[1]
            "Brahman is knowledge"
ayam ātmā brahma[2]
            "The Self (or the Conciousness) is Brahman "
aham brahmāsmi[3]
            "I am Brahman"
tat tvam asi[4]
            "You are that"
sarvam khalv idam brahma[5]
            "All this that we see in the world is Brahman",
sachchidānanda brahma[6][7]
            "Brahman is existence, consciousness, and bliss".

Why go round and round, by various tortuous paths

When the Vedas and Upanishad declare that Consciousness or Atman is actually nothing but Brahman, then why go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind. One has to realize the fact that, the mind is in form of universe.  Trace the source of mind and realize that source is consciousness. The mind rises from consciousness as waking or dream and subsides as deep sleep.  

In Mandukya Upanishad Brahman and Atman are defined as same:
सर्वं ह्येतद् ब्रह्मायमात्मा ब्रह्म सोयमात्मा चतुष्पात् / sarvam hyetad brahmaayamaatmaa brahm soyamaatmaa chatushpaat 
Mandukya Upanishad, verse-2


sarvam(सर्वम्)- Whole/All/Everything; hi(हि)- Really/Just/Surely/Indeed; etad(एतद्)- This here/This; brahm(ब्रह्म)- Brahm/Brahman; ayam(अयम्)- This/Here; aatmaa(आत्मा)- Atma/Atman; sah(सः)- He; ayam(अयम्)- This/Here; chatus(चतुस्)- Four/Quadruple; paat(पात्)- Step/Foot/Quarter
Fragmented Verse:
सर्वम् हि एतद् ब्रह्म अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म सः अयम् आत्मा चतुस पात् / sarvam hi etad brahm ayama aatmaa brahm sah ayam aatmaa chatus paat

Simple Meaning:-

All indeed is this Brahman; This Atman is Brahman; He, this Atman has four steps/quarters.
While Brahman lies behind the sum total of the objective universe, some human minds boggle at any attempt to explain it with only the tools provided by reason. Brahman is beyond the senses, beyond the mind, beyond intelligence, beyond imagination. Indeed, the highest idea is that Brahman is beyond both existence and non-existence, transcending and including time, causation and space, and thus can never be known in the same material sense as one traditionally 'understands' a given concept or object.

Imagine a person who is blind from birth and has not seen anything. Is it possible for us to explain to him the meaning of the colour red. Is any amount of thinking or reasoning on his part ever going to make him understand the sensation of the colour red? In a similar fashion the idea of Brahman cannot be explained or understood through material reasoning or any form of human communication. Brahman is like the colour red; those who can sense it cannot explain or argue with those who have never sensed it.

 Bhagavad Gita 14.27:-  Brahman is considered the all-pervading consciousness which is the basis of all the animate and inanimate entities and material. (brahmano hi pratisthaham)

In Advaita Vedanta: - Brahman is without attributes and strictly impersonal. It can be best described as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness and infinite Bliss. It is pure knowledge itself, similar to a source of infinite radiance. Since the Advaitins regard Brahman to be the Ultimate Truth, so in comparison to Brahman, every other thing, including the material world, its distinctness, the individuality of the living creatures and even Ishvara (the Supreme Lord) itself are all untrue. Brahman is the effulgent cause of everything that exists and can possibly exist. Since it is beyond human comprehension, it is without any attributes, for assigning attributes to it would be distorting the true nature of Brahman. Advaitins believe in the existence of both Saguna Brahman and Nirguna Brahman; however they consider Nirguna Brahman to be the absolute supreme truth.

Chandogya Upanishad:- One who meditates upon and realizes the self discovers that everything in the cosmos-- energy and space, fire and water, name and form, birth and death, mind and will, word and deed, mantram and meditation--all come from the Self.

So, it clearly says the one who meditate upon the self (consciousness) discovers that everything in the cosmos-- energy and space, fire and water, name and form, birth and death, mind and will, word and deed, mantram and meditation--all come from the Self. Therefore , there is a need to know the fact that ,the true self is not physical but the soul in order to realize the fact that :  the cosmos-- energy and space, fire and water, name and form, birth and death, mind and will, word and deed, mantram and meditation--all come from the Self, which is in the form of consciousness.

Ataman is Brahman. Brahman (soul or consciousness  the Absolute is alone real; this waking is unreal; and the three states are non-different from Brahman(consciousness).

Whatever is, is Brahman(consciousness) . Brahman(consciousness) it itself is absolutely homogeneous. All difference and plurality are illusory."  Brahman (soul)is not a person, as the Absolute is not this. But if one wants to call it God or Paramataman, then fine. But it is not a person. Personifying it can make it easier to understand.

To realize the ultimate truth is the prime goal. 

All the scriptures indicate that Atman is Brahman, and Brahman is ultimate truth. Therefore the consciousness, which is in the form of consciousness, is ultimate truth.  Thus to realize the ultimate truth is the prime goal.   A well-directed inquiry, analysis and reasoning will lead one to his non-dual destination.

Studying of scriptures is not necessary

The Upanishads clearly indicate:-

This Atman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Atman reveals Its own form. [Katha Upanishad Ch-II -23-P-20]

This Atman cannot be attained through study of the Vedas, nor through intelligence, nor through much learning. He who chooses Atman by him alone is Atman attained. It is Atman that reveals to the seeker Its true nature. [3 –page-70 Mundaka Upanishad (Upanishads by Nikilanada)

Raman Mahrshi explains [in page 111/112- practical guide to know yourself]:-

Q: D: Is it not necessary to study the Vedas or at least Prastnatraya[Bagvad gita.Dasoponishad and Brahma Sutra all with commentaries] to ensure firm realization?

A: Bhagwan: - No. Do you need all that to see yourself? All that is intellectual wealth, useful in explain doubts and difficulties if others rise them if you yourself encounter them in course of thinking. But to attain realization, all that is not necessary. You want fresh water to drink, but you do not require all the water of the river Ganges to quench your quest.
Ramana Maharishi said fortunate are the one who do not lose themselves in the labyrinths of philosophy. Bhagwan says: Take Vedanta, for instance: it speaks of 15 pranas the names and functions of it   which the student is asked to commit memory. Will it not be sufficient if he thought only one prana does the whole work of maintaining the body? Again the antakaran is said to think, to desire, to will, to reason etc. Why all these details? Has anyone seen antakarana, or all these pranas? Do they really exist? They are conceptual divisions invented by teachers of philosophy by their excessive analysis. Where do all these concepts end? Why should confusion created and then explained away? Fortunate is the man who does not lose himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, but goes straight to the source from which they all arise. (GURU RAMANA .By S.S Cohen -vii Danger of philosophy-Page -58-59)

The above passages further prove that: Self-Knowledge cannot be attained by study of the Vedas and intellectual understanding or by bookish knowledge.  Therefore there is no use of studying the Vedas and other scriptures in order to acquire the non-dual wisdom.  That is why Buddha rejected the scriptures, and even Sri, Sankara indicated that, the ultimate truth lies beyond religion, concept of god and scriptures. 

Upanishads :- They alone in this world are endowed with the highest wisdom who are firm in their conviction of the sameness and birthlessness of Atman  The ordinary man does not understand their way. [Chapter IV — Alatasanti Prakarana 95-P-188 in Upanishads by Nikilanada]

Therefore, there is no use of taking strain to understand assimilate the conceptual divisions invented by teachers of philosophy by their excessive analysis. There are more and more doubts and confusions, if one tries to understand and assimilate the ultimate truth through scriptures.

Why to follow the path of doubts and confusion by losing oneself in the labyrinths of philosophy, when one can realize the ultimate truth without them.  By mentally tracing the source of the mind from where it rises and subsides one becomes aware of the fallacy of the mind, which rises as waking or dream and subsides as deep sleep.  The mind raises form consciousness and subsides as consciousness.  Therefore, there is a need for perfect understanding assimilation of non-dual truth. 

There is no need to renounce the worldly life to get Self-Realization. Any householder can attain it if has the inner urge.

ASHTAVAKRA SAMHITA: - "The man of knowledge, though living like an ordinary man, is contrary to him and only those like him understand his state.