Part 11 of the serialization of the presentation (compiled by R. B. Athreya from the lectures given by Swami Paramarthananda) of upadesha sAhasrI. This is the prakaraNa grantha which is agreed by most experts to have been written by Shankara himself and is an elaborate unfoldment of the essence of Advaita.
Part 13 of the New Book Serialization!
Vasishta tells the dreamer a story about a woman who rediscovers a lost child but requires proof, illustrating the demands of our intellect for proof regarding the truth.
I have just come across a site that I had not previously encountered, which holds the archives for all of the past 31 volumes of the Indian Philosopical Quarterly. Unfortunately, you can only select by volume initially, but you are then presented with an index of the articles and selecting one displays a PDF version, which can be read on-line or downloaded.
There is obviously a wide variety of topics, (I came across it while researching for my next book on the Mandukya Upanishad and Gaudapada kArikA-s). and the style is predominantly academic. But there is interesting material to be found! How about one which claims that the Self is located in the embryo part of the brain?! (Volume 18, No. 4 – ‘Inner Self Located’) (Note that J. A. I. Bewaji, in Volume 20, No. 3 says: “This conclusion is simply ridiculous”.)
Q: While I’m drawn to the apparent peace that sages such as Ramana Maharshi seemed to enjoy, I feel I’m failing to grasp something.
Advaita seems, sometimes, to be totally nihilistic and bleak (although I accept that this would not constitute an argument against its veracity).
It’s all very well to say that the ‘self’ can’t die but this seems (from my perhaps benighted viewpoint) to be playing with semantics.
If, with ‘my’ death, comes only oblivion such as in deepest sleep /anaesthesia, where is the comfort or meaning in this knowledge? The end of my small ‘I’ would seem to be, in effect, the end of everything since, without my consciousness to perceive it, how can anything be said to exist?
Does one take comfort from the fact that other apparent ‘I’s continue to experience within the one reality? It may be that my existence is only apparent and that, whether it is followed by oblivion is irrelevant – but it doesn’t feel like that from where I’m sitting! Continue reading
Part 10 of the serialization of the presentation (compiled by R. B. Athreya from the lectures given by Swami Paramarthananda) of upadesha sAhasrI. This is the prakaraNa grantha which is agreed by most experts to have been written by Shankara himself and is an elaborate unfoldment of the essence of Advaita.
Here is Part 5 – the concluding part – of a new, short series on the Mandukya Upanishad, from James Swartz. This post addresses the nature of turIya and contains a verse translation of the Upanishad.
Q : The second line in the first Shloka of Ishopanishad begins with ” Tena tyaktena Bhunjeeta”. The literal meaning appears to be ” therefore, enjoy with a sense of tyaga or renunciation (as everything created in this world is permeated by Ishwara) but Adi Shankaracharya has interpreted these words to mean ” protect ourselves”. Is there a satisfactory explanation for this interpretation?
Also, the second word of first verse of Ishopanishad: is it vasam (is full) or vasyam (should be considered full). Shankara says vasyam. Vasam appears more logical to me.
A (Ramesam): In order to fully appreciate and admire the beauty and profundity hidden behind the simplicity of a cryptic statement, one ought to know the background and the context against which that expression gets developed. It is as much true when we talk of an equation such as E = mc^2 or a routine proverb like ‘Still waters run deep.’ Continue reading
Part 12 of the New Book Serialization!
The Dreamer asks Vasishtha about the usefulness of mind control and samAdhi and the value of yoga siddhi-s.
Q: Is there a difference in the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj?
A (Dennis): This is too general a question, really. The short answer is that the bottom-line message of any teacher of Advaita must be the same, obviously. But the methodology depends upon the teacher lineage. Nisargadatta did have a lineage, although his own style developed somewhat! And Ramana did not have a lineage at all. The absence of a lineage means that what is said lacks rigor and is subject to differing interpretations etc. This is why the recommendation is always to try to find a qualified, traditional teacher.
Q: I do realize that my question was too general and could not be dealt with in a short answer. What I had in my mind was with regard to their approaches to meditation/ self enquiry or the “path” recommended by them. In self enquiry Ramana stated that while enquiring into “who am I?” the I that is enquired into is the individual or the ego and not the Self. According to him, focusing on the ego or I would make one realize that it is a phantom and thus lead one to the Self. Nisargadatta, on the other hand, seems to suggest that one should focus directly on I am, which is the same as the Self. In this sense, I thought there was some difference in their teaching. Continue reading
Details of a new book by Fred Davis (Awakening Clarity website)
This book has arisen from Direct Pointing sessions that I’ve had with clients around the world. These deceptively simple inquiries and dialogues work. Men and women who have studied Nonduality for decades, both in and out of structured traditions, without experiencing even the first authentic glimpse of themselves have come to recognize their true nature during these talks. Some of them have been glimpses, and others remain ongoing. Still others, who were confounded by oscillation when we began to talk, have moved from there into stable Nondual awareness. And of course there are a few people who’ve reported no change at all; such is the way of it. Continue reading