Bhagavad Gita( Topic-wise)Pt15

Part 14

6 Moksha 6-1 Preparation 6-1-2 Preparatory Action 6-1-2-13 Devotee of Cosmic-form 11(53 to 55), 10 (8 to 11)
6-1-2-13-1: 11(53 to 55) In chapter 11, Sri Krishna has shown His cosmic form to Arjuna for which he was temporarily given supernatural (wisdom) eyes by Sri Krishna. It means that ordinary eyes cannot appreciate the cosmic form of God. Rituals, austerities, and sacrifices themselves cannot earn the capacity to appreciate the cosmic form. Eyes of wisdom are required which can be acquired by sustained sadhana. Sri Krishna glorifies such sadhanas by belittling rituals, austerities, and sacrifices. It is a scriptural method to glorify a thing. It does not mean that belittled things are unimportant. They are important in their own rights. It is contextual. Bhakti is glorified as a sadhana of rejoicing cosmic form of God. Undivided devotion and a fervent desire to know God. Desire in a pure mind bereft of six enemies. With the sharpening of knowledge, a seeker merges with God. There is no separation between the devotee and the God. God is not a means, not an end. God is accomplished (Siddha) The removal of separation is the merger. It is a cognitive transformation with no physical change.

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“sadyomukti” (Instant Liberation) – 2/3

Part – 1

2.  ‘sadyomukti‘ in Shankara bhAShya:

Shankara tells us at over a score of places in his bhAShya-s that brahman by Its very intrinsic nature is:

नित्यशुद्धबुद्धमुक्तस्वभाव:  |  — Shankara in his commentaries at BSB; BGB; BUB; muNDaka B; mANDUkya B; &c.

Meaning: By nature eternal, pure, intelligent and free.

What we are in essence being non-different from brahman, we are also ever “free.” But, unfortunately, lacking a sense of ‘discrimination,’ as Shankara explains in his Intro (called ‘adhyAsa bhAShya’) to the Vedanta sUtra-s, we mix up what is “Real” with the “unreal.” As a result, we feel we are “bound and limited.” In addition, we take it for granted that we are, by birth, bound within a beginningless and apparently endless nescience. However, having received instruction from a compassionate teacher (vide 6.14.2, chAn.U,), and working diligently with discrimination, we shed our imaginary shackles and figuratively attain our natural freedom. Continue reading

Advaita in the Vedas – Rig Veda 1.164.46

This post marks the beginning of a series called ‘Advaita in the Vedas’, where different Vedic mantras are explored for their similarities with the Upanishads’ to highlight how they share the same truth of Advaita.

We start with Rig Veda 1.164.46. Its famous saying, “The wise speak of what is one in many ways”, perfectly encapsulates Advaita. In the mantra, it is explained that the various devas – including Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Agni – are some of the “many ways” spoken of. By understanding the devas as the different names for “what is one”, it cuts through any need to distinguish between them.

When we take the devas as being separate from one another, it may be confusing when we find instances in the Vedas where they overlap. For example, Agni being credited with Indra’s achievements of slaying Vritra and releasing the waters or attributed with Surya’s characteristic of being the light which shines down on all the worlds. The mantra reminds us that these three devas are not separate, but the diverse expressions of what is one which is at the heart of Advaita.

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‘adhyAropa’ to ‘adhiSThAna’ – 4/4

Part – 3

What happens by the ascertainment of the implied meaning of the words in the sentence “You are That”?

Just as the idea of a snake is negated from a rope (in the snake-rope analogy), everything of the nature of non-Self is negated from the eternally existing Self implied by the word “I.” In other words, ‘ignorance’ vanishes (immediately on the attainment of right Knowledge) – 18.4-5, US.

In addition, the (false) conception of the pain with regard to the Self vanishes forever when the right Knowledge of the Self arises like all kinds of pain which is experienced in a dream comes to an end as soon as one wakes up.

What action should I take to augment my “understanding” and attain brahman?

Shankara tells us,

चतुर्विधमेव हि सर्वं कर्म कार्यम् — उत्पाद्यमाप्यं विकार्यं संस्कार्यं वा ।  – 1.2.12, muNDaka B.

Meaning: All the effects of actions are of four kinds: Production; Acquisition; Modification; and, Purification. Continue reading

Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt 14

Part 13

Part 15

6 Moksha
Preparation 6-1
Preparatory Action 6-1-2
6-1-2-11 Dharma and Harmony 3(10 to 16)

Karma yoga is proper action with the proper attitude. Sri Krishna presents another facet of karma yoga. A human being is a product and part of nature. If any harm is caused to the whole, the part is also affected. A human being should live in harmony with nature. It is included in the proper attitude of karma yoga. Creation is not an accident. It follows cosmic rules. This cosmic rule may be viewed as a sacrifice or yajna of the creator. The human beings are born of the sacrifices.

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Q.540 Following Bhakti Yoga

A: There are two main points here.

First, since you are asking a question about Advaita, you must appreciate that, in reality there is only Brahman, or Consciousness. From the empirical standpoint, of course, you see a dualistic world with other people etc. and, from this point of view, it is not unreasonable to speak of a god, or gods. But anything to do with this empirical point of view has to be provisional only. It all has to be acknowledged as simply name and form of that non-dual reality eventually. That ‘acknowledgement’, and the firm belief that it is true, is what we call ‘enlightenment’.

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I am the Light

A (Matin): Realization of witness consciousness is not brought about by anything or ‘anybody’. Consciousness does not perform any function, and there is nothing beyond or other than it. Finally, however, only intuition can nudge one towards it.

I am the Witness-Self; I am the basis of all experience; I am the light that that makes experience possible. – Yoga Vasishta.

YAQ (Yet Another Question) About Brahman and Experience

Greetings fellow seekers! 🙂

1. The argument goes: Brahman cannot be experienced because it is not an object. But is there perhaps another form of experience that needs no object? In Buddhism, for example, you can be aware of something (object), and you can also simply be aware (open awareness, no object).

2. Is the statement “You cannot experience Brahman, but everything you experience is Brahman” valid?

Thank you for your help. 🙂


Lewis introductory post

Hello, everyone! I am honoured to join Advaita Vision. As a new writer, it is only right that I introduce myself. My name’s Lewis and I live in the UK. I first came across Advaita in my first year at university for a presentation on the ‘Hindu views on consciousness’. We could use the Upanishads or Bhagavad Gita and I chose the Upanishads. What was apparent was that consciousness was not taught as how I had been. I found it difficult to reconcile the four states of waking, dreaming, deep sleep and Turiya with my understanding because they seemed so different. 

I was determined to make sense of what I had read and returned to the Upanishads for an essay examining ‘how Hinduism informs our modern understanding of the psychological self.’ I understood the Self to be one’s true nature and Brahman to be an underlying reality which is in and manifests everything, but I couldn’t see how the Upanishads pointed to either or that they are ultimately the same. 

I left the Upanishads alone for another four years, when I suddenly had a breakthrough. I was watching a video by Swami Tadatmananda on Advaita and he quoted Gaudapada’s declaration that, 

The world never really emerged, nor will it undergo dissolution.

There’s really no one who’s bound, no one seeking enlightenment, and no one who becomes enlightened.

This is the highest truth. 

He explained that nothing in the world truly exists as it’s merely a form of Brahman and that this was what Gaudapada was referring to. It finally clicked. With renewed vigour, picked the Upanishads up again and began applying what I had learned. 

During this period I graduated university and I started a Master’s course in the ‘Traditions of Yoga and Meditation’. I chose essay questions to challenge myself to see how well I understood the teachings of different texts. I was filling in gaps and familiarising myself with the key scriptures, but there was something else which kept cropping up I hadn’t yet looked into – the Vedas. 

When one of my coursemates introduced me to the work of Sri Aurobindo, I began exploring the different Vedic devas and their roles for myself. This was towards the end of my course, alongside working on my dissertation. It was during this period I had my first insight into the Vedas. When I looked for what they said about the senses, I found nothing. It was clear that the Upanishads were much more direct and transparent in which subjects they were dealing with. In comparison, the Vedas’ language seemed cryptic. If they were to make sense, I would have to go deeper. 

This is where the Upanishads come in again. In Katha 3.3, it is declared that the horses are the senses and the chariot is the body. Similarly, Shvetashvatara 2.9 states that the mind should be restrained just like untamed horses are yoked to a chariot. I realised that they were telling us what horses and chariots symbolised in the Vedas! With a new perspective on the Upanishads as the culmination of Vedic thought, I had a foothold in understanding and I have since delved deeper into the symbolism.     

Writing topics

All of this leads into which topics you can expect to see from me. My next post will be the start of a series called, ‘Advaita in the Vedas’, where I look at different mantras and highlight their similar (and, in some cases, identical) language to the Upanishads to show how they share the same truth. Aside from this, I plan on focusing on underexplored passages in the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita and unpack how they contain the essence of Advaita. I also had the idea of examining references to the Vedas and their devas in both texts and contextualising how they point to Advaita.

There is nothing I would rather be doing than devoting my time to sharing the wisdom of Advaita as it has been my passion for many years, just as writing has. I have plenty to work with so I am looking forward to getting stuck in and thrilled to be on board! 

‘adhyAropa’ to ‘adhiSThAna’ – 3/4

Part – 2

It is said that brahman Itself gets deluded by Its own magic. Does it not then imply that there is really creation and a (created) world out there?

Shankara is never tired of pointing out that there is actually no creation at all and the purpose of all the scriptures, when they talk of creation, is NOT to establish creation as a fact. For example:

1. न चेयं परमार्थविषया सृष्टिश्रुतिः ; अविद्याकल्पितनामरूपव्यवहारगोचरत्वात् , ब्रह्मात्मभावप्रतिपादनपरत्वाच्च — इत्येतदपि नैव विस्मर्तव्यम् — 2.1.33, BSB.

Meaning: “The Vedic statement of creation does not relate to any reality, for it must not be forgotten that such a text is valid within the range of activities concerned with name and form called up by ignorance, and it is meant for propounding the fact that everything has brahman as its Self.” Continue reading