Q. 542 ‘Doership’ and Osho

A: Osho is not a reliable source of teaching according to Advaita. I have read a few of his books and was most impressed by his breadth of knowledge. But his sources are many and he does not always differentiate. There are several non-dual teachings and any may take you to the final understanding. But my own knowledge is now strictly oriented towards traditional Advaita (Gaudapada-Ṥaṅkara-Sureshvara).

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Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt18

Part 17

6 Moksha
6-1 Preparation
6-2 Jnana, Jnani, and Jnana-Phala

6-2-3 Six definitions 8(1 to 4) The last two verses, 29 and 30 of the 7th chapter have introduced some terms without explaining them. 8th chapter begins with Arjuna’s question to know these terms, namely, Brahm, Adhyatam, Karma, Adhibhutam, Adhidaivam, and Adhiyagna. Brahm is the supreme imperishable entity. It is a pithy answer because, in the 7th chapter, Para- prakriti has been explained in detail as the imperishable entity, namely, consciousness. It pervades the creation. As such, it is within the body also. The embodied consciousness is Adhytama. Brahm is consciousness from a macro angle, Adhyatma is the same consciousness from a micro angle.

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Advaita in the Vedas – Rig Veda 10.129.4

Alongside Purusha Sukta (10.90), the Nasadiya Sukta (10.129) is one of the most famous Suktas of the Vedas. Known as the Creation Hymn, its fourth mantra says,

In the beginning, there was the disturbance of desire, from which sprung the first seed, which was born of the mind. Sages, searching in their hearts, realised the wisdom of the connection between existence and non-existence.

The creation the Nasadiya Sukta discusses is often believed to be the origin of the universe. However, 10.129.4 does not refer to any ordinary creation but, rather, the illusion of duality. This is attributed to desire in the mind – the first ‘seed’ of ignorance which gives the impression that we are separate. Before this disturbance, there was nothing to realise and no one to know because there was no appearance which was taken to be real as separate from the Self or Brahman. Continue reading

What is ‘brahman’ like?

We all know that ‘brahman‘ being ‘avAngmanasagocara‘ (अवाङ्ग्मनसगोचर – 1, vedAntasAra), is ‘beyond the reach of words and thought.’ It is NOT available for perceptual knowledge either through the five senses or the mind within this time-space-causational world we live in and interact with. Hence, there is no way to show brahman, “It is like this” by pointing with a finger.

The kena Upanishad admits this fact openly; it says, “We don’t know how to teach It.” – (1.3).

The mANDUkya Upanishad speaks about It in apophatic terms for a little while, but hastens to declare that “It is inexpressible” and even adds, “It is unthinkable” – (mantra 7) !

However, the brihadAraNyaka sticks its neck out and gives not one or two, but three illustrations to show how brahman is like.

Advaita in the Vedas – Rig Veda 10.90.2

Alongside Rig Veda 1.164.46, 10.90.2, part of the famous Purusha Sukta, is one of the most succinct declarations of Advaita in the Vedas. It goes further than 1.164.46, as it gives a name to ‘what is one’ – Purusha (the Self). It says,

It is the Self who is all this – whatever has been and whatever is to be.

We could easily mistake this for a mantra from the Upanishads or another Advaita text, as it is perfectly in-line with their teachings. For this reason, it is unsurprising that it later appears in the Upanishads, in Shvetashvatara 3.15. Continue reading

Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt17

Part 16

6 Moksha
6-1 Preparation
6-2 Jnana, Jnani, and Jnana-Phala

6-2-1 Atma 2(17 to 25, 29,30) 3(27,42)
A human being is a mixture of inert matter and consciousness. Consciousness is very subtle. Sense organs are superior to the gross body, the mind is superior to the organs, and intellect is superior to the mind. However, consciousness is innermost and the subtlest as compared to all the objects of perception ending with the intellect and is its witness. Consciousness provides sentiency to the mind and body which are otherwise inert and incapable of any function. Self is consciousness and is the true nature of a jiva. It is the real ‘I’.

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Gems From 1.4.7, BUB

“He who meditates upon each of the totality of aspects of the Self does not know. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for all these are unified in It. Of all these, this Self alone should be realized “– 1.4.7, BU

Shankara has written one of his longest of commentaries on the mantra at 1.4.7, brihadAraNyaka Upanishad. He presents therein a very lucid, comprehensive and highly instructive account of the entire spectrum of Advaita teaching — right from the origination of the manifest manifold to its sublation and attainment of liberation. I feel that it is a “must-study” for all earnest seekers. I recapitulate below a few of the Gems that I could glean from his bhAshya.

1.  All Vedic means consist of meditation and rites are co-extensive with this manifested, relative universe. They depend on several factors such as the agent. They culminate in identity with Hiranyagarbha. It’s a result achieved through effort. Continue reading

Who “Listens” to the Vedanta vAkya – ‘tattvamasi’?

[Background: This Post is a sequel to the Discussions at Q: 541 with regard to “Who or what is that which listens to the mahA vAkya ‘tattvamasi’ and Who really gets “It”?” My reply to that question, based on 18.114, upadesha sAhashrI of Shankara,  was that “It is the Inner Self Itself which “listens” to the Non-dual message.” Dennis and Venkat made some significant observations on this issue and I found myself inadequate to answer their points.

So, I took the liberty to refer the matter to three highly knowledgeable and well-read Vedantins who are also proficient in Sanskrit. They had been extremely kind to readily spare their time amidst their own preoccupations and to  share their views on this profound subject. Their in-depth analysis and exposition backed by authentic citations is too valuable and important to stay tucked in my files and deserve wider dissemination. Hence, I present below, as an expression of my gratitude, their Comments which will undoubtedly be beneficial to many seekers.]

Smt. Manjushree Hegde Ji (India):

You’ve chosen the toughest chapter of the toughest text! Continue reading

Advaita in the Vedas – Rig Veda 1.164.20

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In exploring Advaita, we may have heard of the metaphor of the two birds,

Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating. [1]

The two birds are the jiva (the one which eats) and paramatman (the one which looks on without eating). The jiva is bound, attached to karma and its fruits, whereas the paramatman is free from karma. Identified as the jiva, the ‘enjoyer’, we ‘taste’ the fruits of action (pleasure and pain). Identified with the paramatman, we do not experience the duality of pleasure and pain as there is no attachment to them.

The two birds highlight the contrasting ways of conducting action – with or without attachment. In the jiva, we act to attain certain fruits (desirable outcomes) of our actions. Whereas, in the paramatman, we act without any desire or discrimination between success and failure or pleasure and pain. The paramatman is the Advaitin witness, whilst the jiva is still caught up in the dualistic experience of self (subject) and ‘other’ (object).

What we may not know is that the ‘two birds’ metaphor originates from Rig Veda (1.164.20). Continue reading

“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