Saturday, September 12, 2009

Advaita - not Dvaita - the message of Vedanta.



First of all you do not need any pramana to establish dvaita.
Dvaita is pratyaksha. You open your eyes in the morning and what you see is the glorious sunrise.

And of course we bow our heads in awe at the grandeur of the Lord and say "tat savitur varenyam"
No philosphy or doctrine is needed to bring attention to this vibhuti of the Lord.

The Vedas are also not needed in appreciating this - at best the Vedas may provide us with some instructional tools in the form of rites and rituals so as to appease the Surya devata.

But... perchance a rare individual "parrekshya lokan karma chitan nirvedamayatastiakr uthkruthena tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet" approaches a Guru after examining this world of duality, and duality based rites rituals and duties, and concluding that there is something that cannot be attained by rituals, something that has to be known...then the Veda has to help this person transcend what is apparent i.e. duality.

And what does the Veda say with piercing clarity?

ya aditye tishtann adityad antarah, yam adityo na veda, yasyAdityah shareeram, ya adityam antaro yamayati, esha ta atmantaryamy amrtah.(Br Up 3.7.9)

He who inhabits the sun, but is within it, whom the sun does not know, whose body is the sun, and who controls the sun from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

sa yaschayam purushe yaschavaditye sa ekah (Tai Up 2.8.14)
He that is here in the human person and He that is there in the Sun are One.

Now, when you again wake up in the morning, and once again "see" "that" Narayana who is the savitru mandala madhyavarti the Lord in the Solar Orb and then see "this" One - the Self, lodged in one's heart, with the VedA as the pramana it becomes as clear as a fruit in one's palm hand = "that" is Naryana, "this" is Narayana, and between "that" and "this" is also Lord Narayana alone - in other words, the only Reality is Lord Narayana - satyam jnanam anantam -
and what about "me"? this "me" is nothing but the apparent, the false notion of an individuality which I the ignorant harbor. And in the incadescence of this knowledge, this notionality alone gets consumed.

There can be only be One Reality Brahman or Narayana - this is advaita. Thence alone is immortality.

As the Katha Up affirms
yadeveha tadamutra yadamutra tadanviha
mrtyoh sa mrtyumaapnoti ya iha naaneva pashyati

What indeed is here is there. What is there is here likewise. He who sees as though there is difference here, goes from death to death.

And for this alone you need VedA, you need teaching, you need philosophy, and you need enquiry - vichara.


Dvaita's opposition to advaita is usually centered on an incorrect understanding of advaita.


If those in the dvaita sampradaya, find what is clearly and repeatedly affirmed by Vedanta in mutifarous ways and through numerous analogies, unpalatable, and find that an elaborate analysis of Vedanta is needed to arrive at the very duality that is staring at you all the time, then, frankly, it is nothing short of a tragic waste of vichara.

8 comments:

amith vikram said...

excellent post.keep going.

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aksh said...

I have one question which people(adavaitins) have not answered throughout.If u are narayana,then how are you here,why does this 'narayana'(who calls himself so)subject himself to maya and then do vichara to find out that he is narayana.How can it happen?if u are narayana u should ve never been subjected to maya.Am i right?Don think with the view that u are committed to protect advaita.u think freely and if u come with a convincing answer i will go along with you!

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:My dear Arjuna, this form of Mine you are now seeing is very difficult to behold. Even the demigods are ever seeking the opportunity to see this form, which is so dear.
PURPORT
In the forty-eighth verse of this chapter Lord Kṛṣṇa concluded revealing His universal form and informed Arjuna that this form is not possible to be seen by so many pious activities, sacrifices, etc. Now here the word su-durdarśam is used, indicating that Kṛṣṇa's two-handed form is still more confidential. One may be able to see the universal form of Kṛṣṇa by adding a little tinge of devotional service to various activities like penances, Vedic study and philosophical speculation. It may be possible, but without a tinge of bhakti one cannot see; that has already been explained. Still, beyond that universal form, the form of Kṛṣṇa with two hands is still more difficult to see, even for demigods like Brahmā and Lord Śiva. They desire to see Him, and we have evidence in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that when He was supposed to be in the womb of His mother, Devakī, all the demigods from heaven came to see the marvel of Kṛṣṇa, and they offered nice prayers to the Lord, although He was not at that time visible to them. They waited to see Him. A foolish person may deride Him, thinking Him an ordinary person, and may offer respect not to Him but to the impersonal "something" within Him, but these are all nonsensical postures. Kṛṣṇa in His two-armed form is actually desired to be seen by demigods like Brahmā and Śiva.
In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.11) it is also confirmed, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritaḥ: He is not visible to the foolish persons who deride Him. Kṛṣṇa's body, as confirmed by Brahma-saṁhitā and confirmed by Kṛṣṇa Himself in Bhagavad-gītā, is completely spiritual and full of bliss and eternality. His body is never like a material body. But for some who make a study of Kṛṣṇa by reading Bhagavad-gītā or similar Vedic scriptures, Kṛṣṇa is a problem. For one using a material process, Kṛṣṇa is considered to be a great historical personality and very learned philosopher, but He is an ordinary man, and even though He was so powerful He had to accept a material body. Ultimately they think that the Absolute Truth is impersonal; therefore they think that from His impersonal feature He assumed a personal feature attached to material nature. This is a materialistic calculation of the Supreme Lord. Another calculation is speculative. Those who are in search of knowledge also speculate on Kṛṣṇa and consider Him to be less important than the universal form of the Supreme. Thus some think that the universal form of Kṛṣṇa which was manifested to Arjuna is more important than His personal form. According to them, the personal form of the Supreme is something imaginary. They believe that in the ultimate issue, the Absolute Truth is not a person. But the transcendental process is described in Bhagavad-gītā, Chapter Four: to hear about Kṛṣṇa from authorities. That is the actual Vedic process, and those who are actually in the Vedic line hear about Kṛṣṇa from authority, and by repeated hearing about Him, Kṛṣṇa becomes dear. As we have several times discussed, Kṛṣṇa is covered by His yoga-māyā potency. He is not to be seen or revealed to anyone and everyone. Only by one to whom He reveals Himself can He be seen. This is confirmed in Vedic literature; for one who is a surrendered soul, the Absolute Truth can actually be understood. The transcendentalist, by continuous Kṛṣṇa consciousness and by devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, can have his spiritual eyes opened and can see Kṛṣṇa by revelation. Such a revelation is not possible even for the demigods; therefore it is difficult even for the demigods to understand Kṛṣṇa, and the advanced demigods are always in hope of seeing Kṛṣṇa in His two-handed form. The conclusion is that although to see the universal form of Kṛṣṇa is very, very difficult and not possible for anyone and everyone, it is still more difficult to understand His personal form as Śyāmasundara.

Shriram said...

@Aksh, first of all the theory is that Brahman was never subject to Maya, if you believe maya to have the same existence as Brahman, the reason I feel no one can answer your question is because you give Maya a positive existence.Maya has neither positive nor negative existence, so since Advaita says that Maya is not positive or negative then how do you say that Brahman is subject to Maya? Hence your question is itself not a valid one. Your question is valid only if Maya is accepted as a positive entity in Advaita. Further more what ever logic you use will only be useful for furthur argument.I believe that a discussion should be had to find out what the truth is, not to impress one's own doctrine on the other person.If you are really interested in finding out what Advaita is I will have no problem of having a discussion with you, but if you just want to prove or rub your own doctrine on to people then I am not interested in having any discussion with you. Further more, all doctrines are correct from their own stand points,if you have a broad mind you should be able to appreciate all doctrines.

Anonymous said...

dont blaber with enghlish words,,,,,

god is indwelling & almighty etc....

but souls & jadas have their own identity and not at all GODS....
he is operator , creator, desroyer....

we all are puppets,,,, he acts accordingly to our karma, and our own intrimsic mature which cannot be chaged at any time ......

we mere get all by his blesssing incl. moksha...l. he is not fool enough to hear all these comments of him.... because of imprereation and views u should not misguide ..... and if so it is the kali act upon u and your sadanda is so,,,and for alll....

only humble, batthilk,, knowldge, sadana can be taken into account by HIM,, still u are totally cant define god..... ie. god... he is totally perfect ever,,, we always totally perfect IMPERFECT EVER....
hare krishna

Anonymous said...

I see lot of iskcon parrots here. As usval counter arguing advaita, even though they don't know what's true advaita is. Well my question is if supreme godhead exists why can't he simply give mokhsa to all souls once and for all? What kind of wicked pleasure he gets by seeing souls getting totured in infinite rebirths trap? If he is all powerful and self sufficient why he wants us to be his petty servants always doing seva for infinte future in vaikuntha? What kind of saddistic pleasure lord gets by making us serve him forever in vaikuntha after moksha? What kind of moksha is this? Is this moksha means infinite slavery? This iskcon philosophy of personal god is total non sense.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting..Author has expressed his own views as clearly as possible. Thought provoking!!

For me (I do not care if nobody cares), believing that God is a person holding different weapons and sitting on snakes permanently is quite absurd.
If the representation of God like this symbolizes something then there is some sense in it.
If God can take different forms then no one form is more significant than the other. Same applies to the name used to call Him/Her/It.

I do not believe that Heaven/Hell are remote places from earth and people go there after death. I do not believe that Vaikuntam/Kailasam are two different
geographical locations away from Earth.

The concept of God created everything at a particular date/time is also absurd. Also, God expecting people to pray him always is also absurd.
WHat I observed is people pray God like they take insurance policy. It is as if, "Now I pray you and in the future you have to repay me the same in another form"

The concept of everything around us is MAYA has some truth in it. As even modern science proved beyond any doubt that space/time indeed are relative.
These are all appearances!! It appears as we look at it. But actually what is absolute reality ...?? I do not know at least!!

Knowing all above does not change everything for me in the world. However, it helps me to reflect on events happening around and transforms my approach towards life.
As I see, definitely, it is the play of my MIND. It is subtlest cunning entity which keeps me to worry/feel guilty/crave for something/run for WWW (wine, wealth and women).
Some people say "Give up everything"...My intelligence says "Why did you take all of this in the first place ??. You have taken all these things hence you are
here!! Now play the game!!". I realize that fear is the cause of what is felt as misery. With fear, people start acquiring to tackle the threat which appears in the future.
These acquisitions have their own cost...It goes on...!! vicious circle leading to so called state of confusion/misery!!

Debating on philosophies is also kind of MIND game if we look at it closely. Each person has joined a group/school/sect and supported it initially..
May be because their favorite uncle/aunt/mother/father taught the same. As a reciprocation, they started liking whatever their favorite person supported.
Now they feel they are committed to it. Now they can not speak or hear anything against it because it goes against their favorite HERO.
They have acquired a strong EGO (identifying oneself with a particular concept/philosophy etc). I think VICHARA is required here.

I also feel that true Bhaktha is always in the state of Joy. It is way of cleansing already confused mind and filling it up with something soothing/pleasantness etc.
It creates a sense of balance and enables one to do VICHARA leading to acquiring true knowledge. The knowledge in itself helps one to understand true essence of Bhakthi.
This leads to vicious circle of Joy.

Now what happens finally when a person goes along this vicious circle of Joy??
In my opinion, the answer has to be found/realized by each individual alone taking aids from BHAKTHI, GNANA, and may be other realized masters!!

Debating on the answer is itself a confused/miserable state!!