Katha upanishhad verse I.2.23

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Thu Apr 3 20:41:19 CST 1997

On Fri, 4 Apr 1997, Cameron Reilly wrote:


> Isn't this the same thing? At the end of the day it indicates a
> non-volitional aspect to the process of awakening. "By the Grace Of God"
> the person becomes a seeker and the Self is realized. Therefore attempting
> to realize the Self through 'will power' is fruitless. In fact, I believe
> this is counter-productive, because the harder one strives to 'accomplish'
> realization, the further one separates his or herself from the non-dual.

True. Any attempt to realize through 'will-power' ends up looking for the
Self outside of one's own Self, and is fruitless.

> >     The Self is not attained through discourses, nor through
> >     intellectuality, nor through much learning.  It is only
> >     gained by him who longs for It with the whole heart. For
> >     to such a one the Self (1) reveals its own nature.
> Ramesh Balsekar has written:
> "Yes, there must be an intensity in the seeking, but that intensity is
> non-volitional."
> I have known many people who berate themselves for not studying hard
> enough, not seeking intently enough. Perhaps they should 'give in', accept
> that if it is their destiny to realize the Self it will happen, if not, it
> won't, after all, there is no volition so who is to do anything about it?
> In accepting their non-volition, they will possibly bring themselves closer
> to the realization of the fact that the seeker IS the sought.

I see Balsekar's statement as saying that the intensity of the seeking is
non-volitional, not the seeking itself. Your other statements again bring
up the question, who decides this destiny whether the realization of the
Self will happen or not? Do you allow for a cycle of births so that the
knowing the Self is always an eventual possibility?

The acceptance of non-volition should not lead to lethargy. We are back to
the "there must be an intensity in seeking" bit. Often, those who
sincerely berate themselves for not studying hard enough have the greatest
potential to refocus their energies, with the asistance of a guru.

S. Vidyasankar

>From  Fri Apr  4 14:29:38 1997
Message-Id: <FRI.4.APR.1997.142938.0530.>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 14:29:38 +0530
Reply-To: andromed at del2.vsnl.net.in
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Bhuvesh <andromed at DEL2.VSNL.NET.IN>
Organization: Andromedia
Subject: Disussion on Katha Upanishhad
Comments: To: advaita-l at tamu.edu
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Further to the string of discussion raised by verse of the Katha
Upanishhad, I would like to highlight some verses from the Kena
Upanishhad which also relate of the complexity ( or absolute simplicity,
which seems so difficult to achieve)  of realising the self:

"....The eye goes not there, nor go words, nor the mind;
We know not, we understand not, how to teach this.

Different is this than the known, different also from the unknown.
So we have heard from the ancients who have explained this to us."

And further down....

"If you think you know it well, little do you know Brahma s nature.
Whether as to you or as to the Gods, "do I know it?"  is to be
investigated by you.

Neither do I think it well known, nor that I do not know it.
He who among us knows it, knows it not, he who knows not, knows it.

He who does not understand, he has understanding; he who understands he
knows not.
The unknowing knows, the knowing knows not.

When known through every state of cognition, the immortal is attained.
By the atma greatness is attained, through greatness, the immortal."


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list