Untimely Meditations and Nature of Realisation.

Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Mon Apr 27 11:06:26 CDT 1998


On Sat, 25 Apr 1998, Parisi & Watson wrote:

> We still see the external world
> through 'our' eyes, we are still directly privy only to 'our' thoughts,
> etc. but the experience is dramatically different because we no longer
> identify ourselves with these things. And how do we come to have this
> remarkable attitude and the experiences that it brings with it? We have
> it as the result of an intensive program of self indoctrination in the
> sorts of ideas mentioned above, combined with extensive practice in
> disassociating our awareness from our minds, bodies, desires, fears and
> so on. But nothing in either the ideas or the experiences is
> inconsistent ...
[ other comments deleted ... ]

 These are real questions that I believe each of us have gone through, at
some point of time, if not in this birth, then in some previous birth.
The fundamental point is, once an Answer is obtained, that Question
remains answered. We may forget the Question, but the residual impression
of the Answer, remains in us, and I loosely call it as Faith. Each of us
in this list believe Advaita margam is THE way to go, because we have
gone thru the process of asking similar questions and have gotten answers
in one form or another.

> promise that all will be revealed after death. I'm having problems
> seeing any considerations, any reasoning, or even any experience by a
> living, breathing person that can meaningfully undermine the Western
> view. Right now I have the feeling that Vedanta is slipping through my
> fingers like water.

 I think just a few days / weeks ago, we had a discussion in this list on the
importance of Scriptures and faith in scriptural truths. Remember,
Advaita-jnana does not depend on the follower's practice of atma vichara, or
meditation or (m)any such exercise(s) alone. There is a lot more that does
not come by meditation alone. At times when your meditation cannot be held
stead fast and your mind wanders, you can safely depend upon the Upanishads
and Adi SankarAcharya's writings to light the fire in you again.

> the case, but in resorting to them, we become like Christians who
> promise that all will be revealed after death. I'm having problems

 This is a very important point where Advaita, and all of Hindu-ism in
general differs from Western view points. Acharyas say that Death is that
state in which one does not have remembrance of the Lord, no knowledge, even
in the elementary sense, that there exists one such thing as Brahman etc.
Knowledge is to be obtained by constant practice and Bhagavad k^ripa while
still alive and not after death.

> >From there, other troublesome questions begin to assert themselves:
> Because I feel that I am not tied to a separate ego/mind/body and that I
> have merged with an infinite ocean of bliss, does this necessarily mean
> that I actually have? In other words, does having a direct sense or
> feeling of something mean that it actually is the case? Could any
> imaginable feeling, mode of experience, or state of consciousness ever
> count as evidence that my body (or better, the physical organism that I

 I cannot but say this question is trying to answer itself. The failure to
answer itself is what is leading you to confusion and disappointment. I quote
parts of a one verse from The TaittirIyOpanishad below along with
translation/comments from the book by the Ramakrishna Math. I hope it helps
you see that there is a lot to be Seen.

Ch. 2, Verse II:
 Om. brahmavidAnoti paraM - tadeSAbhyuktA
 satyam j~nAnamanantam brahma ....

 He who realises Brahman attains the Supreme. With reference to that very
fact it has been declared: "Brahman is Existence, Intelligence, Infinitude;
he who realises Him tresured in the cave, in the highest ether, fulfils all
wants together, as Brahman the Omniscient."

 The (a) application and (b) the purpose of BrahmavidyA are explained in this
 (a) The reality which we experience thru the senses and the mind is a
display of multiplicity and variety; and therefore, it rationally demands as
it's back ground a Unity which includes all, which is complete in itself, is
determined by itself and is capable of being explained entirely from itself.
This back ground beta physical entity if you like, is the spiritual Reality.
This Fundamental entity, which I call substratum for lack of a better word,
is called Brahman. Brahman appears Itself as the phenomena, becomes the Self
of man, and yet transcends all phenomena. Not subjected to temporal and/or
local conditions, this backgorund cannot but be Infinite and Undivided.

(b) The purpose of this is to reveal the path of liberation from woes and
limitations of repeated birth, from passion and bitterness of grief and

 As Adi ShankarAcharya has repeated so often, it is Ignorance that begets
desire in man, and desire geberates activity directed towards the fulfilment
of these ephemeral ends, which in it's course produces f]good as well as bad
tendencies and / or karma, thus pulling the Jiva further and further into
it's mire. Desire leads to more desire.
 On the other hand, advaita marga (and in fact all of Vedanta) leading to
Brahman is a thirst and desire that once fulfilled, does not bring on any
more desire. It (Brahman) is seen as the beginning and means and end and is
thus Existence, Knowledge and Infinite.
 As is said in the Mundaka Upanishad also, "He who Knows Brahman becomes
Brahman verily".

Bhava Sankara Desika-me sharanam.
(I surrender unto the Holy feet of Adi Shankara)


                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 Kandavar Vindilar      : Those who have seen (Brahman) have not spoken
  Vindavar Kandilar     :   those who speak (about It) have not seen (It)
    satyakAma, satyasaMkalpa, Apatsakha, kAkutsa, shrIman nArAyANa
        puruShottaMa, shrI ranganAtha, mama nAtha, namostute.

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