Birth and death and rebirth from Advaitist viewpoint

Jay Lakhani vivekananda at BTINTERNET.COM
Wed Dec 23 20:03:43 CST 1998

Revered Sirs

Further to Sri Vaidyas definition of prana from Vivekachudamani.
I would like to take the definition of prana a bit further.

(1) Vedanta philosophy owes a lot to the Samkhya darshan which also uses the
idea of prana and akasha as the fundamental constituents of all the known
universe. The usage of word prana in Samkhya is far wider. The usage as the
five pranas or life forces in the individual is a narrower usage of the word
prana. In Samkhya the prana is the manifesting power of Brahman - it is very
strongly related to Brahman as it is of the nature of Brahman. Hence the
ideas of Shiv/Shakti. You cannot have one without the other.
The prana of Samkhya is 'energy' of modern science. Hence 'matter as a
manifestation of energy' is a very ancient idea of Samknya darshan.

(2)Coming back to Shri Ashish Chandra's question about how 'atman' can
continue to reincarnate - and what is actually being born. The answer by
Advaita should be - Atman never reincarnates - 'atman' was never born. What
you thought as your individuality (as the ego) is a non-entity. It is based
on a false premise. When 'atman' cannot be born how can we proceed further
and discuss rebirth?

Understandably this appears as an escapist answer.
It may even take away your desire for spiritual progress.
Take it as you may.
The Advaita philosophy is after all really a subject of first hand
There are no shortcuts.
There are no 'real' examples to allude to that wonderful state of
Frankly it has to be so - it has to be this exquisite!


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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