Jonathan Bricklin brickmar at EARTHCOM.NET
Thu Mar 19 00:56:34 CST 1998


Make that last sentence:

I only deny that consciousness--even at the jiva level--cannot exist
without it, and assert that the jiva level is propped up by it.

Jonathan Bricklin

>From  Thu Mar 19 09:04:40 1998
Message-Id: <THU.19.MAR.1998.090440.0500.>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:04:40 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at tidalwave.net
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Personal
Subject: Re: neti neti
Comments: To: Advaita List <Advaita-L at tamu.edu>
Comments: cc: Ravi Mayavaram <msr at COMCO.COM>
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Ravi Mayavaram <msr at COMCO.COM> writes:

> I dont think one can negate Ishwara at any state. When one is in
> the clutches of mAyA, Ishwara is the sole support, solace and refuge.
>  In a non-dual state, to talk about negating something is not
>  meaningful.  Ishwara is the saguNa brahman, ever willing to help
> and grant liberation. In bhagavad gIta, kR^iShNa clearly states that
> he will give liberation (in the 18th chapter). Ishwara is never under the
> clutches of mAyA and negating him while in the clutches of mAyA is
> self destructive.

>  If one can say mAyA is the door to this dualistic world, then Ishwara
>  is the door, way and the means to liberation.

Greetings Ravi:

Your viewpoint in the above posting reflects the attitude of a "True
Bhakta" who surrendered his (her) Ego to Ishwara or IshtaDevata.
People with strong FAITH, believe that GRACE is the only means to
LIBERATION.  Your religious sentiments are quite valid and are supported
by almost all religions. Strong religious conviction is important to
live a moral and peaceful life.  Shri Ramanuja the father of the Bhakti
movement highly recommends the following verse for human salvation.

Sarvadharmaan  parityajya  maamekam  sharanam  vraja
Aham tvaa sarvapaapebhyo mokshayishyaami maa shuchah
( Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18:66)

 The word "Sarvadharmaan" is a complex word and the exact English
translation is almost impossible.  Dharma can mean religion, duty,
logic, notions, traditions, ethics, faith, laws, right, good, etc. Sarva
means all-inclusive or absolute and the complex word "Sarvadharman" can
mean all-religions, all-duties, all-logic, all-notions, all-traditions,
all-ethics, all-laws, all-faith, and all-laws. Sarvadharman also means
all preconceived ideas about religion, logic, notions, traditions,
ethics, faith, laws etc. All notions of dharma and adharma, good and bad
and  joy and sorrow erupt in human mind. When we surrender our ego,
divinity reenters our heart and all notions including the sin disappear.
No human action is ever possible without the direction from the total
consciousness and ego is the suppressor of this fundamental truth. When
divinity fully occupies the human heart, religion, sin and action are
all abandoned!  Ramanuja will argue that the grace of God grants the
unity between the Atman and Brahman.   Shri. Sankara on the other hand
will argue that shredding the ego is possible with the efforts of the
human being and the human can attain unity with the divinity.  In
Sankara's farmwork, all efforts of human beings come from only one
source - The Brahman.   These two great masters of Vedanta have
understood that the universe has only one fundamental source of energy
which controls all real and imaginary movements.  The Divine Grace is an
integral part of Human Liberation and TOTAL SURRENDER of ego  is
necessary and sufficient!  This is the framework of RELIGION where "neti
neti" is addressed to EGO.
Philosophy and religion are two important aspects of life.  Religion
cultivates faith to explore the truth and philosophy examines the truth
independent of faith.  Religious explanation to life can appeal to those
who have strong faith in a religion and can become offensive to those
who have faith in another religion.  Philosophical explanation to life
will appeal to those who are willing to detach their religious faith
with an open mind. It is quite challenge for most of us to detach from
our own religious convictions and express our opinions with an open
mind.   The seers and sages of Upanishdas to a greater extent were able
to adopt to this modus operandi.  We should learn from them to express
opinions with the focus on the subject matter and not on our own
religious   convictions.  The technique of  "neti neti" expressed in the
Shruti is philosophical and logical.  The negation of "Ishwara" is
within the logical context of discussion within an intellectual
framework.   This negation of Ishwara comes with the full understanding
that the vision of Brahman is beyond the intellect! We can only negate
the intellectual concept of "Ishwara" and such a negation is the
negation of INTELLECT and not ISHWARA who is beyond intellect.  This
subtle message comes with no uncertain terms.   The Vedantic technique
of "neti neti" is the original version of the principle of reductio ad
absurdum in mathematics (disproof of a proposition by showing an
absurdity to which it leads when carried to its logical conclusion).

Ram Chandran
9374 Peter Roy Ct.
Burke, VA 22015
Ph: 703-912-5790

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