About Adbhutam blogplace

This Blogplace devoted to posts and articles on Advaita Vedanta and some other topics is aimed at sharing my understanding of Vedanta as taught by venerable Masters based on the Lofty tradition of Sanatana Dharma.  I wish to allow sensible discussions on topics  I write on.

Responses

  1. i am a student of vedanta and doctor by profession.i had repiled to a friends query on vedanta and science few days back. this may interest you:

    Few points I will discuss with reference to your query on Brahman in your message and then I will touch upon the problems faced by science/scientist esp. theoretical physics when it comes to understanding reality (of creation),and the relationship between science and religion/ spirituality. Central to the discussion will be the place of logic in religion/ spirituality.

    Sole purpose of Vedanta/Upanishads is to help us get a clear ” understanding” of Brahman. In doing this two apparently contradictory aspects are involved, thus, making it a daunting task, for a teacher of Vedanta. These are:

    (a) In communicating something that is completely different to what the disciple already knows he (teacher/Vedanta)has start from and make use of what he (already) knows and then bring him to understand, what he/she, at present, has no clue about. For e.g. If I wish to teach a new language, say French, I cannot start teaching of grammar in French, I will take resort, provisionally, of the language you are, at present, familiar with.

    When Vedanta talks about creation it does so for this very purpose. We are familiar with creation, but its intention is not to reveal that the creation is unreal or relatively real, but to reveal Brahman, as only reality i.e. the only thing that is and there is NO creation, whatsoever. So there is no question of Brahman being trapped in the body, as you had asked, I will touch upon this point, again. From the standpoint of clay there is no pot, when rope is understood as rope, then any talk of snake is only an acknowledgement of our previous misapprehension, and perhaps, a futile exercise. From the standpoint of Brahman (to be precise this is not a standpoint) there is no creation, and therefore no person/body/atman or even Ishwara (creator).

    But before I perceive the rope all the talk of snake makes a lot of sense as this is a “means” to get me to the “rope”. Our minds are caught up with pot, i.e. shapes and names, as we think they are real, by drawing our attention to clay the intention of the teacher/Vedanta is to shift our focus from the unreal to the real that is to that which is the true entity in pot, clay.

    Another interesting point, pertinent to our present discussion is the use of analogies in Vedanta. Analogies are used effectively if there intention and limitations are understood. Primarily, analogies, especially snake-rope, pot-clay & dream world, illumine the point: that perception is not the proof of reality. They are used to open the possibility, in our minds’, of this fact, which otherwise one can reject if presented in its bare form. Going further the onus is on us to find the corresponding entities and intelligently grasp the intended meaning.

    All of these three analogies are extremely potent, and highlight some aspect or the other of what is real, and how it can/has to be understood, but the full import of these can only be appreciated when the student grasps the intended entity in its entirety. After that they lose there meaning and have to dropped, like a knife is, after doing its job. The problem that a student at time faces is that even tough he has not understood the intended entity he extrapolates and twists the analogy rendering it impotent. For e.g. clay and pot correspond to Brahman and world, in so far as the entity in pot is clay, so the real entity in this world is Brahman, this is the primary intention, further to point out other helpful ramifications of the analogy we can add: that inspite of perception of pot what I really perceive is clay, then in spite of correct perception clay, pot can be useful to store water and just because it is use full it does not follow it is real and that pot is clay and not vice versa so on. But pot and clay have same degree of reality, but Brahman and world are ontologically distinct. There fore by visual perception I can figure out both clay and pot but though world is available for visual perception Brahman is not (discuss this point, in detail, later) But in the dream-world example the ontological difference is highlighted. There fore the limitations and usefulness of this tool to aid our understanding had to be understood and then judiciously used . (Also, used are, actor and the actual, movie screen & blueness of sky etc. to highlight specific points)

    (b) the problem that comes when we talk about the things, already known, as an indispensable aid ( as discussed )the student tends to keep the same orientation that he is familiar with till now to know and grasp all that he has, successfully, in the past. The problems here are two fold:

    (I) all that he has known has been different and therefore away from him. If I want to find know the name or characteristics of a place it is implied that I am different from the place and also the place is away from me. So if I want to be a knower of Brahman, I will assume that it is different from me and will search it as something away from me. Upanishads make a clear statement that “You are Brahman”. Thus a need to alter this orientation Vedanta uses the 10th man story.( another Nice story** to illustrate this point similar to the 10th man). Going further, in this statement we have to get clarity on what is the ‘You’ it is taking about. Till now as a convention and a unquestionable fact, you has been used as a pronoun referring to the body. This is a universal orientation, and therefore no one ever questions it. But, the You in this statement is not referring to the body. Before we understand the true import of the statement we need to get clarity on this vital issue that You is not the body this process is called atma anatma viveka, we have to first discriminate and distinguish the chaff from the wheat, once this is done then and the structure which is distinctly different from a chaff when is pointed out by an able botanist as wheat, it would dawn upon the student immediately, but if he has not done his homework he will take believe that in chaff there are characteristics of wheat, but as this is not the fact/case it will produce an erroneous understanding and he will face problems. Hopefully, this should further clarify your query on Brahman being trapped in the body.
    This discrimination between me being not the body/mind is done based on logic, which is ‘because I perceive the mind/thoughts and the body I am none of these’ or to put is differently ‘that illumine the thought is different from the thought’. Similarly thoughts modify constantly I remain constant thus I am thus, different. So a radical change comes about for till the thoughts were ‘my thoughts’ and now they looked upon as just thoughts, though this an intermediary step, but if done sincerely can off-load the seeker from lot of burden, but the real jettison is when the seeker sees clearly ‘that which illumines the mind is not only different from the mind but is Brahman: the very content of the mind’. In the former part of the statement logic has a role but the later part does not fall in the realms of logic, will discuss later.

    …….

    Here Vedanta comes in and acts as direct means to reveal: ”that* which experiences time is the reality of time” , this cannot be fathomed by our logic and does not need the aid of logic like when you wake up you don’t need logic to verify your waking state.

    • Thank you Vishal for sharing your reply to your friend. The reply you have offered is indeed interesting and on the correct lines of the Vedanta teaching given out by traditional teachers. With a view to reduce its length I have opted to ‘edit’ your reply; not that what has not been shown is incorrect or irrelevant.

      In the passing let me share with you a quote from an unknown thinker/teacher:

      You are not a human being with a spiritual experience but you are a spiritual being with a temporary human experience.

      The above was said by Swami Paramarthananda Saraswati, a teacher of great eminence. His talks, some of them, could be heard on: vedantavidyarthisangha.org

      Regards,
      adbhutam

  2. Dear Adbutam,

    Nice to know, that you liked the write up.

    I am aware of Swami Paramarthananda ji’s teachings and parampara he upholds. I have heard him and have had the opportunity to his blessings.

    Thank you, for sharing the website. I will be benefited by the talks, uploaded on the site.

    Regards

    Vishal

  3. Dear Adbhutam ,

    Thank you so much for your writeups on Upanishads. Immensely helpful in granting lasting Peace. Please continue to do so.

    Would it be possible for you to write more extensively on BrihadAranyaka Upanishad & BrahmaSutra Bhashyam too ? This is the only subject where law of diminishing returns is inoperative:))

    • Thank you Madam for your appreciation. I normally write on topics that just prompt me to write when I come across a fine teaching, an observation by someone, etc. If the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and the Brahmasutra Bhashyam show up topics I shall certainly write on them too.

      Om Tat Sat

  4. I like this blog site, and wish to thank the author.

    • Thanks for your appreciation Ramesh Babu. You can read the several posts there.

  5. Dear Adbhutam,

    I came to know about the site from advaitin list.
    Beautiful articles on adi shankara and upanisads are written.

    I am a student of Swami Parmarthananda. I think even you are a student of Swamiji. Good..!! because few articles on upanisads written here are extracted from his talks.!! Good to know..

    These articles helps in mananam and niddidyasanam.

    Hari Om..!
    Bharath Sastry
    Bangalore

    • Namaste.

      Swami Paramarthananda ji’s lectures are a great boon to sadhakas. His week long talks on the Bhagavadgita 7th Chapter ended just today at the R.V.Teachers’ College, Bangalore.

      Warm regards

  6. Pranams,

    Amazing blog .. please continue the blessed work .

    Thank you.

    Vivekam.Vairagyam

    • Thank you for your encouraging words.

      Regards
      adbhutam

    • Thanks for your encouraging words.

      Regards,
      adbhutam

  7. Dear Adbhutam,

    Your articles are very well written. I am amazed at the depth and clarity you have in the vedanta shastra.

    Please continue posting regularly and do more series on Bhagavatam.

    Thank you,

    Aravind

    :: bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam ::

    • Thanks for your encouraging words Aravind. I shall do my best to post articles on a variety of vedantic topics.

  8. Dear Sri Adbhutham,
    At present, I am hearing the latter’s class talks on Naishkarma Siddhi and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad from his CDs. Accidentally (is it?), when I was looking for some clear writeups on BU, I came across your site. I have copied some of your essays for an in depth understanding…Is it alright to copy them? They are excellent indeed. I will be looking forward to read more on this blogsite. Wish you all the best! ananthandbala

    • Dear Ananthakrishnan,

      Thanks for your words. You can surely use the material from the blog for your study/sadhana purpsoes.

      regards,
      adbhutam

  9. I read your blog on Satyam and Mithya, I now understand why your blog is called Adbhutam since the exposition given by you on the commentary is adbhutam.

    • Thank you Shriram for your kind and encouraging words.

  10. Namaste,

    Nice to know an advaita blog. I have also collected some references for clear understanding for fellow advaitins.

    https://sites.google.com/site/understandingadvaita/

    Do let me know if I have missed anything

    Sorry to post as a comment, but i did not find any contact Us or email Id.

    Aum
    Indiaspirituality

  11. immense thanks. we can not conceive that ‘we are not’ so whatever is conceived is relative & is based on the substratum, which is Brahman. thus, consciousness becomes aware of itself in & as the play of life. life is ever ‘now’ as it unfolds what already is. regards, Sai.

  12. Hi,my name is sunil.I earler commented on my this blog.Is nirguna brhaman t a higher state than ishwara?

  13. The brahma sutras say that those attain ishwara state go to a loka and then attain mukti.

    • Hi Sunil,

      I do not know which part of the Brahma Sutras you are referring to however you must understand that Vedanta addresses the fundamental human problem. The problem is that of limitedness. Every human being wants to break free of limitations. By going to the loka of Ishwara the problem is not solved.

      Also the upanishad clearly states that “he who sees difference over here goes from death to death”. So there is no chance of Vedanta entertaining such a notion. Hope this helps.

      • What Shriram says is correct. However, what Sunil is referring to is a concept called ‘krama mukti’. According to this, there is a person who is intent on meditating on saguna Brahman (brahman with attributes of lordship, etc.). He has not gained the nirguna brahman realization in this life. Such a person, if his meditation is intense, goes upon death to Brahma loka and there gains the nirguna brahma jnanam and remains in that lloka till pralaya or complete dissolution takes place. At this time, along with Brahmaa, the lord of brahma loka, this person too gets final liberation, never to return to samsara.

        adbhutam

  14. Hi shriram,I was refering to the brahma sutras in the end.I asked about kramamukti as adbhutam said.

    • Immense thanks. Your awareness & this very moment is an inseparable actuality/reality. And in ‘Reality’, all is Real & Identical.
      Ultimately nothing is. Everything is a momentary appearance in the field of consciousness & the continuity as ‘name & form’ is a mental creation, easy to dispel. Regards


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