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Bhaja Govindam: Dukrunjkarane

tks

Well-known member
#21
IP1: What is Bhagavan or God known through Vedas and how it is different from the commonly understood definition that God is Omnipotent (limitless power), Omnipresent (pervades space and therefore everywhere), and Omniscient (limitless knowledge)

IP2: If God is considered Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient there is an established contradiction. If God knows what will happen, and decides to differently, he's not omniscient. If he knows and can't change it, he's not omnipotent.

R: The above definition of God is influenced by biblical religions. Bhagavan cannot be viewed through the lens of causality because causality implies God entity is bound by the fabric of space and time. Time itself is known to be an illusion even by the scientific research. For reference see the thread from this post onwards.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=19604&p=312582#post312582

The knowledge portion of Vedas teach, not preach, an understanding (not belief) of Bhagavan that does not have the above contradiction. Vedanta, teaches that Time is not real as well and science has finally come into alignment in such a way that this truth even touches our life almost on a daily basis.

IP3: What does it mean to say time is an illusion and how is it getting validated in my day today life?

R: Time seem to be universal and flows in one direction for all of us. It seems to be a concrete thing that affects all our life from our understanding of birth to death. Even a computer needs a clock for its precise actions. Yet the entire notion of time experienced by us is not real

IP1: How can you say that? If we did not have a common view of time, not a single thing can happen

R: We are all in the same 'reference' and have a common experience of time. But searching for truth via Science in modern times or by Vedantic revelations of Rishis, there are proofs that time is not needed to describe reality in Physics and that time itself is a myth (falsehood) as per Vedantic teaching. There was a discussion about examples from special relativity in this post below. There are Youtube links in that post that may be watched for more clarity.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=28768&page=2&p=323870#post323870

IP2: Is there an example that can be understood more easily?

R: The cited thread was describing how Time as an entity is NOT an absolute entity and is based on what is known as Special Relativity. There is an example from General Relativity that we can understand a bit more easily as to how it touches our lives. Time is known to go faster closer to earth than away from the earth due to the effect of the gravitational pull of earth. In other words an atomic clock will go faster on earth than on a satellite. This has nothing to do with the mechanism of how the atomic or any other clock is designed. It is just that time goes faster. So someone in a space station for 6 months would have aged less by few seconds than a person on earth. The GPS (Global Positioning System) in our phone that helps us to navigate through apps like Google Maps has to take into account the fact that time in the satellite is going slower compared to earth. By receiving signals from these satellites (3 or more) and by triangulation the exact location of a phone is determined that helps to navigate using Google Maps for example.

That is an example where if the correction were not applied the whole maps app cannot work properly.

R: Bottom line is that Time is not absolute and hence not real. Space is related to Time as an opposite according to Sri Sankara. Also in the Pancha Boothas that are defined we have space but not Time. If Time is an illusion, space-time is an illusion , then the whole discussion of causality is an illusion. And Bhagavan cannot be bound by causality since the concept of Causality, Time and Space arises by his/her power. All the more reason it is best not to go by definition of God in terms of biblical beliefs but learn Bhagavan through the teachings of the Sruthi (Vedas) which in this case are the Upanishads


IP3: Are these details based on your attending classes?

R: I did not attend any classes on the topic area such as Bhja Govindam. If one is studying Vedanta with Sri Sankara Bhashyam with qualified teachers for more than a decade and if one has formally studied Physics and Engineering, then it is easy to see the truth of a verse. I present this in my own style but obviously anything I describe as truth are not my own. If I had misinterpreted something despite the training then it will be my fault and I can be corrected. Knowingly I am not stating anything that is not the truth and can be independently verified by qualified experts.


Note: I plan to post once every one or two weeks and it may take several months for the thread to be complete. I have received feedback to keep these relatively short and will try to do so thereby increasing the number of posts. We will examine, misconceptions about seeking Govinda, the meaning of Moodamathe in depth, examine why Bhaja Govindam is described three times and its implications, the meaning of nihite kale, and Dukrunjkarane. I plan to discuss what it means to follow the teachings of this first verse and conclude. So that is the road map.
 

a-TB

Active member
#22
Dear Mr tks:

I have some questions at this point. We see many books and blogs taking Physics, Puranas, and our scriptures to see parallels. Some seem to want to prove our Puranas & scriptures (like upansishad) are right by trying to use Science to prove its correctness. Is that really a right thing to do? Is that what you are doing when you talk about Time experienced by us is not real?

I do enjoy reading the thread since it is logically progressing
 

tks

Well-known member
#23
Dear Mr tks:

I have some questions at this point. We see many books and blogs taking Physics, Puranas, and our scriptures to see parallels. Some seem to want to prove our Puranas & scriptures (like upansishad) are right by trying to use Science to prove its correctness. Is that really a right thing to do? Is that what you are doing when you talk about Time experienced by us is not real?

I do enjoy reading the thread since it is logically progressing



Human mind works by seeing parallels and opposites when such things do not exist, all the while missing the very truth, which is the only entity that is real and shines in the mind enabling cognition. It is not surprising that there are books and blogs seeing connection that do not exist and missing the real essence of both Science and Vedanta.

Some of the puranic stories still retain their significance in explaining the basic truths taught in the Upanishads but the content of those stories have nothing to do with Science. Human mind can imagine all kinds of connections which is both a blessing and a curse.

Upanishads are the knowledge sections of Vedas and Vedas as a whole are referred to as Sruthi (श्रुति) since it is heard and passed on. These are considered timelessly true and do not have known origins. The truths can be independently validated by anyone but the method of validation is not what one is used to. The Upanishads not only teach the truths but they include a methodology & process to learn. That is why proper learning with properly qualified teacher is essential,

Smruthi (स्मृति) scriptures are those that are products of human effort and as such as are remembered based on memory. They could be considered as particular application of Sruthi in a given space/time context. Smruthi has to be aligned with Sruthi for it to be considered valid. When contexts change a Smruthi scriptures may get deprecated meaning replaced with newer scriptures that are more fitting the context.

The knowledge portions of the Vedas, names Upanishads, deal with both relative and absolute truths. It is Shruthi.
Science including fundamental search for reality may be considered as Smruthi and as such it cannot be used to validate Sruthi. Besides it only deals with uncovering relative truths and falsehoods only. A group of scientists observe the world, hypothesize a theory, attempt to validate the relative truth with respect to an observer and continually refine the understanding based on results of validation.

The Shruthi deals with the absolute truth which does not have an opposite and it includes the truth of the observer, observed and the means of observation. As such it includes all the relative truths and relative falsehoods and all the pairs of opposites.

The absolute truths cannot be understood by human mind while Smrithis including Science is a product of human intellect and understood by human mind.

For all these reasons it will not make sense to try to explain the truths of Upanishads using science. Such an effort shows lack of comprehension of science or Upanishads or both.

Having said this one may have two questions.


  1. I have cited references of articles from Scientific American in my posts and does that mean I attempted to explain the correctness of Sruthi using latest theories of Science. The short answer is NO.

We live in a world of space, time and causality. Science is in search of truth - relative truth and while Vedanta is NOT science , it is about Science. There is an intersection in understanding by mind when it comes to knowing the nature of Time, Space and relative Reality. In this context, my posts have been to show that Science is getting caught up with some of the teachings of Sruthi at this fundamental level. Time as an appearance or illusion has been long known to ancient Rishis and today's Physics has finally proved it using the best of human intellect. There is a book ( The order of Time) published in 2018 by an Italian Theoretical Physicist by name Carlo Rovelli that is written for lay person. He asks questions such as 'Do we exist in Time or does Time exist in us' etc.

Wave particle duality, as a model of understanding in the study of Quantum mechanics, is but an example of how the reality at the most basic level ( as understood by mind via Science) is Anirvachaneeyam (that is it cannot be described).


  1. Are the teachings of the Upanishads of any use in advancing Science?

Anyone that has understood the truth as expounded by the Upanishads will go into silence. A few out of their Prarabdha may offer some clues but that is rare. There is but one example. For that see the post below

https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=22569&p=283995#post283995

The thoughts expressed in my posts are not my beliefs or opinions unless I preface it so. The levels of Physics may be advanced but the references cited and language used here primarily is at a lay person level. All one needs as a way of prerequisites is incessant curiosity to know, commitment to knowing the (relative) truth and attention span. These posts are not for flybys who will get bored quickly and lose interest.

One that satisfies the basic prerequisites regardless of their educational background can verify and validate what is written here.

Study of science is nothing but an expression of Maya. As one gets an understanding they discover thousand more things that they do not understand.
We have models after models and some contradict the earlier models. There are theories that say there is no blackholes or there was never a big bang. So the study will go on and it has its value.

One must not conclude that study of Sruthi is superior to study of Science. At one level all knowledge is nothing but expression of Isvara and there is nothing low or high about any of these. A given knowledge is correct for a given objective.

There are maps of the entire universe in the study of cosmic radiations pointing to a possible big-bang explosion some 13.5 billion years ago. That map is useless if I wanted to go visit a friend's place in Delhi for example. A map of Delhi is superior for that objective and map of the universe is useless. Similarly the purpose of Sruthi (knowledge section ) is to answer the question of liberation which comes to understanding "what is the knowledge by which every other knowledge is known"

Reference: See this post
https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=34594&page=4&p=371903#post371903

For all other studies and for our day today living, we need Science and Technology.

This post is kind of a digression from the original topic but I wanted to answer the reasons behind the questions fully.
 

tks

Well-known member
#24
IP1: All these discussions about seeking Govinda as revealed in the Vedas is getting complicated. A simple person, say a vendor in the street selling fruits cannot be expected to learn all these in order to worship Govinda.

IP2: Sri Krishna says to simply surrender onto him letting go of all Dharmas and that he will protect us from all the Papas. That is an easier message to understand.

IP3: Going to temple and doing a Puja or recite a sloka or sing a song about the Lord while facing the deity is so much easier.

R: The idea is not about what is easier but what is effective for a given goal. Going to temple and doing various rituals is a wonderful thing and is a great start. But it cannot be the end which will become clear later. As we grow in maturity and wisdom and our third eye of wisdom opens up, our relationships with temple/deities will change and we can still benefit by going to temples.

Surrender is not an emotion or a ritual though those are great first steps. Emotions are short lived, and surrender in its truest sense based on how Sri Krishna describes is timeless which therefore cannot be based on an emotion that is but transient.

Seeking Govinda is not just about an intellectual pursuit. In fact intellect is a major impediment though intellect can help in removing all wrong notions about truth which itself is an outgrowth of this intellect. There is a thread that tried to articulate some of the false notions of truth that are prevalent.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=34594&p=369263#post369263

The idea of helping a vendor who is selling fruits is presumptuous at best. One can help but one must be qualified to help. To be qualified one has to cured of ignorance. Also the same limitless divinity expresses in all beings and hence the vendor is capable of understanding Govinda without any special intellect. The language of understanding Govinda is all about the language of the Hrudayam which is all about 'Love without opposite'. Even Sri Krishna in B. Gita does not advocate emotional Bhakthi and in Chapter 2 itself he introduces the basics of Karma Yoga soon after Sankya yoga which is all about Jnana. Chapter 12 in B. Gita is not about emotional or intellectual Bhakthi.

Let me share a personal story that I may have shared earlier in another thread some years ago. I was waiting to meet someone near Kabali temple at Mylapore. There was a young lady who wanted to sell me flowers and I told her that I had already been to the temple. I told her I can buy some flowers but she has to offer to the lord since I will have no time. I was willing to give her some money and she would not take it since she will not have the ability to go the temple. Also she did not want a handout. She has had a tragic life with a husband who used to beat her and eventually died young due to drinking too much. She had two children to feed and send to school. Yet she was cheerful and explained that selling the flowers was fulfilling to her since it was making people happy. She did not complain about her life at all. She then opened some snack with nuts and she shared half of it with me. I took it and continued conversing as I was learning how she was viewing life. Here is a person who does not know the meaning of Karma yoga but was closer to living the teaching. She had a cheer and love overall even in the tough market of negotiations. She can possibly teach about seeking Govinda by the example of her life to many so called intellectuals who are the real Moodas. A Mooda is not a fool and let us delve into what the word actually conveys

IP1: These discussions require intellect. How can intellect be dismissed as not important

R: The more intellectual we are, more wrong notions we have about truth. All knowledge acquired by perception and conception teaches relative truths. When one has many ideas and have wrong notions of the only thing that matters which is the absolute truth, the best way to dispel wrong notions is by the use of intellect itself. Someone who has studied Science may feel as if there is no Bhagavan. For such a person Science has to be used to show what a right definition of Bhagavan can be and why seeking that Bhagavan is not a choice. In the end human beings lack the knowledge of the language of the heart which is LOVE (one without an opposite). No amount of intellect or lack of intellect can help with learning the language of the heart. Before further discussion along these lines it is important to understand the word Moodamathe in depth.

To be continued..
 

tks

Well-known member
#25
IP1: Why should one seek Govinda (Bhagavan as taught by the vedas)

IP2: The prescription of seeking / Serving Govinda is addressed to one who is described as Moodmate. So if such a person is not a fool who does it refer to

IP3: Can we all be considered Moddmate since it seem to be addressed to all of us

R: Yes, the word applied to all of us. Let us see the grammatical meaning of this word first

मूढमते (Moodathe) is a compund word (called Samasa). It is special case of भहुव्रीहि: (Bhahuvreehi) Samasa. Breaking the word yields
मूढा मति: यस्य स: मूढमति:. This word when used to address (Sambodhana case - सम्बोधन प्रथमाविभक्ति:) becomes मूढमते (Moodathe)


It describes one who is deluded. Here we are not talking about psychological delusion wherein help of a therapist is needed. Delusion in this context refers to the nature of mind that sees what is not there and does not see what is there as reality. That is but one simple definition.

Delusion may not be the best translation since the word Mooda cannot be properly translated in English. The English dictionary describes delusion as "an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder"

The dictionary definition will mean that a person with deluded mind will need the help of a therapist or a psychiatrist. We will soon see that the entire humanity falls into the definition of Moodamathe. So we are all delusionally normal people and those that are delusionally dilutional will need to see a psychiatrist.

IP1: How do I know I am deluded?

IP2: Are we all born deluded?

R: Yes, we are all born deluded. Sri Krishna explicitly says in Chapter 7, verse 27 as follows.

इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत ।
सर्वभूतानि संमोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ॥ २७ ॥


(Not providing transliteration)

Essential Translation of the verse is as follows.

Oh Bharatha (referring to Arjuna ), all beings due to delusion (Moha) of the opposites (found in this universe), go into total delusion in this world.

In other words this delusion is there from the birth in this creation. The fact that the world appears with pairs of opposites is not the problem. It is indeed our mind that is deluded by having likes and dislikes to the pairs of opposites. Some may view life as a series of experience of success and failures leading to pleasure and pain.

Without properly understanding this delusion in detail it is not possible to correctly seek the Lord, Govinda.

Again Govinda is not necessarily the name of Sri Krishna but more generally as Bhagavan as understood with the help of the Vedas. As a starting point one can take Govinda as the Sri Krishna of Srimad Bhagavatham and begin the act of worship in whatever form that one can relate to. It is only a starting point and not the ending point. Many of us doing Sandhyavandhanam can relate to this part - (Providing English transliteration only since people reading this can relate to it)

"Akashath Pathitham Thoyam Yatha Gacchathi Sagaram|
Sarva Deva Namskaraha Sri Keshavam Prathi Gacchathi||"


The above was translated by Swami Vivekananda in his first ever Chicago Address - "As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee."

Prayer is a starting point to acknowledge that this delusion, which is also referred to as ignorance, is from the birth. In fact, we cannot take responsibility for this ignorance.

(Next several posts will be about this delusion in detail so that we can understand how we all are under its spell. In other words we do not have to just take the word of Sri Krishna in the verse quoted about but can indeed understand in depth how this ignorance rules our life)
 

tks

Well-known member
#26
IP3: If this delusion, namely seeing as reality what is not there and seeing what is not there as reality, is basic there must many more references besides B. Gita? Are there more recent examples described by great saints?

R: In Akshara Mani Mala, Sri Ramana Maharishi places the blame of our inherent delusion squarely on the Bhagavan Arunachala ( refers to none other than Govinda when the term Bhagavan is understood correctly). Verse 12 of the Mani Mala says the following.

Oruvanaam unnai olithavar varuvaar,
Un chootheyidhu, Arunachala

ஒருவனா முன்னை யொளித்தெவர் வருவா
ருன்சூ தெயுது வருணாசலா



Meaning: Oh Arunachala, How can I reach you , Appear before me, it is only your deceit, Oh Bhagavan that I am not able to see the reality that is you.

The main point to note is that delusion is inherent in our birth and Ramana Maharishi 'blames' the Lord for this delusion.

There is one more example from Sri Rudram. Anyone that chants or has heard this chanting will recall this line

वञ्चते परिवञ्चते स्तायूनां पतये नमो नमो

The meaning is : Namskaram to the One (referring to Rudra) who is an occasional cheater, who cheats all the time and who is the God of those who steal remaining close by.

Incidentally I realized that I had raised this verse earlier with a set of questions but never answered it. This thread is a good place to do so.

Reference: https://www.tamilbrahmins.com/threads/rudram-and-chamakam.35711/page-2#post-383266

Lord has robbed the truth of our true self from us by giving us this delusion. Hence he is called a cheat. By this cheating act, we are left with suffering as a samsari with worldly and useless desires haunted by insecurities and fear of death. I do not want to get distracted in trying to fully explain my understanding of this verse but the main idea here is that this delusion is not due to our doing. Karma Phala may be due to our doing but all Karma including religious Karmas take place in the web of this ignorance.


A mind that is obsessed with likes and dislikes cannot know the truth even if it is staring right in our face. We cannot get rid of this likes and dislikes just by power of will.
We need to bring Bhagavan into our life to get past this ignorance. This Bhagavan is NOT a concept though initially it is perfectly fine to use an image with an associated Puranic story as a starting point. If it remains a concept even after decades it only show the power of ignorance with its associated delusion. But it need not be daunting task as will be unfolded when we dig deeper into this Bhajagovindam verse.

IP1: If I have to bring Bhagavan into my life, I have to believe in this Bhagavan which is the basic thesis of dualists .
IP2: It is a basis of belief of Visishtadwaithins also.

R: So long one is under this spell of delusion or ignorance then we cannot really understand the Absolute Truth. Calling oneself Advitin (a label) shows lack of understanding. The first step is to acknowledge and understand this delusion which is the key characteristics of a Jiva. To the extent there is an empirical reality of a Jiva who feels limited and caught in the fabric of space & time, there is a reality of Bhagavan also which is limitless in all aspects. In other words, Jiva and Bhagavan appear together much like the two birds in the tree of Samsara described in the Mundakopanishad. For a jiva to overcome this delusion, the jiva has to surrender to Bhagavan. Without brining Bhagavan into one's life it is not possible to fulfill the main objective of a human existence.

To believe in Bhagavan is to deny Bhagavan. So this is not about belief but about understanding as taught in the knowledge portion of the Vedas. How one goes about getting this understanding is beyond the scope of this discussions. The first step is to want to seek and serve Govinda as all costs. On this first step can be more discussions.

IP3: Are you under delusion? How can you talk about getting out of delusion if you have not experienced it? Are you just parroting a handed down idea?

R: I am under delusion like everyone else. The first step of progress is to categorically know about this delusion and its manifestation. That has enabled me to appreciate this vision in deep meditation. Now getting out of delusion is NOT an experience contrary to popular notions. If it is an experience it will be another object of thought which has nothing to do with the power that enabled that cognition in the first place. Words cannot be used to describe the absolute truth which can be referred to as Govinda. If anyone said they know Govinda, that itself would reveal ignorance (Reference: Kenopanishad verses)

नाहं मन्ये सुवेदेति नो न वेदेति वेद च |
यो नस्तद्वेद तद्वेद नो न वेदेति वेद च ||२||

यस्यामतं तस्य मतं मतं यस्य न वेद सः |
अविज्ञातं विजानतां विज्ञातमविजानताम् ||३||


Verse 2: I do not think 'I know it well' . But not that I do not know, I know too. Who among us comprehend It both as 'not known' and as 'known' - he comprehends it

Verse 3: He understands It who comprehends It not! and he understands It not who feels he has comprehended It. It is unknown to the Master of True Knowledge but to the ignorant It is known


With my ignorance intact, I can say that in moments of deep meditation (Nidhindhyasanam) I have basically found myself lost in total dark silence like in deep sleep except that there was total alertness. I do not know if that is progress or my imagination. There is a feeling of love and contentment that I reflected later after meditation much like saying I had slept really well. But these efforts (not experiences) have convinced me of the basic truths that the Upanishad unfolds.
So it started with handed down wisdom and with the help of the texts and properly qualified Guru my conviction is higher. But this is a timeless journey where there is no path but that I am told I already have reached the destination but just do not know that due to ignorance !
 
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