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Maintaining Brahman

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renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
I came across a verse in Vivekachudamani which I would like to discuss with members here.It deals with the knower of Brahman state.

There is a verse that says:
Therefore with all care,one should try to keep himself recollected and should not be negligent.
For the knower of Brahman, there is no greater death than this negligence.
One who is careful in remaining in Brahman becomes successful very soon.
Therefore be careful and stay in Brahman all the time.


What I would like to discuss is "If one needs to be be careful and stay in Brahman all the time..that is maintain the Brahman state..then how can there be Advaita?..cos to be in a state and to maintain it means that there is still some amount of Duality or at least the some amount of Qualified Non Dualism..cos we can only maintain something if there is still some amount of difference.

I wonder how this sums up to Advaita?

Any idea??
 
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mkrishna100

Well-known member
Renukaji


This reply is not just with regard to the above mentioned text from Vivekachudamani but with regard to Interpreting Advaita and Advaitic Texts . There is lot of error in communication in the interpretations of these texts and people either with half baked knowledge of advaita or with poor communication end up making such contradictory statements either in their speeches or in their writings and even some Popular Saints in the last Century have made that mistake knowingly / unknowingly . Most of these error are due to the mixture of Yogic Terminology while Interpreting Advaita eg statements like "attain Brahman" ( instead of -understand that You are Brahman ) , "kill the mind" ( instead of - understand that the mind is false entity ) ,and the language of "experience" is used here instead of using the language of "Understanding/Identity " .This has led to lot of confusion among many students and spiritual aspirants .
James Swartz a Western Advaita Teacher who had studied well with Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Dayananda has clearly mentioned about these contradictions in his book and articles .
You can find lot of free stuff of his talks / interviews /letters here that deal with these contradictions :
If you want more detailed explnations that better get his book listed in his website for more clarity as this is a topic to be dealt in depth and James Swartz patently handles the issue in his book .

Shining World



 
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renuka

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Renukaji


This reply is not just with regard to the above mentioned text from Vivekachudamani but with regard to Interpreting Advaita and Advaitic Texts . There is lot of error in communication in the interpretations of these texts and people either with half baked knowledge of advaita or with poor communication end up making such contradictory statements either in their speeches or in their writings and even some Popular Saints in the last Century have made that mistake knowingly / unknowingly . Most of these error are due to the mixture of Yogic Terminology while Interpreting Advaita eg statements like "attain Brahman" ( instead of -understand that You are Brahman ) , "kill the mind" ( instead of - understand that the mind is false entity ) ,and the language of "experience" is used here instead of using the language of "Understanding/Identity " .This has led to lot of confusion among many students and spiritual aspirants .
James Swartz a Western Advaita Teacher who had studied well with Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Dayananda has clearly mentioned about these contradictions in his book and articles .
You can find lot of free stuff of his talks / interviews /letters here that deal with these contradictions :
If you want more detailed explnations that better get his book listed in his website for more clarity as this is a topic to be dealt in depth and James Swartz patently handles the issue in his book .

Shining World





Dear Sir,

Thanks for reply..I only typed the English Translation here but I also read the Sanskrit text which conveys the same meaning.I had taken it from the book printed by the Ramakrishna Math Mylapore and they are known to maintaining high standards in their books and interpretation.
 

KRN

Active member
This sloka applies to those who perform sadhana chatushtaya while still living in duality͵ and prior to the attainment of nirvikalpa samadhi.

To a sadhaka at this stage the prakarana repeatedly warns him to be extremely vigilant - Sruti also says *kshurasya dhara nishitaa duratyaya durgam pathasthad kavayo vadanti*
 
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renuka

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
This sloka applies to those who perform sadhana chatushtaya while still living in duality͵ and prior to the attainment of nirvikalpa samadhi.

To a sadhaka at this stage the prakarana repeatedly warns him to be extremely vigilant - Sruti also says *kshurasya dhara nishitaa duratyaya durgam pathasthad kavayo vadanti*


Agreed..but how is it one can actually come in contact with Brahman and then come out of it and being a Knower of Brahman and need to maintain it..so it seems like as if there is only transient contact like how iron fillings stick to a magnet but even though both the Magnet and iron filling are both metals they are still distinctively different and and share only transient or momentary Oneness.

So it seems like a short lived "Amalgamation" and seems actually "Unreal" to start with..so is this also "Mithya"? becos once a person has become the Knower of Brahman even if he is still alive there should be no going back or falling down..if going back or falling down is still possible that means Total Oneness is not 100% possible..that is we always have a certain degree of difference as in Qualified Non Dualism.
 
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KRN

Active member
At this stage he is still a sadhaka. He has got only an intellectual understanding of Brahman but not the realisation of his oneness with Brahman which Sankaracharya praises again and again enrapturedly. As of now the sadhaka is still prone to aavarana and vikshepa shakti of maya. If you carry on reading through the text￾0È3 a few slokas later￾0È3 he starts talking about Nirvikalpa samadhi which is when the sadhaka *really sees ALL AS ONE*.
 
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renuka

renuka

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Gold Member
At this stage he is still a sadhaka. He has got only an intellectual understanding of Brahman but not the realisation of his oneness with Brahman which Sankaracharya praises again and again enrapturedly. As of now the sadhaka is still prone to aavarana and vikshepa shakti of maya. If you carry on reading through the text￾0È3 a few slokas later￾0È3 he starts talking about Nirvikalpa samadhi which is when the sadhaka *really sees ALL AS ONE*.

Yes I read that too...but the point still stands that a maintenance is needed to be in the state of Brahman..it was not talking about maintaining the state on how to reach Brahman..so that shows its not a permanent state.

I know what you mean in your posts..that the sadhaka is given guidelines to reach the state..but if maintenance therapy is needed even after Knowing Brahman so that means even that state is not the Ultimate..so whatever is then?

Are we humans all just playing a guessing game and no one actually Knows?
 
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KRN

Active member
Good question btw͵ the sloka uses the word Brahmavid which may be translated as “knower of Brahman“ and not necessarily “seeker of Brahman“
 

KRN

Active member
Its not maintenance͵ its merely aspiration for Brahman͵ since at that stage Brahman has not been realised. Every Brahmin says during Sandhyavandanam “This Aditya is Brahman. Brahman is the only Truth. I am Brahman“ but does that give him Brahmananda or make him a Brahmajnani? The bonds of ignorance tying us down here are too strong. What it does is to remove these bonds one after the other. In the Gita 6th chapter this is explained - how the Yogi becomes arooda step by step. Until he gets the “Sukham aatyanthikam yattad buddhi grahyam atheendriyam“ (ultimate happiness of Brahman beyond the grasp of intellectual faculties) which comes with Samaadhi only.
 
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renuka

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Good question btw͵ the sloka uses the word Brahmavid which may be translated as “knower of Brahman“ and not necessarily “seeker of Brahman“

Exactly! The shloka clearly says Brahmavid(Knower of Brahman) it did not say Brahma- jignAsu.

If it had used to terminology Brahma-jigNasu then the shloka can be taken as a guideline on how to maintain a steady state in order to become a Brahmavid.
 
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KRN

Active member
Sruti says͵ until Brahman is realised͵ our doubts still remain concerning the duality of this world. And until even a semblance of doubt exists͵ Brahman is unattainable. So one can just keep on plodding͵ until that ideal moment of realisation when one enters samadhi about which Sruti says *all the knots of the heart get broken; all doubts are removed once for all*
 
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renuka

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Sruti says͵ until Brahman is realised͵ our doubts still remain concerning the duality of this world. And until even a semblance of doubt exists͵ Brahman is unattainable. So one can just keep on plodding͵ until that ideal moment of realisation when one enters samadhi about which Sruti says *all the knots of the heart get broken; all doubts are removed once for all*

So any idea why the term Brahma-jignAsu was not used instead?
 

KRN

Active member
Many reasons could be cited￾0È3 and all of them would be guesswork... like the requirements of meter for example. Brahma jijnasu could mean one who is simply curious about knowing Brahman. Like one who is in the mood of Sravanam. One who is still learning texts like Brahma sutra. Once he has got conviction and in the process of intense vairagya and nididhyasanam￾0È3 to continue to call him Brahma jijnasu would not be accurate. In prakarana granthas if we take the literal meaning of slokas we might encounter difficulties.
 

KRN

Active member
As I am a relative newcomer to the forum I might have posted certain stuff very obvious to other forum members. In which case my request is to ignore the same and not see such messages as pontificating :)
 

sravna

Well-known member
It seems to me that the reference is to one who is not fully self realized. One who knows brahman is the same as being brahman. In fact such persons can still live in the world of duality and essentially are not affected by maya and do not see duality.
 
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renuka

renuka

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Gold Member
It seems to me that the reference is to one who is not fully self realized. One who knows brahman is the same as being brahman. In fact such persons can still live in the world of duality and essentially are not affected by maya and do not see duality.

Agreed Sravna..but at the same time the word Brahmavid was used..and it means someone who already knows Brahman isnt it?

The Knower of Brahman verily is Brahman or becomes Brahman..so why the question of maintenance mode?

So that means one can still fall from the state of Brahman?

Cos the next stanza does talk about falling..if it is Brahma-jignAsu I can understand that if they fall or do not reach the state of Brahman..but a Brahmavid?

So it seems that some amount of difference is still seen between Brahman and Jeevas and a Jeeva needs to maintain the Brahman status..doesnt this go to show that only Brahman is 100% perfect and Brahman wannabes cant never reach 100% perfection..that is we can be perfect but Brahman is always more perfect?

So that accounts for some amount of Qualified Non Dualism if you ask me.

What say you.
 

sravna

Well-known member
No Renuka, being in the state of brahman one can still be pulled back by maya. There is a gradual progression towards being one with brahman and it does not happen all at once.
 

sravna

Well-known member
To elaborate to be in a state of brahman would mean that you are not affected by maya in that state but given a different presentation of reality you may succumb to maya. You truly know brahman when you are one with brahman and therefore free of maya.
 
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renuka

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
No Renuka, being in the state of brahman one can still be pulled back by maya. There is a gradual progression towards being one with brahman and it does not happen all at once.

Agreed.

So that means its like a Newbie in the Brahman Arena who is a new entry but still susceptible to Maya.

Like sugar crystal that gets diluted in water but not yet 100% diluted.

I get what you mean...but if this is true that one can be a Brahmavid Newbie that means Brahman is always slightly different isnt it?

But if you already know Brahman arent you already Brahman? So why this Newbie phenomenon?

So with that how can there be Advaita?

Its like one can know Brahman but there is always a certain degree of risk of falling back from that state..so this only proves that a Jeeva might be similar to Brahman but not 100% the same....Giving the Vishishtadvaitist an opportunity to win hands down!LOL


Note: the term used in that Shloka was Brahmavid(Knower of Brahma)..it was not a Brahma JignAsa.
 
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