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The bliss that is Brahman and the seductress that is Maya

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sravna

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Broadly there are two objectives one pursues one knowingly and the other unknowingly. The one that is pursued knowingly takes one closer towards brahman. For that to be possible you should have overcome the entrapments in the world. The other is taken in by maya.

Now consider the irony that is caused by maya, the one who lays such entrapments. A person who comes under the influence of maya or a totally selfish person is an epitome of contradictions. Firstly he would revel in the shortcomings of other persons, the very same ones which are ingrained in his character. Secondly he has no qualms commiting harm to other persons when he himself wants to be insured against them. He just takes care of his own good and wants the other to do the same to him.

More thoughts on how and why maya works, later
 
Broadly there are two objectives one pursues one knowingly and the other unknowingly. The one that is pursued knowingly takes one closer towards brahman. For that to be possible you should have overcome the entrapments in the world. The other is taken in by maya.

Now consider the irony that is caused by maya, the one who lays such entrapments. A person who comes under the influence of maya or a totally selfish person is an epitome of contradictions. Firstly he would revel in the shortcomings of other persons, the very same ones which are ingrained in his character. Secondly he has no qualms commiting harm to other persons when he himself wants to be insured against them. He just takes care of his own good and wants the other to do the same to him.

More thoughts on how and why maya works, later
Shri Sravna,

If these are theories being freshly propounded by you, I have nothing to say. But if you are saying these assuming that these are within the ambit of, and elucidation of advaita, I think you are very confused. Since any further comments will be apt only if these are not your new-found philosophy, I await your answer.
 
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sravna

sravna

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Dear Shri Sangom,

Nothing I say is my theory. All comes within the ambit of Advaita and therefore the my aim is one of elucidation and maybe even some inferences.
 
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sravna

sravna

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The objective that is pursued in one's life varies according to the stage of his mind. Broadly it involves learning something that should be unlearnt or wicked learning, unlearning that and learning and unlearning positive excesses. The evolution starts with the phase which is the growth of the ego and the phase reaches its climax when the ego is at a maximum. During this phase of ego growth, one learns those that are meant to be unlearnt. This process happens because of the effectiveness of this technique in transcending those attitudes that undermine the essence of brahman.

Since in this phase learning of wicked has to be done, delusionary effect of maya is at its best and the ego is allowed to grow. The subsequent deflating and shedding of it happens with unlearning.
 
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sravna

sravna

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This forum seems to be extremely popular going by the ranking of google. If you look for the keywords "brahman" and "bliss", this thread comes within top 5 search results. More amazing than that is, this thread was created at around 2 pm and it gets ranked by google by 7 pm. We seem to be living in a really fast world.
 
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sravna

sravna

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The maya that operates when the ego is growing I think is what Ramakrishna Paramahamsa calls as avidya maya. The one that takes a person closer to brahman is according to Ramakrishna, Vidya maya. I think avidya maya creates and destroys negative excesses whereas vidya maya does that with positive excesses. When avidya maya finishes its task you are done with your ego too. When vidya maya finishes its task you become totally balanced and neither wicked nor compassionate.

This is where even greats such as Ramanujacharya erred in my opinion. Ramanuja tilted towards the positive side by describing brahman as one with attributes.
 
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sravna

sravna

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To me physical reality is just unravelling of what makes up the spiritual reality through the dimensions of space and time. In the physical reality the underlying connections are not perceptible. That is the reason we perceive the physical and mental impacts. These connections become perceptible more and more as your mind grows and becomes fortified and you begin to perceive the spiritual world.

Why should these happen in the first place? It just shows that why brahman is eternal because of the way the soul/brahman is fortified and this is perceived as a process in the dimensions of space and time i.e., in the lower/physical reality
 
Broadly there are two objectives one pursues one knowingly and the other unknowingly. The one that is pursued knowingly takes one closer towards brahman. For that to be possible you should have overcome the entrapments in the world. The other is taken in by maya.

Now consider the irony that is caused by maya, the one who lays such entrapments. A person who comes under the influence of maya or a totally selfish person is an epitome of contradictions. Firstly he would revel in the shortcomings of other persons, the very same ones which are ingrained in his character. Secondly he has no qualms commiting harm to other persons when he himself wants to be insured against them. He just takes care of his own good and wants the other to do the same to him.

More thoughts on how and why maya works, later

Sri.Sravna Sir,

Greetings. With due respect to your opinion, I can't bring myself to agree with 'maya' in the way explained by you. Believing and hoping for a miracle to happen is an 'illusion' or 'maya'. But, building something methodically is not maya. All the things we see around us are very real; there is no maya about such things.

Searching for 'Brahman' is not illusion. It is very real. I may be looking at the whole thing in a totally different prospective...I don't know.

Cheers!
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Raghy,

The fact that you see the physical reality as the true reality is the work of maya. All that happens in the physical world is the work of maya so that ultimately you get rid of the illusion that physical reality is absolute. Maya is seductive and tricks us into believing in something which is not that.
 
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Dear Shri Raghy,

The fact that you see the physical reality as the true reality is the work of maya. All that happens in the physical world is the work of maya so that ultimately you get rid of the illusion that physical reality is absolute. Maya is seductive and tricks us into believing in something which is not that.

Sri.Sravna Sir,

Greetings. I beg to differ, please. Speaking about myself, 'I' am an illusion. The world, all the ஸ்தாவர, ஜங்கம things around us very real. To think that they are 'ilusion' is Maya. It is an extensive net woven around us to believe these things are 'illusions' so that, we may not have attachments to these things. Everyone knows when we finally use our oneway 'free pass', no luggage is allowed; everything gets left behind. Most persons would promptly say 'போகும்போது கட்டி கொண்டு போகவா முடியும்?'; if we ask that same person to concede a little for a vulnerable person, the answer would be 'No!'.

So, by preaching Maya, 'illusion' etc, the philosophers of yester years tried to control the greediness of the human society. Considering all that philosophy, greediness amoung Indiains is a bit more than it should be.

Although we can't carry anything, it is an illusion for us to try to amass wealth. Our 'free pass' was issued on the day we were born. When our turn comes, our pass would get utilised. But we don't know when. In other words, our life is ' நித்ய கண்டம்; பூர்ணாயுசு.'. In such a situation, holding grudges, harboring enemity, back stabbing others....No need to make a long list, I suppose. Involving in such unethical practices would be 'Maya' or 'illusion'. The world or universe is not Maya; they are here for the last few billion years, likely to be around for few more billion years. They are as real as any real thing can be.

Cheers!
 
Dear friend,

I am in agreement with most of what you say. But can be please,clarrify one fundamental thing. Why humen-beings were not programmed in such a manner,that over a period of time (may be after 7 births) they would achieve Jeeva-Brahma aikyatvam.If only we are responsible for following the path of self-discovery,why is that we do not have sufficient power to quash the effects of maya? Coming from a stranger,it may sound strange to you.But every individual,knows for sure,the potency of his intent. If realisation of Brahman is the ultimate for everyone, why only a select few indulge in this process?

Please do not view the above comments as "adhigaprasintinam" but as sincere queries?

Sundaresan Suresh
 
Sri.Sundaresan Suresh Sir,

Greetings. It is nice to see you address as 'friend!'; If you kindly add a name too, it would be more easier for that particular friend to respond, please.

Cheers!
 
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nachi naga

Guest
sravana ayya,

maya is a transformative experiance in existence.which is more to do with perception.in the turiyam state of existence,one must experiance it to know brahman.no analogies are apt,as maya's very nature is so.the body is real.its a medium for the spirit to experiance.even when body dies,the spirit exists.depending on karma,the spirit takes another body.a cycle of life and death of body continues,untill the realisation of the self is attained.only self is true all others are just projection of maya.
 
Dear Shri Sangom,

Nothing I say is my theory. All comes within the ambit of Advaita and therefore the my aim is one of elucidation and maybe even some inferences.
Dear Shri Sravna,

brahman has been described as bliss (Ananda) by Sankara also. But when brahman, the One Reality which is "nirguNa" according to the basic advaitic tenets, is so described, It becomes "saguNa". Advaitins have been trying to save their face with arguments like "Sankara did not use it frequently", "Sankara did not actively promote this idea except when commenting upon upanishad vAkyas", etc. It is clear that the upanishads held brahman as Ananda (bliss). Vedanta Desika's SatadUshaNi has rightly contested this usage by advaitins as one of the hundred fallacies / deficiencies of advaita.

Since you stated that your posts under this thread are within the ambit of advaita, may I suggest that you clarify this point also, i.e., how the description of brahman as "bliss" can be justified within the basic principles of advaita?
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom,

The explanation is simple sir. Bliss is something that you expereince when the mind has transcended expereincing force and hence is permanent unlike happiness which is transient in nature. It is something like the expereince of the mind of a perfect yogi which is totally at peace. And that requires perfect balance just as advaita states.

Sir, leave alone one hundred fallacies in advaita. Convince me of one fallacy. You will greatly surprise me.
 
.....Since you stated that your posts under this thread are within the ambit of advaita, may I suggest that you clarify this point also, i.e., how the description of brahman as "bliss" can be justified within the basic principles of advaita?
Dear Shri sangom, from what I see described as Advaita by sravna and some others is actually a watered-down version of VA. The only reality in Advaitam is the pure consciousness which cannot even have a substratum upon which this pure conciousness inheres as that would result in duality. Your posts on the Advaita and its Fallacies thread are insightful. I would like sravna and others to read them and comment.

Cheers!
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Duality implies realities that are equally true. But Advaita doesn't, and cannot in fact, reject physical reality but only says that it is relative reality and that the ultimate reality is only brahman.
 
Dear sravna Ji,

If the world is Vyavaharika Satta (A Relative reality) and Brahman is Paramarthika Satta (The absolute reality).
Where is the Maya ?
Is the whole world (The things that we see, sense, hear etc) a maya
or
Does Brahman display itself in various manifestations (including this world). And it is these intermediate manifestation that is a maya?

thanks,
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Suresoo,

All that is the perception of physical senses and that by the mind which has desires and attachments is not the true reality. When maya is working you are not in control. When you are not in control of the perceptions would you see the reality? For example when you are angry can you be objective?

Therefore to see the reality you need perfect self control or a totally balanced mind. Till then you stay under the influence of maya which takes you through a plethora of learning experiences in the numerous births you take so that the mind reaches that stage.
 
Dear Shri sangom, from what I see described as Advaita by sravna and some others is actually a watered-down version of VA. The only reality in Advaitam is the pure consciousness which cannot even have a substratum upon which this pure conciousness inheres as that would result in duality. Your posts on the Advaita and its Fallacies thread are insightful. I would like sravna and others to read them and comment.

Cheers!
Shri Nara,

What I thought was advaita all these years was probably wrong. What Sravna says might be the correct position as of today. One thing I know is that advaita has had to make many compromises all through because it had many fallacies. These were accentuated probably due to two compulsions for Sankara; one, interpreting the Upanishads and Bhagavadgeeta in terms of his monism, and two, to show that his monism was not a copy of Buddha's. Perhaps it has become a watered-down version of VA or even Dvaitam by now due to the several adjustments. That way there will now be not even one fallacy in it as Shri Sravna claims.

For more info on some of the compromises in advaita, pl. refer "Compromises in the history of advaitic thought" - From the earliest times to the days of Brahmananda Saraswati - Mahamahopadhyaya Professor S. Kuppuswami Sastri in Rao Bahadur K. Krishnaswami Rao Endowment Lectures under the auspices of the Madras University, 1940.

Glimpses of wisdom from (the Late) Shri V. Subrahmanya Iyer, an advaitin scholar, contemporary of Ramana Maharishi, Tutor to the Maharaja of Mysore; he replaced Ramana Maharishi as Paul Brunton's Teacher and lived up to the 1940's or so.

01. We need not doubt that mystics saw Shiva, Jesus, etc. That they saw visions may be an undeniable fact. But the question is “Was what they saw the Truth?" In insane asylums you find patients who make similar claims. They no doubt had such vision but they never stopped to inquire if their visions be true. Vedantins take all the facts, science, religion, art etc. and then ask of them, which is the truth? We collect as much evidence as possible, even contradictory, and then proceed to examine all of it. We are not opposed to anything, but say, "Analyze, how far is it true?”

02.Mind splitting i.e. one part of the mind is perfectly sane, in regard to worldly duties, but in the other part generally dealing with religious beliefs they are insane. This is the condition of many yogis.

03. Yogic trance is no better than hypnotic trance as there is no duality in the deepest stages of both, because they are both deep sleep. The intermediate stages of dream are paralleled by hypnotic and yogic and mental experiences and visions. The only differences between all these three lies in the manner in which the state is induced and whether it is involuntary or voluntary.

04.There is no agreement among the views of mystics. Eckhart's experiences are not the same as those of the Sufis or of the Hindu mystics. Therefore we say that mysticism does differ and is not fundamentally the same everywhere as is claimed. But more important than this is the epistemological question which we ask of the mystics. That they have had experiences is true, but that what they experienced is true is another matter. How do they know that it is the Ultimate or the Almighty or the Reality that they have come in contact with through their ecstasies?

05.Sastras are simply books which are held in reverence and deemed to be infallible; they may have nothing to do with truth. For philosophers they have no value. Yet common people worship them.

06.The religious way says: Believe! and you will be saved. The Vedantic way says: Doubt! and you will be saved.

07.Most commentaries on the ancient books are merely the work of imagination. Every commentator goes on imagining as he likes.

08.The glamour of yoga, mysticism and religion is mesmeric. It is extremely difficult to get anyone out of it, but when the spell does break they regrettably rush to the opposite extreme of gross materialism, as in Russia. That there is a third and higher path available-philosophy--they do not know.

09.We speak of the ancients as being all knowing, but the truth is that they knew some things but were ignorant of others. We have to use discrimination when estimating their knowledge.

10.Those mystics who say you have to rise beyond reason are insane. Common sense tells you that the only way to distinguish between stone and a fruit is to use your intelligence. Otherwise you will try to eat stones! That is, to arrive at the truth of any matter or objects, you must use reason. How much more when you want to arrive at the truth of life, and the universe? This is the only way.

11.If people ask why should reason arrogate the final appeal to itself, we reply: Your use of the word why is sufficient proof that you are seeking a reason for your satisfaction. Thus unconsciously you make the reason highest.

12.Knowledge is the only means of attainment, not yoga.

13. There are two samadhis, one yogic empty trance, and the other keen concentrative thinking.

14.Those who talk of "the experience of Brahman” talk nonsense. They need Semantic training. For you cannot have experience without a subject-object relation, i.e. duality, which is not Brahman.
 
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Glimpses of wisdom from (the Late) Shri V. Subrahmanya Iyer, an advaitin scholar, contemporary of Ramana Maharishi, Tutor to the Maharaja of Mysore; he replaced Ramana Maharishi as Paul Brunton's Teacher and lived up to the 1940's or so.

Thanks Shri sangom for this treat. It is a shame that people of all stripes are attracted to various maThams that promote superstition and backwardness, and not to free-thinkers who can actually have a positive impact on our lives.

Thanks again ....
 
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nachi naga

Guest
sangom sir,
Those who talk of "the experience of Brahman” talk nonsense. They need Semantic training. For you cannot have experience without a subject-object relation, i.e. duality, which is not Brahman.
only to verbalise or communicate to others,a subject - object relation is required.athma is brahman and brahman is athma,which has neither a beginning nor an end,the secret indweller of all.i am not this body but a spirit soul,you are that.advaita that which is not dual.
 
Dear sravna Ji,

All that is the perception of physical senses and that by the mind which has desires and attachments is not the true reality. When maya is working you are not in control. When you are not in control of the perceptions would you see the reality? For example when you are angry can you be objective?

Therefore to see the reality you need perfect self control or a totally balanced mind. Till then you stay under the influence of maya which takes you through a plethora of learning experiences in the numerous births you take so that the mind reaches that stage.

By saying there is maya (an opposite/negative force) keeping self away from Brahman you are suggesting there is a negative energy working against the Positive Universal Energy (The Brahman).

Does this not imply there are two energies/force/concept and hence dualism?

thanks,
 
Those who talk of "the experience of Brahman” talk nonsense. They need Semantic training. For you cannot have experience without a subject-object relation, i.e. duality, which is not Brahman.
I remember a lecture from 'a truly learned Professor' and it goes like

"
We get introduced to various laws of science in our schools as we grow
namely

Newtons Laws
Chemical Laws
Electromagnetic Laws
Thermodynamic laws
Einsteins Relativity theory
Quantum Physics
Unified Field Theory / String Theory

Most of us 'log out' at some point (say after Thermodynamic laws) due to different circumstance. Now one can say he/she 'logged out' because of

1) Family circumstance and lose most of the learning after sometime.
2) some circumstance and look for next opportunity to continue learning
3) select few (having lost balance, purpose or merit) may say. I started reading 'Relativity Theory' and Einstein is a 'Nut Job' and wrote some crap out of a delusional state of mind. And quote this as the reason he stopped learning science.

Its once choice on which group he/she wants to belong to.
"

thanks,
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Suresoo,

Maya doesn't act opposite brahman. It makes you incomplete or lower than brahman. That's why we are relative reality compared to brahman. The incompleteness causes avidya or ignorance
 
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