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Where does the Human soul live in the body?

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sravna

Well-known member
My reply in bold.

How did that Brahman (From whom all that intelligence arose) get enveloped by maaya (karma/ignorance)? Then, is maaya more powerful than Brahman or Brahman got bewildered
by powerful prakriti?
Then , you contradict the sruti, that Brahman is the Most High and Nirguna (fault-free) and Saguna(all auspicious).

Please refer my previous post.


All along, you guys have been saying there is only Consciousness and where did that Soul (jiva) come from? If maayaa is specific to each person? then is maaya a varying property/quality of the soul/Jiva?
Then doesn't that make each jiva/individual/soul is different? What is the origin and nature of that coloring agent??

In the reality of the physical world, the one brahman appears as numerous each with specific characteristics. The primary source of everything is brahman. Each soul learns because it interacts with other souls and hence from that learning experience evolves. The souls are benighted and at any particular time, each soul is at a particular stage of evolution just to make the interaction and learning possible. Finally every soul fully evolves by imbibing the universal and eternal truths.


Brahman alone exists! It is formless! Where did this maaya agent, with color, come from?

If there are idiotic and intelligent souls, is then that knowledge/Ignorance (Consciousness) a value/quality of the Soul??
 

sangom

Well-known member
How did that Brahman (From whom all that intelligence arose) get enveloped by maaya (karma/ignorance)? Then, is maaya more powerful than Brahman or Brahman got bewildered
by powerful prakriti? Then , you contradict the sruti, that Brahman is the Most High and Nirguna (fault-free) and Saguna(all auspicious).

Dear Shri Govinda,

This is a subject about which giant intellects like those of Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva and many others of equal eminence as that of this trio, have had different but rock-solid and inflexible views. People like myself engaging in discussion /debate on this issue is, to put it mildly, the most foolish venture, imho. Still, I give below whatever I feel as of today (because my ideas may undergo changes due to further learning and experience) is as follows. Learned members like yourself may or may not take these very seriously but if someone feels it is worth consideration, then please think over it.

Until AdiSankara's time (whatever that might have been) we had the vedas and the Upanishads as our primary and standards of philosophy or the 'the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct' (cf. The Random House Dictionary). While the Rigveda as also the other vedas contained statements describing the ultimate being or truth as one and also as many and in some contexts mixed views of the Rishis, (these are known as abheda sruti, bhedasruti and bhedaabheda sruti respectively) the Upanishads, and more especially those Upanishads which are considered "major", give an impression that those were attempts by people who were gradually moving away from the Vedic axis of Yagas/Yajnas or sacrifices.

The Upanishads played a crucial role in crystalizing certain notions about truth or the Brahman as it was referred to in those texts. Much of the Upanishadic ideas corresponded to the advaita pov, imho. Adi Shankara was probably influenced more by the Upanishadic ideas which led him to propound a single truth and to call all the rest as simple "mithyaa". This idea may be explained by supposinf that all LIFE, as we know it, is the product of one and the same causating agent; instead of confusing ourselves with terms which have already got set meanings in our scriptures, I prefer to call this causating agent as "LIFE Force or LIFE Field" and I prefer to believe that this field is very much like the gravitational field which is universal in its nature. Just as the effects of gravitation are invariably present wherever two masses exist, the effect of the LIFE Field manifests as Life wherever there is a chance for it to manifest; resultantly a new life form takes shape wherever it is made possible, like say sexual union between two people, and the conditions are ripe for fertilization.

But the Life Force does not enter a physical body (or the fertilized ovum somewhere along its path to form a full body); invariably such entry is caused or made possible only when a Karmic envelope also enters that physical body and starts acting as an intermediate layer covering the LIFE Force and between that LIFE Force and the external, visible and physical, body. It is the coordinated actions of the LIFE Force and the Karmic Layer which makes us experience this world (or this Universe itself, perhaps) in the unique way in which each one of us do that. The individuality is caused by the Karmic Layer.

I am omitting minor details and am entering our thread's query, viz., where is the human soul live in the body? If we go by the aforesaid description, it will be seen that both the LIFE Force and its Karmic cover are present throughout the body and so, my answer to the above question is, "The soul is present throughout our body." I suppose the two words viśvaṃ and viṣṇuḥ at the very start of the viṣṇu sahasranāmaṃ endorse such a premise.

Since the above is my personal belief system, I welcome comments, criticisms and doubts so that I will be able to meditate further and try to find out the right position; so, there is no guarantee that I will be able to answer your doubts, criticisms, etc., to your satisfaction, please.

All along, you guys have been saying there is only Consciousness and where did that Soul (jiva) come from? If maayaa is specific to each person? then is maaya a varying property/quality of the soul/Jiva?
Then doesn't that make each jiva/individual/soul is different? What is the origin and nature of that coloring agent??

Brahman alone exists! It is formless! Where did this maaya agent, with color, come from?

If there are idiotic and intelligent souls, is then that knowledge/Ignorance (Consciousness) a value/quality of the Soul??

If we assume that maayaa is the Karmic covering over the LIFE Force, then we get the following answers to the above questions:

a) maayaa, being the Karmic results specific to each person, is also specific in regard to details; but in regard to the general characteristics of its functioning in association with the LIFE Force within and the physical body outside, this maayaa is alike in all persons.

b) It depends on which one we choose to call as the "Jiva/individual/soul" etc. ; if we look at this from the level of the Life force, all Jiva/individual/soul are the same. From this arose possibly the concept of one Brahman. From the Karmic Layer point, the Jiva/individual/soul are all individuals and not alike, just as the physical bodies are.

c) It will be clear that the colouring agent arises out of our accrued and as yet unexpiated Karmas and its nature is to control and direct all our organs of cognition & action, i.e., our thoughts and actions in a way best suited to experience the results (phalas) of those unexpiated Karmas.

d) Brahman ( and not Brahman alone) or the Life Force is the real Truth or sat (that which exists). Maayaa or the Karmic layer is a product of our Karmas. The problem arose, imho, because advaita tried to elevate Brahman to the only sat.

e) If we take the Karmic Layer with the Life Force causing it to function, as the soul, we can have idiotic, intelligent, etc., souls.
 

ozone

Active member
e) If we take the Karmic Layer with the Life Force causing it to function, as the soul, we can have idiotic, intelligent, etc., souls.
This appears similar to the definition of the body and hence I feel cannot be related to a soul.
So, to me it appears that your description
if we look at this from the level of the Life force, all Jiva/individual/soul are the same. From this arose possibly the concept of one Brahman.
to be more consistent and close to the definition of the soul (Atma).
Thus karmic layer that causes a life force to enter a body has the characteristic of being an idiot or a wise and the soul has only an association with the idiot. So to call it an idiotic soul would only mean a soul residing in an idiot.


Just like we call a dog living in a rich man's place a rich dog and one in a poor mans place a poor dog :).
Being rich or poor for the dog is only in its experience and not what it is as a dog.
 

zebra16

Well-known member
Sri Sangom,



Dear Shri Govinda,

This is a subject about which giant intellects like those of Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva and many others of equal eminence as that of this trio, have had different but rock-solid and inflexible views.

I have a few basic questions and hope you will share your knowledge:

1. What is the purpose of Sri Badarayana's brahma sutras? Was it to reconcile various Sruti vakyas or was it just to present the case that Sruti had some statements which appeared to be contradictory. Did Sri Badarayana reconcile the statements or was it left to the next batch of philosophers to do it?

2. Does Brahma sutras contain some philosophical stuff from Bhagwat Geeta also? If not, why was BG was brought into account while forming the A or VA or D philosophies?

3. Is it true that Brahma sutras themselves were flawed, in the sense that if one does justice to Brahma Sutras then one has to let go of a few upaniSadic statements and if one is faithful to upaniSads, one has to read the brahma sutras in such a way that the reading of brahma sutra may appear to be distorted.

4. I have heard people saying that Sri Sankara was (more) faithful to the upaniSads and Sri Ramanuja was (more) faithful to the Brahma sutras. Is this a correct posiition?

Regards
 

zebra16

Well-known member



I am omitting minor details and am entering our thread's query, viz., where is the human soul live in the body? If we go by the aforesaid description, it will be seen that both the LIFE Force and its Karmic cover are present throughout the body and so, my answer to the above question is, "The soul is present throughout our body." I suppose the two words viśvaṃ and viṣṇuḥ at the very start of the viṣṇu sahasranāmaṃ endorse such a premise.


Sir, I feel that there is at least one minor problem with the premise that "soul" is present throughout the body.

If some part of the body (which is non essential in medical terms) like finger, toe, arm or leg is amputed or cut off, only the cut off portion withers away and the rest of the body functions normally. If only one soul was pervading the whole body, then it would amount that soul can be divided or partitioned and if there were multiple "life forces" in a body then some "life forces" are masters and some "life forces" are slaves. The dependent life forces cannot sustain themselves once they are alienated from the "controlling" life force/s.

How to reconcile this point?
 

sangom

Well-known member
This appears similar to the definition of the body and hence I feel cannot be related to a soul.
So, to me it appears that your description

to be more consistent and close to the definition of the soul (Atma).
Thus karmic layer that causes a life force to enter a body has the characteristic of being an idiot or a wise and the soul has only an association with the idiot. So to call it an idiotic soul would only mean a soul residing in an idiot.


Just like we call a dog living in a rich man's place a rich dog and one in a poor mans place a poor dog :).
Being rich or poor for the dog is only in its experience and not what it is as a dog.

Dear O-3,

That was why I said "e) If we take the Karmic Layer with the Life Force causing it to function, as the soul,", in my post. The choice is ours. I will however prefer to consider the LF-KL combination as the soul, because it is that combination which perceives "itself" as experiencing the good and bad results of Karma in this life. Without the KL, it is electricity without any medium, and if we take KL alone, then it is like a wire without electricity, imho. Only the combination is useful, I believe.

Coming to your objection in calling a soul as idiotic or intelligent, is it not because we tend to identify the soul with the Brahman, because of our philosophical bias? If light/lamp can be called blue light or red light depending upon what cover the lamp has, I do not think there can be any objection to the terms idiotic or intelligent souls also. Kindly think over.
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
Dear O-3,



Coming to your objection in calling a soul as idiotic or intelligent, is it not because we tend to identify the soul with the Brahman, because of our philosophical bias? If light/lamp can be called blue light or red light depending upon what cover the lamp has, I do not think there can be any objection to the terms idiotic or intelligent souls also. Kindly think over.


Shri Sangom,


I consider in the same way as you have narrated above. A life force with a Karmic Layer, a.k.a. Soul remains an ignorant soul, in varying degrees and works towards attaining wisdom, knowledge and realizations, in due course of its evolution. As such, the Life force on attaining the new physical body (new birth) tend to grow with its inborn limitations and capabilities (as accumulated) and continues to scale high using the brain/mind, in a given environment and paying off the accumulated Karmas.

All souls are same in the sense that, all are been through the evolution process to attain refinement and realization. The only difference it makes is when we compare souls within a given time frame, unmindful of the evolution stage of each one and distinguish them as idiotic and intelligent souls.


Shri Zebra,

Just want to add my views to your post no.65.

The Life Force is an all pervading energy through out the whole physical body, having its locus in Heart. As such, amputations due accidental reasons and inborn physical deficiency does not amount to the Soul/Life Force been divided into parts and that a part of it is lost. The Life Force/Soul is considered to have lost the physical body, when we say that the person is dead, only when the Heart ceases to operate naturally.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Sri Sangom,



I have a few basic questions and hope you will share your knowledge:

1. What is the purpose of Sri Badarayana's brahma sutras? Was it to reconcile various Sruti vakyas or was it just to present the case that Sruti had some statements which appeared to be contradictory. Did Sri Badarayana reconcile the statements or was it left to the next batch of philosophers to do it?

2. Does Brahma sutras contain some philosophical stuff from Bhagwat Geeta also? If not, why was BG was brought into account while forming the A or VA or D philosophies?

3. Is it true that Brahma sutras themselves were flawed, in the sense that if one does justice to Brahma Sutras then one has to let go of a few upaniSadic statements and if one is faithful to upaniSads, one has to read the brahma sutras in such a way that the reading of brahma sutra may appear to be distorted.

4. I have heard people saying that Sri Sankara was (more) faithful to the upaniSads and Sri Ramanuja was (more) faithful to the Brahma sutras. Is this a correct posiition?

Regards

Dear Shri Zebra,

I do not think I have the eligibility or knowledge to give 'authentic' answers to your doubts. Even so, I will try my best to give you what little I have so far understood from my readings.

1. What is the purpose of Sri Badarayana's brahma sutras? Was it to reconcile various Sruti vakyas or was it just to present the case that Sruti had some statements which appeared to be contradictory. Did Sri Badarayana reconcile the statements or was it left to the next batch of philosophers to do it?

AFA my limited knowledge goes, Badarayana's effort was to reconcile apparent contradictions in Upanishadic statements themselves and not to reconcile Upanishads with the Vedas. This was because vedas were considered to be inerrant and unquestionable truths coming from the Brahman itself.

If you are referring to Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva etc., Acharyas as "the next batch of philosophers", it is my feeling that their main thrust was to emphasize what each one of them found to be the "Ultimate and Primary Truth" behind this visible and ever-changing universe. In this process, Sankara has placed much more reliance on the Upanishads and only nominal references are there to vedas; I am not that familiar with the approach taken by the other Acharyas. Looking back, it appears to me as if the next generation philosophers were more of a non-unifying influence than a unifying one, as far as Hindu Philosophy itself was concerned. Yet Sankara's advaita appears to be the most universally known philosophy, imho.

2. Does Brahma sutras contain some philosophical stuff from Bhagwat Geeta also? If not, why was BG was brought into account while forming the A or VA or D philosophies?
The accepted custom within hinduism has been (and possibly still is) that a person can obtain the honorific "Acharya" only if he completes bhaashyas on the Prasthaanathrayee (three Prasthaanas - the ten major Upanishads were called the Sruti Prasthaana, Brahmasutra was known as the Sootra Prasthaana and Bhagavadgeetaa was the Smriti Prasthaana). Since Bhagavdgeetaa was considered as "smriti prasthaana" by the scholarly community of Hindus and unless a person wrote his bhaashya on all the three prasthaanas, each of the later Acharyas had to write his own bhaashya on BG also in order that his philosophical line will be considered by the scholars and he would be known as Acharya. To the best of my knowledge the BS does not contain any "lifts" from any other scripture, barring terms or words which cannot be avoided while compiling in Sanskrit.

3. Is it true that Brahma sutras themselves were flawed, in the sense that if one does justice to Brahma Sutras then one has to let go of a few upaniSadic statements and if one is faithful to upaniSads, one has to read the brahma sutras in such a way that the reading of brahma sutra may appear to be distorted.
I don't consider myself eligible to pronounce anything about any of the texts being "flawed" because I am too small a person with a little bit of knowledge. Since BS was written with the main purpose of reconciling the Upanishadic statements themselves, I don't think there will be any Upanishadic statement to be left out, unless it goes completely contrary to the underlying theme of all these philosophies viz., there is one, primary and supreme reason or starting point for this experienced universe and that is Brahman. But I cannot understand why these Acharyas were so particular about the reason or source being single and not even two. May be they had to comply with the Ekam sad... of the rigveda as well as Ekamevaadviteeyam in Chaandogya, etc. But imho, this emphasis on Ekam perhaps was not necessary.
4. I have heard people saying that Sri Sankara was (more) faithful to the upaniSads and Sri Ramanuja was (more) faithful to the Brahma sutras. Is this a correct posiition?

Regards
Sankara seems to have relied more on the Upanishads only. Sankara first wrote his bhaashyas on the ten major Upanishads, and then wrote the bhaashya on Brahma Sootra since there are many references in the bsb to the statements in his bhaashyas on brihadaaranyaka, chaandogya, mundaka, katha, prasna, aitareya and taittireeya. Possibly his Geetaa Bhaashya was later than the Brahmasutra Bhaashya.
 

ozone

Active member
Dear O-3,


That was why I said "e) If we take the Karmic Layer with the Life Force causing it to function, as the soul,", in my post. The choice is ours. I will however prefer to consider the LF-KL combination as the soul, because it is that combination which perceives "itself" as experiencing the good and bad results of Karma in this life. Without the KL, it is electricity without any medium, and if we take KL alone, then it is like a wire without electricity, imho. Only the combination is useful, I believe.
Dear Sir,
This explanation seems fine when the body, karmic layer and the LF are associated together. But when the LF leaves the body, it is said that the karmic layer goes in search of a new body and when this happen, LF then moves in again to give it life. Further, it is said that LF when it leaves the body, merges with the universal consciousness. So, during this period of search for a new body, there is no LF associated with the karmic layer. Is that right? It is also the job of the karmic layer to find a suitable new body to exhaust the karma balance, and not that of LF. Is this correct?
So can it be said that the karmic layer has a unique identity whereas LF does not.


Coming to your objection in calling a soul as idiotic or intelligent, is it not because we tend to identify the soul with the Brahman, because of our philosophical bias? If light/lamp can be called blue light or red light depending upon what cover the lamp has, I do not think there can be any objection to the terms idiotic or intelligent souls also. Kindly think over.

I agree that in a normal transactional dialogue this is how we see it, but arent we discussing the philosophical aspects here?
Just as the common remark being made in these kind of lectures - It is not you who is undergoing the pain, it is your body.
Isnt the discussion here about whether the lamp is blue or the viel in between that is causing it to be seen as blue and what is the true nature or colour of the lamp?


thanks
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Sir,
This explanation seems fine when the body, karmic layer and the LF are associated together. But when the LF leaves the body, it is said that the karmic layer goes in search of a new body and when this happen, LF then moves in again to give it life. Further, it is said that LF when it leaves the body, merges with the universal consciousness. So, during this period of search for a new body, there is no LF associated with the karmic layer. Is that right? It is also the job of the karmic layer to find a suitable new body to exhaust the karma balance, and not that of LF. Is this correct?
So can it be said that the karmic layer has a unique identity whereas LF does not.

Since mine is only a sort of hypothesis in my understanding advaita, I will not be able to confirm or contradict your statement that "the karmic layer goes in search of a new body", "It is also the job of the karmic layer to find a suitable new body", etc. The actual mechanism is not known and also whether the KL is an intelligent entity by itself to go in search of a suitable new body under formation or not. I would prefer to imagine that just as different materials will be submerged in a column of liquid (say, water) at different levels in accordance with their specific gravities, may be the KL is automatically drawn to circumstances which will best suit its next birth. Some branch of Tibetan Biddhism believes in highly evolved, superhuman Lamas who are entrusted with this job of allocating new births to each soul (in their belief) in accordance with its unexpired Karma. We cannot however adopt such a scenario unless we accept the notions of Yama, Citragupta, etc., but even then our scriptures do not seem to involve citragupta with the allocation of the new birth; citragupta merely keeps tha account of individuals' Karma and reads it out while Yama pronounces the punishments in naraka/rewards in swarga which the soul of the dead has to experience. So, I am in the dark about how the KL is driven to its new body. It is true that KL has an individual, unique identity whereas the LF does not.

I agree that in a normal transactional dialogue this is how we see it, but arent we discussing the philosophical aspects here?
Just as the common remark being made in these kind of lectures - It is not you who is undergoing the pain, it is your body.
Isnt the discussion here about whether the lamp is blue or the viel in between that is causing it to be seen as blue and what is the true nature or colour of the lamp?


thanks

If we designate the LF as the soul, then what you say is quite right, imo. But LF is without identity and corresponds more with the Brahman of our scriptures whereas it is the combined LF +KL which is more akin to the jivas. If we can have unique identity for jivas, then can we not say "this is a very unenlightened jiva", "this is a very highly enlightened jiva", etc? Kindly let me know your view.

Regards,
 

ozone

Active member
Dear Shri Sangom,
thank you for the reply. I see that we have similar thinking in a few aspects.
. If we can have unique identity for jivas, then can we not say "this is a very unenlightened jiva", "this is a very highly enlightened jiva", etc? Kindly let me know your view.

Regards,
what would be a difference in outcome of an enlightened jiva and an unenlightened one? Besides, would it not need something like a mind (which would then require a body) to exhibit this? I view them as mere agents or carrier of information(signature). The actual intelligence I feel comes from the body to which it attaches. I am not sure though.
 

thebigthinkg

Active member
Where does the Human soul live in the body?


Bhagawat Gita in 2.17
This verse more clearly explains the real nature of the soul, which is spread all over the body. Anyone can understand what is spread all over the body: it is consciousness.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized, Text 17.
Where does the soul reside in the body? Is the soul same in animals too? - Yahoo! Answers India


Neuroscientists seems to think that soul lives in the Brain
Where Does Your Soul Live? | Create Your Health

According to Brama kumaris

The ‘seat of the soul’ is the third eye (approximately in the center of the forehead, where the pituitary and pineal glands are located).
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization (Raja Yoga)

Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent entity that remains constant behind the changing corporeal and incorporeal components of a living being.
Soul - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old Testament does not distinguish between physical and spiritual organs.
The Old Testament View of Human Nature


The learned members please give your views on this fascinating subject,
Thanks

Sir,

If I understand the 'Soul' that you are talking about as 'consciousness' that drives the Universe, here is what I wrote for my daughter..

TheBigThinkg Poems: Consciousness Dead or Alive..

Like the moon that reflects the Sun, our consciousness reflects the Supreme consciousness in every cell, every atom, Mesons, Higgs, strong and weak force..

Should we confine it to our brain and/or associate it with very high level actions of the brain..?


-TBT
 

sangom

Well-known member
Sir, I feel that there is at least one minor problem with the premise that "soul" is present throughout the body.

If some part of the body (which is non essential in medical terms) like finger, toe, arm or leg is amputed or cut off, only the cut off portion withers away and the rest of the body functions normally. If only one soul was pervading the whole body, then it would amount that soul can be divided or partitioned and if there were multiple "life forces" in a body then some "life forces" are masters and some "life forces" are slaves. The dependent life forces cannot sustain themselves once they are alienated from the "controlling" life force/s.

How to reconcile this point?

Dear Shri Narayanan,

I think we usually imagine the 'soul' to be something like a "doll-inside-doll" thing; a body identical to the physical body and residing within the latter. That is why this doubt arises. I consider the soul to be something like air or oxygen which is spread through out the body without any definite shape of its own; it is a Field of energy. So, even if an arm or leg is amputated in the physical body, the only change that may be happening to the soul (according to my thinking) is that it will have that much less area to work in. If you are in agreement with such a hypothesis, possibly the objections such as partitioning the soul, master- and slave- life forces etc. Please let me know.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom,
thank you for the reply. I see that we have similar thinking in a few aspects.

what would be a difference in outcome of an enlightened jiva and an unenlightened one? Besides, would it not need something like a mind (which would then require a body) to exhibit this? I view them as mere agents or carrier of information(signature). The actual intelligence I feel comes from the body to which it attaches. I am not sure though.

Sir,

I changed the words from idiotic, intelligent, etc., to enlightened and unenlightened just to avoid criticism that jivas cannot be idiotic because of Tattvamasi principle, and so on. Actually, mind, intellect, ego etc., seem to belong not to the physical body but only when the KL with the LF enters into a physical body; I think you will agree. If so, mind, intellect etc., should have their locus as the LF. But since we have assumed the LF to be a universal, eternal phenomenon, it becomes identical to the Brahman which is devoid of qualities in itself (and this will become clearer if we consider the LF as a universal Field, like gravitation), and so necessarily it is the KL which should have in itself the power to manifest the ego, mind, intellect, etc., imo.

Please think over and let me know your views.
 

tks

Well-known member
This post is intended for those who are curious and not locked into a belief system.


My objective is not to explain anything since such topics are *only* understood by proper effort (post # 3) under the


guidance of a qualified teacher often requiring lifetime of effort.


When we are exposed to a concept using words (e.g., Brahman) that cannot be explained by our field of experience -


direct or indirect or by study of various other subjects - we are forced to make things up using our imagination which


will always be incorrect. Sometimes we are forced to reconcile our interpretations of various new words if we are


intellectually determined. In doing so we will be forced to form new axioms and some may be comfortable with those


ideas.This post is meant for those that are more dedicated to reason and learning.


For example one may be preached that God created all these things that we experience. The next natural question is who


created this God and why is 'he or she' doing all these the answer may be that ' one cannot understand the ways of the


Lord' . I have oversimplified explanations provided by some followers of some traditions. For even an 'arm chair self


proclaimed Vedantist' such an explanation will not be adequate.


A few who want to know may go one more step further and read some forum messages (not just here) and feel good about the


participatory learning. Others may read books like - 'Vedanta for dummies'


(Advaita-Vedanta* For Dummies | Silly Sutras by Ron Rattner or


The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :)






After some exposure to such materials one can form a belief system and be comfortable with that belief system.


I am not putting down such books since for some it may spark curiousity to truly learn the real thing.


If someone is committed to learning the truth, and committed to not accept things that do not stand to reason (which


means even those concept 'above logic' can be understood by reason but they do not accept any concept that is


'unreasonable') they may *not* be able to understand our teachings without a teacher but they can easily dismiss a lot


of nonsense that is propagated including those in the role of teaching these days.


Finding a good teacher and good source to learn means having simple tests to easily dismiss ideas they may come across


in book, forums, and lectures. Often one can find holes by asking the following. Here is a list of 10 tests in no


particular order.


1. What axiomatic things are being asked to accept for the explanation to have merit. If the axioms are not compellingly


self evident and obvious reject what is proposed. They do not know what they are talking about.


2. Ask why and how all the way - if someone is not able to provide a compellingly obvious and self evident means of


explanations then they do not know what they are talking about


3. Do not be taken by those that hide behind references from Vedas (even if they do or do not apply) and liberally use


sanksrit verses because such citations is not a measure of anything and certainly not sufficient to demonstrate real


understanding. True scholars will be able to explain first and then use quotes to amplify their teaching,


4. Be wary of anyone who use metaphors as a 'proof'


5. If an explanation contradicts what is known about the universe (which is existing and accepted knowledge) then one


has to question seriously. It is possible that our knowledge can evolve by new experiments but more likely than not the


ideas presented are likely to be wrong.


6. If too many assumptions are demanded by anyone then reject it


7. Look for self consistency. The teaching must be time and space invariant. If it is true today it must be true


tomorrow at any other place for any other beings (not just human beings). For example if one says you have to be exposed


to someone like Vishnu to go to Vaikunta after death then it is incorrect since it will mean all those in various parts


of the world will not be able to do so with no fault of their own. Similarly if someone says that humans are most


evolved then ask why nature may favor this since we are not all-mighty and on what basis the evolutionary superiority is


judged.




8. Reconcile teaching of all concepts without any apolgy of explanation to make the 'scripture' look right


9. Stay away from anyone who starts out saying 'Vedas are inerrant.. Inerrancy has to be discovered and not taken for


granted. One can approach thinking that they are inearrant but the teaching has to be compellingly obvious. It is best


to assume they are wrong until the teaching removes all doubt.


10. Stay away from anyone who take an easy way out and have not put the effort to learn and apply what they have learnt


in their daily life




I am sure the above list is not complete and may have repeats of some ideas.
 

ozone

Active member
आचार्यात् पादमादते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया । पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥

A student learns a quarter from teacher, a quarter from own intelligence, a quarter from fellow students, and the rest in course of time - Subhashitani
 

sangom

Well-known member
आचार्यात् पादमादते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया । पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥

A student learns a quarter from teacher, a quarter from own intelligence, a quarter from fellow students, and the rest in course of time - Subhashitani

But first engage the guru of...;)
 

tks

Well-known member
But first engage the guru of...;)

No, actually the first step is to undo imagination and beliefs by answering questions in post #75:) - Use own intelligence (25%)

Then answer two more questions -

1. what is this topic area about - If the answer is it is a philosophy one does not get the next question ;)
2. Not knowing the answer ask fellow students at a forum (25% of learning)
3. Wait and pray (25%) and over time a Guru may appear

Just having fun, no offense intended :)
 
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