Archive for the ‘Brahman’ Tag

Basic Reality of Life

Hindu mythology elaborates the theme of the divine play on a fabulous scale, embracing not only colossal concepts of time and space, but also the widest extremes of pleasure and pain, virtue and depravity. The inmost Self of saint and sage is no less the veiled Godhead than the inmost Self of the debauchee, the coward, the lunatic, and the very demons. The opposites of light and darkness, good and evil, pleasure and pain, are the essential elements of the game. For although the Godhead is identified with Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss, the dark side of life has its integral part in the game just as every drama must have its villain, to disrupt the status quo, and as the cards must be shuffled, thrown into chaos, in order that there may be a significant development of the play. For Hindu thought there is no Problem of Evil. The conventional, relative world is necessarily a world of opposites. Light is inconceivable apart from darkness; order is meaningless without disorder; and, likewise, up without down, sound without silence, pleasure without pain. For anyone who holds that “God made the world,” the question, why did He permit the existence in it of any evil, or of that Evil One in whom all evil is personified, is altogether meaningless; one might as well enquire why He did not make a world without dimensions or one without temporal succession. According to the myth, the divine play goes on through endless cycles of time, through periods of manifestation and withdrawal of the worlds measured in units being a span of 4,320,000,000 years. From the human standpoint, such a conception presents a terrifying monotony, since it goes on aimlessly for ever and ever. But from the divine standpoint, it has all the fascination of the repetitious games of children, which go on and on because time has been forgotten and has reduced itself to a single wondrous instant. The foregoing myth is not the expression of a formal philosophy, but of an experience or state of consciousness which is called liberation.

On the whole, it is safer to say that Indian philosophy is primarily this experience. It is only quite secondarily a system of ideas which attempt to translate the experience into conventional language. At root, then, the philosophy becomes intelligible only by sharing the experience, which consists of the same type of nonconventional knowledge found in Taoism. It is also termed Self-knowledge or Self-awakening since it may be considered as the discovery of who or what I am, when I am no longer identified with any role or conventional definition of the person. Indian philosophy does not describe the content of this discovery except in mythological terms, using the phrase “I am Brahman” or “That art thou” to suggest that Self-knowledge is a realization of one’s original identity with God. But this does not imply what “claiming to be God” means in a Hebrew-Christian context, where mythical language is ordinarily confused with factual language so that there is no clear distinction between God as described in the terms of conventional thought and God as he is in reality. A Hindu does not say “I am Brahman” with the implication that he is personally in charge of the whole universe and informed as to every detail of its operation. On one hand, he is not speaking of identity with God at the level of his superficial personality. On the other, his “God” is not in charge of the universe in a “personal” way. He does not know and act in the manner of a person since he does not know the universe in terms of conventional facts nor act upon it by means of deliberation, effort, and will. It may be of significance that the word “Brahman” is from the root brih-, “to grow,” since his creative activity, like that of the Tao, is with the spontaneity proper to growth as distinct from the deliberation proper to making.

Furthermore, though Brahman is said to “know” himself, this knowing is not a matter of information; knowledge such as one has of objects distinct from a subject. For He is the Knower, and the Knower can know other things, but cannot make Himself the object of His own knowledge, in the same way that fire can burn other things, but cannot burn itself. To the Western mind, the puzzle of Indian philosophy is that it has so much to say about what the liberation experience is not, and little, or nothing, to say about what it is. This is naturally bewildering, for if the experience is really without content, or if it is so lacking in relation to the things which we consider important, how is one to explain the immense esteem which it holds in the Indian scheme of life? Even at the conventional level, it is surely easy to see that knowing what is not so is often quite as important as knowing what is! Even when medicine can suggest no effective remedy for the common cold, there is some advantage in knowing the uselessness of certain popular nostrums.

Furthermore, the function of negative knowledge is not unlike the uses of space–the empty page upon which words can be written, the empty jar into which liquid can be poured, the empty window through which light can be admitted, and the empty pipe through which water can flow. Obviously, the value of emptiness lies in the movements it permits or in the substance which it mediates and contains. But the emptiness must come first. This is why Indian philosophy concentrates on negation, on liberating the mind from concepts of Truth. It proposes no idea, no description, of what is to fill the mind’s void because the idea would exclude the fact–somewhat as a picture of the sun on the windowpane would shut out the true sun’s light. Whereas the Hebrews would not permit an image of God in wood or stone, the Hindus will not permit an image of thought–unless it is so obviously mythological as not to be mistaken for the reality. Therefore, the practical discipline of the way of liberation is a progressive disentanglement of one’s Self from all identification. It is to realize that I am not this body, these sensations, these feelings, these thoughts, this consciousness.

The basic reality of my life is not any conceivable object. Ultimately, it is not even to be identified with any idea, as of God or atman. It is that which is not conscious of the subjective nor of the objective, nor of both; which is neither simple consciousness, nor undifferentiated sentience, nor mere darkness. It is unseen, without relations, incomprehensible, not provable by reasoning, and indescribable–the essence of Self-consciousness, the ending of illusion.


Godly Traits


Life is an uninterrupted contemplation of God. Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn together. What is God? God is Love. If you must be mad, be mad with the love of God. Good sayings are found in holy books, but just reading them will not make you religious. Practice the virtues taught in such books to be God-conscious.

God is Knowledge. If you reinforce yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live surrounded by wealth and worldliness, they will in no way affect you. When the divine vision is achieved, all emerge equal; and there remains no difference of good and bad, or of high and low. Good and evil cannot bind one who has realized the sameness of Nature and his own self with Brahman.

God is in Your Heart. The screen of illusion shuts off God from human view; one cannot see Him playing in one’s heart. After installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering God ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not.

God is in all human, but all human are not in God; that is why we suffer. As a nurse in a wealthy family brings up her master’s child, loving it as if it were her own, yet knowing well that she has no claim upon it, so you also think that you are but trustee and guardians of your children whose real father is the Lord himself.

Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God who is the soul of truth. One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God.

God is above all Arguments. If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your spiritual practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled.

Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone. To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end.

Vedic Astrology

Image Credit: Darrell Hargett

Albert Einstein; the great physicist said, "Time is the fourth Dimension," Vedas say that "Time is the first dimension." In the beginning there was nothing. This concept of "nothing" is beyond the comprehension of ordinary human mind! It is so because before the concept of time there was absolutely nothing which is known as the "Shoonya" or ‘Zero’ or complete silence. Only the yogis who have attained "Nir Vikalpa Samadhi" state can experience this "nothing" and none else can. It is a state beyond time or "timeless state."

Vedas say that from this nothing originated vibration known as the "Pranava" or the sound ‘AUM’. From this sound there emerged five symbolic instruments of creation of universe. These were known as the Five "Tan matras". From the Tan matras came five primordial forces called Space and Time, Atmosphere, Light, Fire, Liquids, and finally the solidification of all. The mixing of these forces resulted in creation of the universes, as we know it now. It is an accepted scientific fact that even the universes are time bound. The theory of relativity; so called because all facts are related to time, speaks of speed in relation to time.

Vedas speak time as the limiting factor for all creation. Every thing is time bound. So the question came as to what is the scale of time? The Vedic seers, who are known as the Rishis, Maha Rishis, Brahma Rishis and Deva Rishis according to their knowledge of time and creation, have equated "Time" in relation to the age of Brahma the agent of creation. His age is 100 years in a special time scale. Note: Brahma is the name of the creative agent which should not be confused with "Brahman" the Timeless primordial force behind all creation.

The Rishis found that as far as the earth and the life in it are concerned the motion around the Sun is enough as a time scale for knowing the changes which would occur with the movement of the earth in relation to the Sun. They also found other celestial bodies like the Moon, Mars, Mercury; Jupiter, Venus and Saturn cast their influence on the earth. The seers also advised that every action must produce a reaction which comes back to the source of its origin in due cycle of time. The word "Karma" means action. Newton’s third law of motion is based on this concept.

The Planets were found to be the best guides as to the type of forthcoming reaction good or bad in the moving time scale. Thus was born the science of Vedic astrology, which is known as "Jyotisha" or ‘illuminator’ in Sanskrit. Vedas are knowledge taught by teacher to disciple through the medium of sound. They cannot be learnt by reading or memorizing. An ordinary example can be cited to illustrate the point. Ordinary "Yes" means I accept. "Yes? Also means what do you want? ‘Yyeess’ means I have my doubts, ‘Yus’ mean’s reluctant acceptance, Yes sir means please tell me and so on.

Astrology is a part of Veda hence it is known as Vedanga (anga means limb). We call it Vedic astrology because it is based on time schedules stipulated in Vedas according to yogic meditational observations of the planets in motion around the sun in relation to the earth and its motions.

The Land of Vedas

Image credit: Paul Gyswyt

Veda is the entire knowledge of nature. The word ‘Veda’ is originated from the Sanskrit verb – ‘ vid ‘ denoting ‘knowing’. Thus, Veda means knowledge. Veda is believably the first creation in the history of knowledge and education. It originated right from the beginning of this creation or when man started to breath, that’s why Veda interprets ‘sosham’ denoting Sanskrit-word – sah + aham = ‘that is me’ God says – "The point where you began and the point where you exist, as well as the point where you will end-everywhere I am dwelling. India, the land of Veda, and the origin of spiritualism have a huge store of religious and cultural knowledge and all of them are originated or interpreted from Veda; not only spiritual but material, scientific knowledge is also introduced in Veda. Everybody knows the oldest alive knowledge in Sanskrit was introduced by Veda. The Vedic knowledge is so deep and so large that it is absolutely impossible to interpret and spread it in a short time and limited space. It’s most important knowledge with an authentic interpretation and application system to let people know the way to leave in peace, harmony and successes.

There are four Vedas – The Vedas are believably ‘unmade’ because it is so huge with the deep knowledge one can’t imagine to compile in the pages and that is why Veda is called – ‘apaurusheya’ that is to say man can’t make it. When it was introduce there was no existence of paper or any writing material or activities, therefore, Veda was introduced and spread by hearing tradition the Sanskrit word – shrotra = ears, therefore Veda is called shrotra; to be hearable, and the people who practice Veda are called -‘ Shrotriya’ (Brahman).

Vedas are in 4 independent volumes and every volume covers such wide area of natural activities. In short, Veda covers – spiritualism-devotion, physics-mathematics, arts-commerce and astrology to medical sciences.

The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization, and the most sacred books of India. They are the original scriptures of Hindu teachings, and contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life. Vedic literature with its philosophical maxims has stood the test of time and is the highest religious authority for all sections of Hindus in particular and for mankind in general. “Veda” means wisdom, knowledge or vision, and it manifests the language of the gods in human speech. The laws of the Vedas regulate the social, legal, domestic and religious customs of the Hindus to the present day. All the obligatory duties of the Hindus at birth, marriage, death and so on owe their allegiance to the Vedic ritual. They draw forth the thought of successive generation of thinkers, and so contain within it the different strata of thought.

The Vedas are probably the earliest documents of the human mind and is indeed difficult to say when the earliest portions of the Vedas came into existence. As the ancient Hindus seldom kept any historical record of their religious, literary and political realization, it is difficult to determine the period of the Vedas with precision. Historians provide us many guesses but none of them is free from ambiguity.

It is believed that humans did not compose the revered compositions of the Vedas, which were handed down through generations by the word of mouth from time immemorial. The general assumption is that the Vedic hymns were either taught by God to the sages or that they were revealed themselves to the sages who were the seers or “mantradrasta” of the hymns. The Vedas were mainly compiled by Vyasa, Krishna, Dwaipayana around the time of Lord Krishna (c. 1500 BC)

The Vedas are four: The Rig-Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda being the main. The four Vedas are collectively known as “Chathurveda,” of which the first three Vedas namely, Rig Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda agree in form, language and content.

Each Veda consists of four parts – the Samhitas (hymns), the Brahmanas (rituals), the Aranyakas (theologies) and the Upanishads (philosophies). The collection of mantras or hymns is called the Samhita. The Brahmanas are ritualistic texts and include precepts and religious duties. Each Veda has several Brahmanas attached to it. The Upanishads form the concluding portions of the Veda and therefore called the “Vedanta” or the end of the Veda and contains the essence of Vedic teachings. The Upanishads and the Aranyakas are the concluding portions of the Brahmanas, which discuss philosophical problems. The Aryanyakas (forest texts) intend to serve as objects of meditation for ascetics who live in forests and deal with mysticism and symbolism.

Although the Vedas are seldom read or understood today, even by the devout, they no doubt form the bedrock of the universal religion or “Sanatana Dharma” that all Hindus follow. The Vedas have guided our religious direction for ages and will continue to do so for generations to come and they will forever remain the most comprehensive and universal of all ancient scriptures.

The Rig Veda or The Book of Mantra is a collection of inspired songs or hymns and is a main source of information on the Rig Vedic civilization. It is the oldest book in any Indo-European language and contains the earliest form of all Sanskrit mantras that date back to 1500 B.C. – 1000 B.C. Some scholars date the Rig Veda as early as 12000 BC – 4000 B.C. The Rig-Vedic ‘samhita’ or collection of mantras consists of 1,017 hymns or ‘suktas’, covering about 10,600 stanzas, divided into eight ‘astakas’ each having eight ‘adhayayas’ or chapters, which are sub-divided into various groups. The hymns are the work of many authors or seers called ‘rishis’. There are seven primary seers identified: Atri, Kanwa, Vashistha, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Gotama and Bharadwaja.

The rig Veda accounts in detail the social, religious, political and economic background of the Rig-Vedic civilization. Even though monotheism characterizes some of the hymns of Rig Veda, naturalistic polytheism and monism can be discerned in the religion of the hymns of Rig Veda. The Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda were compiled after the age of the Rig Veda and are ascribed to the Vedic period.

The Sama Veda or The Book of Song is purely a liturgical collection of melodies (‘saman’). The hymns in the Sama Veda, used as musical notes, were almost completely drawn from the Rig Veda and have no distinctive lessons of their own. Hence, its text is a reduced version of the Rig Veda. As Vedic Scholar David Frawley puts it, if the Rig Veda is the word, Sama Veda is the song or the meaning, if Rig Veda is the knowledge, Sama Veda is its realization, if Rig Veda is the wife, the Sama Veda is her husband.

The Yajur Veda or The Book of Ritual is also a liturgical collection and was made to meet the demands of a ceremonial religion. The Yajur Veda practically served as a guidebook for the priests who execute sacrificial acts muttering simultaneously the prose, prayers, and the sacrificial formulae (‘yajus’). It is similar to ancient Egypt’s “Book of the Dead”. There are no less than six complete recessions of Yajur Veda – Madyandina, Kanva, Taittiriya, Kathaka, Maitrayani and Kapishthala.

The Atharva Veda or The Book of Spell is the last of the Vedas. This is completely different from the other three Vedas and is next in importance to Rig-Veda with regard to history and sociology. A different spirit pervades this Veda. Its hymns are of a more diverse character than the Rig Veda and are also simpler in language. In fact, many scholars do not consider it part of the Vedas at all. The Atharva Veda consists of spells and charms prevalent at its time, and portrays a clearer picture of the Vedic society.

Lead Us To Truth

Lead Us To Truth

Lead Us To Truth

Different schools of Vedanta philosophies differ in the way they define the relation of the world and Brahman. The world here means two aspects, the material non-living world and our souls or individual consciousnesses. The relation of the non-living world to Brahman is interesting as philosophical speculation, but it is the relation of the souls which is most important to us because it is this that causes a difference in our practice.  In Dualism, our soul, that is, our consciousness is something which is eternally and absolutely separate from Brahman. In Qualified Monism, our consciousness exists as separate from Brahman but it has Brahman at its root, and so we are nearer and within ‘touching’ distance of Brahman, we can experience ourselves as part of Brahman. In Advaita Vedanta, our consciousness is not real, it is a virtual shadow and we are actually Brahman, our consciousness is a delusion and once we can break out of this delusion we see that our true identity is Brahman itself.

Depending on this definition of the relation of our consciousness to Brahman, the different philosophies have their own goals and uses. None of these can be said to be higher or lower, they are different because they are suited for different temperaments.  The goal of religion is to lead us to the higher truth, defined as Brahman in the Vedantas. That which leads us to this goal in the fastest manner possible is the best religion. So depending on our temperament, the Dvaita may be the best philosophy or Advaita; that philosophy which works best for us is the supreme philosophy for us.

For those who wish to worship the Lord in the position of a servant and master, who wish to repose their full faith in God and give all responsibility to Him and live only as His servant, the Dvaita is the best path. For those who wish to feel nearer to him, ‘taste’ the Lord as a sugar candy, and wish to touch Him within their hearts, the path of Qualified Monism is the best. But for those who seek the supreme Truth, who want to become one with the Truth itself, Advaita Vedanta is the highest path. The path of Advaita Vedanta has always been accepted as the most intellectual path. Its logic is superior to the other paths. But this does not mean that it is the best path for religious experience. It is also universally accepted that the Dualistic path, the path of Bhakti, and Qualified Monism, are far more easier and lead us much faster to the goal of mystical Oneness with Brahman. Advaita Vedanta is a much more rigorous and hard path. For the present age of Kali Yuga in fact, the recommended path is that of Dvaita. But for those who seek to obtain their spiritual goals through the path of reason and logic, Advaita Vedanta will always stand out as the highest path.

Different Schools of Vedanta:

1. Dualism: In this school, Brahman and the world are considered to be two equally real entities and not related in any way. Brahman here is a purely personal God, a God with the typical omniscient powers that is considered Godly reminiscent of the Gods of dualistic religions like Christianity and Islam. The god of dualism is the Hindu God, Vishnu. Vishnu has created the world, and the world stands separate from God and in an inferior position to God with no link between the two. Vishnu controls the world and all world events, and the duty of all persons is to worship and pray to God. The Dualistic philosophy is a simple philosophy, easy to understand and relate to. It appeals directly to the heart, in the desire of all persons to have a God to worship and surrender oneself to.

2. Qualified Monism: In Qualified Monism, the world and personal God are considered two equally real entities, as in dualism, but here the world is not separate from personal God but is formed out of personal God. Here as in dualism, personal God has omniscient qualities. He has created the world, but He has created the world out of His own self. Thus the world bears to personal God the relation of part to whole or the relation of a ‘qualified effect’ to the base hence qualified monism. The famous analogy given for this is the sea and wave – personal God is the sea and the objects of the world, both non-living and the living souls, are like waves upon this sea. All waves are ultimately the sea only, but as long as we see the wave we think it to be different from the sea. The wave is of name and form only. Other analogies given for this are gold and gold jewellery, clay and clay pots, the spider and his web, etc. Personal God has all the qualities like Omniscience, Omnipotence, etc. Personal God creates the world out of His love for humans, and controls the world at every step. The duty of humans is to love and worship personal God so that he will grant deliverance when our worship has ripened. The practice of religion in Qualified Monism is similar to Dualism, and the only difference is that mankind enjoys a higher status than in pure dualistic worship and is nearer to God. Thus in Qualified Monism, although both the world and Personal God are considered equally real, they are not considered two separate entities as in Dualism.

3. Advaita: This is the highest intellectual reading of spirituality. In Advaita, the reality of the world is denied. Absolute or Godhead is the only reality. The world although it subsists on Absolute or Godhead has no intrinsic reality of its own and it is only Absolute or Godhead at its base which gives it its reality.  The analogy given for Advaita is the famous analogy of the snake and the rope. In the dark, we may mistake a rope for a snake and for a time take it to be a real snake. But soon we realize that it is in fact a rope only. Once we know it to be a rope, we do not see the snake anymore. The snake had never existed; it was purely in our minds. So also, although it is only the Absolute or Godhead which exists all around us, we see the world which is only a reading of Absolute or Godhead by our minds. But once we attain realization and see that it was Absolute or Godhead all along, we do not see the world anymore. The Absolute or Godhead of Advaita is a purely impersonal entity. There can be no talk of creation or of love with regard to Absolute or Godhead. Absolute or Godhead exists of its own accord and does not in any way affect the world, the world evolves out of its own cycle of expansion and involution. Practice of religion in Advaita is an intellectual practice. That is why Advaita was often seen as a religion of the mind rather than the heart. Yet for those who demand uncompromising reason in their search for the Truth, the path of Advaita is the supreme spiritual path.

4. Difference—non–Difference School is also called Dualistic Advaita. Dualistic Advaita is an interpretation of Vishista Advaita and therefore it is often not considered separately but as a part of Vishista Advaita. Like Vishista Advaita, Dualistic Advaita School also believes that the world and Absolute or Godhead are both equally real, and that the world is a part of Absolute or Godhead. The difference is in emphasis, it emphasizes the difference in Vishista Advaita more and hence tends towards dualism. That is why it is also called Dvaita Advaita or Dualistic Monism. The same analogy of sea and wave, clay and pot, etc. is used here.  A particular analogy of Dualistic Advaita is the sun and the sun beam. The sun beam cannot be called separate from the sun, it arises from the sun and is attached to it. Yet it is not the sun either, it is only a part of the sun, a reflection of the sun, and it gives only a part view of the sun. Hence the world also is but a manifestation of Absolute or Godhead, but it is a very puny manifestation and the difference with Absolute or Godhead is very large. Dualistic Advaita follows a dualistic pattern of worship. God here is Lord Vishnu, and He is described in dualistic terms, as the Lord of all and in whom we must seek refuge.  One aspect of Dualistic Advaita is God and humans has a part-whole relationship. This difference—non–difference is indescribable.  Here it is important to stress the difference between the terms, unthinkable or unknowable used in Dualistic Advaita and indescribable used in Advaita. Confusion has sometimes been caused by these terms as to the resemblance between Dualistic Advaita and Advaita. The two terms have approximately the same connotation, but they are used for two entirely different aspects. Indescribable in Advaita is used in a much more basic aspect, it relates to the ontological or metaphysical existence of the world, whereas unthinkable in Dualistic Advaita is used for a secondary aspect, the relation of the world and Absolute or Godhead.  In Advaita, the existence of the world itself is challenged. In Dualistic Advaita, the existence of the world is accepted as real. Thus there is no ontological or metaphysical problem of existence of the world in Dualistic Advaita, it is accepted as existing primarily and it is only the secondary relation with Absolute or Godhead that is considered somewhat mysterious. indescribable in Advaita is used to describe the state of existence of the world itself, its ontological or metaphysical existence. The world is said to have only relative reality. But what exactly it means to say that the world exists in this state of relative reality, what state exactly the world is in when it is existing in this state of relative reality is said to be indescribable.

In Dualistic Advaita, the primary existence of the world is accepted to be real and there is no difficulty about this. But the relation of the world with Absolute or Godhead is said to be unthinkable, so the reference here is to a secondary or more external aspect of the world. In all versions of Vishista Advaita in fact, this may be said to be true in that having described both as equally real, the relation of the world with Absolute or Godhead cannot be exactly described. Chaitanya emphasized this aspect to accentuate the Supremeness of God as someone whom we cannot understand, otherwise describing humans as nondifferent in Dualistic Advaita may give rise to the idea that God is within touching distance. In Advaita, the question of the relation between the world and Absolute or Godhead does not arise as the existence of the world itself is denied, and hence the secondary question does not arise.

5. Pure Monism: In Pure Monism, as in Vishista Advaita, the world is taken to have a real existence, as also Absolute or Godhead. But it is said that there is no change of Absolute or Godhead into the world, the world exists as it were as an aspect of Absolute or Godhead without undergoing any change, it is a part of Absolute or Godhead. We may consider it like two sides of a coin, with Absolute or Godhead as one side and the world as another side. There is no change; the world is a part of the coin that is Absolute or Godhead. Hence this is called ‘Pure Monism’ because it is said that there is only one and there is no change. It is a purer form of Monism than even the Advaita because there Absolute or Godhead is said to manifest the relatively real world through its power of Illusion but here even Illusion is denied and there is no change. However, we see that though Pure Monism calls itself monism, it recognizes the presence of both, the world and Absolute or Godhead, as being equally real. Hence there are two realities. Hence, even if we say that it is a part of Absolute or Godhead, the world does exist as a different reality from Absolute or Godhead, the other side of the coin as it were. So it is actually a branch of Vishista Advaita, in that it recognizes both the world and Absolute or Godhead as being two equally real existences, though it emphasizes the non-difference more by saying that the world is an inseparable, unchanged aspect of Absolute or Godhead. Thus it tends more towards pure Advaita than the Vishista Advaita.

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Fundamental Desires

Fundamental Desires

Fundamental Desires

Is it true that a mind full of conflict is a diseased mind?

When ease is disturbed, it is dis-ease. When in conflict, our peace, ease and serenity are disturbed. Conflict is the fire that ravages our well-being. Despite material prosperity, we are bound to be unhappy as long as this fire exists in us.  The fundamental thrust in an individual should be to handle this fire of conflict. How to put an end to it? The moment you become aware of this fact, you start thinking of ways and means to put an end to this. When you realize that the basic human problem is one of conflict and the more you try to resolve a conflict, more conflicts arise in you, a spiritual inquiry is born in you.

To overcome conflict about basic conflict, inquire and contemplate on the cause of this conflict.  As the thought flow gets attuned to this introspection, there emerges insight from within about cause. The source of the conflict is choice.  The choice is to do or not to do.  If I had no choice, there wouldn’t be any conflict. To be a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, there is a choice. To take up a job or be independent, there is a choice. I have a choice and therefore the conflict. Animals hardly have choice. Instinct, a rudimentary choice and therefore less conflict-prone, guides them. So often we have a choice to buy this or that, to go to this movie or that. I have a choice, I make a decision, and then there is no conflict. Therefore, all choices don’t lead to conflict. Find out this distinction and further inquire into the genesis of conflict.

You find that just choice doesn’t lead to conflict. There is a certain element which pressurizes choice and when it is not fulfilled, then choice leads to conflict. That element is want or desire. Merely fulfilling your want will not end conflict because the more you fulfill your wants, more wants rise up in you and it appears you are trapped in conflict.

Look into the structure of want; it has two aspects; first, fundamental desire and second, topical desire. Topical desires are those whose ends are finite in nature: “I want to be a doctor, i want to be an engineer; I want to be a rich person,” and so on. These topical desires are branches of fundamental desires; they vary from person to person.

Fundamental desire is desire for Sat, Chit and Ananda. Satchidananda, or Sat-cit-ānanda (Sanskrit: सच्चिदानन्द) verb to be (‘as’) sat (सत्) and the nouns cit (चित्) and ānanda (आनन्द). ‘Sat’ describes an essence that is pure and timeless; ‘cit’ is consciousness; ‘ānanda’ is absolute bliss.  Saccidānanda is the Sanskrit compound form of the word. Regardless of spelling, satcitananda is pronounced as sach-chid-ānanda.  It is a description of the subjective experience of Brahman (the infinite, supreme soul), or of the universal mind. This sublimely blissful experience of the boundless, pure consciousness is a glimpse of ultimate reality. The object of fundamental desire is infinite, without limits, endless.

The object of topical desires is finite, limited. Our conflicts go on increasing because we go on fulfilling topical desires only. When we fulfil fundamental desires, our conflicts get resolved. Therefore, the effective way of fulfilling desires is to focus our attention on fundamental desires, the root cause of all topical desires.

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