Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Experiencing the Inexperienceable

Hari Om

'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…

Once in a (very long) while, a question pops up in from the email box... (you can do that folks!)... and this week one such came along. To be fair, it was not so much couched as a question, per se, rather it was a 'musing' and demonstrated that the sender had been reading with an 'open ear' (shravanam) then allowing it to revolve in mind and trying to work against already existing 'knowledge' (mananam). 

The point under scrutiny arose as a result of the post on AUMday recently which give some indication of the fullness of samaadhi. On Choose-day this week, also, the territory of advanced meditational practice was touched upon and reference made to that final 'yoga', the ultimate union and realisation of Self.

The struggle this reader was having was in marrying up the concept of THAT being not at all in the realm of objects, yet apparently being something to 'gain'.

Let it be plain. Brahman/Self is most definitely not an object. Neither, in truth, can it be 'gained' or in any way bought, borrowed, acquired ... The difficulty all teachers of this philosophy have is that, to convey the knowledge, they must use the tools at hand. Language is extremely limiting. In a study group once, someone said this is why all the saints utilised miracles; no words required ... our brahmaachaarya pointed out that even such miracles were a 'manifestation' and therefore of the physical world. Gurudev, in fact, refused to 'perform' (despite some first-hand accounts of his mystical strength) for he firmly believed that such acts diverted the mind from the true purpose. Folk get all caught up in the miracle itself thus it becomes an object of desire. Folk 'want' the mystical ability (known as siddhi in Sanskrit); they 'want' samaadhi... spiritual desire is still desire and this too must be dropped before the final success which is true yoga.

Miracles and even samaadhi can also be mistaken as something to 'experience' and as we have seen when discussing the tripartite nature of experience, this requires multiplicity.  In multiplicity there can be no singularity.

Even likening the spiritual pursuit to a 'journey' - indeed, even to call it a 'pursuit'! - intimates something external to oneself. Yet how else to measure where we were to where we are now in our understanding? Spirituality/philosophy is not of itself an activity, but is something which can pervade our activity, therefore manifesting in the physical world. Until such time as we exist in the realm of Self, until that final revelatory moment, everything remains plural. Until that moment, our only frame of reference is 'us versus THAT' and this inevitably leads to the misperception of THAT being 'something to be gained'.

There are few among us who can truly allow the pluralistic world to drop away and understand the illusion Maya creates. That doesn't mean that most of us cannot at least grasp the intellectual concept of absolutely everything being connected and that there is some kind of universal order.

Shifting from the intellectual stage of seeing the concept to the 'being in the concept' is what we are about in the study of spiritual philosophy. Only by being in it do we discover there is no concept. Just Reality.

...and all of these words mean nothing.

There is a truly wonderful (and personal favourite) verse in the Vivekachoodamani, #59 to be precise, which states that "before realisation, study of scriptures is futile; after realisation, study of scriptures is equally futile." Bhashya Kaara here clearly points out that all which is written/spoken/discussed/debated on the matter of the Reality can in no way convey that Reality; once the reality is 'known' - then all such becomes useless.

The simple fact is, THAT exists. We just need to tune ourselves to it. How we do this, if we are of the intellectual bent, is to study Vedanta, or similar and until we realise that we already are THAT, accept that even this is imperfect, confined as it must be to plurality.

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Hari OM
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