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!

Me and Thee, We and He

Hari OM

'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]

Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. Please use the TattvabodhaH label to access all posts relevant to this text.

The final section under the evolution of the tamo-guna, elaborates on the relationship of pindanda to brahmanda; jiiva to Iisvara; man to God. Again you are reminded that the whole is not explored at length here. Rather a summary of the subject, you may say.

स्थूलशरीराभिमानि जीवनामकं ब्रह्मप्रतिबिम्बं भवति।
एव जीवः प्रकृत्या स्वस्मात् ईश्वरं भिन्नत्वेन जानाति।
अविद्योपाधिः सन् ईस्वरः इत्युच्यते। एवमुपाधिभेदात्
जीवेश्वरभेददृष्टिः यावत् पर्यन्तं तिष्ठति तावत् पर्यन्तं
जन्ममरणादिरूपसंसारो न् निवर्तते। तस्मात्कारणात्
नीवेश्वरयोर्भेदबुद्धिः स्वीकार्या।
sa eva jiivaH prakR^ityaa svasmaat iishvaraM bhinnatvena jaanaati.
avidyopaadhiH san iisvaraH ityucyate. evamupaadhibhedaat
jiiveshvarabhedadR^iSTiH yaavat paryantaM tiSThati taavat paryantaM
janmamaraNaadiruupasaMsaaro n nivartate. tasmaatkaaraNaat na
niiveshvarayorbhedabuddhiH sviikaaryaa.

"The reflection of Brahman, which identifies itself with the gross body, is called the jiiva. This jiiva by nature takes Iisvara to be different from himself or herself. The Self conditioned by avidyaa is called jiiva and when conditioned by Maya is called Iisvara. So long as the notion that the jiiva and Iisvara are different, which is due to the difference in the conditionings, remains there is no redemption from samsaara which is of the form of repeated birth, death and so on. Due to that reason, the notion of the jiiva is different from Iisvara should not be accepted."

The very pith of Vedantic understanding. Brahman is the Infinite Truth. It wields inherent creative power as a conditioning called as Maya. Due to this conditioning, the appearance of being a different entity is there and it is called as Iisvara. He is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of 'the world'. All Powerful, all Knowing and All Pervading. He is both the material and the efficient cause of the universe. Iisvara knows His Truth and does not get overpowered by Maya. He remains in full control. His Maya is predominantly sattvic and therefore does not bind, thus by taking refuge in Him - and by implication, sattva - one gets freed from the lower bondages created by Maya in the rajasic and, more specifically, that tamasic realms.

The Truth, when under the influence of avidya (ignorance), the Self becomes conditioned into individual parts called as the jiiva. This is predominantly tamasic and is therefore binding. True Nature is forgotten is the external distracts and confuses.

The sun reflects in a bucket of water and assumes a small identity as its own reflection. That reflected sun is conditioned by the water in which it now 'resides'. If the reflection were to forget it is nothing but a beam and begin to think of the water as itself it would think its whole world revolved around and within the bucket. If it realises that it is nothing but the light shining in the sky, it has its play for the day and remains always part of the sun.  The illumination which is pure consciousness is brahmanda (sun), Iisvara is the rays of the sun out to play, Maya provides the bucket… Only we forget we are the light…

Man desires to be complete, happy and eternal. He therefore runs after that which he thinks will make him happy. Actions give results which result in suffering, retained impressions and ongoing desires. Thus the cycle of keeps happening, birth, life, death; on and on. If only we would realise that we are what we seek.

It should be noted, further, that the two different conditionings mentioned in the stanza (Iisvara reflected and Jiiva forgetful) relate to vadas (theories) known respectively as pratibimba vada and avaccheda vada. These will be referred to again and are only mentioned as an introduction here. Advaita actually subscribes to neither, for ultimately there is not Iisvara and there is no jiiva; there is only Brahman. Therefore, the admonition of the Guru at the close of the suutra, that we must not accept our conditioned ignorance born out of thinking ourselves different from The Truth, the Almighty. This is explained through the very famous and astounding mahaavaakya (great statement)… tat tvam asi.

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