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Featured Concept of Brahman in Hinduism

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by sayak83, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Wish to start a debate/discussion regarding the concept of the ultimate reality (Brahman) that is the core of Hindu philosophy. Many ppl (mostly my Indian friends) consider it too difficult to understand to think about... and practice simple theism mostly.

    So I want to get your opinion about Brahman. Is it hard to understand, fake mumbo jumbo, profound realization or just "meh"?

    I will start with a verse in the Upanisads that I find quite striking. What do you make of it?

    Upanisadic Verses

    By whom impelled, by whom compelled, does the mind soar forth?

    By whom enjoined does the breath, march on as the first?

    By whom is this speech impelled, with which people speak?

    And who is the god that joins the sight and hearing?


    That which is the hearing behind hearing,
    the thinking behind thinking,
    the speech behind speech,
    the sight behind sight—
    It is also the breathing behind breathing


    Which one cannot grasp with one's mind,
    by which, they say,
    the mind itself is grasped
    Learn that that alone is brahman,
    and not what they here venerate.

    (Kena Upanisad)
     
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  2. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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    "Brahman" in the Hindu belief is the same entity as the "Demiurge" in Gnostic thought..
    an intermediate deity or "demi-god" that fashions and gives form to primal matter ( the cosmos, aka "worlds"

    The same entity that Orthodox Christians worship as the "ultimate reality"......unaware
     
  3. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Is reality the thing seen, or the eye seeing? Are we passive participants in the world, or creators of the world? This is a shift from dualistic thought to nondual realization.

    I've been thinking about this lately, which is touched upon in the last verse above, "Learn that that alone is Brahman, and not what they here venerate". With any practice, one begins at the rudimentary concepts and works with those, following the rules of the form as it were. I'll relate this to my own practice of taijiquan. Someone first learning is paying attention to all the movements, where to move the feet, how to move the arms, etc. This is all still external to them. There is division between the thoughts and the movements. They have not yet developed the practice to where it is a unified whole, not even guided by thought at all.

    In other words, developmentally, all people begin with an externalized form, and later, it becomes internalized. This is as true for Tai Chi, as it is for swimming, playing music, etc. Once it moves from a very literal external form of rules and practices (this is right and that is wrong), to an internalized form, it shifts into a space of liberation or freedom of movement and expression. To put a term to this, it's a relationship between structure and freedom. In Tai Chi, it becomes the relationship between the fundamentals of movement, and movement itself.

    The same is true spiritually speaking. One begins looking "up" to see God. And in that practice of reaching and imagining, it actually activates the truth of it within oneself, even if it is still imagined as something outside ourselves. Eventually, it is realized that the reality of it, has always been within us. We didn't actually learn a new skill, but rather learned a way to expose something that was innately there the whole time. We inhabit that reality subjectively. We become that reality, as it is the reality in us. It just needed a framework to find expression through. But the form, is not the freedom.

    Until someone has moved from form to freedom, they are still doing the equivalent of staring at your feet while dancing. That's not dancing. If someone is still seeing God as outside themselves, they have not yet experienced their true nature. It's not the world that is seen, but the Seer seeing. It's not where the feet go in a dance, but dancing itself.
     
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  4. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    No it's not.

    dem·i·urge
    /ˈdemēˌərj/
    Learn to pronounce
    noun
    1. a being responsible for the creation of the universe.
      • (in Platonic philosophy) the Maker or Creator of the world.
      • (in Gnosticism and other theological systems) a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being, that is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual.
    Brahman is not "subordinate the the Supreme Being". Brahman is the Supreme Being. Brahman is the Source itself through which all creation arises continually: Difference Between Brahma and Brahman | Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms


    Brahma vs Brahman

    Brahma and Brahman are two characters in Hindu religion and philosophy. While Brahma refers to the four-faced God described in the religious texts of Hinduism, Brahman is the Supreme Entity described in the Upanishads. It is the Brahman that is said to manifest itself into this universe. Brahman projects this universe and withdraws it back unto it during the time of deluge.

    .....

    Brahman

    Brahman on the other hand cannot be seen with the naked eye. It can only be experienced. Brahman is said to be all-pervasive. It pervades all parts of existence. It is present everywhere. Sages of the past have experienced the Brahman and have become realized souls. According to Advaita of Sankara, all individual souls are parts of the Supreme Brahman.

     
    #4 Windwalker, Feb 13, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  5. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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    lol......it is indeed the "supreme being" in it's own little "world" of matter
    but this little world of matter, this ILLUSION we call the cosmos (universe) is nothing compared to the True Reality
     
  6. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    This is not what Hinduism teaches, and this is contrary to everything it has to say. Early Gnosticism is radically dualistic. The Upanishads speak in nondualistic terms of the Supreme Reality. You cannot compare the two. Other than to say, that radical duality is a misperception of Ultimate Reality, or Brahman. Brahman is not a deity form, like the demiurge is.
     
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  7. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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    Of course, that must be why he ( Brahma ) needs to take a little nap every so often..
    You know, destroy everything and start all over ?
    sounds like a spoiled brat to me......just like the Demiurge
     
  8. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    You missed what I added to that post. You compared the demiurge with Brahman (not Brahma) This should help explain it better:

    Difference Between Brahma and Brahman

    July 16, 2011 Posted by kishor


    Brahma vs Brahman


    Brahma and Brahman are two characters in Hindu religion and philosophy. While Brahma refers to the four-faced God described in the religious texts of Hinduism, Brahman is the Supreme Entity described in the Upanishads. It is the Brahman that is said to manifest itself into this universe. Brahman projects this universe and withdraws it back unto it during the time of deluge.

    Brahma

    Brahma is said to be the God of creation. He is assigned the duty of creating living beings. He is also called as the writer of destiny of people. Brahma is said to be the originator of the four Vedas. He is said to live in a separate world called the Satyaloka. Saraswati is his consort or wife. Sage Narada is said to be his son. Narada is a staunch devotee of Vishnu.

    There is no temple built for the four-faced Brahma. Brahma is described in the mythological works as the God who is seated on the lotus. He is portrayed with a beard too.

    Brahman

    Brahman on the other hand cannot be seen with the naked eye. It can only be experienced. Brahman is said to be all-pervasive. It pervades all parts of existence. It is present everywhere. Sages of the past have experienced the Brahman and have become realized souls. According to Advaita of Sankara, all individual souls are parts of the Supreme Brahman. After getting liberating from the human bodies, the individual souls become one with the Brahman. Death is meant only for the body and not for the soul.

    Upanishads extol Brahman and says it is indestructible. Brahman cannot be burnt, made wet or blown away. It has neither shape nor color. It cannot be seen and cannot be smelt too. Brahman dwells in every living being according to Advaita. It resides in human beings, animals, birds, trees, nature, objects and virtually everywhere,

    One who has realized the Supreme Brahman becomes a man of self-realization. Such a person regards all the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, happiness and sorrow, profit and loss, victory and defeat and failure and success alike. He is not disturbed by failures and insults. He gets total control over his mind. He sees Brahman everywhere and gets liberated.

    Brahman is the supreme controller. It manifests and controls the world. It creates Maya or illusion. It is only due to the innate power of maya in the Brahman that we see serpent in a rope in insufficient light. Serpent is likened to this universe. Rope is likened to the Brahman and insufficient light is likened to inadequate knowledge.

    Adequate knowledge will make us realize and experience the presence of Brahman. The illusory appearance of snake or the universe goes away. The saying goes ‘Brahmaiva Satyam Jagan Mithyaa’. It means ‘The Supreme Brahman alone is the truth, the universe is illusory’. Hence the illusory appearance of snake vanishes. Rope remains. Hence Brahman alone remains when true knowledge is born.

    Difference Between Brahma and Brahman | Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms

    Does this help clarify this for you?
     
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  9. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Brahmā does not destroy. Shiva dissolves and sweeps away what is old and worn out to make way for new creation. Moreover, in Vaishnava thought, Brahmā creates at Vishnu’s behest. So it’s safe to say that Brahmā is not all-powerful. He “serves” at Vishnu’s and Shiva’s pleasure.
     
  10. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    In greek paganism, we have the ''On''. The ''On'' is ''Brahman''. The ''On'' is what there is. :)
     
  11. amatuerscholar

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    I think an easier way to grasp the idea is to think about panentheism. The idea that God (or Brahman) is both within this world, but also beyond. With that, we can also introduce the idea of Atman. Atman within us, Brahman outside of us. While the terms are different, this is also becoming a major idea within Christianity.

    But we also have to remember that Brahman isn't human, and thus we can never fully understand it. It transcends our knowledge. We can see a spark of it within Atman, within ourselves, but there is going to be a disconnect.
     
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  12. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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    No clarification needed, I understood this probably when you were still hangin on mommy's coat tail.
    Hindu belief has MANY TRUTHS that the western world could learn much from...like the truth of REINCARNATION for example...
    But, just like Orthodox "Christianity" , it also distorts the truth in many ways for the sake of keeping people enslaved to this "world"
     
  13. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    "Hanging onto mommy's coat tail"? What the bleep are you talking about? You were wrong in what you said. Brahma might relate to the demiurge, but certainly not Brahman.
     
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  14. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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  15. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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    I know.....he has his "minions" that do all the dirty work for him
    just like the Demiurge
     
  16. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Try to learn how to use the quote function. Also, I have no idea what you mean, and I really don't care. "lol". :(
     
  17. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    BTW, this thread is about Brahman, not your Gnostic beliefs about a demiurge. That is not what this thread it about. You've been shown the difference. We are not talking about Brahma. Quit trying to derail this thread and make it about you and your unrelated beliefs.

    From the OP: "Wish to start a debate/discussion regarding the concept of the ultimate reality (Brahman) that is the core of Hindu philosophy". This not about Brahma. Please restrict your comments to the topic, which is Brahman, not Brahma.
     
    #17 Windwalker, Feb 13, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  18. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    Two things -

    1. I should point out that this difficulty is only with the abstract Nirguna Brahman as defined by Advaita. Other schools such as Vishi****advaita and Dvaita see Brahman as Sriman Narayana himself and so, there is no confusion about ultimately unreal universes and ultimately unreal gods (Saguna Brahman). It is very simple and straight forward.

    2. The Kena verses you have posted can be interpreted directly on the basis of Brahman = Narayana.
     
  19. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Will join you tomorrow, late today (here in India). :)
     
  20. WhyIsThatSo

    WhyIsThatSo Well-Known Member

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    Oh, then please excuse me for thinking outside the box...
    it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.
     
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