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Does Atman travels after death in advaita vedanta?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Greg Levenski, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Shankara in one of his verses gives the definition of jiva -
    "When the omnipresent Atman is limited or embodied by the mind,ego of subtle body, it is called jiva".
    {{Embodied Atman = jiva}}.
    I found this verse in a free ebook online and i think it was probably taken from his Brahma Sutra text.

    A question is troubling me for quite some time now. Advaitins believe that Atman is omnipresent or all-pervasive, present everywhere like akasha and therefore doesn't travel after death. Only the subtle body does the travelling. Such is their belief.
    But what about the fragmental (embodied) atman known as jiva that Shankara spoke of. Does that embodied atman travel along with the subtle body after death?
     
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  2. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    It is the subtle body containing vasanas or psychological/egocentric impressions that travel or keep reincarnating. These vasanas were created by egocentric actions inspired by desires in the form of cravings and aversions. As these vasanas create bondage, it is the source of suffering.

    Complete elimination of the vasanas through present moment awareness ,total love or spiritual exercises results in Moksha or enlightenment.
     
  3. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Jiva, like all other matter, is composed of physical energy and consciousness energy. The consciousness energy component of the Jiva is what is known as the atman (so- called God component) and so is inseparable from it, as described here: Consciousness Energy of the Universe.
    After death there is no specific travel anywhere. Matter just disintegrates into its atoms which again is composed of physical energy and consciousness energy.
     
    #3 Shantanu, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu pagan and a strong atheist.
    "Na me mṛtyuśaṅkā na me jātibhedaḥ, pitā naiva me naiva mātā na janmaḥ;
    na bandhur na mitraṃ gurunaiva śişyaḥ, cidānandarūpaḥ śivo'ham śivo'ham."


    I do not have fear of death, nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth, I have no father or mother, nor did I have a birth;
    I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple, I am the form of eternal bliss, I am Shiva, indeed, I am Shiva.

    "Aahaṃ nirvikalpo nirākāra rūpo, vibhutvā ca sarvatra sarvendriyāṇaṃ;
    na cāsaṅgataṃ naiva muktir na meyaḥ, cidānandarūpaḥ śivo'ham śivo'ham."

    I am without any attribute, without any form, I am the master everywhere also of all senses;
    I have neither attachment to the world nor to liberation, I have no wishes for anything, I am the form of eternal bliss, I am Shiva, indeed, I am Shiva.
    Atma Shatkam - Wikipedia (also known as Nirvana Shatakam)

    What death are you talking about?
     
    #4 Aupmanyav, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  5. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    He is talking about vyvaharika and the life force of the being.;)
     
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu pagan and a strong atheist.
    :) I am a radical 'advaitist'. So no 'atma' for me. "Ayamatma Brahma' (This self is Brahman), 'Aham Brahmasmi' (I am Brahman). :)
     
  7. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    I practice advaita to constitute 'the art of living'. You may have heard that from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I am not sure what he meant by it but I know what I mean by it: survival.
     
  8. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Why do you choose the word 'advaita' for your beliefs? It seems like your beliefs are not in line with the typical Hindu Advaita or Brahman concepts of people like Atanu and myself.

    It just seems to not make sense to use the same word/term to describe beliefs with fairly significant differences.
     
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  9. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    If I may I will try and explain advaita by asking you a simple question: what is the purpose of your life?
     
  10. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Brahman-Realization
     
  11. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    What is this Brahman, if it is not the Reality?
     
  12. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Brahman is beyond understanding but best described as pure infinite consciousness (infinite sat-cit-Ananda = being-awareness-bliss)
     
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  13. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Does Brahman have intelligence?
     
  14. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I'll go with yes, 'pure intelligence' (all we are familiar with is intelligence in action).
     
  15. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is hard to understand why some use the terms Advaita and Brahman when their understanding of these terms conflicts substantially with its real meanings as put in the scriptures and used by enlightened masters.


    Prajñānam brahma - Brahman is pure consciousness (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)


    This had happened in the past as well.

    There is an upanishadic story of the asura Virochana who deludedly thought that Brahman is the body, and taught other asuras the same, and unfortunately perpetuated ignorance and confusion amongst the asuras.

    In Shankaracharya's time, there were some who equated Brahman with their own sons. Shankaracharya refuted all these claims as foolish in his works.

    In Mahatma Gandhi's time too there were many who equated themselves with Brahman deludedly.

    Mahatma Gandhi stated thus on such erroneous and deluded people...

    "A prayerful study and experience are essential for a correct interpretation of the scriptures. The injunction that a shudra may not study the scriptures is not entirely without meaning. A shudra means a spiritually uncultured, ignorant man. He is more likely than not to misinterpret the Vedas and other scriptures. Everyone cannot solve an algebraical equation. Some preliminary study is a sine quo non. How ill would the grand truth 'I am Brahman' lie in the mouth of a man steeped in sin! To what ignoble purposes would he turn it! What a distortion it would suffer at his hands!

    A man therefore who would interpret the scriptures must have the spiritual discipline. He must practice the yamas and niyamas - the eternal guides of conduct. A superficial practice thereof is useless. The shastras have enjoined the necessity of a guru. But a guru being rare in these days, a study of modern books inculcating bhakti has been suggested by the sages. Those who are lacking in bhakti, lacking in faith, are ill-equipped to interpret the scriptures. The learned may draw an elaborately learned interpretation out of them, but that will not be the true interpretation. Only the experienced will arrive at the true interpretation of the scriptures.

    But even for the inexperienced there are certain canons. That interpretation is not true which conflicts with truth. To one who doubts even truth, the scriptures have no meaning. No one can contend with him." - Mahatma Gandhi ( The Message of the Gita ,pg 20-21)



    All this shows that erroneous understanding of Brahman was common in ancient times, in medieval times and in recent times as well.

    It is thus important to practice critical examination as Kabir taught, to distinguish between the true and false...

    I have elaborated this wise teaching of Kabir in this thread of mine...

    Kabir on the need for critical examination to weed out the false and fraudulent...
     
    #15 ajay0, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
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  16. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Is the intelligence of the Brahman superior in content to the intelligence of the human mind, and if so how can one determine that it is so?
     
  17. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    So you mean the subtle body doesn't transmigrate to a new gross body after the death or de-atomization of the old one? By travel i meant transmigration.



    I guess people back then held on to such beliefs because Advaita itself says that everything is Brahman, including the physical body, world etc.
    But then the same orthodox advaitins contradict their own claims and says that you're not the body but only consciousness.
     
  18. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    But the scriptures state thus too..

    Prajñānam brahma - Brahman is pure consciousness (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)


    Matter, energy , space, time and causation are considered as the manifestation of Brahman as Prakriti or nature. Brahman or pure consciousness is the absolute fundamental in all this. It is true that Brahman constitutes everything, but the same everything is pure consciousness in its most subtle level. It is this which the advaitan foccuses on, and not nama-rupa or name and form which are the grosser aspects.

    It is upon enlightenment that one sees that it is Brahman or pure consciousness that is all-pervasive, and this is why meditation and experiential understanding is given a lot of importance in Advaita Vedanta as opposed to mere book learning. However some does not follow the process with due diligence and get stuck in intellectual concepts divorced from advaita, and state that theirs is true 'advaita' in delusion. This is what happened to Virochana and others mentioned in the past, and what is happening now as well, and will happen to many in the future as well. Hence the need for critical examination to distinguish between the true and fraudulent cases.

    The advaitan philosophy is very hard to comprehend, and hence these sort of errors or erroneous perceptions are bound to take place every now and then.

    Following are the testimony of enlightened masters of past and present declaring consciousness to be the only reality.


    There is sorrow in finitude. The Self (Brahman) is beyond time, space and objects. It is infinite and hence of the nature of absolute happiness.
    - Shankara

    Space seems broken and diverse because of the many forms in it. Remove the forms and pure space remains. So, too with the Omnipresent Self (Brahman).
    - Shankara


    Existence or consciousness is the only reality.
    – Sri Ramana Maharshi


    In reality there is only consciousness. All life is conscious, all consciousness alive." - Nisargadatta Maharaj


    When you look at a tree or a human being in stillness, who is looking? Something deeper than the person. Consciousness is looking at its creation. - Eckhart Tolle




    An account of enlightenment by Gary Weber...

    Happiness Beyond Thought


    So one can see enlightened masters in ancient, medieval and modern times testifying that they were able to perceive consciousness as the only reality after enlightenment.
     
    #18 ajay0, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  19. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    You keep answering with more questions. I hope this is soon going to lead to an answer to my original question:

    Why do you choose the word 'advaita' for your beliefs? It seems like your beliefs are not in line with the typical Hindu Advaita or Brahman concepts of people like Atanu and myself.

    It just seems to not make sense to use the same word/term to describe beliefs with fairly significant differences.


    Anyway on this new question my best understanding from mainstream advaita thought, is that humans are Brahman limited by Brahman to allow Brahman to have finite experience. In physical form infinite intelligence is limited by the complexity supported by the brain structure.
     
  20. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    I asked you those questions because I needed to know whether we are talking about the same thing or not. Evidently we are not for the following reasons.

    To me advaita is just a word with a specific meaning: it means there is no duality or separation between a human being and the wider environment, that is the universe. There is union or accommodation. That is the reality to be fathomed through meditation. The human being therefore needs to accommodate himself to being part of the wider universe. How the human being is part of the wider universe is for individual interpretations according to knowledge and experience. I describe my union as satya-advaita to distinguish it from traditional forms of Hindu Adviata. Who says I cannot do that as long as I define myself adequately. I do not use the term Brahman except by defining it as the universe to use a Hindu term. I am inseparable from Brahman. I have given my scientific reasoning for it earlier in the Blogpost that I referred readers to.

    Satya-advaita is a process that determines the path to the realisation of the relationship between the individual and this Brahman. Satya means truth, in which one ascertains ones truth path through truth accommodation in ones life. The Brahman has consciousness which is available to the human being during the course of his living through the truth path. It is what I mentioned: Brahman intelligence required for survival of the human being in this world. That is what advaita means to me.
     
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