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Does Atman travels after death in advaita vedanta?

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

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    It would appear to me in my understanding that Brahman is the canvas upon which everything lies or upon what everything is, vyavaharika, even when perceived as illusion, would still be encompassed in Brahman, not separate from It.
     
  2. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    For this to be true, there would have to be multiple embodied atmans - one per Jiva. And then, you would have to admit a Paramartma or universal Atman. Once you admit all these entities, you are either talking duality or simultaneous oneness/difference and that is not Advaita.

    I am no scholar (authentic or otherwise), but your question is spot on.

    Maya means many different things. The term is used in the Gita (7.14. etc.,) to mean Krishna's potency. Setting aside Buddhism, the only school of Vedanta that reads Maya as illusion is Advaita. In that sense, the concept is pretty simple and clear in other streams of Vedanta and is only confusing for Advaita.

    Maya is real for us. Else, who is talking to whom, here? And it stays real, for there is no entity who can say he is outside Maya for that would be an oxymoron. When an acclaimed Jivan-mukta is chatting with his followers, he is in Maya. The world is real, he is part of it and there are other people who he is distinct from. There is nothing "Advaitic" about it.

    So, when is Maya unreal? It never is, for the illusory part is theoretical and is never a perception. Maya is the appearance of the Universe, projected on the consciousness. In that sense, it is transient and has no independent existence. But we are part of this transient Universe and for us, it is all real.

    Consider a hypothetical meditative state, where one believes he or she is in a state where there is no Maya and therefore, no duality. This is only possible, if this entity is Brahman. But Brahman cannot go into meditative states and come out of it or tell itself that it is now in a non-dual state. So, it is some other entity (other than Brahman) who feels that it is in a non-dual state. But since this entity is not Brahman, we have duality or simultaneous oneness/difference.
     
  3. atanu

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    Not really. Post Shankaracharya there has been a lot of debate among advaitins regarding ontology of mAyA. To Shankara, this question was not important. He qualifies mAyA as that which is neither sat (true) nor asat (untrue). It is called anirvarchaniya -- indescribable.

    In Advaita Siddhi, Sri Madhusudhan Saraswati defines mAyA as beginning-less ignorance that is uproot-able. So, there cannot be any question of duality. And there is no point in trying to determine locus of mAyA since it is a myth (not real and not unreal).

    This is good. Yet.

    Non dual brahman is silence. Any attempt at description of non dual is equally subject to being termed 'not non dual'.
    ...
     
  4. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Can you please give exact reference to this? It is not the advaita understanding that Jiva is fragmental. You seem to be building up your questions from a wrong premise assuming that 'jiva atman' is fragmental.
     
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  5. atanu

    atanu Member
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    This question was discussed earlier. I found the following video reasonably good.



    I see that you have already seen the video on youtube and left the same question in remarks. Therefore, I will request you to refer us back to the text where Shankara says that Jivatma is a fragment.

    If you give up the notion that Jivatma is a fragment of Atman, other confusions will vanish.
     
    #45 atanu, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  6. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    None of the given book-essays of Surendranath Dasgupta refute that Brahman is pure consciousness.

    It only deals with various interpretations of Advaitan philosophy and Maya, while sticking to the basics and fundamentals that Brahman is pure consciousness.

    They have not like the Asura Virochana, conclude that Brahman is the body , which is a total denial of the fundamentals and basics of the advaitan philosophy. (Similarly with the pseudo-scholars in Shankara's time who concluded that Brahman was their sons, which was a negation of advaitan basics.)

    The scholars mentioned in the book-essays, have stuck to the basics and fundamentals, and gave interpretations of the advaitan philosophy, none of which conflicted with the fundamentals.
     
  7. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Also there are not many versions of Advaita Vedanta. I have never heard of such a thing in my life. These are all falsities and falsehood. There is only one philosophy of Advaita Vedanta.

    There is neo-advaita, based on a new teaching trend, but even neo-advaita sticks to the advaitan fundamentals that Brahman is pure consciousness, and does not tamper with it.
     
    #47 ajay0, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
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  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Yeah, what is perceived, even if wrongly, in 'Vyavaharika', still is Brahman - and one entity, not fragmental.
     
    #48 Aupmanyav, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    A realized, enlightened person will know what is real and what is 'maya'. There is no need for the realized person to go into a meditative state. The person already knows what is to be known. The person may be quite, relaxing the body or thinking about some thing - he/she would soon get to know what, he/she seeks, it will not take much time, because his/her thinking process is clear and fast. The problem occurs when we mix other kind of 'vedanta' or 'advaita' thinking with it. That creates poblems for those who have not yet understood it.
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Well, I am the one who will differ on many things. May is not anirvachaniya - indescribable. It can be precisely described. Maya does not exist in Parmarthika, it exists only in Vyavaharika. Why it exists in Vyavaharika is because of brain and its result mind. (it happens so even in the case of animals to a lesser extent).

    Because we have these 100 billion neurons, the chemical and electrical action between synapses, and the five senses feeding data right from the time we were in the womb, our mind think in a particular way. That causes maya. It has been created by evolution, it serves a good purpose, but it hinders us from knowing the truth.

    In the same way Brahman also can be precisely defined. It is what we started with at the time of Big Bang, that is energy - physical energy, not of any divine kind. It is the interaction of four or five fundamental forces. Beyond this science does not know. And we cannot describe Brahman any more than this at the moment. Perhaps a hundred or two hundred years down the line, we will be able to know more about it.
     
  11. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    The asura Virochana after deludedly thinking that the body is the Self or Brahman, considered himself enlightened and started teaching his new ideas to other Asuras with great conviction and enthusiasm. Contrast this with Indra, who did not jump to conclusions, but patiently studied, inquired and contemplated on the scriptural teachings and realized the Self as pure consciousness.

    The upanishads highlight Indra's path as the right path over the delusioned Asura Virochana.

    Virochana - Wikipedia

    The story of Virochana and Indra


    These teachings of the Upanishads are guideposts for us to choose divine paths over the demonic paths.
     
  12. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Maya is not exactly prakriti but a modification of it. As I said earlier, Maya is just illusion. Maya can be stated to be a modification or projection of prakriti, but not prakriti in itself technically.

    Prakriti is the everchanging material universe around us. It is considered as Maya due to the cravings or aversions created in the mind through contact with sense-objects, agitating it. Hence it is the mind that is the source of maya due to the effect of prakriti or sense-objects.

    This is why the twin objective of practice and detachment from sense-objects is taught by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, to master the mind made turbulent due to contact with sense-stimuli.

    Hence maya really lies in the mind with its psychological projections of craving and aversions for sense-objects, inspite of the truth of the impermanence of these sense-objects. (Here the mind, intellect and senses are considered part of Prakriti and are distinct from the Self.)


    It is the Self/Brahman or pure consciousness, that is of an eternal nature compared to the temporary nature of Prakriti and sense-objects that constitute it. All spiritual practices have their objective in realizing the Self.


    One should understand that the Atman( Self/Brahman) is always like the King, distinct from the body, senses, mind and intellect, all of which constitute the matter (Prakriti); and is the witness of their functions.
    ~ Shankara


    Answering your question, the three gunas are aspects of Prakriti. Since Maya is a projection of Prakriti, it comes in the form of these three gunas. As per Krishna, Tamas binds by laziness and carelesness, Rajas by desires and extrovert action, and Sattva by attachment to knowledge and happiness.

    The story of Sri Ramakrishna with respect to the three robbers representing sattva, rajas and tamas exemplifies this process.

    Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna » Blog Archive » Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
     
  13. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Ok
    Yes you're right. It's Prakriti where the 3 gunas reside. My bad. Anyway, what im trying to say here is, when the gunas remain undisturbed, all names and forms are not destroyed but simply goes back to their original de-atomized state. That is, matter and their qualities hibernate in prakriti.
    There exists no universes during this phase and such a phase, if im not wrong, is also called the paramarthika state, since there exists no living beings to perceive the universe from an empirical viewpoint. Only prakriti remains with all the de-atomized matter and their qualities. And this prakriti is not seen differently from Brahman. The advaitins claim both are the same. (There's only one).

    So my point is, if Nirguna Brahman is simply prakriti that possesses these latent qualities, then is it fair to say Brahman is Nirguna? Shouldn't Brahman be rather called Nir-akar (formless or subtlest) instead of calling it Nirguna?
    Something nirguna should completely lack qualities, even latent ones.
     
  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I know Brahman only. Prakriti is duality. There is only one phase, and no universe in Paramarthika. Brahman undergoes no change in the normal sense (i.e., other than changes that it goes through according to its nature - Faynman diagrams). That also means that I do not consider Brahman to be 'nirguna'. It has its own properties. Perhaps existence and non-existence also are its properties. If it was no so, we are left with the question 'where did Brahman arise from?', just what we ask the theists to explain. 'Ex-nihilo' or not? Though Presently, we do not have the answer to this question.
     
  15. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    I have stated earlier....

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


    Brahman thus is all pervading pure consciousness and Prakriti is a grosser manifestation of it.

    The enlightened one sees everything as pure unitary consciousness, while the unenlightened one sees the names and forms of Prakriti, develops cravings and aversions on account of the sense-stimuli, and thus comes to bondage of Maya.

    The enlightened or Self-realized one is depicted thus in the Bhagavad Gita, " That Yogi who is gladly absorbed in truth and Self realization is said to be indissolubly united to spirit. Unchangeable, conqueror of senses, he looks with an equal eye an earth, stone and gold."-Bhagavad Gita 6:8

    You can see that the Self-realized sees with an equal eye stone and gold, as he can see the Self or Brahman pervading both at the subtle level.

    Virochana , due to his fixation with sense-pleasures, likewise was deluded into thinking that the Self or Brahman is the body. Same too with the pseudo-scholars in Shankaracharyas time who deludedly thought that their sons, were the Self or Brahman. It is all play of Maya. Indra was able to escape the trap of inauspicious Maya and realize that Brahman is pure consciousness through constant satsang, patient study , inquiry and meditation. It is experiential understanding that results in proper intellectual understanding as well.

    As said earlier, Brahman thus is all pervading pure consciousness and Prakriti is a grosser manifestation of it. This is the reason why Nirguna is used to denote lack of form or attributes in Brahman. Saguna Brahman however emphasizes Brahman with name and form, in relation to the names and forms of grosser Prakriti.
     
  16. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    What you people are saying is Brahman is in fact God with considerable intelligence and ability to warn you of the dangers that you face and the steps you should take to avert those dangers. You can determine this over the long term through the satya-advaitic process of contacting God and establishing a conversation with Him through a digital clock sighting of particular numbers that add up to 7, as I have already explained. Whether you describe this as pure consciousness or some thing more than that is a matter for debate.
     
  17. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Here is an analogy.

    Water vapour , water and ice are one and the same, though they appear different. There are many different ice sculptures and forms but they are all water at the subtler level, and water vapour at the subtlest level.

    Similarly the names and forms of Prakriti is the grosser level of Brahman, while Brahman at its subtlest level is pure consciousness which is all-pervasive.

    The unenlightened ones see merely the names and forms of Prakriti, while the enlightened one sees all as pure consciousness from the vantage point of enlightenment.
     
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  18. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    The word 'fragment' was not used by Shankara in his texts and so it's not there in the ebook that i found online. Its me who's assuming it to be a fragment (the portion that has interpenetrated or pervaded all the subtle bodies.)

    The reason why i used the word fragment is because, the bhamati or the avaccheda group uses the term 'embodied'.
    The term embody means when you put something inside a body. And when you do that, the object becomes trapped in that body. It becomes a part of that body.

    So if we are to take this term 'embody' seriously, that is, if we literally go by the exact meaning of this term, then Brahman becomes trapped or embodied by the subtle body, after its division from the whole. But the upanishads describe Brahman as indivisible.

    If its really indivisible, (which cannot be fragmented and put into each subtle bodies as separate sparks of light) then why groups like bhamati and avaccheda uses terms like 'embody' in their articles? This very word, as i've explained above, means a completely different thing and should not be applied to the infinite indivisible Brahman.
     
  19. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    When you say "prakriti is a grosser manifestation of IT" you're also accepting that prakriti's grosser forms return back to its subtlest state, which as you said earlier is Nirguna Brahman. Just like clay pots after being broken loses its individuality and then only clay remains.

    I hope you can see what I'm trying to say here. The subtlest state, which you call nirguna brahman, is it really devoid of qualities? I don't think so.

    Sattva, rajas, tamas, the 5 great elements, etc. do they cease to exist in their subtlest state. Surely not. Then why do we call this subtlest state Nirguna.
    The subtle or latent state of the 3 gunas, 5 elements etc. should not be considered nirguna in my opinion.

    Im not talking about our individual perceptions of the ultimate reality here, like the wise would see oneness and the ignorant would see duality ... No.

    Im speaking of a time, that is before manifestation, when only the blank canvas remains. When exists no forms. Even in that state, the qualities or forms sleeps within nirguna brahman. The only thing is, it is Not nirguna. If you ask me, words like sushupti (sleeping) brahman best describes it.
     
    #59 Greg Levenski, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  20. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Who will or which process will trap Brahman? Various views are permitted in Hinduism. They are according to the knowledge and inclination of that person, so no problem about that. However, I appreciate your interest and knowledge in Hindu philosophy.
     
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