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Is Jiva the same thing according to Ramanuja and Shankara?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Greg Levenski, Nov 12, 2018.

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  1. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Views. It starts from Brahmn, then always transmigrates from one form to another till it finally merges back into Brahman.
    Advaita (of my kinmd) never considers it separated. Was Brahman, is Brahman, and will always remain Brahman. No change whatsoever.
     
  2. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    It is just put as a supposition, and not as an axiom. The false self is transient while the Self is of an eternal nature.

    Your logic is correct.
     
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  3. DanielR

    DanielR Active Member

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    Jiva IS beginningless, how could it be not if it is Brahman
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Greg, when you are none, you are everything. :)
     
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Jiva, from the perspective of the Jiva, has a beginning and has an ending. It is the understanding of Brahman through the Jivatman (or more accurately, through the Atman) that brings one to the realization of Brahman, and that 'beginning' and 'ending' is illusory.
     
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  6. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Thanks ajay0. So upon videha mukti, (mukti after death) the inner sheaths ceases to exist and only the universal Atman remains right?

    I'm asking this because i need to be sure what happens on videha mukti, like what exactly the advaitin masters have commented on videha mukti?

    Do you think the great Indian sages after videha mukti, remain in higher lokas (like tapaloka, brahma loka, saptarshi loka, absorbed in deep meditation??) ... or does individuality completely ceases (i.e. There remains no swami XYZ or swami ABC in higher lokas)?

    I know such questions are hard to answer unless one realizes the truth himself. But i want to know what the advaitin gurus have commented on videha mukti.

    Then there comes the question, did Vivekananda really attained complete mukti (cessation of all his inner sheaths)? ... He said that he would come back again. But if one comes back again on his own will, then such a person must have been dwelling in higher lokas absorbed in meditation (such a man must have retained his individuality or inner sheaths in higher lokas), don't you think?

    Would be great if atanu, ameyAtmA and other true advaitins also participate in this topic :)
     
  7. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Yes.


    In my understanding, some may take such bodies voluntarily for the sake of service for an Avatar to help him or her in her mission.

    Ramakrishna had stated that some of his disciples were eternally free souls who have come just for the sake of service.

    There is also mention of such characters in Yogananda's 'Autobiography of a Yogi'.
     
  8. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    If some take bodies voluntarily as you said, then that means even after the so called moksha, there remains somebody in higher lokas, in his inner or finer sheaths, who haven't completely merged with Brahman, who on his own free will manifests a physical body.

    I mean, in order to manifest in a gross physical form, there needs to be a certain amount of desire and since its known to all of us that desire or vasanas, are a product of mind or sookshma sharira, i think it wouldn't be wrong to think that Vivekananda or swamis like him who vowed to return again, didn't completely merge with the universal Atman/Brahman and are still lingering in some higher lokas in their inner finer sheaths.


    The word 'soul' has been translated by advaitins as jiva, who keeps on transmigrating in the cycle of samsara (Thats what soul means as per Swami Tadatmananda, an advaitin monk. It was Atanu who shared with me the link to his video where he was saying soul is jiva or sookshma sharira.)

    Anyway, if Ramakrishna said that there are eternally free jivas, then that means, these jivas never really merged with brahman but are dwelling in higher lokas in their subtle bodies (in their inner finer koshas) and often come down in physical form on their own free will ... In short, they never attained complete mukti or videha mukti (which is merging completely with the absolute).
     
    #188 Greg Levenski, Jan 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  9. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    There are examples of enlightened masters who were able to manifest themselves in faraway places with physical bodies simultaneously, from what I have read and heard. You can study the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which explains the siddhis of accomplished yogis.

    So the enlightened one, who have merged with Brahman , perhaps may be able to take up bodies if needed just for the sake of service.

    However, all this is speculation, and perhaps may even hint at the ego trying to escape the void of Brahman as well, due to fear and seeking continuity. The ultimate thing is putting the teachings into practice and attaining enlightenment, which is the greatest service one can do for the world, as it is considered highly auspicious and all beings benefit from it.
     
  10. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    My point is, once an enlightened swami after his death, loses his jivahood (i.e. all the inner finer sheaths are being destroyed), then only Brahman or Universal Atman remains. This means that the enlightened person stops existing (this should be true mukti IMO). When such a true mukti occurs, how can that person, who no longer exists as that person (due to the cessation of all his inner sheaths) again manifest in gross physical form?

    For example, a hen should exist if you want to have eggs.
    But if you kill the hen, from where will the eggs come from?

    The same way, if swami xyz stops existing after liberation, (all his sheaths are destroyed) how can that swami, who no longer exists, again manifest in flesh?
     
    #190 Greg Levenski, Jan 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  11. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, but Brahman has individuality in itself, as the lower individuality or false self of the Jiva is replaced by a higher one or true Self. This Self itself can act intuitively in the higher interests of Dharma or the whole, and can probably create physical bodies for its work.

    In the 'Autobiography of a Yogi', Yogananda, after the funeral of his master Sri Yukteshwar, encountered people meeting Yukteshwar later on . Yogananda himself, later on, recounts of meeting Sri Yukteshwar, hugging him, and conversing him about the afterlife and astral worlds.

    There are similar instances in the life of Shirdi Sai Baba, where after his physical death, people met him and even fed him his favorite dishes.

    Vivekananda had spoken of Ramarkrishna guiding him, even after physical death, and communicating through images. This was the case when Vivekananda had embarked on study of hatha yoga, and his having visions of Ramakrishna disapproving it, repeatedly, which made him stop it as well.
     
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  12. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am intrigued by your reference to 'true advaitins'. We are all 'true advaitins' and we have our philsophical differences, which is perfectly acceptable in Hinduism. Till a person says that only one entity exists in the universe, the person is an 'advaitist'. Existence of a part of Brahman as separate entity is no problem, that is only what is perceived and is an illusion. That we encounter in our daily life, Humans, animals, vegetation, stones, water and air. A 'true advitist' would see the existence of Brahman as (and not in) all these things. If one sees the existence of Brahman in these things then the person is a 'dvaitist' (Eko sad, dwiteeyo nasti).

    "A true yogī observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me everywhere.
    For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.
    Such a yogī, who worships me as being situated in all things in all respects, always remains in me."

    BhagwadGita, Chapter Six (Dhyana Yoga), Verses 29-31.

    (Translation by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada corrected by me)
     
    #192 Aupmanyav, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  13. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    @ajay0,
    This shows that Yukteshwar, Shirdi Sai baba and Ramakrishna retained their inner sheath/subtle body/individuality after their demise and often appeared before their devotees in subtle bodies. Same happened with Jesus. On the third day he rose (in his subtle or astral body).
     
  14. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Why should they depend on their causal body of vasanas for their individuality ! Why can't they do so on the basis of being Brahman !
     
  15. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    If nirakara Brahman can manufacture bodies out of thin air, then why would IT create the same body again (same body of Yukteshwar, Ramakrishna etc.) Wouldn't IT rather create a different body, with different facial features?

    Also i think that, even though they've retained their inner sheaths, which resembles their once gross sheath, they are above the clutches of maya (beyond the spell of maya) just like saguna ishwara is beyond the control of maya. They possess the sheath of vasanas and yet they have exhausted all their vasanas and/or karmas. This is just my opinion.
     
  16. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Why should Yukteshwar, Shirdi Sai Baba and Ramakrishna who have become the Absolute through enlightenment, retain or create their finite bodies again !

    The only reason they are doing so is for the purpose of instruction and guidance to the Jivas trapped in Maya and suffering.

    If they came with different facial features none would recognise them, though they would be recognisable in their former bodies, which would serve their purpose.
     
  17. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Yes that is exactly what im trying to say. That Yukteshshwar, Ramakrishna etc. have retained their inner subtle sheaths, with same facial and bodily features to help and guide the masses. They are no doubt jivan mukta (attained liberation while being alive) ... but did they attain complete videha mukti (cessation of their inner sheaths after their death, so that only void or brahman would remain. I dont think so bro. They probably didn't attain such a type of mukti, if you ask me.

    In my opinion, when all inner sheaths stops existing and when only void or brahman or cosmic atman remains, that should be true mukti. Then you no longer exist even in subtle state. You completely stop existing. The gauda vaishnavas call it spiritual suicide.

    So when such a mukti occurs, you won't have to come back to guide and teach the masses, because you have stopped existing completely even in subtle state. There no longer remains swami xyz, since his finer sheaths have been destroyed on videha mukti. What remains is the void or cosmic atman.
     
  18. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Even in an enlightened being in embodied form, the causal and subtle bodies are eliminated. There are no vasanas to induce desires in the form of craving and aversions.


    The gaudiya vaishnavas are a dualistic philosophy.

    There is no spiritual suicide. It is only the self-termination of the false self or ego. By the termination of the false ego, the true self or Self is unveiled. It is actually gaining one's true individuality at the cost of a lesser and false one. But it takes great courage to do so, and many falter out of cowardice on the path due to fear of the unknown.

    As Martin Luther King stated, " Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase. "

    Jnana Yoga is not for the weak and cowardly. The weak gets deluded while the cowardly cannot apply what they know in practice.

    If the cosmic atman can sent Avatars to correct anomalies caused by excessive egoism, why can't it send such Jivanmuktas back again to serve the cause of cosmic order.
     
  19. M Raghavan

    M Raghavan adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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    In the advaita, java does not exist, only Brahman does.

    In Ramanuja, jiva and Brahman are one qualitatively but not quantitatively.
     
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  20. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Its true that the subtle/causal bodies houses the vasanas and samskaras but if you ask me, the subtle/causal bodies themselves are not destroyed in the case of enlightened beings, but only the vasanas and samskaras are exhausted (completely destroyed) and not the containers (subtle/causal bodies).

    The subtle body is needed for the sustainence of the physical vessel, for the subtle body houses the prana airs as well, that are needed for the functioning of a gross body, even that of an enlightened being. The mandukya upanishad says that the subtle body is made up of jnanedriyas, karmendriyas, prana airs etc.
     
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