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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. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Hello guys,
    You've all described to me that Atman/Self being omnipresent or sarvagatah , IT doesn't actually travel. But today, i was going through Shankara's Gita bhasya, and there its mentioned that the Self changes bodies like we change garments.
    Here's that verse-
    20181207_122942.jpg

    I was hoping to find the word jiva or jivatma as a tranmigrating entity in Shankara's bhasya but instead he used the word Self (with a capital S).
    Now i'm again confused. lol :confused:
    ............

    Here's a diagram of the Self dwelling in the inner most region similar to what ameyAtmA posted a few days back. Is this what Shankara meant in his verse, that this in-dwelling Self travels along with the five sheaths? Or did he mean something else?
    images.jpg
     
    #61 Greg Levenski, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  2. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Imo, it is an error in english translation of the verse.

    The Self means the Atman/Brahman which is indeed omnipresent.

    It is the body of egocentric impressions that keep reincarnating. When this body of impressions are eliminated through yoga or spiritual practice in the enlightened one, reincarnation comes to an end.

    The sanskrit verse contains the term Dehi, meaning the embodied or occupier of the body. The dehi, I would say, is the subtle body, containing the causal body within as well.


    Here is a commentary on the same verse by Dr. Ramananda Prasad...

    Complete BhagavadGita with commentary

     
  3. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Gaudapada, Parmenides

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    Greg, are you working on a dissertation or a book?
     
  4. Greg Levenski

    Greg Levenski Member

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    Just trying to find out the truth ;=)

    Thanks ajay0. I wish it was a printing error but i think Shankara really meant that. The bhasya from which i quoted above, was translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri. Then there's another translation of the same Shankara Gita bhasya. It's by A.G. Krishna Warrier and he too translated dehi as the 'immutable spirit'.
    But i'm not really buying that. ;=)

    Bhagavad Gita Bhashya Of Sankaracharya Krishna Warrier A. G. R. K. Mutt : Dr. Narinder Sharma : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    Also I found online that some advaitins use the term atman for the individual self and the word brahman for the universal self.
    These advaitins believe that atman, the individual self is different from the individual soul (ego/subtle body).
    Not sure, why they give two names to the same entity i.e. Brahman + Atman ... and then further says that there's a third which is the individual soul.
     
    #64 Greg Levenski, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  5. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Since, there is none other than the Self, so one could say that Self changes bodies. But that is not the full story. I invite you to read the following (Atma Upanishad).


    Atma Upanishad (Part of the Atharva Veda)

    Om! O Devas! May we hear only the good with our ears; O the ones to be worshipped! May we see only the good with our eyes; may we have strong limbs and bodies, which will enable us to pray and worship the Devas. May we live unto such time the Devas feel we should live. May the Lord Indra, of great fame, shower some grace and good on us. May the Lord Surya (the Sun God), the knower of all, shower some grace and good on us. May the Lord Garuda, who has an unfettered clear path (to liberation), shower some grace and good on us. May the Lord Brhaspati shower some grace and good on us.

    Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

    Thus spoke Angiras (the sage):

    Man is threefold, namely External Self, Inner Self and the Higher Self.

    That self in which there are skin, bones, flesh, marrow, hair, fingers, thumbs, vertebral column, nails, ankles, belly, navel, genitals, hips, thighs, cheeks, brows, forehead, arms, sides, head, arteries, eyes and ears and that which is born and dies; that is called the External Self.

    Now the Inner Self: The one who, on the one hand through the perceptions of the earth, the water, the wind, the fore, the ether, as also through desire, hate, lust, pain, greed, delusion, misunderstanding etc. while he possesses the characteristic of memory; on the other hand through speaking with a high tone, low tone, short, long, extra long, faltering, shouting, blurting out – through dancing, singing, playing, swooning, yawning etc; becomes a listener, smeller, taster, thinker, perceiver and doer; and who as the conscious self, as person (Purusa) knows to distinguish in the activities of hearing – whether it is a puraanam, nyaya, mimamsa or dharma sastra – of smelling, drawing towards oneself – it is this one who is called the Inner Self.

    Now the Highest Self: The one, who to be worshipped according to the constituents of the word OM while one meditates over him, as one’s self, by breath control, withdrawing inwards from the objects of sense, meditation and yoga-practices, as seed of the fig tree, as seed of the millet, is mot comprehended or grasped through a hundred-thousand fold splitting of the hair’s end and the like who is not born and who does not die, does not wither up, and who is not burnt, does not shake, is not divided and is not split up, who is the gunaless observer, the pure, the limbless Atman, the subtle, part less, spotless, free from self-illusion, free from sound, touch, taste, form and smell, changeless, desire less, all penetrating He, the inconceivable and indescribable, who purifies the impure and the unholy, unto whom no work sticks, nor the effect of the work – that is the Highest Self, the Purusa – that is the Highest Self, the Purusa (reiterated).

    Om! O Devas! May we hear only the good with our ears; O the ones to be worshipped! May we see only the good with our eyes; may we have strong limbs and bodies, which will enable us to pray and worship the Devas. May we live unto such time the Devas feel we should live. May the Lord Indra, of great fame, shower some grace and good on us. May the Lord Surya (the Sun God), the knower of all, shower some grace and good on us. May the Lord Garuda, who has an unfettered clear path (to liberation), shower some grace and good on us. May the Lord Brhaspati shower some grace and good on us.
    ...

    So, which Self you are talking of? The non dual Self is ajAti, unborn.
     
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu and a strong atheist.
    There are all kinds of 'advaitins', those who understand 'advaita' and those who do not. :)
    Who is the writer of this book? No, there cannot be two purushas. I do not think Sankara believed in 'koshas'. His theory was very straight forward, that is why 'Self' (with capital 'S').

    'Atman' is 'Brahman'. All 'atmans' are 'Brahman'. 'Ayamatma Brahma', 'So Aham', 'Tat twam asi', 'Aham Brahmasmi', 'Sarvam khalu Idam Brahma', 'Eko sad, dwiteeyo nasti'. Yet, people do not understand it and get into all kinds of confusions. ;)
     
    #66 Aupmanyav, Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  7. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    AG Krishna Warrier is right about dehi being the immutable spirit. But there are two separate spirits: one the guna consciousness spirit which is part of the Atman or Brahman (the spirit is called dehi) and the Paramatma spirit (which is called Purusha) that overlaps dehi and and can override the Dehi. When the jiva transcends the dehi and thereby the gunas it is in direct contact with Purusha that is God or Sri Krishna/Durga.

    The dehi spirit is immutable because the gunas are determined by genetics and specifies if the jiva is of sattvic, rajasic or tamasic attributes. It is therefore impossible for the jiva of a certain dehi to acquire the characteristics of another dehi, hence the term immutable.

    Only the sattavic dehi can transcend the gunas to connect with Purusha and thereby benefit from God's wisdom directly.

    It is this structure of advaita that gives rise to the phenomenon of achintya bhed abheda tatwa.
     
    #67 Shantanu, Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  8. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA SacchidAnanda
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    Greg,

    Where is the confusion? Yes, of course the Self with S is intrinsic to the transmigrating subtle body EDIT: of the 3 koshas, not 5. 5th annamay kosha is gross body which perishes, 4th prANmay kosha = breath which stops at death. The remaining 3 koshas make the subtle body which change in quality - guNa. The 3 koshas are not immutable. The One that holds them together, empowers them, is the AtmA, which is Brahman' -- this is the One that is immutable.

    1. The subtle body (3 koshas) transmigrates, AND is obviously mutable. You change, sattva increases with shuddhi, with Grace. Something happens.
    (i) One day you meet the savior-form of the AtmA in the heart (could be your IshTaDev) who leads you by the hand
    (ii) You meet a physical human Guru who leads you by the hand
    (iii) Things become very clear all of a sudden and although there is the Divine hand behind the scenes, you do not see it. In any case it is all One.
    (iv) Some of all of the above happens with practice - abhyAs, and understanding/clarity increases.

    2. The AtmA-Brahman' Self does not transmigrate , and this is the One that is immutable because it is Whole.
    However, the subtle-body is nothing without this AtmA.

    See my 2nd picture -- BG 14.27 - BrahmaNo hi pratishThAham (I am the foundation on which all of this rests). The stacked rings of koshas (making individual bodies) rest on the foundation (white floor).

    So, the foundational AtmA is intrinsic to the subtle body which transmigrates. Shri KRshNa has made this very clear by using the word "Ishwar" in BG 15.8 - Just like air carries fragrance from a flower, Ishwar carries the impressions from the living body as it leaves the body. (paraphrased).

    Here Ishwar is refering to AtmA-Brahman'. Although He is everywhere, and has nowhere to go or come or travel, He is the One who enables the transmigration of jivas. Not a blade of grass can move without His sanction.

    In BG 15.8
    Ishwar = Universal AtmA - One.
    What this Ishwar carries is the impressions in the form of the outer cover of subtle body (green and orange is carried by white - ref - my first diagram)

    *My 2 cents advice: If one is discussing kevala advaita vedAnta, it is best for oneself and for others, to refrain from using the word jivAtmA and to refrain from using the word AtmA as a local individual entity. If you notice I have only used jivAtmA while explaining Ramanuja - on this thread.

    Also, please see @atanu 's post on Atmopanishad. Important.
     
    #68 ameyAtmA, Dec 8, 2018
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  9. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Shankara put it in sanskrit a millenium back, the Indian author translated it into english. I would say it is an error in translation because Sastri's english translation differs from that of Dr. Ramananda Prasad.





    Deha in Indian languages means body, and dehi means the occupier of the body.

    There is a lack of precision with respect to employment of terminology amongst Advaitan authors, who sometimes use the same term in a different context. An example is that of Jiva.

    Jiva - Wikipedia


    If Dehi is taken to be the immutable spirit by the author here, it means Dehi is meant to be Atman or pure consciousness for them.




    There is a difference in teminology used, that's all.

    All these authors use certain terminology in varying contexts to describe the advaitan philosophy. But there is no major deviations like Virochana who erroneously stated that the Brahman is the body, instead of as pure consciousness as described by the Vedas and enlightened masters. That is pseudoscholarship, plain and simple.


    Atman and Brahman is the same, though Atman is used in a personal context, while Brahman is seen in a universal sense.

    The distinction arises between Atman/Brahman and the Jivatman.

    The Jivatman contains the causal body with egocentric impressions along with subtle body, responsible for reincarnation.

    When the egocentric impressions are annihilated through yoga, the Jivatman realises its oneness with Atman or Brahman.

    This is how the Advaitan philosophy goes in simple terms. Some authors use terms in a different context however to describe it.

    Nisargadatta, similarly makes a distinction between Awareness and Consciousness, while the same philosophical distinction is made between Consciousness and Mind by other masters.

    It is just a difference in employment of terminology.


    As Napoleon stated, 'Get your principles straight, the rest is a matter of detail.'

    If you understand the bigger picture, the details and terminology used can be easily figured out.
     
    #69 ajay0, Dec 8, 2018
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  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    IMHO, there is nothing 'local' about 'atman'. It is universal, incorporating all things, living and non-living. To deny that is to move away from 'advaita'. ;)
     
  11. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA SacchidAnanda
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    Precisely my point - that from reference point of advaita, it should not be used in a local-individual context. I have seen this happen - right here and elsewhere - 2 people talking about AtmA and each having a different meaning, not knowing the intention of the other. Just imagine what such conversation would lead to.
     
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  12. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Let us consider the following.

    From a scientific angle, the total energy of the universe is two-fold: physical energy and consciousness energy. The physical energy is the light and heat generation while the consciousness energy describes life and all movement and thoughts. Matter is produced from a combination of both these energies. So the question arises as to what is Atman, what is Brahman and what is Paramatma.

    Consciousness energy has two components, that which gives life force and that which gives soul force. The life force is what gives atoms, compounds, cells, organs and organisms their movement. Life force for atoms and compounds is their chemical energy involved in the orbiting of electrons around atoms and the inorganic and organic bonding of atoms of different elements. In living organisms consciousness energy permeates the entire body and is responsible for the organism’s internal and external activities for living. The life force in biological systems is activated at birth and inactivated at death with changes detected by the DNA switching on this consciousness energy for biological living to begin, and similarly, DNA-associated instructions from cellular changes switching the life force off for the organism’s dying. The soul force causes the nerve impulses in the body to respond to external and internal (cellular, tissue and organ) changes as stimuli for protective action to be taken by the body.

    In highly evolved animals with a central nervous system the brain detects the soul force of the consciousness energy in the centre called the mind. The soul force imparts thoughts and beliefs by virtue of its guna consciousness energy triad of sattvic, rajasic and tamasic properties. The mind selects the gunas from the soul and is affected by those gunas as directives on the basis of the genetics of the animal to generate thoughts that the body then acts on.

    The jiva is the 'self' as conceptualised by the mind to describe the person or living entity. Jivataman is the entire body that the jiva is contained in. Brahman is the total energy of the universe (physical energy and consciousness energy), whereas Atman is only the Consciousness energy of the Universe, and is under the direction of the dehi spirit.

    So in this synthesis of advaita Atman is not Brahman.

    Brahman is enveloped within Paramatma under the direction of the Purusha spirit which incidentally is responsible for switching on and off the life force. The jivaatman endowed with sattvic attributes through genetics can transcend the guna consciousness spirit of dehi and get under the direct control of the Paramatma's Purusha. The jiva is then an avatar.
     
    #72 Shantanu, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  13. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    This is indeed correct.

    Atman is pure consciousness, same as Brahman.

    Brahman - Wikipedia

    However different interpretations of the same can lead to confusions and chaos.


    Imagine Indra and the Rishis creating a Vedanta camp for people in a village to teach that Brahman is pure consciousness, and study (Sravana), contemplation(Manana), meditation helps one to realize it.


    Suddenly the Asuras led by Virochana come to the camp and start lecturing that they consider Brahman to be the body and not pure consciousness, and adamantly state the same with conviction, inspite of scriptural teachings to the contrary.

    It would only create more confusion, pandemonium and chaos among the common people who had come to study Vedanta.


    The story of Virochana and Indra

    Prajapati's Instruction to Indra Concerning the Real Self - The Chhandogya Upanishad - Chapter 4: An Analysis of the Nature of the Self page 5/10


    These are instances of pseudo-scholarship mentioned in the Upanishads, to teach people to discriminate effectively between the truth and falsehood.
     
  14. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Advaita is to be experienced not studied to write books on or preach with scriptural references. Questions need to be answered by any person proposing a version of Advaita, for example what causes life. My knowledge shows that there is no scientific basis for life (and death) without the incorporation of Paramatma through the Purusha spirit.
     
    #74 Shantanu, Dec 9, 2018
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  15. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    The precise intellectual understanding of Advaita through the study of scriptures, and their contemplation, preferably under an enlightened master or good teacher, will provide the strong foundation for experiential understanding of nondual perception.

    Lack of a proper intellectual understanding of Advaita is bound to result in confusion in practice, and in worst case scenarios, delusion to that extent as shown by the likes of the asura Virochana.
     
  16. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    The best way to learn solidly of what is true and what is false is to teach yourself through studying science and experiencing life, not rely on scriptures and so called enlightened masters who preach to give themselves a following or worse proselytize as the Abrahamics.
     
  17. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    As stated earlier, lack of proper intellectual understanding of Advaita can result in delusion in worst case scenarios, and when such deluded individuals start preaching, it results in compounding of ignorance and delusion. And also resulting in harm to sincere seekers as well.

    Deluded understanding will only lead to deluded results.

    As Goethe stated, "There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."
     
  18. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Had you finished this statement with "Advaita" rather than "nondual perception," I would be in full agreement.

    But please let's not forget about those who have had a spontaneous mystical experience; those that may have an experiential understanding of nondual perception without the aid of an enlightened master or good teacher; those that have had the experience first and subsequently researched and contemplated said experience and have gained a understanding of nondual perception.
     
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  19. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Advaita means nonduality, and obviously nondual perception. Advaitan philosophy does not end in mere intellectual understanding; the intellectual understanding is for attaining the experiential understanding, through samadhi at least.

    This is true, and I am glad about that. I have come across articles by people who have had such experiences they had in relaxed moments in the midst of nature. But this is more by serendipity than by deliberate effort.

    They were not able to reproduce such experiences later on. But such serendipitous experiences have value in that it directs people to figure out their own Self or true nature and seek knowledge in this regard.

    This is probably how the upanishadic and advaitan philosophies evolved as well.
     
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  20. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I typically use the term nonduality rather than Advaita to describe my worldview because I am not as well studied in the Upanishads or the Vedas as many that identify as Advaitin, and I feel to self-identify as Advaitin would be an affront to those that have studied. I also feel, primarily from my experiences with a local Vedanta group, that there is more dogma and ritual tied to Advaita than to a worldview rooted in experiential understanding of nondual perception.

    Am I incorrect in this conclusion?
     
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