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Advaita Vedanta - ancient wisdom Options
 
nen888
#21 Posted : 1/31/2014 11:38:45 PM
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..Amygdala, i'm not a full-time practitioner of this or other systems...i think we can learn from the philosophies and techniques and utilise them in our daily lives to whatever extent we can manage..i think some of this knowledge is beneficial to everyday life challenges, without one having to become a monk or similar..

joedirt, thanks for your perspective, and buddhist angle
...i like your assessment of 'neo-advaita' Smile i think it can lead in some cases to ego-inflation..i feel it jumps straight to the conclusion without carefully working towards true understanding of it..i don't think people have to be full time in practice (meditation etc), but i think some work is required to stabilise realisations..

i guess the key difference between buddhism and vedanta is that vedanta emphasises ritual, dharma (doing work) and karma (where people find themselves in life) ..also the need to study under a teacher, which is not possible in the modern world for many..buddhism strips much of this away..
but the metaphysics and ethics are similar..and these are the keys to me..

they come from the same root...“The Buddha did not feel that he was announcing a new religion. He was born, grew up and died a Hindu. He was re-stating with a new emphasis the ancient ideals of the Indo-Aryan civilization.' [Dr. S. Radhakrishnan] “Buddhism did not start as a new and independent religion. It was an offshoot of the more ancient faith of the Hindus, perhaps a schism or a heresy. While the Buddha agreed with the faith he inherited on the fundamentals of metaphysics and ethics, he protested against certain practises which were in vogue at that time. He refused to acquiesce in the Vedic ceremonialism.” [quoted in Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Hinduism: An Essay on their Origins and Interactions by Lal Mani Joshi]

so i'm influenced by both, but lean to vedanta..

personally, one thing i like about Tibetan buddhism in particular, and the Vedas, are the deities/entities..this resonates with many of my entheogenic experiences...that said i think, echoing what joedirt said about visions, that it is beyond the visuals where the eternal nature of reality can be experienced..
.



 

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Amygdala
#22 Posted : 2/1/2014 1:01:07 AM

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Thanks folks,
Book ordered, psyched.

Agree that the benefits of psychs are outside the visual components.


Still like the visuals though. A lot Smile
“What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny little part of it at any given instant.” - David Foster Wallace
 
nen888
#23 Posted : 2/1/2014 1:28:27 AM
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joedirt wrote:
Quote:
Some claim (most in the neo Advaita Vedanta) that simply seeing no self is the end game, but in reality you can see through the self and then fall right back into ego. Anyone that has experienced a true ego death under psychedelics knows this to be true. So no self really is only a half teaching in and of itself. If you want to fully walk this path and bring an end to Dukkha then you will have to employ mindfulness to catch the ego overlaying itself on top of reality repeatedly until it finally tires out and disappears... though I have not had that happen yet nor do I really expect it will as long as I am immersed in the world with a job, mortgage, wife, etc...

For me the biggest gain has been greater equanimity in the face of difficulties. I still feel anger, but the anger is observed more as a sensation that moves through my body than something I have become. Thoughts no longer belong to me, but are more like mental suggestions. I am no longer defined in the same way I was before because I understand fully that I am just a part of a continuous manifestation.

..this is a great understanding..i've sent this quote to a friend who's heavily into vedanta and they liked it..they said to be in a permanent state of witness is called jnani in sanskrit..
.
 
nen888
#24 Posted : 2/1/2014 4:39:26 AM
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getting back to the core of Advaita Vedanta
..the Vedas themselves are extremely esoteric and prayer orientated, and can be hard to permeate in meaning (this was the case even for many hindus 1200 years ago)...the Upanishads more examine the philosophy of the Vedas..

Adi Shankaracharya's 8th century commentaries on the Upanishads & Vedas form the basis of the more rational understanding of the Vedic tradition, bringing about it's revival in his time..and the basis of what is now classic Advaita Vedanta..

his writings can be found at: http://www.shankaracharya.org/

here's an example of his writing, in which we can see the continued influence:

from Aparokshanubhuti :
Quote:
"12. Who am I ? How is this (world) created ? Who is its creator ? Of what material is this (world) made ? This is the way of that Vichara (enquiry).

13. I am neither the body, a combination of the (five) elements (of matter), nor am I an aggregate of the senses; I am something different from these. This is the way of that Vichara.

14. Everything is produced by ignorance, and dissolves in the wake of Knowledge. The various thoughts (modifications of Antahkarana) must be the creator. Such is this Vichara.

15. The material (cause) of these two (i.e., ignorance and thought) is the One (without a second), subtle (not apprehended by the senses) and unchanging Sat (Existence), just as the earth is the material (cause) of the pot and the like. This is the way of that Vichara.

16. As I am also the One, the Subtle, the Knower, the Witness, the Ever-Existent, and the Unchanging, so there is no doubt that I am “That” (i.e., Brahman). Such is this enquiry.

17. Atman is verily one and without parts, whereas the body consists of many parts; and yet the people see (confound) these two as one ! What else can be called ignorance but this ?

18. Atman is the ruler of the body and is internal, the body is the ruled and is external; and yet, etc.,"



..the Vedas, though, have something very deep about them to those who find appeal in them..
i find something very 'coded' about the Sanskrit poetics of the Vedas...just listening to them chanted (without knowing sanskrit) has an effect...vibrational/linguistic coding..

you can experience the power of the Vedas chanted in the original sanskrit here:

 
jamie
#25 Posted : 2/1/2014 4:01:04 PM

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There is a pretty big cross over between the Vedas and the Norse Eddas. It's something I dont hear much discussion of when either of the two are discessed..the language groups are related as well, suspected to both go back to turkey..

This is the best collection and interpretation of eddic lore I have come across. Some over the overlaps between the Eddas and Vedas are pretty astounging.

http://freya.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/

this one is interesting to start with..
http://freya.theladyofth...byrinth.com/?page_id=654
Long live the unwoke.
 
nen888
#26 Posted : 2/7/2014 10:56:24 AM
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..thanks jamie..an enjoyable and unexpected tangent/connection..
..the Vedas, well yeah it's the aryan language roots, spreading in a few directions, although, the archeological evidence now shows that the Vedic culture was in india/the middle east before the aryans arrived in northern india..so this knowledge has probably been transmitted to the aryan language group..i suspect it's roots are very ancient indeed..emerging from a number of indigenous cultures..

but really Advaita Vedanta is the philosophical enquiry of the nature of awareness and mind...the same conclusions have been reached in a number of places..

or to be more poignant, the observation of mind and awareness..
through which reality is known..

the enquiry
 
nen888
#27 Posted : 2/27/2014 12:16:12 PM
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advaita vedanta is non-dualism

..from Prabodhasudhakara by Sri Adi Sankaracarya (c. 700 AD)

ABSORPTION OF THE MIND [155-156]
Quote:



"..when ( the mind ) goes to the state of facing itself , then , it becomes mere perception ( or pure awareness ) .

When this ( mind ) is not ( so ) facing , there is the difference of the seer and the seen ( and ) that ( state of pure awareness ) does not arise .

In the one mere perception ( or pure awareness ) indeed arise in three ways , the seer and others ( ie , the seer , the seen and the seeing ) .

When the three modes ( the seer , the seen and the seeing ) are dissolved in that , mere awareness is left remaining afterwards ."



...........

















on an entertainment note, here is the award wining 1981 movie on the life of Adi (the first) Shankaracharya..it won awards and was the first indian film made entirely in sanskrit (it has subtitles)

it really is great movie...it's a long one, hypnotic..but a great immersion into the time of Adi Shankaracharya in India, when buddhist ideas prevailed, and vedic scholarship was being lost...and into his life and character..great locations too..
enjoy
.

 
Rising Spirit
#28 Posted : 3/2/2014 4:39:21 AM

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Hi Folks,

Well, I have been scarce around these parts, of late. And by golly, there are several very intriguing threads presented here recently. So many deep topics! Just where to begin participating? Since Advaita Vedanta is near and dear to my heart, I would like to chime in a wee touch.

I agree with many of the fine comments posted herein. And it's all been said, eloquently and thoroughly. Kudos guys! I also feel that the kernel of Vedantic wisdom far predates supposed "Aryan invasion". There was a fusion betwixt the Aryan and indigenous Indian population, obviously. Recent archeological discoveries off the coast line of Dwarka, India (fabled city of Krishna), reveals evidence of a culture carbon-dated to 12,000 years ago! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQZFS9Hij0M

While I am admittedly suspicious of such an extremely ancient time-period affixed to this underwater city and after all, the consensus is that Sri Krishna was born in 3227 BC, far more recently but long before the introduction of Sanskrit... so, my point is that India was a highly developed subcontinent, long before the light-skinned folks moved in. I believe that many of the core principles of what would be written-down as the Vedas, existed centuries before the Caucasians emigrated into India. It was the dark-skinned Dravidians who built both Harappa and Mohenjo Daro (the birthplace of Rishabha, the very first Tirthankara [enlightened/awakened Jain mystic], Mahavira being the 25th in the lineage). So, spirituality was flourishing eons before foreigners showed up.

I digress? Usually, I suppose I do so (my bad). Anyhooooooo... I concur with the notion that "Neo-Advaitan" thought is a farcical game. "Nothing is happening to NO ONE and never has... It just Is as It Is" IMHO, Adi Shakaracharya made far more sense, as his insight was pure and crystalline. Okay, even Science reveals that reality is relative to the perspective of the observer. Quantum psychics highlights the reality that material existence is wholly illusory (our subjective impressions based solely on the data supplied by our limited senses and our human deduction).

But why get on the pulpit and attempt to glean both attention and easy $$$, all because of this simple truth? Some of these charlatans are most hilarious to listen to. Who is speaking if no one exits, who is buying this bull... AND WHY? Big grin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KXidr0z1RY

The pearl of the Vedas and Upanishads, is that when any individual strips-away attention to identification with the material body, the emotions, the thought-patterns which constitute one's very ego parameters... what then remains? Who is witnessing the play of consciousness? Awareness remains behind the guise of an internal observer and when individuated awareness dissolves into the expanse of indivisible universal awareness, then returns into stillness and sheer emptiness from whence it initially arose... who or what then exists? Are not all appearances wholly impermanent? All forms of transience absorbed within the Clear Light of the Void? Jivatman merges within Paramatman, an eclipsing blooms exponentially. Emptiness is fullness is emptiness.

From this side of the looking glass, physical reality, we can never really know potential realities beyond our grasp and understanding. When seer, seen and the thinnest of membranes (which essentially separates the subject from the object), are erased by a shift in consciousness... That is what abides... effulgently, in Absolute perfection. Many call this state of quintessential existence Oneness, God or the Supreme Being. Regardless of label or conceptual decree, this alone is eternal and infinite. We are all That. Tat Tvam Asi. Thumbs up


There is no self to which I cling, for I am one with everything.
 
nen888
#29 Posted : 3/9/2014 1:47:02 PM
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..thank you and great to hear from you Rising Spirit, always a great non-dualist you are...

..there is That..

i had a very good chuckle at your assessment of neo-advaita, and agree wholeheartedly..
i think it's like a form of escapism..
.

 
thymamai
#30 Posted : 3/14/2014 4:17:03 PM

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What is your take on The Secret Doctrine, nen888?

Specifically Blavatsky's work, not so much Theosophy generally because different people have made different things of it and continue doing so. But the text itself - have you heard anything about it, or possibly read any of it? She talks a lot about the vedas, and many other related, ancient wisdom and histories. I am always doubtful of the integrity of any second party interpretation, no matter how faithful they claim or facsimile. The histories especially fascinate me and I was curious to know whether you or anyone with moderate understanding of the upanishads had any opinion on her?
 
zhoro
#31 Posted : 3/15/2014 3:19:14 AM

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Here is an excerpt I re-typed from The Yoga Vasistha. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do. It is a bit long but I think it's worth it. Smile


The Story of Uddālaka

VASISTHA continued:
O Rama, do not take your stand on concepts and percepts of the mind, which are subtle and sharp; the mind has been put together by time and it has gained great strength in course of time. Bring it under control by wisdom, before time fells this creeper known as the body. By devoutly contemplating my words you will attain supreme bliss.

I shall narrate to you, O Rama, how the sage Uddālaka of yore attained the supreme vision of truth.

In a corner of the earth, there is a great mountain know as Gandhamādana. On one of its peaks there was a great tree. In that region there lived the sage Uddālaka. Even while he was a young boy he aspired to attain supreme wisdom through his own effort. Of course, then he was of little understanding and he had a restless mind, though he had a pure heart. He engaged himself in austerities, in the study of scriptures and son on, and there arose wisdom in him.

While sitting alone one day, the Sage Uddālaka reflected thus:
What is liberation, which is said to be the foremost among the objects to be attained, upon attaining which one does not experience sorrow and is not born again? When shall I rest permanently in that state? When will the mental agitations caused by desires and cravings cease? When will I be freed from thoughts like ‘This I have done’ and ‘This I should do’? When will my mind cease to undergo perversities though living in relationship here, even as the lotus though lying on the water is not tainted by it? When will I, with the help of the boat of supreme wisdom, cross to the other shore of liberation? When will I be able to look upon the diverse activities of people with the playfulness of a child? When will the mind attain utter quiescence? When will the illusory division between the subjective and the objective experiences cease through the experience of the infinite consciousness? When will I be able to behold this concept, know as time, without being involved in it? When will I, living in a cave with a mind in utter tranquility, remain like a rock in a state in which there is no movement of thought at all?

Thus reflecting, Uddālaka continued his practice of meditation. But his mind continued to be agitated. Some days, however, his mind abandoned external objects and remained in a state of purity. At other times it was greatly disturbed. Greatly distressed by such changing moods, he roamed the forest. One day he reached a lonely spot in the forest which had not been visited by anyone else. There he saw a cave which appeared to be most conducive to the attainment of the state of utter tranquility and peace. It was delightful in every way with beautiful creepers and flowers around it, which a moderate climate, and it shone as if it had been carved out of an emerald.

Uddālaka entered that delightful cave and sat in a meditative posture. Intent on attaining the state of mind without the least movement of thought, he concentrated his attention on the latent tendencies in the mind, and

UDDĀLAKA reflected thus within himself:
O mind, what have you to do with this world-appearance? Wise men do not come in contact with what is called pleasure which turns into pain later on. He who abandons the supreme peace that lies within and goes in search of sense-pleasure, abandons a delightful garden and goes into a field of poison-herbs. You may go where you like; you will never taste supreme peace except through perfect quiescence. Hence, abandon all hopes and desires. For, all these seemingly wondrous objects of the nature either of being or of non-being, are not meant for your happiness.

Do not perish like the deer which is trapped by the sound of music and bells, nor like the male elephant which is trapped with the help of the female elephant, nor like the fish whose sense of taste leads it to its death on the hook, nor like the moth which is attracted by the sight of a flame and perishes in it, nor like the bee whose sense of smell leads it to the flower, trapped in which it is destroyed when the flower folds up for the night.

O foolish mind, all these perish being subjected to just one sense-craving (the deer by the sense of hearing, the bee by the sense of smell, the moth by the sense of sight, the elephant by the sense of touch, and the fish by the sense of taste): but you are a victim to all the five temptations; how can you have happiness? Just as the silk-worm spins its cocoon and gets caught in it, you have woven the web of your own concepts and are caught in it. If you can get rid of all that, attain purity, overcome even the fear of life and death and thus attain to total equanimity, you have achieved the greatest victory. On the other hand, if you cling to this ever-changing phenomenon called the world, you will surely perish in sorrow.

Why do I instruct you thus, O mind: for, if one investigates the truth he discovers that there is no such thing called mind! Mind is but a product of ignorance; when ignorance wears out, then the mind wears out too. Hence, you are in the process of being worn out. It is unwise and foolish to instruct one who is in the process of disintegrating! Since, day by day you are becoming weaker and weaker, I renounce you; wise men do not teach one who is to be abandoned.

O mind, I am the egoless infinite and homogeneous consciousness; I have nothing to do with you who are the cause of the ego.

UDDĀLAKA continued to contemplate thus:
The infinite self cannon possibly be squeezed into the mind, any more than an elephant can be squeezed into a wood-apple fruit. The consciousness that, through the process of self-limitation, is confined to finitude (and therefore to concepts and percepts) is known as the mind: this is the result of ignorance and hence I do no accept this. The ego-sense is only a child’s concept and it is believed in by one who does not investigate the truth.

I have carefully investigated, I have observed everything from the tips of my toes to the top of my head: and I have not found anything of which I could say ‘This I am’. Who is ‘I’? I am the all-pervading consciousness which is itself not an object of knowledge or knowing and is free from selfhood. I am that which is indivisible, which has no name or change, which is beyond all concepts of unity and diversity, which is beyond measure (small and big) and other than which naught else is. Hence, O mind, I abandon you who are the source of sorrow.

In this body in which there is flesh, blood, bone, etc., who says ‘This I am’? Motion is the nature of energy, thinking is inherent in consciousness, old age and death are natural to the body – who says ‘This I am’? This is the tongue, these are the ears, this is nose, this is motion and these are eyes – who says ‘This I am’? I am none of these, nor am I you, O mind, nor these concepts: I am but the infinite consciousness, pure and independent. ‘I am all this’ or ‘There is no I’ – both are expressions of the same truth; naught else is truth.

Alas, for so long I have been victimized by ignorance: but, luckily, I have discovered that which robbed me of self-knowledge! I shall never more be the victim of ignorance. Even as the cloud sitting on top of a hill does not belong to the hill, though I seem to be associated with sorrow I am independent of it. In the absence of self-knowledge, there arose ego-sense: but now, I am free of ego-sense. Let the body, the senses and so on be, or perish – I have nothing to do with them. The senses (the eyes, etc.) exist in order to come in contact with their objects for their own sake: who is the I that is deluded into thinking ‘This is I’ or ‘I see’, etc.? These eyes, etc. see or experience their objects naturally, without being impelled to do so by previous conditioning. Hence, if actions are performed spontaneously without mental conditioning, their experience will be pure and free from memories of past happiness or unhappiness. Hence, O senses, perform you functions without being hampered by memory. This memory or mental conditioning is not a fact, in truth: it is non-different from and not independent of the infinite consciousness. It can therefore be easily dispelled, merely by not reviving it in consciousness. Hence, O mind, abandon this perception of diversity and realize the unreality of your own independence from the infinite consciousness: that is liberation.

UDDĀLAKA continued to reflect thus:
In reality, consciousness cannot be conditioned: it is unlimited and is subtler that the subtlest atom, hence beyond the influence of mental conditioning. The mind rests in the ego-sense and the reflected consciousness in the senses; and from this there arises the illusion of self-limitation of consciousness. When this is experienced and thought of again and again, the ego-sense and the illusion of self-limitation acquire a false validity. But, I am consciousness which is untouched by any of these.

Let the body continue to live in a world brought into being by its ignorant activities, or let it abandon it: I am consciousness unaffected by any of these. Consciousness, being infinite and all-pervading, has no birth, no death, nor is it possessed by anyone. It has nothing to gain by ‘living’ as a separate entity, since it is all-pervading. Birth and death are mental concepts: they have nothing to do with the self. Only that which entertains notions of the ego-sense can be grasped and bound: the self is free from the ego-sense and is therefore beyond being and non-being.

The ego-sense is vain delusion, the mind is like a mirage and the objects of the world are inert substances: who is it that say ‘I am’? The body is an aggregate of flesh, blood, etc., the mind vanishes on enquiry into its nature, self-limitation of consciousness and such other concepts are insentient (non-sense) – what is the ego? The senses exist and are engaged in self-satisfying activity all the time; the substances of the world are the substances of the world – where is the ego? Nature is nature and its qualities interact on one another (like the sight and light, hearing and sound, etc.); and what is rests in itself – where is the ego?

The self, which is consciousness, exists as the supreme self of all, everywhere in all bodies at all times. Who am I, what am I made of, what is my form, made by whom: and what shall I acquire and what shall I reject? There is thus nothing which can be called ‘I’ and which undergoes being and non-being: when there is no ego-sense in truth, how can that ego-sense be related, and to whom? When thus it is realized that there is no relationship at all, then the false notion of duality vanishes. Thus, whatever there is is the one cosmic being (Brahman or the self); I am that reality, why do I suffer in delusion? When one alone exists as the pure omnipresent being, how can there even arise something as the ego-sense? There is no substantiality in any substance in truth, the self alone exists: or, even if one assumes the substantiality to be real, there is no relationship between that and the self. The senses function as senses, the mind exists as mind, the consciousness is untouched by these – what is relationship and how does it come into being? Just because they exist side by side, it is not right to assume a relationship: a stone and an iron rod may lie side by side, totally unrelated to each other.

UDDĀLAKA continued to reflect:

It is only when this false ego-sense has arisen that the perverse notions ‘This is mine’ and ‘That is his’ arise. And, when it is seen that all these are tricks of the false ego-sense, these unreal notions cease to be. There is truth naught else but the self; hence I realize that all this is the one cosmic being or Brahman. The delusion known as the ego-sense is like the blueness of the sky: it is better not to entertain that notion once again, but to abandon it. After having abandoned the very root of the ego-sense, I rest in the self which is of the nature of peace.

The ego-sense is the source of endless sorrow, suffering and evil action. Life ends in death and death leads to birth and what is is disrupted by its own end – such notions entertained by the ego-sense lead to great sorrow. The anxiety caused by thoughts like ‘I have got this now’, ‘I shall get that too’ burns the ignorant. ‘This is’ and ‘This is not’ – such notions cause restlessness in the egoist. But if the ego-sense ceases to be then the illusory world-appearance does not germinate again and all cravings come to an end.

The universe has surely come into being without any valid cause for its creation: how can one accept the truth of a creation which has no cause or purpose? From time immemorial, all these bodies have been inherent in the cosmic being, even as pots are for ever inherent in clay. Even as ocean exists in the past, present and futures as ocean and the same water temporarily assumes the form of a wave, all this is for ever the cosmic being at all times. It is only a fool that entertains a feeling ‘This I am’ in relation to that temporary appearance know as the body, etc.

In the same way, the mind was consciousness in the beginning and it will be consciousness again in the end (after its nature and function as mind have ceased), why is it then called differently in the middle (now)?

All these phenomena seem to have a transient reality, like dream-experiences, visions in a state of delirium, hallucinations of a drunkard, optical illusions, psychosomatic illness, emotional disturbances and psychotic states. But, O mind, you have conferred a permanent reality upon them, even as a lover suffers from the very imagination of his beloved’s separation. But, of course, this is not your fault; it is my fault that I still cling to the notion that you, my mind, is a real entity. When I realize that all these phenomena are illusory appearances, then you will become no-mind and all the memories of sense-experiences, etc., will come to an end. When consciousness realizes itself and abandons its self-limiting mental conditioning, the mind is freed from its coloring and rests in its essential nature, which is consciousness. When the mind, gathering to itself all its limbs, offers itself into the fire of pure consciousness, it is purified and attains immortality.

UDDĀLAKA continued to contemplate:

When the mind perceives the body as distinct from it, abandons its own conditioning (the concepts) and recognizes its own transient nature, it is victorious. Mind and body are each other’s foes: hence supreme happiness follows their destruction. For, when they come together there is a host of suffering on account of their mutual conflict.
The mind gives birth to the body through its own thought-force: and throughout the body’s life-time the mind feeds it with its (the mind’s own) sorrow. Thus tortured by sorrow the body wishes to destroy the mind, its own parent! There is no friend nor enemy in this world: that which gives us pleasure is considered our friend and that which causes pain is our enemy!

When thus the mind and the body are constantly engaged in mutual destruction, how can one have happiness? It is by the destruction of the mind that there can be happiness; hence the body tries every day (in deep sleep) to destroy the mind. However, until self-knowledge is attained, one unwittingly promotes the strength of the other and they seem to function together for a common purpose - even as water and fire, though opposed to each other, work together for a common cause (e.g., cooking)

If the mind ceases to be, then the body ceases to be, too, on account of the cessation of though-force and mental conditioning: but the mind does not cease to be when the body dies. Hence, one should strive to kill the mind. Mind is like a forest with thought-forms for its trees and cravings for its creepers: by destroying these, I attain bliss. When the mind is dead, whether the body (composed of flesh, blood, etc.) exists or not does not matter to me. That I am not the body is obvious: for the corpse does not function!

Where there is self-knowledge, there is neither mind nor the senses, nor the tendencies and habits (the concepts and percepts). I have attained that supreme state. I have emerged victorious. I have attained liberation (nirvana). I have risen above all relationships with the mind, body and the senses, even as the oil pressed out of the seeds has no relation with the seeds. To me now the mind, body and the senses are playthings. Purity, total fulfillment of all desires (hence, their absence), friendliness to all, truthfulness, wisdom, tranquility and blissfulness, sweetness of speech, supreme magnanimity, lustrousness, one-pointedness, realization of cosmic unity, fearlessness, absence of divided-consciousness, non-perversity – these are my constant companions. Since at all times everything everywhere happens in every manner, in me there is no desire or aversion towards anything, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Since all delusion has come to an end, since the mind has ceased to be and all evil thoughts have vanished, I rest peacefully in my own self.

VASISTHA continued:

The sage Uddālaka then sat down in the lotus posture, with his eyes half-closed, in meditation. He uttered the holy word OM which bestows the highest state. He intoned OM in such a way that its vibrations filled his whole being right up to the crown of his head. As the first part of his practice, he exhaled is breath completely. It was as if his life-force had abandoned the body and was roaming in the space (dimension) of pure consciousness. The fire that arose from his heart burnt the whole of his body. (All this, Uddālaka practiced without the violence involved in Hatha Yoga: for Hatha Yoga gives rise to pain.)

With the second utterance of the holy word OM, he reached the state of equilibrium and there happened in him a spontaneous retention of the breath (life-force) without agitation or vibration. The life-force stood still, as it were, neither outside, nor inside, neither below, nor above. After reducing the body to ashes, the fire burnt itself out and vanished; only the pure ashes were visible. It was as if the very bones had turned into camphor which was being burnt in adoration. The ashes were blown by a powerful wind and dispersed in space. (All this happened without the violence of Hatha Yoga: for Hatha Yoga gives rise to pain.)

In the third stage, when the holy word OM reached its culmination or tranquility, there arose the inhalation of breath (the drawing in of the life-force). During this stage the life-forces, which were in the very center of the nectar of consciousness, spread out in space as a cool breeze. These forces reached the region of the moon. There they spread out as auspicious rays which thereupon rained on the ashes that remained of the body.

Instantly, there arose from the ashes a radiant being with four arms like lord Vishnu. Uddālaka shone like a divinity, his whole being transmuted into a divinity. The life-force filled the inner kundalini which was spread out like a spiral. Uddālaka’s body had thus been completely purified. The he, who was already seated in the lotus posture, made the posture firm, ‘tied up’ his senses and proceeded to make his consciousness absolutely free from the least movement of thought. With all his strength he restrained his mind from distraction. His half-closed eyes were still and motionless. With his mind established in inner silence, he equalized the movement of the twin life-forces (prana and apana). He withdrew his inner senses from contact with their objects, even as oil is separated from the seed. Thereupon he became directly aware of the mental conditioning created by past experiences, and unconditioned the awareness and made it pure. Then, he firmly closed his rectum and the other outlets of the body (the eyes, etc.). With his life-force and awareness thus prevented from externalization by perfect discipline, he held his mind in his heart.

VASISTHA continued:

Uddālaka’s mind had attained absolute tranquility and no distraction could afflict it. Directly he beheld in his heart the darkness of ignorance that veiled the light of self-knowledge. With the light of knowledge that arose in him, he dispelled even that darkness. He then beheld the light within. However, when that light dimmed, the sage experienced sleep. But, the sage dispelled the dullness of sleep, too. Once the drowsiness of sleep had been dispelled, the mind of the sage threw up diverse brilliant forms. The sage cleared his consciousness of these visions. Then he was overcome by a great inertia, like one intoxicated. He got over that inertia, too. After this, his mind rested in another state which was different from all these so far described. After resting for a while in that state, however, his mind awoke to the experience of the totality of existence. Immediately after this, he experienced pure awareness. This awareness, which till then had been associated with other factors, had now regained its purity and independence: even as when the muddy water in an earthen pot has completely evaporated, the mid becomes an integral part of the pot made of the same substance. Even as the wave merges in the ocean and becomes one and non-different from it, the consciousness abandoned its objectivity and regained its absolute purity. Uddālaka was enlightened. He enjoyed the supreme bliss that gods like Brahma enjoy. His state was beyond description. He was one with the ocean of bliss.

Soon, Uddālaka beheld great sages in that infinite consciousness. He ignored them. He continued with the experience of supreme bliss. He attained the state of ‘one liberated while living’. He beheld the gods and the sages, and he even beheld the members of the trinity. He went beyond even that state. He was completely transmuted into bliss itself and hence he had gone beyond the realm of bliss. He experienced neither bliss nor non-bliss. He became pure consciousness. He who experiences this even for a moment is disinterested even in the delights of heaven. This is the supreme state, this is the goal, this is the eternal abode. He who rests in this is not again deluded and is no longer caught in the subject-object notion of objectivity or conceptualization. Of course this is not an ‘attainment’.

Uddālaka remained for six months in this state, vigilantly avoiding the temptation of psychic powers. Even sages and gods adored him. He was invited to ascend to heaven: he declined the invitation. Totally freed from all desires, Uddālaka roamed as a sage liberated while living. Often he would spend days and months in meditation in the caves of mountains. Though at other times he engaged himself in the ordinary activities of living, he had reached the state of perfect equilibrium. He looked upon all with equal vision. His inner light shone at all times, never rising and never setting. With all notions of duality totally at rest, he lived devoid of body-consciousness, established in pure being.

In answer to Rama’s question concerning pure being, VASISTHA said:

When the mind has ceased to be because of the total absence of the notions of material existence, consciousness exists in its own nature as consciousness: and that is known as pure being. When consciousness devoid of notions of objectivity merges in itself losing its separate identity, as it were, it is pure being. When all external (material) and internal (notional) objects merge in consciousness, there is pure being of consciousness. This is the supreme vision which happens to all liberated ones, whether they seem to have a body or they are without one. This vision is available to one who has been ‘awakened’, to one who is in a state of deep contemplation and to a man of self-knowledge; it is not experienced by the ignorant person. Sages and members of the trinity are established in this consciousness, O Rama. Having reached this state of consciousness, Uddālaka lived for some time.

In course of time, in his mind there arose the wish, “Let me drop this embodiment”. He went to a mountain cave and seated himself in the lotus posture, with his eyes half-closed. He closed off the nine apertures of the body, by pressing his heel against the rectum, etc. He withdrew the senses into his heart. He restrained his life-force (prana). He held his body in a state of perfect equilibrium. He pressed the tip of his tongue against the root of his palate, his jaws were slightly parted from each other. His inner vision was directed neither inward nor outward, neither above nor below, neither in substantiality nor void. He was established in pure consciousness and he experienced pure bliss within himself. He had reached the consciousness of pure being, beyond the state of bliss. His whole being had become absolutely pure.

Uddālaka remained in this totally pure state for some time, like a painted picture. Gradually, day by day, he attained perfect quiescence; he remained in his own pure being. He had risen above the cycle of birth and death. All his doubts were set at rest; perverse thoughts had ceased; all impurities of the heat had been washed away; he had attained that state of bliss which is beyond description, in which one regards even the joy of the king of heaven as worthless. Thus, his body remained for a period of six months.

After that, one day several goddesses led by Parvathi arrived at that spot in response to the prayers of a devotee. That goddess, worshipped by the gods themselves, saw the body of Uddālaka which had been dried by the scorching rays of the sun and quickly placed it on the crown of her head.

Such is the glorious story of the sage Uddālaka, O Rama, which awakens the highest wisdom in the heart of one who takes shelter in its shade.

Here it is - right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it. ~ Huang-po
 
zhoro
#32 Posted : 3/15/2014 4:52:45 PM

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thymamai wrote:
What is your take on The Secret Doctrine, nen888?

Specifically Blavatsky's work, not so much Theosophy generally because different people have made different things of it and continue doing so. But the text itself - have you heard anything about it, or possibly read any of it? She talks a lot about the vedas, and many other related, ancient wisdom and histories. I am always doubtful of the integrity of any second party interpretation, no matter how faithful they claim or facsimile. The histories especially fascinate me and I was curious to know whether you or anyone with moderate understanding of the upanishads had any opinion on her?


If I may, let me share my opinion on this. From the viewpoint of advaita vedanta, the convoluted theories of Blavatsky are a diversion and a detour. The possibility of direct investigation and experience is always there and when the seeker is ready for it, perhaps after having meandered through lengthy alternative routes, the investigation will be undertaken. That said, if the alternative routes currently seem more attractive, they will be taken. But ultimately, one must come to the question of 'Who am I that all these constructs appear to?' in the investigation of which all else must be dropped.
Here it is - right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it. ~ Huang-po
 
thymamai
#33 Posted : 3/17/2014 7:30:12 PM

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Absolutley.

pero eso es otro boleto

I am more interested in the histories. How accurate - is anybody qualified to say?- with this of the 7 root races and previous mindless and soullessness of some, the manvantaras, the two earths and one of which is right now completely immersed in the ethereal, our mineral, plant, animal, and crowning cycle of man, etc.. This book awakened an anthropologist in me, not a siddhartha.

Thanks.
 
zhoro
#34 Posted : 3/19/2014 3:19:39 AM

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thymamai wrote:
Absolutley.

pero eso es otro boleto

I am more interested in the histories. How accurate - is anybody qualified to say?- with this of the 7 root races and previous mindless and soullessness of some, the manvantaras, the two earths and one of which is right now completely immersed in the ethereal, our mineral, plant, animal, and crowning cycle of man, etc.. This book awakened an anthropologist in me, not a siddhartha.

Thanks.


You may find this interesting then. I can't say what is accurate and to what extent - I haven't really paid much attention.
Here it is - right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it. ~ Huang-po
 
nen888
#35 Posted : 3/19/2014 8:03:08 AM
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..first, thymamai..an interesting question..
i find the Golden Dawn entertaining, but i do tend to agree with zhoro that Madame Blavatsky's doctrines are somewhat convoluted..
with regards to the seven 'root races' i have difficulty relating to her work..it seems very much a product of a specific time in which there was a reaction against Darwin's new theory of evolution, and many schools looking at difference between so called races in search of some kind of 'super race' (e.g. eugenics) ..some of this kind of philosophy (including misunderstanding of 'aryans', and appropriation of parts of the vedas) lead directly to nazi philosophy..it concerns me..are we not all from one 'root race'? ..this is what science suggests..to use labels, Blavatsky is typical of the 'occultist', which i would argue focuses on separation (seeks power or guidance from entities) rather than the pursuit of self-realised unity that is the path of the 'spiritualist'..


anthropologically, i see the Vedas as the introduction of written lore into a people who came from the same roots as all of us, with a deep relationship with the natural world as a means of understanding the spiritual...the vedas have much to say about the growing of plants, the cycles of the moon, and how humans can get along..
the Vedas, to me, are the point where oral tradition becomes written...that is their historical interest..
the Upanishads develop the philosophy in written form..but all lead back to a creator force..'great spirit' if you will..
..as larger numbers of people begin to live in cities, develop agriculture/currency etc the main change that seems to have happened as hinduism and buddhism emerge is a de-emphasis of relationship to animal consciousness, and the forces of nature as conscious...here it diverges from our shared roots ('indigenous', if you'll pardon the term)

from an article on Brahmin culture:
Quote:
"The Vedas are eternal and the source of all creations and their greatness is to be known in many different ways. As I have already stated, their sound produces in our nadis as well as in the atmosphere vibrations that are salutary not only to our own Self but to the entire world. Here we must understand "lokakshema" or our welfare of the world to mean the good of mankind as well as of all other creatures. This concern for all creation that finds expression in the Vedas is not shared by any other religion. "Sanno astu dvipadesancatuspade"-- this occurs in a mantra: the Vedas pray for the good of all creatures including bipeds, quadrupeds etc. Even grass, shrubs, trees, mountains and the rivers are not excluded from their benign purview. The happy state of all these sentient creatures and inert objects is brought about through the special quality of the Vedas.


Advaita Vedanta sees the one in all...it is beyond 'histories' (or races) in this way...it's the pure philosophy of the Vedas..
..........




 
nen888
#36 Posted : 3/19/2014 8:24:49 AM
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..now, zhoro..i found The Yoga Vasistha inspiring..thank you for posting! Smile

i especially like:
Quote:
The universe has surely come into being without any valid cause for its creation: how can one accept the truth of a creation which has no cause or purpose? From time immemorial, all these bodies have been inherent in the cosmic being, even as pots are for ever inherent in clay. Even as ocean exists in the past, present and futures as ocean and the same water temporarily assumes the form of a wave, all this is for ever the cosmic being at all times.


this also reminds me of Shaktism..where Shaktas view the Devi (Goddess) as the ultimate level of creation..yes this applies a sense of form to the infinite, but can be helpful on a humanistic, and ritualistic level, towards the goal of realising That (which cannot be described)

funnily enough, after defeating everybody else in debate, the one group Adi Shankaracharya could not debate were the Shaktas..a firm monoist, he nonetheless acknowledged the eternal as Adi Shakti ('first energy' or 'power' ) as well as Brahman (the unchanging reality) ..
though ultimately from the point of view of the true self (Atman) there is no description of this..only pure awareness..the seen, the seer and and seeing as one..


from the Devi Bhagavatam (c. 6-8th C AD)
Quote:
1. I meditate on the beginningless Brahmâvidyâ who is Sarvachaitanyarûpâ, of the nature of all-consciousness; May She stimulate our buddhi to the realisation of That (or who stimulates our buddhi in different directions).


.......
 
thymamai
#37 Posted : 3/26/2014 11:22:14 PM

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I did't consider the possibility of proto nazism, nor the context with connection to those distinctions of "race" today. For myself I took it more as a kind of metaphysical language of intuition describing the evolution of man's physical sentience and the gradual addition of layering to his makeup, his spiritual faculties.
As regards the convoluted nature of her work I would have to agree, of course. The Doctrine is fundamentally occultism which is not all spirituality but like a gross bibliophilia with obsessive, scientific aspects.


"Now, with regard to the seven classes of Pitris, each of which is again divided into seven, a word to students and query to the profane. That class of the "Fire Dhyanis," which we identify on undeniable grounds with the Agnishwattas, is called in our school the "Heart" of the Dhyan-Chohanic Body; and it is said to have incarnated in the third race of men and made them perfect. The esoteric Mystagogy speaks of the mysterious relation existing between the hebdomadic essence or substance of this angelic Heart and that of man, whose every physical organ, and psychic, and spiritual function, is a reflection, so to say, a copy on the terrestrial plane of the model or prototype above. Why, it is asked, should there be such a strange repetition of the number seven in the anatomical structure of man? Why should the heart have four lower "cavities and three higher divisions," answering so strangely to the septenary division of the human principles, separated into two groups, the higher and the lower; and why should the same division be found in the various calsses of Pitris, and especially our Fire Dhyanis ? For, as already stated, these Beings fall into four corporeal (or grosser) and three incorporeal (or subtler) "principles," or call them by any other name you please. Why do the seven nervous plexuses of the body radiate seven rays ? Why are there these seven plexuses, and why seven distinct layers in the human skin ?

"Having projected their shadows and made men of one element ( ether), the progenitors re-ascend to Maha-loka, whence they descend periodically, when the world is renewed, to give birth to new men.
"The subtle bodies remain without understanding (Manas) until the advent of the Suras (Gods) now called Asuras (not Gods) ..."

An exerpt, as example of her obscurantist descriptive style which I think both enjoyable and.. unecessary.

Thanks, nen.

zhoro - looks interesting, the book. Thanks for the link.
 
nen888
#38 Posted : 3/27/2014 2:34:19 AM
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..yes, always an entertaining read, thanks thymamai..

i take your point on the metaphorical level...i think it is the language and convolution that muddies the waters here..
i meant that Blavatsky's doctrines were open to dubious interpretation, rather than casting them in a dubious light themselves..

Quote:
a kind of metaphysical language of intuition describing the evolution of man's physical sentience and the gradual addition of layering to his makeup, his spiritual faculties.
..i appreciate your study here..

in the Upanishads, the individual self is said to have 19 mouths, denoting how the limited reality (not absolute) is experienced..the 19 mouths are:
-five organs of sense (buddhi-indriya): ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose for hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting and smelling.
-five organs of action (karma-indriaa): vocal cords, hands, feet, genitals and anus, for speaking, grasping, walking, procreating and eliminating.
-five living breaths: prana, upana, udana, samana, vyana – forward, downward, upward, balancing, and outward airs.
-Mind (manas)
-Will (buddhi)
-Personal Ego (ahankara)
-Consciousness (citta)

and the universe (not the absolute) is said to have 7 limbs: (which correspond to the human body)
The head
The eyes
The breaths
The stomach
The bladder
The legs
The mouth

but how is this experienced?

..Advaita Vedanta, the least convoluted of hindu philosophies, through study of mind, and meditation, seeks to realise the absolute level...Brahman, or Atma..
which is without attributes..and is 'all that exists'
such realisation brings liberation from suffering

the closest manifest representation of Brahman is said to be Om , which is both sound and light..beyond that is Brahman...un-manifest..in such philosophy all forms/thoughts arise from what is often translated as 'ignorance', but could also be said to be limitation..

i wrote in https://www.dmt-nexus.me...aspx?g=posts&t=54951 (which echos this topic) :
"any notion of individual being, entities, archetype, gods, level, frequency, or decision making arises from limitation (ignorance) ..the absolute has no limitation..it is consciousness (or awareness) because this is the basis by which existence itself can be verified..
it is incomprehensible by mind, but is experienceable (through itself)...

in this way it is then Truth.."

ultimately the point of such a spiritual point of view is to bring freedom from suffering..
 
thymamai
#39 Posted : 3/27/2014 8:38:04 AM

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Truth

Old English trēowþ, trīewþ (“veracity, faith, fidelity, loyalty, honour, pledge, covenant”), from Proto-Germanic *triwwiþō (“promise, covenant, contract”), from Proto-Indo-European *drū- (“tree”), from Proto-Indo-European *deru- (“firm, solid”), equivalent to true +‎ -th. Cognate with Icelandic tryggð (“loyalty, fidelity”).

Whereas in the sanskrit, Sat, it can simply be said to be the present participle of the root as "to be".

Excuse me, I've taken to the dictionaries like a twit today. I am so easily fascinated.

Aesthetics from east to west differ so strikingly. Sanskrit is such a logical, systematized language. Latin, on the other hand, what a mess.

I think that it is for the unnecessity of suffering that it must needs demand a witness. That there could be beauty in it.

The witness is the sufferer. Who is justified by virtue of their freedom to grow upon it, and who, in emerging from it's nadir redeem themselves but redeem the world also. In even the smallest seed of the slightest wound there resides the Unconditional. That which is blind.
 
nen888
#40 Posted : 3/27/2014 11:11:14 AM
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..good words thymamai..thank you...if i may add a few commentaries (from a few points of view)


Quote:
Whereas in the sanskrit, Sat, it can simply be said to be the present participle of the root as "to be".

to be is to exist, which logically requires awareness to know that there is existence

from sat in Sanskrit come sattva "purity", literally "existence, reality" and sāttvika "pure"


Quote:
The witness is the sufferer.

absolute non-dualism (ala Adi Shankaracharya) is really beyond the witness in the usual sense.. it would be the witness of the suffering, the suffering, and the witnessing..dissolved into one..

in Sanskrit turiya is the experience of pure consciousness..

Adi Shankaracharya defines three sub-states of consciousness -
waking (jågrata), dreaming (svapna), and deep sleep (suƒupti)
turiya exists in all three such states..
the three states correspond to the three Gunas (activity, non-activity, and inactivity...or creation, preservation and dissolution) ..the trinity of vedic philosophy, which is the universe..the world..
but the One is beyond..

from the Bhagavad Gita:
त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत्‌।
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम्‌॥ ७.१३॥

"The World deluded by these Three Gunas does not know Me:
Who is beyond these Gunas and imperishable" (7.13)


Quote:
In even the smallest seed of the slightest wound there resides the Unconditional. That which is blind.
..i like this..it reminds of Shaktism (which i like, and which is not Advaita Vedanta)
..everything is Shakti ('energy' or 'power' ) in monoist Shaktism this is the root of all..consciousness cannot exist without it..

..from an Advaita Vedanta perspective, the suffering is derived from a state of limitation...the absolute is limitless..infinite..

"Turiya is not that which is conscious of the inner (subjective) world, nor that which is conscious of the outer (objective) world, nor that which is conscious of both, nor that which is a mass of consciousness. It is not simple consciousness nor is It unconsciousness. It is unperceived, unrelated, incomprehensible, uninferable, unthinkable and indescribable. The essence of the Consciousness manifesting as the self in the three states
...This is Atman and this has to be realized." [Mandukya Upanishad]

.








 
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