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Discussions on Vedanta / Question on Self-Realization-I
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on November 07, 2016, 08:03:16 AM »
Question On Self-Realization -I

Respected Sadaji

I am recently studying "Discourse on Kenopanisad" 

Chapter II, On page 101 5th paragraph, Pujya  Swamiji Chinmayanadji explains:

"Intimate and Intense subjective experience of his own self" again on page 102  para 3 "subjective experience of our real self"

I realize that Swamiji is pointing to something else as we know that there is no trinity of experiencer, experience relationship when "Subject I" is concerned.

Please help me to understand what exactly is the meaning of ‘intimate and intensive experience of our real self – without having the experiencer – experiencing- experienced, triad – that we have in our any normal experience. How is the experience of the Self different from that of any other experience?


Yes, you are right - experience of Self is not like the normal experience that involves the triad - the experiencer-experienced-experiencing., since the object of experience is the self and the experiencer is also the Self and there is really no act of experiencing.
When Swamiji says it is an intensive subjective experience –it implies first it is not an objective experiences or experience of the self as an object. Every object is inert, while the knower, the subject who says ‘I Am’ is a conscious entity. Hence self-experience is intense recognition that I am the self- which is of the nature of sat-chit-ananda. It is intensive in the sense that it is akhandam or unbroken since knower the self is there in every experience. In essence, there is never a time I do not experience myself – however in all experiences I am paying attention to the objects of my experience rather than to the subject, the experiencer, the conscious entity. Intense experience then is the shifting the attention of the mind not to the objects per sec but to the knower, the conscious entity. The self is a ‘knower’ when there is a ‘known’ (technically called phala vyaapti – since there is a fruit of knowledge that ‘I know this’, etc). However, when the mind does not pay attention to the known but its shifts attention to the knowing principle- constantly and continuously – then only it becomes intense self-experience. There is no fruit of this experience as ‘I know this’ – but only as I  am – I am – I am.. etc. Bhagavan Ramana puts this simply as – aham aham taya, spurtati hRit swayam, paramam puurnam sat. I am, I am, I am – raises spontaneously in the core of one’s personality, one’s heart. Here the heart is the mind that is in meditation, and that ‘I am’ is different from previous I am that arises in all the objective knowledge as I know this, etc. This ‘I am’ is supreme, infinite or full and of the nature of SAT swaruupam, says Bhagavan Ramana. 

These are the general statements. Now let us look at this problem more carefully.
Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Free will and/or destiny - II
« Last post by Rikesh7 on July 27, 2016, 05:26:00 PM »
Dear Swamiji,

I hope you are well.

I did a search in this Forum and I believe this is the latest (although over a year old) thread on the topic of *free will*.

As you have mentioned at the bottom of your post, and as Krsna eludes to in the Bhagavad Gita, all actions are actually performed by the three modes of material nature i.e prakriti. If this is the case, how is it that we have free will?

In my personal opinion, we do have some form of free will, but I can't seem to justify it through reason. Genetics seem to be our 'initial conditions' if you like, these genes determine our physical and possibly mental characteristics or at least tendencies. Then it is our environment, which we also have no choice over (at birth and childhood anyway), this then can also go on to shape us. So finally, we arrive at adulthood, our mental and physical conditions being an accumulation of all experiences and actions since birth, where is the room for free will? Is it that the *mind* is so vast, it has the capacity to stretch beyond as it were, the limitations imposed on it by all the things I just mentioned and that is what we ultimately call free will i.e when the mind goes beyond the restrictions imposed on it by the three modes of nature (from birth).

I have watched your videos on youtube on your lectures on the Yoga Vasistha, they were incredibly enlightening, thank you very much for posting them. You used an analogy in one of those lectures which fits quite well I guess into this discussion.
The analogy was that when you are lying on your bed sleeping and are in a dream state, you are also a subject in that dream alongside all the other things we experience in life. Now, the one lying in the bed sleeping is the one projecting all of this, and so effectively everything in that dream world is actually just the dreamer (the one sleeping), there are no different people or objects. It's only a projection of the dreamer. If we say the reality we experience now is like that, the projector of the dream is Iswara. Can we really have any free will in this dream? isn't it all ultimately the will of Iswara. Is the concept of free will therefore only applicable to the ego, i.e once one has awakened to the truth, he realises he was never a doer or enjoyer.

apologies for the long post, please feel free to point me to articles or posts where you may have already addressed this issue.

best regards,


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: On Reincarnation
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on May 17, 2016, 03:35:45 PM »
Q: But if reincarnation is not real at the ultimate level, what happens to dharma and ethics?

A: All dharma and adharma operate at the transaction level only. They are as real as jiiva and Isvara. Everything is included in that One – which is real from the absolute point. Yet the one is unaffected by what is happening at the transactional level. Krishna says – all beings are in ME (mastaani sarva bhuutani), yet I am unaffected by the what happens to them (na ca aham teshu avasthitaH).  The gold can say all ornaments are in Me, but what happens to the ring, bangle – which are just names and forms, does not affect me, the gold.

When we say ‘I am’, ‘I’ stands for the consciousness aspect and ‘am’ stands for the existence aspect. When we say ‘I am this, there is the confusion of identification of the subject I am’ with the object ‘this’. That is due to error, ,which is due to the ignorance of not knowing  what ‘I am’. Right now ‘I am =  jiiva’ is the notional understanding, while ‘I am Brahman’ is the vision of my self according to the Upanishads. That true I am has to realized or recognized, by dropping the notion that I am = this or idam, starting with I am the body.  To say this in sophisticated language, the ontological status (degree of reality) of I am is different from the all this in the transactional world.

The body is only a vehicle or instrument required to exhaust my vAsana-s. Essentially, vAsana-s decide the type of body required – man or woman, white, brown or black skin etc. I, the jiiva, gravitate towards the environment that is conducive to my vAsana-s. Hence they are called ‘kAraNa shariira’ or causal body; a cause for my body.

Hence what birth I take next depends on the most powerful vasana-s that are ready to germinate next. There is my total bank account of karma (saMchita karma), of which I brought into this life only those that can be exhausted (prArabdha karma) and, if in the process I make new ones (agami karma), which cannot be exhausted in this life, and they are deposited to my toal account. Until all vasanas get neutralized, I will continue taking births in one form or the other. By yoga or sAdhanA, I neutralize the vAsanas. When I realize who I am – as I am not this, not this, etc. (since I am the subject that can never be an object ‘this’) – I recognize that I am that sat chit ananda and then there is no more ownership of any karma. Dharma and adharma comes from the attitude in my actions or karmas. All are transcended in that knowledge of who I am.

As long as I think I am a jiiva, these notions are regarded as facts and Brahman does not come into picture. ‘I am Brahman’ is only realized from the state of absolute knowledge. Until this is recognized as a fact and not merely as a thought, jiiva-hood is there and vAsana-s operate. So karmas or dharmas/adharams are there as long as you are there to question; since the questioning is done by a jiva.

As long as I am dreaming that I am being chased by a tiger,  that dream tiger is as real as the one who is being chased. I have to run away as fast as I can to save myself from that tiger. Only when I am awakened to the higher state of consciousness, the tiger and the one whom the tiger is chasing, as well as the forest and the ground upon which I am running, all resolved into my own mind.

The dreamer thinks that the dream world is real until he is awakened to a higher state where there is only one mind that projects the world of plurality. The plurality is real as long as dream lasts. The problem in your questions is that you want to place one leg in the waking state and one leg in the dream state and then question the validity of each from the other reference point. Any question from the Brahman viewpoint whilst still sitting at the jiiva position is like a dreamer asking about the waking mind. The plurality of the dream world is from the viewpoint of a dreamer who thinks he is different from the tiger and the trees in the forest.
Discussions on Vedanta / On Reincarnation
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on May 17, 2016, 03:34:56 PM »
Q: Does Advaita believe in reincarnation of a soul?

A: To answer simply, Advaita is not based on any single soul – there is no soul and not-soul at that ultimate understanding – there is only one non-dual sat chit and ananda. Existence-consciousness-ananda that cannot be divided. If one sees divisions they are only apparent and not real. If one takes the apparent as real, then all others factors become as real.

Jiiva (soul) itself is a notion; and when that notion is taken as real – all other problems become as real as jiiva. Hence reincarnation and transmigration of soul are all real in that frame of reference.

Look at this way: gold, iron and copper look different if these difference as taken as real. They can exist in different forms, for example gold can exist now as ring, now as bangle, now as chain, now as bracelet – gold undergoing transmigration or reincarnation into different forms.

You may say gold is different form copper. However fundamentally they are not. At fundamental level they all are nothing but electrons, protons, neutrons etc  From that perspective gold, iron, copper are just bunches of electrons, protons and neutrons – which themselves are nothing but energy-states.

I can understand as a scientist they are all one – yet I can transact in the world taking gold is different from iron and copper. Transactions are done at one level while understanding is at the ultimate level – there is no confusion if one understands correctly. I know that the sun neither rises nor sets; but I can still appreciate the beauty of sunrise and sunset.

That is advaita in spite of dvaita – that is no incarnation in spite of reincarnation. Karma (action) is at the transactional level. At the absolute level I realize that I am never a doer, or kartaa. That is Advaita. Advaita, in spite of dvaita.
Discussions on Vedanta / How to know if someone has realized or not?
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on May 14, 2016, 07:42:43 PM »
How to know if someone has realized or not?

Someone who joined recently in the facebook - friend’s list asked me that I should meet real sage (who is now in Kerala) that he has found one, and he wants me to meet him so that I can be with real-sage. It appears that his joining in the friends-list is to recruit disciples for his teacher. I have to politely decline him saying that I have already been blessed by a teacher who taught me the essence of Vedanta.

Swami Tejomayanandaji once jokingly mentioned in his discourses a question posed by a seeker. The seeker asked – Swamiji, Have you met in your life any realized soul? Swamiji said, in that very question, the seeker has already decided that I have not realized nor my guru, Swami Chinmayanandaji?  We go around trying to find a teacher, who has realized since the scripture itself says approach a teacher who knows the shastras and how to teach them (shotriyaH) and the one who is firmly abiding in the knowledge that I am Brahman- shotriyam brahmanishtam – Mundaka Up.

Here are some questions posed in this advaitin list in the past - related to this topic.
a) Can anybody gain self-knowledge? b) Does the study of scriptures needed for realization? c) How to know if someone has realized or not? There are several aspects involved in these questions. One is about jnaanam and the other is recognition of a jnaani.

1. Can anybody gain jnaanam?
Ans: No. Only those that have purified mind. Sadhana chatuShTaya sampaanna - one who has the four-fold qualifications – viveka, vairagya, shamaadi shtka sampatthi and mumukhutvam. To gain any knowledge there are always a pre-requisites. I cannot just go and sit in the Quantum Mechanics class without having necessary background and expect to understand the subject. Even to gain action oriented expertise, I have to get trained by an expert as in say how to swim or play tennis or basket-ball. Viveka involves discrimination of what is eternal and what is ephemeral, vairagya involves dispassion to give non-essentials, shamaadi shatka sampatthi provides the disciple of the wagering mind to re-channel toward the goal and mumukshutvam is strong desire to become free. These four Ds (Discrimination, Dispassion, Discipline and Desire for liberation) provides the purity of the mind or chitta suddhi which is needed for abiding in jnaanam. The mind has to be subtle to inquire within without objectification of the truth.
This is nothing to do where he/she comes from or where he is born or what gender etc. Swami Chinmayandaji used to interpret the word yaH used on the Geeta slokas as.
yaH = who ever he/she may be he/she who.

Q2. Who will know that I have the sadhana chatushtaya sampatti or the required purified mind?

Ans. Only I will know and no one else can know. By observation of my behavior for prolonged length of time my teacher can infer about the quality of my mind. In olden days only after observing for a long time, the teacher would teach to those to whom he feels that he deserves the knowledge.

Q.3 How to know who is a Jannai or Real Sage as my facebook friend is trying to impress on others.

Ans: Jnaanam or absolute knowledge is different from being recognized as a jnaani? Krishna gives sthitaprajna lakshaNas in Gita Ch. 2, and also discussed these in some form in the 12th Ch. and then again in terms of guNaatiita in 14th Ch. Jnaani does not care if one recognizes him as a jnaani or not – and that is the essence of being a jnaani too.
In principle others cannot evaluate if someone else is jnaani or not, since others cannot know one's mind, excluding some rare siddha purushas who can know others minds.

A child once asked Swami Tejomayandaji. Swamiji, Can you read other’s mind? Swamji answered, ‘No I cannot. I cannot read others minds’. Then he said, ‘I have a method to know what is in other’s mind?’ The child asked, ’How? Swamiji replied, ‘If I love that person enough, he will tell me what is in his mind. That is how I can know what is in other’s mind’. Who wants know others mind anyway, when our minds themselves are so–messed up?
Hence whether someone else is jnaani or not, one cannot judge, and more importantly, it is useless to judge. One has to judge oneself, if he has the jnaanam or not.

It is, however, important for a disciple to think that my teacher is realized – otherwise, he will not have sufficient shraddhaa or faith in the teacher's words.

Since it is difficult to evaluate who is a jnaani or not, we have many Bhagavans, and real-sages, some are real and some are self-proclaimed and some are proclaimed by their disciples.

From the truth point, everybody is Bhagavan only, since there is nothing other than Him or He is one without a second; but to understand this truth, one needs to be a jnaani.

In principle, no jnaani will declare that he is a jnaani. Ultimately it is for others to feel that my teacher is a jnaani, based on their faith only. A disciple will feel strongly based the knowledge he has received from his teacher. He becomes ever grateful for the teaching he received out of love.
Q3. Now we can ask, ‘Are there any realized person in other cultures today?’ That question itself, from my point, becomes an academic question. However, from what he teaches, we can examine the teachings and make a judgment call for our own benefit. That is whether the teaching is in tune with Vedanta pramANa or not. For that only Vedanta provides PramANa. - it is not for evaluation of others, whether someone has realized or not, but whether the teaching is in tune with Vedanta or not.

The truth involves three aspects as Shankara condenses based on Vedanta and mahavaakyas - 1. Brahma satyam 2. jagat mithyaa 3. jiivo brahma eva na aparH. - This teaching whether it comes ultimately from, ‘Who am I enquiry’ or not, one has to examine what that ‘I am’ stands for - if that I am involves understanding ‘aham Braahamsmi’ then that is the full inquiry of who that I am. Bhagavan Ramana has dealt with this clearly - what that I am stands for. The disciples have to understand what it means, whether they study the scriptures or not. Study of the scriptures will help in having clear understanding of what that I am is - as described clearly by mantra 7 of Mandukya Up.

The above aspects have to be clear. Vedanta shravanam is only meant for that. If that can be understood by any other means then the other means are in tune with Vedanta only. For, example – ‘How I understand the gravitational force’ makes no difference as long as I understand it correctly and teach that to others. That is what pramANa implies. If the teaching is not in tune with physics then there is a problem in that teaching. Whether the teacher knows or not, we can only address based on what he teaches. Same thing applies for the absolute truth. We cannot question if someone has realized or not, but we can question whether the teaching is in tune with Vedanta or not. There are no other litmus tests available.

Hari Om!

Discussions on Vedanta / Litmus test for jnaani.
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on May 14, 2016, 06:16:14 PM »

There is litmus test one can take to check if one has realized or not. This is to test oneself not others. This test has been discussed in the Chandogya Up. in the 6th Chapter, where the famous quote – tat tvam asi – statement occurs.

The teacher, Uddaalaka tells his son Swetaketu – a story related to this.  Once the security people arrested a person and brought him to the King to decide. They said there was a theft, and no one knows who was a thief. The circumstantial evidence points out to this person as the thief, but he denies it. Hence we brought him to you to decide.

The king asked the person, whether he was the thief who stole things. The fellow said that he was not. Then the King ordered to bring a red-hot iron rod and asked him to touch it with bare hands. The king said, if you are telling the truth, then your hands will not burn when you touch the red-hot iron. If the hands burn, then it implies that you are not telling the truth. That means you are a thief and therefore you will be severely punished. Thus he will get double punishments – one getting his hands burned and the other the further imprisonment by the king. If your hands do not get burned, it implies that you are telling the truth and therefore you are not the thief.   We will honor you and also provide compensation for arresting you and giving inconvenience. This test is prescribed in the context of self-realization. Hence one can take this test to check if one has realized or not – that is by touching a red-hot iron. If you think you have realized then your hands will not get burned, otherwise they will.

Now any volunteers to check if they are realized or not?

The implication of the test is a realized person will not get burned when he touches or transacts with the red-hot burning world. He will be immune to the ups and downs of the happenings in the world since he knows everything is just mithyaa or not really real. If one is getting burned while transacting in the world, it is clear litmus test that one is not a  jnaani  or jnaana-nishita. Bhagavan Ramana calls this as dRiDaiva nishTa or firm abidance in the knowledge of I am. Those who have the knowledge and still get slightly feels the heat of the world, implies that they have still remnant raaga-dweshaas or likes and dislikes that affect his transactions in the world. The scripture recommends for him constant nidhidhyaasana or constant remembrance of his real status and the unreal status of the world.

Hence Krishna says that for stitaprajna:

duHkeshu anudvigna maanaH sukheshu vigata spRuhaH|
veeta raaga bhaya krodhaH sthitadheeH muniruchyate|

He is unaffected by the turmoil in the world. Jnaani will see the world either as mithyaa or Iswara Vibhutti or his own vibhuuti.

Hari Om!

Anything perceived is mithyaa since it is perceived. The perceiver is conscious entity. Iswara in any form is meant for worship - important for upaasana. Ultimately upanishad declare that one has to give all forms and examine the truth. yat chachhusaa na pasyate chachchumsi pasyati|  tat eva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upaasate| The last statement is repeated 5 times. That says Brahman is not that what you worship. That which eyes cannot see, but that because of which eyes can see, that alone is Brahman and not that this that you worship.

Hari Om!
Hari om,

How do you view Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha etc.? Since they are perceived by jiva are they virat swaroopam.
Discussions on Vedanta / Questions and Discussions related to Vedanta
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on April 16, 2016, 07:08:43 AM »
PraNAms to all

When you want ask or what to discuss anything related to Adviata Vedanta, please send me the question or discussion also by an email so that I can immediately answer the question posed.

Hari Om!

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Atman and delusion
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on April 16, 2016, 07:06:08 AM »
Sorry for the delay in responding – next time please send me an email also – so that I can respond quickly.
Here is my understanding.

I bow down to the Atman that is the real nature of everyone. My humble praNAms to Brahman who is ever present as the Atman in all.


 Fine, but recognized that Atman is not some object – but is yourself too. Atman is not present in all – everything is Atman only – one without a second. It is pure sat-chit-ananda – being infinite from Atman point there is nothing other itself. Hence the creation or all is nothing but Atman itself appearing as many.
I have these questions from a long time-

If I am the Atman that is always free from delusion, why do I feel as if I am deluded? Is avidya so strong as to delude even the Atman? What makes avidya so strong?


 Avidya is not with Atman – but with yourself. When you say I am = Kalyan, with your bio-data, there is fundamental problem. I am – involves pure existence and consciousness- which Vedanta says pure existence – consciousness are infinite. When you say I am = this, you cannot be this as this is an object and I am – is subject. The very fact that you are saying I am this, implies you are ignorant of yourself. This is the fundamental ignorance. Since any – this – is finite, and your nature as I  am being infinite, you are taking yourself to be finite which you are not. Since you want to be yourself or want to recognize yourself as infinite, you are trying to become infinite by gaining this, this and this. The whole life struggles are to become infinite by adding finite things – which is impossible. This is the suffering due to avidya. Avidya is with you who does not recognize that I  am infinite.
Now redirect the questions to yourself why being infinite you think you are finite which Vedanta says due to delusion.
The rest of the questions you should answer – or Recognize that you are Atman which is pure SAT CHIT ANANDA  which from Atma point is never deluded as there is no creation from its reference – it is only appears as in dream creation and dream suffering.

Think about it.

Hari Om!

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