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I had recent discussion with Swami Paramarthanandaji on the topic of Akhandaakaara vRitti.

He mentioned that traditionally the Jeeva-Brahma aikya bodhaka jnaanam is akhandaakaara vRitti. What I have mentioned is the result of that vRitti.

For those who are interested, the knowledge to remove ignorance of objectionable entities, says Chemistry or Physics etc, which are called tuulaa avidya, the knowledge will have obectifiable result - in this case the knowledge of Chemistry or Physics. - Hence jnaana vRitti has phalam or result. In the case of self-knowledge, the result is not objectifyable entity since it is my own self, the subject. Hence there is no phala vyaapti - Not an objectifiable result but the true knowledge of one's own self, which is ever present - or more correctly the dropping of wrong notions about oneself.

Hari Om!
Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Punarjanma - Rebirth
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on July 16, 2015, 04:50:30 AM »

If nothing dies and nothing is born, what comes out the womb of a woman? What decays into the earth? It can't be only a body of carbohydrates, protein, fat etc. So what seems to leave it and what enters it?
Sada:  Dear Vivek, I was going to answer the question in detail. Then I realize that I have to provide you the correct analysis of three bodies and three states of experiences and vaasanaas that are subtle impressions that are left behind in the mind by ego-centric actions which expresses at individual level as likes and dislikes These are called our karmas as they are product of our ego-centric karmas.  The best thing is to suggest to study –The Introduction to Vedanta – series that you can find in the website under articles. After studying these if you have further questions I will be happy to answer.
Hari Om!
Other Discourses by Sadaji / Re: Two types of adhyAsa
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on July 03, 2015, 11:34:21 AM »
Anil - Individual projection or praatibhasika as in projecting snake where the rope is nirupaadika since there is no upaadhi for snake. It is only based on attributes as perceived by the senses.

The Iswara projection, rope for example or sun-rise and sun-set, is sopaadhika adhyaasa, there is something tangible and most importantly, the recognition of the truth behind perception, would not eliminate the perception. For example I still see the sunrise and sunset knowing via shastra or science that there is no sunrise and sunset. Similarly the mirage waters. Like wise knowing verywell that the world is not real, I still see the world since knowledge does not eliminate the upaadhis or does not eliminate Iswara sRiShTi.

Hari Om!
An Introduction to Vedanta / Re: Ego or ahaMkAra
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on July 03, 2015, 03:28:35 AM »
Silence - your understanding is correct. I am posting an answer to somewhat similar question on this topic.

Hari Om!

I am visiting the forum after a long time. So, in this discussion do we all agree that perception and reality in itself are two different things? 

That is, all these are true :

1. Something exist, but we perceive it doesn't or can't be certain that it does.  (eg. ghosts if they don't come to attention to our perception, chair in a dark room)
Vivek –welcome back.  That something exists is not ascertained until either we see it, or infer it or assume it exists based on hear-say – pratyaksha, anumaana and shabda pramaanas. If none of the pramanas establishes to our mind that it exists then its existence is like gaagaabuubu – it may or may not exist.
Otherwise its existence remain as indeterminate – unless we are referring to logically contradictories like vandhyaa putraH – son of a barren woman. There is a logical  contradiction in that statement. Hence it does not exist.
2. Something exists, and we perceive it exists. (this computer, food etc)
Something exists and we have knowledge of its existence and not just hear-say.
3. Something doesn't exist, and we perceive it doesn't exist or can't be certain it does (eg. triangle with four sides, circle with edges)
These are logical contradictions therefore they do not exists – period. They are truly called asat as in vandhyaaputraH.

4. Something doesn't exist, and we perceive it exists. (mirage as a lake)
Sada:  These come under errors in perception – snake on the rope or mirage waters. The first one is subjective objectification and the second is objective-objectification. In Vedanta they are called nirupaadika adhyaasa and sopadika adhyaasa. Dream world is does not exist but appear to exist for a dreamer – they are also called praatibhaasika error. The sun-rise and sun-set etc are vyaavahaarika adhyaasa.
Hari Om!
Discussions on Vedanta / Free will and/or destiny - II
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on June 26, 2015, 07:01:34 AM »
Laws of Actions and Results:
One cannot but act as that is the essential expression of Life itself. As a human being I only have the choice of action. The results are dictated by the laws of nature that is beyond my control. If I have a stone in my hand, I can throw it this side, that side or up into the air and pray that it does not fall on my head, or not to do anything with it. But once I throw the stone, its trajectory is determined not by me but by the laws of nature such as gravitational force, the frictional forces, etc. Lord Himself expresses in the form of creation, and thus the laws too, says Vedanta. Hence He is called karmaphaladaata or giver of fruits of actions. The factors that frame the results that I have no control on are grouped under daivam or in normal parlance may be considered as ‘luck’. Hence Krishna’s statement – maaphaleshu kadaachana – you have no choice in the results, once the action is performed. You can perform another action to counter the effects of previous action – like saying I am sorry when you made a mistake. That is called repair action or prayaschitta karma; the result of that action also does not depend on you. Another way of looking at this law of action and result is that action can be performed only in the present, including the planning of future action. The result follows the action and hence future to the action. I have no control on the future. Thus Krishna provides an absolute law of action. I cannot act in the past, since past is gone; and I cannot act in the future, since future has not come. I can sit down and ‘brood over’ my past actions or worry about future. These two only dissipate my energies and make me inefficient in the present action. Life involves action in the present. We can only live in the present since past is gone and future has not come. The irony is that most do not live in the present since their minds are always thinking about either their past or the future. Hence efficacy in the action comes by involving completely (body, mind and intellect) to the fullest extent in the present action. To arrest the habitual tendency of the mind to run to the regrets of the past (or glories of the past) or worry or excitement about the future result and devote entirely in the present action requires the mind that is disciplined. A man of success lives in the present and enjoys the present. Another way to live in the present is to surrender the past and future at the feet of the Lord, and perform the action to the best that I can do as an offering to the Lord, that is, become a karmayogi. Krishna says – yat karoShi yad ashnaasi ... tat kuruShva madarpaNam –
whatever you do, offer it to me with devotion. When we offer something to the Lord, a) it should be our best b) it should be dhaarmic – otherwise He would not accept it. Hence a karmayogi is one who becomes very efficient in action, says Krishna – yogaH karmasu koushalam dexterity in action follows karmayoga, and he also becomes a righteous or dharmic person, which are essential ingredients for evolution of the mind. Hence Vedanta says for proper action in the present one has to follow the four purusharthas, namely, dharma, artha, kaama and moksha.

Four Purusharthas:

artha involves earning money and kaama involves fulfilling the desires but these two are bounded one side by dharma or righteousness and the other side by moksha – a freedom from all limitations. Thus one should earn the wealth as much as one can but by the right means or dhaarmic way, and also enjoy the life in dhaarmic way. In the marriage one takes an oath – dharmecha, arthecha, kaamecha naati charaami – I am taking this woman as my wife for fulfilling my dharma, and enjoy life in dhaarmic way, with the wealth acquired in dharmic way. Moksha is left out in the marriage vow since it involves Vedanta sharavana, manana and nidhidhyaasana that require individual sadhana at personal level. Moral Laws Governing Action: Dharma forms the fundamental basis for life itself and hence Hinduism is actually called Sanatana dharma or that which is followed by time immemorial. Dharma has several connotational meanings; the most prominent one is that which supports the life itself. The whole Geetopadesha starts with dharma (dhrma kshetre..) and ends with mama meaning mine. Thus it involves discussion of what is my dharma or swadharma, with Krishna stating that it is better to do one’s own dharma than to follow that of others- swadharme nidhanam shreyaH. The basic foundation for dharma is accountability for one’s own action. We have legal laws that we need to follow in any society, and ignorance of the laws is not defense for violation in any court of law. For example, I have to pay taxes on time, otherwise I can be prosecuted. Thus legal laws of the land have to be followed; that forms the local dharma. There are subtle dharmas that need to be followed at individual level which can be considered as moral laws. A simple example is I have to do what I expect others to do towards me and I should not do what I expect others not to do towards me. For example, I expect others to be kind to me, help me when I am in need, forgive my mistakes, etc. Then these become my dharma or duties towards others. Similarly I do not want others to lie to me, steal my property, hurt me or abuse me, etc. Then there are my dharmas to follow with respect to others. Some of them are called universal values that are independent of time and location. Any violation of these will leave marks in the mind for which I have to bear the consequence. Religions call this as sin. Swami Chinmayanandaji defines sin beautifully. Sin is defined as the divergence of mind and intellect. That is intellect or buddhi knows what is the right thing to do, while the mind or manas feels like doing something opposite. For example, the intellect knows one should not steal. Even a notorious thief also knows this since he does not want his stolen property to be stolen by others. He is ready to compromise the value for his benefit. While legally he may escape but morally he gets bound. He has to bear the consequence of this violation of moral law in this life or in the next life. This is the basis of theory of karma in Hinduism. One is accountable for one’s action, here or in the life after. That karma account is expressed as praarabda karma or destiny which is nothing but deliberate compromises against moral laws committed in the past. These are absolute laws that govern the birth-death cycles of all life forms. Hence one’s birth, in terms of the type of life form (human, animal or plant etc), place and time, gender, parents, siblings, etc. are all determined by one’s karma as well as the karmas of those who are affected by that birth. System is well governed by laws beyond human intellect. The karma of all being put together becomes the cause for the creation, says Krishna.

Hence dharma forms the essence of purushartha or determining factor for Freewill. Krishna calls this as eternal wheel of action and results that is set in motion from time immemorial or sanatana dharma – which forms the essence of Hinduism, nay the very foundation of the creation. This does not depend on one belief system or opinion. Krishna says - evam pravartitam chakram naanuvartayateeha yaH, aghaayurindriyaaraamo mogham partha sa jiivati. Whoever does not act in accordance with this eternal wheel of dharma that is set in motion from the beginning-less creation, he suffers. The choice is ours and we are accountable for the choice we make.

Thus freewill and destiny play together reminding ourselves – what we have is destiny and what we do with what we have is our freewill. The Free-will is there until we are free from will –which forms the essence of the fourth purushartha, namely moksha, which in essence is freedom from will. Freedom from will involves understanding that I am never a doer or enjoyer. The prakRiti itself does all actions –the prakRiti includes the Body, Mind and Intellect and the whole jagat or the world.  prakRityavacha karmaaNi kriyamaanaani sarvashaH –declares Krishna in Getopadesha.

Hari Om!
Discussions on Vedanta / Free Will and/or Destiny - I
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on June 26, 2015, 07:00:58 AM »
Free-Will and/or Destiny
Acharya Dr. Sadananda
Chinmaya Mission, Washington Regional Center

I find myself in this world, definitely not by my freewill. I have no knowledge of where I came from or where I am heading after death. I did not have any choice in terms of where I should be born, who should be my parents, male or female, and even who should be my siblings. I am here now; and that is a fact. One day I am destined to die, whether I like it or not. These are truths. Whatever is born has to die, says Krishna, jatasyahi dRivomRityuH. When someone dies, people say, ‘ He is dead and gone’, ‘mar-gaya’ in Hindi, with  similar statements in all languages, implying that there was  someone else who was living in the body and now left, as the current body appears to be no more useful for his transactions. The one who left does not seem to die and he seems to be eternal, therefore must not have born too, echoes Krishna – najaayate mRiyateva kadaachit. In essence, everybody dies but nobody dies, forms the foundation of Krishna’s Geetopadesa. We do not know what that ‘LIFE’ is- yet everybody  claims that they are living. Some say, ‘Life is very precious’.  Doctors have no clue what Life is, yet ready to certify if someone is alive or not, based only on physiological functions. We all know that these functions are only expressions of Life, but not Life itself. The objective scientist has no tools to investigate LIFE. Yet he is ready to deny that which he cannot objectify using his objective tools.

Everyone feels that their life is very important, some even at the cost of other life forms; and yet in the end everyone seems to disappear into the oblivion, without leaving any trace. Life continues independent of anybody’s opinion of it, including this one. It looks like the drama of life will go on forever. In a cemetery, one finds engraved on the stone, a date of birth and a date of death, with a dash in between, indicating that there nothing more to say. It looks like everybody is dashing from birth to death, making as much noise in between. Of billions that lived we only remember those that make a mark in the History, by their good or bad deeds. One day, we will also become history, with some rare ones leaving a line or two in the books of history, for those who care to read. It looks like what counts in the final analysis, is only our deeds, while we are living.

There are billions of people living on this face of earth; what for, God only knows. Scriptures say God created this world? Don’t know why? Some say, it is a play of the Lord or ‘leela vibhuti’. He can have His play, but not at my expense – questions a rational intellect. Of course, sitting in heaven, God only smiles, and being God, He (or She) need not have to answer. Some others say, the first born, Mr. Adam, eat an apple against God’s command, and thus he sinned; and that is why we are all born. The question `Why should I be born since someone ate an apple’ is not asked, or perhaps is not allowed to be asked as they do not have an answer. Of course, the recommended solution is that you have to follow their faith, so that you will be granted eternal happiness that you are longing for; however, not here but in Heaven.

Unfortunately no one has returned to tell us that he is in eternal heaven or in eternal hell by following or not following a particular religion, declares a pragmatist. He wants eternal happiness here and now, as these are the only ones that count, and not promises that will be fulfilled in future. These are dogmas, claims an atheist. He wants an objective proof using objective tools, without recognizing the subject ‘I” cannot be objectified. Why bother with all this, let us make best out of the present, says a practical minded person. However a rational intellect in me cannot but ask – why me?

Why does an apple fall down? – asked one scientist. Any irritated bystander perhaps might have responded – Why bother with your silly questions? Thank God these apples are always falling down from beginning-less time; just eat and enjoy and rest in peace. Well, being a human, I cannot but ask why I was created or the world for that matter. Curiosity to know the cause for everything is in born for humans; some rare ones pursue these questions till the end.

Autobiography of a Human Life:

Examination of everyone’s life across the globe, that includes, of course, a pragmatist, an atheist, a theist, a rationalist, etc., seems to indicate that there is only one purpose for living. That is to get maximum happiness out of this world. We run after objects of our desire with the assumption that we can get happiness when our desires are fulfilled. We love objects/people that give us happiness says, Yagnavalkya, while teaching his wife Maitreyee, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – na vaa arE (maitreyee), aatmanastu kaamaaya sarvam priyam bhavati.

In this very pursuit of happiness, there is inherent assumption that we are not happy as we are, and will be happier when our objects of our desires are fulfilled. Interestingly, when the objects of desires are fulfilled, no one seems to be contented or fulfilled, since we go after happiness again by trying to fulfil more objects of desires. Thus rat race has set in. In the final analysis, everyone wants inexhaustible infinite happiness for him to feel that the very life purpose is fulfilled, and he does not have to run after objects of desire anymore. Then, there is no more longing mind or desiring mind or a mind that feels inadequacy, seeking fulfillment. The tragedy of human life is no one can ever get that infinite inexhaustible happiness by any pursuit or even series of finite pursuits; for logically finite(s) cannot give infinite happiness. At the same time, one cannot give up the pursuit of happiness throughout his life. Thus the rat race continues until the rat cannot race anymore and kicks the bucket. This seems to be autobiography of every human being; nay every lifeform too.

The logic says that there is no happiness in any object, including in our good-old hot cup of Madras-Coffee that one longs for as the first desirable thing in the morning. Vedanta says you are trying to solve a problem where there is no problem to solve; and that itself has become a problem, not only in this life but life after life. It says you are the very source of happiness. Hence you are searching for yourself all over the world, as in the missing 10th man-story; some even travel continents. Hence the very desire for happiness deprives one from having one. No doubt one feels happy when an intense desire is fulfilled. However in those moments the mind becomes calm, and in the momentary stillness of the mind, you feel happy, until another desire props in. That desire-fulfilled momentary happiness is the reflection of your own nature, says Vedanta. Hence we can conclude based on our experience that a pre-requisite for enjoying uninterrupted inexhaustible happiness is to have peaceful and serene mind all the time; which seems to be impossible task for all people; except for some rare ones. When there are no desires for objects, the mind ceases to run after objects for happiness as it is self-contended by itself with itself. Such person revels in himself by himself, since he understood that the self that he revels is the very source of happiness that one is longing for – says Krishna.

prajahaati yadaa kaamaan sarvan paartha manogataan, atmanyeva aatmanaa tuShTaH, sthitaprajnastadochyate...II-55.

He is called as Sthitaprajna or jeevan mukta– or liberated while living

In spite of understanding of this essential truth, which is logical and also scripturally ascertained, many of us still run after the objects of desire, or name or fame, trying to chase for happiness that is not there in any object. Mind habitually runs after objects of desires, even after knowing that there is no happiness in any object. Eternal inexhaustible happiness that one is longing far is one’s own true nature, and can be realized right here and right now, as it involves no action but mere recognition that you are complete or full by yourself, says Vedanta. The fact is, the very longing for happiness prevents one to gain that happiness. There is an inherent problem in seeking what you already have. It is like searching for a key all over the world when it is there all the time in your pocket. When the seeker himself is the sought, any seeking is bound to fail, since in the very seeking one presumes that the sought is not there where the seeker is. To stop chasing for happiness through any pursuit, one has to make the mind turn inwards and examine the nature of one’s own self. To do that inquiry, the inquiring mind has to be subtle enough to inquire within, since it is habituated to look outside for answers– as in the search for happiness in the hot cup of Madras-Coffee in the morning. I am a subject (an existent-conscious- limitless entity) and not an object. Every object by its nature is inert and limited. Subject, a conscious entity, can never become an object, an inert entity, and vice versa. Subject ‘I’, cannot become an object of my own enquiry (nor anybody else’s), since in the very objectification conscious subject ceases to be a subject. To understand these subtle truths only Vedanta becomes a means of knowledge or pramaana. Knowing the truth about oneself and to gain this understanding one has to stop looking for happiness outside. One cannot stop looking for happiness outside unless one
understands this simple truth.

Fundamental Human Pursuits:

 Life involves action. No one can remain idle for a moment without action – says Krishna. na hi kaschit kshaNamapi jaatu tuShTasya karma kRit.... and everyone is propelled to act because of his vasanas or likes and dislikes. At the same time, action does not give the result that one is longing for. Hence Krishna provides the laws of action and results in the famous sloka –karmanyeva adhikaarastE maa phaleShu kadaachana, maa karma phalaheturbhuuH, mate sangostvakarmaNi. One has only choice in action and not in the result at any time, let the result not be the motivating factor for action, nor one should stop from acting when action is required- says Krishna. Some interpret the word adhikaara as right to perform action; however what one has only the choice of action – that includes to do, not to do or to do another way-

kartum shakyam, akartum shakyam or anyathaa karthum shakyam.

As a human being, I have no choice but to choose the course of action. Not to do is also a choice that one has to exercise and be accountable for that choice. Some interpret this as we have no choice in action and all our actions are predestined, while some others think we have free will at any time to perform. Freewill vs Destiny has become a debatable issue in some circles of Philosophical discussions. The best answer to this was provided by Swami Chinmayanandaji. He said – what we have is praarabdha or destiny and what we do with what we have is purushaartha, or freewill. Future praarabdha is past praarabdha modified by the results of present action.

Thus while we are prisoners of our past, we are also masters of our future too. Krishna packs this idea in His statement:

uddharet aatmanaa aatmaanam, naatmaanamavasaadayet, atmaiva hyaatmano bandhuH, aatmaiva ripuraatmanaH.

One has to uplift oneself by oneself, and not to degrade oneself. By uplifting oneself one becomes his own friend and by degradation of oneself, one becomes his own enemy. Thus choice is ours. Thus a human being is endowed with freewill to evolve himself. The scriptures provide some guidelines for evolution. Thus being born in a particular environment is also due to result of our own action in the past and to be born in a better environment in future one has to work for it. In addition, by following the scriptural guidelines, one can evolve rapidly and end this cycle of births and deaths. The choice is ours.

More in Part - II

Hari Om!
Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Punarjanma - Rebirth
« Last post by Vivek on June 11, 2015, 10:20:27 PM »
Hi Sadananda,

If nothing dies and nothing is born, what comes out the womb of a woman? What decays into the earth? It can't be only a body of carbohydrates, protein, fat etc. So what seems to leave it and what enters it?

I understand that of a realized person there is no distinction. Now, if I am playing with a clay, I would first create a ring with it, and then create a bowl. I know that these are all the clay which can take any form, yet when I speak of it I will say they are the bowl and ring etc.

So speaking of things in that manner, can you explain by what method does the rebirth happen? Or does one become a ghost?

I understand it this way: That one is born with a experience impression (a signature of sorts). The experience impression is the property of a body, so when brought to life, it exists in an appropriate body. One born, the being experiences life and gathers more experience impressions, based on those experience impressions, it is born into another body and this process continues.

But is there a principle to this. Like if someone desires to be rich and they put effort to become rich, they may gather some money in life and start thinking like a business man. And at death if they desire it more, they will be born into an exact body that naturally exhibits the nature/characteristics to make money, be business minded?

In short: Does it work like a continuation of our tendencies, characteristics during death, so that we are born in a more appropriate body to complete our desired tasks? I edited this to make it clear.

Thank you.

An Introduction to Vedanta / Re: Does the world exist independent of an observer?
« Last post by Vivek on June 11, 2015, 08:13:14 PM »

I am visiting the forum after a long time. So, in this discussion do we all agree that perception and reality in itself are two different things? 

That is, all these are true :

1. Something exist, but we perceive it doesn't or can't be certain that it does.  (eg. ghosts if they don't come to attention to our perception, chair in a dark room)
2. Something exists, and we perceive it exists. (this computer, food etc)
3. Something doesn't exist, and we perceive it doesn't exist or can't be certain it does (eg. triangle with four sides, circle with edges)
4. Something doesn't exist, and we perceive it exists. (mirage as a lake)

Would this be accurate or incorrect?
Discussions on Vedanta / Re: "Self-evident" "Self-Consciousness"
« Last post by Dr. Sadananda on June 09, 2015, 05:26:53 PM »
It is like I do not need light to see another light, right. Light by itself is self-luminous and therefore self evident.

Same way i do not need another consciousness to know I am a conscious entity.

I give a simple example - suppose you are in pitch dark room. I ask you - is there a chair there? You can only say, I do not know since I cannot see if it is there or not, right. Why? because you will say there is no light here and I cannot see anything. Hence existence of any object is indeterminate - may be there, may not be there- since you can not see. Hence existence of any object depends on the knowledge of its existence - from your point.

Now I ask - are your there in that pitch dark room? - Can you say I do not know, since I cannot see anything. you existence is independent of any means of knowledge - you are self evident and self-existent entity.

Are your conscious? - Yes, I am a conscious(chit) and exitent (sat) entity - and I do not need any means of knowledge - perception or logic to establish that I am conscious and I am existent entity. One more thing - how do know it is dark since you said you cannot see anything? How do you see darkness without any light illumining it?

Well - you can see that you cannot see, right? You can see it is dark because of which you cannot see anything else. You do not need light to see darkness.

Suppose you have closed your eyes or blind-folded and cannot see if it is dark or lighted room. If I ask you is room lighted or is it dark - you can only say I do not know - since you cannot see it is lighted or dark.

Still even if blind folded - you know that you existent and conscious entity.

In deep sleep also you are existent and conscious entity but the mind is folded for objective knowledge and communication. Same applies when one is unconscious.

Hope this helps.
Hari Om!
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