Regarding sarvaM khalvidaM brahma

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Aug 11 22:00:11 CDT 1997

On Tue, 5 Aug 1997, Sankar Jayanarayanan wrote:

> In the Vishnu Purana, Parasara says:
> "The stars are Vishnu; forests, mountains, regions, rivers, oceans are Vishnu:
> He is all that is, all that is not."
> Parasara says that "Everything is Brahman." And includes *Everything* -- even
> the perceived reality.
> Parasara continues:
> "He, the lord, is identical with knowledge, through which he is all forms, but
> is not a substance. You must therefore conceive mountains, oceans, and all the
> diversities of earth and the rest, are the illusions of the apprenhension."
> Note that Parasara says "You must therefore conceive..." -- meaning that the
> sadhaka is told to treat the perceived reality as an illusion, although this
> is also nothing but Brahman.
> The truth is that everything is Brahman. But the sadhaka is taught to treat
> the "perceived reality" as an illusion and negate it. It is then known to him
> that everything is Brahman.
> Kind of paradoxical!
> Anyway, this is the zen koan that proceeds in a very similar vein:
> "Before a man goes through zen, mountains are mountains and rivers are
> rivers. When a man is studying zen, mountains are no longer mountains and
> rivers no longer rivers. But when a man has realized zen, mountains are
> once again mountains and rivers, once again rivers."

Their is a certain similarity up to a point.  The koan is describing
whatever the zen equivalant of a jivanamukta is.  For a jivanmukta in
Vedanta, still affected by the last remnants of karma there may still be
mountains and rivers but the difference is after death.  for the Buddhist
being a nihilist there is nirvana ("extinguishing") that's it.  But the
Vedantin is fully identified with Brahman.  There are no mountains, no
rivers nothing but Brahman.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
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