[Advaita-l] RamaNa, Shankara and Krishna
p_ramanathan at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 4 12:02:58 CST 2007
Again all I say are opinions: no right or wrong, that I should know.
First, consciousness. Please see if you can define it, for you wish to use it for material aspects of existence as well. Is consciousness a thing that we can call this computer a part of consciousness? The scientist says it is energy; but we wish to call it consciousness: does this make sense?
As I put it, it is a Self-operating Principle/Truth that begs the word Consciousness. Now see how we affirm this Truth (Brahman). Through scripture, wherein are contained the transcendental realizations of the Rishis. The rest of religion is to make you realize the same. We do not affirm Brahman through reason because it is not possible. WHat will happen is similar to what you are proposing: we end up with ideas of "Ocean of Consciousness", "no real Self/Identity", etc. which of course other schools uphold. The subtle reason why reason fails is we are on the effect-side; the very individual consciousness is in maya's realm. So we cannot possibly go outside to the nirguna aspect that the scriptures indicate: the nirguna that you indicate is more like material homogeneity. So how can we reach the ultimate truth of our scriptures from where we stand? The word "Ishvara" is good for this purpose.
You realize that ultimately all duality resolves to/as Brahman; so all duality can be seen as a consequence of that Ultimate through association with its power of Maya. In this sense, Brahman is denoted the Cause of all our experience: whatever comes comes from Him. Whatever goes goes to Him. The individual "i" is also an indicator of HE.
Undoubtedly it is you with your presumption of i who superimposes the He onto That. So the personalizing of God has a subjective aspect relative to the person you have presumed yourself to be. "Because you say you are born, so the scriptures say "YES" and that God created you." - Sri Ramana Maharshi. That is, God cannot be limited to your concept of personality which arises out of being on the effect/maya's side to begin with.
Now the real question which you ask is whether That really includes the personal aspect at all, at least relative to my superimposed ideas of me. Well, here is one way of seeing it. A person prays intensely and find the object of the prayers fulfilled. A Sri Ramakrishna prays for the vision of the mother and sees it. Such cases we know of big people saying that God corresponds to devotee personally, etc. Moreover the puranas are endless giving all sorts of stories on God manifesting. Now we would wish to implicate all such accounts to mere fairy-tales or imaginations. But remember the Truth is that there is but HE, so whatever comes comes from Him alone. IF the the level of affirmation is sensual, then we can take a standpoint of material reality and say that this came because of that due to this law, and so on. But if the level of affirmation is spiritual, the final level of the scriptural mahavakyas, then the divinity of personality experienced by sages is also to be
attributed to God: there are no intermediary levels where your personality can be affirmed and His denied. It is all ONE. Your personality and all its experiences are merged in His Personality, and the final union is the non-dual Self.
I understand that you meant such things from "Godliness all around" etc. However the concept of God's personality, in advaita, should not be taken in a limited sense. He is not a big human. Approach Him as if He were human; sages say Yes He comes to you as you seek Him. Approach That as if It were consciousness. Sages say Yes for that path as well.
There are no conditions to religious search except your sincerity of purpose. Accept God personally or not, but focus on the path of truth and renunciation, the way the rishis have shown. The rest will come when the time is ripe (or as He wills).
Vishy <vishy1962 at yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear Sri Ramanathan
Pranams and thanks for such a lucid reply.
First I have difficulties in accepting God as personal being. Rather I feel it's the
consciousness... It's Godliness all arround rather God as person.
Nirguna is the right description. May be thats why my question!
" it is more than just plain material law and rather a Conscious Truth that
governs, then leave open the possibility of something more thanwhat you can affirm through reason alone. That Conscious truth is at the back of all our
consciouness; it need not reveal its true nature to one and all.
Perhaps if you seek it within, more will be revealed."
Exactly , this is how I do feel. Now, Pl tell me sir, am I right in my thinking?
Pranams once again
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