[Advaita-l] Atman -- soul or witness or both ?

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Aug 27 05:20:09 CDT 2009

Praveen, namaste -- feel free !

I think you describe two aspects of Ramana's teaching -- the method (pure
saksin ?) and the aim, to be what we already are ?

Saksin and 'self' ... all translation is fraught with danger !  These days,
I don't trust any nouns/nama, as they lead to definitions.. better, I'm
thinking, to live in a world of verbs and dhatu... 'witnessing' leaves me
free from the mind and dictionaries ! :)


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Praveen
R. Bhat
Sent: 27 August 2009 10:51
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Atman -- soul or witness or both ?

Hari Om, Michael-ji,

Apologies for hopping in the conversation midway.

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Michael Shepherd <
michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

> Also what seems a valuable reference, that saksin is never seen by itself,
> but only in conjunction with antakarana.. ?

sAkSin is never seen. The very idea of sAkSin is that It sees everything.
The moment you try to see *It*, you take the role of a fake sAkSin who sort
of claims to be the sAkSin ad-infinitum, which as you say is really part of
the antahkaraNa.

> It's the practical aspect of saksi-chaitanya that interests me. How to
> with saksin, as the witness consciousness, since the unlimited sense of
> Self is the gate to self-knowledge.

I do hope that you are using Self as another word for the sAkSin, or did you
mean it to be different. If so, in which way would you differentiate sAksin
from the Self?

> Ramana Maharshi's 'short-cut' -- especially in its Tamil interpretation --
> is supremely effective in this respect. (Am I right in thinking that
> is not mentioned in the many writings about him, or have I missed it due
> English translation ?)

The effectiveness of Bhagavan Ramana's teaching is in its directness, albeit
difficult. Any other approach was not really encouraged by him, IMHO,
although he never negated anyone's following when mentioned. On a related
note, I am, perhaps, one of the few who consider Maharshi's real/ core
teaching as "Be as you are" (Summa iru) than "Who am I?" (Naan yaar)

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */
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