Atman and Brahman

sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Wed Jul 22 07:15:34 CDT 1998

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

>We have the concepts of Atman, Brahman to represent, respectively, the
>inner consciousness on which the jeeva is superposed (i.e. at a person
>level) and the reality on which the jagat is superposed (at the universe
>level). The fundamental point of advaita is that Atman and Brahman are
>one and the same.

>In my reflection of these words and topic, it seems to me that the only
>reality is Atman.

Yes, as your first line states that, both are concepts.  "I AM" is
independent of the concepts since concepts are in the realm of the
intellect, I am - is the one who has the concepts.  In "I AM" there is
neither jeeva or jagat - and Atman and Brahman are just words, fall out
with no locus. What is real is only "I AM".  There is where my discussion
of scriptures as a pramana for Brahman pertained. Scriptures identify -
ayamaatmaa Brahma -  equating the apparently the two to one, which is
beyond words and concepts, and hence beyond logic too since even the logic
is in the realm of intellect.

>Brahman is a concept which we use when we still see duality of the world.
>Intellectually we know that the world is not real and we know
>(intellectually) the reality in this context is the sub-stratum,
>the Brahman.
>When we go beyond intellectual understanding and into the state of
>experience of advaita, the only thing that remains (or the entity
>that encompasses everything) is Atman. In that state, there is no
>Brahman, only Atman. That is, in the state of nirvikalpa samAdhi
>or sahaja samAdhi, Brahman merges into Atman, and Atman is all there is.
>Thus, there is a very subtle but significant "difference" in the
>context of usage and understanding of Atman and Brahman. The usage of
>the word "difference" in the above sentence is not really correct because,
>in that state, there is no *difference*, but I cannot think of any word
>that can be used.

At that state there is no need to think since you are beyond the realm of
thoughts.  Just be.

Lakshmidhara kavi says in Advaita vedanta:

        mayyevodeti chidvyomni jagat gandharva pattanam|
        athoham na kutham brahma sarvaJNam sarva kaaranaM|

In my conscious space  the whole world of illusory word of plurality raises.
Therefore, how can I not be Brahman, who is the all knower and cause for all.
Everything is in me, and I am in everything, and every "thing" is nothing
but that has illusory existence. What is present all the time that which is
beyond time is just me, aham. - no Brahman, no Atman, no scriptures and no
vedanta too - they all come under the apara vidya.

Hari Om!

>Do I make sense in this analysis ? I would be grateful for
>Gummuluru Murthy
>Brahma satyam jagan mithyA, jeevo brahmaiva nah parah.
>                                                Shri Shankara in  ???
>The Brahman is the only reality and the world of manifoldness is unreal;
>the individual soul (jeeva) is identical with Brahman.

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

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