Dr. M. Giridhar giridhar at CHEMENG.IISC.ERNET.IN
Thu Jun 4 22:07:20 CDT 1998


Sri Ram Chandran has quoted passages from the book by
Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Svami (kanchi periyava) published by
the Bharatiya vidya Bhavan.

        Two years back, a person residing in Bangalore put several
portions of this book on the Internet. Please see

"Some of them (people) can speak eloquently about the Upanishads from a
mere knowledge of the truths propounded in them and we do not see them
emerging as men of detachment with true awareness of the Self. The reason
for this is that they have not prepared themselves for this higher state
of perception through the performance of rituals...

Graduating to the Upanishads without being prepared for them through the
performance of Vedic rites is a greater offense than failure to go along
the path of jnana form that of karma."

        Kanchi periyava, in his book 'The voice of divinity' says many
people are intellectually discussing vedanta, perverting vedantic truths
by saying 'I am not indulging in desires, only the body is enjoying
sense-pleasures.' and asking sincere aspirants looking for guidance, 'The
guide is your own Self, no need to make effort, just be effortless' etc.
I used to think (before I stayed in US) that he was making a mountain of a
molehill, but I have come to understand what he is saying is probably an
understatement !

AUM shaantiH

>From  Fri Jun  5 09:53:26 1998
Message-Id: <FRI.5.JUN.1998.095326.0400.>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 09:53:26 -0400
Reply-To: chandran at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at ECON.AG.GOV>
Subject: Conciousness
Comments: To: Advaita List <advaita-l at>
Comments: cc: Nanda.Chandran at NBC.COM
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Nanda (NBC)" <Nanda.Chandran at NBC.COM> writes:

> I was reading the Brhadaranyaka yesterday and in one instance
> Yagnavalkya states that the consciousness itself will eventually
> disappear. S Radhkrishnan in his commentary quotes Shankara about
> 'particular consciousness'. .................
> So do we really have consciousness for the sake of the
> consciousness itself? So how justified are we in giving a separate
> identity to this 'consciousness'? ..............................

Greetings Nanda:

Brahman and Absolute Consciousness are synonymous.  When we have the
confusion about consciousness, we are conscious.  This level of
consciousness is the ^Ñrelative consciousness.'  Relative consciousness
is the experience of the Jiva under the influence of Maya with the
material envelope.  When Jiva removes the spell of ignorance completely,
Jiva experiences the "Absolute Consciousness."  Until we get out of the
material envelope, we can't reach the stage where "consciousness itself
will disappear."  The realization of "Absolute Consciousness" represents
a state with no reference points.

According to Sankara, Brahman is the ultimate reality. The universe
belongs to a lower level of reality.  Sankara never denies the
multiplicity of the world of experience, he only assigns a lower order
of reality to it. Nirguna Brahman (Absolute Consciousness) is therefore,
so unique that nothing on this side of experience, however sublime or
elevating, can approximate to it.  Any attempt to describe it is like
attempting to describe sweetness to someone who has never tasted
sweetness.   Consciousness is always present and never absent. The
disappearance of consciousness is the highest level of the experience of
consciousness.  It can neither be described nor be understood without

Ram V. Chandran
Burke, VA"Chandran,

Basic understanding of Advaita is necessary and the following chart will
serve that purpose.   This chart is from the ^ÑEssentials of Hinduism,'
by V. Krishnamurthy, Narosa Publishing House, India (1989).  This book
got blessings from Paramacharya and Swami

                  Advaitic Cosmology

                Atman  - Brahman - Symbol OM
     (Also Para Brahman, the Supreme Absolute)
               ||                         ||
=======================         ==========================
        Para Sakti                     Apara Sakti
(Supreme Power of Brahman)     (Not-so-supreme power of Brahman)
CHIT SAKTI - the power of      Prakriti, Maya, Pradhana, Avyakta,
Cognition. Pure Consciousness  Jada, Avidya, Kshara & Kshetra
The Spirit and source of all   ============================
energy and known as
the abstract form of Brahman
          ||                                      ||
======================            =========================
           Jiva                              Iswara

spirit under a material         Spirit, viewed in relation
envelope and is under           to matter or Brahman
constant spell of Maya or       conditioned by the intellect.
Avidya.  He is also the         Saguna Brahman or the concrete.
experiencer and witness to      form of Brahman who is worshiped
the three states of             for His grace to descend.
Consciousness. Also, called
the Purusha, the occupant
of the vehicle
========================        ============================
Spiritual Content of Jiva       Spiritual Content of Iswara
========================        ===========================
        ||                                     ||
=======================         =========================
       Jivatman                           Paramatman
=======================         =========================
                       \\     //
                        \\   //
                         \\ //
         Tat Tvam Asi (Essentially Identical)
         He is kshetrajna, the Knower of the Field.
         He is Aksharam, the imperishable.
         He is Purushottama, the Supreme Person.
         He is Avyay, the Changeless.
         He is the ParaBrahman.


Prakriti - the totality of all nature and all vAsanA
Maya - Deceptively hides the spirit behind the matter and makes false
Pradhana - the most fundamental and under the will of Iswara, it
produces the five elements and thence the universe.
Avyakta - the unmanliest because it is not perceptible to the senses
Jada - insentient
Avidya - cosmic ignorance
Kshara - the perishable because it alternates between manifestation and
Kshetra - the field, because it is the base of all action.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list