Philosophical views and certain knowledge
ganesh_d at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 26 21:11:58 CDT 1999
Well Said Nanda chandran.Yes Atma Vichara really helps,from my
personal experience I am able to understand Archaryas philosophy much
better now as I had had some experience about which I cannot tell but
these experiences defintely pushed me more into Advaita. To me
bhakti,japam and vichara works, to others it may be different. For me
bhakti and knowledge go hand in hand. I cannot think about the one
without the other,to me knowledge without bhakti,appears to be very
>From: nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri
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>To: ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG
>Subject: Re: Philosophical views and certain knowledge
>Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 16:33:37 PDT
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>>But does experience always deliver certain knowledge in a way that
>beyond question or interpretation?
>If we say "yes", will you accept it to be so? No, your mind will
>hanker after some form of "confirmation" or another. There're two
>out of this : 1. Faith - no, not blind faith. Faith in the AchAryAs
>complemented with reason. 2. To go by reason alone and complement it
>with personal experience (this is but an improvisation of the first).
>The first comes pretty easy for those born into the tradition. With
>the path already difficult, the ancient AchAryAs are indeed a great
>source of inspiration. The second is indeed the hard path - since
>we've only ourselves to rely upon - but it's the path taken by those
>pioneering sages themselves, who first established the truth.
>The path you choose is totally dependent on your background,
>predispositions, temperment, beliefs, convictions etc
>>If it does, then how do we account for the other schools of Indian
>thought that are in opposition to Advaita >Vedanta?
>But why should that concern you? None of the schools deny the
>All of them agree on moral perfection and yogic practices for
>spiritual progress. Most schools disagree only in their views on the
>nature of the ultimate reality. Well, go the whole way and decide for
>yourself, who is right.
>>A great deal of importance is laid upon feelings and impressions. "I
>>blissful and infinite, that I was everything and everything was me."
>>Does the fact that I feel infinite mean that in fact I am, or could
>>intepretation possibly be mistaken? Are these 'peak' experiences of
>>bliss and oneness really glimpses of the inner truth of existence,
>>are they merely induced anomalies? How can we be sure?
>Why is it people think that the moment of Truth arrives with a great
>bang! Why should it be fantastic and supernatural? Are you fantastic
>and supernatural? So if nirvAna is fantastic and supernatural, it
>cannot be you. So if it's apart from you, of what use is it to you?
>If you think you can move from your normal state to this imagined
>fantastic state, then you can move back to your original state or to
>even worse state too! NirvAna is you and you'll know its nature, when
>you realize yourself.
>You mind runs endlessly. In the process one experiences both pleasure
>and pain. The sages say that it's actually the latter, which is the
>dominant factor in the chain. They go further and state that even
>pleasure over a period of time results in pain.
>The world that you know is only a product of your mind. Hence the
>pleasure and pain which are caused due to your contact with the world
>is also due to the mind. So imagine a state where the mind becomes
>quiescent. The result is a state where neither pleasure nor pain
>exists. What's left is only You. This might at first strike one as a
>dull and unexciting objective. But to really understand the bliss of
>this state, you've to first truly realize the intensity of the
>suffering experienced by you in empirical life. This you'll
>when you develop vivekam - to discriminate between you and the not
>You as you are, live in dependence on the world - subject - object.
>long as you're dependent on something else, you leave the gates open
>to disappointment and misery. NirvAna is devoid of any dependencies.
>It's the life of the spirit. This is not anything apart from you to
>experience, but yourself.
>>But could they not at least move us to wonder
>>whether it is valid and legitimate to base so much on an experience?
>Advaita VedAnta is not some hocus pocus, quick fix solution. Vidya or
>knowledge is the liberator. Even I used to wonder whether I was being
>conditioned and systematically brain washed by all the VedAntic
>But consider this - the VedAntists do not ask you to experience an
>OTHER, where one can be easily misled. They only insist on Self
>Knowledge. To know who YOU are. Here there can be no mistakes as
>you're the means as well as the end. If you maintain your integrity
>and reason, there can be no going wrong. True sAdhana requires such
>attitude. And Truth is something, which will definitely stand this
>>Someone issued the invitation to "ask all the questions you want,"
>and I am now doing so.
>Nothing wrong with that. But once you understand, you should have the
>courage to go by what reason shows to be true. Advaitam is not merely
>subtle dialectic and inspiring metaphysics. When you truly understand
>what Advaitam means, you'll realize the importance of control and
>virtue and the value of a purified mind. You should be well prepared
>to tread the path.
>A piece of advice - if you're really earnest, put in fifteen minutes
>of practice daily in Self Inquiry - Atma VichAra. Sit in a quite
>spot, close your eyes and try to know who you are. You can improvise
>on this practice even while going about your normal life - in the bus
>or train, at work, lunch etc. Within a short time this will prove
>to you than years of reading books.
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