ADVAITA-L Digest - 28 Jan 2002 to 29 Jan 2002 (#2002-24)

hbdave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Fri Feb 1 23:33:35 CST 2002

nanda chandran wrote:

> >The answer is NO, "I" sense can not be attributed to Atman, in the
> way
> >that we normally understand "I".
> But then why does classical Advaita teach that "YOU are the
> consciousness who superimpose on yourself the qualities of all the
> objects that you experience"?
> HBD : Who is this "YOU"? This and similar teaching is just a trigger
> for the seeker's
> prepared mind to be able to contact Reality.
> >As soon as you say "I", you are also talking about  "non-I" !
> Very good.
> >So Atman cannot say "I".
> No - I would dispute this. The sage who says "aham brahmaasmi"
> literally means what he says - he is brahman in the personal
> subjective sense. Even the Buddha who taught anatta claimed that it
> was he who was "mighty and unfathomable like the mighty ocean".
> HBD :  Can we agree that Atman is
>     acintyo.ayam  agraahyo.ayam  ...
> There is no analogy, model or formulation which can adequately
> characterize Atman, because
> analogy itself depends upon Duality !
> [Image]
> Thus all discussion or saying about Atman are necessarily limited and
> because of that those who
> have contacted the Ultimate Reality, talk in a language which can be
> confusing.
> Thus when a sage says   aham brahmaasmi    what does he mean to
> convey?
> We can not be really sure if Gautama the Buddha said "mighty and ...
> ocean", but  we can agree
> that he may have said that, but what did he mean?
> Suppose there is a sage and I (HBD) go to him and he tells me   aham
> brahmasmi   what do
> I (HBD) understand? That  "aham" includes me ?  the room? the earth?
> What exactly he
> means by his verbal expression  aham brahmaasmi ?
> What he possibly wants to convey to me (who he suspects has not
> contacted Reality) ?
> Such  mahavaakyas  are realy  TOKENs  for a process which is difficult
> to express.  As a
> seeker asymptotically progresses, by any of the valid methoda towards
> Realization, on
> the contact with Reality, like the pupil in Kenopanishad, he also says
> that :
> [Image]
> As he progresses, this contact becomes more frequent and in some rare
> cases (like
> Ramakrishna, Shri Ramana, the Buddha - just to name a few) the
> contacts and  its
> memory of the contact, become a continuous part of his subjective self
> (jeeva). Still,
> the body/mind is there , it comes in ordinary, day-to-day contact with
> people, things.
> He has to talk with people, deal with them.  So, when the sage says
> aham brahmaasmi,
> what he tries to convey is his contact with Reality and NOT that his
> subjective self is
> brahman. The sentence is not being uttered in subjective sense.
> There is no way the sage can really express or explain his state of
> Realization. He only
> hopes that, by uttering such a sentence, Realization will arise in a
> properly prepared
> disciple and the disciple will also agree or say   : aham brahmaasmi.
> Nanda has written an excellent note on "Intellect and Reality" (though
> at a few places
> I would differ a bit). If he extrapolates what he has said, he will
> possibly like to agree
> with me.
> One small point : I (HBD) is no scholar, but a student, perhaps a
> seeker, but I think
> I have seen the Light, I was There and I try to convey that as best as
> I can.
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> But the problem arises when you try to view the Atman from vyavahaara
> and identify the paramaarthic "I" with the vyavahaaric "I" - all such
> theories are logically flawed.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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.o badra.m no apivataya mana.h ||

-- Himanshu

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