Concept of personal God and Advaita
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed May 29 23:17:10 CDT 2002
On Fri, 24 May 2002, Stephanie Stean wrote:
> However, I use the term experience in the sense of "participation in" versus
> "sensory or cognitive perception of."
By that definition, jnana is definitely an experience.
> > Realization is not an "experience" in the normal usage of the word - unless
> >> All experiences "I am tall", "I am a hero", "I am hungry", "I worship", "I
> > love God" - all are possible only because of the awareness that makes these
> > experiences known. Advaita is a quest for that awareness.
Correct. It is what is undelying all awareness. Or as the upanishad puts
it, it is the truth of Truth.
> I don't believe a Guru is always necessary. Some people are born with
That is because of the guidance of gurus and shastras in a previous life.
> I worry about saying that scriptures and gurus are necessary (and by
> necessary I mean that awareness is impossible without them), since that
> seems to create another false reality. Anytime we say "this is necessary
> for that," we put curtains up around ourselves blocking out knowledge.
> We surround ourselves with further constructions, no matter what faith or
> philosophy we are talking about and that can prevent us from Seeing.
This is something that people often find puzzling about Advaita Vedanta.
On the one hand we say scriptural knowledge is very important. On the
other hand we say the shastras themselves are also part of the world of
maya. How can that which itself is unreal produce that which is real?
The answer is no shastra (or Guru or God) can give the knowledge of
Brahman which as you mentioned is always there. Rather they work in a
negative way. They destroy the obstacles (lift the curtains to use your
analogy) which prevent the already existent realization form shining
> Does that mean that scriptures are unimportant. No of course not. They are
> a vital part of this process. But to not acknowledge the differences within
> ourselves and instead outline a controlled path for people to follow, is not
> seeing truth and reality as it is. That we are all different and take
> different paths to Truth. Hence, the multiplicity in the One.
I can accept there is more than one valid path but is every path valid.
For example, is running out into the street and randomly stabbing people a
valid path? Even the person who accepts conventional differences must
discriminate between right and wrong to some degree. What are the
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/
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