[Advaita-l] Re:Three Questions on Jiva, Atman & Brahma-jnAna

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 00:29:02 CDT 2005

Greetings VK Ji,

I have a doubt that borders on utter naivety:

> [VK: The body is destroyed but not the Jiva. It is the Jiva
> that 'escapes'. Secondly, Atman does not 'become' one with
> Brahman; Atman is always Brahman]

Since Atman is brAhmaN, who (or what) undergoes "enlightenment" or
"realization"? Is it the jIva? and since brAhmaN is ALL pervasive,
what does it mean to be "in a state before enlightenment" and to be
"in a state after enlightenment"? Since time is just a manifestation
in mAyA, can enlightenment really be taken as an "real event"?

Is the event of realization itself an illusion then, since nothing
really changes in the absolute sense? If so then why is this
particular "event" considered so important? Who benefits from it? the
jIva? but "after" realization the jIva knows that All is brAhmaN, and
that it itself is mAyA (or illusion).

Since "merging" into brAhmaN retains the nirguNa nature of brAhmaN,
it's like saying that jIva is just a 0 (as compared to Atman/brAhmaN),
which to me makes total sense, but then I see "enlightenment" as just
an event that helps the jIvA "live happily ever after" INSIDE mAyA,
not really "escaping" it.

But the above is because of my naive assumption that the jIvA cannot
"realize that it does not exist (seperately from brAhmaN), and
actually not exist (seperately from brAhmaN) at the same time", simply
because "realizing" is an action, and something that IS brAhmaN cannot
"do actions". Am I approaching a paradox?

Actually I find this the beauty of advaita, that (atleast for me)
advaita works so close to Absolute Paradox that you can identify the
exact "seeming contradiction" and meditate on it directly to attain
inner peace.

As always my rantings are without any references (to Sruti or other
literature), my apologies. I hope this won't be a waste of time for
you to shed light upon.
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad AT gmail.com
Mobile: +91 98 400 76411
Home:  +91 11 2431 4486
Room #1024, Cauvery Hostel
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Chennai - 600 036

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