[Advaita-l] Being atma versus knowing atma

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Aug 29 00:34:03 CDT 2009

[Was Re: [Advaita-l] shudra]

On Tue, 25 Aug 2009, Anbu sivam2 wrote:

> Truly not Knowing Aathma is no bar to being Aathma.  If Being is knowing
> then unknowing has no meaning!  Question is: can Being be unknowing?  If the
> answer is no then there is no aathma vichaaram.  All our problem arises when
> we answer yes!
> The sanest advise ever been "summa iru, sollara"  (Just be and dom't talk)!!

What you say is very true however the same is true for a rock, or a tree, 
or a puddle.  All of them have as much Brahman-nature as Shankaracharya. 
But in my previous experience no rock has ever asked to join advaita-l :-)

An entity that posesses viveka, chetana, etc. has a different perspective 
on being than one which is jada.  Hence the necessity for talk.  I have 
often remarked that this darshan is not called aikya ("one") but advaita 
("not-two.")  Duality is our everyday experience and it must be known to 
be false before we can just "be."

On Wed, 26 Aug 2009, Michael Shepherd wrote:

> Jaldhar
> I've had this answer of yours for a few days, but I'd like to question it :
> Atmajnana may be even rarer than the merit of a human birth (what must we
> have done ? Been good dogs ? good snakes ?...)

Sure.  Why not?

> -- but surely atmaseva is
> something within our reach and duty, whether identifiable as our varnadharma
> or not ?

Yes it is but consider this.  atma in sanskrit merely means self.  It is 
Vedanta which has given it a meaning above and beyond the dictionary 
sense.  Most people know the self as the enjoyer of material things and 
feel sorrow when those things are taken away.  But this is called being 
"selfish"  It is not what we mean by knowing the (unlimited) self.  Who has 
transcended the limits should be given all respect because he has 
accomplished a rare feat indeed.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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