[Advaita-l] On the date of Adi Shankara

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Jan 5 05:40:58 CST 2010

Pranams Sri Bhaskar prabhuji

Thank you for your response.

I don't want to push intellectual discussion too far... but the 'proofs' of
this wonderful, indescribable universe and its workings are said to be
shastra, guru or paramatman, viveka and swasnubhava...

There's no 'problem' with saakshin in experience : one may need to work at
'self-observation' or detachment for it to be there all the time, though !

And it seems to me that saakshin is one great 'tool' with which to
understand and live the mahavakya more profoundly in experience.

Logical reasoning can help inasfar as recognising how near and how far, the
mind may take one towards the realm of atman..

Advice from paramahamsas, over the years, I've personally been fortunate in
receiving in abundance.

But as saakshin is a term that I've met less frequently, I was interested to
know what the shastra might have to say. I appreciate that there are many
paths to kaivalya or mukta, and that other Sanskrit terms indicate the same
path to understanding; so that was my original question..

The connection between the indescribable atman and our individual experience
of saakshin will still remain a wondrous gift, whatever is said or not said,
defined or not defined !

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Bhaskar
Sent: 05 January 2010 05:03
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] On the date of Adi Shankara

if atman does not 'witness' directly, how should we see saakshin as
'witnessing self ?

praNAms Sri Michael prabhuji
Hare Krishna

IMO, 'witnessing self' which we attribute to Atman/brahman cannot be taken
literally & imagine in our mind that Atman as an individual comfortablly
sitting in a witness box & witnessing the vagaries of the BMI & world :-))
As you know, the most authentic description of Atman available in the
upanishad is neti neti...shruti itself expresses its inability by saying
yato vAcho nivartante aprApya manasa saha (from it all words fall back and
even mind also cannot reach IT).  Hence elsewhere shruti says : Now the
teaching of Atman : 'not such not such, for there is none beyond this not
such (bruhadAraNyaka0.  Here shruti clearly telling us there is no other
possible way of presenting the nature of this reality except in the
negative form 'neti neti'...It is with this ultimate reality in mind we
have to understand other shruti statements such as : satyaM jnAnam anantaM
brahma (taitireeya), sAkshi chetaH kevalo nirguNascha (shvetAshvarata
up.), prajnAnam brahman etc.  Since the ultimate reality is
unobjectifiable by words or concepts, the shruti for the conveniyance of
its followers, tries to indicate its real nature by employing certain
epithets such as brahman, bhuma, sat, sAkshi etc. etc. We, the students of
vedAnta should remember the reality that these terms are not denoting the
express meaning literally.  It is only by means of name, form and action
superimposed (adhyArOpita) on IT that brahman/Atman is positively
described as sAkshin (witness) or jnAna (knowledge) or bliss (Ananda) or
prajnAna ghana(solid consciousness) etc.

Just my few thoughts on 'nirvikAri' sAkshi chaitanya :-))

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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