[Advaita-l] Naam sankirtan

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 21 03:16:16 CST 2012

shrI Subrahmanian ji,

Thank you for the detailed explanation.

> whether these 
(brahma loka in particular) are actually metaphorical to denote one's 
spiritual attainments/experiences is worth considering.

The question came because, after observing a few well educated upAsaka-s from various traditions and when combined with little personal experience and very basic study, seemed to indicate that no real loka-s like that exist...atleast for upAsaka-s allied with various shaiva and shAkta traditions. The unity with the devata is here and how and not in some imaginary or real loka far far away... this they are sure..They are sure, not by quoting some texts which is considered apauruSheya but by sAdhana and personal experience.. which is cross verified with textual evidence and further ratified by a teacher/teachers who has gone through the same process.

As an example, mahAkailAsha is the sahasrAra-chakra...not some place where one goes after death nor is it some place where one could physically travel.

So I asked this question to compare the view of shankara vedAntin-s.

Thank you.

Bhaskar: How would they/you justify this?? please clarify.  Do you mean
to say, shankara's explanation lacking something while explaining the saguNOpAsana?? 

Will say nothing now..let us discuss this if and when a correct context comes for this.

 From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
To: Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Naam sankirtan

Satish ji,

The loka-s in the Vedic/Vedantic scheme are within creation and therefore physical (pAncha bhautika).  Brahma loka is the highest in this list of seven higher and seven lower loka-s.  bhUH (this world of ours now), bhuvaH, suvaH, mahaH, janaH, tapah and satyam.  This satyaloka-s is considered as Brahmaloka.  The lower ones (to our earth) are atala, vitala, sutala, paataala, talAtala and rasAtala (the order here may not be exact).  I think the puraaNa-s describe these in detail.  Just because they are within creation and physical they need not be visible to our present eyes.  They will be seen and experienced by those who are destined to be there and of course those devatas that are in charge of those lokas. 

While this explanation holds, yet, your question as to whether these (brahma loka in particular) are actually metaphorical to denote one's spiritual attainments/experiences is worth considering.  True, this way too one can look at the loka-s.  Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi in response to a question: are heaven/svarga, etc. real loka-s? replied: for those who hold this loka to be real, yes, those loka-s too have to be real.  

So, we get the hint that even this loka is what we experience and 'hold' to be real.  When the bhrAnti pertaining to this loka goes it takes away the reality we attribute to other loka-s too.  As an ajnAni Astika one believes in the existence of the other loka-s too, on the basis of the shAstra pramANa.  For example the Bhagavadgita says:  आब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोकाः पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन -  All lokas, including Brahmaloka, are destinations from where people return too.  According to Vedanta as taught by Shankara and followed by the tradition, Brahmaloka is a place where upAsaka-s of two categories reach.  1. those who engage in upasanas like panchAgni vidya and 2. who engage in saguna brahma (Ishwara) upasana.  The former reach Brahmaloka, stay there enjoying the bhoga there and return upon their punya phala expires.  The latter reach there and get Nirguna Atma/Brahma jnana and
 become muktas and remain there till the tenure of the loka itself lasts and become freed for ever.  

What other upAsaka-s do who do not find themselves in the sanatana dharma scheme above are not the concern of our Acharyas.  If pressed to give an answer about these people, our Acharyas will only try to fit them in the above scheme in the best way possible.  

Some schools talk of Goloka and the like.  Even Vishnu loka, Kailasa, etc. are not absolute in Advaita.  There is said to be a view that: Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva loka-s are not three different ones, it is one loka alone that is perceived as one of the three by that particular upasaka reaching there.    

As explained in an old post of mine, the four types of mukti are held to be only in the relative plane of samsara.  The absolute mukti in Vedanta is the Advaitic realization.  


On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:

>They have their own definitions of moxa which do not involve so called mahAvAkya-s and are much thorough when compared to shankara's vedAnta when it comes to step by step experience of deities ultimately leading to shivatva. So they do not need another janma!
>We could say, this is what advaitin-s believe in i.e. the said GYAna will dawn on them in brahma loka...just like the christians or muslims have their own beliefs
>So that is the reason I am asking is attaining brahma loka some place[like the Christian or Muslim believe in Heaven] or something metaphorical.
>If it is a place where is it in the vyavahAra? Or if it is metaphorical, then the question is why do those who have attained unity with their devata-s[i.e. attained to pinnacle of upAsana] do not mahAvAkya-s.

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