Friday, January 3, 2014

What is the difference between Jiva and Isvara?

  • Following are the differences between Jiva and the Isvara:-

  •   Jiva possesses the limited knowledge; Isvara possesses the boundless knowledge.
  •   Jiva is limited by the time and space; Isvara is beyond the all time frames and is all pervading and is eternal.
  •  Jiva is controlled by Isvara; the all powerful lord.
  •  Jiva is controlled and deluded by the ‘maya’; the ignorance principle and is ignorant of his own real nature as ‘sat-chit-ananda’ whereas Isvara wields and controls maya and is aware of his real nature as ‘sat-chit-ananda’.
  • The ‘jiva’ is bound by ‘maya’, strives for liberation and on the other hand Isvara who is not in ignorance but is controlling the ignorance principle is out of the limits of the ‘maya’ so question of liberation doesn’t arise. 
  • Isvara dispenses the fruits of the Jiva’s actions through ‘maya’ and it seems that Isvara is also doing actions but this is not true because he is ever detached as he knows his real nature.
  • Jiva is in ‘karma-bandha’ while Isvara is independent.
  • Jiva knows him as oneself whereas Isvara is different from oneself and he realized. 

How is japa a very powerful method of attaining both chitta-suddhi (purity of mind) and chitta-ekagrata (single-pointedness of the mind)?

In practice of ‘japa’ the seeker continuously and consciously repeats the name of one’s Ista-devta like Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Allah O Akbar and so on. The principle behind the practice of japa is that by continuous and conscious repetition of a word or words the mind become single-pointed.
Mind is a stream of continuous thoughts. If there are so many thoughts in mind than it called as agitated mind and when thoughts reduced to very minimum, state of single-pointedness is attained. So,  with ‘japa’ one is trying to give a single thought to one’s mind.
In ‘japa’ one chants God’s name or concentrates on the qualities of God. So, when one chant the Lord’s name the Lord’s divine form and qualities will come to the mind and the mind naturally gets filled with devotion and purity because the psychological dictum is : ‘as we think, so we become.
Thus japa becomes and effective technique to purify one’s mind as well as to lasting concentration. The spiritual practice of japa is accorded a very high position in all religions because it bestows the twofold results of chita-ekagrata and chitta-suddhi.    

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the art of maintaining the mind focused on a single thought. Why single thought; because mind is flow of thoughts only and by giving it a single thought one is actually destroying the realm of mind. When mind is constant chanting a mantra it is tried to give it a single thought and at the same time avoiding the all other thoughts. It is said to be a single-pointed meditation; same is applicable in case of ‘trataka’ and focusing of awareness at the point between two eye-brows. By doing meditation we are not only sublimating our mind but also integrating subjective mind and objective minds.

On the path of evolution, meditation is the final gateway through which every seeker must pass to gain the ultimate experience of the absolute Reality.

Actually there are two terms - 'Self' and a 'not-self'. 'Not-self' exists due to ignorance and it exists unless one break the realm of mind. Because beyond mind there is 'Self' and due to ignorance or 'maya' one thinks on the thoughts of 'not-self'.

With meditation one is continuously diluting the layers of mind and finally the mind get deleted and at that right moment one simultaneously realizes the 'Self'.

What is Vedanta ??

Vedanta stands out as most significant native philosophy of India. It answers both the demands of metaphysics and the requirements of a sound religion. Vedanta is a clear and comprehensive summary of the perennial philosophy and hence it’s enduring value for all humankind. The system of Vedanta derives its doctrines from the ‘prasthana-traya’ which comprises the three great text books, namely the ‘Upanisads’, the ‘Bhagavad-geeta’ and the ‘Brahma-sutras’.

There are six schools of Philosophy and Vedanta belongs to sixth school of yoga. It falls under category; ‘Theistic Theism’. Hinduism does not owe its origin and excellence to any particular personality or book. From time immemorial, in India, spiritual scientists have spent their lives in contemplation and meditation in the divine environment of nature. The valleys and forests of the great Himalayas and the sacred Ganges kindled and stimulated in their hearts a hunger to know the mysteries of the ‘Power’ that enlivens inert matter into sentient beings. The revelations and reflections of these perfect Masters are the scriptures.

Their prophetic declarations, their spiritual discoveries were communicated by word of mouth from the teacher to the taught. Earlier these spiritual discoveries were communicated only through ‘Guru-Sisya parampara’. It was the ancient poet-sage Vyasa who first compiled and codified the entire scriptural literature and teaching into four texts entitled the Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda, and Atharva-veda. The Vedas were not written by any one individual, but they were the inspired declarations of several spiritual scientists (Seers) over many generations, given from the height of their intuitive experience. Absorbed in transcendental experience, they had gone beyond the realm of the egocentric attitudes of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. This is why even the names of such spiritual scientists are not seen appended to these holy texts.

Now Upanishads constitute the concluding portion of the Vedas, which is also called ‘Vedanta. ‘Anta’ means end and ‘veda’ means knowledge.

The bulk of the declarations of the Vedas are found in two distinct portions ‘Purva-mimansa’ and ‘uttara-mimansa’. Vedanta is also called as ‘uttara-mimansa’ part of Vedas. Here ‘uttra’ means lateral and ‘mimansa’ means a ‘sequence of logical thinking’. This lateral portion is non-dualistic in nature. It proclaims the absolute oneness or non-duality of the Truth.

This portion of vedanata; ‘uttaramimansa’ had fallen into obscurity until ‘Shankaracharya’ revived it and gave it prominence as Advaita-Vedanta.

Besides this the final stage in the development of the human intellect was the Age of Contemplation. At this stage human beings began to inquire into the very Cause of the universe and tried to identify the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient Truth—God. This great search for Reality forms the subject matter of the Upanisads which is also called Vedanta.    

Four Great Declarations - Mahavakayas....

Four great declarations are supreme truth from four Vedas. These four great declaration; 'mahavakyas' are found in one each in each Vedas. These 'mahavakyas' are:- 

  1. Pragnanam Brahama - Consciousness is Brahmam
  2. Tat Tavam Asi - That Thou Art 
  3. Ayam Atma brahma  - This Self is Brahman
  4. Aham Braham Asmi  - I am Brahman

 Pragnanam Braham – First Mahavakya
This mahavakya appears in the ‘Aitareya’ Upanishad of the ‘Rig Veda’. It declares that the ‘Atman (consciousness) which is pulsating in every individual and which is giving sentiency to the matter layer is the same as the supreme reality behind the all universe; Brahaman. It reveals the truth that both microcosm and macrocosm are founded on the same consciousness. The consciousness in each individual is the supreme consciousness. This great statement; mahavakya, is the indication to all seekers that if any one of them should experience the consciousness within; self realized, they will at once be experiencing the infinite Brahaman; the total Consciousness.

After constant practice of meditation indicated in the third great statement, the seeker realizes the Self in one to be the all-pervading Reality. This is the highest experience of a seeker when one’s individuality merges with the infinite truth.

Tat Tavam Asi – Second Mahavakya
This mahavakya ‘Tat Tavam Asi – That Thou Art’ is appears in Chhandogya Upanishad of Sama Veda. It declares that the infinite all pervading truth is the Consciousness in you – ‘That Thou Art’. Here ‘That’ refers to the supreme consciousness; Brahaman and ‘Thou’ refer to the pure self or the consciousness.

It is called as the ‘Updeha Vakya’; a spiritual advice to a spiritual seeker, because it contains spiritual instructions addressed to a seeker that Brahman; the spiritual reality is the self within.
For example, the total gold available in the world and the gold in any particular ornament is one and the same metal.

Ayam Atma brahma – Third Mahavakya
This mahavakya ‘Ayam Atma Brahma – This self is Brahman’ is appears in Mandukya Upanishad of Atharva Veda. In this vakya ‘Ayam’ means – this, ‘atma’ means – self, ‘Brahma’ means – the supreme self. Another word for ‘ayam atma’ in Veda is ‘pratyagatman’ which means the ‘inner self’, the indwelling conscious principle. This consciousness lies deep within oneself with all five material layers; from physical body; food sheath to the bliss sheath are mere external coverings. So, the inner self who is giving sentiency to all external covering is identical with the supreme reality.

This great statement ‘ayam atma brahm’ is a practical formula for the seeker to practice so as to gradually discover the identity between one’s Self and the ultimate Reality. It is called ‘abhyasa-vakya’, which means that it is a statement meant for practice.
Here ‘ayam’ which means this is used instead of that to denote something which is close to oneself as opposed to that which indicates something farther away. This mahavakya develops a sense of confidence in a spiritual seeker that the only thing which is close to the supreme realty is the pure self; the atman. It is really a great indication to a spiritual indication.

Aham Brahma Asmi - Forth Mahavakya
Aham Brahma Asmi – I am a Brahaman; this mahavakya appears in Brhadaryaka Upanishad of Yajur Veda. It declares the conscious principle in oneself is nothing other than the total consciousness. Aham means ‘I’, asmi means ‘is’ and brahma means all pervading ‘supreme reality’. It means ‘I’; the inner self is not limited one but is the same as the all-pervading, all-supporting Brahman, the Reality.

‘Asmi’ - means ‘is’ indicates the oneness of the ‘witness consciousness’ (I) and the pure infinite Consciousness, Brahman.

It is a self experience of a spiritual seeker; ‘Sadhaka’; I am a Brahama is an experience which is certified our spiritual scientists that they discovered in transcendental state. Hence it is called as ‘Anubhava Vakya’; the statement which is already experience by so many spiritual scientists. This is a mile stone for who is on path of spirituality. After constant practice of meditation indicated in the third great statement, the seeker realizes the Self in one to be the all-pervading Reality. This is the highest experience of a seeker when one’s individuality merges with the infinite truth.

All four great statements; the mahavakya are to guide to spiritual seekers on path of divinity. They are discovered and experienced by ancient Indian spiritual scientists through their transcendental states. These mahavakya are now the milestone for the all spiritual seekers. It is actually a declared spiritual path. These are four stages of evolution of a seeker on path of spirituality.

Actually these four great declarations from Vedas are a process of transcending of human soul.

Pragnanam Braham - Consciousness is Brahmam – First Stage

Tat Tavam Asi – Second Stage

Ayam Atma brahma – Third Stage

Aham Brahma Asmi - Forth Stage

Nine Blessings

Nine Blessings are described in Vedas. These are: -

  1. Human Birth - Nara or Manushya Janma
  2. Manhood - Purustvam
  3. Sattvik Attitude in Life - Viprata
  4. Steadfastness on the path of righteousness, as prescribed in Vedas - Vaidika Dharma Marga Pararta
  5. Correct knowledge of the deep significance of the Vedas -  Vidvattvam
  6. Differentiation between the ‘Self’ and ‘Non-Self’ – 'Atama – Anatma – Vivecanam'
  7. Direct Experience – Svanubhava
  8. To be established in the awareness of the identity of Brahama and Atman – Brahmantmana Samsthiti
  9. Liberation – Mukti

Monday, December 17, 2012

Path of Realization............

We all are on path of realization in a time frame; where we are on a path consuming time. Path is clear to us and suddenly a desire came to us and we divert ourselves toward the path of that particular desire and that time we consumes more and more time. See in this graph GOD is actually in no time zone. We always try to keep ourselves on high time zone. We always try to consume more time. But it creates sorrows in us. When we are in time at the same time we are in state of desires only. More desires mean more time. But path of realization goes to no time zone. Desires always bring us back and no desires take us in forward direction. Every desire have a start point, a peak point and a end point. It looks very nice when we are in starting phase of a desire where we try to materialize it and at peak level of that desire we feel a state of negativity and try to come back to the normal state. When again we come to normal state we feel a kind of guilt in our mind and again try to remain with the path of realization only. This process repeats.