Shri Datta Swami

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DATTA VEDA - CHAPTER.9: FOUR PREACHERS OF VEDANTA (Part-1)

Posted on: 10 Jan 2017
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

(IMPORTANT NOTE:- This chapter contains messages given as speeches to some Sanskrit scholars and experts in philosophy, who visited Swami on hearing about Swami from Smt. Bhavani and Shri CBK Murthy. Readers should be very careful and patient to understand this chapter. Of course, highly intellectuals and scholars of philosophy can understand this chapter without much inconvenience.)

[January 10, 2017] 9th Chapter (By P. V. N. M. Sharma)

30-03-1993, 4.30 am.

Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva are not only scholars but are also preachers (Gurus). A scholar always concentrates on telling the truth and condemning the false concept irrespective of the benefit or loss to the receivers. A preacher always concentrates on the immediate practical uplift of the receiver to the next step irrespective of the truth of the concept. The preacher also knows the true knowledge like the scholar. The preacher hides or twists a true concept in view of the immediate practical benefit of the receiver so that gradual revelation of the truth is done in course of time. The heart of the preacher is like that of father and mother. Fools misunderstand the preacher and criticize him/her to be ignorant of truth. This is how the followers (ignorant fools) of one preacher criticize other preachers. A scholar only knows the subject. A preacher knows the subject as well as the psychology of the receiver based on which the point can be absorbed by the receiver in that stage for which even the truth can be temporarily hidden or twisted. Example: A patient suffering with severe headache is strongly convinced that a chameleon entered his brain through the hole of his ear, which is responsible for the headache. This is a psychological disease effecting physical health since mind is always related with body. Several doctors argued with him that his idea is wrong since the hole of ear is very small compared to the size of chameleon. What the doctors say is certainly the absolute truth, but, it is not absorbed by the mind of that specific receiver. Hence, the treatments of all the doctors (scholars) failed. A clever doctor (preacher) agreed with the patient and asked him to sit in the chair. He caught a chameleon from backside and threw it touching the ear of patient. The patient saw the chameleon running out and felt that it came out from his brain through the hole of his ear by effort of that doctor. The headache disappeared at once! Certainly, this doctor told a lie and cheated the patient. The students of other doctor, Jr. Doctors (followers of other scholars), criticized this doctor for telling a lie and cheating the patient. Yes. It is certainly a lie and cheating. But, this doctor cured the patient whereas other doctors failed. Hence, you have to understand the situation of a doctor (preacher) with reference to the context of the stage of psychology of his patient (receiver) in that time. Such a lie and cheating is not at all a sin since it benefited the patient (receiver) in such stage. In such special context telling truth is sin.

In view of the above concept, the preacher Shankara must be properly understood in the time of context in which He appeared. Then, Buddhists, who tell that everything is nothing (Shunyam) and Purvameemaamsakaas, who tell that the soul alone can exist and there is no God - were the receivers of Shankara. First, Shankara brought down Buddhists to the level of Purvameemaamsakaas by arguing that there should exist some authority (to receive the existence of nothing and say that everything is nothing) and hence such authority (pramaataa or Atman) or soul must be true and can’t be nothing. Shankakra agreed that except the soul, everything is nothing and by this He became friend of Buddhists and He was called as a Buddhist in disguise (Prachchanna Bauddha)! If you agree to all the points of the opponent except one, the opponent will agree to your one point! This is psychology in which the preacher is expert apart from subject. Buddhists under the headship of Dignaga were convinced and became equal to the Purvameemaamsakaas. These Purvameemaamsakaas were again attacked by Shankara in the following way: “You agree that soul (yourself) exists. The soul itself is God. Hence, God exists. You have forgotten that you are already God”. Based on this twisted logic, all the atheists (both the above sects) agreed that God exists. Thus, Shankara converted all atheists in to theists saying that God exists and every soul is God. In this logic, the truth exists basically and hence this is only a twist of the truth for that context. That basic truth is that a selected devoted soul becomes God, called as human incarnation. The only twist is that every soul is already God or human incarnation. There is no other way than this and if Shankara tells that He alone is God, the atheists will reject Him saying that there is no God other than any soul. Here, we must understand the time of context and surrounding atmosphere of the receivers in the case of Shankara. Fools criticized Shankara as an atheist since He also told that there is no God other than the soul.

In the philosophy of Shankara some crucial points are: To convince Buddhists: 1) He has to please Buddhists by saying that all this creation is unreal. He convinced them that there should exist a receiver to grasp that everything (world) is nothing. By this, He made Buddhists to agree in the existence of awareness or soul, which knows that everything (world) is nothing. 2) If the soul is the awareness existing in this world that results by conversion of the inert energy in nervous system, this soul has to become an item of the creation and then the soul should be nothing since entire creation is nothing. This brings force to throw the awareness or soul into another phase called as absolute reality. 3) Creation is unreal or nothing and this is justified since the creation is unreal with respect to the absolute reality, which means the relative reality (pot is relatively real with respect to mud, which means that pot exists as long as mud, its cause, exists). 4) The above three points result in concluding that soul is absolutely real where as creation created by soul is nothing with respect to soul or relatively real (real with respect to its items mutually). Buddhists agreed to this modification. Otherwise, if soul is also a part of the creation, it becomes nothing and nothing can’t grasp nothing.

To convince Purvameemaamsakas: 1) Soul is to be declared as God since they don’t believe in God other than soul. If soul is said to be God, God exists since soul (God) exists. By this logic Shankara made them to say that God exists. 2) The awareness placed in the absolute reality shall not be the awareness observed in this world since such inert energy-converted-awareness can’t be said as absolute reality. If said as absolute reality, Buddhists will be furious since awareness, a part of unreal creation must be unreal and can’t become real. However, at the same time Buddhists have to agree to the reality of the soul because if soul is also nothing, it can’t grasp this world as nothing. Hence, Buddhists were also forced to accept soul as absolutely real, which is to be kept in a separate phase of reality (absolute reality) so that the phase of relative reality (creation) can be continued as nothing or unreal. Therefore, the phase of absolute reality having soul or awareness and the phase of relative reality having unreal creation co-exist. 3) The soul or awareness being real can’t be this unreal soul or awareness seen in the creation being a part of unreal creation. Hence, Shankara is forced to say that this soul in absolute reality is not the awareness resulting from conversion of inert energy, but, real and eternal awareness. Such distinction of absolute soul and relative soul will bring a problem to say that the absolute soul (God) is not this relative soul of human being, existing in this creation. The whole effort fails due to this because receivers will not agree to accept that God, other than soul, exists. 4) Instead of degrading God to relative reality (which brings several problems like that God is also unreal in the relative reality), the soul of the creation is upgraded as God by saying that the soul in the creation is also eternal awareness and hence God only. 5) In such case disappearance of awareness in absence of supply of food (inert energy) is to be explained to prove that this soul in creation is eternal. For this purpose, individual soul (bundle of thoughts) and soul (thoughtless awareness having single thought of self-awareness) co-exist like golden jewel (product or shape of jewel) and lump of gold (cause or shapeless gold) in golden jewel. Hence, the unreal individual soul together with inner real soul leaves to the upper world and thus the absolute eternality of the soul irrespective of food is proved. Of course, the relative soul also is with absolute soul only, but, the relative soul is only relatively eternal with respect to destroyed body. This means that both the relative soul and relative body are unreal with respect to absolute soul, but, with in the relative reality the individual soul is more relatively eternal than the body. 6) The creation results as relatively real, which means that it is real with respect the individual soul (relatively real) being its own part. The creation including the individual soul is unreal with respect to the absolute soul only. 7) The soul is divided into two parts: one part is the absolutely eternal soul, which is God and the second part is the individual soul (relatively real being part of the creation). 8) Since the individual soul contains the absolute soul in this creation, the absolute soul present in the individual soul in the creation itself (requirement of atheists) can be called as God. The absolute can exist in relative reality but not vise-versa. Shapeless gold exists in the jewel, but, the jewel doesn’t exist in shapeless (lump) gold.

Real background of Shankara: 1) Shankara knows that the so called absolute soul is also relative awareness only resulting from the conversion of inert energy as declared by Datta Swami now. But, He (Shankara) was forced to say that this soul existing in the individual soul of human being is God (to satisfy the atheists) and hence, He told that the absolute soul is eternal and not a product of inert energy. He forced the real nature and status of God on the absolute soul. 2) Actually, this eternal absolute soul can be taken as the unimaginable God mediated by awareness existing as absolute reality. Any relative medium mediated by unimaginable God becomes one with it by merge and the medium exhibits the nature of unimaginable God. For example, the soul and body of Shankara (relatively real) are merged with the absolutely real unimaginable God and hence, the body and soul of Shankara exhibits unimaginable nature by passing through the unreal bolted doors. In this way, you can treat the relatively real awareness becoming absolute God by merge. 3) The word ‘unimaginable’ God can’t be uttered at all since the word ‘unimaginable’ may lead to atheism (possibility of feeling the unimaginable as non-existent). 4) All this hidden background of Shankara is brought out by Datta Swami since today the receivers can understand the existence of unimaginable from uncertainty principle. The people of those days did not have the advanced scientific logic to accept unimaginable. Moreover, Shankara is forced to say this imaginable awareness as God and if He speaks about unimaginable, it will be a double confusion. 5) Since the Veda says that first, God thought of creation, it is concluded that God must be awareness and not any inert item because awareness alone can think. The necessity to select an imaginable item as God also supported the selection of awareness, which is the best part of the world (Para Prakruti). But, all this exercise is not necessary because God is unimaginable and can think even without being awareness. In the imaginable domain only, an item with awareness alone can think and hence, this worldly logic is limited to creation only and does not apply to the unimaginable creator. Even in the absence of inert energy and nervous system, the unimaginable God can create awareness in unimaginable domain. Before creation, matter and inert energy can’t exist. In the absence of these two, inert energy and nervous system can’t be formed. Without inert energy and nervous system, awareness can’t be generated. This means that before creation, awareness (generated by inert energy and nervous system) shouldn’t exist. But, awareness existed since God thought of creation. This awareness was generated by God through His unimaginable power. Awareness means just the process of thinking. This process was done by unimaginable God being Omnipotent to do anything. The conclusion is that unimaginable God is beyond inert and non-inert items.

Shankara was forced by His surrounding atmosphere to say that awareness is God since awareness or soul has to be declared as God. To satisfy Buddhists, He has to say that the entire creation is nothing and unreal except soul or awareness or God since the receiver (awareness) of nothing should exist. He proved this by swallowing the molten lead, which is unreal (being a part of the unreal world) and Shankara or human soul is unaffected since it alone is real. But, the real soul may not be affected (being energy) in the case of not only Shankara but also others. But, how the unreal body of even Shankara was also not affected since real soul alone is God and not the unreal body? At the same time, how the unreal bodies of others (their souls may not be affected being God) only are affected if it is swallowed? The basic true concept is that entire creation (including bodies) other than soul or God is unreal to soul or God, but, real to the unreal body. Molten lead being part of creation must be also real to another part of creation, which is body and should affect it in all cases including Shankara. This concept is twisted to say “i) The world is unreal to God or any soul or awareness, ii) The awareness or soul being energy may not be affected in the case of any human being, including Shankara, iii) But, the soul of Shankara alone has the specific power to protect its body whereas other souls have no such special power, even though these souls are also God like the soul of Shankara, iv) In such case, the soul of Shankara having special ability to protect its body is certainly different from other human souls, v) It certainly proves that such soul of Shankara alone is God and not the other souls and vi) This difference between Shankara and others is due to strong realization of Shankara as God whereas the realization of others is not strong”.

As per Shankara, the soul (atman) or God is treated as the awareness without any thought and leftover with just self-awareness. The bundle of thoughts of awareness is taken as individual soul or Jeeva. Soul is the absolutely real God whereas the individual soul is unreal to God, being relative reality as part of the creation. For soul, the world is unreal, whereas for individual soul the world is real. This means that when the individual soul realizes and becomes soul, the world becomes unreal. Hence, the soul as individual soul feels the world real in the relative reality. When the soul attains its original nature in absolute reality, the same world becomes unreal. Since the soul of Shankara is released from the stage of individual soul to become original soul entering absolute reality, the whole world becomes unreal including the molten lead. Even in others, the original soul is not affected. But, in others the souls are always in the stage of individual souls only. The individual soul is part of creation like molten lead and hence gets affected by damage feeling lot of torture from equally real lead. Similarly their bodies are also affected being parts of the creation. In the case of Shankara, His body is unaffected due to the omnipotence of God or soul to protect its body. In others, since the individual souls didn’t attain their original nature of the soul, such omnipotence of soul or God is absent.

 The relative reality, in which the creation appears real to individual soul, disappears in the absolute reality in which God or soul or awareness alone is eternally real. Hence, creation is unreal for the creator, who is God or soul. Individual soul is a drop and Eshwara is mighty ocean of common thoughtful awareness in the relative reality only. In the absolute reality this quantitative difference disappears between Individual soul and Eshwara since here, the space becomes unreal. In such stage of absolute reality the drop and ocean become one and the same and the multiplication of the soul in to other souls becomes impossible in the absence of space. By this, the multiplicity of souls also disappears in absolute reality to become one God or soul, which is thoughtless awareness with just self-recognition. Such original soul is common to Eshwara and all the individual souls. To remove quantitative difference between soul of living being and soul of Eshwara and for disappearance of multiplicity of souls, space must be unreal in the absolute reality. When space disappears, no human being can imagine the absolute reality even a little! This means that the absolute reality becomes unimaginable. In such stage, you can’t say the soul or awareness as God in absolute reality because awareness is an item in the imaginable domain. Hence, the absolute reality is forced to become unimaginable domain in which unimaginable God can alone exist and the imaginable awareness can’t be taken as God.

When Shankara alone could swallow the molten lead without any damage to His body, the receivers asked Him about their inability in doing so even though like Shankara they also realized that they are God. Shankara replied “the influence of your ignorance is still strong (Vikshepa). Mere realization can alone bring the knowledge of truth (called as removal of Aavarana) and the grace of God as ruler (Eshwara) is needed for getting monism with God (Eshwaraanugrahaadeva…)”. Thus, the atheists-converted-theists were brought to the second step slowly to accept a separate Eshwara. Without disturbing the monism between soul and God (since both are awareness only), He brought a temporary dualism in the stage of effort to achieve the fruit of monism! This is an intermediate state between monism (human incarnation) and dualism (God and ordinary soul). Shankara brought the soul to the path of dualism (though dualism is stated as unreal) to achieve the goal of real monism and left them there. Shankara consoled the devotees that the temporary dualism is unreal and useful to achieve the final real monism. By this consolation (the unreality of dualism), devotees didn’t revolt back! Whenever the devotee feels inconvenient to worship Eshwara separately, Shankara showed the scene of monism in absolute reality to remove such inconvenient depression. The real soul (other than unreal Jeeva) of devotee is the same real soul of unreal Eshwara. Hence, unreal Jeeva (individual soul as awareness in the form of bundle of thoughts) is only worshipping the unreal Eshwara (cosmic awareness as bundle of thoughts in ruling unreal world) and not the real soul (self-awareness lacking all thoughts), which is common to both Jeeva and Eshwara. The unreality of space helps to remove the quantitative difference between soul of Jeeva and soul of Eshwara to make both one in the phase of absolute reality in which alone soul exists.

Realization of the soul as God is important knowledge of Shankara. (This leads to devotion and service if this realization of devotee is applied to the case of human incarnation instead of applying this to self).

Then, Ramanuja came in the atmosphere of such temporary devotees of God (in temporary and unreal dualism created by Shankara) and declared the higher truth that dualism is absolutely real in the state of goal also. The soul is a small spark of the whole God-fire. There is a qualitative monism, but, quantitative dualism exists between God and soul. The fire can burn a stick but not the spark due to this quantitative difference and this brings the difference between God and soul (dualism). He didn’t bring qualitative dualism also because the receivers may revolt and go back to atheism. He maintained a trace of hope of qualitative monism still in their minds to avoid such revolt! He said that creation is also real and hence space is also real so that a real quantitative difference between God and soul can be always established. For this purpose, Ramanuja removed the phase of absolute reality once for all and maintained the single phase of relative reality only for God, soul and creation by which all these three are real to each other.

The qualitative monism and quantitative dualism made Ramanuja to stand between monism and dualism as a bridge between Shankara and Madhva. He tells that soul is a part (Anga or shesha) and God is the whole (Angi or Sheshi). This appears to us to feel that the soul is like a finger of a man. If the man identifies himself to the inner soul or awareness only, the finger is not a part of the man (soul), rather it is a part of only the body of man. If the man identifies himself to the body also, we can say that finger is the part of the man.

The whole-part relationship between Eshwara and souls was said by Ramanuja. Eshwara is the awareness present in energetic form surrounded by world as gross body. The souls are parts of the gross body. How the souls can be parts of Eshwara? This can be answered in the following way. Soul is the awareness present in energetic subtle body existing in the gross body. The limbs of the gross body are told by soul as its limbs. When there is such practical experience, you need not doubt the concept of the divine preacher.

In this way you can take any of these two concepts to avoid defects shown by opponents. However, the real quantitative difference based on real space is maintained so that the devotees can feel that they are direct parts of God and feel consoled to some extent even though monism is lost in reality. A partial (qualitative) monism was allowed to wipe tears of devotees having a trace of atheistic background.

Ramanuja brought God (awareness) and soul to stand in one phase of relative reality only and deleted the separate phase of absolute reality. Hence, the world is real to both God and soul and thus it is temporary (Anityam) due to constant changes, but, real. The world is never unreal since absolute reality is totally absent. The awareness with good thoughts is God and hence there is no need of thoughtless awareness. From this awareness, tiny parts have come out called as souls. God is not only awareness but also the first energetic body surrounding Him named as Narayana (Datta). Narayana means God as the source of spiritual knowledge and Datta means God given to souls as mediated God. Hence, the total picture of God is awareness with good qualities and outer energetic body called as Narayana (Datta). Narayana is treated as a single item of awareness with good qualities mediated by the first energetic body. Around this Narayana, the universe is created by Him with the souls (drops of awareness) and inert energy. There is a separate lump of inert energy outside Narayana (Prakruti), which is used as the causal material for the creation of universe. This Prakruti is the mud, Narayana is the pot maker and world is pot. Mud is external independent material called as Prakruti. Souls are from the awareness of Narayana. Here, you can treat Narayana as the pot maker, Prakruti as mud and the souls as the ideas of the pot maker that entered the creation-pot.

This doesn’t contradict Shankara because when you keep God (Narayana) in relative reality only, the casual material (Prakruti) can exist separately with equal reality to God in the same phase of relative reality. If you take the absolute reality of Shankara, only one item can exist in it as the absolute reality and all items except God or soul exist in relative reality in which only individual souls exist. As per Ramanuja, even the souls being tiny parts of awareness of Narayana can exist as equally real (to God) parts. Narayana and Prakruti shall be the total cause (pot maker and mud) of the creation. Plurality can’t exist in absolute reality of Shankara in which both pot maker and mud can’t co-exist separately. As per Ramanuja, the absolute reality is absent and only the relative reality allowing the plurality exists accommodating pot maker and mud as equally real entities separately. God, souls, Prakruti, world and what not- everything exists in single phase of relative reality, which itself is absolute reality and in which all items are real to each other.

In the case of Shankara, the phase of absolute reality exists separately in which God alone exists as the magician from whom this entire world is created like magic, which is unreal to Him (since He knows the tricks). We can just say that Ramanuja’s entire philosophy is the second part of Shankara’s philosophy, which is the relative reality having Eshwara (as God), souls and rest creation. Whatever Shankara told in the relative reality, Ramanuja told the same as absolute reality. For Ramanuja, the world itself is absolute reality since absolute reality doesn’t exist separately. The Eshwara of relative reality of Shankara is Narayana for Ramanuja. In the relative reality of Shankara, Eshwara is awareness with energetic form and same Eshwara (awareness with energetic form) is called as Narayana by Ramanuja in the same relative reality (which is also the absolute reality). Individual souls of Shankara in relative reality are the absolute souls of the same relative reality (or absolute reality) of Ramanuja. Shankara told that the world is real in relative reality to the individual soul (world becomes unreal to the soul or God in absolute reality only) as well as relative Eshwara. Ramanuja also took the same relative reality to say that world is real to souls (world can be never unreal due to absence of absolute reality) as well as to God Narayana. In this way both philosophies are one and the same standing to suit the separate contexts (atheists and devotees).

There are two similar items: 1a) The external gross universe (treated as external gross body of God) having gross awareness (souls) and gross inert matter (including inert energy) called as Vishva, 1b) Inside this gross body exists a special energetic subtle body called as Viraat and 1c) In this subtle body exists awareness qualified by good thoughts or qualities called as Hiranyagarbha and these three sub-items are called as Narayana and 2a) the external gross body of a human being called as Vaishva, which is made of inert matter (including inert energy) and awareness flowing through nerves, 2b) Inside this gross body an energetic subtle body called as Taijasa exists and (2c) in this subtle body exists awareness qualified by thoughts or qualities called as Praajna and these three sub-items are called as the human being. Now, there is a similarity between NARAYANA, a composite of Vishva, Viraat and Hiranyagarbha (‘Sthula chidachit vishishta’) and HUMAN BEING, a composite of Vaishva, Taijasa and Praajna (‘Sukshma chidachit vishishta’). This similarity between these two ‘Vishishta’ items is represented as monism called as ‘Vishishta advaita’. In the above concept we have to neglect certain versions in order to achieve monism between the two Vishishta items since the word advaita in Vishishta advaita means oneness and not similarity in strict sense. However, monism between God and human being is not acceptable to dualism. Therefore, the word advaita here should be taken as similarity only through figure of speech called as metaphor (in metaphor two similar items are told as one). The neglected versions are 1) Hiranyagarbha is called as the collective awareness or collective item of souls, which is taken as the awareness of God and 2) Viraat is also the collective inert energy of the world, which is taken as the special energetic body of Narayana. This philosophy of Ramanuja doesn’t contradict Shankara since Eshwara is simply replaced by Narayana and the relative reality of Shankara in toto stands for the absolute reality (or relative reality) of Ramanuja.

The thoughtless awareness of the soul to avoid sinful thoughts indicates the burning of house affected by many rats. The awareness with good qualities as God encourages the soul to retain good qualities and destroy bad qualities indicating catching the few rats by using technical boxes without destroying the house. This difference between Ramanuja and Shankara again suggests the same point of corresponding contexts. Atheists in the time of Shankara were having 99% sinful thoughts (many rats) and the devotees in the time of Ramanuja have less number of sinful thoughts (few rats). Therefore, thoughtless awareness is the only alternative for Shankara and awareness with good thoughts is convenient goal for Ramanuja. We must remember that the background of any philosophy of any spiritual preacher is only to rectify the soul so that the world runs on smooth lines with eternal peace (Pravrutti). Even Nivrutti is dealt for the same purpose of Pravrutti only. It is the personal choice of a devotee to take exclusively Nivrutti to attain the highest eternal fruit, but, even in this effort, success in Pravrutti is inevitable part of the path of effort.

Ramanuja stressed on the real devotion of the real soul to real God called as Narayana (Eshwara), who was already introduced by Shankara in the unreal relative reality. (The real devotion is the practical devotion in which sacrifice of the fruit of work as in the case of issues is done.)

Now, Madhva appeared. The devotees asked Him the reason for the inability to swallow at least a drop of molten lead in case the human soul is a real spark of God-fire. Madhva told that the soul is really and totally different from God in all aspects (perfect dualism) because the soul exists outside the God and not as a tiny part of God (awareness). The gross world is not the gross body of God, but, is only an external item created by Him using external Prakruti as material cause and God is only a pot maker (designer). Hence, the soul is not having even the smallest power of God. The finger of a red pot maker may also be red, but, a particle of pot prepared by that pot maker need not be red. Hence, the external soul is not having even a trace of power of God to drink even a trace of molten lead. However, Madhva also maintained a trace of the already trace-hope that both God and soul are made of the same awareness, which is useless monism as far as the qualities and powers are concerned. By this common awareness, both God and soul have only the common ability, which is just to think. This smallest hope is maintained since Madhva also feared about the going back of the devotees to atheism, who may shout against the past trick of Shankara played on them! The common awareness is an accidental similarity between God and soul, which is not due to whole-part relationship. The mud before the red pot maker may be also accidentally red and this does not mean that a red particle of mud is red finger of the pot maker. The common awareness is only just the ability to think, which does not involve any power. The king and beggar have the common ability of thinking, but, the beggar does not have even a trace of the huge wealth possessed by the king. This brought the perfect dualism in qualities and powers even though useless monism of awareness is maintained like a small piece of cloth just to wipe the tears of devotees due to total loss of monism! Except this small difference (perfect difference between God and soul exists), the philosophy Madhva resembles that of Ramanuja, which is just nothing but the total relative reality of Shankara forgetting completely His absolute reality (since relative reality itself is the absolute reality).

Madhva propagated the concept of practical service to God in human form taking Hanuman as the ideal. The relationship between God and soul is ‘to be served (sevya)—servant (sevaka)’ only. Thus, Ramanuja stressed on sacrifice (karmaphala tyaga) and Madhva stressed on service (karma samnyasa).

For Shankara, God and soul become one and the same because both are thoughtless awareness only in the phase of absolute reality, where quantitative difference disappears due to unreal space and the original qualitative similarity and quantitative equality result. In fact, both God and soul are one item only. Hence, perfect monism was argued by Shankara, which was to please well His surrounding atheists initially. This single point that God is awareness or soul and hence, molten lead does not affect the energy-soul of any one, is always fixed in the phase of absolute reality (Paramaartha dashaa) to be shown to the atheist every time for consolation. Actually, the molten lead can’t affect the soul being energy and not due to being God. If the molten lead swallowed by an ordinary human being disturbs the awareness (soul), such awareness is not the absolute soul, but, the individual soul around it. The molten lead not affecting the body of Shankara alone and affecting the body of every one, - does not come in the absolute reality because in the absolute reality only soul is allowed and not the body. The status of Eshwara, the molten lead itself, the bodies of all individual souls, individual souls etc., are pushed to the phase of unreality or relative reality (vyavahaara dashaa). The basis of Jeeva (Jeeva is awareness as bundle of thoughts only) is soul, the limited awareness called as Praajna and in absolute reality limitation disappears due to unreal space and Praajna soul becomes God or soul. Here, when the quantitative difference between soul and God disappears in the absolute reality (due to space becoming unreal), the awareness also disappears since awareness is a relative item only being specific form of inert energy bound by spatial rules. In absolute reality, we cannot take the awareness as activity generated by unimaginable God since unimaginable God can’t be mentioned due to possibility of atheism. Shankara knows all this and took such unimaginable awareness only as the soul hidden in the individual soul. But, the soul hidden in the individual soul is just thoughtless awareness, which can’t be unimaginable awareness since thoughtless awareness can be this worldly awareness also. All this is known to Shankara (being incarnation of God Shiva) since He states that unimaginable God called as Parabrahman is beyond words (maunavyaakhyaa…). God or Brahman is taken as this thoughtless worldly awareness, different from Parabrahman. Brahman or worldly thoughtless awareness is taken in absolute reality for the sake of atheists. Shankara introduced the unimaginable God by the word Parabrahman in devotional prayer meant for advanced devotees and not meant for new devotees just coming from atheism. His commentaries deal only with Brahman meant for atheists to be converted in to theists. It was very difficult even to atheistic scholars to exactly understand the mind of Shankara because on one side, He speaks the absolute reality of Parabrahman in hidden angle and on the other side, He brings worldly awareness as absolute God into absolute reality! The basis of human being is limited awareness, called as Praajna and Eshwara (Eshwara is awareness as bundle of good thoughts) is unlimited cosmic awareness called as Hiranyagarbha (or can be treated as God-awareness of Ramanuja). The limited inert energy of human being is called as Taijasa and unlimited cosmic inert energy is called as Viraat. The limited matter of human body is called as small Vaishva (a small part of Vishva) and the unlimited cosmic matter is called as huge Vishva. In the absolute reality Praajna and Hiranyagarbha become one and the same resulting in thoughtless awareness due to absence of quantitative difference as the space becomes unreal. Even though thoughts are limited to relative reality, the basic material is thoughtless awareness, which alone is admitted in to absolute reality. In the case of Viraat and Taijasa, the basic material, inert energy, itself gets confined to relative reality only and hence both Viraat and Taijasa can’t be same in absolute reality (material as well as form). Similarly, mini Vaishva and macro Vishva can’t enter absolute reality since the material (matter) of both is also confined to relative reality and can’t enter absolute reality. In this way, Shankara satisfied the logic of atheists, who couldn’t recognize the trick of Shankara that how an item of relative reality, which is thoughtless worldly awareness, can exist in absolute reality when space including the relative total world disappears and becomes nothing. By this unanswered question, Shankara paved the way to the absolute reality in which unimaginable awareness (thereby, unimaginable God as source) can alone exist in absence of space. Don’t think that Shankara doesn’t know the unimaginable God because He was the only person, who has introduced a special word ‘Parabrahman’ for such unimaginable awareness, which means that this unimaginable God is different from God or Brahman or soul or thoughtless worldly awareness. You can also justify the word Brahman for this worldly soul because this soul is the greatest (Brahman) of all the created items. The usage of word Brahman to the Veda (as said in the Gita), the greatest scripture, establishes that the word Brahman can’t be confined to God only. In the Veda, Brahman is used for several such greatest items in specific categories like ‘food is Brahman, mind is Brahman, intelligence is Brahman’ etc.

The inert energy is the basic material to form thoughtless awareness (having only self-awareness) and thus inert energy is very close to thoughtless awareness so that we can conveniently call the thoughtless awareness to be simply inert energy. However, we must note the fundamental difference that thoughtless awareness is non-inert whereas inert energy is inert. We dare to bring similarity due to absence of any thought (except self-awareness) of thoughtless awareness and every thought (including self-awareness) is absent in inert energy. It is only the difference between 99.9999% and 100%. Both, can be treated almost the same. Various thoughts arising from awareness due to association with several items, issues and memories of world, lead the thoughtless awareness to advanced stage with several thoughts. But, only awareness is allowed in to absolute reality and not its basic material, which is inert energy. This is a wonderful point, which says that pot is allowed and not its material cause, the mud! Hence, an independent self-existent awareness (for which basic material is not inert energy and also there is no other basic material), which is without birth from any other material, can be only allowed into absolute reality. But, the soul (Atman, very near to Praajna) or thoughtless awareness is formed from Taijasa (inert energy) only in a human being. In such case, the soul can’t be the God (thoughtless awareness existing independently without being converted from inert energy). If you force this soul to be God, the only alternative way leftover is that this soul is also same independent self-existent awareness, not converted from inert energy. Either you have to degrade God to inert energy-converted awareness or uplift the soul to independent self-existing awareness (not converted from inert energy). The second option was chosen by Shankara, in which case, the soul or awareness should exist even if food is not supplied to body, which becomes inert energy that is to be converted in to awareness. This does not happen since awareness disappears if the source of it (food) is stopped. This is a scientific objection. We may say that the soul existing as individual soul in the body exits the body after occupying energetic body in death and hence the soul is eternal, which is not disappearing if food is not supplied. The soul leaves body in absence of food since body becomes weak without food. The house owner leaves the house when the house is falling. Like this, Shankara maintained eternality of the soul to be God for the sake of atheists to be converted in to theists. In the death of an ordinary human being, the soul covered by individual soul leaves the gross body after associating with energetic body. In the death of a realized person, the individual soul and the body are destroyed and the eternal soul or God alone remains as absolute reality without entering energetic body (as per Shankara) in death (Videha mukti). Of course, the eternal soul (absolute reality) alone (since individual soul is destroyed by realization) remains in the gross body of a realized human being even before death (Jeevan mukti). The Jeevan mukti satisfies the alive atheist to think that he is God in his life time itself to satisfy his ego and greediness for one crore lottery! Of course, in such state of absolute reality of soul, the entire creation must become nothing and such person should be able to drink molten lead and pass through bolted doors as done by Shankara. This inability in other human beings is linked to the absence of strong realization for which Eshwara should be worshipped with real devotion {real devotion is required since the soul remains as individual soul only, which is real (relatively real) to real (relatively real) Eshwara}. In the place of human incarnation, strongly realized person is placed. In the place of unimaginable God independent and self-existent unimaginable awareness is placed.

Atman Stands in Absolute Reality & Jeeva in Relative Reality

The quantitative difference between a drop of awareness (Atman) and infinite ocean of cosmic energy (God) is pushed to the phase of unreality by which the unreal space can’t really maintain such unreal difference in the phase of absolute reality! Atman stands in absolute reality and Jeeva stands in the relative reality (which is unreal to the absolutely real God). The difference between the body of Shankara and bodies of other human beings with reference to molten lead is standing only in the phase of relative reality! Since Shankara attained monism through strong realization and His soul became God, God protected the body of Shankara. Others couldn’t protect their bodies since their souls didn’t become God due to weak realization. Actually, no soul becomes God just by realization even in the case of Shankara because God enters a soul and makes it as God by His will only. Shankara did not become God after studying philosophy and self-realization. He became God since God Shiva entered the forming baby in the womb of His mother itself because God Shiva appeared to His parents even before He is conceived and gave a boon that He will take birth as their son. Actually, this is a case human incarnation and not the case of a human being becoming God through self-realization.

In absolute reality the unreal Jeeva should disappear so that the real soul alone exists. For such disappearance of unreal Jeeva, unreal Eshwara (whose soul is God or realized soul) is worshiped and such worship is also unreal with reference to absolute reality! However, the Jeeva, Eshwara, worship of Eshwara and devotion between both are unreal with respect to absolute reality, but, with respect to relative reality, these are real to each other (unreals are real to each other). In this way Shankara maintained the necessity of real devotion to Eshwara with respect to jeeva and advised the atheist-converted theists to become real devotees of Eshwara. By this, Shankara paved the way to Ramanuja, who maintained that everything is real (all the relative reality is converted into absolute reality) due to absence of absolute reality forever.

Shankara (unreal Jeeva) is running unreally seeing unreal elephant in this world (relative reality)! The unreal difference between soul and God can be removed by the unreal means like unreal worship of unreal Eshwara! Thus, Shankara maintained the monism of soul and God as the absolute reality so that once the atheist is converted in to unreal devotee worshiping unreal Eshwara with real devotion (since in the unreal triad of Eshwara, Jeeva and devotion, each is real the other) he can never go back to the original atheism! Shankara stopped the back conversion of theists into atheists through His logic based on His unimaginable intelligence at every step, convincing atheists on one side and showing the way to real concept of unimaginable God!

 

(To be Continued...)

   

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