Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Advanced Discourses

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Can creation ever be hundred percent real for God?

Posted on: 06/04/2021

Śrī Phani asked: This question is related to the discussion during a satsang about the concept that the creation appears real to God. It is said that māyā (mithyā) is that which is neither real (sat) nor unreal (asat) (Sadasat vilakṣaṇā māyā—Śaṅkara). The world is both real (sat) and unreal (asat) from the perspective of God and also from the perspective of the soul. God may subject Himself to 99% illusion...

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If the existence of time depends on matter, does the existence of space also depend on matter?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Ganesh asked: In a discourse given by You in response to Dr. Nikhil’s question, You have explained how time can be represented in terms of space. The last time I met You, You said that Einstein was wrong when he said that without matter, space cannot exist. But when I think about the explanation given by You, I recall that You implied that time cannot exist without matter. Time is meaningless without matter. Since time and space are basically the same thing (space-time), space...

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How could Adi Shankara convince atheists that they are God in the absence of practical experience?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Anil Antony asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! Śaṅkara used a simple logic to prove to atheists that God exists. He said: You are God and you exist; so, God exists. How did atheists get convinced with this logic in the absence of any practical experience that they were God? Did they practically get some mental peace or miraculous powers, at least? Without any practical experience, how did the atheists simply believe this concept, which was basically a lie meant to uplift them?

Swāmi replied: Śaṅkara told that the world is unreal if God (or atheistic soul) withdraws His absolute existence from the world. Based on this fact, the only existing God will have absolute peace. Śaṅkara said that since world is unreal if it is isolated from God...

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Can You explain with examples how we can experience both real and unreal things?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Anil Antony asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! You have said that we can experience both unreal and real things, giving the example of a rope which appears to be a snake. We can experience the real rope as well as the unreal snake (illusion) due to dim light. What exactly do the snake and the rope refer to? Can You please give another practical example to explain how we can experience both real and unreal things? Can a soul experience the unreality of creation at any time?

Swāmi replied: Soul can never experience the fundamental unreality of the creation. The reality of a snake seen...

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Is the soul unreal with respect to the real universe?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Anil Antony asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! The Śūnya Vāda philosophy of Nāgārjuna states that everything is unreal. How can this philosophy be true when, even after the death of a soul, this universe continues to exist to other living souls? That one soul died, but the universe remained. This means that the soul is temporary and hence, unreal, whereas, the universe is permanent, and hence, real. So, even when the soul is alive, the soul should be unreal with respect to this universe.

Swāmi replied: The unreal world is real for the unreal soul. Reality is real for another reality. Similarly, unreality is real for another unreality...

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Why Is Every Soul Not God? Part-5

Posted on: 28/03/2021

Part 5: True Advaita in the Incarnation

Swami continued: I never said that the Advaita of Śaṅkara is completely impossible. I am only saying that Advaita or monism does not exist in the case of every soul. This is because, the relatively-real soul can never become the absolutely-real God, by its own effort, no matter how strong the soul’s ambition to become God is. What Śaṅkara preached was the monism of a rare soul with God. That rare monism is granted by God alone and it can never be achieved by the soul’s own effort. The conversion of the soul which is an imaginable relative reality into God, who is the unimaginable absolute reality...

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Why Is Every Soul Not God? Part-4

Posted on: 27/03/2021

Part 4: Individual and Cosmic Illusions

A person (soul) having little knowledge might be under an illusion about himself. But even such a person is able to remember and recognize his true nature when he is reminded about it. Then how can the omniscient and omnipotent God ever be affected by even a trace of ignorance or illusion? Even the theoretical ignorance of the true knowledge, which is known as the ajñāna āvaraṇam is impossible in the case of the omniscient God. God can never...

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Why Is Every Soul Not God? Part-3

Posted on: 26/03/2021

Part 3: Vast Differences Cannot Be Disregarded

Swami: Suppose person X earns ten lakh rupees per month and person Y earns ten rupees per month. If the Advaita philosopher has to select between X or Y as the bridegroom for his daughter, will he say that X and Y are equal? Will he say that they are one and the same because the common point between X and Y is that both earn money? Does the vast difference between their earnings...

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Why Is Every Soul Not God? Part-2

Posted on: 23/03/2021

Part 2: Relatively-Real Awareness is not the Absolute God

All the logical feats of Advaita philosophers are tremendous and highly appreciable. But all these feats are limited only to the boundary of the relative reality (vyavahāra sattā). My point is only this much. I appreciate all your logical high jumps and long jumps. But I say that you have done all of them while only remaining on the ground. You could not reach the treasure hidden under the ground. This unattained treasure is the unimaginable absolute reality (paramārtha sattā), which is introduced by Śaṅkara Himself. In fact, it was Śaṅkara, who introduced the concept that the absolute God has an unimaginable nature. He said that the unimaginability of the absolute God...

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Why Is Every Soul Not God? Part-1

Posted on: 22/03/2021

[Dr. J.S.R. Prasad is Professor of Sanskrit at the Central University of Hyderabad and he specializes in logic. Dr. J.S.R. Prasad asked: The logic presented by Advaita philosophers seems to be very powerful and in that case, how can we say that the soul (or individual soul) is not God?]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! The logic presented in the Advaita philosophy came from Śaṅkara, who was an Incarnation of God Śiva. Naturally, the logic is as powerful as the fire from the third eye of God Śiva, which is the eye of knowledge. Śaṅkara was Śiva and Śiva is Īśvara, who is the Creator, Maintainer and Destroyer of this entire creation. This world was created...

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Is reality a property of God, the cause, which enters creation, the effect, to make it real?

Posted on: 16/03/2021

Śrī Bharath Krishna asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! You said that creation is real for all the souls as well as for God. Creation appears to be real because it has borrowed its real nature from its creator, the unimaginable God, who is absolutely real and who is the only truth. After learning this from You, I remembered sūtras 92-94 from the Parabrahma Sūtras composed by You. There You have explained the relationship between mud and the pot made out of it. In that example, the properties of the mud enter the pot. Likewise, can I say that the reality of this creation is a property obtained...

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Posted on: 08/03/2021

[Śrī Phani asked: Can we say that a cause-and-effect relationship (kārya-kāraṇa sambandha) exists between the following two cases (1) unimaginable God and an ordinary soul, (2) unimaginable God and a Human Incarnation of God?]

A Case of Limited Applicability

Swāmi replied: In the first case, we take the unimaginable God to be the cause and the imaginable soul to be the effect.

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To what extent can we cross maayaa, the strong illusion created by God?

Posted on: 16/02/2021

[This question is based on the discussion of some devotees on a discourse given by Swami in response to Kum. Mohini’s question about māyā, maha māyā and mūla māyā.

Śrī Anil Anthony asked: Swami, is mūla māyā itself the awareness of God?

Śrī J. S. R. Prasad asked: Is the term mahā māyā the same as that the concept explained in the Gītā as “Prakṛtiṃ svāmadhiṣṭhāya...

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Do both ignorance and knowledge lead to darkness?

Posted on: 13/02/2021

Śrī Balaji asked: Namaste Swami! Kindly explain the concepts of vidyā & avidyā, and asambhūti & sambhūti which occur in the Īṣāvāsya Upanishad. Following are some excerpts from the Upaniṣad:

andhaṃ tamaḥ praviśanti…vidyayāṃ ratāḥ

andham tamaḥ praviśanti…sambhutyām ratāḥ

Here, in both cases, it is said that those who are engaged in vidyā (knowledge) and in sambhūti (manifest) go into a greater darkness than those engaged in avidyā (ignorance) and asambhūti (unmanifest). In the subsequent hymns, the correct path...

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God As The Creator In Vedanta

Posted on: 18/01/2021

Dr. JSR Prasad asked: Svāmipādebhyaḥ sāṣṭāṅga praṇāmāḥ! Recently, on a social media platform, there was a discussion on the concept of the Creator and creation in Vedānta. A member had asked questions like “Is creation different from the Creator?”, “How did the Creator go about creating creation?” and so on. A few Advaita scholars replied that creation is not different from the Creator...

Swāmi replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Why has spiritual knowledge become unpopular, even though it is the most important subject that helps all souls forever? The reason is that souls are not interested in reading the contents of spiritual philosophy. What is the reason for that? The only reason is that writers make the subject complicated and confusing because the writer himself...

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Is the soul's tiny amount of independence inspite of its near-total dependence on matter and energy, God's maayaa?

Posted on: 16/12/2020

Śrī Phani asked: You have said that the soul, which is awarenesss, is the result of inert matter and inert energy. It means that it depends on inert matter and inert energy. Yet it is aware, which gives it some freedom to choose its action. That freedom is only 0.1% since the awareness depends on inert matter and inert energy. Its dependence is to an extent of 99.9%. As such the soul, which is a product of inert matter and inert energy should not be aware, and yet it somehow is aware and possesses that 0.1% freedom. Is that tiny freedom due to God’s māyā?]

Swāmi replied: As mentioned earlier, this 0.1% freedom is the effect of the unimaginable power of the unimaginable God. This means that God alone has given that little freedom to the soul or the individual soul. We must remember...

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Chidaatmaa and Chidaabhaasa - Part-1 of 4

Posted on: 10/11/2020

This is a long discourse, meant for readers interested in an elaborate logical analysis. It is related to an apparent limitation of Shri Datta Swami’s refutation of the currently-understood Advaita theory. In the section titled ‘The Advaitin’s Perspective’, Dr. Nikhil claims, on behalf of Advaitins that Swami, while refuting the currently-understood Advaita in His previous writings, has not taken into account the exact position of Advaitins on the relation between God and the soul. In the section ‘Introductory Points’, Swami begins with certain introductory points that are necessary to understand His detailed refutation. The section ‘Refutation of Misconceived Advaita’ consisting of 42 points is the actual detailed refutation of the currently-understood Advaita theory. In it, Swami addresses all the new objections raised by Dr. Nikhil. Finally, Swami concludes with 15 concluding points in the ‘Conclusions’ section, wherein it is evident that Swami’s refutation of the currently-understood Advaita and overall His philosophy prevail...

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Chidaatmaa and Chidaabhaasa - Part-2 of 4

Posted on: 10/11/2020

7. Self-contradicting claims: Are God and soul separate or one?

You have shifted your basic party itself when you began to face a lot of inconvenience, due to your misunderstood theory of monism. You have created a convenient theory by saying that God is not the soul because God and the soul are associated, like the real rope and the false snake. Of course, we are happy that you have recognized that the soul is part of the illusory world. At one end, you say that the soul is not God, just as the false snake is not the real rope. Then, why do you contradict yourself by claiming that the soul is God...

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Chidaatmaa and Chidaabhaasa - Part-3 of 4

Posted on: 10/11/2020

20. The body and its knower

In the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna that the body is called the kṣetram and the awareness in the body, which is the knower of the body, is called the kṣetrajña. After telling this to Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa said that He too is a Kṣetrajña (Kṣetrajñaṃ cā'pi mām...). Here, the words ‘ca’ and ‘api’ are used for double stress because each means ‘too’ or ‘also’. If Kṛṣṇa only had ordinary awareness like a human being, He need not have said that He too has awareness. This word ‘too’ with double stress means that He too does the function of awareness—which is the process of knowing—even though He is not awareness. This statement was made with reference to the absolute unimaginable God...

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Chidaatmaa and Chidaabhaasa - Part-4 of 4

Posted on: 10/11/2020

33. Unimaginable awareness is the awareness of the unimaginable God

The word ‘unimaginable awareness’ used above does not mean that the awareness is unimaginable. The word awareness is only taken in the sense of the action of thinking, which is done by the unimaginable God. It simply means that the unimaginable God did an action which is the process of thinking. There are only two items: (a) the unimaginable God as the subject or the doer and (b) the action of thinking done by the unimaginable God. Since the absolute God is unimaginable, He cannot be the imaginable relative awareness...

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