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Shri Datta Swami

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Swami Answers Devotees' Questions

Posted on: 01/04/2021

1. Should we divert to God the time, money and materials that would have gone waste?

[Kum. Laxmi Thrylokya asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! In the Datta Veda, You said that we should divert towards God the time and money which gets wasted on luxuries. But You also gave an example that an insincere and over-intelligent person committed a sin by saying “Ramārpaṇaṃ” (I offer this flour to Rāma) when the wind blew away the flour in his hand. He had thought that since the blown away flour is already wasted...

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

For Scholars 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?

For Scholars 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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Does awareness gets its ability to know from inhaled oxygen?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Anil Antony asked: Pādanamaskāram Swāmi! Can we say that awareness gets the special property of knowing due to prāṇa or the oxygen inhaled through the lungs? A robot does not breathe in prāṇa and hence, perhaps, it does not acquire this special property of knowing.

Swāmi replied: Robot need not inhale air (oxygen) because you are supplying the energy directly to it. In the case of human being, the energy is not supplied from outside. The human being takes food and the food is digested...

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Is awareness the same as the brain?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Anil Antony asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! Instead of awareness, can we say that the brain is responsible for the entire process of knowing? The brain is the subject, the brain stores information, the brain retrieves the information, and finally, it is the brain alone that gets knowledge. The I-thought (ego) is also experienced by the brain alone.

Swāmi replied: If you take brain as the main focus, let it be so in which the main focus is on matter. If you take the technique of the brain as the main focus, the technology involving both materialised brain...

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

For Scholars 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?

For Scholars 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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Would creation still be real to the soul, even if God had not granted reality to creation?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Śrī Anil Antony asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! God has granted absolute reality to the world, so that He can get entertainment from it. Granting absolute reality to the world brings it to the same level of reality as God Himself. But even without granting this status of absolute reality to the world, the world would still be real for the soul. After all, the soul is part of the world and so, the world must be as real to the soul as itself, in any case.

Swāmi replied: There is confusion between the word of reality used in the case of God and in the case of soul regarding the world...

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Is Shankara's Nirvaana Shatkam to be sung by any ordinary soul?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Kum. Laxmi Thrylokya asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! Śrī Ādi Śaṅkarācārya has blessed us by composing many wonderful prayers (stōtras) to God. But He has also composed Nirvāṇa Ṣatkam having the phrase “Śivo'ham”, which means that I am God Śiva. Chanting this prayer repeatedly impresses on our mind the idea that we all are Lord Śiva. But You have clarified that the philosophy of Advaita is applicable only...

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When a soul's rebirth always depends on its deeds and qualities, should caste too not be decided by birth?

Posted on: 30/03/2021

Dr. Nikhil asked: The Śaṅkarācārya of Pūrī Pīṭham, Swāmi Niścalānandaji, has claimed that the caste into which a person is born it is the person’s actual caste. He opposes those who claim that caste by birth is invalid and that caste by qualities and deeds alone is valid. He says that such people are misleading the public for the sake of popularity and politics and are causing Hindu society to disintegrate. Differentiating between caste...

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Swami Answers Devotees' Questions

Posted on: 29/03/2021

[An online spiritual discussion was conducted on March 14, 2021, in which several devotees participated. Some of the questions of devotees answered by Swāmi are given below.]

1. Can You explain a little more about Nandikesari Vratam and Kailāsa Gaurī Nomu?

[Śrī Phani asked: Recently one of the devotees asked about their doubts regarding conducting “Nandikesari Vratam” and “Kailāsa Gaurī Nomu”. According to the procedure of conducting those rituals, there are some conditions when it comes to donating...

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Why Is Every Soul Not God? (Part-5)

For Scholars 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)

For Scholars 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)

For Scholars 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)

For Scholars 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)

For Scholars 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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How can Swami Vivekananda be called a saint when he was a non-vegetarian?

Posted on: 21/03/2021

[Śrī Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! The above question was raised in an internet discussion forum. Please grace us with Your response to the same. At Your Lotus Divine Feet-anil]

Swāmi replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Even Lord Śrī Rama, who was an Incarnation of God, was a non-vegetarian. A saint is lesser than God. Even Śrī Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Guru of Vivekananda ate fish...

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Swami Answers Devotees' Questions

Posted on: 21/03/2021

1. What is the significance of various gods riding their respective animals (vāhanas)?

[A question from an online questioner brought to Swami by Śrī Anil.]

Swāmi replied: The vāhanas or vehicles of various gods are either some animals or birds. They indicate the soul serving God. Thus, the vāhanas carrying the gods on their backs signifies the service of the soul...

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How is knowing Brahman equal to knowing everything?

Posted on: 21/03/2021

A devotee asked through Śrī Anil: What is meant by the statement of the Upaniṣads “By knowing that (Brahman), everything is known?” Does that mean that we become omniscient after self-realisation and we come to know all the sciences, arts, religions, etc?

Swāmi replied: When you know that the entire pot ware is made of clay, you will know that everything is essentially clay. “Everything is known” means that the causal material of everything is known. All the things in the world...

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Swami Answers Devotees' Questions

Posted on: 19/03/2021

[An online spiritual discussion was conducted on February 28, 2021, in which several devotees participated. Some of the questions of devotees answered by Swāmi are given below.]

1. Why is my daughter frequently seeing snakes in her dreams?

[Smt. Naga Mohini asked: Jai Guru Datta Swami! My daughter, Sreenidhi, is 14 years old. She sees snakes in her dreams, at least once in a week. She gets scared when she sees such dreams. I want to know the reason why she is having such dreams.]

Swāmi replied: In her previous birth, she had harmed snakes...

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