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SIMULTANEOUS VALIDITY OF MONISM AND DUALISM

Posted on: 12/10/2013

[Shri Phani Kumar asked, “How can the contradicting philosophies i.e., monism (advaita) of Shankara and the dualism (dvaita) of Ramanuja and Madhva help the same human being in the same time?” Given below is Shri Swami’s response.]

Swami Replied: The same human being should identify the human incarnation as God and simultaneously should identify himself as not the God, being the servant of God. The first view is possible by the concept of Shankara and the second view is possible by the concept of Ramanuja and Madhva...

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THE THREE PHILOSOPHIES CONFINE TO HUMAN INCARNATION ONLY

Posted on: 25/01/2016

Shri Hemantha kumar, Advocate, asked: I am very much interested in the correlation of three philosophies of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva (Trimata Samanvaya). Can you give it to me?

Shri Swami Replied: Shankara told monism (Advaita) between God and soul preaching that both are one and the same. Madhva told Dualism (Dvaita) between God and soul preaching that both are totally different since God is the master and the soul is His servant. Ramanuja told an intermediate state of special monism (Vishishta Advaita) existing between monism and dualism stating that God and soul are inseparable...

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Nervous Energy - The Indestructible Soul?

Posted on: 10/03/2019

Shri Bharath Krishna asked: Namah Shivaya Shri Datta Swami! I am Bharath from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. I tried to know about mahatmas and in every story, I heard, I found that even if they are affected by deadly diseases, their smiles never fade. It is said that all of them were able to do it because they have realized that they are not the body but the Atman. But You have said that Atman (Jeevatma) is also inert because it is controlled by Parabrahman. You also said that Atman is just the flow of energy in the neurons all over our body. At least, I understood it like this. Now I have a doubt in this regard. If a person meets with an accident and loses one of his limbs then all the neurons in that part are lost. By this, I have to conclude that some part of the Atman is also lost...

Swami replied: Atman means the soul, which is the awareness in a human being. The awareness is the result of inert energy working in the nervous system. When a limb is cut from the body in an accident, the nervous energy in that cut limb disappears at once...

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AWARENESS, SOUL AND ADVAITA

Posted on: 03/03/2007

[Shri. G. Lakshman came from Mumbai to have some spiritual discussion (satsanga) with Swami. His first enquiry was about the limitation of the soul in meditation and as well as in deep sleep. Swami compared pure awareness in meditation to a lump of gold, which becomes inert energy in deep sleep and can be compared to a lump of iron. This comparison was given in the poem, which was sent to Dr. Nikhil as a reply to his poem entitled Selfless Love. On this point, Shri. Lakshman raised the concept of the limitation of the soul even in the deep sleep, in which the soul is considered to be in its original state as per Advaita philosophy. According to Advaita the self becomes the unlimited Brahman in deep sleep as said by Shankara (Sushuptyeka siddhah). Following is Swami’s reply.]

Shankara said that Brahman is achieved in deep sleep. The meaning of this statement is that Brahman is unknowable or unimaginable. In deep sleep nothing is known and nothing can be imagined. Such a state indicates that Brahman is unknown and unimaginable. In this state, the soul looses its awareness...

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PHILOSOPHIES OF SHANKARA, RAMANUJA AND MADHVA

Posted on: 05/07/2012

[This is a continuation of the question and answer session on Guru Purnima.]

6. The three philosophies of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva differ from each other as we see the disputes and arguments among their followers. How to bring unity among these three main philosophies?

The aim of the preacher is not only the exposure of truth but also upliftment of the people from their existing levels. If exposure of truth alone is the aim, there is no difference between these three preachers. The final 100th step is the absolute common goal for all the preachers. When Shankara came, people were standing on the ground and Shankara will not show the 100th step seeing which all the people will be discouraged

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THE BASIC 'I' SUPPLIES SUBJECT TO CONCEPT

Posted on: 24/12/2014

Shri Phani asked, “Generally the word Ahankara is used in the sense of pride. You are using the same word in the sense of basic ‘I’. Please comment on this in view of the awaken, dream and deep sleep states”.

Shri Swami Replied: The usage of Ahankara in the sense of pride is certainly observed in the world. The influence of this usage is so much that some ancient Sanskrit scholars also have taken the ahankara in the sense of pride as one of the four internal instruments (Antahkarana). The characteristic works of the these four instruments...

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SHANKARA BHASHYAM

Posted on: 15/06/2006

Chit [awareness] is gold and Jnanam is a wonderful design expressed in that gold. All the value is for that wonderful ornament and not for the lump of gold present in it. Brahman means great. The greatness is of that ornament and not of gold. A lady is attracted to the ornament but a businessman sees only the weight of the gold. Similarly an ignorant person thinks that chit is Brahman where as a realized scholar thinks that a great preacher with exceptional knowledge like Shankara is Brahman. Chit is the awareness present in every living being...

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More Advaita Questions-I

Posted on: 24/08/2006

In a spiritual discussion, the two persons discussing, should have co-operation with each other because both of them are jointly searching for the truth. Thus the person questioning and the person answering are building up the search and their common aim should only be to find the truth. Whoever finds the truth should not feel like a winner and the other person should not feel like a runner-up (loser). Both are equal and responsible for finding the truth. Both the runner-up and winner are rewarded with prizes equally. Unless Arjuna had asked questions...

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'I' IN DEEP SLEEP

Posted on: 20/03/2006

Lakshman asked about the existence of ‘I’ [I-thought] in deep sleep as referred to by Shri. Ramana Maharshi.

The existence of ‘I’ requires the existence of awareness, which is nervous energy. In deep sleep there is no existence of the nervous energy and therefore there is no question of the existence of I in that state. The I requires the awareness of itself. This awareness or nervous energy is only a special form of inert energy. The inert energy produced by the chemicals in the brain and flowing through the nervous system becomes awareness...

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RECONCILIATION OF THE THREE PHILOSOPHIES

Posted on: 04/03/2007

Shankara stated that awareness is Brahman irrespective of its association with intelligence or good and bad qualities. This means that birds and animals without intelligence and even cruel wild beings are introduced into the spiritual field since Brahman or God [by Shankara’s definition] exists in all living beings. Of course there is no use of spiritual knowledge for animals. But Shankara included all living beings in the spiritual field because even among human beings, there are some without intelligence and some demons having cruel qualities. Lord Shiva is worshipped even by demons and is said to be the Lord of animals (Pashupati). Angels with great intelligence and good qualities also worship Lord Shiva. Therefore, Shankara embraced...

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SHANKARA AND RAMANA

Posted on: 05/03/2007

Tomorrow Lakshman is leaving for Mumbai. Therefore I shall serve a food item, which is to his taste on this farewell day. I will serve the food item of his liking, which is prepared in a better way or in a proper way so that its original true taste is known to him and his liking for that food item will be reinforced. The food item that he likes is the philosophy of Shri Ramana Maharishi, who is considered to be the human incarnation of Lord Subrahmanya. Lord Subrahmanya is the son of Lord Shiva i.e. He is the incarnation of Shiva. Shri Ramana Maharishi was a follower of the philosophy of Shankara, who is also an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is the incarnation of Lord Datta (Shiva Datta) who is the source of all the three divine forms (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). When Lord Datta...

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DEMARCATION OF THE THREE PHILOSOPHIES

Posted on: 14/11/2008

[Crystal Clear Demarcation of three philosophies i.e., Advaita, Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita] Shankara preached Advaita Philosophy to four disciples directly and those four disciples must have understood His philosophy to the best because they heard Shankara directly. Those four disciples must have become God (Brahman) and should not have served anybody as slaves because God will not serve anybody since He is served by all. But, the four disciples served Shankara like slaves. When Shankara asked Padmapada (one of the four disciples) to bring the washed and dried saffron clothes from the other bank, Padmapada obeyed the order of Shankara more than a slave and walked across the river without fearing death by drowning...

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More Advaita Questions-II

Posted on: 24/08/2006

Knowledge and God: Spiritual knowledge or philosophy (Vedanta) is generally based on logic (Tarka). God is certainly above logic and thus logic cannot touch Him (Naisha Tarkena—Veda). Nobody can show God by pointing with a finger. The Veda clearly states that God is beyond words, mind, intelligence and logic and the best way of explaining about God is silence. If that is so, there is no necessity of spiritual knowledge, because God cannot be known or imagined. Then what is the use of all these scriptures? Why are there so many discussions and debates? Lord Yama says in the Veda that angels and sages are still discussing about God and have concluded that God is unknowable. Here unknowable means unimaginable even by logic...

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More Advaita Questions-III

Posted on: 24/08/2006

Parabrahman—Beyond Brahman: The meaning of the word Brahman is ‘greatest’. Any greatest item within the boundaries of a category can be called as Brahman. In the Veda food (Annam), life (Prana), mind (Manas), Intelligence (Vijnana), bliss (Ananda) etc. are called as Brahman within the limits of certain specified categories. Awareness, due to the quality of knowledge is also called as Brahman. In the Gita, the greatest scripture (Veda) is called as Brahman. The greatness is estimated by not only the quantity but also by the quality. Inert energy, which is all-pervading and which is the material causing creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe is called as Brahman in the quantitative sense. Awareness or the soul is called as Brahman...

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More Advaita Questions-IV

Posted on: 24/08/2006

Realized Soul: If you can learn from God regarding His state of continuous entertainment from the creation containing both pleasant and tragic scenes, you have become God in this very important aspect. God’s super power and producership of the world etc are not at all required. The spectatorship and entertainment is the only essence of this creation (Ekaki na ramate—Veda). The spectator of the ‘movie’ can enjoy equally with God even though the spectator has not produced the movie [creation]. The producership of the movie has no relevance to the enjoyment. In this aspect, the soul and Brahman become one and the same (Advaita). When the sole purpose of the creation is entertainment...

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More Advaita Questions-V

Posted on: 24/08/2006

Superimposition: You have introduced the concept of superimposition in that the person mistakes the body for the soul (Dehatmabhranti). By analysis, you have removed the illusion of misunderstanding the body for the soul. But you are captured by another most dangerous illusion that is mistaking the soul for God (Brahman), which can be called as ‘Atmabrahmabhranti’. Both these superimpositions are similar. An illusion or superimposition is born, based on one common property. When you see the rope in mild darkness [dim light or twilight], the physical appearance (the length, movement by air etc), which is the common property between the rope and a snake...

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Monism and the Vedantic Unification

Posted on: 15/07/2019

Shri Phani asked: In Your response given to Smt. Rama Sundari, You have explained that monism between God and an ordinary soul is possible only in the highly limited sense of equal entertainment in happiness and misery. You have clearly stated that, in a strict sense, dualism alone exists between God and an ordinary soul. In that case, how can You correlate the philosophies of the three divine preachers?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! In the previous discourse, I gave the example of a highly limited monism between you and friend. This monism is only partial. It is actually negligible and is restricted only to the aspect of equally enjoying the different types of dishes in the meal. Just because you have attained this negligible monism with your friend in this one aspect, you must not forget the dualism that exists between the two of you in the aspects of purchasing the food materials and cooking the food. A movie is playing on the screen...

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REFUTING MISCONCEIVED ADVAITA - I

Posted on: 15/04/2006

[The following is a discourse given in response to questions asked by Nikhil as to why there is no uniformity in the preachings of different human incarnations as regards the ultimate goal. Even if they preach at different levels, can they not all agree on what the ultimate goal is? All science teachers, teaching at different levels, universally accept the highest concept in their science even though they may be teaching a lower concept to their students.]

Every human incarnation knows the whole truth and the whole concept because the same God enters every human body in the case of each human incarnation. The revelation of the complete or partial truth depends on the level of the human beings who receive that knowledge. For a scholar, revelation of the whole truth is sufficient...

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REFUTING MISCONCEIVED ADVAITA - II

Posted on: 16/04/2006

Such entertainment is not full because the knowledge of Himself continues and it is not removed completely. The ignorance is like the dim light of the evening in which light and darkness are mixed. But the soul is in complete ignorance and is fully entertained. The ignorance is very intense so that the soul forgets even the concept of entertainment. A producer with the film is Brahman. A producer seeing the cinema is Ishwara. An actor who is seeing the cinema is a realized soul. But this actor is neither the producer nor the director...

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SATSANGA ON SHRI RAMA NAVAMI - PART-3

Posted on: 14/04/2019

Shri Phani: How do you correlate the vivarta vaada of Shankara with the parinaama vaada of Ramanuja?

Swami: Vivarta means an apparent modification whereas parinaama means an actual modification. Water appearing as a wave is an example of vivarta. Milk getting modified to curd is example of parinaama. In fact, scholars call only parinaama as a modification. In the case of vivarta, the word ‘modification’ cannot actually be used. Standstill water itself appears as a wave when some kinetic energy is imparted to it. There is no actual modification in the water at all! But we can still use the word modification in sense of the different appearance which is the result of the association of the water with kinetic energy. We can define modification in terms of a change of qualities. In the case of water and the wave, the water remains the same, chemically. There is no change in its qualities as in the case of milk turning to curd. But even in the case of milk turning to curd, the change in qualities can be attributed to the association of the unseen bacteria...

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