god-in-heaven-advaita-vedanta

All-Loving God in Heaven – Part 35

November 11, 2020

In previous discussion 34, it was shown as long as we think we are finite individuals — the vastness of the universe will dwarf us. The smallness a person feels about oneself, reflects one's knowledge about the total reality. If my knowledge can't see how “I” and God are not-two, then there is a subtle…

ishvara-god-intelligence-of-universe-advaita-vedanta

Limitless Consciousness and God – Part 34

October 16, 2020

It was pointed out in conversation 33, that knowledge of One without a Second, is not meant to create indifference towards your daily world engagements. It's not supposed to turn one into a hermit. Nor dismiss the world as a mere dream, because the very mind that's dismissing is made out of the same material…

why-help-others-advaita-vedanta

If World is Mithya, Why Help Others? – Part 33

September 23, 2020

We explained in conversation 32 that Advaita Vedanta teachings are not tautology (useless repetitions). What is Advaita Vedanta? It's a means of knowledge, through words, which reveals the absolute nature of reality. This reality is not “over there”. Reality is you, right now. Reality is everything (including words), right now. This recognition is a growing…

brahmaji-vishnu-shiva-advaita-vedanta-brahman

Difference Between Brahmā (Creator) and Brahman

September 5, 2020

A short article in response to a common question: What is the connection with Brahman and Brahmā (also called Brahmaji)? Brahmā is not to be confused with Brahman. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva are 3 aspects of one same reality, Īśvara. Īśvara is all-knowledge and all-power. When Īśvara takes role of manifestor — Īśvara is referred to…

advaita-vedanta-knowing-understanding-intellectual

Is Advaita Vedanta an Intellectual Exercise? – Part 32

September 4, 2020

It was explained in last conversation 31 that word “self”, when used in Vedanta, is unlike word “hot” or “cold”. Concept of “hot” is only true in relation to concept of “cold”. And vice-versa. They are mutually dependent opposites. They are relative to their opposing family member. Whereas self, also referred to as the subject,…

can-self-atma-be-known-advaita-vedanta-non-duality

If Self Is Not an Object, How Can It Be Known Then? – Part 31

August 8, 2020

In last session 30, the student doubted Vedanta's means of knowledge to remove ignorance. Student claimed only experience can provide knowledge of self (Awareness). Basis of doubt was, “You need to taste the sugar to know it's sweetness. Therefore no amount of scriptural words can give taste of Truth. You have to experience the Truth…

knowledge-versus-experience-knowing-brahman-atman-truth-advaita-vedanta-2

Is Supreme Truth an Experience or Knowledge? – Part 30

July 18, 2020

In part 29 we addressed two concerns. Role of the guru. And if absolute Truth, as revealed in Upanishads, is just another point of view. Let's revise them before moving onto the most controversial topic – if Advaita (non-duality) is matter of experience or knowledge. If we don't answer this, fellow seeker will remain unsatisfied…

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Purpose and Role of a Vedanta Teacher – Part 29

July 3, 2020

In part 28, we attempted to correct a deeply ingrained false notion. A silent killer. It's the cause of belittling thought as, “I am a victim. Powerless. Not in control. A puppet of God, government, family, society, etc” Even respected spiritual masters trumpeted a misinterpreted version to disciples. Adding to sense of limitation and postponing…

free-will-advaita-vedanta-freewill-choose-decide-freedom-to-will

Is the Individual Helpless? Where Is Our Freewill? – Part 28

June 25, 2020

In previous part 27, it attempted to show that the world which you experience everyday — consists of an endless combination of forms and color, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings. Isn't that your experience? From the moment we wake up in the morning, what happens? Without effort, if eyes are working, sight of form and…

many-minds-antahkarana-one-consciousness-atman-brahman-satya-mithya-2

One Consciousness, Many Minds – Part 27

June 17, 2020

In previous part 26, a common assumption was corrected, “If one mind is liberated from the false notion of separateness, then all minds should also be liberated“. It was explained that even though all minds (antaḥkaraṇa) are pervaded by the one same Consciousness (ātmā) – each mind also enjoys it's own individuality. Hence it's not…

individual-mind-knowledge-understanding-ignorance-vedanta-advaita-avidya

Individual Mind, Individual Ignorance – Part 26

June 3, 2020

In previous part 25, we highlighted an important word “mithya”. Without fully understanding it, we can never reconcile Oneness and world of multiplicity. World is mithyā, a dependent reality. Meaning whatever aspect of the world you look into, that very aspect depends on another aspect which you are failing to acknowledge. For example, we say…

impure-dirty-rajasic-tamasic-non-sattvic-mind-antahkarana-reflecting-consciousness-self-atman-brahman

Can Maya Affect Consciousness? – Part 25

May 19, 2020

In previous part 24, student thought maya and consciousness are two different entities. Teacher explained there is no question of two-ness. Just like the skill of singing is never away from the conscious person in whom that potential rests. Even when the singing power projects outwards, the person can't be reduced to a single definition…

ardha-nari-ardhanari-Ardhanarishvara-shiva-parvati-deities-male-female

Connection Between Consciousness & Maya – Part 24

May 6, 2020

In previous part 23, we've seen that maya is dependent on the Limitless One (brahman) for it's existence. Māyā is the totality of all names-forms which enjoy their reality in the one undivided Truth. Just how all words on a whiteboard, irrespective of the relative glory they enjoy – all have their being in the…

maya-neti-neti-not-this-not-that-māyā-reality-status-nature

What is Ontological Status of Maya – Part 23

April 27, 2020

In previous part 22, we heard how maya's veiling and projecting power works. They work in tandem. Veiling power (āvaraṇa-śakti) causes partial knowledge. For example, if we see the top, we're under the influence of veiling power. Because we don't see the bottom. Thus any opinion about the object is partial-knowledge because it's limited to…

brahman-isvara-ishvara-with-maya-superimposes-projects-world-jagat

Maya's Veiling and Projecting Power – Part 22

April 22, 2020

In previous part 21, we asked “What causes projection of ignorance?” The cause of ignorance is partial knowledge and the effect is partial ignorance or projection. Suppose I say it's a 6. You say it's a 9. Debate goes on for years. Without the ink – is there a 6 or 9 to debate? It's…

example-maya-illusion-projection-superimposition-base-substratum-advaita-vedanta-2

What Causes Projection or Ignorance? – Part 21

April 11, 2020

In previous part 20, we demonstrated how superimposition produces a genuine response in the world. Despite the value-neutral status of rope – the victim jumps in fear, mistaking it as a snake. Thereafter, whatever conclusions the victim makes, are based on a false projection. Victim will even write a story and post it on social…

man-jumps-fear-snake-rope-analogy-advaita-vedanta-superimposition-maya-projection

Reality of Maya's Superimposition – Part 20

April 6, 2020

In previous part 19, we've established that a superimposition is when name-form is projected onto an unchanging base. For example… Ring has a name called “r-i-n-g”. It also has a form. Thus, the ring is a name-form superimposed on it's base, the gold, from which it's made of. Additionally… Ring is only a superimposition from…

maya-superimposition-projection-over-existence-consciousness-brahman

How Maya Superimposes ‘On' Existence – Part 19

March 29, 2020

In previous part 18, we've seen that even after knowledge of oneness takes place, the world doesn't change it's dualistic nature. Only the person's relationship with the world changes. Knowing it to be a dependent-reality. Just how we know and have proof the world is atoms, this knowledge doesn't cause us to treat each other,…

world-not-disappear-after-advaita-vision-liberation-moksha-enlightenment-4

Does World Disappear Upon Advaita Vision? – Part 18

March 25, 2020

In previous part 17, we saw that even though Limitless One is the cause of the universe, it is not involved in the creation, sustenance nor destruction of the world. No different to how the conscious subject in bed, remains free of whatever happens in the dream world. If one person out of, suppose 8…

brahman-ishvara-projects-world-jagat-through-maya-gunas

Is Creation an Action Done by the Creator? – Part 17

March 11, 2020

In previous part 16, we saw that the all-pervading One (Isvara) is both creator and creation. Just like a spider which spins the web, drawing silk from within itself – in same way, the Limitless One (Isvara) draws from it's own maya power, all the material and intelligence needed for the world (jagat) to take…

creator-creation-analogy-advaita-vedanta-cause-effect-mithya

Creator and His Creation – Part 16

February 23, 2020

In previous part 15, we saw how different objects in the universe resolve into the One cause. Just how all furniture resolves into One wood. Meaning wood is the cause of entire furniture world. In same way, owning to Brahman's power called māyā, it creates world of multiplicity out of it's potential of intelligent and…

cause-effect-many-comes-from-one-advaita-vedanta-vedas-non-duality

All is One? But I See Many. Cause and Effect – Part 15

February 15, 2020

In previous part 14, student attempted to reconcile statement “Ishvara is knowledge” and ignorance. How can the two co-exist! This was clarified by saying that “knowledge” refers to that which illumines knowledge of time, space and ignorance. For example we say, “I don't know who I am”. That conclusion is formed in the mind of…

origin-of-ignorance-avidya-advaita-vedanta-upanishads

What is Origin or Cause of Ignorance (Avidya)? – Part 14

January 29, 2020

Previous part 13, discerned difference between Consciousness (Brahman), and world of matter (jagat) which either has status of sentience (creatures) or insentience (rock). Follow conversation attempts to resolve where is place for ignorance, if creator (Ishvara) is all-knowledge… Student curiously inquires, “If the One (Ishvara) is intelligence and knowledge, where is the place for ignorance, which…

all-knowledge-ishvara-maya-brahman-consciousness

Difference Between Consciousness & Sentiency – Part 13

January 24, 2020

In previous part 12, we resolved contradiction how can relative-words reveal absolute-reality, when words themselves are limited. Now nature of question turns to resolving differences despite all being One… Student asks, “Since the WHOLE is Consciousness, why do we have differences such as sentient and insentient? The world should have no inanimate objects in this…

vedic-vedas-advaita-vedanta-contradiction-debate

How Can Mithya Texts Reveal Satyam Reality? – Part 12

January 7, 2020

From previous part 11, the student continued raising doubts about Vedas authority. For example, how are Veda texts superior to other sacred texts? Why should I believe Vedanta has the ultimate answers? Isn't it just another point of view? Now, a more sophisticated objection is raised… Student counters last reply with, “Your sacred texts and…

vedas-vedanta-compared-versus-other-philosophies-religions

How is Vedanta Superior to Other Philosophical Texts? – Part 11

December 29, 2019

In previous part 10, student began debating the teacher with some important questions whether we can ever capture the truth, considering it's beyond our mind/senses. Now student debates how are Vedas (specifically Upanishads) any better then countless others philosophical and spiritual texts. Student at some point claims Advaita Vedanta is just another point of view…

consciousness-awareness-brahman-beyond-mind-senses-advaita-vedanta

If Truth is Beyond Mind – How to Discover It? – Part 10

December 18, 2019

Previous part 9 answered an important doubt, “What makes our Vedic scriptures so relevant and why should I trust them? Why not find out the truth for myself? Why depend on ancient books; we live in the modern world!” Student realizes that scriptures are means of knowledge to discovering the truth which is beyond our…

advaita-vedanta-six-means-of-knowledge-pramana

Sacred Texts are Valid Means of Knowledge – Part 9

October 31, 2019

Previous part 8 answered “just how valid are ancient sacred texts in modern society” and how they can free us permanently. However some minds are intoxicated by intellectual superiority. Thus the student objects with “I don't need the holy-sacred-ancient texts. I can discern real and unreal, truth and falsehood on my own.” Students objection is,…

what-is-limitlessness-ananda-vedanta-advaita

What is Limitlessness (ananda)? How am I THAT?

October 23, 2019

Neema Majmudar, a brilliant Vedanta exponent, elucidates how one's nature is Limitless right now. For context how how this applies to you, below gives further elucidation how one can never negate self; the conscious-subject. “I” can't go out of existence. Inquiry begins: If we look into names/forms (nāma-rūpa) including time and space, we can keep…

vedas-advaita-vedanta-scriptures-in-modern-society-2

How Valid are Vedas Scriptures In Modern World? – Part 8

October 4, 2019

Last part 7 introduced to purpose of the Vedic scriptures answering who is the “I” which everyone begins their conversations with. Now doubt arises in student's who begins to question the authenticity of the scriptures. In Vedanta context, the scriptures comprise of: Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutra, Upanishads. Students concern, “The books describe in great detail esoteric…

purpose of scriptures

What is Need for Sacred Holy Texts or the Scriptures? – Part 7

September 12, 2019

In previous part 6 conversation, teacher explained one of most integral teachings leading to vision of Oneness; how individual (microcosmic; vyaṣṭi) and TOTAL (macrocosmic; samaṣṭi) are are of the one SAME substance. Now student continues questioning on bases of previous conversation, “If we are equal to the Limitless One, why do we need the sacred…

individual-self-and-ishvara-god-equation-brahman-sameness-vyasti-samasti

Equation Which Connects Individual ‘I' & Universal Consciousness (Brahman) – Part 6

August 15, 2019

In previous part 5 conversation, the teacher gave way for student to ask one of most important questions which bridges the apparent gap between self and God. Student asked, “I cannot see a connection between I, the knower, and Universal Consciousness (Īśvara/God). What is the relation?” The ever-available knower, never not knowing, is what we…

subject-object-knower-known-advaita-vedanta-satya-mithya

The Knower, a Self-Conscious Being – Part 5

July 19, 2019

Students were introduced orders of reality in Part 4 – which has now sparked doubts. So one of students asks… “Do you mean to say we have no independent being? That neither my mind nor body has any real feeling? Am I just an illusion, imagining a real existence?” You are neither an illusion, nor…

sri-ramakrishna-advaita-vedanta-vivekananda

Four Classes of People (Entangled & Liberated) – by Sri Ramakrishna

July 19, 2019

Purpose of this evergreen article by Sri Ramakrishna is to help us discover how to get out of our own created samsara. People may be divided into four classes: (1) Bound by the entanglements of the world, (2) seekers after liberation, (3) the liberated, and (4) the ever-free. Sri Ramakrishna (guru of Swami Vivekananda) will…

rope-snake-advaita-vedanta-analogy-metaphor-analogy-example-meaning

Rope-Snake Analogy Using Logic: How Falsehood Becomes Truth

June 12, 2019

Suppose you're on a deserving holiday in a tropical forest. Exhausted from today's exploration — you gladly take refuge back to your private wooden hut. Upon returning, the sun has almost set. So it's neither completely dark, nor is there adequate light in the hut. Opening the dense mosquito net surrounding the bed, there lies…

pratibhasika-vyavaharika-paramarthika-advaita-vedanta-orders-of-reality

Reconciling Orders of Reality and Oneness – Part 4

June 7, 2019

In last sentence of Part 3, teacher briefly introduced two new terms ” subjective” and “empirical” orders of reality. This begins to explain how we can have “orders of reality” when all is actually One… Student asks “When you talk of orders of reality? Where is the question of One?” Yes, the term orders may…

subjectivity objectivity in advaita vedanta

What is Subjective Perception? – Part 3

May 10, 2019

In last sentence of Part 2, the teacher concluded with an important concept in Vedanta “orders of reality“. But didn't explain… Now the inquiring Vedantic student asks, “What do you mean by order of reality? Can reality have orders and differences?” We have a personal subjective reality. When we perceive something… we superimpose values, emotions,…

Cosmic Joke Vedanta

Brahman is Beyond all Means of Knowledge

April 20, 2019

Brahman (Non-Negatable Truth, Consciousness) is beyond all means of knowledge. No scientific instrument can detect it. Because every instrument IS made out of Īśvara (cause of Universe). And Truth of Īśvara is Brahman. A metaphor to explain above statement: TRUTH of the entire dream world (Īśvara) is the Dreamer (Brahman) in bed. Meaning, without the…

clay-pot-advaita-vedanta-chandogya-upanishad-satya-mithya

What is Real and Not-Real? – Part 2

April 20, 2019

Part 1 needs to be understood for this part to make sense. Student posed a question “What is real and what is not real? How do you decide their status?” In the world, entropy is the rule. Change is the constant. People, emotions, objects, and living things… with or without our knowing… every moment they change. How…

sat-cit-ananda-consciouness-limitlessness-existence

Limitless Existence Consciousness (satcitananda) – Part 1

April 12, 2019

By seeming coincidence, three sincere truth seekers found themselves before the presence of a well known wise person (jñāni) of the land. Soon enough there was an argument amidst the seekers. A confronting case of conflicting opinions arose. Each decided to make their cause before the jñāni (knower of Truth). The first said, “The One above…

Karma Yoga Selfless Service

Karma Yoga Prayer (The Essence of Karma Yoga Spirit In Action)

April 5, 2019

Still unsure what is Karma Yoga and how is it applied? This prayer will help… “  With gratitude for all I have been given, I offer my every action to the field of creation. My actions are gifts from me to Īśvara, the creator. Once my actions are offered to the field, I surrender control,…

Dharma VS. Samsara

If You Enjoy What You Do, Life Is Very Simple

March 28, 2019

Living does not simply mean dragging oneself around from day to day – from bed to work, back home and to bed again. The whole process repeats itself until the weekend comes. Then one drags oneself to some recreation in the hope of forgetting oneself – which is why recreation becomes so important. This is…

Spiritual practices sadhanas from bhagavad gita

12 Spiritual Practices (Sadhanas) from Bhagavad Gita

March 2, 2019

Lord Krisna (Śrī Kṛṣṇa) in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4, mentions 12 types of powerful spiritual sadhana's (spiritual practices) one can choose to purify one's mind. Their end result (karma-phala) can be compared to washing a dirty car (mind) with a hose (sādhana). Yes, the car will attract new dirt sooner or later the more it…

creation-brahman

Is there ‘Creation’?

February 21, 2019

Nothing can ever be created. Matter cannot be created. To say “something is created” is to imply it’s not already within Creation. Which sets up an unsolvable equation; duality (dvaita). For example, if matter was created, that means THIS Creation (which you and I find ourselves in), would have to borrow matter from some other…

what-is-samsara-according-to-vedanta

That I attempt to be different, is samsara.

January 30, 2019

“That I attempt to be different, is saṃsāra”. To see how this is true, we first ask… What is saṃsāra? It is mistakenly seeing one's own thoughts/emotions (prātibhāsika; Subjective reality), including the Objective reality (vyāvahārika)… to be the final Reality (pāramārthika; unchanging pure Consciousness, Brahman). Why does one confuse these 3 realities (causing saṃsāra)? Because…

samsara wheel of life - advaita vedanta

What is samsara?

January 19, 2019

Samsara is limitation one experiences and caused by not knowing difference between REAL (Self; ātman) and UNREAL (Not-Self; anātman). A samsari seeks freedom in the world through acquisition (beauty, spiritual experiences, knowledge, wealth, fame, success) – and enjoyment of those acquired objects. Thus “acquire + enjoy the acquired” summarizes life of every individual born in…

subjectivity objectivity in advaita vedanta

Objectivity vs Subjectivity in Light of Vedanta

January 15, 2019

Purpose of this article is to bring light to an uninvestigated pillar in the spiritual world (irrespective of Religion, philosophy). It's largely fault for one's spiritual stagnation, inconsistent relationships with the other (Objects, people, etc) – and disharmony with one's own existence. Either way, as long as this issue remains uncorrected – Freedom/Liberation (mokṣa) is impossible.…

subtle body, mind, intellect, antakarana

Inquiry Into Various Vedanta Definitions

January 5, 2019

THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE Something cannot come from nothing. This material universe evolved out of consciousness. Consciousness is both the substance of which the creation is made and the intelligence that shapes its names and forms. Just as the spider is both the substance of its web and the intelligence that shapes it. Consciousness operates the…

3-gunas-sattva-rajas-tamas

Brief Introduction to 3 Gunas

December 29, 2018

The creation comes into existence with the emergence of the 3 guṇas: Sattva, Tamas and Rajas. Sattva is intelligence and knowledge. Ttamas is a heavy dense energy. It's matter, the substance of the creation. Rajas is the dynamic active energy. It creates/sustains/destroys objects using Sattva (All knowledge) combined with Tamas (matter/material). In fact, they all…

namaste-namah-te-meaning-significance

What is Significance of ‘Namaste'

December 15, 2018

In India, many greet each other with the word “Namaste” – this is joined usually by a slight bow and palms touching in front, sort of like a prayer gesture. Namaste means literally “I bow to you”. But the way it's used, or the meaning behind it is “I bow to God (Īśvara) in you”…