Ask the Advaitin

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by tatvamasi, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello all,

    I recently joined this comparative religion forum. I find it very peculiar that discussions about Hinduism have been limited to asvameda sacrifice and the like.

    So, if you guys have any questions on the issues of how the advaita philosophy views REALITY, GOD etc. feel free to ask me.

    If you have questions on whether Rama's mom had sex with a dead horse, I am not the person to direct your question at.

    I hope that atleast one person posts in this thread.
     
  2. Indogenes

    Indogenes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vanakkam Advaitin,
    Welcome and Pongal vazhtugal! (Happy Pongal greetings).

    Indogenes
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namasker tatvamasi,



    thank you for the post.


    could you explain the basics of Sanatana Dharmas view of Karma?
     
  4. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vanakkam Indogenes!

    Belated thanks for Pongal Vazhthugal!

    I was spending too much time on the christianforums website, but now it seems to be down.
     
  5. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namaste Vajradhara,

    I think you know now from my post in another thread that I am Born_to_Lose_.... from the christianforums website.

    Sanatana Dharma's view of karma:

    Sanatana Dharma understands Karma as Cause and Effect, in the empirical sense.

    Karma is considered as the natural law of the phenomenal universe, gross, subtle, and causal.

    Karma is similar to Newton's third law.

    Of course, all these are IMHO, as there might be other Hindus who have better understood karma than me.

    My view is that karma is real if I consider the universe to be real.

    From the Absolute point of view, karma has no power on the SELF. Until realization occurs karma cannot be avoided.
     
  6. Indogenes

    Indogenes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vanakkam Tatvamasi,
    My apologies - I had addressed you as 'Advaitin' previously. Good to see you back. Lucky for you to have time to spend on forums. I've had to stop visiting several others due to lack of time. I almost stopped visiting this one also, but am making time for it, as it is interesting to read about other religious points of view.
     
  7. Indogenes

    Indogenes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namaste Vajradhara and Tatvamasi,
    The word 'karma' actually means act or deed. In the broader sense, it refers to the act and its result: as said in the Vedas, "If we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil."

    There are 3 types of karma: (a) Sanchita karma, which relates to one's accumulated karmas from past lives which are to be realised in this or future lives; (b) Prarabdha karma which are the results of Sanchita (past) karma which are to be realised in the current life; (c) Kriyamana or Agami karma, which is the karma that is being generated in the current life and will be realised in the future (either in this life or future lives).

    So Sanchita Karma and Kriyamana karma determine the results which one realises in this or future births. One's Prarabdha karma determines the framework of one's current life. Given this definition, one has the power to determine one's Kriyamana karma - how one acts in the current life in the face of Prarabdha karma - which can determine the fruits or the results that one realises for this or future lives.

    True, self-realisation is said to ensure liberation from one's Karma.

    The Vedas describe the cause and effect of actions: "Here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will. As is his will, so is his deed. Whatever deed he does, that he will reap."

    The Bhagavad Gita describes the practice of 'nishkama karma' as a means for liberation from one's karma (Sanchita and Kriyamana karma) - acting without desire for the results of the act.
     
  8. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why apologize? I am an advaitin indeed, maybe not a practicing one but atleast a sympathizer.
     
  9. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    That was a very clear explanation. Thanks Indogenes.
     
  10. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namasker,


    thank you for the replies :)

    within the context of the Sanatana Dharma, can the reaping of ones' karmic seeds be mitigated?
     
  11. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dude, Rama's mom had sex with a dead horse??! That's sick.













    ...sorry. I had to post it in the spirit of the day. :p Happy April! :)
     
  12. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of course.

    It can be done by bhakti yoga, karma yoga and jnana yoga.

    Here yoga does not mean just physical exercises.
     
  13. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Happy April dude.
     
  14. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste Tatvamasi,

    thank you for the post.

    to what extent can the fruit be mitigated?

    understood... in our tradition, the excerise portion of yoga is quite small. our Yogas are in the traditional Indian sense as well :)
     
  15. I am free

    I am free And anything is possible

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Tatvamasi,

    Would be grateful if you could also please elaborate on bhakti yoga, karma yoga and jnana yoga?

    Is it possible to attain liberation with any form of yoga? Or all three need to be practiced?

    Also which of the three is supposed to be superior?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  16. Agnideva

    Agnideva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi I am free,

    This is according to my understanding, maybe Tatvamasi can add on or correct this:

    The four yogas: jnana, bhakti, karma and raja all lead to the same eventual goal of liberation. None is higher or lower. However, some groups stress one yoga over another. In general, jnana is the path for people inclined towards will or reason; bhakti for emotional people; raja yoga for the mystically oriented; and karma yoga for active people. Since there is a lot of overlap between the four yogas and no one can practice only one exclusively. A person practicing bhakti intensely can't go on to do bad deeds or reject knowledge. Ultimately it is said that all yogas lead to the same goal.

    The four yogas also represent four stages of spiritual progression. The first stage is charya where one sees oneself as a servant of God and practices bhakti. The second stage is kriya, where one sees oneself as a child of God and practices karma yoga. The third stage is yoga where a person understands that she/he is a part of the Divine Being through raja yoga. The fourth stage is jnana where one experiences the truth that one’s true self is Brahman. As the progression occurs though, all the preceding yogas continue to be followed.

    Agnideva.

     
  17. I am free

    I am free And anything is possible

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Agniveda,

    Thankyou for your reply. It has made things much clearer. I understand bhakti yoga is through intense devotion to god, karma yoga is through doing your dharma and jnana yoga is through study and meditation. I realise these are simplistic definitions but am I correct in saying so?

    Also what is raja yoga?.


    Do not the yogas then reveal a form of attachment? A Bhakti yogi is (generally speaking) emotional. Is he attached to his emotions? Should he not rise above them? A jnana yogi is inclined towards will or reason....again seems to me that he is attached to knowledge. Any thoughts?
     
  18. Agnideva

    Agnideva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi I am free,



    I’m glad I could help. Yeah, you’re right in your definitions of the yogas. The point of the yogas is to use your personal inclination to pursue the Divine. So, if a person is emotional, he can use bhakti yoga to his advantage. In other words, the bhakti yoga is an outlet for him. But that doesn’t mean that you stay attached to your personal inclination. The expectation is that a person who practices bhakti will naturally become a jnana yogi and a karma yogi. Similarly, a jnana yogi will naturally practice bhakti and karma yoga. Ultimately, all the yogas lead to the same goal – they appear like different paths only in the beginning. The path to realization and liberation involves all dimensions: devotion (bhakti), desireless action (nishkama karma), meditation and contemplation (raja yoga), and knowledge of the self (jnana). This is, of course, one interpretation and there may be others.



    As for raja yoga, it is the stepwise path toward realization that involves rightful living, mental and physical exercises, contemplation and intense mediation. The endpoint of raja yoga is a state known as samadhi which is a direct personal experience of the Divine. There are two types of samadhis: savikalpa and nirvikalpa. The savikalpa samadhi is a realization of the all-pervasive Divine, and the nirvikalpa samadhi is a realization of transcendent absolute Brahman. The physical exercises that we know today as “yoga” are just one step in the raja yoga path.



    Agnideva.


     
  19. I am free

    I am free And anything is possible

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Agniveda,

    Thankyou again for your reply. But again your reply has raised some questions.

    What is nishkama karma? I *know* that it is desireless action, but I do not *understand*...

    How can I perform an action well and put my body and soul into what I am doing if I have no expectations from my actions? For any action should there not be motivation? How will I do anything well if I am not motivated?

    What is the difference between *the all pervasive Divine* and transcendent absolute Brahman*?

    Thanks and regards.
     
  20. Agnideva

    Agnideva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello I am free,


    You ask many good questions, which I may or may not be able to answer fully. But this is my take on it.



    The concept of nishkama karma is described in detail in the Bhagavad-Gita. It means doing something just because it is your dharma, but not because you want something out of it. Traditionally this involves performing actions and saying I offer the fruits of this action to God. So, one has to be motivated to perform action, but not motivated by the results of that action. Obviously this is a hard standard to live by.



    Now, people who speak of liberation say that there is one desire that we are all allowed to have: an intense desire to be liberated. There should definitely be a strong motivation to be liberated and one should work toward that. This desire is allowed because it is expected that once a person reaches the stage of liberation, he or she will become incredibly compassionate, selfless and will cease to have any desire. So, you’re right - motivation is definitely necessary to perform any action, but the motivation should be (a) to follow dharma and (b) eventual liberation.



    In traditional Hinduism, Brahman has three inseparable aspects or perfections. The transcendent absolute Brahman is the impersonal aspect that is beyond all creation and manifestation (also known as Nirguna Brahman). The two other aspects are within creation and are collectively known as Saguna Brahman. The all-pervasive Divine aspect pervades all of creation – here, there, everywhere, and is known as Paramatman or Sacchidananda. The third perfection, the Supreme Personality (Parameshwara or Bhagavan), is also within creation in the highest heavenly realm as the Overlord. There is no difference between the three perfections in reality; we only perceive them as different.



    Agnideva.


     

Share This Page