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Old 07-23-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
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Yoga and the Upanishads

Yoga and the Upanishads

The Upanishads, for those who are not yet familiar with them(reading them is highly recommended to all spiritual seekers), they are the oldest books of philosophy and spirituality on the planet, have been hugely influencial in both Eastern and Western philosophy, and may be regarded as the cradle of philosophy on this planet. From these Upanishad later emerge the philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and even Greek philosophy, more specifically Platonism.

Of course, we know that the philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and Platonism do not agree with each other, so how could they all have emerged from the Upanishads? The answer is the main philosphical ideas and philosophical techniques emerge from the Upanishad, but various interpretations and viewpoints emerge from them, some so distinct that they no longer bear any resemblance to the original. Some of these ideas are the discipline of philosophy itself: The practice of contemplation, introspection, reasoning and argument through dialogue, questions and analysis. The institution of student and teacher and education are clearly Upanishadic. Some of the biggest ideas to emerge which is common to all these philosophical traditions are the ideas of self-control, control of the senses, living a life of virtue and harmony with the laws of nature, the 5 elements, and the pursuit of ultimate truth.

So owe a lot to the Upanishads, practically all of philosophy has emerged from the Upanishad. The ideas that we today associate with spirituality like the 'higher self' are Upanishadic. The Upanshads are the first signs in history of humans beginning to evolve into a rational human being and starting to recognize divinity within themselves. It is for this reason philosophers like Schopenhauer considered them the acme of all wisdom, the highest and most sublime thinking ever done by humans.

The Upanishads were composed by the Vedic people at the end of the Vedic period, this is why they are known as Vedanta, meaning the 'end of the Vedas'. The Upanishads initially start appearing in the end in the traditional Vedic ritual manuals called the Brahmanas and Aranyakas, reinterpreting Vedic rituals and Vedic mantras philosophically, and later rejecting the Vedic rituals done to appease the gods, altogether as inadequate and useless to bring about ones liberation. Some Upanishads even mock ritual, worship and superstition. The Upanishads reduce the number of Vedic gods into just one god Brahman and assert its identity with the Self.

Now while traditionalists will maintain that the Upanishads are mere explications of the Veda, scholars can clearly see that the Upanishads mark an evolution of thought amongst the Vedic people and introduce many new ideas, which though can be traced to the Vedas in rudimentary form, but only appear as well-formulated concepts in the Upanishads. These ideas are the concepts of Atman, Brahman, Maya, Rebirth, the elements that make up the body-mind and Samsara and Yoga.

In this thread we will only look at Yoga. There are some scholars that consider Yoga(Garbe et al) to have developed from non-Vedic influences, attributing Yoga to have developed from the tantra tradition, claimed to be the indigenous tradition of the original Indian or Dravidian people of the Indus Valley civilisation. According to them the Aryans arrived in India, most probably from Europe, bringing their Vedic religion which worshipped natural phenomena in the form of gods(sun, fire, rain, dawn etc) which co-mingled with the indigenious tantra tradition, the results of which was the Upanishads. However, they maintain the Samkhya philosophical school continued to maintain the original views of Tantra, and later Yoga is a direct development of this. They also maintain Buddhism and Jainism were also a part of this indigenious tradition, who they have called the Srmana tradition, a parallel tradition to the Vedic tradition.

It has to be said that these views of non-Vedic origins of Yoga are not supported with any evidence at all, they are simply speculations based on the Aryan invasion theory which recently has become very controversial with scholars in wake of new archeaological evidence and its obvious colonial politics. The only direct evidence we have of any reference to Yoga first appears in the Veda. Therefore, until more evidence is forthcoming to support non-Vedic origins of Yoga, we must accept that Yoga is Vedic and evolved directly from the Upanishads. My aim now is to directly demonstrate where the very first ideas that go onto form Samkhya and Yoga can be found in the 13 principal Upanishads( considered the principal upanishads because they are the oldest) to show clearly the vedic precursors for the later theories found in Samkhya and Yoga.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Self-realization


In Yoga the self, known as the purusha, the knower or the witness, is the witnessing consciousness that witnesses everything that is presented to the perception viz, world, body and mind. This self is indifferent to everything, seeing everything equally; pain and pleasure; profit and loss; the changing of seasons and events on earth. It never gets involved or attached, because none of these things belong to it. This self is the true self that Yoga attempts to realize, defined by Patanjali in the Yogasutras opening sutra

Yoga is the cessation of the activities of the mind, then the witnessing consciousness is revealed in its true form YS 1.2-3

The notion of the self and the identity of self with god(Brahman) is central to all the upanishads. The upanishads are the only scripture in the world that place the self identical to god, or even higher and more important than god. No other scripture in the world presents such a radical doctrine which elevates ones 'self' to lordship.

Translation: The Upanishads, by Max MŁller[1879]

Chandogya Upanishad

1. All this is Brahman (n.) Let a man meditate on that (visible world) as beginning, ending, and breathing 1 in it (the Brahman).

Now man is a creature of will. According to what his will is in this world, so will he be when he has departed this life. Let him therefore have this will and belief:

2. The intelligent, whose body is spirit, whose form is light, whose thoughts are true, whose nature is like ether (omnipresent and invisible), from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and tastes proceed; he who embraces all this, who never speaks, and is never surprised,

3. He is my self within the heart, smaller than a corn of rice, smaller than a corn of barley, smaller than a mustard seed, smaller than a canary seed or the kernel of a canary seed. He also is my self within the heart, greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than heaven, greater than all these worlds.

4. He from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and tastes proceed, who embraces all this, who never speaks and who is never surprised, he, my self within the heart, is that Brahman (n.) When I shall have departed from hence, I shall obtain him (that Self). He who has this faith 2 has no doubt; thus said S‚ndilya 3, yea, thus he said.

Chandogya 3.15

5. Therefore when they say, 'There will be a birth,' and 'there has been a birth' (words used at the Soma-sacrifice, and really meaning, 'He will pour out the Soma-juice,' and 'he has poured out the Soma-juice'), that is his new birth. His death is the Avabhritha ceremony (when the sacrificial Vessels are carried away to be cleansed).

6. Ghora ¬ṅgirasa, after having communicated this (view of the sacrifice) to Krishna, the son of DevăkÓ and he never thirsted again (after other knowledge)--said: 'Let a man, when his end approaches, take refuge with this Triad: "Thou art the imperishable," "Thou art the unchangeable," "Thou art the edge of Pr‚na."' On this subject there are two Rik verses (Rig-veda VIII, 6, 30):--

7.'Then they see (within themselves) the ever-present light of the old seed (of the world, the Sat), the highest, which is lighted in the brilliant (Brahman).'

'Perceiving above the darkness (of ignorance) the higher light (in the sun), as the higher light within the heart, the bright source (of light and life) among the gods, we have reached the highest light, yea, the highest light .'

Chandogya 3.17

7. 'Now that which is that subtile essence (the root of all), in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'

Chandogya 6.9

3. Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a musquito, that they become again and again.

4. 'Now that which is that subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'

Chandogya 6.10

'These rivers, my son, run, the eastern (like the Gang‚) toward the east, the western (like the Sindhu) toward the west. They go from sea to sea (i. e. the clouds lift up the water from the sea to the sky, and send it back as rain to the sea). They become indeed sea. And as those rivers, when they are in the sea, do not know, I am this or that river,

2. 'In the same manner, my son, all these creatures, when they have come back from the True, know not that they have come back from the True. Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a musquito, that they become again and again.

3. 'That which is that subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'

1. 'If a man is ill, his relatives assemble round him and ask: "Dost thou know me? Dost thou know me?" Now as long as his speech is not merged in his mind, his mind in breath, breath in heat (fire), heat in the Highest Being (devat‚), he knows them.

2. 'But when his speech is merged in his mind, his mind in breath, breath in heat (fire), heat in the Highest Being, then he knows them not.

3. 'That which is the subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'

Chandogya 6.18

1. 'The Infinite (bhŻman) is bliss. There is no bliss in anything finite. Infinity only is bliss. This Infinity, however, we must desire to understand.'

'Sir, I desire to understand it.'
. 'Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the Infinite. Where one sees something else, hears something else, understands something else, that is the finite. The Infinite is immortal, the finite is mortal.'

'Sir, in what does the Infinite rest?'

'In its own greatness--or not even in greatness 2.'

2. 'In the world they call cows and horses, elephants and gold, slaves, wives, fields and houses greatness. I do not mean this,' thus he spoke; 'for in that case one being (the possessor) rests in something else, (but the Infinite cannot rest in something different from itself)

1. 'The Infinite indeed is below, above, behind, before, right and left--it is indeed all this.

'Now follows the explanation of the Infinite as
the I: I am below, I am above, I am behind, before, right and left--I am all this.

2. 'Next follows the explanation of the Infinite as the Self: Self is below, above, behind, before, right and left--Self is all this.

'He who sees, perceives, and understands this, loves the Self, delights in the Self, revels in the Self, rejoices in the Self--he becomes a Svar‚g, (an autocrat or self-ruler); he is lord and master in all the worlds.

'But those who think differently from this, live in perishable worlds, and have other beings for their rulers.

Chandogya 7.23-25

1. 'These true desires, however, are hidden by what is false; though the desires be true, they have a covering which is false. Thus, whoever belonging to us has departed this life, him we cannot gain back, so that we should see him with our eyes.

2. 'Those who belong to us, whether living or departed, and whatever else there is which we wish for and do not obtain, all that we find there (if we descend into our heart, where Brahman dwells, in the ether of the heart), There are all our true desires, but hidden by what is false . As people who do not know the country, walk again and again over a gold treasure that has been hidden somewhere in the earth and do not discover it, thus do all these creatures day after day go into the Brahma-world (they are merged in Brahman, while asleep), and yet do not discover it, because they are carried away by untruth (they do not come to themselves, i. e. they do not discover the true Self in Brahman, dwelling in the heart).

3. 'That Self abides in the heart. And this is the etymological explanation. The heart is called hrid-ayam, instead of hridy-ayam, i. e. He who is in the heart. He who knows this, that He is in the heart, goes day by day (when in sushupti, deep sleep) into heaven (svarga), i.e. into the: Brahman of the heart.

4. 'Now that serene being which, after having risen from out this earthly body, and having reached the highest light (self-knowledge), appears in its true form, that is the Self,' thus he spoke (when asked by his pupils). This is the immortal, the fearless, this is Brahman. And of that Brahman the name is the True, Satyam,

Chandogya 8.3

. Prag‚pati said: 'The Self which is free from sin, free from old age, from death and grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing but what it ought to desire, and imagines nothing but what it ought to imagine, that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand. He who has searched out that Self and understands it, obtains all worlds and all desires.'

Chandogya 8.7

He who is called ether (‚k‚sa) is the revealer of all forms and names. That within which these forms and names are contained is the Brahman, the Immortal, the Self.

1. 'Maghavat, this body is mortal and always held by death. It is the abode of that Self which is immortal and without body 1. When in the body (by thinking this body is I and I am this body) the Self is held by pleasure and pain. So long as he is in the body, he cannot get free from pleasure and pain. But when he is free of the body (when he knows himself different from the body), then neither pleasure nor pain touches him.

Chandogya 8.12

I come to the hall of Prag‚pati, to the house; I am the glorious among Brahmans, glorious among princes, glorious among men . I obtained that glory, I am glorious among the glorious. May I never go to the white, toothless, yet devouring, white abode ; may I never go to it.

Chandogya 8.14

Katha Upanishad

'He (the Self) of whom many are not even able to hear, whom many, even when they hear of him, do not comprehend; wonderful is a man, when found, who is able to teach him (the Self); wonderful is he who comprehends him, when taught by an able teacher 1.'

8. 'That (Self), when taught by an inferior man, is not easy to be known, even though often thought upon ; unless it be taught by another, there is no way to it, for it is inconceivably smaller than what is small 3.'

12. 'The wise who, by means of meditation on his Self, recognises the Ancient, who is difficult to be seen, who has entered into the dark, who is hidden in the cave, who dwells in the abyss, as God, he indeed leaves joy and sorrow far behind

13. 'A mortal who has heard this and embraced it, who has separated from it all qualities, and has thus reached the subtle Being, rejoices, because he has obtained what is a cause for rejoicing. The house (of Brahman) is open, I believe, O Nakiketas.'

18. 'The knowing (Self) is not born, it dies not; it sprang from nothing, nothing sprang from it. Ancient is unborn, eternal, everlasting; he is not killed, though the body is killed . 'If the killer thinks that he kills, if the killed thinks that he is killed, they do not understand; for this one does not kill, nor is that one killed.'

Katha 2.2

2. 'May we be able to master that N‚kiketa rite which is a bridge for sacrificers; also that which is the highest, imperishable Brahman for those who wish to cross over to the fearless shore .'

3. 'Know the Self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect (buddhi) the charioteer, and the mind the reins .'

4. 'The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When he (the Highest Self) is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the Enjoyer.'

5. 'He who has no understanding and whose mind (the reins) is never firmly held, his senses (horses) are unmanageable, like vicious horses of a charioteer.'

6. 'But he who has understanding and whose mind is always firmly held, his senses are under control, like good horses of a charioteer.'

7. 'He who has no understanding, who is unmindful and always impure, never reaches that place, but enters into the round of births.'

8. 'But he who has understanding, who is mindful and always pure, reaches indeed that place, from whence he is not born again.'

Katha 2.3

2. 'He (the Self) cannot be reached by speech, by mind, or by the eye. How can it be apprehended except by him who says: "He is?"'

13. 'By the words "He is," is he to be apprehended, and by (admitting) the reality of both (the invisible Brahman and the visible world, as coming from Brahman). When he has been apprehended by the words "He is," then his reality reveals itself'

14. 'When all desires that dwell in his heart cease, then the mortal becomes immortal, and obtains Brahman.'

15. 'When all the ties of the heart are severed here on earth, then the mortal becomes immortal--here ends the teaching

Katha 2.5

Manduka Upanishad

1. This is the truth. As from a blazing fire sparks, being like unto fire 1, fly forth a thousandfold, thus are various beings brought forth from the Imperishable, my friend, and return thither also.

2. That heavenly Person is without body, he is both without and within, not produced, without breath and without mind, pure, higher than the high Imperishable 2.

3. From him (when entering on creation) is born breath, mind, and all organs of sense, ether, air, light, water, and the earth, the support of all.

4. Fire (the sky) is his head, his eyes the sun and the moon, the quarters his ears, his speech the Vedas disclosed, the wind his breath, his heart the universe; from his feet came the earth; he is indeed the inner Self of all things 3.

5. From him comes Agni (fire) 4, the sun being the fuel; from the moon (Soma) comes rain (Parganya); from the earth herbs; and man gives seed unto the woman. Thus many beings are begotten from the Person (purusha).

Manduka 2.1

1. Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating 1.

2. On the same tree man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered by his own impotence (an-Ós‚). But when he sees the other lord (Ós‚) contented and knows his glory, then his grief passes away .

3. When the seer sees the brilliant maker and lord (of the world) as the Person who has his source in Brahman, then he is wise, and shaking off good and evil, he reaches the highest oneness, free from passions;

4. For he is the Breath shining forth in all beings, and he who understands this becomes truly wise, not a talker only. He revels in the Self, he delights in the Self, and having performed his works (truthfulness, penance, meditation, &c.) he rests, firmly established in Brahman, the best of those who know Brahman .

Manduka 3.1

When they have reached him (the Self), the sages become satisfied through knowledge, they are conscious of their Self, their passions have passed away, and they are tranquil. The wise, having reached Him who is omnipresent everywhere, devoted to the Self, enter into him wholly.

6. Having well ascertained the object of the knowledge of the Ved‚nta 1, and having purified their nature by the Yoga 2 of renunciation, all anchorites, enjoying the highest immortality, become free at the time of the great end (death) in the worlds of Brahm‚.

Manduka 3.3

Svetesvatara Upanishad

In that vast Brahma-wheel, in which all things live and rest, the bird flutters about, so long as he thinks that the self (in him) is different from the mover (the god, the lord). When he has been blessed by him, then he gains immortality

There are two, one knowing (Ósvara), the other not-knowing (gÓva), both unborn, one strong, the other weak ; there is she, the unborn, through whom each man receives the recompense of his works ; and there is the infinite Self (appearing) under all forms, but himself inactive. When a man finds out these three, that is Brahma
The one god rules the perishable (the pradh‚na) and the (living) self From meditating on him, from joining him, from becoming one with him there is further cessation of all illusion in the end.

11. When that god is known, all fetters fall off, sufferings are destroyed, and birth and death cease. From meditating on him there arises, on the dissolution of the body, the third state, that of universal lordship 2; but he only who is alone, is satisfied 3.

12. This, which rests eternally within the self, should be known; and beyond this not anything has to be known. By knowing the enjoyer 4, the enjoyed, and the ruler, everything has been declared to be threefold, and this is Brahman.

13. As the form of fire, while it exists in the under-wood 5, is not seen, nor is its seed destroyed, but it has to be seized again and again by means of the stick and the under-wood, so it is in both cases, and the Self has to be seized in the body by means of the pranava (the syllable Om).

14. By making his body the under-wood, and the syllable Om the upper-wood, man, after repeating the drill of meditation, will perceive the bright god, like the spark hidden in the wood .

15. As oil in seeds, as butter in cream, as water in (dry) river-beds , as fire in wood, so is the Self seized within the self, if man looks for him by truthfulness and penance ;

16. (If he looks) for the Self that pervades everything, as butter is contained in milk, and the roots whereof are self-knowledge and penance. That is the Brahman taught by the Upanishad.

Svetesvatara 1

20 . The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is hidden in the heart of the creature. A man who has left all grief behind, sees the majesty, the Lord, the passionless, by the grace of the creator (the Lord).

21 . I know this undecaying, ancient one, the self of all things, being infinite and omnipresent. They declare that in him all birth is stopped, for the Brahma-students proclaim him to be eternal .

Svestasvatra 3

Prashna Upanishad

9. For he it is who sees, hears, smells, tastes, perceives, conceives, acts, he whose essence is knowledge , the person, and he dwells in the highest, indestructible Self,--. He who knows that indestructible being, obtains (what is) the highest and indestructible, he without a shadow, without a body, without colour, bright--,yes, O friend, he who knows it, becomes all-knowing, becomes all.

Prashna 4

Maitrayani Upanishad

That Self which is very small, invisible, incomprehensible, called Purusha, dwells of his own will here in part ; just as a man who is fast asleep awakes of his own will . And this part (of the Self) which is entirely intelligent, reflected in man (as the sun in different vessels of water), knowing the body (kshetragŮa), attested by his conceiving, willing, and believing , is Prag‚pati (lord of creatures), called Visva. By him, the intelligent, is this body made intelligent, and he is the driver thereof.'
This is indeed the Self, who seeming to be filled with desires, and seeming to be overcome by bright or dark fruits of action, wanders about in every body (himself remaining free). Because he is not manifest, because he is infinitely small, because he is invisible, because he cannot be grasped, because he is attached to nothing, therefore he, seeming to be changing, an agent in that which is not (prakriti), is in reality not an agent and unchanging. He is pure, firm, stable, undefiled , unmoved, free from desire, remaining a spectator, resting in himself Having concealed himself in the cloak of the three qualities he appears as the enjoyer of rita, as the enjoyer of rita (of his good works).'

Brihadarankyaya Upanishad

20. As the spider comes out with its thread, or as small sparks come forth from fire, thus do all senses, all worlds, all Devas, all beings come forth from that Self The Upanishad (the true name and doctrine) of that Self is 'the True of the True.' Verily the senses are the true, and he is the true of the true.

Brihad 2.1

'Verily, everything is not dear that you may love everything; but that you may love the Self, therefore everything is dear.

'Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be perceived, to be marked, O MaitreyÓ! When we see, hear, perceive, and know the Self , then all this is known.

For when there is as it were duality, then one sees the other, one smells the other, one hears the other , one salutes the other , one perceives the other , one knows the other; but when the Self only is all this, how should he smell another , how should he see another , how should he hear another, how should he salute another, how should he perceive another , how should he know another? How should he know Him by whom he knows all this?

Brihad 2.4

14. This Self is the honey of all beings, and all beings are the honey of this Self Likewise this bright, immortal person in this Self, and that bright, immortal person, the Self (both are madhu). He indeed is the same as that Self, that Immortal, that Brahman, that All.

And verily this Self is the lord of all beings, the king of all beings. And as all spokes are contained in the axle and in the felly of a wheel, all beings, and all those selfs (of the earth, water, &c.) are contained in that Self.

He (the Lord) became like unto every form, and this is meant to reveal the (true) form of him (the ¬tman). Indra (the Lord) appears multiform through the M‚y‚s (appearances), for his horses (senses) are yoked, hundreds and ten.'

This (¬tman) is the horses, this (¬tman) is the ten, and the thousands, many and endless. This is the Brahman, without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside; this Self is Brahman, omnipresent and omniscient. This is the teaching (of the Upanishads).

Brihad 2.5

1. Then Ushasta K‚kr‚yana asked. 'Y‚gŮavalkya,' he said, 'tell me the Brahman which is visible, not invisible, the Self (‚tman), who is within all.'

Y‚gŮavalkya replied: 'This, thy Self, who is within all.'

'Which Self, O Y‚gŮavalkya, is within all?'

Y‚gŮavalkya replied: 'He who breathes in the up-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. He who breathes in the down-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. He who breathes in the on-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. He who breathes in the out-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. This is thy Self, who is within all.'

2. Ushasta K‚kr‚yana said: 'As one might say, this is a cow, this is a horse, thus has this been explained by thee. Tell me the Brahman which is visible, not invisible, the Self, who is within all.'

Y‚gŮavalkya replied: 'This, thy Self, who is within all.'

'Which Self, O Y‚gŮavalkya, is within all?'

Y‚gŮavalkya replied: 'Thou couldst not see the (true) seer of sight, thou couldst not hear the (true) hearer of hearing, nor perceive the perceiver of perception, nor know the knower of knowledge. This is thy Self, who is within all. Everything also is of evil.' After that Ushasta K‚kr‚yana held his peace.

Brihad 3.4

23. 'He who dwells in the seed, and within the seed, whom the seed does not know, whose body the seed is, and who pulls (rules) the seed within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal; unseen, but seeing; unheard, but hearing; unperceived, but perceiving; unknown, but knowing. There is no other seer but he, there is no other hearer but he, there is no other perceiver but he, there is no other knower but he. This is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal. Everything else is of evil.' After that Udd‚laka ¬runi held his peace.

Brihad 3.7
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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I don't think it would be necessary to cite every single Upanishad per each section I do, but I am citing enough to show that the doctrine they teach is clearly consistent. In the above case the doctrine of self-realization as realizing the infinite, eternal and immortal being who is identical with ones self is clear as day light.

The doctrine of the identity of the self with god(Atman = Brahman) is known as Advaita, non-dualism. This doctrine is considered the actual real teaching of the Upanishads by scholars, as it would become clear to anybody reading them. Hence it is regarded as defining of what Vedanta philosophy teaches or classical Vedanta. The traditional school that teaches Vedanta philosophy is the school founded by Shankara, regarded as the best representative of Vedanta philosophy and who did a lot of work to summarize and systematize the teachings of Vedanta.

The Advaita doctrine did not sit very well with religious devotees worshiping god and goddesses in India because it is too impersonal and abstract and equates one to god, this is why in medieval India theologians in the Vaishnavist tradition(worshipers of Vishnu) attempted to reinterpret Vedanta to make it more personal and reinterpret the relationship of the identity of the self with god as separation between self and god. This comes in various flavours: part of god(Vishvadvaita) or total separation between self and god(dvaita) and various grades in between. The general argument by these theologians is that one can never dare to equate their pathetic self to the great lord. According to them liberation is not through self-realization(As Vedanta teaches) but through winning the grace of god through devotion to him. Like Abrahamic religions, they demand faith in a one true god. It is clear though to see, by referencing what the Upanishads actually teach, that they go completely against the very foundations of Vedanta.

It is a sad state of affairs indeed that Hindus would prefer to uphold some medieval theologians version of Vedanta, than the actual Vedanta of the Veda, which they regard to be Sruti(revelation) They claim to be adherents of the Veda, but it is very clear that they are not. Hopeless people indeed.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:45 PM   #4
Melchizedek
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Brahman, Shiva, Ishvara, The Lord of Hosts, The Lord God.

All synonomous. All names to denote the Lord of this universe. He is a Deva. A lofty Divine personage. His manifesting word is the Pranava. In him the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed. Being unconditioned by time he is the teacher of the anchients. For all intents and purposes he is GOD. But he is not the Father or "ParaBrahman". Although they are one.,.

He is said to have incarnated amongst his creation 7 times. Is this concept of avatarship not found in the Chronicles of the Santana Dharma?
The 7th time, and his most recent, some 2000 years ago he incarnated among the people of Israel, at the proper time and was called by the name of Yeshua, or Jesus.

We "humans" are created in his image. Meaning we are "like" him . . . in some respects. In other respects we are not. Not even close.

For instance we can not Create a galaxay and the creatures which inhabit it.

That is his buisness.

We do not regulate the destinies of all embodied beings according to the Law, our will, and the accumulated results of past action (karma).

Thats his buisness.

You are the lord though - Of your own house. Your own house being your body which you move around this material world in. You are the lord of your body. Not the Lord of this Universe. You are the self.


Some Buddhists refer to the self as "buddhanature", dharmakaya, or the reality.
And they refer to the Lord God, not as Shiva or Ishvara, but as Samantrhabadhra.


We are "like" him. But we are also not "like" him.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Surya Deva View Post
According to them liberation is not through self-realization(As Vedanta teaches) but through winning the grace of god through devotion to him. Like Abrahamic religions, they demand faith in a one true god. It is clear though to see, by referencing what the Upanishads actually teach, that they go completely against the very foundations of Vedanta.

It is a sad state of affairs indeed that Hindus would prefer to uphold some medieval theologians version of Vedanta, than the actual Vedanta of the Veda, which they regard to be Sruti(revelation) They claim to be adherents of the Veda, but it is very clear that they are not. Hopeless people indeed.

one "wins the grace of God" by adherence to the Law. Then if you desrie salvation "the way to salvation is shown". This is spoken of in the Holy Bible. The exact scripture quotes escape me right now, but I think it might be somewhere in psalms.

There are many misinterpretations or mistaken beliefs taken up by the unenlightened of every religion. Even when there are words that create ideas contrary to thier beliefs in the very scripture they hold so dear. They will bandy about the authority of the word of god and gloss over, ignore, or convolute portions of the scripture that contradict their dogmatic beleifs.

All christian evangalists that I've seen on the TV are not enlightened. Many of them are so proud and vain they couldn't see the truth if was right before them. They are enmeshed in falsity. They roam in the tower of Babel. They wander the desert with a paying flock - sewing seeds of darkness.

They think they know - but no - not yet.



The "way to salvation is varied but the end is the same." That end, "salvation" is self realization.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
Surya Deva
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Interesting, I must have accidentally taken you off my ignore list, as I can see your posts again. I reckon i'll give you a second chance, before I put you on ignore again

Quote:
All synonomous. All names to denote the Lord of this universe. He is a Deva. A lofty Divine personage. His manifesting word is the Pranava. In him the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed. Being unconditioned by time he is the teacher of the anchients. For all intents and purposes he is GOD. But he is not the Father or "ParaBrahman". Although they are one.,.
Most of that comes from the Patanjali Yogasutras, on the sutras on Ishvara. As already discussed in other threads, it is debatable whether Yoga philosophy's ishvara is a separate GOD, because the descriptions of Ishvara is non-different from the description of the witness or self to be realized and the final state of the purusha when it is liberated. I have already presented many strong arguments to show that Yoga's Ishvara is identical to the self/witness.

Patanjali's Yogasutras are clearly not about Ishvara, for there are only less than half a dozen sutras in approx 200 sutras that have anything to say on ishvara. The aim is clearly presented in the opening sutras, 'Now Yoga begins, Yoga is the cessation of all activities of the mind, then the witnessing consciousness is revealed in its true form, at other times the witnessing consciousness takes on the form of what it witnesses" Everything presented thereoff in the sutras is a means to this final goal. Ishvara is just one device or technique Patanjali recommends towards achieving this goal, Ishvara is not the main subject itself.

It helps to put everything into context and trace where exactly the philosophy of Yoga comes from, and we can see very clearly the philosophy comes from the Upanishads. In the Upanishads we can clearly see the teachings are about the self, the witnessing consciousness which is identical to god. This is the doctrine of the Veda, the real Santana dharma. We do not worship gods; we worship our own self.

Quote:
He is said to have incarnated amongst his creation 7 times. Is this concept of avatarship not found in the Chronicles of the Santana Dharma?
The 7th time, and his most recent, some 2000 years ago he incarnated among the people of Israel, at the proper time and was called by the name of Yeshua, or Jesus.
No, this concept is found only in the Puranas, which are not the authoratative scriptures of Sanatana dharma, and are considered only of secondary importance. The concept of avatarship does not exist in the Veda. It is impossible for Brahman whose nature is beyond space, time and causality to incarnate in space, time and causality. This would be a direct violation of the Veda and a violation of logic. We might as well say fire can become cold.

In Vedanta Avatarship is understood in a different way to how religious theologians understand it: There are being on this planet who are self-realized(knowers of Brahman) because they attain essential unity with Brahman they become Brahman. Then they can say like Krishna says in the Gita, "I am the lord, the greatest of the greatest, devote yourself to me" In this sense Krishna is understood to be just like us, once an ordinary soul(jiva) who has passed from birth to birth and eventually in one lifetime he has attained self- realization and now has become Brahman.

Religious theologians in the Puranic tradition understand Krishna in a different way. They see Krishna to be the one and only true god who is always perfect and never has to undergo the repeated births and deaths like ordinary souls, rather he incarnates periodically to restore dharma on the planet.

I will repeat again this concept is not found in the Veda, only in the Puranas. It is also self-contradictory, because the narratives about Krishnas life and times describe him to have lived past lives, describe him to be subject to karma, his final death is due to a curse that is put on him by Ghandari. Moreover, the Puranas are not at all in agreement on the avatar list of Krishna's past and future incarnations. Some give a list of 7, some 10, some 100, some include the Buddha, some include the founder of the Sikh religion Guru Nanak. It is clear then this whole idea of 'avatarship' is man-made fiction.

In any case I don't really care what the Puranas say, because they are man-made scriptures and classified in Sanatana dharma as 'Smriti' remembered or recollected. The Veda is 'Shruti' meaning revelation, divinely inspired, revealed by knowers of Brahman. The real followers of Santana Dharma(true Hinduism) follow the Veda, not the Puranas. I consider any person claiming to be an adherent of this religion that places the Puranas above the Veda to be a false-Hindu.

Quote:
We "humans" are created in his image. Meaning we are "like" him . . . in some respects. In other respects we are not. Not even close.

For instance we can not Create a galaxay and the creatures which inhabit it.

That is his buisness.

We do not regulate the destinies of all embodied beings according to the Law, our will, and the accumulated results of past action (karma).

Thats his buisness.

You are the lord though - Of your own house. Your own house being your body which you move around this material world in. You are the lord of your body. Not the Lord of this Universe. You are the self.
This is not the doctrine of the Veda, as I have already made clear. I would sooner listen to what the Risis of the Vedas are saying, than what you are saying. They are self-realized beings and they are directly attesting that I am identical with Brahman. So why should I listen to somebody who is not self-realized tell me otherwise?

Quote:
Some Buddhists refer to the self as "buddhanature", dharmakaya, or the reality.
And they refer to the Lord God, not as Shiva or Ishvara, but as Samantrhabadhra.
No, actually Buddhists do not have not have a concept of self(atman). Buddhism is based on non-self(anatman) and is in direct violation of the Veda. This is why it is considered a non-Vedic tradition.

All non-Vedic traditions in India emerged as reactions in the intellectual culture of the Upanishads. Not everybody took the position of the Upanishads of essential identity of the self and god. Many diverged from that, such as the Buddhists, Jains, Samkhyans, Charvaka and the later Puranic traditions of Vaishnavism.

In fact the only real representative of the Veda today are the Advaitins, and Sankaracharya is the best representative and demonstrator of our religion. We represent the original teachings of the Risis that founded Santana dharma. The rest have gone astray.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:36 AM   #7
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You are the lord though - Of your own house. Your own house being your body which you move around this material world in. You are the lord of your body. Not the Lord of this Universe. You are the self.
Just wanted to add on this point here: Somebody who thinks that they only control their body but not the universe, clearly does not understand how the body works. How every action we do actually involves a very intricate and innumerable processes across the entire universe. Simply put, every action you do must be completely and perfectly aligned with the entire universe, otherwise the universe would collapse. If you can control any point in space, you can control the entire universe. You have control of your body(larger than a point in space), thus you can control the entire universe.

In fact unconsciously you are controlling the entire universe. It is debatable whether your intellect is capable of understanding this point
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