Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Three Verses from Advaita Vedanta

Bhagwad Gita 2.69

या निशा सर्व भूतानाम् तस्याम् जागर्ति संयमी
यस्यां जागर्ति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः

What is night to all beings is the time of awakening for the seeker
When all are active and awake, that apparent day is like the night for the silent.

Bhagwad Gita 3.27

प्रकरते क्रियामाणानी गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
अंहकार विमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते

All processes are due to the qualities of nature
An egoist deludes himself in thinking "I am am the doer."

...

Ishavasyam Upanishad, sholka one:

इशावास्यम इदं सर्वं यतकिन्च जगत्याम जगत
तेंत्यक्तेनभुन्जिथा माँ गृधः कस्यस्विद धनं

All that is, in this world or another, is enveloped by the Lord
Knowing this, be content, and do not covet anybody's wealth.

27 comments:

Di said...

Harman....what do you make of the last verse (Ishavasyam idam sarvam....) would be interesting to know your thoughts....more analysis, maybe :)

Harmanjit Singh said...

Space is the foundation of all existence. In at least one philosophy (Jeevan Vidya), the pervasive space is considered the Ishvara, the Lord. According to Jeevan Vidya, Nature as Matter is enveloped, drenched, and mobile in space.

Even otherwise, disregarding the word "Lord", the existence of matter is unconditional, only the forms change. As such, coveting a form of matter or a form of interaction is the one of the bases of suffering.

The entire existence is enveloped by space. In its infinite variety, with billions and trillions of galaxies, how petty it is to covet a particular object or a sum of money in the universe?

The stillness of existence is indifferent to your coveting, but you suffer in your greed and desires, and make others (who are vulnerable and fearful) suffer as well.

Anonymous said...

May I be a guard for those who are protectorless,
A guide for those who journey on the road;
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall,
And a lamp for those who long for light;
For those who need a resting place, a bed,
For all who need a servant, may I be a slave.

May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of plenty,
A word of power, and the supreme remedy.
May I be the trees of miracles,
And for every being, the abundant cow.

Like the great earth and the other elements,
Enduring as the sky itself endures,
For the boundless multitude of living beings,
May I be the ground and vessel of their life.

Thus, for every single thing that lives,
In number like the boundless reaches of the sky,
May I be their sustenance and nourishment
Until they pass beyond the bounds of suffering

Di said...

Thanks Harman! This is one of my absolute favourite mantra. I believe this mantra truely shows the "hindu" or the sanatan dharma philosophy and the crux of it. In other religions, god is "different" from man...a separate entity. This verse shows, the formless and the form, are one and the same; the creator/maker made this universe (and did not disappear) but resides in it. Another verse from Bhagvad Gita, says I (the lord) live in the heart of the people. I also found this, and I quote "The first half of this principal mantra of the Ishavasya Upanishad is metaphysics - the philosophy thereof. The second half is the practical implementation of it." I like what you wrote (par kafi high philosphy hai...mere upar say gaya...I guess I am the unintellectual type....LOL).

Anonymous said...

How do you gel this with AF and your avowed rejection of spirituality, past religions and their proponents, enlightenment true or imagined, partial or complete?

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous,

these verses are interesting in their own right as "exhibits", and i do not profess any averment to them.

for a long time, when i was a spiritualist, these verses used to be profound to me.

the third verse especially is a statement of immanence (as opposed to transcendence) of God.

Anonymous said...

Do you reject philosophy inherent in aforesaid "exhibits" ? Are you missing what you rejected?

Harmanjit Singh said...

It is less a rejection than an understanding of their limitation.

Actualism is both beyond spirituality as a free state (the extirpation of BOTH ego and soul), and is a rejection of its core propositions.

Anonymous said...

Are the claims of AF amenable to theoretical and/or experimental proof?

Harmanjit Singh said...

Are the claims of AF amenable to theoretical and/or experimental proof?

More than any spiritual or psychiatric self-help system that I know of. It is not peer-reviewed in a scientific journal, but that is because of a marked lack of peers or even those interested in a review in the first place. :-)

It is consistent with the findings of neurobiology, sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and research on altered states of consciousness (as far as I have been able to ascertain).

There are some aspects of actualism which are subjective, for example, the experiencing of perfection. That can only be validated by one's own experience, and it is important not to take anybody's word for it.

Anonymous said...

Is it a universal system in the sense of a)guaranteed results in all cases where the subject conscietiously follows prescribed procedures(as one would expect of a scientific law) and b) universal accessibility to all so as to be a solution to urgent issues of society as a whole?
OR
Is it an elitist system applicable and accessible to one in say a million?

Anonymous said...

Could the poem quoted by anonymous 10.20 be said to resonate with the goals of AF in general and R in a specific sense?

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous,

The practice of actualism requires an incremental rejection of one's socialization, belief-systems, emotional investments, and finally, one's humanity.

Though it is the only real solution, it is not an easy or very accessible one. It requires a lot of work, a lot of investigation, a lot of understanding of the latest scientific advances, and a finely tuned sense of rigor and rationality.

An important development of humanity in future will be to present the freedom from the human condition (the irreversible freedom all the suffering and sorrow that have continued for so many thousand years, and with a clear exposition of why spirituality is a failed solution) in an accessible and comprehensible way. This decade is just the start.

Right now, actualism is for pioneers. It doesn't appeal to a lot of people, and still fewer have the necessary integrity and fortitude to carry through.

It is easy for those who understand its foundations and who have little difficulty in rejecting the traditional solutions, it is difficult for the intellectually underdeveloped, and next to impossible for someone enchanted with certain beliefs or passions.

So, in short: It depends.

MJ said...

Can you elaborate on the first verse, about night and day. I always found that to be confusing.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous:

The verse is not a difficult one. It means that life has a different significance to a seeker than to an ordinary person. What is "aliveness" to a normal human being is nothing but the passions and the "self" in action. And what is "death" and the alleged barrenness of feelings to a normal human being (the death of "me") is the experience of the highest significance to the seeker.

The world of a happy man is altogether different from that of an unhappy one. (Wittgenstein) (though said in a different context)

Anonymous said...

Dear Host
You state:
a)By its abstruseness the progress of its widespread, shall we say, propogation is likely to be incrementally slow
b)It's the only way
The doomsday clock stands at five minutes to midnight since 2007.

Alarmed? If you have the will to action and sense of responsibility that one would imagine the trustee of a vital truth to have, it hardly makes sense to display "exhibits" which in your own words have no more than ornamental significance, for the consumption of the hapless ! So either your convictions are skin deep, or you lack the courage which should be it's corrollary. But then you guys are not prophets, you are doing your own thing, and, as the saying goes,apres mois le deluge.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous

Change yourself before asking others what they should do to change others.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bloghost,

I'm doing exactly what I'm suggesting you ought to be doing if you really believe in what you say you believe in.

In other words I'm trying my best to engage you in a constructive philosophical dialogue on an issue of vital concern.

Rather than getting offended I think it would perhaps be more natural to appreciate the pain I am taking with no individual motive.

Therefore you cannot accuse me of not practising what I preach. Proselytesation and vigorous propogation has been the soul of every dynamic system, rather than making it like a private limited company or an intellectual's club. The higher a teaching, the lower the person it can save. The more sophisticated a machine, the easier it is to operate. If you had something authentic going you would welcome the chance to engage and confront what someone percieves as inconsistencies, since either way it strengthens one's own base. A scripture says that one who points out our errors acts like a parent whereas one who ignores the same acts as an enemy. I hope you will not misunderstand my motive, which is not to denigrate you but to raise legitimate doubts about what you are professing. There is no hope if we reject constructive dialogue.

With sincere regards.

Harmanjit Singh said...

I'm doing exactly what I'm suggesting you ought to be doing if you really believe in what you say you believe in.

As I have not professed any beliefs, you are addressing the wrong person.

In other words I'm trying my best to engage you in a constructive philosophical dialogue on an issue of vital concern.

Ok.

Rather than getting offended I think it would perhaps be more natural to appreciate the pain I am taking with no individual motive.

Rest assured that no offense has been taken. Rather I'm slightly amused at your efforts to instill more responsibility for others in me.

Therefore you cannot accuse me of not practising what I preach.

I have no intent of accusing you at all. I am merely suggesting that feeling responsible for others is perhaps not a sensible approach.

Proselytesation and vigorous propogation has been the soul of every dynamic system, rather than making it like a private limited company or an intellectual's club.

Ok. If you say so.

The higher a teaching, the lower the person it can save.

I disagree. Try teaching Wittgenstein or Chomsky's ideas to an illiterate person.

The more sophisticated a machine, the easier it is to operate.

I disagree. Try having an unskilled man operate a 747 or a supercomputer.

If you had something authentic going you would welcome the chance to engage and confront what someone percieves as inconsistencies, since either way it strengthens one's own base.

And I'm all ears for what you consider an inconsistency in what I have presented. Care to be specific?

A scripture says that one who points out our errors acts like a parent whereas one who ignores the same acts as an enemy.

And I disagree with the scripture. One who ignores the same perhaps knows that pointing out others' errors and moreover trying to correct them in an unsolicited way is a part of human condition anyway.

I hope you will not misunderstand my motive, which is not to denigrate you but to raise legitimate doubts about what you are professing. There is no hope if we reject constructive dialogue.

Since an email list is more suited to a prolonged discussion, care to join the Yahoo AF group?

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom

Di said...

Interesting discussion going here. I hope we all learn to respect other people's belief system. Swami Vivekananda said somewhere that there has to be ACCEPTANCE not TOLERANCE....meaning we have to accept other people's ideas/beliefs. Having said that, I am not sure why the youngsters like to denounce existing systems that have evolved over several thousands of years and invest in some new fangled so called philosophy? Or call themselves atheist instead of spiritual beings? What is the big shame in being religious....ahh....another topic...I guess

Anonymous said...

1.As I have not professed any beliefs, you are addressing the wrong person.
You believe in/certain about the efficacy of AF.

2.....Rather I'm slightly amused at your efforts to instill more responsibility for others in me.....

Not you personally. I was only pointing out the lack of social concern in your group. This should be a cause for introspection,not amusement, which is a somewhat flippant approach.

3....feeling responsible for others is perhaps not a sensible approach...

...parents for children, doctors for patients, teachers for students..

4.I disagree. Try teaching Wittgenstein or Chomsky's ideas to an illiterate person.


These thinkers do not address fundamental problems of human existence and suffering, which are common to literate or illiterate alike. Christianity for example had something to offer everybody for many centuries. I hope AF's efficacy is not restricted to MIT professors, if that is your idea of "height".

5."...trying to correct them in an unsolicited way is a part of human condition anyway."

A baby does not solicit her mother. We are human anyway. To be human should be a matter of the highest pride, not shame and embarrassment.

5...care to join the Yahoo AF group?...

No, thank you.

Anonymous said...

And I'm all ears for what you consider an inconsistency in what I have presented. Care to be specific?

Sorry, I skipped that. I could point out a million and a half, but as a starter I have been belabouring that something that works for one in a million, which itself is highly dubious since you were honest to admit you are not actually free yet....

Harmanjit Singh said...

One in a million

Actual Freedom is the end goal, the incremental achievements are not to be sneezed at. And no other system (as far as I know) delivers even those incremental achievements so quickly and so genuinely.

Try actualism, you might be surprised. :-)

Harmanjit Singh said...

1.As I have not professed any beliefs, you are addressing the wrong person.

You believe in/certain about the efficacy of AF.

No Sir, I do not have to believe, since I know it by personal experience.

2.....Rather I'm slightly amused at your efforts to instill more responsibility for others in me.....

Not you personally. I was only pointing out the lack of social concern in your group. This should be a cause for introspection,not amusement, which is a somewhat flippant approach.

And this "flippancy" might be something that deserves closer scrutiny, because it is part of felicity.

3....feeling responsible for others is perhaps not a sensible approach...

...parents for children, doctors for patients, teachers for students..

And am I the parent/doctor/teacher or an otherwise designated savior of other adult human beings?

4.I disagree. Try teaching Wittgenstein or Chomsky's ideas to an illiterate person.

These thinkers do not address fundamental problems of human existence and suffering, which are common to literate or illiterate alike.

And I posit that the fundamental problems are not easy to grasp for the vast majority of human beings in their present state.

Christianity for example had something to offer everybody for many centuries.

And that something has failed abysmally.

I hope AF's efficacy is not restricted to MIT professors, if that is your idea of "height".

It is not restricted, but it requires brains and hard work. I am all for enabling humanity at large to grow intellectually so that they can make sense of their beliefs and can investigate their passions, but till then, there is no short-cut, no mantra.

5."...trying to correct them in an unsolicited way is a part of human condition anyway."

A baby does not solicit her mother. We are human anyway. To be human should be a matter of the highest pride, not shame and embarrassment.

You are justified in saying this till you observe the core of the human condition: one's passionate self.

5...care to join the Yahoo AF group?...

No, thank you.

And you are accusing me for holding back from benefiting humanity at large? :-)

Anonymous said...

mitershoDear Host
Christianity delivered the goods to millions for centuries,serving as a light house of hope and spiritual vigour. In a language understood by the ordinary people, it spoke straight to their hearts.It cannot be so easily sneezed way. Christ was not Wittgenstein--please correct the spelling.

Wishing you earliest possible attainment of your desire to escape the human condition and attain absolute freedom.

As Hamlet remarks, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Regards.

srid said...

There are some aspects of actualism which are subjective, for example, the experiencing of perfection. That can only be validated by one's own experience, and it is important not to take anybody's word for it.

I wish to post a relevant quote from Richard's Journal:

[Richard] Once the veil behind which ‘humanity’ skulks has been lifted – even momentarily – one has seen for oneself that a place beyond ‘human’ belief and imaginative conceptualisation actually exists. Because one has visited what was once seen as ‘there’ - and walked around in it - it would be thought that one could nevermore deny it. But such denial is endemic among humans. The reason for this odd denial is fairly obvious: once the person has reverted to ‘normal’ – to being ‘human’ again – perfection here-on-earth becomes merely a concept and a belief ... and it is a notion one finds impossible to give credence to. The grip of reality is so strong that perfection simply does not exist.

The grip of the things in heaven and earth, along with imaginations of 'AF philosophy', are so strong that perfection simply does not exist? :-)

Anonymous said...

Just my 1.5 cents. :)

One does not have to have anything beyond "normal" IQ to understand and practice sucessfully actualism. Richard is openly "just a simple boy from the farm" himself with a IQ just above normal.

In fact being to "intellectual" actually can be a hinderance. Yes once needs to be able to understand some basic things about beliefs and socialization....but an IQ of 100 is *more* than enough for that(an IQ of 110-115 would probably make it easier). The problem is one must be willing to question *everything*.... so its the quality of curiosity and openmindedness that are key(which qualities are more likely in an educated person....).