Advaita Vedanta - whats your thoughts

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by philuk, May 7, 2007.

  1. philuk

    philuk Member

    I've always been a fan, but I read this post in another forum and it got me thinking. What are your thoughts?

  2. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    I think sticking to something because "sounds" good is actually not a very good idea.
    It should be something one should experience to be true. He is right to leave advaita if he does not think he is getting any spiritual insight.

    See, whether it is advaita, or Dvaita or Vishista Advaita, they are simply modes of viewing God, God is not limited to them, but sometimes God discloses himself to us through them. anyway, thats my two cents.
  3. ChiefCowpie

    ChiefCowpie hugs and bugs

    advaita is understood by poets
  4. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    Whoever wrote this claiming to be a student of advaita was either a very poor student who sat in the back rows doodling in the corners of his upanishad book, or he never met a true teacher. What screams out at me is that he has understood nothing of advaita's essence, but only common misunderstandings of it.
  5. niranjan

    niranjan Member

    used to be a student of Advaita Vedanta. Below are some of the reasons I no longer believe in such an approach:

    <<<<<<1. The creative aspect of being is a part of the prime source just as consciousness, existence and bliss are. So why put it down like the nondual approach sometimes does?>>>>>>

    And where is it that states it is not so !The creative aspect is indeed a part of the prime source. As Ramakrishna and the scriptures states ,Shakti ( the creative aspect) and Shiva ( pure consciousness) is one and the same.

    This guy doesn't know of vedanta and hinduism as he claims to know. He's just a layman.

    <<<<<<2. It is hard for me to believe that many beings go through the suffering they go through, just so their drop of water can merge back into a vast ocean of pure consciousness.>>>>>

    And whats so hard to believe in that . Suffering and pain , indeed teaches a lot as much as enjoyment , may be even more.

    <<<<<3. My feeling is that the creation of the universe was intentional, not a cosmic maya like mistake. >>>>>>

    And I have never read anywhere that the creation of the universe by the Lord was a mistake.

    <<<<<<<I found that many of the gurus who preach the maya viewpoint aren't what they claimed. It doesn't seem like they know the whole story. For example, I've read in more than one place where Nisargadata Maharaj states that duality exists only because pure consciousness makes use of a body for a while. Once a body dies, consciousness merges back with the ocean of pure awareness. I've had lots of experience which told me that the World of spirit does indeed exist, and this physical World is a small part of all that exists. >>>>>

    Better go through Krishna's works. Krishna indeed states about the existence of the soul, and that it will reincarnate on earth, until it achieves nirvana.Once a body dies, consciousness does not merge back with the ocean of pure awareness. It merges only when it achieves nirvana, as Krishna and Buddha and Ramana Maharshi and other enlightened masters teaches.

    <<<<<4. I've had experiences and have received spirit messages which show that Souls do in fact exist and are immortal. The fact of this seems to be so unacknowledged in non-dual teachings.>>>>>

    Hinduism acknowledges souls and spirits. But advaita vedanta is strictly for non-dualism and it perceives everything from this perspective .

    If you are interested in the soul and spirit messages and stuff, go to Vishistadwaita or dwaita.

    <<<<<7. Awareness can't know itself directly, because it can't perceive itself. It can come to know about itself through conjecture, when it makes use of thought energy.>>>>>>

    And awareness indeed is capable of being aware of itself. There is no need to employ thought energy for this, which defeats the purpose.

    <<<<<<9. If everything is just pure consciousness, why do nondual gurus allow themselves to be put up on a pedestal?>>>>>

    The enlightened master who have attained nirvana, is indeed the greatest hero in this universe. Our traditions indeed tells us to revere such a person.However our reverence is not at all important for him or her, as he or she is in a constant state of the greatest bliss and joy and peace.

    <<<<<10. If everything is in fact God, why does everything have to appear as pure consciousness in order for this to be the case? I understand that not all nondualists suggest this.>>>>>>>

    Everything in its most subtle element is indeed pure consciousness , and which is God or the Divine.

    I suggest you go through the works of Ramana Maharshi , or Eckhart Tolle, the western enlightened master who attained enlightenment in a most unorthodox way and explains his teachings lucidly in his book ,"The power of Now. " , which is an international bestseller.
  6. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    This is the main problem with advaita - it is basically anti-life and anti-existence. It can't be otherwise, as all manifest existence is seen a mere illusion, and the goal is to get out of it.
  7. niranjan

    niranjan Member

    And how on earth is it anti-life, when it is life itself.

    And how on earth is it anti-existence ,when all existence stems from the absolute.

    There is nothing wrong with manifest existence as it is Shakti or Brahman itself.

    The only illusion is worldly desires that throw upon you the veil of illusion.

    Krishna , who was one with Brahman , and saw Himself in everything, was in the thick of action all the time.

    He himself has said, " The wise man is he who is intensely active in the midst of intense peace and intensely peaceful in the midst of intense action."
  8. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    Advaita vedanta is not 'life itself' but a human philosophy.
  9. niranjan

    niranjan Member

    I meant it in the sense that Advaita vedanta describes Brahman, from which all life sprang, and hence Brahman is life itself.
  10. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    mmm...but the goal is to realize life itself. :) And advaita vedanta is a way to do it...and imho...there's nothing anti-life about it. You are looking for the source. If all this is just is not life....the source and the underlying oneness...that is really life...and in essence we are life how can a philosophy looking to realize this inner Self be anti-life?
  11. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    I have to admit that my view of advaita is coloured by my studies of Sri Aurobindo, who definitely says in many places that advaita as commonly understood and practised is anti-life.
    The unsatisfactory nature of vedanta is in fact the basic starting point for Sri Aurobindo's whole system.
    In his system, transformation of the material world is the goal, not escape from it.

    I'm not in copy and paste mode, but any reader of 'The Life Divine' or 'Letters on Yoga' would afirm that Aurobindo does indeed characterize advaita as anti- life. He also says that whatever the original teaching of Shankara was, it is now lost.

    The reason is simple - the goal is to get liberation from the round of birth and death - and that round is in fact life. Manifest existence is seen as either an illusion or a mistake, although it is impossible to account for how such a mistake may have come about.

    In my view, life and the universe are not an illusion , nor are they a mistake of some kind.

    If the advaitin says thay are not a mistake or an illusion, then why strive to get out of the cycle of birth and death? Because that IS life.
  12. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    Well as I understand it...that's what the snake and the rope analogy is about...its not saying that there is nothing there...its that we just mistake one thing for the while its really a rope...b/c of our persception and the dimmly lit room we think its a snake...but if we turn the light on...and remove the obstacle of the dimmly lit room...we are like...oh was a rope all along...I just thought it was a snake. So its not that none of this exists...its just that we see it as something other than what it really is. So we see others and we say...oh this is so and so... and we associate that person with name and form (naama and rupa)... but if turn on the Light, so to speak, we say...oh they are not that name and form...they are an atman...I am an atman... oh, I get it, we're one. So its not really that everything disapears...its that everything you say. So that our persception of it changes...not the thing itself...its always been the One and it still is the One...its just that because the "room" is dimmly lit, we see it as something else than what it truly is.
  13. philuk

    philuk Member

    that's a great explanation of it :)
  14. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    This just arrived in my inbox...its quite appropriate:

    "Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many gods as you please, observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred aeons, without realizing the Oneness." -Sankara
  15. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    Beautifully put Nicole.
    Snake, as you yourself said:
    In their haste and incomplete study and reflection on the scriptures, students may easily fall into the notion that advaita is anti-life. But the core of advaita is love for ass at the very highest level - love everything as your own self.
    Advaita does not talk too much about social work, about helpingo thers, etc. This is because one who is operation from that higher level of love for all cannot but express in working for the upliftment of all. All the great advaitin teachers lived such a life of selfless service. Look at Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Sivananda, Swami Chinmayananda... the number of free schools and hospitals their organizations run even today, providing cutting edge healthcare and education free or at a very low cost, women's empowerment projects, distribution of food, etc etc etc... There is no need to instruct an advaitin on these things, just as there is no need to instruct a mother on how to make breast milk for the baby - it comes naturally.

    Advaita is not about escaping birth and death. Advaita is about understanding that there is no such thing as birth and death to escape in the first place!

    The guiding principle is ishaavaasyam idam sarvam yat kinchit jagatyaam jagat - the beloved lives in all this, in every speck of every world in the universe.
  16. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    So are you saying then that Sri Aurobindo didn't understand advaita? But you and the above mentioned yogis do?
  17. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    But what if it turns out it is neither a rope or a snake, burt something which can't be adequately symbolized or described?

    Also - as I said one of the main grounds for saying advaita is anti-life, is the insistence that the goal is to get out of the round of birth and death - the samsara. I don't see that this basic teaching undergoes a change in those who say they are realized - they still tend to say that liberation from re-birth is the goal.
  18. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    Which is exactly the illusionist type view of the universe which Aurobindo entirely rejected.
  19. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    Mmm...I don't really know...partially because I'm not quite sure I understand what you are asking... but I think its like one of those things where the rope and the snake is just an analogy and its even bigger and undescrible as even that ...but its just a tool for us to try and help us on the path to experience...perhaps then we will truly understand and won't need the analogy anymore.
  20. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    I'm sorry - I'll try to explain if I can.

    The rope/snake analogy means we see a thing wrongly - what appears a snake turns out to be only a rope.
    So if we apply this to the current question about advaita, the idea is that the universe of diverse forms and individual beings is a mis-perception - if we could see clearly, we'd see that only the One exists - as Bhaskar said, life and death and cosmic existence would be seen no more, as they have no reality. They are illusions. Hence life is an illusion.

    However - perhaps this isn't really the case. Perhaps there is a level of vision beyond either of these possibilities.

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