My Dream

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by Libertine, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Libertine

    Libertine Guru of Hedonopia

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    First and foremost, I am a hardcore skeptic of all that is supernatural, an atheist to the highest degree.

    As a person deeply involved in science, psychology, but mostly philosophy (Western), I had a very interesting dream last night. Although, I do not believe that dreams are nothing more than mind games, I do have some very strange and even structured dreams at times.

    To the dream: Last night I dreamed I was sitting at this table full of books, and there was a book in front of me. I picked it up and opened it to one word on the page -- AHTMAN.

    Now, I had no idea what this word meant, but I just remember feeling a euphoric state when I thought of it (almost like I know something wonderful no one else did). I had an understanding of everything--much like some psilocybin trips, but this was a dream.

    I looked this word up online and found some very interesting information. It led me to a Hinduism website, so I am here to ask your opinions. I was wondering what anyone here thinks about this. I am sure I've seen the word before, but I don't recall and I sure don't know why I would dream about this one word, feel that feeling and get blown away when I looked it up...

    :confused:
     
  2. spook13

    spook13 Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    Atma or Atman is a Sanskrit word which is generally translated to mean "soul". It is found in Vedic, or more popularly, "Hindu" scriptures.
     
  3. Libertine

    Libertine Guru of Hedonopia

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    Whaddya think it means, if anything?
     
  4. spook13

    spook13 Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    From reading your posts on the Christianity thread, you have plenty of doubts about religion but feel passionately enough about it to engage in vigorous debate. If you didn't have any curiosity, just plain didn't give a rat's ass, you would not be bothering to do this or even be on this forum.

    So, in this context, from what I've seen here, you are a seeker of some form of truth. You have become very frustrated with Christians in particular because they can't answer your questions to your satisfaction or are very obstinate in their opinions.

    Your dream about the word Atman could be considered very significant, because in seeking truth you are actually seeking to find your soul, whether you know it or not. Your report of blissful feelings and a sense of knowledge in your dream come as no surprise, because that's the nature of the soul or Atman. In Sanskrit, this is expressed as sat-chit-ananda: eternal, and full of knowledge and bliss.
     
  5. Libertine

    Libertine Guru of Hedonopia

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    Indeed, I am a skeptic. And an outspoken one, but I do like to keep my self open-minded to the facts. The fact is that I had the dream and that there are several ironies between my dream and reality (as in the definition of this word).

    "Full of knowledge and bliss" is the EXACT term to describe how I felt. This is a little too odd for me. I believe that maybe I have seen the word before, but the fact that it stuck there and I got those feelings are very intriguing to me.

    I am going delve into this a little further and see what I find.

    What do you suggest?
     
  6. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    Perhaps this might help - it's from the glossary in Sri Aurobindo's 'Life Divine'


    "Brahman - the absolute,the spirit, the supreme being, the reality,the eternal, the one besides whom there is nothing else existent. In relation to the universe, the supreme is brahman, the one reality which is not only the spiritual, material and conscious substance of all the ideas and forces and forms in the universe, but there origin, support and posessor, the cosmic and supra-cosmic spirit.

    Atman - Self, spirit, the original and essential nature of our existence; in relation to the individual the supreme is our own true and highest self, atman."

    Really, the two are one and the same thing seen or described from different angles. The Atman and Brahman are one.
     
  7. Kharakov

    Kharakov ShadowSpawn

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    .
     
  8. spook13

    spook13 Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    I would go to the link below and order a copy each of Science of Self Realization and Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Read SSR first; it's user friendly and easy to read, yet has an appeal to the keen intellect. You will then be prepared to read Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. This is a modern (mid 20th century) translation of an ancient Hindu (or Vedic) spiritual classic...you might call it the Bible of Hinduism.

    Also, check out post no. 215 in the Christian Girl-Hindu guy thread. I quoted a series of verses from the Gita that deal directly with the soul.


    http://www.krishna.com/main.php?id=18
     
  9. Random Andy

    Random Andy Member

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    Maybe the dream is telling you that your subconscious wants a soul, even if you don't.

    In French mind and spirit are the same word, but soul is something else. I (with my English mind) always thought soul and spirit were the same thing, and your mind was pretty much the electrons and whatnot racing round your brain. I don't know which is closer to the truth, if there is such a thing as objective truth.
     
  10. Random Andy

    Random Andy Member

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    Maybe it's saying you and your band should be getiing into more soulful music:)
     
  11. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    Careful with Gita translations. Careful with the works of A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - 'Bhagavad Gita as it is' I would not reccommend. It is certainly only the Bible of one very narrow sect within hinduism.
    The translations by Christopher Isherwood/Prabhavananda or Paramhansa Yogananda are more useful.
     
  12. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    In hindu philosophy,mind and soul are different. The atman is seen as the spark of consciousness within, and this is surrounded by various Koshas or 'sheaths'. The body is one such, the vital force another and the various levels of mind.
    So mind is another object of consciousness - not the consciousness itself.
     
  13. Random Andy

    Random Andy Member

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    I suppose that armed with the knowledge that the brain is a quantum computer and therefore exists in and utilises many dimensions, I can see how the mind can be thought of as a spirit.

    The soul, obviously, is different from the mind. The question is with which of these does spirit ally itself, or is it the link between them?
     
  14. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    In hinduism, I don't think there's really that much distinction between spirit and soul. Atman - soul - is the same as Brahman, spirit. Mind, vital, body are seen as vehichles through which the spirit manifests itself. Mind is not really thought of as spirit. It is thought of as a 'body' - a subtle body, but a body nonetheless.
    In the Gita and elsewhere the philosophy of Purusha and Prakriti is given. Purusha is pure consciousness, Prakriti is nature on all it's various levels. Mind is said to be part of the Prakriti.
    Another way of looking at this is in terms, again taken from the Gita, of Kshara and Akshara. Consciousness is called Akshara or immobile, Prakriti is Kshara or mobile and mutable. Consciousness itself is thus regarded as fixed and un-moving. It is simply the witness. All the movements, includung mental movements are part of the Kshara.
     
  15. Random Andy

    Random Andy Member

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    Consciousness being the same as 'self'? I wonder if there is the possibility in Hinduism of liberation from the self (whilst incarnate) as in Buddhism?
     
  16. Libertine

    Libertine Guru of Hedonopia

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    :rolleyes:
     
  17. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    In general, Hinduism says the Self and the ego are different things. Liberation from the ego is the goal. Buddhists believe there is no Self - Hinduism says the Self is the one reality.
     
  18. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    Or put differently - to attain to knowledge of the Self - jnana - is to attain liberation.
     
  19. spook13

    spook13 Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    Instead of categorizing translations as "narrow" or "useful", lets' briefly explain the main difference in the Gita versions cited and provide information about their authors.

    In Vedic philosophy, there are two principal schools of thought and philosophy: dualist and non-dualist.

    Yogananda's books and scriptural translations are written from the non-dualist or impersonalist point of view--that the ultimate reality is undifferentiated spirit, and that there is no separate Supreme Being. This undifferentiated spirit is the soul that is shared by all living beings. Adherents of the impersonalist point of view regard the removal of a sense of personal separateness from this undifferentiated spirit as the ultimate spiritual attainment and the natural eternal state of consciousness.

    Bhaktivedanta's books and scriptural translations are written from the dualist or personalist point of view--that Krishna, or God, is the single Supreme Being and that each living being has an individual soul with personal attributes. Adherents to the personalist point of view regard revival of the individual soul's personal relationship with the Supreme Being as the ultimate spiritual attainment. The component of undifferentiated spirit is present as well in the dualist concept and is regarded to be an attribute of the Supreme Being. The dualist adherent realizes the presence of this aspect of God but doesn't consider it to be the ultimate spiritual attainment nor a state of being in which an individual can dwell eternally.


    Yogananda and Bhaktivedanta were the "real thing", born into the traditional Vedic culture of India, and trained from infancy in its values. Each was a sterling representative of his branch of Vedic thought. They were charismatic spiritual teachers who journeyed from India to the U.S.--Yogananda around 1920, Bhaktivedanta in 1965--and founded enduring spiritual societies based on traditional Vedic and yogic teachings. They were both prolific writers and their works are world-famous.

    As a follower of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, to first read his basic works is always my advice. Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi" is a great spiritual classic, but I don't recommend reading it until a person new to Vedic thought thoroughly understands the difference between the dualist and non-dualist concepts.

    Christopher Isherwood was a 20th-century English literary figure and disciple of the guru Swami Prabhavananda. I read their Gita translation many years ago and don't remember it well enough to comment...I need to reread it.
     
  20. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

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    Actually there is very little difference between dvaita and advaita, dualism and non-dualism. This is due to the concept of the avatar, where that formless infinite brahman takes avatar in the form of Krishna, Rama, Vamana, Buddha, etc. Every great advaita philosopher has expressed devotion to these forms, they are not at all contradictory in any way. However, refusing to accept the concept of brahman and vedantic thought, as Prabhupada does, even dvaita loses its beauty, since the very objects of worship, Krishna especially, specifically describe the principles of advaita in their teachings.

    Prabhupada manages to subtly modify these with his incorrect manipulations of Sanskrit, since his audience is majority western, he gets away with it. Why do you think ISKON has a very limited following in India? Those who know sanskrit see how innacurate and self-serving his translations are.
     

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