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Poetry Monster

Romanticism Verses Realism In Gustav Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

Gustav Flaubert is the master of the Romantic/Realist novel and in his novel Madame Bovary, romanticism reaches a tragic crescendo. His novel is an avant-gardism one of his time. Emma Bovary, the maiden protagonist defies all traditions of Paris especially that of a middle class, petit bourgeoisie family and becomes immortalized into a leitmotif of that of tragic romantic heroine.

Gustav Flaubert’s Novel revolves around its protagonist Emma Bovary and its Antagonist Charles Bovary. The author is very adept in portraying the character of Emma as a die-hard, tragic, romantic and that of Charles as one of sentimental realist. It is poignant to wonder whether the characters Emma and Charles are fictional investments of the authorial self. Let’s look at how Charles and Emma are portrayed.

Charles the Stubborn Realist
Charles’ biography is steeped from early childhood by the training of his mother. It was her ambition that Charles should be a medical practitioner. He failed the examinations the first time and got through the second time. Emma the maiden is a second wife of Charles. Charles is very much rooted in the manner, customs and traditions of French Country Life. We can only guess Charles’ happiness and understand it was one of domination by his mother first and then followed by his wife. Charles’ relationship is of a Freudian Oedipal arrest. His relationship with Emma was mundane and that of routine. All attempts to please and cajole his wife ended in vain. When Emma was gifted with a beautiful child from Charles, her feathers were not shaken. There is an instance where Charles takes her to a soiree and Emma refuses to dance with him. As a family man Charles is kind and loving. But all this does not offer any solace for Emma. The character of Charles is a fetish of middle-class Utopian. Charles’ character is one of a chaotic emotion which he is not able to control. Charles’ character resembles one of the murky Kafkaesque. Charles is the author’s unrealized self.

Emma the Die-hard Romantic
Emma is an archetype of Flaubert’s animus, the woman persona of a man. Emma comes from a family of the upper class and class distinctions and their conflicts between Emma and Charles are so well enunciated. Emma’s childhood is one of rearing up in a good convent where she becomes transmogrified with legend and historical romances. This made her mind a receptive vessel for being a sentimentalist with being inclined to a romantic adventure. Her marriage with Charles is one of Ennui. She is not happy with her married life and lets loose a string of adulterous journeys. The lovers may have been able to satisfy her physically but were sour when it came to emotions. The author further casts her into a financial imbroglio from which she could not escape. In desperation she commits suicide by drinking arsenic. The idea of romanticism is celebrated in the character of Emma. The romantic character is a flawed one just like Romeo and Juliet. Madame Bovary is immortalized in the French Literary Cannon.



Source by Bose Anand

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Poetry Monster

5 Stewardship Bible Verses for Daily Sustenance

We must interpret Bible verses in context and realize it is God’s will we seek, not ours. Stewardship Bible verses or other Bible verses are significant to followers of Jesus because they could guide them to the abundant life that Jesus promised.

Christians are stewards of God’s resources. We become better stewards when we learn to deal God’s way with anxiety, trust, temptation, people, and when we confess our sins to Jesus regularly.

Memorizing Bible verses helps us handle daily life-issues God’s way. That’s why I was thrilled, though astonished, when I discovered in an attic, five stewardship Bible verses dealing with anxiety, trust, temptation, people, and confession.

Shortly after I surrendered my life to Jesus the Messiah in 1985, I had a vision of an attic with five large colored boxes. Each box had a huge bold letter from the word attic. Below each letter was a word beginning with that letter, and a Bible verse. Many mornings as I jogged, this picture became more lucid.

One morning about 5:00 AM while jogging in Brisbane, Australia, the picture of the attic was so vivid I returned to my hotel to try to process what was happening. At the hotel, I transcribed the vision.

As I reflected on this vision, I realized it referred to my daily walk with Jesus. It seemed to be the base for a structured way to have extra time with the Lord. I sensed my attic was a way for me to withdraw regularly to see God’s hand in the moment.

These are five words on five boxes in my attic, each with its stewardship Bible verse:

  1. Anxiety – Philippians 4:6-7
  2. Trust – Proverbs 3:5-6
  3. Temptation – 1 Corinthians 10:13
  4. Inner Focus – 1 Samuel 16: 6-7
  5. Confession – 1 John 1:9

Anxiety

Two to three times daily I check to see whether events are overtaking me, and I am becoming, or am anxious. Perhaps I am in a stressful meeting, or working to a tight deadline.

When I sense anxiety, I withdraw to a quiet place, often the bathroom, and mull over Philippians 4:6-7. These verses remind me not to be anxious but pray, be thankful to God, give him my concerns, and he will give me a profound peace.

I present my situation to God, ask him to help me accept where I am, what I have, and give me peace to deal with it. The goal is his peace, not a solution to the issue. Recalling these verses several times daily, praying and believing them help me see alternatives. It is difficult to evaluate situations when tensed and anxious.

Trust

This is my great challenge. I try to do things in my own strength instead of leaning on Jesus. That’s why daily as my activities challenge me, I withdraw often to evaluate how I am doing, and recall Proverbs 3:5-6. These stewardship Bible verses tell me to trust in the Lord and lean on him, and he will make my path straight. This does not mean I will get the solution I seek; merely, that when I work to God’s goals, with his help, I do his will, and I get a peace that’s difficult to understand.

Temptation

One of the great assurances in the Bible is this stewardship Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV):


No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Daily, I must remember that I can’t blame anyone when I fall. The Devil did not “make me do it.” Faced with temptation, I pray this verse and ask God to help me see and follow his path. I know it is there and I need his strength to override my fleshly desires. Still, sometimes I reject his path.

Inner Focus

When Samuel went to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king of Israel, as Jesse’s boys entered the room, Samuel saw Eliab and from his external appearances thought he must be the one. God told Samuel he did not choose Eliab. God reminded Samuel that God looks on the inside but people look on the outside (1 Samuel 16:6-7).

Often I have withdrawn and prayed this verse, particularly when I interview, counsel, or meet someone. I know external appearances influence my thinking, and so I must seek God’s help regularly to overcome this flaw.

Confession

Happily, at day’s end I review events, go to the attic, and recollect 1 John 1:9. I ask the Lord to show me incidents I need to confess. I confess, repent and ask him to cleanse me. He does, as promised.

Summary

Daily, being conscious of these stewardship Bible verses heighten my awareness for good stewardship in all aspects of life, not only with money.

Frequent withdrawals to my attic to seek God’s guidance to respond to events allow me to live in the moment and increase time with him.

Time in my attic has shown me how to be more alert and responsive to the presence of the Lord in daily activities.

I pray my attic blesses you.

Copyright © 2012, Michel A. Bell



Source by Michel A. Bell

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Poetry Monster

Bible Memory Verses and Meditation – What’s the Difference?

Bible verses memorization is commonplace in the modern Church. It’s in Sunday School, on web services, in emails, flashcards, and probably any other place you can think to put a verse. The question is: Is it effective?

Maybe you are — or were — like me. I thought I was a bad Christian. I had lots of Bible stories floating around, even a few key verses, but I could never remember them exactly right.

I would say something like, “Present yourselves a living sacrifice, that you… eh… are acceptable to God… and… eh… prove Him worthy.” But, I’d work at it, read and study more, and I would get better at remembering the verses, but would have trouble remembering book, chapter, and verse.

Then I would say, “Oh, I know them well, I just don’t know where they live.”

At that time, I was a Christian for about 12 years. My friend, a veritable toddler in the faith (2 years,) was quoting scriptures until he was blue in the face. Honestly, I was jealous.

That’s where my heart was. I wanted to learn Bible Memory Verses just to prove I knew something, gain recognition, show I was a ‘man of God.’

Now, I haven’t arrived yet, but I have definitely left. I realized my attitude was wrong and began looking at this whole concept of memory verses. What does the Bible say? Well, it really doesn’t say much about memorizing verses. There are a few verses that can be interpreted into memorizing, but I would go a step further. We are not just to memorize verses, but to focus intently on them, think on them, rehearse them in our minds and hearts, and chew on it like a cow chewing its cud; getting every last bit of nourishment.

So, what’s the difference between memorizing and meditating? What might seem like a small matter will make a huge difference in your life.

God told the Israelites make scripture integral to their life:

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” – Deut. 6:6-9 (NIV)

The first instruction on meditation occurs in Joshua 1:8. God tells Joshua that he is (we are) to meditate on the book of the law day and night. Why? “That you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (NIV) The word meditate is the Hebrew word ‘Hagah’ (Strong’s H1897) which means to mumble, mutter, utter or speak. God tells Joshua, “You want to fill Moses shoes, then think about and speak about what is written day and night. Yes, even the book of Numbers.”

Then again, David writes, “[The blessed man’s] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2 NIV emphasis mine)

Let me digress. I do believe that memorizing Bible verses is better than not memorizing. It can only benefit you. BUT the Bible teaches going deeper than mere memorization. In fact, it teaches us not just to memorize but to hide the Word in our heart and make it a part of who we are. Memorization involves your mind while meditation involves your heart.

A simple story sums up this point. A man held a friends and family Christmas party. As they were gathered around the fire, they decided to, in the spirit of the season, quote their favorite verses. The host, an eloquent speaker, arose and recited the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….) The guests were amazed at his flair for delivery and applauded. After a few others, it was Grandma’s turn. Now Grandma had been dozing for about a half hour and had missed what was going on. The host gently woke her and asked her to recite her favorite verse. The Grandmother sat up, cleared her throat, and recited the 23rd Psalm. When she was finished, there was not a dry eye in the room.

As his guests were leaving, one friend approached him and said, “I don’t get it, what was the difference between your recitation and your Grandmother’s? They were identical.” The host smiled and simply said, “I know the Psalm. She knows the Shepherd.”

So start today. Take a favorite memory verse, or look-up popular verse, and take the first step beyond memorization. Write it on the tablet of your heart. After a month, the results may surprise you.



Source by James R Cook

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Poetry Monster

People Verses Technology

With the recent upsurge of technology, many companies are employing these technologies in many of their operations including sales, record keeping and as far as customer service. Advertising and publicity are now done more effectively than ever, reaching more customers. Another big area that has also evolved with technology is customer service.

Organizations are now employing sophisticated methods to get feedback from customers and give the appropriate response. Some organizations have however gone too far in their bid to employ these sophistications in delivering customer service to their clients. Customer service is now run entirely by automated systems instead of human beings.

Google has reportedly been running most of its services by automated systems. Automated systems provide help to customers; disseminate information to customers and almost everything. Google Health is being run by an automated system, but offers no live help for the system. It means that sick people using this facility only get to interact with a piece of software and not a human.

The fundamental flaw here is that, software is designed to accept a predictable input and produce a predictable output. Human behavior is however unpredictable. If for instance, the health system is designed to prescribe malaria drugs for a patient reporting with a headache and fever. What happens if a patient walks in with a headache but no fever? Provisions could be made for such cases, but there will always be an element of unpredictability at play. A customer service system that suggests solutions may be ineffective when the user encounters a new problem that was not factored in the design of the system.

In any information system that will be used by people, it is very crucial to offer human help to customers, though it may come at a higher cost. Google must be able to offer human help for its facilities as humans are in a better position to handle unpredictable situations than software and hardware.



Source by Andy Fitzpatrick

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Poetry Monster

Atma Bodha Verses 11-20

Verse 11

Atma is all pervading therefore IT has no form or shape, therefore no conditionings… no parts, no organs, no differences (bhedam). That indescribable Atman exists in each and every appearing thing.

IT is the substratum of all… booma, refers to is ‘biggest’ but there is no comparable. That atma is Happiness, everything else that we seem to enjoy through senses is but pleasure and joy, a fraction or a glimpse of that Happiness.

That atma is in all, like thread in a beaded chain, holding all beads together, atma is the substratum of all appearances.

Due to many conditionings, One appears as many like the water in coke, pepsi, wine, beer, tomato juice etc, with additions and deletions. say he’s Christian, she’s hindu, muslim, he’s educated, male, female, poor, rich, doctor, engineer, single, married. These are the labels of the body.

All these differences are due to the conditioning, thoughts in our mind… These are words with no real existence. Atman is completely veiled by these impurities. These are the dirt that needs to be removed in their entirety for the true Self to shine forth. The example is the famous snake & rope as mentin verse seven.

The Truth, brahman is vibhuhu, is all pervading, everywhere, like space, without any shape, form or color. Everything appears due to maya (illusion), this illusion has the veiling power & projection power.

Verses 12-13-14 are very critical, with logical explanation. All verses have examples that are easily understood.

Only when we know what’s not true, we can eliminate them. Therefore these 3 verses describe what needs to be eliminated.

Brahman has no limitations like the space. In order to describe space, we need to know and eliminate what’s not space, so also, the process of negation is to be applied to realize Brahman. (Sathyam jnanam anantham brahma is only a point, not defining anything specific then IT becomes limited.) Therefore neti, its neti, process of negation is the only way to realize Brahman.

Verse 12

Man is not just physical body, mind too. Every being has three bodies.

Stula sariram – Gross body, visible, tangible, limited

Sukshma sariram – subtle body,

Karana sariram – causal body

Everything is made of five elements but the sense, ‘I am’ is not in all, except the human body. (stula sariram).

Everything in the universe is a mixture of five elements whether it is water or mud. Only human body has ‘I am’. Why?

What’s the difference? Pancheekritam… each body is made of five elements, created based on his karma phala, consequences of one’s past actions. It’s a combination of Space, Air, Fire, Water & Earth. (Yatha karma, yatha srutham).

Karma sanchitham… based on our karma and the combination of five elements together, we get the appropriate body to experience the good, bad. Actions, karma here means thought, word and deed. All beings whether plants, insects, animals or humans are all based on our own karma.

Body is a house to experience the results of our actions. Like if we need a heat or cold, we need go to a room where the heater or a/c is, we need to go where they are available! The experiencer is different from the room. Similarly atma takes a body, an appropriate place to experience the karma palan. (Boga ayathanam uchhate..to experience suka, dukka). This clearly means we’re different from the body, applies to all three bodies..

Scriptures say from Atman came space, from space came air, from air came fire, from fire came water, from water came earth.

A+pancheekritham, individually without combination, they’re called ‘tanmatras’. Like individual metal, not an alloy. They all appeared from atma… they mixed at a particular proportion and is called ‘panchikritham’, the grossification takes place in five definite scientific stages.

The process of Pancheekritam

There are individual elements

Each divide into two

Each one half divide into four and share the three of the second half, with three elements

Each half + four 1/8th bits, thus becomes the gross body.

This panchikritam and our prarabhda karma together form our physical bodies, also called ‘stula sarira’ to experience the results of our actions. (boga aayaathanam), body is a boga sathanam for atman, a place, a house.

Verse 13

Suksma sariram (subtle body) is behind stula sarira (tangible).

5+5+5+4 =19 items mixed, that means I am not IT (IT is undivided One, without a second)

Sukshma sarira, subtle body is an aggregate of the eight, namely,

(1) the five organs of action (karmendriyas),

(2) the five organs of perception (jnanendriyas),

(3) the five forms of prana, vital air

(4) the five subtle elements beginning with space

(5) the four divisions of the antahkaranam (manas, buddhi, chittam and ahamkara),

(6) avidya,

(7) desire, and

(8) the impressions of all actions,

is called the subtle body or sukshma sarira.

Karmendriyam ~ Five organs of actions refers to hands, feet, tongue(speech), reproductive, excretory organs.

Jnanendriyam ~ Five organs of perceptions/senses, ‘sabdha, sparsha, rupa, rasa, gandha’, senses to hear, touch, see, taste & smell.

Pancha Pranas PASUV (acronym) Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana

Prana- life force (controls & regulates sense organs)

Apana- Excretory (reject unwanted items, throwing up, diarrhoea)

Samana- Digestive – makes the food ready for absorption

Udana – Capacity to evolve (learning, burp)

Vyana – Circulatory (distribution of nutrition)

not this… not this… why? Because the body is a combination of something, that’s holding them together, they can break apart, then it’s not One, permanent existence! Therefore the Self is not the stula sarira!

Mind is happy, sad, in fear, in desire, fluctuation, which are nothing but vikarams, divisions and therefore mind is not the atman. Mind is also a boga sadanam, house of experience, without the mind we cannot experience anything. The one who uses this mind is different from the mind. Mind is nothing but a bunch of thoughts..Therefore Self is not Sukshma sarira.

Verse 14

What can be seen is stula deham. Deham(body), that which can go through dhahanam (burning). What’s subtler than the body is linga sariram, also referred as mononmaya kosa. Both these are kosas, coverings on atma, though atman cannot be objectified.

The causal body is the cause for these two bodies, is Avidya, ignorance, the reason for stula, sukshma sarira. What’s the cause of that ignorance? Assuming there’s a reason, what’s the cause of that, what’s the cause of that, what’s the cause of that, we can keep on going. (Its called ‘ana+vastha dosham’ goes on infinitely).

Acharya says, Ignorance, Avidhya, has no beginning… A+nadi..(Adi) always exists… cannot be described, if it’s described, it’s no longer an ignorance, it becomes knowledge!

The fact that the world is seen means the ignorance exists. When we see the snake on a rope, ignorance exists, the reality (rope) is not known. When we see the rope, which is the substratum of the snake, the snake is gone, ignorance is gone! Similarly when we see the universe, we are ignorant, the substratum is not seen. (Realized souls would say, I only see brahman, there’s no world, the world dissolves just like the dissolved snake..)

Ignorance/avidya cannot be defined but is present before knowledge and is gone after knowledge, so does it really exist? Ignorance neither exists nor ‘not exists’… therefore it is anirvatchya… cause. No one can see or define ignorance, the example acharya gives here is like the Sun, that can never see the darkness. Darkness is but the absence of light, similarly ignorance is the absence of true knowledge and is the cause of stula and sukshma sarira.

Atman is beyond the three bodies. ‘Sat’ means that which exists in all three realms, times, ‘Asat’ means does not exist, ‘Mithya’ – is an appearance, maya. Atman, Self is Sat. Know THAT!

A very subtle and important concept explained in scripture is when we talk about one individual and discuss it is Vyashti, when we take collective existence, its called Samashti.

This body is made of five elements (human), that body (say a squirrel) is made of five elements, so are the worms, reptiles, lions, birds and every being on this planet, all are same five elements, nothing different. All five elements are the same therefore the entire universe is a collective existence, that’s samashti drishti… (universal collective vision)

Jagat is another word for the universe..jagat. (gatchathi iti jagat, keeps on moving, changing), something that’s understandable only by five senses is the gross world, (stula prapancham). This individual gross body is a part of that gross existence. Ignorance is the cause of this gross body and the gross universe.

Similarly, the cause of sukshma sarira, sukshma prapancham individual mind (vyashti) cosmic mind (samashti) is ignorance, also referred as ‘Karanopadhi’.

Three upadhis, stula, sukshma, karana are conditionings. The Self, as a witness, substratum, observer, that which is not connected with anything, a witness, sakshi If beyond these three bodies. That’s why it’s ‘Sat’, ever existent, does not go when the stula goes, sukshma goes.

Verse 15

This verse describes each & every being as a bundle of..

Three Sariram ~ the Gross, subtle, causal

Pancha Kosam (Five layers)

Food sheath (annamaya),

Vital air sheath (pranamaya),

Mind sheath (manonmaya),

Intellect sheath (vijnanamaya),

Bliss sheath (anandhamaya)

Three Realm, plane, states… (jagrat, swapna, sushupti) waking, dream & deep sleep states.

Atman is Self, Sakshi, One without a second!

Ego, Jivan is when we associate with at least one of the five kosas. For ex:

“I’m sitting here”… associated with body, annamaya kosa, anatomical

“I’m restless”..associated with mind/vital air, mononmaya kosa, physiological

“My heart beats fast, I am hungry, thirsty” ~ pranamaya kosa, psychological

“I’m coming” decision is made, vijnanamaya kosa, intellectual

“I’m delighted, excited ” anadhamaya kosa, Bliss sheath

If Atman is everywhere, how can I say, I’m sitting here?

This association with the body is a bondage. Then the question arises to the seeker, ‘when there’s this bondage, how can you say it’s nithyamuktan, a realized person?’

Verse 15 replies, with an example. A clear crystal, (spatikam) when placed on a colored cloth, takes the color of that cloth on which it is..similarly atman appears to be different due to the association with these five layers (kosas).

Atma is everywhere, this body is limited in space. Because of the association of the atman with the limited body that atma seems to be limited.

This union between the atma and kosa is bondage, when the union breaks, bond breaks… It appears to be associated with the kosas due to ignorance… it can never take the qualities of any of those.. Atma is has no attachment, (asangoyam purushaha), this association is mithya tadhatmyam, an appearance.

Every human should be able to disconnect the atman from these five kosas, need the guidance, training, efforts, & paths (sadanas). Seekers who asks questions to clarify doubts are called ‘Poorvapakshi’.

Atma is everywhere but to identify or find IT, one has to go within. It’s not available outside..even though IT is everywhere!! IT is not associated with anything..

Verse 16

This verse describes the process of negation to realize the atman, Self. This is not atma, this is not atma… how to find IT? Methods described are through logic, discrimination (viveka), identify the real Self via panchkosas.

Discrimination here refers to the ability to differentiate between the permanent and impermanent, (Nithyam/Anithyam, atma/anathma) This is the first step in the path of enquiry. Examples given here are: Just like the rice is separated from husk, and onion is peeled to get to the core. Or If you have a diamond you wrap it in a tissue paper, in a wallet, inside a box, inside the safe..so also atma, the supreme is inside the kosas. The seeker needs to go beyond the visible personality layers.

Verse 17

When we say, ‘I’m so and so’, we associate ourselves with body, mind, intellect, panchakosam… when this association is there, we’re not aware of our True Self!

Why does the acharya describe these bodies when I’m none of these? Because what needs to be negated must be known first… (yukti is the only way..logical discrimination)… Isolate anatma from atma through logical analysis..(apara from para).

Atman is everywhere but reflects only in clear pure intellect (clear mirror) just like Sun’s brightness is everywhere but Sun’s reflection is only in a clean mirror, compared to a water in a pot, pond, lake or ocean. So also, Atman reflects only on a clear, pure intellect.

Verse 18

First line, atman is different from deham, indriyam, buddhi, prakriti, (body, mind, intellect and nature)

What’s atman? (3rd line in verse 18) Tat vritti sakshi… witness not associated with anything..

Because of IT’s presence alone, this body, senses, buddhi all function. They’re all matter, inert, keep on changing, could be objectified, modified (vikaraha).

Atma cannot be modified nir+vikaram, cannot be objectified, not a matter. Atman is sakshi, witness, seer but the matter is seen. The seer is different from the seen. The subject of experience is different from the object of experience. Atman is the illuminator, separate from the illumined objects.

When analyzed, Atman is the witness of good and bad, pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow, the actions of physical body and mind are all aspects of our outer and inner subjective life. Atman stands aloof from the happenings of the outer cosmic and our inner worlds. Everything happens just by ITs presence, just like when the boss is in his office, all employees are focused on their responsibilities.

Verse 19

The atman is covered, veiled, not seen. The moon appears to be moving when in fact, the clouds are moving. So also, to a person who’s associated with body, mind and intellect, a+viveki) the Atman appears to be active, in every transaction. Aviveki is the one who’s unable to differentiate atman from anatman, permanent from impermanence.

For example A lamp reflects on a mirror and the reflected light is also bright but true light is only in the lamp.

The Knowledge that expresses out of body, mind and intellect is like the reflected brightness. The Atman is the source of everything, without IT, the entire universe will stop!

In transactional reality, we think the atma is seeing and hearing! ‘Vyapari iva’, appears to be interacting but when in reality IT is only a witness. Those who are unable to discriminate between the nithyam from anithyam..ever existent and temporal is referred here as a+ viveki, ignorant.

All the actions and movements are of the sense organs and the Self is the nourisher for all organs to manifest.

It’s like petrol, gas in your vehicle that manifests all organs to function. It has no specific destination to reach.

Similarly the Atman expresses itself through the body, mind and intellect, it’s a witness. Without this unbiased witness, detached observer, nothing would move in the entire cosmos. When you don’t know it, it’s far away and when you know it, it’s very close. It’s the witness of ignorance.

The moon seems to be moving because we look at it through a moving medium, our mind. The grounded trees will appear to be moving from a moving train, so also atman seems to be active, agitated, happy and sad when it’s all for the mind.

The question posed here is ‘how can we say only atma has Chaitanyam (Intelligence) and not the body and mind? leading to the next verse.

Verse 20

Everything functions, feels only because of the presence of this Atman. In IT’s absence there’s no feeling, sense of touch, including the existence of atoms & molecules. Who’s behind all these? Nothing can act without Atman.

Lets go deeper into jnanam, Knowledge. Knowledge is of two types.

Vritti jnanam (light waves)… I see a chair but the moment I see a fridge, the first seen dissipates. The second replaces the first. First is gone, maybe not immediately but eventually… we don’t remember everything that we see in a store or as we walk. Whatever appears will disappear, it’s definite.

The second is nithya jnanam, transcendental Knowledge, awareness, not aware of! This Knowledge, once achieved, is never lost.

All knowledge, jnanam is perishable except prajnanam, (prajnanam brahma). Everything is leaning on that atma jnanam, Prajnanam brahma, It is Sat, ever present, no birth or death, without an appearance or disappearance. IT’s presence alone activates all organs to function.

The entire universe appears, all the five elements are inert, Atma alone understands, recognizes, is aware of because of Atma Chaitanyam, just like the Sun is not involved in anything but its presence makes everything and being vibrant. The birds chirp, people move about, animals hunt, flowers bloom because of the presence of Sun so also the presence of Atman. Atman alone IS!



Source by Vijaya Jayaraman

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Poetry Monster

Tirukural, the Great Tamil Classic Defines Human Virtues in 1330 Verses – A Review Using Ten Verses

Tirukural- the Tamil Veda (HOLY BOOK) was written 2000 years back and so its author Saint Tiruvalluvar was a contemporary to Jesus Christ. The contents of Tirukural apply even for modern thinking and education. Kural means any brief verse. The title ‘Tiru’ (or Thiru) is added as a sign of respect to both the verses and the poet. For brevity, it is mentioned in some places as Kural and Valluvar respectively. Tirukural belongs to SANGAM LITERATURE of Tamil language. Tamil Sangam means an association of learned Tamil Scholars of Madurai, the erstwhile capital of PANDYA kingdom where, written works of poets were recognised after great scrutiny and review by eminent Tamil scholars. Tirukural is one such literal work recognised among 18 books by Sangam during the first century B.C. Tirukural has been translated in all major languages of the world. In fact, Rev Father G.U.Pope was impressed greatly by its Latin translation and ventured to translate it in English. He compared the saying of Tiruvalluvar “All the living beings are born equal”(pirappokkum ella uyirkkum) to the teaching in Bible.

There are 1330 verses in toto in 133 chapters of 10 verses each on different topics.

This article deals with what Tiruvalluvar has to say about EDUCATION. The ten verses he has written about education form couplets 391 to 400, i.e. the 40th chapter which falls under the category of Materialism. This is not a word to word translation, but a treatise on the subject how Bliss can be obtained in one birth itself by getting the high value of Education during one’s life time.

1. (Kural 391 onwards): one should learn whatever has to be learnt without any fault. Once such learning is complete, he should live according to the lessons he has already learnt true to the spirit of learning. Perfect learning, devoid of all errors and doubts, is the basis of education. One should be clear about all aspects in the subject chosen. More importantly, there should not be any doubt about the questions that might arise at a later date even after the education is completed. Only such an education could make one fit for higher self. Also, on completion of education, one should never deviate from the path guided by education. Thus such a high value to education, regardless of the chosen field of profession such as medicine, jurisprudence, engineering, and what not!

2. Numbers (which form a part of arithmetical knowledge) and Alphabets (which are the basis of literal knowledge) are to be considered as two eyes for living beings.

3. Only educate people are considered as having Vision. The uneducated do not have ‘eyes’, but have only two punctures in the place of eyes. Without education, the supposed eyes will serve no purpose at all. Is it not true that eyesight is the most important physical property of a human being, only by use of which one can visualise the entire physical Universe? Education is compared to this unique property of the living person through these 2 Kurals

4. Even friendship is given a new definition among those who are well-educated. Their meeting and mutual discussions each time is a matter of great pleasure and joy and when they part with each other there is a great yearning to meet again.

5 An educated person is rich in all aspects because he is in possession of knowledge, when compared to an uneducated person who has to bow with all humility as he is in the lowest cadre of the society.

6. A lot of similes are used to bring home these points. Knowledge is compared with water that springs from muddy land. A water pond will spring water in proportion to the extent it is dug and in the same way knowledge will improve progressively as one learns deeply.

7. For an educated person, every town is his own town and every country is his country. “Then why one is persistently wasting his life until death without education?” Tiruvalluvar wonders.

This Kural can be compared to the saying in another Sangam classic ‘Purananuru’ (four hundred songs depicting social external life): which states:

“All places are my native place, and All men are my kinsmen”

(“yadhum urey, yavarum kelir”-Tamil equivalent)

These words are specially quoted here because these are the most favourite words of learned Tamils. It emphasises the oneness and a universal brotherhood with an exceptional sense of understanding and peaceful co-existence.which existed 2000 years ago.

8. Popular Hindu belief is that one has seven births before reaching salvation. But, the poet asserts that, the education one learns in one birth will suffice for all the seven births. Needless to add, he should learn it without any flaw and to the best of its contents. Such an education will give him pleasure for all the seven births. In other words, perfect education gives one MUKTHI i.e. salvation in the present birth itself. Even if one is a non-believer of subsequent births, he can accept this Kural which assures him permanent peace in one birth itself, provided he is perfectly educated.

9. It is also insisted that the nature of an enlightened person is to derive more pleasure in learning and also to yearn for more knowledge, on seeing that such pleasure he earns through education is shared by the society as a whole. The benefit and pleasure of education is not for the individual alone but collective. The pleasure of others acts as a catalyst to him to empower him for such an accumulation in learning. He does not lose anything by sharing the knowledge with others, and in fact his knowledge and pleasure multiply in due course.

10. It is categorically stated that the only viable wealth, a person can possess is education and other riches are in fact,of no use. No flood, fire, or theft can take away the great wealth of knowledge earned by education.

An introduction has been given to this world-famous epic and if the readers’ interest to learn the entire book has been enkindled, the purpose of this article is served. Needless to add, such readers will attain eternal bliss in this birth itself as enumerated in the above paragraphs.



Source by Sathyanarayanan Bhimarao

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Atma Bodha Verses 31-40

Atma is independent of everything..That Atman alone shines and illumines everything else.

Everything is ITs expression! Even the Sun has no brightness, it is bright because of Atman, so too the moon! Atman ilumines others but we don’t need another light to see the first light, its self laminating verse 29

When all the conditionings are removed… a crystal which has no color, takes the color of what it is placed on… like a red table cloth..(another example would be in some big stores, there are glass doors, not visible, people try to walk through and get hit, to avoid it, sometimes there are stickers on it..) because the red cloth is present or the sticker is present the crystal and door appears. Even if the red table cloth or the sticker is absent, crystal & glass door exists. Their presence reveals the glass door!

Similarly, the very fact that the three states of waking, dream & deep sleep states & the world exists, reveals the indescribable supreme presence of Brahman.

Atman cannot known by intellect because Atman illumines the intellect. A flash light illumines everything in the room but we don’t need another flash to see the first light. Its is self luminating. Only by negation (neti neti), removal of anathma, Self is revealed itself.

Verse 31

The body, mind and intellect appeared from ignorance (avidyakam). Therefore they go through modifications. That which is seen, temporary, destructible is not Atman. Atman is the seer, Nithyam and Aksharam.

Anything that’s seen has a limit, they’re never permanent, like bubbles, appear and disappear in the water. I’m not this body, I’m different from this body, Stula sarira, gross body goes through shat vikaram, six modifications, existence, birth, growth, disease, decay and death. I’m not the body, I am One pure presence (Ekam, Nirmalam, Existence).

Atma cannot be seen, it’s not gross or subtle (stulam, sukshman), neither little nor tall, neither long nor short, indescribable. It’s the substratum of everything. It is beyond forms and names that have no independent existence. Atman alone IS and appears as many.

Verse 32

The first two lines mention that Atman is that which is different from the body, senses, mind, intellect and the universe, therefore does not have a birth, oldage, senility and death. When I say, ‘I’, it refers to something that ‘I am not’. ‘I’, atman have no connection with senses or mind, they’re my tools, (Nireendriya daya). Atma is also referred as ‘Nirupathikam’, without any conditioning, Know that I am ‘Self’. This Self knowledge is called ‘aparoksha jnanam’, can’t be known through the body, senses, mind, intellect or in the world. Atman can only be realized after consistent practice.

Verse 33

Verse 31- emphasized that Atma is not the body

Verse 32- emphasized that Atma is not senses

Verse 33- emphasized that Atma is not the mind

‘Amanastvad na me dukha… ‘

A+ manaha… without dukha, sadness, sorrow, fear, attachment. Mana, mind is referred as ‘anthakaranam’ is also a tool to interact with the appearing world. Mind, even though is not a gross with dimension, still is temporary with a beginning and an end. Atma is not the air that moves in and out of the body. (A+pranahaha).

To understand anything, we use one of six modes of knowledge.

  • Direct experience – Prathyaksha praman, through our senses.

  • Inference – Anumana praman, like on seeing the smoke, we infer the fire

  • Comparison- Upamana praman, by bringing the minerals from Mars and comparing to the minerals of Earth.

  • Cause & Effect – Arthapatti, we see the flood and know the cause of a heavy rain

  • Negation – Unupalapthi, which is often experienced as the medical labs test for various health conditions and negates to identify what is!

  • Words of scriptures and voice of guru – Sabhda praman

The only way to know the ever present, all pervading, Self illuminating Atman is through scriptures (sruti- as the means) and the guidance of a guru.

Verse 34

How is atma? First you need Guru’s guidance.

‘Naan’, ‘I’, can only be realized through the guidance of a guru. ‘I’, refers to nirguna Brahman. These adjectives referred here are from various Upanishads, and these are only pointers for our understanding and not definitions of Atman.

Nirguna..beyond properties satva, rajas, tamas..not bonded

Nishkriya – not acting (no kriya, no ahamkaram, (I’m the doer), sakshi beyond senses, akarta, abogta..

Nithya- Everlasting

Nirvikalpa – changes, modifications

Niranjana- No connection with anything. Ekam, only One like space, sky.not even first..there’s no second

Nirvikara- no divisions, no parts… (no form, no name)

Nirakara – no form… if form then its limited

Nithyamukta – no bondage… that’s “Naan, I”

Nirmala- pure, Ekam, One, without a second.

Verse 35

More adjectives, descriptions follow in this verse.

‘Akashavat’ – like space, Atman is everywhere, all pervading. Atman is compared to the space with one difference is that the space has no chaitanyam, Consciousness. Atman is Knowledge, knows I exist but space does not know that it exists. Space is inert, leaning on atman.

Achutaha – not dependent on anything, not connected to anything, not affected by anything, Avikari

Sarva samaha – is everywhere, a single celled amoeba to an elephant to a human.

You can’t number it, numbering is only for the limited (jiva’s) human understanding, Atman is Ekaha, there’s no second!!

Achala – does not move, full, complete, unshakable

Verse 36

Having listened to guru with the first 35 verses, the seeker has now intellectually understood that the Atman is apart from all conditionings.

This verse emphasizes that “I”, Atman is Nithya, Suddha, Vimukta, Ekam, meaning One, unattached, Pure forever present.

I am that nirguna Brahman which is satyam, jnanam anantham, meaning ever existent, beyond space and time, Knowledge itself and limitless, all pervading. One who realizes this is called ‘brahmavit’, who has attained the purpose of life and has nothing else to do.

Verse 37

Atman is Nithya (ever present), suddha (pure, independent), vimukta (independent, asangoyam), ekam (One without a second), akandam (indivisible), anandam(bliss), advayam (nondual) satyam (Existence), jnanam (Knowledge), that’s para Brahmam, nirguna Brahman. That is “I” (me)! Knowing this, You will be as peace.

The mind is disturbed, with sufferings and sorrows when there is a knot, bondage. Anger, fear, worry, guilt, happiness, pain, pleasure is all impermanent, will distingrate and destroy. Indestructible peace is “I”. Due to ignorance of not knowing it, we’re searching outside of us. Only means to know atman is through the study of vedanta under the guidance of an able guru. Vedanta does not create Atman but simply eliminates ignorance. Atman is Self illuminating!!

There’s a reference in Mundakopanishad (1.2.12)

‘Pariksha lokan karmachitan… brahmanishtam’, emphasises the self enquiry and self analysis and of one’s life. Only when we see the flaws in life (dosam), vairagya attitude develops, seeing that everything is suffering and sorrow but the seeker is not dejected but goes to reputed guru and guru points it out as ‘tat tvam asi’. With consistent thought of atman, his anatma gunas dissolve and he’s now Brahman.

Scriptures do not create Atman but helps us to erase anatman thus Atman reveals itself. it removes the veil that covers the Atman, like the cloud that covers the Sun.

Vikshepam, is not seeing as is! When Brahman is realized the universe goes away. Jiva Brahman aikyam (Aham Brahmasmi) should be constantly in the thought for priyam, love, peace.

Verse 38

How can I experience that Self, atman? What’s the path? Gita ch 13 is very important… qualification of the seeker is mentioned for Self Knowledge referred as Sadana Chatustaya sampathi. This verse gives four points to focus on.

  1. Be in a quiet place without any distractions… be a part of it, yet apart from it. Be where there are no one that you’re familiar with… sadus never stay in the same place to avoid attachments. Can be in your own room.

  2. Self discipline in conquering the senses is a requirement. One who has control over senses is called vijitendriyan.

  3. Without likes and dislikes, attachments with anyone that you get, through the senses..eyes, ears etc… sadana chathustaya sampathi describes the prerequisite to enter vedanta, unless have vasanas from prior births.

  4. Let the mind constantly think of THAT ekam, (a+dvayam), limitless Self, (akantanandam.., a+parichinnam). Consistent focused, single pointed meditation on Brahman alone helps in the realization of the Self. At that point, the universe, bedham, differences dissolves and Brahman alone IS!

This raises the question ‘How can I see One, when there are so many?’ leading to the next verse

Verse 39

A ‘stuthihi’, meaning who has a very clear buddhi, mind/intellect, suddha anthakarana, dissolves everything in that Self.

Mundaka Upanishad starts with saying, ‘Everything came from the sound OM. Therefore Om is the name of everything.That’s the symbol of Brahman, the indescribable… dissolve all the forms and names into Om’. They’re all mithya, Brahman alone is Truth. Only when your mind is dissolved you’re near samadhi, closer to jivanmukti.

How long should I do this? Like an oxidized metal, that needs to be cleaned consistently and daily, so also stay grounded on that One Brahman in your pure intellect, represented by ‘Om’ and the entire universe dissolves and Brahman alone is, like the camphor that dissolves.

Because we, humans have samskarams, residues from our past actions (thoughts, words and actions), we have taken the birth to experience the consequences. For example a toddler is not affected by anything that’s happening around, parents maybe arguing, the blender working, washing machine spinning, phone is ringing but the child just at peace from within, smiling at, talking to the toy in hand! Be like a child!

Verse 40

This verse is exactly the same as the previous one for more emphasis on ‘Tat tvam asi’, ‘You’re THAT’.

Verse 40 Roopa, varnathikam, vihaya, paramartavit replace in

Verse 39 Drishyan, form, prahilabya, Suthihi (jnani). This means such a seeker who dissolves all names and forms is in ‘paripoorna chidananda swaroopa’, ‘sat-chit-ananda’, in bliss. We have seen this earlier in verse 5, as an example, kataka nut that dissolves into the water in its entirety.

This raises a question to the seeker, (poorvapakshi), who gets this knowledge? To acquire a knowledge there should be a knower, known and the means. When there are three entities how can you say there’s only One? is the question posed to the guru, which leads to verse 41.



Source by Vijaya Jayaraman

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Atma Bodha – Verses 41 – 50

Verse 41

To understand anything, there must be the knower (Pramata) the known (premeyam) and the process of knowing (pramanam) then there’s the triad (triputi)… how can we say there is only One?, is the question we all can get.

This phenomenon of triad is applicable for all worldly knowledge but not for Self Knowledge. Why not? Paramatman is ‘Sat-Cit-Anandam’, ‘Existence-Consciousnesses-Bliss’. Paramatman is Knowledge (chit) itself! That Paramatman is swayam prakashaha, Self illumined, we don’t need something to illuminate it just like we don’t need a lamp to see the Sun. There’s no distinction of the experiencer, experienced and the experience. Because of ITs presence everything appears. Atman is Advaita, Eka roopavat, One, without a second.

For example, when you’re in a dark room, in the middle of the night, you know you exist. How? You don’t need something to reveal your presence for all other objects in the room, you need light! But to know you exist, you don’t any tools. Why and How? Because the Atman (paramatman) is Self illuminating!

Atman is behind everything. It’s the substratum of all existence. For example when you see a snake at dusk, there’s none of these present except the rope. That rope is the substratum (adharam) of all other appearances. It could appear as a flower garland, a crack on the ground but in reality it’s the rope. Similarly Parabrahman is the substratum of everything, present in every appearance.

Atma alone is there and it is Self illuminating. What benefits does one get when one knows IT?

Humans will not do anything without a benefit in return. What’s in it for me? That’s true with spiritual life as well. Sanatana dharma points out four objects of human pursuit in life, calls it as Purushartham (Dharmartha kama moksha), artha(prosperity) kama(pleasure), dharma( moral values, righteousness), moksha( liberation,spiritual values) (first three are perishable (anithya purushartham) whereas the last one, ‘moksha’ is nithyam, permanent.

When in fact all beings have to come back to experience the results of actions, except Self realized. Scriptures refer to this world as ‘karma bhoomi’. Once that Atman, Self is realized, moksha is attained, the seeker is liberated from this samsara, meaning free from all sorrows and has no birth again!

Verse 42

Fire sparks when two sticks (arani kattai) are rubbed together. Similarly, when the jivatman (mind) and ‘paramatman (Omkaram) are rubbed, meaning reflected, or contemplation takes place the fire of Self Knowledge sparks. This is dhyanam, meditation and must be done daily, not once in a while.

If we choose to rub a few times and leave it to continue later, there won’t be any fire… it has to be rubbed until the fire comes, so also constant practice (abhyasa) of the awareness of the inner presence, Self, Atman is required. How long? ‘Avagati paryantham jnanam’.. ‘Deergha kale, nirantharya..satkara sevithaha’..with inner motivation, passionate, constantly for a long time, until..that’s Knowledge.

Just like that fire burns all things, here, the Knowledge burns the ignorance. That’s moksham, samsaram bondage dissolves. Such a seeker is an emperor, who has conquered one’s senses and mind, just like a king who has conquered many kingdoms, who is full, complete and contented, free of sorrows.

In Mundaka Upanishads(2.2.4) explains the same concept with a different example..the bow (mind) and arrow (pranavam, Omkaram)… direct towards the target..paramatman.

Upon Self realization, the seeker is in Ultimate Happiness without duality. ‘Niradhisaya anandham’, paramatma jnanam, atma/Brahma aikyam happens just like a salt doll dissolves in the ocean, the names and forms dissolve and is one with paramatman. This is an experiential benefit (prathyaksha palan).

Verse 43

Light & darkness cannot coexist, so also knowledge and ignorance. Once the knowledge is gained ignorance disappears instantaneously, not one after the other. That’s Self knowledge. Atma is Self revealing!

Just like the Sun is self revealing upon the movement of clouds that prevents us from seeing the Sun, so too Atman is self revealing upon the removal of ignorance. Self Knowledge does not create the Self but removes ignorance (Ajnana nvritti).

Verse 44

Atma is not somewhere else! It is available everywhere and in everything, it’s prathyaksham, that which is perceptible to the eye, visible and ever present but one needs a divine vision to see IT.

Example given here is a person who’s looking for a necklace everywhere unable to find it when someone else points it out that’s already in the neck. One may think it’s lost, but it was never lost, never got! It was ever there… so also Atman is ever present but the seeker unaware of ITs existence due to ignorance. These days, it happens with vehicle keys, eyeglasses, cellphones…

Atman appears to be lost and one has to attain it but it’s already present, everywhere, ever existent and complete.

The seeker could and often ask, ‘How can I say jivan is the same as paramatman?

Verse 45

This Atma Bodha is written mainly for people who believe that ‘I’m different from Brahman’, to give that Self Knowledge.

A trunk of a tree or a pole, post, could appear to be a person, especially in the dark, and that thought could lead to fear of a thief and create an emotion of fear. Once the post is recognized as is, the ignorance is removed, so too once Self Knowledge is acquired, nothing bothers the seeker.

Verse 46

The true Self is brahma svaroopam, but very often we’re caught in this glamorously appearing external world around us and experience all sorts of emotions.

Once Self Knowledge is gained, instantaneously the plurality dissolves, “I and mine” go away.. When ‘you’ are not there, ‘I’ alone is. When there’s no second, there’s no need to even count as one! Jnanam is therefore referred to light and upon gaining darkness disappears automatically.

The example given in this verse is bhanu darshana. Once the Sun is recognized, then all directions are known, so also once Self Knowledge is attained, the direction of one’s life is clear.

Verse 47

This verse describes the divine vision (jnana chakshu). A realized person has ‘jnana chakshu’, the divine vision, meaning even though the world appears in multiplicity, this person sees it all as One.

When the world of plurality is seen, such a person is caught in samsara, is ‘ajnani’, ignorant and subject to birth and death until Self is realized.

For example, when a person dreams of ferocious animals, has a nightmare, upon waking up, is not going to look for each of those animals. He knows those animals appeared in my mind and dissolved in my mind. So also, a jnani perceives the entire universe as a dream, recognizes that the world originates in me, sustains in me and dissolves in me.

Realized person recognizes the entire universe as a dream, for an ignorant, the world appears. That’s the difference!

A realized person has attained the purpose of life! For such a person there’s no ‘I and you’ in the seen. His vision is equanimous, does not see any difference, has no likes and dislikes, no fear, no anger, therefore nothing affects him.

The seeker could very well think ‘How can I see the One when there’s this diversity in my experiences in this transactional world?’, and the next verse explains.

Verse 48

This verse emphasizes that there’s nothing other than the Self. In the case of mud pots, even though there are multiple names, forms, shapes and sizes based on their functionalities, what exists in all but the mud, the only substratum. Same holds true with anything that’s made of gold or iron. Chandogya upanishad verse 6.1.5 also explains this concept.

Similarly, Brahman alone exists both as the material cause (upadana karanam) and also the instrumental cause (nimittha) of this appearing world.

The material cause is always in the effects. Cause (Karyam) is the clay, effect (karanam) is the pot! The effect cannot be without the material, mud or gold or water, but the instrumental cause is separate in transactional reality.

Whereas in the Absolute reality, the universe(jagat) is NOT different from Brahman. Second line in the verse… ‘Atmano Annyat Na Vidyate’. The universe is the manifestation of that One and jot created. One appears as many!

One who realizes that One divine Brahman is Brahma jnani, has divine vision (brahma chaksu), jivan mukti who is free from all sorrows and has no rebirth.

Verse 49

You become what you think about when you think with conviction, so is with Brahman, Sat chit ananda rupa, Existence Consciousness Bliss!

Think of Atman with a single pointed focus, (eka nishtaya), you’ll become Brahman, dissolve, merge, realize! Like a wasp and the worm (Viveka chudamani #358, Aparoksha anubhuti #140)

Gita Ch 2 describes a realized person as ‘stitha prajyan’ – what’s his personality (lakshana)? When his likes & dislikes dissolves, and he’s firm in Self, renounces all lust (kamam) in mind, one who is happy in atman (santhushtan), delighted in Self Knowledge (firm in atma sukam), seeks no external happiness (worldly sukam).

Just like the rivers merge in the ocean, losing their names and forms, a realized person is jivan muktan, when alive, till prarabdha dissolves and upon shedding the physical body is videha mukti. Ch 13 refers to a realized person as Kshtrejyan and Ch 14 as Guna theethan.

Such an individual, who has realized that Brahman, is lIke a child, no attachment, free of materialistic world, living in present, interacting with the world without any expectation is ‘brahmavith brahmaivah bhavati… ‘ is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss ( Mundakopanishad 3.2.9).

Worldly pleasures and supreme Happiness cannot co exist. All pleasures of the world are but ‘sudranandam, alpanandam’ is in paramandam, a part, subset of that One ocean of bliss.

Verse 50

Samsari refers to all human beings who have taken the physical body to experience the pain and pleasures of life from birth to death. In this lifetime there are six enemies or obstacles that prevent us from realizing out true Self. Those are:

Kama (lust)

Krodham (anger)

Lobam (greed)

Moham (attachment

Madham (pride)

Matsaryam (jealousy)

This verse reaffirms what has been said before for deeper understanding. These six mental conditions need to be removed, renounced to be able to gain the divine vision of Oneness.

A realized person is one such, and is referred as ‘Atmaramaha’, one who has crossed the ocean of delusion with the boat called jnanam (Self Knowledge), delights in the Self, always at peace, contented, nothing disturbs him is also called a yogi. He’s equanimous in any given situation. ‘I and mine’ are completely renounced, still interacting with the world without expecting anything.

Just like we cannot see anything at the bottom of a lake with ripples, so also an agitated mind is unable to see the divine Self, which is deep within.

The symbolic meaning of Ramayana from an advaitic point of view is also stated by Adi Sankara, which could be addressed here. Sita (peace) is abducted by the ten indriyas (five karmendriyas and five jnanendriyas), jiva (Rama) is restless, who crosses the ocean of samsara (which has no beginning or end), destroys the enemies (dasendriyas) and gets Sita (gains peace).



Source by Vijaya Jayaraman

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Atma Bodha Verses 1-10

Vivekachutamani says… It is rare to be born as a human. Its rarer to want to reach God. That spiritual thought does not come to all. Its rarer still to get a guru.These three are possible only by the grace of God. Extremely rare to get these, so do not waste this grand opportunity. Atma Bodha has 65 verses and we go through ten verses at a time.

Atma Bodha ~ Verses 1-10

The beauty of this text is that every verse is explained with a pertinent example for easy understanding.

Verse 1

‘I’m going to explain Atman bodha’, says Adi Sankara… Self knowledge. Introduction of the subject is presented so only those interested students can choose to study this. Not everyone is interested in scriptural studies. Only the qualified students are drawn to it just like those who are interested in biomed or Chemistry, don’t apply to engineering college.

Spiritual studies is open to all but not pursued by all. The prime requirement to grasp would be a pure mind by tapas, (without negative emotions), shatanam, (quiet mind without agitation), Control the thoughts, (observing the flow of thoughts in the mind).

When I’m attracted to something, my mind is constantly thinking of it. When I’m afraid of someone, my mind is constantly thinking of that person. We’re full of likes and dislikes..whether it is food or objects or possessions or relationships,our mind is fully focused on those. So also, ‘Mumukshunam’, means ‘focused on that One divine presence’, which is in all appearing beings.

Those who do not have attachment, who are are objective, with a burning desire to want to attain the supreme Truth, alone qualifies to get this Self knowledge. But this statement does not prohibit or prevent anyone else to pursue this path. It simply means, the path is not easy, one must have a strong desire to learn the scriptures and humble enough to trust the teacher, along with a deep conviction to pursue this path. The seeker must be disciplined, committed and consistent in sadanas.

Verse 2

In the previous verse having discussed so much about the need for the practice of austerity and self control, one could misunderstand that discipline may lead one to divine goal. Not so! Knowledge alone can remove misunderstanding and lead to direct means for liberation.

For example, to cook food, all necessary items are contributory causes, by themselves they cannot constitute food. Fire alone accomplish cooking. Fire is the direct cause! Similarly performing of rituals, offering of gifts, practice of austerities, controlling mind, study of scriptures, the use of discriminative intellect are all helpful factors towards spiritual growth but ‘knowledge of who am I’ alone can bring about liberation.

Verse 3

‘Bodha’ means knowledge. Knowledge here is ‘Self Knowledge’, rediscovery of the Self which exists in trikale, three stages of existence waking, dream and deep sleep.

Only upon waking up, you can end the fearful dream. As long as you’re asleep the dream would continue to scare you.

Scriptures teach us that inner presence, Atman is all pervasive, ever present and complete. There’s no need to strive to obtain, attain, go or do as it is already with us, the Atman.

Divine actions like prayers, offering, chanting, yajnas, yogas, tapas, doing daily duties, actions are all important to purify one’s mind, only help us to clean the inner equipment as a clean mirror, to be able to see our own Self. No amount of actions can destroy ignorance except knowledge of the Self.Karma/ actions can only produce, procure and purify.

Actions cannot remove ignorance. Example referred here is darkness & light. No amount of dusting, sweeping, spray washing would remove darkness except for the light! The knowledge is compared to the brightness of the Sun, that removes darkness. So also the enveloping ignorance can only be removed by Self knowledge.

The seeker has a doubt to clarifies and presents it acharya. ‘When I experience that there are many people and beings around me, the diversity in existence, how can we say there’s only one atma? Ekathatvam? Oneness? leads to the next verse.

Verse 4

We see the various forms and names because the inner Self is veiled by our ignorance, which is an attachment to this body.

Identification with the body, mind & intellect limits us from knowing the true Self, which is all pervading, beyond time and space.

These bodies are transportation vehicles but we think I’m the Lexus, BMW, Toyota & Camry! Those are nothing but names and forms. When in fact the driver alone exists! Without the driver nothing can happen by themselves. The body, a bundle of flesh is nothing but an inert equipment to purge vasanas. Once you remove all the paraphernalia of this body, the supreme Self reveals itself.

Thus due to the ignorance of this Self, we see the differences. When ignorance is destroyed the atma is self illuminating.

Verse 5

Due to ignorance people’s thoughts are impure. What’s impurity? ‘Ahankaram, mamakaram’ – ‘I and mine’, ‘I’m the doer, I’m the enjoyer’. If that jivan needs to purify the mind, the Self knowledge (jnanam) that’s understood intellectually must be practiced consistently. Spiritual ignorance causes agitation in the mind. Such a mind becomes nirmalam. Without malam, dirt, the mind attains ekathava jnanam, also referred to as ‘jivatma, paramatma eikya jnanam’ called akandakaram. Aham Brahmasmi! Self realization!

What’s Knowledge, ‘jnanam’? Once I see an object, an image is formed in the mind and next time when I see the same object, the mind recognizes that object to be a chair or tree. This is called Vritthi jnanam, leads to the question below.

To know anything or to gain knowledge of anything, the Knower, the known object, and the experience of Knowing, the three aspects are required even in the transactional life. Together these three are called ‘Triputi’.

When these three are there, the question posed here is, how can you say there’s only one?

Whatever jiva, being is here, is there, whatever is there is here, meaning all beings are the same. That ‘eikya jnanam’ should be practiced again and again, meaning all is One. The presence in me in the same in all beings. This is more challenging concept to grasp for the majority of humans.

Even if the akanda jynam(Aham Brahmasmi) is attained, this eiikya jnanam (Brahman alone IS) cannot happen… Without that, how is liberation (moksham) possible?

The response to this question is given by an example.

‘Bhedam’, not differences but diversity. In the universe there appears to be three distinct diversity.

‘Vijata bhedam’ where the distinct difference is between humans & animals (species),

‘Sajatiya bhedam’ where the difference is within humans (gender, height, weight, color, position, status)

‘Svagata bhedam’ difference is within one body (body parts), hands differ from legs, ears differ from nose.

Ajnana kalusham… Kataka renuvat (kataka-nut, Alum)

To realize the Self, all these appearing differences need to dissolve. The example given for this verse is Alum, the kataka nut, camphor, candle… They dissolve completely so also the Jivan, the individuality, upon realization of the Self has to completely dissolve in the supreme without any bhedam, differences. This logical explanation removes the ignorance and imparts Self Knowledge.

Verse 6

Samsaram, the world is like a dream because the entire life is due to samskaram, impressions, vasanai, just like in a dream where all the memories arise from the subconscious mind, so also our life from birth to death of the body.

A dream cannot appear without a base, some incident, situation faced, experienced that’s buried in the subconscious mind, manifests in a dream. They could even be from previous lives. Without that original existence in the mind, it just cannot come out.

Here the guru explains, Vivartha vadham… ‘One alone IS’. The world appears to be! Universe was not born out of Brahman..Not a parinama vadam meaning modification like a curd from milk.

The entire universe appears to be true as long as we’re in this realm, once the wisdom dawns, everything withers away, just like the waker is no longer connected with the dream, once awake. Unfulfilled desires, passions and emotions which we carry in our mind, projects in our dream. The agitations like fear, anger, worry, pride, likes and dislikes cause dreams.

A balanced mind who has brought the mind under control is not tossed by these emotions, wander away in dreams created by the feeble mind. Just like that dream state, the waking state is but a prolonged dream but we’re not prepared to accept it due to ignorance. We have not qualified ourselves to realize the ephemeral, temporary existence of everything around us including relationships, objects, body, mind.

The dream is quite real as long as the dreamer is there. Once he’s awake, the dream no longer exists. Similarly once we understand the all pervading Self, the pluralistic existence rolls off!

Verse 7

The world appears as long as we have not realized the substratum. The ‘world’ here refers to ‘total experiences in waking, dream and deep sleep states.’

Once, you get up from the dream, you don’t mourn for something that you lost in the dream. Waking up dissolves the dream state, so too the spiritual awakening removes the plurality, differences merge into One supreme substratum. Then we don’t mistake the world to be different from THAT One Supreme.

The example given here is when you see a snake at dusk, instantly the fear emotion creeps up and the seer looks for ways to eliminate the snake. Once the seer realizes it’s a rope, appears to be a snake, not only the fear but also the apparent snake also dissolves. Another example specified is when we see ghost on a pole, upon realization of the pole the ghost disappears, which also brought fear in you.

Verse 8 & verse 9 (repetition for emphasis)

Nothing new is ever created. Reconversion alone is creation. Scientifically later Einstein proved that matter can neither be created not destroyed only be converted, which is mentioned in scriptures eons ago.

In any creation, we need Efficient cause, Instrumental cause and Material cause like a potter, wheel and the mud! In infinite creation they all are one! There’s no actual creation..It’s only an appearance as a reflection in a clear mirror. When you see a reflection, you know there are no two of you!

Example presented for this verse is like bubbles in the water, everything evolves from the substratum sustains in IT and dissolves in IT. The word ‘Vibhuhu’, ‘Vishnu’ refers to ‘vyapaka sheelaha’, ‘all pervading’.

Verse 9

In any creation the fundamental cause are three separate materials.

The Material cause, is the raw material, the Instrumental cause is the equipment that’s used to create the object and the Efficient cause, is the intelligence, that works on the material to create an object. (Upadana karana is clay, nimitta karana, pot maker, sahakari karana, is equipment, the wheel used to create). The efficient (or intelligence) cannot be inert..

In the case of the creation of the world, the objects created are not separate from the creator. The word creation is used when it really refers to the manifestation as different objects and not created. Creation involves two, which defeats the concept of Advaita, non duality.

For example: Waves cannot claim separate existence,

Similarly the outer world and our physical, mental intellectual spheres, rise from, exist in and dissolve into that One supreme consciousness.

Just like our shadow cannot claim a separate existence, it’s not created but it appears to be! That’s why it is neither real not unreal, scriptures call it Mithya.

If you know the metal as iron or gold, which is the basis, then you can recognize everything that is made of iron or gold! Similarly know the substratum of this universe.

Everything is made of five elementals, (Pancha bhootam), Space, Air, Fire, Water & Earth and veils us from realizing brahmam.

Differences are but diversity..They all appear different but the foundation, the substratum is brahman, One Supreme. ‘Appearance’ itself means not real!

Everything that has name and form, don’t have separate existence, they lean on the substratum like the mud pots, they’re dependent on the clay. Clay exists before the clay pots are made, during the existence of clay pot and even after the clay pot is broken. Clay alone exists, pot is leaning on the clay. So too, the entire universe is dependent on One Supreme Brahman.

Verse 10

The student asks, when I see so many people, bodies, beings, diversity, how do you say only one exists?

The teacher answers with pertinent example. When four blindfolded individuals are asked to touch different parts of an elephant, each one describes based on their perception. One who touched the belly from underneath said it a ceiling, another touching the leg said, it’s a soft pillar, third one touched the trunk said its a huge rope, another one who touched the elephant’s said, its a grain winnowing tray. Just like all these parts and perceptions are put together and explained to each of them, that whatever each one saw is but one elephant, here acharya brings in a variety of examples to point out that everything is Brahman alone.

The Atma, by IT’s mere presence activates the senses, mind and intellect It’s like a mere presence of the boss in the office, everything else happens, everyone works. His presence alone activates all performances. So also, the entire universe is operating because of that One Supreme presence, that we can name as we please, God, Consciousness, Brahman, Atman, inner presence.

That parabrahman (Supreme Brahman) reflects in all conditionings. For ex: in temples you can see many mirrors present multiple reflection of the deity, so also that parabrahman reflects in various conditionings (like many mirrors) One appears as many.

Another example is the Sun reflects in all types of water – lake, pond, pots, mirror, concave, convex, showing different shape, size, height, weight, even though the source is one bright Sun, the diversity appears in multiplicity from One Brahman. It appears as though there’s multiplicity.

Conditionings (body, mind and intellect) is the cause for multiple appearance. When these conditionings dissolve, the jivatma (Atman in individual being) and paramatma (Brahman, the substratum of the universe) are one and the same. ‘Tan nashe sathi’, ‘the ego dissolves’ and the realization of atman is Brahman, sparks.

Acharya adds to clarify that One, without a second, alone exists. The space is all rooms are the same, the space is divided by the walls, when the walls are demolished there’s only One space.

This verse also suggests the seeker go deeper inside the five kosas, five layers. ‘I’, is not the body, breath, mind, intellect. IT’s everywhere! All pervading like space.

~ to be continued..



Source by Vijaya Jayaraman

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Poetry Monster

Atma Bodha Verses 51-60

Verse 51

A Self realized soul has no likes & dislikes, accepts everything as they come, contented from within, with no desire to go, attain or achieve. Such an individual has an equanimous view, without any attraction or repulsion towards anyone or any situation.

A realized individual is not drawn to anything outside of oneself, has no expectations, realizes that everything is temporary (anityam). It doesn’t mean one depressed but is satisfied, contented, equanimous & Happiness, like a lamp shining brightly inside a pot and no one can see from outside, is referred as Jivan mukti. To the realized one, the world does not appear, meaning, one sees himself in all and all in oneself.

Verse 52

As specified earlier, the realized soul is not affected by any situation just like the space, specified often in upanishads, that cannot be tainted, axed, burnt, wet or dried.

It’s the realization that the substratum alone is real and all forms & names are but appearances without a definite existence of their own. When the butter is extracted, it stands aloof, does not merge back into the buttermilk, so also the realized person is separate, neither attached nor affected by anything, lives as a witness until the prarabdha karma ends.

Verse 53

Prarabhda karma is the cause of the current body to experience the pleasures & pain. The body is a location, boga sthanam.

Upon Self realization, the karmas are erased and the jivan dissolves into that One Supreme Presence, similar to the rivers merging into the ocean, little flame merges into the fire, the space inside the pot merging with the universal space, losing their name & form.

Sanjita, the accumulated consequences of past karmas and Agami, the seeds for the next birth, both get erased in the fire of Self Knowledge thus there’s no rebirth for the realized jivan.

Verse 54

As that One Supreme cannot be pointed out, the next three verses are descriptive languages with adjectives. These are also called ‘Tatastha Lakshanam’, meaning ‘with reference to’!

Self Knowledge is the most profound knowledge beyond which there’s nothing else to gain, it’s the absolute bliss, beyond which there’s no other happiness, absolute profit, beyond which none to achieve.

That which is Advaita (non dual), Nishkria(inactive), Nirvikaram(without any changes), that’s Brahman, absolute Bliss, One without a second!

Verse 55

This is very similar to the previous verse. The Supreme presence is that One, upon realizing which, there’s nothing else to see (not available to physical senses), or gain any Knowledge resulting in no rebirth for the individual, jivan.

The benefit of realizing that One Supreme Brahman is the elimination of fear. Fearless existence is the liberation from all shackles of life, it’s the contentment. Upon realizing that it’s only a rope and not a coiled snake, the fear goes away and thereby, words and actions related to that fear also goes away, so also this Self knowledge eliminates all fears in the universe.

That Supreme is the personification of Happiness, parama sukam, incomparable Bliss.

Verse 56

That Supreme, all pervading presence is emphasized here to be here, there, North, South,East, West, up and down. It’s complete, full, Its Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

That Supreme presence is compared to space in this verse as both are limitless, without any modifications, ever present, only one of a kind but the distinct difference is that Supreme presence is Knowledge,Chit but not the space! Space does not know it exists, it does not have that knowledge.

Verse 57

How can we know that Supreme presence? Adi Sankara in this verse says only by means of Vedantic scriptures. The scriptures point out, indicate, neti, neti, meaning the process of negation, referred as ‘Atat ya vritti lakshanam’ in Sanskrit.

By negating the form, name and any modification, the physical body, Annamayya kosa is negated. Then by saying it’s inactive negates the breath layer or Pranamaya kosa is negated, followed by the negation of the mind, the flow of thoughts the Manonmaya kosa, therefore the subtle body is negated leading to the negation of the causal body, meaning without any impressions.

That One presence without a second is limitless, One Absolute Bliss!

Verse 58

That One Supreme presence which is absolute and all pervading One alone IS and is in all beings, all that appears to exist. The joy, pleasures that all these beings from the Deities to the minute species, all combined is but a glimpse of that One Supreme Bliss.

Verse 59

That One presence, called Atman, is in all appearances. We love another person or being symbolizes the recognition of that presence in that embodiment. Without that presence everything is inert.

All names and forms dissolve in that One. One appears as many! This is the gist of verse 59

Verse 60

Here again that Supreme presence, Atman is described as it’s all pervading and cannot be specifically described as it’s neither short, nor long, neither fat nor thin, birthless and deathless, therefore everything in between, without personalities, name or form.

Everything is understood, learnt, grasped only because of that One presence, though IT cannot be seen, heard, touched, felt, smelt or tasted…

As in verse 12, this body, this world is made of five elements which have no capacity to know that they exist, but which are all experienced only by that One. That One is the Subject and the subject can never be the object. Even to know, understand, realize IT, one needs ITs grace…



Source by Vijaya Jayaraman