Friday, July 28, 2006

Ajativada

Advaita Vedanta Ajativada
DVAITA MEANS NOT TWO IN SANSKRIT. So the philosophy is that 'ALL IS ONE'; MAN, ANIMALS, VEGETABLES, MINERALS. There are varying theories or degrees of understanding with Advaita.
1. That somebody or something-God, created the world.
2. That it arises as the same time as we perceive it.
3. Finally Ajativada, that it never happened at all...

“The Advaita :
"brahmAkAratayA sadA sthitatayA nirmukta-bAhyArtha-dhIH anyAvedita-bhogya-bhoga-kalano nidrAluvat bAlavat / svapnAlokita-lokavat jagad-idaM pashyan kvacin-labdha-dhIH Aste kashcid ananta-puNya-phala-bhuk dhanyaH sa mAnyo bhuvi //" (Viveka-chudamani: Verse #426)
On account of constant absorption in Brahman, freed from the sense of reality of external objects, only seemingly enjoying them when offered by others, like a sleepy baby, perceiving the world as that seen in a dream and recognising it only now and then, such a man is indeed rare. He is the enjoyer of the fruits of untold merit and is truly held blessed and revered on earth.
AJATIVADA means the the creation which we see has never been created at all. It is an illusion and is not really there. They say that even the effort to find out how this creation has come about is a compromise - it reveals ignorance of the truth. The above two vadas start with a presumption of taking the world to be really there, which itself may be baseless. To start any process of understanding with a possibly wrong & baseless presumption is obviously not the right way of enquiry. Strangely enough if we start this enquiry whether the creation is really there or not then we get astounding results : it is seen that it does not have any independent existence at all. This is what the drishti-shrishti-vadins too subsequently prove. If this is a fact then why waste time to prove creation of something which is not really there. To temporarily accept a falsehood is not compassion but a compromise and wrong, and has all the consequences of other falsehood. Truth should be declared as truthfully as possible - in its raw form. The entire effort of the Ajata-vadins is the communicate how the creation has never come about and therefore is just an illusion. It is only after the realisation of the complete ephemerality & illusoriness of the creation that even the thoughts of it are naturally effaced and when the creation stands totally negated in this way then alone the ever- existent & self-effulgent reality becomes evident & revealed. So Ajatavada which has been revealed by the Mandukya Upanishad and explained in texts like Yoga Vasishta is the ideal way of looking at the world which is conducive & compatible to awakening to the transcendental truth. The Ajatavada is not basically designed even for the knowledge of Self, it is a fact by itself, and the knowledge of Self follows the right knowledge of that which obstructs our complete attention of the truth, namely the right knowledge of truth of the creation.......Swami Atmananda."
It seems to me that even to take the world or creation as a projection or appearance is incorrect. This implies that there are two beings Brahman and the Jiva or viewer of the illusion. Brahman has allowed this son of a barren woman to have some validity to itself as the Jiva only. Brahman and Jiva being one!
For if this creation ultmately had some validity it would not disappear on Moksha and dropping the body. However it does it seems disappear as never having happened in the first place.
This means it is not even an appearance and can only be viewed because the Jiva is Brahman. It never happened at all.
It seems that much is ascribed to Sankara that perhaps he didn't write. However the Brahma Sutra and commentaries are more than likely his. Sankara at the time was refuting Buddhism as most people couldn't understand it and thought it was atheism, or somthing similar. So IMO Sankara, like all sages taught at several levels. Which means at each level it is appropriate and true to the audience, like Ramana for example.
Therefore it is my opinion that Sankara taught Ajatavada as well as Vivartavada. Hoever the ultimate Truth must be Ajatavada, for nothing is unfolding. There is no question of non existence becoming existence for it never happened at all. There is no existence or pre existence and at the same time it is only a void in the fact that it is not pre existent, unfolding or manifest.
There is no substratum, otherwise it would still exist on the death of the body/mind in a Mukta and it is said by Sages not to exist.
It is not possible to understand Nirguna so we only have to drop the veil. This is very difficult for people on the Bhakti path or even on the Jnani Path of Saguna Brahman. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that we cannot understand everything with a finite mind. Eventually we have to let go of the fear and the comfort of Saguna. Buddha didn't teach complete void anyway. He said there was an unmanifest an unbecoming.
It seems to me that taking into account of what is said by Jivanmuktas there is nothing happening at all, for it is all only associated with the body and mind. So I would plump for Sankara's teaching being ultimately Ajatavada for that is the state of the Jivanmukta, at death.
Advaita is based on the principle of the pre-existence of the effect in the cause. CN:-Cee; wrote: "This being the case, the term 'vivartavada' more appropriately describes the Advaita position of 'non-creation'than does the term 'ajativada'.Why?The term 'vivarta' indicates an 'unfolding'. What is it that unfoldsin creation? It is not possible for the non-existent to come intoexistence. What comes into existence must necessarily be alreadyexisting. When a thing that is not manifested is said to be non-existing, it is only covered over, as it were. Therefore, its
cominginto being is the showing forth of the already existent – aphenomenon that the word 'unfolding' describes better than a word
having the connotation of voidness. The instrument of unfolding isspeech (indicating that an insight into the nature of speech isimportant for the understanding of Advaita Vedanta). The unfoldingdoes not truly create anything new, but only shows forth names andforms that are eternally one with Brahman. To echo the Acharya's words: "Just as Brahman, the cause is never without existence in
all the three periods of time, so also the universe, which is the effect, never parts with Existence in all the three periods." Therefore there is no creation in the absolute sense; there is only the magic of 'Leela' (sport) played out in the realm of names and forms resting on the substratum of Brahman with which they are One. (To see the mystery of Oneness requires ratio - reason - to return to the cave of the heart from which it originated.)" The word 'vivarta' implies a substratum out of which the world unfolds, whereas the word 'ajati' implies a voidness of things.Still, the term 'ajativada' may be employed in a certain sense forexplaining the Advaita position. The world seen by the ajnyani(ignorant) is false because it is seen divested of the Self that
is...Vivarta, as per Monnier Williams Dictionary, means:
(in Veda7nta) error , illusion , an apparent or illusory form , unreality (caused by A-vidya1 "' , ignorance "' , and removed by Vidya1 , `" true knowledge ) Veda7ntas.
Other meanings for the word, as per the same source, are:
changing from one state to another , modification , alteration , transformation , altered form or condition Ka1v. Katha1s
{-vAda} m. a method of asserting the Vedanta doctrine (maintaining the development of the Universe from Brahma as the sole real entity , the phenomenal world being held to be a mere illusion or Ma1ya1 ; cf. %{pariNAma-vAdA})
In my way of thinking Vivarta is an illusion, that is only evident in delusion.
There is no time so everything seemingly happens at once so nothing is unfolding or being projected.
In deep sleep or sushupti the world disappears, except for a thought of existence in the jiva.
The Sages say when one becomes realised the world becomes then an appearance on the Self/Saguna.
However when the body drops there is no appearance, no reason for Saguna only Nirguna. This is why I said that Sankara taught Ajatavada in his ultimate teachings. Even though at some levels to some audiences he also taught vivartavada, as valid to a certain degree. Sankara also said it is real whilst one is in it, inferring that it isn't real when one is not in it.
It is hard to accept the idea of Nirguna, for some it is disturbing and frightening and to others it is just incomprehensible.
One will never be able to understand it, only rise above it all.
We have the illusion of individuality like whirlpools in the ocean. We bring ourselves to the point where we can accept all is one, and we are That.
However creation disappears on realisation, well at dropping the body anyway. In the meantime all is seen as one Self.
This also must be an illusion for the Self associated with the dream disappears with the dream.
Therefore the Ajata theory comes forth, that it never happened in the first place and there is only Nirguna or non attributeless Brahman.
This is the first and the last step, this is the alpha and omega..............
Mandukya Upanishad … by Swami Atmananda Mandukya Upanishad is an Upanishad found in the Atharvana Veda. It is basically one of the smallest Upanishad containing only 12 mantras, yet it is one of the most respected and important Upanishad. Before the advent of Sri Adi Sankara his paramguru Sri Gaudapadacharya wrote a commentary called Karika on this Upanishad. This Karika has become so important and famous that today it is seen as a part of the Mandukya Upanishad itself. Sri Sankara thus wrote his Bhashya on both the Upanishad and Karika shlokas as a single text.
There are two things extremely famous about this Upanishad. One this Upanishad reveals the methodology of realising Brahman as OM. OM is revealed both as the end and the means. It is verily a commentary on OM. The viveka which is followed to discern the truth is the 'Awastha-traya-viveka' i.e. discrimination based on the three states of consciousness. Secondly this Upanishad has in it one of the four Mahavakyas which have been choosen from the four Vedas. "Ayam Atma Brahma" i.e. This Atma alone is Brahman. In Muktiko Upanishad we have the briefest and yet the most glorious review on Mandukya wherein it is said that "Mandukya alone is sufficient for an aspirant to reach liberation" (Mandukyam ekam kevalam mumukshunaam vimuktaye).
The Upanishad along with Karikas (total of 215 shlokas) is divided into four chapters called Prakaranas. The Agama Prakarana (has 12 mantras & 29 shlokas of Karika), Vaithathya Prakarana (has 38 shlokas), Advaita Prakarana (has 48 shlokas), and the Alatshanti Prakarana (has100 shlokas). The first chapter contains all the twelve original mantras, and the non-dual reality has been revealed here purely on the basis of the scripture. From second prakarana onwards we have an independent commentary on these mantras. In the Vaithathya Prakarana we have Sri Gaudapadacharya revealing the world as ephemeral. by equating the waking state to the dream state. The approach is purely logical. In the third i.e. the Advaita Prakarana we have the teacher revealing the non-dual reality again purely on the basis of logic and then also validating it by appropriate scriptural statements. In the last chapter called Alata-shanti prakarana, we have not only the summarisation of the entire book but also some unique things. In this chapter the Theory of Causality is shattered to pieces, the illusiory world is compared to a rotating firebrand which presents illusions of circles which are not really there, and the Self is thus revealed as the one non-dual reality itself, free from all cause-effect relationships.
One thing which has become a hallmark of this Upanishad is the Theory of Ajatavada. Normally some scriptures give some theory of creation, only to later prove the creation to be ephemeral, while here Gaudapada appears to be very uncompromising. He doesnt like going the longer way, he declares right from the beginning itself that there is no creation whatsoever. He considers the compassionate effort of some to temporarily accept the creation as a compromise. He thunders the raw truth uncompromisingly. My edited entry on Wikipedia..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta_Ajativada

1 comment:

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