Greatly sincere student of Vedānta – Harikīrttanadāsa (HH BSGG – SCSM – Mauritius)
From ‘BRVF – Vedanta – 2 / भ.र.वे.प्र. – वेदान्त – २’ group on WhatsApp
Harikirtanadasa BSGG — SCSM — Mauritius:
A request to improve the learning for the delight of the students of this forum:
I have noticed many a time sanskritized ślokas are quoted from various sources to either substantiate the validity of a certain view or to reject the same, which is a very good approach for it is scholarly and goes in line to the śāstra.
However, as unforunately many of us here, including me at this stage, do not know sanskrit that well hence we tend to miss on the meaning if only the excerpt ślokas are presented.
It is being requested to kindly always make it a point to provide its english translation just after the śloka is quoted (I have noticed some times, albeit very rare, translation is given but 98% of the time it is missing.
//Otherwise, the Brahma-sūtra wouldn’t have declared — “śāstra-yonitvāt” (1.1.3) + “śrutes tu śabda-mūlatvāt” (2.1.27).//
As Ācārya Śrī and the moderators may observe, the quote is given to substantiate a point but it is only understood to the scribe as people like are still dependent on English translation at this stage (although we are keen and desirous to learn the nuances of sanskrit grammar and looks forward to Ācārya Śrī to impart us this śikṣā) and this is missing.
So with such beautifully weaved expositions of beautiful, esoteric knowledge being dispersed here, it is a humble request to kindly ensure the English translation equivalent of śloka is always given.
[07/03 18:36] Harikirtanadasa BSGG — SCSM — Mauritius:
I have attempted to answer this Praśna-Mālā series. However, since I felt the presentation of the previous write-up was way too much compacted (all including former theory, argument 1, argument 2 etc., the śloka and its translations etc.), I had to break it down to make it much more readable and also aesthetically-speaking, it appears much more presentable and thus readable.
Note: If Ācārya Śrī likes the presentation-format which I am going to paste below, my prārthanā to him is to also try to implement his write-up in a similar format which will makes things more easy to read, *more space to breathe* as otherwise gluing so many things in one paragraphs makes it hard to read.
After the presentation of this write-up, I have presented my answers at the bottom.
[07/03 18:37] Harikirtanadasa BSGG — SCSM — Mauritius:
Just as in certain places in the scriptures, the senses like that of vāgādi-indriya — oration etc. have been addressed as ‘prāṇa’ (vital air constituting the living force within the body) due to the formers’ dependence on the latter [prāṇa] for its operation (senses cannot function without the inspiration of the prāṇa-vāyu) – despite the difference between those indriyas and the prāṇa-vāyu (according to Sāṅkhya-darśanam); so similarly, this world [jagat] constituted of the resultant conglomeration of the sentient-insentient beings (cij-jaḍātmaka-jagat) has been considered non-different from the Absolute Reality/brahma and has, thus, been addressed by the word ‘brahma’ as well.
This, in no way, indicates that:
- jagat [the world] and the jīva [its being] is brahma,
- or, even non-different from brahma.
At most, it indicates that the jagat and jīva are relying on brahma for their existence (brahmādhīna-sattāvān-jīva-jagat). This subordinate existence of the world and the living beings to that of the Absolute has been verified in the testimony of Śrīmad-bhagavadgītā wherein, it is stated that:
BG 7.7 —‘..mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ sūtre maṇigaṇā iva…’
tr. just as pearls/flowers stay on the substratum of a thread, — similarly the sentient-cum-insentient beings in the world exist on the power of Absolute Śrī Hari or para-brahma.
Hence, sometimes in the scriptures, jagat (for both sentient-insentient) has been named as ‘brahma’ e.g. Upaniṣadic assertions like – ‘tat tvam asi’, ‘sarvaṁ khalu idaṁ brahma’, ‘ayam ātmā brahma’, ‘so ‘ham’, ‘prajñānaṁ brahma’ etc.
- What is the implication of the statements asserting the identity/oneness of the jīvas and jagat with the brahma?
Ans. We [both, the jagat in which we live in and the jīvas] are parcel [aṁśa] of the absolute and whatever we have, whether for sentient-insentient beings, originates from the absolute Para-Brahma i.e., Śrī Hari.
From Jagat Viewpoint: E.g, 1 — Everything originates from the source Example is, the very air-particle that we breathe originates from the absolute that has come down [to whichever loka we are within this jagat] to us. So it would be right to say to everything, there is a source which powers that.
From Jīva Viewpoint: Eg., 1 — Śrī Hari and its Puṇya Phala Since there is a source which powers everything, this includes applies even for bhakti and it is said that in Kali-Yuga to have bhakti for Śrī Hari means this is the phala [i.e., some good puṇya] done in some previous lives that resulted for us to be in this [higher] state. If I am not mistaken, I believe the source of this statement is Nārada muni who must have said this in his bhakti sūtra or purāṇa.
From Jīva Viewpoint: Eg., 2 — Śrī Hari and Air-Sustenance
Also even for the air that we breathe in to sustain within our [human] lungs, it is only owing to the magnanimity of Śrī Hari who is helping that air be sustained and processed which in turn helps to keep the person alive and subsequently sustains the prāṇa-vāyu as well. So for this [prāṇa vāyu gets to sustain in us, so long is life in us] to happen, it also proves that our alive-body [containing prāṇa vāyu] is dependent on Śrī Hari — and this goes in line with Śrī Kṛṣṇa teaching of bhagavadgītā 7.7 […mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ sūtre maṇigaṇā iva…]
From Jīva Viewpoint: Eg., 3 — Śrī Hari and Death
There is also another teaching on this dependency-concept as enunciated in the BG 7.7 that speaks of Harihara [a.k.a Śaṅkara-Nārāyaṇa] that says that, both Hari and Hara (Śiva in his Rudra epithet, having the destructive power) in their joint-form are facing us, where each other is being in saṁ-mukha i.e., and it is said that the very day Śrī Hari turns his face away, hara will bring death i.e., the soul will be separated from the body. But so long Hari is facing to Hara in saṁ-mukha, death won’t take place but rather life-force (prāṇa vāyu) continues.
From Jīva Viewpoint: Eg., 3 — Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi i.e., Para-Brahma within us
Also for higher beings like Manuṣya, there is an adage that states that the absolute/brahman is within us.
Since the brahman is within us, one gets to peep through this universe and connects through the various realm of reality through meditation [I’ve forgotten what is the technical term for the meditative-avasthā called].
From Jīva Viewpoint: Eg., 4 — Sarvam Khalvidaṁ Brahma i.e., One sees everything equal to Para-Brahma
This goes in line with the statement that once someone loses his inferior [default manuṣya like his ego, name etc.] identity after evolving to certain stage, where jīvana-muktāṁśa is the last, one sees and considers everything and everyone to be same and equal to Śrī Hari.
If I am not mistaken, Prahlāda was of in this avasthā. However, I stand corrected.
- What is the relation of the senses beginning with speech (vāg-indriya) – with the vital air (prāṇa-vāyu)?
If there is no prāṇa-vāyu, how will the body function properly? It’s like a dying radio with its battery almost empty. Obviously in such a case, the transmitter’s lights and speakers [alluded to the human indriyas] will be very dim and barely function.
Prāṇa Vāyu is sustained in us like Śrī Hari and functions as him — He powers everything. So long life-force is good and strong, so long one can expect everything to work including the ability to talk.
A practical real-life example can be seen that often times, old people who are about to die, they barely having the capacity to even speak. This is because Prāṇa Vāyu is weak and is about to leave their body.
- What is meant by considering the subservient existence to brahma (brahmādhīna-sattā)?
I think it can be answered by taking the Sun as example. The day the Sun [which, per se, is a star] dies, life on Earth also will cease to exist.
So if Sun is equated to [Para-]Brahma [the absolute who is sarva-vyāpaka i.e., who pervades everything, and who said to be both within & outside us], we can only say we are dependent even unknowingly, or indirectly, unto that unknown power for we are verily sustained by it.
Link — https://goo.gl/sxQsMV