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Chapter XI: The Vision of Non-Duality: Knowledge Yoga.

Beyond Enlightenment

Relative Knowledge, Absolute Knowledge, Seeking Stops When the Knowledge Is Firm, Self-inquiry , The Real and the Apparently Real,Limitless Does Not Mean Big, It Is Ordinary Awareness, They Exist but They Are Not Real, Non-Duality Does Not Mean Sameness, The Key to Liberation: Understanding Awareness, Jiva and Isvara, Freedom from or Freedom for Jiva?, Limitless Bliss , The Five Sheaths, The Three StatesThe Waker, The Dreamer, The Sleeper, The Opposite Thought, The Three Gunas.

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Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:31 am

Hello everybody :)

I have recently heard the following quote by Shri Atmananda (Direct Path): "That finally there isn't even awareness". I wonder if Vedanta would agree with this sentence?

To say "I am awareness" is a great and wonderful teaching tool. There is no question about this. I just wonder how the sentence is understood "after enlightenment".
I mean, in the end the sentence is just a thought happening in me. And all thoughts are mythia. Are not real. So to say anything at all is basically mythia. Even to say "I am awareness" in the end is mythia. Whatever is mythia is not real and not me. Thus, there isn't even awareness.
Can you follow me? Is this correct?
Would Vedanta agree or disagree?

When I read the chapter "Beyond enlightenment" in James Swartz book "How to attain enlightenment" I basically see it approved:
"I cannot be objectified. [...] I am not describable, nor am I indescribable." (page 272)

What do you think? Would Vedanta (as a teaching) agree or disagree with Sri Atmananda sentence?
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby nvdd39 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:05 am

Hi Georgschiller
Vedanta definitely agrees with this statement, clearly stated in various verses where nature of self is described
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Vinay » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:25 am

Hi Georg,

This is what I think..

I mean, in the end the sentence is just a thought happening in me. And all thoughts are mythia. Are not real. So to say anything at all is basically mythia. Even to say "I am awareness" in the end is mythia. Whatever is mythia is not real and not me. Thus, there isn't even awareness.


I believe it's an incorrect conclusion. The sentence "I am Awareness" is being said in Mithya, but it's pointing to something outside Mithya, to the substrate on which Mithya exists. Creation is Mithya, but what happens when there is no creation. Even then the Self is "self-aware". It is pure Awareness, with or without Mithya.

When I read the chapter "Beyond enlightenment" in James Swartz book "How to attain enlightenment" I basically see it approved:
"I cannot be objectified. [...] I am not describable, nor am I indescribable." (page 272)


Here Ramji is talking from the Jiva's perspective. I cannot be objectified, because I am the very subject itself. I am not describable, because the puny Jiva's mind cannot fathom my full magnificence.

I have recently heard the following quote by Shri Atmananda (Direct Path): "That finally there isn't even awareness". I wonder if Vedanta would agree with this sentence?


As far as I know, Atmananda taught Vedanta albeit in a non-traditional way. It would be interesting to know the full context in which he made this statement.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Stan » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:05 am

Some more thoughts....

That finally there isn't even awareness". I wonder if Vedanta would agree with this sentence?


There isn`t awareness for whom ?
I tend to agree with Vinay that the statement is made from the position of the jiva who doesn`t have the final say.
The original context of this statement would be very helpful to have for the sake of clarity though.....

Vinay said...

because I am the very subject itself. I am not describable, because the puny Jiva's mind cannot fathom my full magnificence."


Even if it could, no words would be adequate. How can something that is unlimited be contained by something as limited as words. therfore the self/awareness is `beyond` words but the words carry an inner meaning that is being pointed to.

If I have assimilated the truth of my true nature, I can certainly say that `I am awareness` ...the self.. and mean it. The jiva cannot say this but the jivanmukta can as he/she is non separate from awareness.

I mean, in the end the sentence is just a thought happening in me. And all thoughts are mythia. Are not real. So to say anything at all is basically mythia. Even to say "I am awareness" in the end is mythia. Whatever is mythia is not real and not me. Thus, there isn't even awareness.


If we are to use that term.."in the end", "there isn`t even awareness", then we can also say "in the end" that `satya and mithya` are not real either ; everything is real !
My thoughts, feelings, trees, the planets are all real. why, because they are all me..awareness. they are all in me alone. "in the end".

Georg, if you know where that original statement of Atmananda`s came from, I would be interested to see the context behind it if possible. I do a fair bit of reading on Atmananda`s teachings and have got probably most of his material...a bit of a secret vice ;)
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Stan » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:39 am

Hi nvdd39,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the input. we`re glad to have you with us. :-)
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:44 am

Thank you for your answers! I admit that this is quite a hot topic and as far as I know there is little talk (and even less agreement) on this topic.

I don't think there must be an agreement with the statement. There are different positions and views we can have towards the statement.
I just noticed it has the potential to free us from some attachments. However, not everybody has the same attachments to begin with, thus some teachings are more important than others depending on the individual.

Vinay wrote:Atmananda taught Vedanta albeit in a non-traditional way. It would be interesting to know the full context in which he made this statement.


The way I understand the sentence "In the end there is no awareness" does not imply that there is NO awareness. It also does not imply that there IS awareness. It goes beyond existence (awareness) and non-existence (no awareness).

I am not sure how to best describe it. It would probably be much easier to use a common object like an orange instead of awareness:

e.g.
"In the end there is no orange."
Why?

Because all we experience is just the texture of the orange, the colour of the orange and the taste of the orange. All of these senses depend on the mind to be processed and evaluated. What does the mind depend on? Awareness! Thus, there is no real experience of an orange as such.

But this does not mean that the orange does not exist. It just means it is not real. Thus, the sentence "In the end there is no orange" is neither true nor wrong. The same is meant with awareness.

Or to use the logic of Vedanta:
Thoughts are mythia
"I am awareness" is a thought
= thus "I am awareness" is mythia

However, this does not mean "i am awareness" is wrong or false. We can use mythia (teachings) to get to sathya.
It is like James saying In the end you can throw away Vedanta. It is just a means (teaching) to get free of suffering and clinging.

@Stan: I got the sentence by Atmananda from a book preview which will be published in about 8 months. I am sorry, I don't have the exact source. You can take a look at the preview: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5bu1q86z56bqm ... s.pdf?dl=0
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:13 am

Well, just to be sure this topic is not at all relevant for Moksha. It is just an interesting subject if you are interested in other paths. Only then is the sentence "in the end there is no awareness" of relevance.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby nvdd39 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:01 pm

Thanks Stan I am thrilled to be on this amazing forum.
non traditional teachers like Atmananda and Nisargadutta use beyond Awareness to establish non duality, it is also apparent in duality to know I exist or I am aware I dont need any object. same way when there is no creation Only awareness is but then this word awareness need not be used as awareness is aware of itself only.

issue is with the word "Awareness", we all understand there is nothing beyond ME and only Traditional Vedanta gives this knowledge as its words are vetted for centuries and dont contain such bits of subtle ignorance
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:09 am

Hi Nvdd39,

good to see you again! Thanks for joining in :) Your post is very interesting!

Do you think then that traditional Vedanta agrees with the sentence "In the end there isn't even Awareness"? I am asking because I have never heard this sentence from a traditional Vedanta teacher.

What is your experience?
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Mira » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:23 pm

Let me add my welcome, Nvdd39. It's good to have you here :D.

I have recently heard the following quote by Shri Atmananda (Direct Path): "That finally there isn't even awareness". I wonder if Vedanta would agree with this sentence?


I think the context is essential here. If awareness/existence/reality is being equated with creation---then this is true (but not correct). Awareness is the bedrock or substrate of creation and is present even when there is no creation. So awareness (sat) is always present. It has to be, by definition, since it is the fundamental reality.

I don't know much about the direct path--so I googled it. And found this quote about Atmananda:
In 1923 he came to realize his true nature. He assumed the name Shri Atmananda and began teaching. He continued to work in the Police Department up to 1939. Later on, he once said that a profession within the police or the military offers an ideal foundation for a spiritual sAdhanA, because such a profession offers in particular the maximum obstacles and temptations.


That gave me a good laugh. I think I can say that about my own profession too. But with Vedantic teachings, everyday also seems to be an opportunity for moksha amidst the chaos :D.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby nvdd39 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:13 pm

Thanks George and Mira
I am glad to be amongst fellow vedantins. George my experience is various paths but currently studying anonymously with Shri Ram ji aka James :) and Swami Parmarthananda for few years now via mp3s and videos etc.

In my humble understanding traditional Vedanta agrees with statement may be not in exact those words. Language is always dualistic and can be very confusing specially coming from non traditional non dual teachers.
Traditional Vedanta is very strict with language to eliminate this issue and hence uses technical terms and defines them extensively. word "Awareness" can be confusing James translates it as Brahman which is traditional word used all over Upanishads.
in general word "Awareness" implies being aware of something i.e Consciousness directed towards an object i.e Duality Self and non self. and I think Atmananda meant "Pure Self" by Beyond Awareness, I am saying this because he knew what he was talking about in terms of reality I have read his books and they have clear insights which u cant get without "knowing" but his language is not "Clean" as James would say as he was not taught how to teach as per tradition.
please excuse if above doesn't make any sense I am relatively new to this and English is not my first language.
P>S James has 2 video sets on Atmanandas work I would suggest you watch those Atma Darshan and Atma Nivritti if you want to get more insight into Direct path and Atmananda himself as a teahcer

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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Stan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:09 am

Hi nvdd39,

Not sure why, but I always have to smile when I type that nvdd39 moniker. I think it`s quite fitting in a way. jiva`s may as well have a number as a name...nice and`impersonal`. I have to say that your writing is excellent for someone who has english as a second language. I wouldn`t have known. I too am fluent in a second language but my writing in it is nowhere near as fluent as yours.

I`m a bit of an Atmananda enthusiast in a secondary way and have all his available writings and books. It seems that you are similar to some degree or other. I like to read his little teachings/prakrias in his three books called `spiritual discourses`. they keep the mind nice and sharp and it makes for an aditional teaching. I agree totally with what you said here ...

I am saying this because he knew what he was talking about in terms of reality I have read his books and they have clear insights which u cant get without "knowing" but his language is not "Clean" as James would say as he was not taught how to teach as per tradition.


Yes, he did know what he was talking about. I put his teaching far ahead of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta but that`s my opinion. Yes you do have to know what he is talking about and he does not use the `awareness` word for example. He uses the `absolute` and other words but once you translate his terms for some of the more standard vedanta words, it`s pretty plain sailing. Those `experiential` words can be confusing but he taught daily and `unfolded` the meaning of his words in his satsangs as per a vedanta teacher would.
It`s because of his insistance of the importance of unfolding the meaning of his words and the necessity of a guru that he didn`t want his teachings to be distributed after his death so as not to cause confusion. some people think that his descendants are just jealously keeping the teachings to themseves but that is not the case. As you said, his words are not strictly `vedanta clean` and if he would have kept it that way and taught as a trained teacher, he would have helped a great many more people.
Thinking of which, Georg said....

"That finally there isn't even awareness".


This was a quote taken from a preview of a forthcoming book by Greg Goode and in that preview, there is no context given for that sentence. Given that Atmananda didn`t even use the awareness word, we also have to rely on Greg`s interpretation of what Atmananda was talking about. ( thanks for that reference Georg. ). This makes the matter rather confusing and it`s therefore hard to say anything for sure. I`ll probably check out Greg`s book when it comes out just to see what the fuss is all about !

George later said...

Well, just to be sure this topic is not at all relevant for Moksha. It is just an interesting subject if you are interested in other paths. Only then is the sentence "in the end there is no awareness" of relevance.


I`m not sure about this as in good old vedanta style, it seems to be right and wrong at the same time. `Also and` not `Either or,`.
Why, because the direct path so called is nothing other than Knowledge yoga which has it`s own chapter towards the end of each of James` main books on enlightenment.
Is knowledge yoga "not at all relevant for Moksha" ?

When you consider it covers the methodology of inquiry, the practise of knowledge, cause and effect, the real and the apparent, subjec-object, the three states, five sheaths and other topics it`s hard to say that it`s not at all relevant.

On the other hand, it`s not the whole teaching either. It`s not a logical and full unfolding of the complete teaching and...where`s Isvara in all of this ?
Without the knowledge of Isvara, enlightenment is not complete because it has not destroyed one`s identity with the doer. The relationship between awareness, Isvara and jiva has to be understood. This is where the so called direct path shows it`s limitations. It can work for qualified people only and it might be enough for the few very highly qualified souls who might need just a few words to dispel their last doubts.
In vedanta, knowledge yoga is not singled out as being a path. it is just part of one whole `pathless` path.

I wonder if that "That finally there isn't even awareness" sentence makes any sense at all. Is it knowledge ?
Where is there anything that is truly final ? If it were true, then the question would have to be,...How do you know ? before any object is known there has to be awareness.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:49 am

Thanks for your replies! Much appreciated ;)

I will - if possible - talk with James about it once I meet him in Berlin. If possible I will record his response and post it in here :)

All the best!
Georg :D
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:54 am

Hi guys,

as promised I talked to James today at the Berlin retreat 2016.

I asked him whether "I am awareness" eventually falls away.

His response was:
At the end of Nididyasana when there is total satisfaction. When there is total bliss, then the "I am awareness" falls away.
It becomes your nature at which point there is no use of "I am awareness". I am awareness is just another thought appearing in me.

On the question what is left then, he replied:
Just this. Just this moment, this perfect satisfaction, this bliss.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Vinay » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:56 am

Hi Georg,

Thanks for posting Ramji's reply!

Hope you're having a good time in Berlin.

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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Mira » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:36 pm

Hi Georg,
Thanks for the wonderful words of wisdom from Ramji.

And they are relevant to the other thread we are currently discussing on the blissful experience of the Jivanmukta.

Please give Ramji our best wishes and hope you enjoy Berlin.

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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Hi Mira and Vinay,

Vinay wrote:Hope you're having a good time in Berlin.Vinay


Mira wrote:Please give Ramji our best wishes and hope you enjoy Berlin.Mira


Yes, the Berlin seminar was great! I really enjoyed it! I told him to set it up on the shop so that it becomes accessible to others.

Sundari was also present in Berlin. She asked me on tips regarding how to be more interactive with the shiningworld community.
I told her to make a weekly video talking about a common vedanta question or to set up the webinars again.
I also advised her to be more regular with the newsletters.
I told her to make them shorter, just a few pictures with some text in case there is not enough time.

What do you think? Do you have any tips regarding interactive communication by Sundari and James?

I can forward anything as I will probably see them again this Sunday at the next seminar in Germany.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Mira » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:36 pm

Hi Georg,
OK, I'm envious! You got to see Ted in India and then this is your third or fourth satsang with Ramji since I've known you.

As an aside, I was in Berlin recently and saw an incredible exhibition of the art from the Holocaust. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

Regards feedback--I like your ideas. I also look forward eagerly to the newsletter. Perhaps it would be nice if the SW teachers made a brief comment on the forum now and then. It does not have to be an answer to a question or anything like that---it could be a recommendation for a book they have read or a video they have enjoyed. Of course, I know how busy they are with writing the satsangs so I would not want to add to their schedule.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Stan » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:56 am

Hi Mira and all. Time for a little news !

I also look forward eagerly to the newsletter. Perhaps it would be nice if the SW teachers made a brief comment on the forum now and then. It does not have to be an answer to a question or anything like that---it could be a recommendation for a book they have read or a video they have enjoyed. Of course, I know how busy they are with writing the satsangs so I would not want to add to their schedule.


You`re right Mira, time or the seeming lack of it has played it`s part in the lack of newsletters and other involvements from James and Sundari.
Sundari has just recently finished her book...and it`s a long one.. (Yay ! ), and James is busy with giving it a final check over, amongst other things, before it goes to final proof reading. That has been a big long job and I can`t wait to get my hands on it !

I`m also..loking forward, hoping that James or Sundari can be persuaded to make video teachings of it. I`ll be asking, begging and pleading for that anyway ! It sounds like it`s going to be the `difinitive` book on the gunas and lifestyle.

James is also editing a book by our Christian Leeby so it`s all been very busy but, great things are heading our way.

A lot of comprehensive additions and changes to the forum were discussed and agreed upon last Christmas. some of these were mentioned previously but the forum is going to be re-arranged so as to make it`s interface fit in more logically with the order in which James` main books have been written. Avatars/fotos, introductions/life history section of participants , updates and news etc sections will all be added.
I`m hoping our teachers will make their introductions and if they manage to get some free time, partake in some way on the odd occasion. your comment in that respect Mira is well taken though as You said, it depends on time being available.

Sundari has told me that She and James should and will participate on the forum once this present big work hurdle is completed. I`m sure we`ll be happy about that prospect !!

There are plans to expand the reach of shiningworld on the web and with Georg taking over the running of the facebook site/s and his great contributions to the forum, the future is looking great. A big thanks to you Georg !

The other problem has been that Dan our fantastic web guy, is very busy doing his own work to keep body and soul together. He has been donating his time as a gift to rebuild the forum site since the untimely departure of the last web guy who left us in the lurch somewhat. It seems that Dan will be tied up for another two months or so and will then be able to get back to doing work for shiningworld.

James has spoken to him about the ideas I thrashed out with him and Sundari last Christmas so we`re hoping for big things before long. I have been able to see that actually, everything is working out nicelly despite wanting quicker results.
James and Sundari have been totally busy but, so has Dan...all at the same time. Nothing was going to happen but soon....well, it`s all on Isvara`s time but, I`m very hopeful. :-)

I sometimes find it hard to believe that it is about three years since the forum project got the approval for the go ahead but, here we are and still growing. All good things are worth waiting for and a real debt of gratitude goes out to James and Sundari who carry the biggest load in bringing us this wonderful teaching of vedanta that is so liberating.

It`s great to know that we can all participate as a community in laying down a legacy for shiningworld going far into the future. I`m sure it will be a boon for seekers of truth to come together, enjoy each other`s company and `spread the word`. This is just the begining.
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Re: Beyond Enlightenment

Postby Mira » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:13 pm

Hi Stan,
Thanks for the 'inside scoop'. I am so looking forward to Sundari's book on gunas and lifestyle. Mira
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