Reply To: Avadhut Gita Discussion
Note: What follows will likely be considered controversial. It, in part, touches on a topic few Vedantins are comfortable discussing. Some of its implications might even be disturbing, which can be looked at in a positive light in the form of a healthy challenge. (I wouldn’t attempt writing this in a forum whose participants didn’t have the qualifications here demonstrated.)
Melj, I assume you wrote this:
“There is no you because there is no other than you.”
Beautifully stated. Yet obviously we still need to play along with the illusion that there is the APPEARANCE of a me here writing and the APPEARANCE of a separate you there reading, in order to allow the world game to flow *effectively*. Whereas, in reality, there is only the One IAm speaking to Itself. Nevertheless, as the saying goes, “We can’t *live* Advaita.”
In any event, if we attempt to investigate how the relative World came into apparent existence, all the evidence–both intuitive and within the sastras–points to the fact that “we Brahman the IAm Singularity” willed the World of Plurality into existence for the essential purpose of entertainment. As the Creation Song in the Rig Veda [has the philosophical audacity to tell us], “After aeons of being alone, Brahman became bored and desired to experience Itself…” (playing devil’s advocate here: I guess this is the best the Universal Mind could come up with…expecting to sneak passed us the fact that a perfection like Brahman could have a latent desire!, and yet retain Its status of perfection.. tantamount to the miracle of having “something come out of nothing.”)
Here’s a telling anecdote..
A woman walked up to Sri Ramana; she was holding her dead son in her arms, entreating, begging the Maharshi to bring him back. He said the boy’s time had come and there was nothing that could be done. Her grief was so heavy it seemed she herself might not recover. She asked for his blessing, bowed namaskaar, and walked out. Tears were in Ramana’s eyes.
This is clearly a breach in vairagya (dispassion), which suggests even a great jnani can be less than perfect, underscoring also the fact that the sahaja state had been abandoned, at least temporarily.
This leads me to make the point that the prevailing belief that the conduct of a jivanmuktha should preeminently adhere to strict, unwavering, and invincible guidelines, is an unfortunate mistake. Unfortunate because it compels seekers to place unrealistic restrictions on themselves, where if they might have a lapse in ideal conduct, confirms to them the fact they still have so very far to go before they can be within reach of enlightenment.
In the last days of my active participation in the yahoo group forum called “Advaitin,” I tried pointing out how the tendency of advaitins to regard the world as purely illusory (mithya), is a mistake, since, for example, both Ramana and Adi Sankara referred to it as Maya, implying it was both unreal and yet had a real component within it; and that rendered it as ultimately beyond comprehension or description (anirvachaniya). Now, there have been instances where Ramana would also “clearly imply” the world was purely an illusion also, thus apparently contradicting himself (which is not uncommon for acharyas, and doesn’t really matter either).
So, this can represent an ongoing riddle or paradox for many seekers, *including* jnanis! Doubtless, from the sahaja or thuriya state, there can be no issue…no questions will or can arise. However, no-one can remain in that state continuously…evidently not even Jesus or Buddha were, since being embodied, they were yet subjected to the pull of the relative world glamor and/or bewilderment.
Nevertheless, such dilemmas don’t intrinsically take anything away from the jnani’s *undercurrent* of moksha or “stateless state” of nirvana. Indeed, we could rest on the latter being the definitive stamp of the Real on the whole matter in question. (Herein, in fact, lies my own default failsafe mechanism; thus the Self is like the ocean, with cyclical turbulence of waves and eddies on the surface, yet all the while dark, still, and unfathomable in the deep.)
All this has been, alas, a prologue to something [which I just realized] I can’t even alluded to without giving away its probable content.