Truth-what it is

August 9, 2009

Basic ideas from Ancient Indian Philosophy-Duel of Brahman and Maya

I continue with cultural and philosophical discussions. I want to describe some of the basic ideas from ancient Indian philosophies. I will also describe some colors of life of some of the people, who propagated these thoughts in recent times.

Different from Christian or Muslim style
Before I start let us notice one fact. If you look at religions which originated in Middle East (some times called Abrahamic religions), rituals, discipline to be followed and philosophical aspects are quite entangled together. It is perhaps difficult to separate them. For example they have some sort of belief-system to start with. The idea of belief is important for them. To accept these basic beliefs without any question is a part of discipline one has to follow.

In Indian religions (and also I think in China or Japan) the rituals and philosophical aspects are quite separated. Rituals are considered to be more for fun and originate from traditions. They may be followed only in some communities. There are millions of gods and goddesses and a lot more stories associated with rituals.They give all the colors to life. There is almost no discipline or belief-system to be followed compulsorily. Most of ritualistic aspects are your own. You follow what ever you feel comfortable with and enjoy. There is no compulsion on going to temple etc. Some people never go. Philosophical aspects are often visible in rituals but reverse direction intrusion is almost not there.

Buddha statue
Buddha statue
Bodhi tree
Bodhi tree
Radha and Krishna
Radha and Krishna
Mahavir Swami
Mahavir Swami
Krishna and Arjuna
Krishna and Arjuna
A Goddess
A Goddess
Durga
Durga
A rishi
A rishi
Kali Pooja (ritualistic praying to Goddess Kali)
Kali Pooja (ritualistic praying to Goddess Kali)
Durga
Durga
Sant Gyaneshwar
Sant Gyaneshwar
Krishna
Krishna
Shiva
Shiva
Vivekananda Rock temple, Kanya Kumari
Vivekananda Rock temple, Kanya Kumari
Rishabh Dev-a statue from a temple in Khajuraho
Rishabh Dev-a statue from a temple in Khajuraho
Jodhpur Temple
Jodhpur Temple
Mahavir Swami
Mahavir Swami
India 600BC
India 600BC

Even existence of god is not necessary
There is nothing like conversion in Hinduism. You just become a Hindu, if you adopt to some of the ideas or just declare yourself to be so, if you like. You can follow other religions too together with it. There is no exclusivity involved, quite unlike Abrahamic religions. Even existence of god is not necessary (see schools given below). Rituals do give all the colors to Indian life style. But I am not talking about them. Though in photos enclosed which I have added just for enjoyment, you may see some of these colors. I am going to talk here about mainly philosophical aspects only. I will describe some philosophical schools briefly then talk in much more details, ideas from one school currently the most popular one in India, Advaita Vedanta.

In almost all philosophical thinking specially those considered religious ones questions which one comes across in the very beginning are "What is universe?", "Who are we?", "Why do we exist?", "What (or Who) is God?" etc. Answers to these questions generally have to be true ones. So very first question, one is puzzled about it "What is truth?"

Creating a model for universe with as less contradiction as possible
In India also, people thought about these questions even more than 5000 years back. A general philosophical system was developed, with the aim of answering these questions. Most of what I am writing is from my understanding of these ancient ideas and experiences. Practically all these ideas are very ancient, mostly from prehistoric times and have been repeated in Indian poetry, literature, rituals, stories etc. millions of times for several 1000 years.

Main goal was to create a model of universe with as less contradictions as possible. So quite a bit like you first argue out what should be basic assumptions or what are called in today's style of Science or Mathematics axioms. Then try to derive from them various statements (like Theorems in Mathematics) by rational or logical deductions. I think this much clarity about what they were doing was there right from beginning, thousands of years ago. I admire it a lot that so long back, they could think so clearly about what they wanted to do, in quite a similar style as today we adopt in Scientific studies. In fact they used other tools too, which are not used today in professional Science studies. It is a different matter to decide whether the model works or not? Is it true or not? Does it serve some purpose or not? But certainly whole effort has some eternal enjoyable beauty.

I will write later about how I learnt about these ideas, history etc. Let me just make one remark before I start. It does not seem to be just Indian. You see a similar beauty and ideas in Chinese thinking and as well as in Greek thinking of ancient era (Socrates had for example said something like this "all things have the same form and to know that you have to close your eyes and meditate for three hours"- a sentiment very similar to Indian ideas). There must be other cultures too who may have developed similar ideas.

Orders/Manifestation of truth- rope/snake puzzle
Suppose a person sees a rope but does not initially see properly and for a moment fears that it is a snake. But within a second he/she realizes that it is a rope and not a snake. Though still in his/her memory, that moment is preserved as a momentary fear of snake, quite clearly. Now question arises what is the truth for him/her at that moment? One will have almost no hesitation to say,"well! it is a rope, So it was a rope- that is the truth"

But Philosophers in those ancient times did not feel satisfied. They said, "at that moment even though "absolute truth" is that it was a rope, but this person did not see at all the rope. For him/her it was a snake for that one moment, if you just depend on his/her senses. But later he/she realized that it is a rope so then he/she also feels that at that moment also, it was a rope." Thus they argued that at that moment both possibilities can be considered as truth for that person, depending on with what perspective you are looking at truth.

This led them to make their first axiom. The truth may be one but it can have several manifestations or orders. Each manifestation in its own perspective may also equally represent truth.

Truth without manifestation (real truth) - different schools
If you assume that truth of snake for that person at that moment is only a manifestation of actual truth of the object being a rope, then several questions do arise. What are actual or absolute truths and how do we decide that we are perceiving a truth and not a manifestation of it? Which is manifestation and which is actual truth? When do we see only manifestations and when actual truth? Is there more than one truth?
Today's Scientists are also puzzled by these questions. For example there is no method in Science today to determine whether red color for me or you looks exactly the same or not. Einstein's theory also sort of says every thing we can study is relative to some thing.

Rishis, tirthankars, monks and books written by them

These questions puzzled Indians quite a bit and a lot of thinking, studying, science, art and spiritualism developed out of the desire to find answers. There have been several schools and different opinions about these aspects in Hindu philosophy.

Main desire in all these schools was to seek knowledge and understanding about truth without manifestation. Their differences are more about methods to be used and about the nature of final goal. For example is it to get knowledge about just truth (enlightenment) or to be one with truth (nirvana) or to get oneself rid of desires of life, sins etc. and not to be born again (moksha). Various tools were described to study truth and achieve these goals. People who studied them or preached, generally lived in secluded places in forest initially to learn and meditate about these aspects. They also often ran large schools called ashram around them and even prince and princess used to study in such ashrams. But many of them studied and meditated just for their own thirst for knowledge. They are respected as a rishi (a sage), or a tirthankar or simply a monk. I do not know equivalent word in English to describe a "rishi" - closest description I can think about is a hermit who is dedicated to development of science or knowledge, self-spiritual aspects and welfare of people. These sages could be either males of females.

Some of these schools are considered independent religions, today. Jain tirthankars (see below) are very few and in this sense they are much more special and respectful. Practically all in India worship them, again irrespective of whether they belong to Hindu, Jain or Buddhist religion. Buddha as a monk is indeed unique and is adored by the followers of most religions in India, practically as a God. Almost all of these schools were influenced by four most ancient books Vedas- Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda, written perhaps more than 5000 years back (initial versions are only by oral communication -they are called "shrutis"- some thing you heard, only later versions called "samhitas" are the compiled vedic literature). Though shrutis survive perhaps much more in rituals because of their poetic form. Some other books which influenced a lot of over all development of philosophies and styles are Bhagavad Geeta supposed to have been written by Krishna who lived a little more than 5000 years back and Upanishads. It is interesting to note that Samkhya School (see below) which denied the existence of God was considered (and still is considered ) an orthodox school. Another interesting point to note that the theorists of much later Mimamsa School, even with their emphasis on ritualistic conduct, decided that the evidence allegedly proving the existence of God was insufficient. They argued that there was no need to postulate a maker for the world, just as there was no need for an author to compose the Vedas or a God to validate the rituals.


Schools

The Six āstika (orthodox) schools are:

1. Samkhya, a strongly dualist theoretical exposition of mind and matter, that denies the existence of God. Samkhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist. Samkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). They are the experiencer and the experienced. Samkhya School was founded by Rishi Kapila, who lived in prehistroic times.
2. Yoga, a school emphasizing meditation and discipline closely based on Samkhya and founded by Rishi Patanjali around 2nd century BC. Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali describes the basic ideas of this philosophy. It is built on the foundation of Samkhya, Upanishadic, Buddhist and Jain thoughts.
3. Nyaya (or school of logic - see details below)
4. Vaisheshika, an empiricist school of atomism founded in 2nd century BC by rishi Vaisesika espouses a form of atomism and postulates that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms.
5. Mimamsa, an anti-ascetic and anti-mysticist school of orthopraxy. The foundational text for the Mimamsa school is the Purva Mimamsa Sutras of rishi Jaimini (3rd century BC).
6. Vedanta, the logical conclusion to Vedic ritualism, focusing on mysticism. Vedanta came to be the dominant current of Hinduism in the post-medieval period. It has three subschools Advaita Vedanta, Dvaita Vedanta, Vishishtaadvaiata Vedanta.

The nāstika (hetrodox) schools are:

1. Buddhism founded by Gautama Buddha around 6th century BC.
2. Jainism an ancient religion in India which is supposed to have been started by its 24 Tirthankars. The first Jain Tirthankar Rishabh Dev is supposed to have lived in prehistoric times, perhaps much before 5000 years. The last of Jain Tirthankars Mahavir Swami lived around the same time as Guatama Budha ( 6th Century BC).
3. Cārvāka, a skeptical materialist school with philosophical skepticism and religious indifference (see details below).

Let me just describe a few basic ideas from Nyaya and Carvaka schools first. I will then describe much more details from the Advaita Vedanta.

Nyaya
School

Nyaya School which is considered to have been founded by Medhatithi Gautama and Aksapada Gautama about 400-500 BCE. It is also some times called Tarka Vidya (knowledge by argument) or Vada-Vidya (knowledge by debate). In the opening sūtra (verse) of the Nyāya Sūtra, composed by Aksapada Gautama, it was claimed that the ultimate purpose of it is the attainment of liberation (niḥśreyasa), attained by knowledge of the sixteen categories (padārtha), which are:

  1. means of valid knowledge (pramana);
  2. objects of valid knowledge (prameya);
  3. doubt (samshaya);
  4. purpose (prayojana);
  5. example (drstanta);
  6. conclusion (siddhanta);
  7. the constituents of a syllogism (avayava);
  8. argumentation (tarka);
  9. ascertainment (nirnaya);
  10. debate (vāda);
  11. disputations (jalpa);
  12. destructive criticism (vitanda);
  13. fallacy (hetvabhasa);
  14. quibble (chala);
  15. refutations (jāti); and
  16. points of the opponent's defeat (nigrahasthana).

According to the Nyaya Sutra, there are four means of attaining valid knowledge: perception, inference, comparison, and verbal testimony. The sutras ultimates implicitly develop a theory of causation. Cause and effect should be homogeneous in nature, and yet the effect is a new beginning and was not already contained in the cause.

Carvaka School
Rishi Carvaka lived in 6th century BC or perhaps earlier. His ideas are contained in the book written by him Bārhaspatya-sūtras. Let me mention a few of his ideas in his poetry format (which was common format to express all forms of thoughts in ancient times, the language used was mostly Sanskrit, some times also Pali).

1. No life after death

The Carvaka believed there was no life after death

Springing forth from these elements itself solid knowledge is destroyed when they are destroyed— after death no intelligence remains.

2. Naturalism

The Carvaka believed in a form of naturalism, that is that all things happen by nature, and come from nature (not from any deity or Supreme Being).

Fire is hot, water cold,refreshingly cool is the breeze of morning;By whom came this variety?They were born of their own nature.

3. Sensual indulgence

Carvaka believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was an enjoyment to be pursued.

That the pleasure arising to man from contact with sensible objects, is to be relinquished because accompanied by pain— such is the reasoning of fools. The kernels of the paddy, rich with finest white grains, What man, seeking his own true interest, would fling them away because of a covering of husk and dust? While life remains, let a man live happily,let him feed on butter though he runs in debt;When once the body becomes ashes,how can it ever return again?

4. Religion is invented by man

The Carvaka believed that religion was invented and made up by men, having no divine authority.

The three authors of the Vedas were buffoons, knaves, and demons. All the well-known formulae of the pandits, jarphari, turphari, etc. and all the obscene rites for the queen commanded in Aswamedha, these were invented by buffoons, and so all the various kinds of presents to the priests, while the eating of flesh was similarly commanded by night-prowling demons.
With all that Carvaka still held truth, integrity, consistency, and freedom of thought in the highest esteem. He is respected even today also, very much as a rishi in India who enhanced basic knowledge in new directions.

Advaita Vedanta School

The key source texts for all schools of Vedanta are the Prasthanatrayi—the canonical texts consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahman Sutras (written by Rishi Badaryana or Veda Vyas, who also wrote Mahabharata- He lived in Krishna's time).
In recent times, first person to explicitly consolidate the principles of Advaita Vedanta was Adi Shankaracharya, who lived around 7th century AD. Let me first describe basic ideas of Advaita Vedanta. Then I will describe a little more about Shankaracharya, and some other persons responsible for popularity of Advaiata Vedanata today.

The unique truth- truth, Brahman, universe (or god) are essentially the same
Advaita Vedanta assumes that there is only one absolute truth and all other realities are manifestations of this unique reality. If one assumes that there is a unique truth then question arises what is this unique truth (it was called by them Brahman). Advaita Vendanta argues that this truth clearly has to include the whole universe, otherwise, we will have a problem that some thing is there in the universe but is not true. Thus unique truth assumption includes assumption that this truth includes whole universe.

Advaita philosophy considers Brahman the unique truth to be without form, qualities, or attributes. This reality Brahman, is an Absolute: it is not limited by any mental conception or duality, whether personal or impersonal, existent or nonexistent, formless or manifested in form, timeless or extended in time, spaceless or extended in space. It is simultaneously all of these but is bound by none of them. It is at once the universe, each individual being and thing in the universe, and the transcendent beyond the universe. In its highest manifested poise, its nature may be described as Satchidananda—infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite delight or bliss—a triune principle in which the three are united in a single reality. In other words, it is a fully conscious and blissful infinite existence.

Shankaracharya actually proposed that one should try to describe this unique truth Brahman by "neti neti" meaning "not this, not this", because Brahman cannot be correctly described as this or that. Reason is that moment you try to describe it in words, some thing will be left out in your description and that being reality should have been part of this ultimate truth. Advaita goes further and says that while Brahman lies behind the sum total of the objective universe. Brahman is beyond the senses, beyond the mind, beyond intelligence, beyond imagination. Indeed, the idea is that Brahman transcends and includes time, causation and space, and thus can never be known in the same material sense as one traditionally 'understands' a given concept or object.

Maya -the agency manifesting truth
Why is Brahman beyond our senses, mind intelligence etc., while it does include all of it? The reason Advaita School argues is because of an agency Maya - which causes the unique truth Brahman to get manifested into different realities. According to Adiviata, Maya is the complex illusionary power of Brahman which causes the Brahman to be seen as the material world of separate forms. Maya has two main functions — one is to "hide" Brahman from ordinary human perception, and the other is to present the material world in its place. Maya is also said to be indescribable, though it may be said that all sense data entering ones awareness via the five senses are Maya, since the fundamental reality underlying sensory perception is completely hidden. It is also said that Maya is neither completely real nor completely unreal, hence indescribable. Its shelter is Brahman, but Brahman itself is untouched by the illusion of Maya, just as a magician is not tricked by his own magic. Maya is temporary and is transcended with "true knowledge," or perception of the more fundamental reality which permeates Maya.

Atman -soul is the same as the ultimate reality Brahman
Advaita School sees the soul within each living entity as being fully identical with Brahman - the all-pervading truth. The question arises, if our soul (Sanskrit word for soul is atman) is the same as the universal truth then why does each one of us feel to have a different soul? That is because Advaita argues, we are under the influence of Maya and its illusionary power.
Adi Shankara says that just as the same moon appears as several moons on its reflections on the surface of water covered with bubbles, the one Atman (soul) appears as multiple atmans in our bodies because of Maya.

Water of the ocean inside a pot feels I am the pot
I like another analogy of Advaita even better. Suppose you think of water in an ocean as Brahman. Now if you put an empty pot in the ocean, the water inside the pot, even though it is just like water in the whole ocean, gets the shape of the pot and starts feeling that I am the pot. This feeling that "I am" such and such is caused by Maya. To get true knowledge that one (or our soul) is just the ultimate reality, one has to get out of influence of Maya, and identify with the whole water of ocean. Moment you get out of influence of Maya, Advaita argues you get identified with the Brahman and you (or your atman) become the whole Brahman, which includes every thing. You sort of become all knowing universal soul of every one living or nonliving.
How does maya do it - can one know?
The question arises how does Maya do it and makes you feel confined in your pot or soul. Now Advaita argues that this is some thing one will never come to know. Reason they argue is that Brahman is action-less, shapeless, desire-less. All actions, shapes, desires are because of influence of Maya. In particular your desire to know how maya does it, is because of influence of Maya. Until you are under the influence of Maya obviously you can not know how Maya does it. But moment you are out of influence of Maya your desire to know, how Maya does it will no longer be there, as you are now all knowing brahman. Thus Maya's action or style remains unknown for ever.

The need for this model-meditation, yoga, universe
Why did Advaita School feel need to create this model or study the whole universe together? Before them people studied objects by going through rational arguments, experimentation and going to minute and more minute objects. Quite similar to what scientist do today. Scientists studied atoms, then very soon they realized still it is not most elementary and now currently they concentrate on what are called subatomic particles. In India also similar phase was there before Advaita ideas were taking shape. At some stage people felt that "No! This is not going to work. With each minute object there will be a need to go further and this may go ad-infinitum."
This led them to go in reverse direction and they started studying the whole universe together.

Another aspect they felt was that in rational arguments or experimentation there is no space to study sleep. Specially deep sleep (when you sleep for some short time one has the sleep in which one sees dreams etc. after that one gets what psychiatrist call a deep sleep. In India since ancient times it has been identified as memoryless sleep). They felt that studying oneself in sleep can not be neglected. After all one spends almost 1/3rd of life in that state. This led them to invent new tools like yoga, disciplining mind and body and meditation etc.

Vivekananda Memorial, Kanya Kumari
Vivekananda Memorial, Kanya Kumari
Shiva
Shiva
Shankaracharya
Shankaracharya
Shiva
Shiva
Vivekananda
Vivekananda
Herman Hesse
Herman Hesse
Aum
Aum
Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Rishikesh
Rishikesh
Shankaracharya
Shankaracharya
Veda Vyasa
Veda Vyasa
Yogananada Paramhansa
Yogananada Paramhansa
Shiva-Linga pooja (Ritualistic praying to God Shiva- Linga)
Shiva-Linga pooja (Ritualistic praying to God Shiva- Linga)
Dakshineshwara Temple Kolkata
Dakshineshwara Temple Kolkata
Srengari Math
Srengari Math

Evidence, methods-meditation
You might ask all this is great but what is the evidence? How do we know some how that this model is the true one. It is difficult to decide. Advaita says use scriptures, rational arguments, look at experiences of those who tried to get out of influences of maya to convince your self first that this is not just a theory but reality, before you attempt to get out of influence of Maya. One hard evidence provided is that during memoryless sleep (deep sleep) you are not under the of influence of Maya and your soul is the same as all knowing brahman. Question does arise how does one know?

Identifying with brahman
Well! still even if you assume that it does not help much. You want to be brahman while you are awake. Advaita argues that follow your own method, every thing or any thing which is described above in all schools of thoughts or what ever be your religion, use it to identify your self with brahman. One method which they suggest is meditation. Meditation is essentially a process with which you are trying to become calm in other words you try to get out influence of maya. Suppose you think of identification with brahman during memoryless sleep, as identification because of darkness then blindness from maya (that is identification with Brahman) via meditation may be thought of as some thing because of a lot of light - some thing similar to blindness when suddenly you get into an area with light from a light-bulb of thousands of watt.

Satchidananda,Sthitaprajna- soul is essentially an alibi
Once you assume that the soul is the same as Brahaman it is also interesting to try to understand nature of soul and nature of person who has achieved true knowledge. It is argued by advaita that soul being Brahman is action-less, desire-less unchanging. It does not matter whether you are dead, alive, criminal, animal or even a stone. It does not matter what you are doing, it remains same. All the action desires etc. are due to maya and feeling you have under its influence. Soul is not affected by it. In other words soul is always with you but just doesn't do any thing, doesn't feel any thing. It is just with you all the time, Just an alibi for every thing. Understanding this itself may be getting quite close to understanding ultimate reality and identifying with it.

A person who has identified himself with brahman is unmoved by what ever happens. For him Scriptures etc. are useless. In fact Advaita argues that scriptures, rational arguments all other tools are useless moment you are convinced of ultimate reality - Brahman. Then it is just between you and Brahman. You have to just learn by mediation etc. to be calm to identify yourself with Brahman. It does not mean a person who understands Brahman becomes colorless or without a feeling. Getting identification with Brahman is said to make one Satchidanand- one with Pure Being (Sat), Consciousness-Force (Chit-Tapas), Bliss (Ananda). He is strong being in the state of Ananda (bliss or enjoyment) during this identification with brahman. A person, who is always in this state of being aware of brahman is called Sthitaprajna. Nothing will move such a person. He will be doing every thing, but will be at the same time detached from everything.

Krishna and Raja Janaka were sthitaprajna
Not many persons in Indian history have been identified as sthitaparjna. Perhaps Buddha or Mahavira in recent times may have been. Hindus have many gods and godesses and their avatars (reincarnations). Not many of them also have been identified as sthitaprajna. Two persons who have been clearly identified as sthitaprajna are Krishna and Raja Janaka (who lived much earlier than Krishna). Krishna was aware of him being brahman all the time. That does not mean he was calm or action-less. Indeed he was opposite. He is considered to be one of the most colorful personalities in Indian history and culture. He danced all the time with many pretty women (there is a festival called Navaratri during October-November, during which Indian girls and boys dance for nine days, all night with a very colorful style, in his memory) , he fought many wars. He preached in Bhagavad Gita- the knowledge about truth, in a very colorful manner and of all the places in a battleground, just before the battle called Mahabharata was going to start. He was at the same time very romantic and one of the best experts of Yoga. As far as I remember he is the only one in Indian cultural history or mythology, who showed his identification with Brahman and its strength in a public place in front of hundreds of people.

Exact translation of Sanskrit terms according to experts: Brahman is really "opening up which lets every thing arise or come-into- being"
I have used English terms for original Sanaskrit terms, which are commonly used in translation. I wanted to keep basic ideas simple. Though generally Indian philosophers and experts in these ancient philosophies are not happy about these equivalent terms. They insist that these terms do not describe exact meaning. It may seem hair splitting by experts. But some of it indeed may be important. Let me just describe a few examples.

Experts say Verbal forms rather than noun or adjective forms are more appropriate
First of all experts insist that almost all these terms originally in Sanskrit are meant to be sort of verbs. So for example they say that nothing changes for Brahman when we understand it or get a sudden glimpse of understanding. The change occurs in us . Even the knowledge of Brahman (the unique truth) was always with us. Just we did not allow ourselves to be aware about it. We have to open up our selves, allow our being to be clear visioned. This opening up should be to such an extent that we are in accord with the nature of Brahman. Then the truth with its entire reality (or Brahman) is reveled to us automatically, without our having to do any thing further.

With these ideas the term Brahman was defined. A little better description or translation of the term Brahman (remember even as I described above it includes both being and not-being) according to them is "opening up which lets every thing arise or come-into- being" or "allowing the self-unfolding to grow". Similarly exact translation of "Sat" according to them is not exactly just "pure being". Its actual meaning is "that which is in a state of being" and here "being" should be considered as verb and not noun, it should be considered as "occurrence of being". Thus it is "passing over from not being to being". In a way it includes both being and not being states together.

Brahman and Sat thus permit mysterious arising of "being" from "not being". This arising always originally occurs as some kind of illumination. This illumination is called by them "Chit". This 'emergent' illumination is 'free' and 'redemptive' opening up according to them. Hence it is also said about it that it is "ananda" (bliss). "Atman" is not exactly self or soul according to them. It is a partial manifestation of "Brahman". The word "Atman" translates to to "exhele" and "breathe". Thus "Atman" is rhythmically drawn in and drawn out like breath. It will be drawn in and drawn back to "Brahman" (while in deep sleep, when a person knows nothing more of his usual constitutive individually split-up finite nature ).

According to these experts when a person disciplines himself (via meditation, body disciplines, knowledge etc.) and reaches a state, a frame of mind and spirit which consists of highest concentration on the all sustaining immediate unveiled reality (unique truth) then the being of the person participates in full measure in that illumination. This illumination far surpasses thinking of a person who understands himself/herself as ego consciousness of a subject. If a person achieves this highest concentration of his/her possibilities of thought, then he/she recognizes that the idea of a human being as a limited, self contained, ego-centric subjectivity or personality is a restricted "Maya" bound distortion of reality, giving a false picture. This peculiar tendency to restrict oneself is called "ahankara (ego-maker)." The word "Maya" stems from root "ma" and "matri" which means "measure" or "mark off" (the word "meter" in English also has the same root). Thus according to these experts whenever measuring takes place, things are divided and subdivided, segmented, "Maya"- illusion occurs. It is due to this "Maya"-illusion that world can be seen only as agglomeration of measurable parts.

I hope this gives you all the abstract ideas of advaita vedanta. Let me now give some colors to it. Let us come back to Shankarachaya.

Adi Shankaracharya
Shankaracharya is considered an amazing figure in cultural history of India. He lived just for 32 years. But in those 32 years he changed quite a bit, whole style of philosophical thinking in India. He wrote many books. He inspired many others to write summaries and books, expanding philosophical ideas in Upanishads, Vedas, Bhagavad Gita etc. He traveled all over India. He founded 4 mathas (some thing similar to Ashrams or temples, places of learning) in 4 corners of India. These mathas are still functioning as schools of learning. He revived back an old tradition of appointing in each of these mathas heads who are students of previous heads in one of them (Guru-Shishya Parmpara or student-teacher tradition). That tradition is still followed, not only in these organizations but also many other organizations. Thus he culturally sort of re-unified India after a long period by bringing back diversity, colors (of old stories etc., different paths), singing (he composed devotional songs which are still among most popular ones). He touched almost all aspects culture, life, religions, philosophies, arts while remaining aloof from every thing also as a person who had taken sanyasa (a person who takes snayasa renounces all worldly thoughts and desires, and spends the rest of his life in spiritual contemplation. That person develops vairāgya, or a state of dispassion and detachment from material life).


In his time Buddhism was very popular in India. He is said to be the person responsible for bringing back the old tradition of India of depending also on these ancient ideas from other schools apart from Buddhism. In India concepts like conversion or religious wars or forcing people to change religion etc., were unheard of before Europeans and Muslims came to India. Generally leaders of two schools of thought had a shastartha (a sort of verbal duel in which both leaders will argue their points and one, who lost the arguments had to follow and become part of the school of the winner). This Shankaracharya did all over India. He never lost.

Human Shapes of Gods and Goddesses

Another interesting aspect some people think is because of Shankaracharya is human shapes of many Gods and Goddesses. In ancient times many God and Goddesses represented nature, they often did not have human form. Now they have. Some people think that Shankaracharya popularized this change. He felt that human shape will help them to be popular.

Though he was considered to be one of the most wise persons, in his time in India, he was also very polite.
I like the story of his encounter with Chandala very much. The word Chandala was then used for a person who may be doing mostly labor type job, coming from a lower community and may not have gone through regular education. Here is the story

Shankaracharya and Chandala- encounter
One Summer noon in Varanasi, Shankaracharya after taking a bath in the holy Ganges was proceeding back with his disciples. The Great Acharya saw a Chandala, coming along with his dogs in his way. He told the Chandala “get away, get away - move away, move away”.

Chandala asked Shankaracharya

1. By saying ‘Move away, Move away’ do you wish to move matter from matter or you mean to separate spirit from the Spirit? You have established that the Absolute is everywhere - in you and me and yet you want me to get away from you as if I were different. Is it this body, built up of food that you wish to keep at a distance from that body which is also built up of food? Or do you wish to separate Pure Awareness which is present here from the same Awareness present there?
2. Does it make any difference to the sun when it is reflected in the waters of Ganges or in the dirty waters of the cesspools in the streets of Chandalas? Is there any difference in the space as such, be it in a golden pot or in a mud pot? In the self-existing ocean of Blissful Consciousness, in the inner self, where there are no waves of agitating thoughts, how can there be this great delusory distinction - this is a Brahmin and this is an untouchable?

Sankaracharya was shocked to hear such profound idea coming from the mouth of a dog-eater Chandala. He felt, "Lord Siva has assumed this form just to teach me a lesson". He bowed to the Chandala with respect and composed then and there five verses called the ‘Manisha Panchaka’. Every verse ends thus: “He who learnt to look on the phenomena in the light of Advaita, is my true Guru (teacher), be he a Chandala or be he a Brahmin”.

Verse 1. True knowledge is realization that man is not an object but Pure Consciousness that shines in all three states: wakefulness, dream sleep and deep sleep. The Pure Consciousness is the Witness, the Indweller in all bodies from the Creator brahman to an ant. The one who realizes this knowledge is my Guru, whether he is a Chandala or a brahmanna. This is my conviction.

Verse 2. I am brahmann, the Pure Consciousness appearing as this universe. My Avidya (ignorance/nescience) made of three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) has dreamt all this up. He who realizes this knowledge of the eternal, pure and supreme brahmann, is my Guru whether he is a Chandala or a brahmanna. This is my conviction.

(Sattva = virtue; Rajas = motion and passion; Tamas = darkness)

3. He who under the tutelage of his Guru has attained the realization that the whole universe is subject to destruction, meditates on brahmann constantly with tranquil and pure mind, burns his past and future sins in the fire of knowledge, and subjects himself and his body to Prarabdha karma. This is my conviction.

4. Animals, men and gods experience the pure consciousness as 'I.' The reflection (light) of the Pure Consciousness on the insentient mind, senses and body make them appear sentient. Objects come into perception because of this consciousness. The mind, the senses and the body conceal the Self, though they receive light from it. They are like the clouds hiding the sun. The Yogi who meditates on the Self is my Guru. This is my conviction.

5. The Self, being brahmann, is the eternal Ocean of Bliss. An infinitesimal fragment of that Bliss nurtures Indra and other gods. The sage attains realization by meditating on the Self with tranquil mind. He whose mind identifies with the Self is not only a knower of brahmann but brahmann Itself. His feet, irrespective of whose they are, are fit for worship even by Indra himself. This is my conviction.

Vivekananda
Another person who in recent times influenced a lot of cultural aspects and popularized Advaita Vedanta is Swami Vivekananda. Just like Shankaracharya he lived for a very short period (1863-1902). But in this short span he had a big impact to change the whole style of cultural, social and religious aspects in India. I consider him and Gandhi to be responsible for bringing back quite a bit, some of the confidence lost in Indian style during British and Muslim rule period in India.

Can you show me God?

A story famous about Vivekananda is that he wanted to join some ashram to learn Indian religious aspects. He went to many gurus and asked them "can you show me god?" Only one Ramakrishna told him "Yes I can". He joined Ramakrishna's school. I do not know what he learnt there about god. Vivekananda had strictly forbidden every one from describing any mystical ideas or events associated with him. But he gave lectures all over world on Vedanta.

He had a dream. Seeing poverty and misery of people in India he had felt that only way to improve these conditions, is to have a modern school teaching Science and technology in every village in India. With this dream he sailed to USA with the idea that with his knowledge about India and lectures on it, he may be able collect and attract enough money to work towards this idea. He was perhaps the first one to use Indian philosophy knowledge as a tool to do some social work in India and to popularize some ancient Indian ideas in West as well as India. He was quite successful. He started the well known Ramakrishna Mission. It is still among the most strong social and cultural organizations in India.


Let me end discussion about Vivekananda with another popular story related with him. Almost certainly, not a true one but quite popular and I like it.

Walking on water

Once after returning from USA he was walking on the bank of some river in Bengal. One Monk came near him and asked him "You are waiting for boat to cross the river. With all your knowledge you have to wait. Look I can just cross", and he started walking on water. Then he came back to Vivekananda. Vivekananda asked him, "quite amazing! How much time you spent on learning this art?". The monk said "11 years". Vivekananda remarked," some thing which you can do by paying just a small coin to the boatman for that you wasted 11 years of your life?"

How did I learn about all these philosophical ideas
You might get a feeling that I must have taken some course in Indian religion or philosophy. That is not at all the style in India. You mostly learn about these abstract ideas also in stories which grandmother tells you and your mother or father explain a little more in your childhood. Lot of it may not have been even told. Mostly you listen to what elders are talking or stories you hear during a ritual being performed. Or a book, you may buy near a temple just for 10 rupees (about two dimes- these are not subsidized by temple etc. so people who sell them make money out of it). Most of those stories in such books are just local stories spread around from time immemorial. Many may not be true but they do have common themes. The concepts like truth- maya, brahman, one has to be detached to learn some thing etc. are quite visible in almost all aspects of Indian life, though they may practically never be stated in very abstract forms. That is how I learnt most of these aspects. It is enjoying to understand abstract concepts from books. But I feel the abstract concepts of philosophy often develop from the colors and pain/enjoyment of life.

Herman Hesse
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse was one book which I read during my first visit to USA. It had an exceptional influence on me and stimulated quite a bit some of my thinking. I was 25 then and mostly lost in my own research work and enjoying my stay in USA. The book is perhaps just about 90 pages. I started reading it at night and could not sleep until I finished it completely.

I was a little stunned initially. "Here I am about 25 but this guy who may have perhaps never visited even India understands philosophies and style of India much better than me." Though later I understood that my feeling was not up to mark. Herman Hesse had interest in Indian philosophies specially Buddhism for a long time. He did go through a lot of pain in his life. But I feel that he had developed a deep understanding about over all life, abstract concepts of these ideas, very early in his life. Such a person can understand concepts from anywhere very well. I read another one of his books, Demian which was written earlier. His deep understanding is quite visible in that one itself. I thought it was based on Greek/mid-eastern mythology of Abraxas etc. I learnt later that he was also influenced by the concept of Maya and Psychological ideas of Carl Jung (who was his friend).

Let me describe a little bit from Siddhartha. I think that explains in a very colorful way and a very satisfying style ideas from Advaita Vedanta. The book is also available for free on internet.

Siddhartha
Siddhartha, the hero of the novel is a son of a sort of head priest. But he felt he can not get actual knowledge in his father's ashram. He leaves his home to join the ascetics with his companion Govinda. The two then set out in the search of truth and enlightenment. The story takes place around Gautama Buddha's time. Two friends reach Gautama Buddha's Sangha and listen to his lectures. They are highly impressed by the enlightened one (Gautama Buddha). His friend joins Gautama Buddha's Sangha. But Siddhartha feels enlightenment can not be learnt in this manner by verbal talks etc. from another person. He has to find his own path. Siddhartha goes from asceticism, to a very worldly life as a trader with a beautiful courtesan as lover, and back to asceticism as he attempts to achieve this goal. In the end he spends time with a boatman Vasudeva, who had a strange shine on his face and spoke very little. But he always directed Siddhartha to river for answers to any questions, "listen to the river". Siddhartha initially does not hear any thing.
Here are some of the excerpts of his conversations and thinking in the end. Just enjoy!

1.
"Slowly blossomed, slowly ripened in Siddhartha the realisation, the knowledge, what wisdom actually was, what the goal of his long search was. It was nothing but a readiness of the soul, an ability, a secret art, to think every moment, while living his life, the thought of oneness, to be able to feel and inhale the oneness. Slowly this blossomed in him, was shining back at him from Vasudeva's old, childlike face: harmony, knowledge of the eternal perfection of the world, smiling, oneness."

2.
Vasudeva's listening gave Siddhartha a stronger sensation than ever before, he sensed how his pain, his fears flowed over to him, how his secret hope flowed over, came back at him from his counterpart. To show his wound to this listener was the same as bathing it in the river, until it had cooled and become one with the river. While he was still speaking, still admitting and confessing, Siddhartha felt more and more that this was no longer Vasudeva, no longer a human being, who was listening to him, that this motionless listener was absorbing his confession into himself like a tree the rain, that this motionless man was the river itself, that he was God himself, that he was the eternal itself."

3.
"he realised that everything was in order and natural, that Vasudeva had already been like this for a long time, almost forever, that only he had not quite recognised it, yes, that he himself had almost reached the same state."

4.
"When someone is searching," said Siddhartha, to Govinda "then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes."
5.
Look, my dear Govinda, this is one of my thoughts, which I have found: wisdom cannot be passed on. Wisdom which a wise man tries to pass on to someone always sounds like foolishness."

6.

Siddhartha bent down, picked up a stone from the ground, and weighed it in his hand.

"This," he said playing with it, "is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being. In the past, I would have said: This stone is just a stone, it is worthless, it belongs to the world of the Maja; but because it might be able to become also a human being and a spirit in the cycle of transformations, therefore I also grant it importance. Thus, I would perhaps have thought in the past. But today I think: this stone is a stone, it is also animal, it is also god, it is also Buddha, I do not venerate and love it because it could turn into this or that, but rather because it is already and always everything-- and it is this very fact, that it is a stone, that it appears to me now and today as a stone, this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface. There are stones which feel like oil or soap, and others like leaves, others like sand, and every one is special and prays the Om in its own way, each one is Brahman, but simultaneously and just as much it is a stone, is oily or juicy, and this is this very fact which I like and regard as wonderful and worthy of worship.--But let me speak no more of this. The words are not good for the secret meaning, everything always becomes a bit different, as soon as it is put into words, gets distorted a bit, a bit silly--yes, and this is also very good, and I like it a lot, I also very much agree with this, that this what is one man's treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person."

7.

"...I can love a stone, Govinda, and also a tree or a piece of bark. This are things, and things can be loved. But I cannot love words. Therefore, teachings are no good for me, they have no hardness, no softness, no colours, no edges, no smell, no taste, they have nothing but words. Perhaps it are these which keep you from finding peace, perhaps it are the many words. Because salvation and virtue as well, Sansara and Nirvana as well, are mere words, Govinda. There is no thing which would be Nirvana; there is just the word Nirvana."

....

Siddhartha continued: "A thought, it might be so. I must confess to you, my dear: I don't differentiate much between thoughts and words. To be honest, I also have no high opinion of thoughts. I have a better opinion of things...."

Autobiography of a Yogi-Yogananda Paramhans

While Herman Hesse's Siddartha is only an imaginary guy. Some experiences of Yogananda Paramhans are very interesting. He describes them in his very interesting book "An autobiography of a Yogi" (available for free on internet). His interesting book is full of mystical ideas as well as very abstract concepts. Let me end this discussion with quotes from his book about two of his visions. The first one was while he was meditating with the help of his guru. The second one was while he was meditating in a temple of Godess Kali. You decide yourself whether his visions are truth or manifestations.

1.
My body became immovably rooted; breath was drawn out of my lungs as if by some huge magnet. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage, and streamed out like a fluid piercing light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead, yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body, but embraced the circumambient atoms. People on distant streets seemed to be moving gently over my own remote periphery. The roots of plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.

The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive. Through the back of my head I saw men strolling far down Rai Ghat Road, and noticed also a white cow who was leisurely approaching. When she reached the space in front of the open ashram gate, I observed her with my two physical eyes. As she passed by, behind the brick wall, I saw her clearly still.

All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master's, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of cause and effect in creation.

An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being. The sharply etched global outlines faded somewhat at the farthest edges; there I could see a mellow radiance, ever-undiminished. It was indescribably subtle; the planetary pictures were formed of a grosser light.

The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster; fire became firmament.

I cognized the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splendor issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. Blissful amrita, the nectar of immortality, pulsed through me with a quicksilverlike fluidity. The creative voice of God I heard resounding as Aum,1 the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.

Suddenly the breath returned to my lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost.


2.
First, a delightful cold wave descended over my back and under my feet, banishing all discomfort. Then, to my amazement, the temple became greatly magnified. Its large door slowly opened, revealing the stone figure of Goddess Kali. Gradually it changed into a living form, smilingly nodding in greeting, thrilling me with joy indescribable. As if by a mystic syringe, the breath was withdrawn from my lungs; my body became very still, though not inert.

An ecstatic enlargement of consciousness followed. I could see clearly for several miles over the Ganges River to my left, and beyond the temple into the entire Dakshineswar precincts. The walls of all buildings glimmered transparently; through them I observed people walking to and fro over distant acres.

Though I was breathless and my body in a strangely quiet state, yet I was able to move my hands and feet freely. For several minutes I experimented in closing and opening my eyes; in either state I saw distinctly the whole Dakshineswar panorama.

Spiritual sight, x-raylike, penetrates into all matter; the divine eye is center everywhere, circumference nowhere. I realized anew, standing there in the sunny courtyard, that when man ceases to be a prodigal child of God, engrossed in a physical world indeed dream, baseless as a bubble, he reinherits his eternal realms. If "escapism" be a need of man, cramped in his narrow personality, can any escape compare with the majesty of omnipresence?

In my sacred experience at Dakshineswar, the only extraordinarily-enlarged objects were the temple and the form of the Goddess. Everything else appeared in its normal dimensions, although each was enclosed in a halo of mellow lightwhite, blue, and pastel rainbow hues. My body seemed to be of ethereal substance, ready to levitate. Fully conscious of my material surroundings, I was looking about me and taking a few steps without disturbing the continuity of the blissful vision.

The all-embracing vision disappeared.

References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishishtadvaita
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvaita
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/brahmann
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C4%81rv%C4%81ka
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_philosophy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ny%C4%81ya_S%C5%ABtras
http://www.jaindharmonline.com/dharma/jainhist.htm
http://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/HYMNS%20OF%20SANKARA.htm
http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/An-Encounter-between-The-Holy-and-The-Lowly-~-Adi-Sankara%60s-Maneesha-Panchakam-1.aspx
http://www.dlshq.org/saints/sankara.htm

http://www.crystalclarity.com/yogananda/index.html

http://www.online-literature.com/hesse/siddhartha/

http://hubpages.com/hub/Life-and-Teachings-of-Sri-Adi-Sankaracharya

Some months after writing this article, I started to study basic details of this model of universe involving Maya and Brahman etc. built by philosophers of Advaita Vedanta School, which I vaguely described above, in a series of articles on speaking tree website. The final language to describe the model uses mainly usual rational style, putting clearly axioms and basic concepts and giving reasons from observations, why should one have such axioms and then deducing statements from those. I am giving here link for the starting point of that series -part III (part I and II are more about History in India how this study started and a description of what I may do).

http://www.speakingtree.in/soumyasrajan/blog/Walking-On-Paths-Created-By-Our-Rishis-Come-III

Pictures taken from the following links

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8e/Om.svg/356px-Om.svg.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum
http://s4.hubimg.com/u/3505823_f520.jpg
http://hubpages.com/hub/THE-SUN-CITY-OF-RAJASTHAN
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/ff/Buddha_in_Sarnath_Museum_%28Dhammajak_Mutra%29.jpg/443px-Buddha_in_Sarnath_Museum_%28Dhammajak_Mutra%29.jpg
http://pilgrimagetravelandtours.com/images/image06.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Mahavra_1900_art.jpg/220px-Mahavra_1900_art.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ancient_india.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Shri_Gaudapadacharya_Statue.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b4/Vivekananda_Rameshwaram_Temple.JPG/800px-Vivekananda_Rameshwaram_Temple.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Swami_Vivekananda_at_Parliament_of_Religions.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/95/Rishikesh_upstream_ganga_india.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d6/Rishabha_khajuraho.jpg/296px-Rishabha_khajuraho.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Shiva_Bangalore_.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1080/1050284616_4234043a2e.jpg?v=0
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mEPAqnwD_hA/SM9mHgwExGI/AAAAAAAAAQY/Qg92Rzp-eMY/S470/1334RadhaKrishnarelaxingtogether.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Vyasa.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Hermann_Hesse_1927_Photo_Gret_Widmann.jpg
http://www.incrediblebd.com/upload/evt_content/content37/durga-puja1.JPG
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YdIEz7_Ilmw/Ssy58WPlBkI/AAAAAAAACdI/5gsJCM1kklY/s400/Ekdalia_Evergreen_Durga_Devi.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Kali-puja.jpg

http://hubpages.com/hub/THE-HINDU-CUSTOM-BELIEFS-AND-THERE-REALITY

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Comments 176 comments

drcrischasse profile image

drcrischasse 6 years ago from NH/Foxboro

Intersting and very very informative.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Welcome! Thanks a lot drcrischasse!


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

Interesting and informative hub. You did a great job much work here and the pictures were right and beautiful. A very long read but worth it for the information you have put here. Tank you much :D ~aloha~


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot sa`ge. Your appreciation means a lot.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Very nice hub. I'll be back to study more. Thank you.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi Micky!

Thanks a lot. I will eagerly wait for your comment after you go through it.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Thought provoking and interesting. Lots to digest.... Great research.


Daniel J. Neumann profile image

Daniel J. Neumann 6 years ago from Harrisburg, Pa

I loved this hub. I never knew how much my own spiritual views aligned with Hinduism. I'm already a Christian/Buddhist, but I might have to start calling myself Hindu as well.

Maya interests me the most. I think we ought to try to figure out why it deceives us. It reminds me of the Devil from Christianity. I've always reasoned, "Well, if God created everything, then he must have created Satan. If Lucifer fell by free will, even that ‘will’ must be known by God beforehand, if God is all-knowing."

Something tells me it's like our right hemisphere acknowledging the self-image of the left hemisphere of our minds. I think the deception allows us to define the truth. I think it's somehow part of God's self-criticism. God surely is complex, and incorporates all of these religions.

In many ways, Hindu has "always already" (as Derrida would say) been a post-modern religion. I dig it :)


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very interesting read. Thank you for sharing it.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! dallas

Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation.

Hi! stars

Welcome! Thanks a lot for the visit.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Daniel

Welcome! You must be practicing some of these ideas intensely even if you may not have known abstractly.

They are visible in your poems.

Yes! indeed one has to get a little out of strong influence Maya to understand its working.

You have put in in your comment admirably well essence of this whole philosophy and your desire to go through it a little more intensely. Wish you all the good luck. Do write your experiences about it some times.

I think some ideas in Christian practices and these ideas have quite a bit in common (Yogananda Paramhans for example talks about it in his book). Though because of that exclusivity discipline in Christianity some conservative followers may be reluctant to delve into these aspects. I have some times met even Christian priests who had thought a lot about some of these Hindu or Buddhist concepts and had an exceptional understanding about these ideas.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

Hello Mr Soumyasrajan, this is indeed a great composition. Needs to be bookmarked. :)


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! quicksand

welcome! Thanks a lot for so strong comment.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

SY,

I can't believe I read the whole thing - *hehe* I thought it was great good writing cool pics Could you read http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/rELIGEON-W

a part I and II and tell me what you think-its not as in depth as what you have but an interesting thing I noticed...

thanks enjoy-

TH


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Tom

Welcome! Thanks for your comment.

I already had gone through your interesting articles tom. I did not write any comment because at that time I felt nothing much new from me perhaps you already have thought about what I may have wanted to say.

for example quotation from your first article

"Devil is in details--- those details all laid out by who? not GOD but people and that is where the trouble lies and in that People can not be trusted-"

"No truer words have been spoken, when a group of any humans is in power they start to believe they have more importance than others whether it is church groups, political parties or family members this statement is true"

are they not really essentially same as quotes of what some of these people above I am mentioning?

after all they also say "do not go by words", "scriptures are useless for basic understanding"

"find your own path"

Perhaps one can add one more part a little clearly

"do not waste unnecessarily your valuable life time on any of this or for that matter on any thing else too, unless you feel strong urge or need to do it and get pleasure out of it"

I think last one is close to perhaps what you wanted to convey in your article indirectly (I liked your reluctance to say any such command - let people feel themselves after seeing this- must have been in your mind)

Only thing I wonder is theme one might infer from your articles (May be I just infer wrongly, you do not mean that?) as if what you are saying is in big contradiction with what some of these spiritual guys say etc.

Is there really so much of this god and reward type talk as you seem to see? Those are only in ritualistic aspects. But should they not be just taken for fun and with "do it only if you enjoy" type sentiment?

I felt you are saying essentially the same as what they say - as long as you are restricted to genuine ones - one good measure of genuine one may be they do not insist on you obeying this or that, with promise of some reward in return, though still one might feel cheated later even if you weed out by this measure.

One does have to be careful.


thephilosopher899 profile image

thephilosopher899 6 years ago

Excellent hub and the pics made it more interesting!!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot thephilorpher8999! I am happy that you enjoyed it.


urs_dipak profile image

urs_dipak 6 years ago from Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Superb dear, I amlucky to have few of my picture on your hub.

Thanks for sharing


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! dipak

Thanks a lot your so strong appreciation is very invaluable to me.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

At first I salute you, Soumyarajan for the Article ‘The Truth’ that you have described so nicely giving the vital source of Hindu religious philosophy right from the beginning to time of certain extent is beyond expression. I read this article more than once even though a bit lengthy to go deep into the deep rooted Hindu philosophy. It is this article that gave me the little knowledge of “Brahma”. This is a master piece article to be preserved for the sake of the Philosophy of Hindu Religion, a religion not of any individual’s effort but a religion of evolution of its own superseding the present atomic world.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Roychoudhuri

Thanks immensely many for so much encouragement. I like your expression -"not of any individual effort but a religion of evolution"

Let us hope flexibility and calm manner in our attitude on path towards truth (or to be one with it ) remains intact for ever.


spirituality profile image

spirituality 6 years ago from The Netherlands

Interesting hub :) I agree - we do have some central interests in common :)


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! spirituality

Welcome! Thanks a lot. Yes I also want to go through your other hubs. I discovered you only now, It is a pleasure.


johnnynaakea 6 years ago

Interesting hub. I learned a lot.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Welcome johnny! Thanks a lot for appreciation.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Wow...this is a phenomenal hub for all the work you put into it. Thank you!!

I love your reference to the verbal transmission of wisdom.

I found that the Bhagavad Gita is so beautiful in it's simplicity.

I will bookmark and come back from time to time.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Orensson

Thanks a lot for visit and so nice comment. Yes in India even now most of these basic ideas are transmitted orally.

I saw in your nice article on meditation, from the way you dissected the word awareness to its exact meaning that you enjoy language too.


Ashmi profile image

Ashmi 6 years ago from Somewhere out there

Hi S.....very informative and excellently presented.

Truth of course cannot be known, for as soon as we describe it, we make It into an object of consciousness. In other words; we impose limitations upon It. This is not possible for Truth is not bound by anything as everything emanates from It. Only its manifested expressions are limited and conditioned. Whatever is definable must be an object of awareness, The obvious question is who is the "subject" who is aware of the object?

By saying "not this, not that" to whatever we experience - objects/events etc, we eventually arrive at Truth by simply being It. When the seer and the seen merge into one. When I and my experience are no longer two (seperated)..but One (united), then Reality Is myself. There is no longer the duality of "I" and "other". There is only the inexhaustible possibility, the Infinite potentiality to be.

Great hub!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Ashmi

Thanks for the visit and nice comment. I liked your hubs very much. You say quite forcefully in this comment what the Advait Vedant philosophy says. Your conviction is quite admirable.


Ashmi profile image

Ashmi 6 years ago from Somewhere out there

Hi S......I am happy to hear that. I will not compromise with the Truth and so I may appear to be very forceful in my expressions. A characteristic most people find difficult to deal with, or accept for that matter.

To discriminate between fancy and fact, reality and imagination is essential in order to arrive at Truth. When we have eliminated all perceivables and conceivables what remains is precisely THAT! An empty void of nothingness, yet full to the brim of beauty. Everything comes from It yet Itself is nothing in particular.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

I quite agree Ashmi! Thanks a lot for coming back. Your comments will be always a great pleasure.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..the truth be told - this 'epic' hub is the divine way to spiritual and intellectual enlightenment!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Epigramman

Welcome! Thanks a lot for so nice comment. I enjoy expressions in your poetry in a similar way speaking truth with all its magnifications.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

S,

sherlock holmes said it best " One you eliminate the impossible what is left must be truth"

Discerning and identifying the impossible is sometimes impossible....

TH


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! tom

Thanks a lot for the visit. I like both sherlock holmes comment and yours.

Yes of course identifying impossible is some times impossible. One difficulty is "who knows you may be wrong" and then you do not want to spend too much time of your valuable short life span just on some thing about which you are not sure.


brianzen profile image

brianzen 6 years ago

Hello and wow, I believe you have entered the mini-book club between the writing and illustrations. Phenomenal work.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! brianzen

Thanks a lot for such a strong comment. Idea you suggest is a very interesting and good idea- mini books with lots of pictures. One should practice it more.

I just read some of your articles. Enjoyed your articles very much. You have been also doing it.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

soumyasrajan, I found this hub after you commented on my "retirement" piece, which you totally understood. This comment convinced me to follow you and here I am. Lexie and I leave tonight to settle her into college life. I have printed out your hub so that I might read it carefully. It is so full and deep. I need time to comprehend it all. Thank you so much for all the work you have put into sharing this with us.

Several points already fascinate me. I did not know ritual and belief would be separate within a religion. I am of the Abrahamic tradition and while I try to be open to new spiritual systems, this had not occurred to me. Ritual as FUN? What a concept.

Other ideas I have considered to greater or lesser degree. I have not discovered whether you discuss the role of women in any of these religions, but I assume there was no "apple!" I see women in the lovely illustrations you have collected. I am curious about this because Abrahamic religion is harsh on women and diminishes what is good about us!

I now have 17 pages of text in my possession- did you know your article filled this much printer paper? I look forward to digesting it while flying above the earth :). Airplanes no longer provide meals, so I will bring my own.

Thanks again. It is amazing work.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Storytellersus

Thanks a lot for your so nice comment. I also enjoyed your article very much. One does not necessarily have to know some of these concepts very abstractly. Though some times abstractness helps, as I see you are enjoying the idea "rituals are more for fun". I think to some extent it is true in all religions-just to give an example, we were in USA for almost 2 years, when our children were 3-5 years old. So they learnt about Easter and Christmas in American shopping malls and they learnt Christian festivals more initially than Hindu festivals. This was almost 20 years back. We still celebrate them in our home every year with the same enthusiasm. I think most Hindus in India celebrate Christmas as their festival.

But I think specially a person like you may not necessarily need abstractness. With devotion to your life and family you already have learnt most of these ideas. That is quite visible in your article of retirement.

About Woman in India- they have very important role. In general in Indian families one learns a lot from grandmother and mother. They are the basic source for day to day wisdom. So in later life also their wisdom as well as wisdom of one's wife plays strong role in any decision making.

In rituals it is even more visible. We do not have God of power. For power we pray to Goddess Durga. We do not have God of wealth. For desire of wealth we pray to Goddess of wealth Laxmi. We do not have God of education. For wish to have better education we pray to Goddess of Education Saraswati. All these Goddesses we often think of as Ma (mother). That also shows the place Ma has in one's life. She is like these Goddesses.

Though despite the above I must add the following. I think over all woman is not considered so much as an object in India as one some times feels in West- that does help. Still reality in life is that people get lost and forget what philosophy or rituals teach. Crime or discrimination of woman is quite a bit there all over world, it is also there in India. To a large extent I think it originates from the fear woman have about attacks on their body which males do not have and other source is economic dependence. I hope with prosperity and understanding this fear as well as crime or discrimination will go away- at least to a large extent.

But as above philosophy shows all this is just a game being played until we are in the influence of Maya. A person who identifies with the truth- he/she has no fear, no anxiety and a lot more.

By the way I also feel that expressions or style may be different in Abrahamic religions but over all philosophical aspects or spiritual feelings and understanding are not very different from these ideas.

About length of article I did not realize initially. I just wrote almost in one flow what ever I felt was necessary. Some days back my son and daughter who are now graduate students in USA took printout because they also wanted to read during a trip, they told me that it is that long.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, there are so many facts here that I did not know, I feel that if I read it all in one sitting I will forget something important! so I will keep coming back to finish it, it will definitely be bookmarked as it is so interesting, thank you nell


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Nell

Thanks a lot fro strong comment. I will be looking forward to your visits and comments


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Advaita philosophies harmonize with my own. My comprehension of God equals theirs of Brahman. This is a very interesting hub with LOTS of information. Bookmarked for future reads. Thanks!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Martie for the visit and comment. Does some of the ideas in it also not look very similar to ideas in Psychology about which you wrote in your nice articles?


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

What a wonderful hub. I am impressed by the amount of research that must have been done. Great writing and terrific information. Your pictures are also beautiful. Very impressive hub.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Kffeklatch for such a strong appreciation. I am indeed delighted that you felt it is wonderful.


Midtown Girl profile image

Midtown Girl 6 years ago from Right where I want to be!

You have provided fascinating information. It took me several sittings to read through this so as to better understand and absorb it all. Your links provide multiple opportunities to continue studying, and your pictures are a wonderful addition to your words.

I have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Midtown Girl for so strong comment. And I am enjoying your hubs and so beautifully integrated pictures.


ram_m profile image

ram_m 6 years ago from India

This is a great hub. you have condensed into it the ocean of Indian philosophy in a simple and easily understandable manner with copious references. Thanks for the effort you have taken to demystify this esoteric subject.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Ram for so appreciative comment. I am also enjoying going through so many of your hubs on ancient Indian History.


theirishobserver. profile image

theirishobserver. 6 years ago from Ireland

Excellent Hub very detailed and great pictures, I would not be familiar with Indian Culture, facinating, history, culture, faith.....great work....Irish


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot theirishobserver for appreciation. I also enjoyed reading very much your hubs about Ireland


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

This was a great read........... thanks!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Kaie

Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation.


bradfield27 6 years ago

Loved reading your input on this subject! Very well written!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Bradfeild

Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation.


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

You're a real "guru", for writing this exhaustive hub with lots of spiritual underpinings. Great read here! You're a fine writer.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Lita for such a strong appreciation. It is not me, some of these ancient ideas developed long back have eternal beauty.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago

Wow, really, really interesting. I studied religion for a while in college, and I think I might have learned more from this article. I wonder this, if there were such a thing as an absolute truth, and an absolute deity, how many would really follow that path? Who really would endorse truth? As we are living in an age where activism, or taking a stand is "liking" a page on Facebook for most people. I've found way more are intrigued by the search itself. This being the case, many have already found their God is the search. A tickling of the ears. Glad I got a chance to read your work, soumyasrajan. Thorough and interesting!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! ahostagesituation

Thanks for your visit and very interesting comment. I enjoyed your article and comment very much. I like your expression "God is search. A tickling of ears". Your feeling and understanding are great.

A tickling of ear in this manner can indeed be considered a feeling of a starting glimpse of what I describe above as the state of Satchidanand- one with Pure Being (Sat), Consciousness-Force (Chit-Tapas), Bliss (Ananda).

But it is difficult to say about endorsement. The "endorsement". is still some sort of mental or brain activity. While this feeling or existence of absolute truth etc. is not, according to this theory. It encompasses all such activities so it has to be beyond that. In a way this type of expression is there in all religions. What ever you call it "God", "Unique God", "Unique deity", generally all are described as beyond any such mental activity. Only difference,as far as I see is about the tools you use to understand or have feeling about it as a start.

While this whole theory of Advaita Vedanta says, it does not matter which religion you follow. Do what ever your religion tells you, or any thing, any tool, even Face Book activity, what ever you feel comfortable with to have an initial drive to venture into trying to find out truth do every thing and convince yourself to start. Absolute deity may also be considered as a tool in this light.

Is it not true that at least a little of this type of Ananda one sees on any good priest of any religion (after all words/expression may be different but he/she does practice quite similar things and does try to provide calm and comfort to others, which he/she himself/herself feels). Why a good priest only, on face of any good person you feel an expression of peace or Ananda. Type of tickling you describe does have similar flavor right?

At the same time one should also remember the conversation of Herman Hesse's hero Siddhartha mentioned above, "When someone is searching, then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. "


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago

Ananda by a variety of other names can be found in all religion, and outside of religion. I understand Ananda to be bliss, specifically bliss of spirit, and not a specific moment of bliss. Certainly, nearly all religions work at least part of the time to invoke some form of this in its followers. The deifying of the search itself is what is mysterious to me. What is beyond Ananda? Where does the greater intelligence, the greater wisdom that would introduce more than inner calm, but actual purpose? The action Ananda calls for is stillness, and is of course, appropriate at times, but so much of our world calls for action. Does God also call us to action? Is there a possibility that any intelligent spiritual being who's driving force is love would call an earthly being to be still, peaceful, and inactive while the world crumbles around him? It is a lullaby to the soul--similar to an infant's pacifier, to quiet the urge to seek God. But it does bring a measure of peacefulness. It lacks the explanation of the intelligent work of the formation of the earth itself, and clouds attention to the future, what lies ahead for all of us.

The search for truth is an entirely separate issue. It is different than a search for enlightenment as enlightenment is a perspective, and highly individual. Truth is sought because it can't be changed or altered, it just is. The search for truth calls out the deepest essence of an individual. Whatever the truth is, if the requisite is change--behavior, attitude, focus, what have you...who will do it? It definitely distinguishes us all.

We are going to make quite a mess of the comment section of our articles. :-). Perhaps you should email me.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! ahostagesituation

Oh! do not worry about messing comment section. I think lot of other people like to read not just article but also comments. I do enjoy equally discussions via comments in article which I like on hubpages and go back often to read them.

According to this theory, identification with the absolute truth (to put another way "understanding" that self (or soul or atmahan) is just an alibi, it is always with you but just doesn't do any thing) and to be aware of it all the time may be considered in some ways main ultimate goal. What I describe above as the person who achieves the state of sthitaprajna during his life.

Once you identify with the whole universe, every action, inaction, for every thing in whole universe you are an alibi and at every moment in past present or future. That should be full of action and full of knowledge. I did not understand what exactly you are deriving at. You mention of intelligent work is perhaps in the context of this controversy about Creationist theory verses Darwin's theory? Lot of these questions like that about earth etc. are more like a game being played because of influence of Maya. They become irrelevant in this universe view of having just one absolute truth. The main goal is to get out of that influence of Maya and to be a little away from such a game to learn the truth. So that does not mean creating a cloud. In fact the theory says it is opposite. Idea is to remove the cloud on true knowledge. It does not also mean to become in some ways action-less.

History actually says opposite of what you feel. Reaching such a state will not make you inactive or trying it is not an attempt to cloud the knowledge or desire for true knowledge. It will be opposite. As far as I know, the only person, who sort of declared himself publicly that he is sthitaprajna and showed it publicly also what it means was Krishna. Who lived almost 5000 years back at the end an era called in India Dwapara Yuga. It is too long back (though for Indians this is not such a long period, Rama another such hero lived much earlier). Krishna is the hero of the epic Mahabharata. The things he did romance (many), wars (many- one of the biggest one was Mahabharta), Yoga, philosophy, saving people, in every thing, every moment he was full of action. Things he started still drive millions of people, for example dancing in a very colorful ways (navaratri), to create big temples (Hare Rama Hare Krishna movement is sort of cult following rituals started by him and worshiping him) and what not.

Gautama Buddha or Mahavira Swami who lived almost 2500 years back did not become inactive after their enlightenment. Social cause is one of the biggest driving force. Buddha created his Sanghas or monasteries all over India. These Sanghas were the places where a lot of Science, art, philosophical ideas were generated. Mahavira Swami also traveled in a similar way all over India. Buddhism today is perhaps religion of maximum number of people in world, even after centuries. Their teachings are still followed by most in India. Many huge palaces, temples, edifices have been created in India during that time and later by their followers.

Christ always showed compassion and pain for those who suffered. At the same time if you look at drive of people who followed Christ, they created such a grand edifices. Just visit Rome, Venice, Florence etc. and you feel amazed. Calm, Peace etc. (satchidananda state) actually should make one full of action. One does not get lost in useless worries, games, once you understand this alibi status. Every thing seems to be a game with pleasure. People of that type are influential in creating actions even after thousands of years. Michel Angelo was not perhaps a priest. But after all it was influence of Christ which made him hang upside down for years and paint those great paintings on the walls of these edifices.

In India there is a tradition that some of these people who work on such art or architectural work, they do not declare there names. There is a famous temple of Ellora in India which has been carved out of mountain. It is perhaps one of the biggest wonders of wordl created by humans. Whole architecture of building it, is for example in reverse direction. So first terrace was created and floor was last one to come out. It was built almost 2000 years back. People of all religions, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains have worked on that temple. Some families for seven generations worked on it without even their name being mentioned any where.

Let me give one example from Science. People think of Science as some activity different from religion or spiritualism - to me they do not look so different. I wrote a hub also about it. Nappier a famous mathematician in 17th century created what are called log tables - very perfect calculations of numbers. His work may be considered as initiation of today's computers. He believed that by calculating these tables he will be able to prove existence of God.

I think such examples if you see around you, many will be visible. Ananda etc. helps one to get true knowledge, to have drive to learn more and do more.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

wow... an impressive read. i especially enjoyed your section on Hesse, and on Vivekananda. thank you.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Carolina

Thanks for the visit and appreciation. Yes both Hesse and Vivekananda contributed a lot and in a very impressive manner.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

This is one of the awesome Hubs I have ever come across! And I've read plenty of great Hubs!

I will have to come back later to make a more considered comment. For now - just thanks for the great Hub!

Love and peace

Tony


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Tony

Thanks a lot and for so strong appreciation. I am looking forward to your visit back


kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

soumyasrajan

Indeed I so very much enjoyed your Hub, I learnt so very much, and keep thinking of a good man who signed up yesterday, a friend of mine karma. and I will tell him of your hub

Well I certainly am a new follower! And follow, I shall

Kimberly


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Kimberly! So strong appreciation is indeed a great pleasure and creates a lot of enthusiasm. Your lyrics also say a lot- very enjoying.


sujju profile image

sujju 5 years ago from mangalore, india

It was not so cold tonight, so it had to be goose bums, wen i was on my way thru ur hub...a humble bow to u soumyasrajan.. its a great work n its exciting n inspiring to see ur dedication n deep knowledge of the great topic...thanks very much for the information...keep going...


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot sujju for such a strong appreciation.


Arlecchino profile image

Arlecchino 5 years ago from Top of the Cloud

Very interesting and beautiful hub!


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Arelcchino for so strong appreciation.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

Amazing Research and a very informative hub. cheers to all the hard work you put into it :)


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Ruchira for appreciation. It is pleasure to see that you enjoyed it.


lex123 profile image

lex123 5 years ago

It's really a well researched hub, and I appreciate your efforts in writing this hub. I've linked this to my hub of "Life and Teaching of Sri Adi Shankaracharya".

Must read it again and again to understand more about the contents of this. The beautiful photos add more value to this hub. I have rated it up.

Thank you for sharing such an awesome hub.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! lex.

Thanks a lot for visit and strong appreciation and linking it. I also enjoyed reading your article on Adi Sankaracharya.


Greenheart profile image

Greenheart 5 years ago from Cambridge

Hi again.

And thank-you for this wonderful hub!

A few months ago you posted a comment on my hub about the spiritual teacher,Avatar Adi Da.

Soumyasrajan,did i get back to you recently?.

You did ask me about my time with Adi Da.

Happy 2011.

Gavin


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Gavin

Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation. Yes I enjoyed very much reading your articles on Avatar Adi Da and exchanging comments with you. Looking forward to more such exchanges with you and may be see you some time in Mumbai or UK.


cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 5 years ago from the bridge of sighs

Hello soum.You are a very gifted Fellow?Lady?I've book marked this hub so I can return and digest bits at a time.There is so very much information that my head hurts if I try to hard lol.Excellent work by a vast mind.Thanks

Dean


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! cheaptrick

Thanks a lot for the visit and enjoyment. I am only a fellow not a lady. How is your Sanskrit going on? I admire very much what you are doing. I just went through some of your recent hubs. I enjoyed your first business venture very much. I still remember your old ones "the most romantic thing.."


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

This is a wonderful article full of colourful information that gives one of the best insights I have read on Eastern philosophy. My father was an Indian Hindu and my mother an Irish Catholic so I am between East and West but am not either. I am glad to have come across you and will be following your hubs closely from now on. Thank you for all the trouble you have gone to in presenting this very comprehensive hub on quite an expansive topic depending on your perspective.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Spirit Whisperer

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Interesting to read about your parents. I just read an old Irish novel Tara Road. A nice one. It looks like you practice spiritualism much more. You must have known most of these ideas, any way.


Druid Dude profile image

Druid Dude 5 years ago from West Coast

I haven't read the Hesse collection since I was a teen. (LONG time) My profile picture probably appealed to you. I believe that the concept of re-incarnation points towards Egyptian contact, which is totally not outside possibility. Few people realize that re-incarnation is also in the old Israelite beliefs, evidenced even in the New Testament of the christians, who see no connection between resurrection and re-incarnation, even though Jesus addressed it specifically. In Native American philosophy, re-incarnation is not debated. the Paiute Shaman, Wovoka predicted the re-incarnation of the native people. It is happening as I write. Other interesting books: The collective works of Carlos Casteneda, then there is "The Celestine Prophecy" and the follow up, "The Tenth Insight", sorry, don't recall the author of the last two. Great hub!


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Druid Dude

Thanks a lot for visit and your interesting comments. I enjoyed the way, you connect it to some Native American philosophy.

I was attracted to your hub by some comment you had made. But of course I like the seeker of truth. I was trying to remember where did I see image of your avatar - I had seen it some where but could not recollect. There is not easy Google type service to search for image. If I remember correctly it has also some Native American connection?

I feel I learnt quite a bit from your comment. I did not know about Carlos Casteneda. I read about him and plan to read some of his work. I will try to read more about Don Juan Matus also. Both surely lived very interesting lives. It seems for them to be in an avatar (reincarnation) was natural. It is interesting that some people tried to prove that Don Juan Matus was fictional. One argument people who criticized Carlos, gave was that he was sitting in the library of university, when he claimed that he was with Don Juan in his hut. It did not occur to his critics that when he said he was with Don Juan in his hut he may not have meant that he was physically there. But I have any way to learn more about these aspects before commenting. Perhaps you know much more.

In India also reincarnation is taken quite naturally. In fact it is quite possible that much more is true if these philosophical ideas of Advaita are right. Perhaps one can indeed have a feeling of simultaneously being in all times and all space. Sort of your are in all reincarnations of not just you but every body at the same time? What do you feel?

Incidentally talking about Native Americans -- There has been a lot of talk about end of world may be in 2012 according to Mayan calender (though some people say it is a wrong interpretation of their ideas). According to them it seems their current era (or calender) started on August 11, 3114 BC. According to Indian so called mythology the current era (Kaliyuga) started on February 18, 2102 BC. I find it interesting that these dates are so close to each other. Though in these Indian mythology Kaliyuga is much longer than 5000 years -about 432,000 years and world does not really end the cycles of Yugas go on as long as you are under the influence of Maya.


Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

As a practicing Hindu, with deep faith in Buddhism, I have great interest in Vedanta school of thoughts. Hindu philosophy is so esoteric that general people find themselves at loggerhead to fathom, however, you have introduced the topic in such simple way that anyone, Hindus and non-Hindu included, can easily understand.

Swami Vivekananda is my favorite modern day saint, Maya is the concept that I love to ponder into, I find C?rv?ka very intriguing.

After reading the hub I feel enlightened.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Binaya! Actually I do not find much difference between ideas in Hinduism, Buddhism (for that matter even some ideas from Chinese philosophies like Taoism). Buddha indeed introduced changes in the society at that time with some fresh ideas. They or ideas of Krishna or later Shankaracharya still have the same feeling of freshness. Buddha's facial expression itself is so unique it conveys peace and pleasure of an understanding of whole universe in a very unique manner (Historians say that all known statues of Buddha today are at least 300 years after him, so this may not be his original face, but to me it does not matter at all).


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

I am at a loss for words you didn't make a hub you wrote a book.Awesome.Very educational and I am going to have to go back to read more.I ran out of time.Thanks for all your effort and time and what a wonderful job.


newday98033 5 years ago

Love this hub and discussion! My thoughts:

A reasonable way to look at this place is that everything is "true". It is relative truth (thank you Mr. Einstein) but there is no falsity or imagination as opposed to what is genuine. There is simply always more to know, relatively. So one observes what is there, puts that into context with one's overall understanding, and moves on to see more.

Or, one is content with observed parameters and has a game inside those parameters. Since we are all viewpoints of God entire, no one can be said to be more right than another, or any group of others. But one can understand more, and this allows freedom to move around in this place. What one can "see", one can move into.

The disadvantage, as Mark Twain notes in Life on the Mississippi, is that the present game is exposed. The pretty little whirlpool becomes a deadly snag ready to rip the bottom out of a steamboat. Fortunately, it seems nothing can go really wrong no matter what is going on. My opinion.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Dream On

I am sorry I saw your comment only now. Thanks a lot for such a strong appreciation. I will eagerly wait for your comments on these interesting ideas which oroginated in ancient times, after you go through completely.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! newday98033

Very interesting comments you have. Yes indeed it looks to be endless game going a bit by bit and as you say not much can go really wrong, in any case no body (at least with just tools of mind or physical tools) has much control over this whole affair. It seems to be going on on its own.

I admire observations of Einstein and Mark Twain very much. They were admirably effortless in in expressing such cute observations. In Many ways they also understood this whole meaning of life quite a bit like Herman Hesse.

One last point- I think our current style of studies, which are mostly restricted to mind games or physical efforts, the game surely looks to be endless. But as I describe in the article, this phenomena is the one which made these ancient people in India to try a different approach. They started building up model of whole universe including all aspects in one go and attempted to "understand" also whole universe in one go.


newday98033 5 years ago

Hi sourmyasrajan,

Thank you for your comments. I love Hesse! The Glass Bead Game was my favorite, though it has been many years. I thnk Twain got it better than he realized. The Mysterious Stranger is very interesting.

Since we can focus on only one thing at a time in this place understanding the whole place is a building operation. One can reach a point where God appears, then come back into this realm. But then the system unfolds, yet still gradually. My experience.

Thank you so much for your pages here!

Kevin Osborne


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Oh! I quite agree newday about what you say doing one thing at a time. We have to live in the realm.


ruchir pandya 5 years ago

very informative appreciate the effort to bring out such an informative article.thank you for sharing :)


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Ruchir

I saw your message only now. Thanks a lot for your appreciation. As I already wrote to you on speaking tree, I liked your drive and ideas very much.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"You just become a Hindu, if you adopt to some of the ideas or just declare yourself to be so, if you like." - I do pray to Lord Vishnu so, I think I will be part-Hindu as of right now. (Thank you for the tip.)

"What is universe?", "Who are we?", "Why do we exist?", "What (or Who) is God?" - Yes .. such are the questions that have not left me for at least fifteen years - they're always with me; I just can't get rid of them, I tried ... (lol)

"In its highest manifested poise, its nature may be described as Satchidananda—infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite delight or bliss—a triune principle in which the three are united in a single reality." - This made me think of The Law of One: All is One and All is connected - I do believe in that.

"He will be doing every thing, but will be at the same time detached from everything." Okay, but then I read that "It does not mean a person who understands Brahman becomes colorless or without a feeling."

So, now I have one statement which says that one becomes "detached from everything" and one statement which says that that does not mean such a person is "without feeling". What am I missing here because my logic is not flowing?

"Generally leaders of two schools of thought had a shastartha (a sort of verbal duel in which both leaders will argue their points and one, who lost the arguments" - But winning is a matter of perspective, how can there ever be a winner in this three dimensional perspective? Everything is in relation to everything, in my opinion.

"In ancient times many God and Goddesses represented nature, they often did not have human form. Now they have. Some people think that Shankaracharya popularized this change. He felt that human shape will help them to be popular." I am not too happy about this but it doesn't matter anyway. I think it just made our ego stronger.

“He who learnt to look on the phenomena in the light of Advaita, is my true Guru (teacher), be he a Chandala or be he a Brahmin”. - I like that.

Vivekananda asked him, "quite amazing! How much time you spent on learning this art?". The monk said "11 years". Vivekananda remarked," some thing which you can do by paying just a small coin to the boatman for that you wasted 11 years of your life?" - lol! That is pretty funny; very good.

"Most of those stories in such books are just local stories spread around from time immemorial. Many may not be true but they do have common themes." - Yes, I certainly accept things not only as true but also as necessary.

"Siddhartha by Herman Hesse was one book which I read during my first visit to USA." - I only read "the Steppenwolf" by Herman Hesse and I must say it is one of my most favorite books. I simply loved it. I will for sure purchase Siddhartha now - I do not believe in coincidences.

And with that in mind, I will end the reading of your article here. I will not read the part about the book since I do want to read it myself. Perhaps I can return and comment after I have read it.

I do want to thank you for putting this piece of writing together. Many thanks indeed, it was very helpful (for me anyway lol).

Cheers! May Wakan Tanka guide your path.


newday98033 5 years ago

Let's say the system is an entirety and the more one understands of all of it the more one understands...er, of all of it. No one is right or wrong, simply no one's viewpoint is complete. That would be impossible in this place, obviously. We see from one place to another. That's the game. I LOVE Hesse. A friend of mine also adores Steppenwolf but my favorite was Glass Bead Game. Probably the visceral vs. the engineering approach. Cheers and many single malt scotches!


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Mr. Happy

Enjoyed your comment. Yes quite agree even without praying to Lord Vishnu also you are a Hindu.

About detachment etc. That is just a tool. Final goal is not really detachment according to this philosophy. It is more becoming aware that soul is just an alibi.

An awareness that water in the pot which you think is you is just part of the whole water. Actions are influenced by Maya. So it is difficult to say what happens when you are aware. My explanation (still under the influence of maya so who knows what I say is just a game) is that the awareness that you are the water ocean should make you aware of all the waves in it. Should that not make you more active? Any way only example I know who had sort of publicly declared that he is sthitpajna was Krishna (that too more than 5000 years back). He was indeed very action packed in his whole life.

I am sure you will enjoy Siddhartha very much. Let us hope Wakan Tanka guides both of us to right path.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! newday

Thanks for the visit. Yes! I quite agree. After all even this model is just playing with words, language, rationality. But that is not the final goal, it is just initial tool to convince oneself and have drive for final goal. I think any way one aspect of its beauty is that it does not really much depend on any religion or any one's perception of his/her God. You just use what ever you like to have a drive to identify the truth.

I enjoyed your model very much in your article

http://newday98033.hubpages.com/hub/Life-and-persp...

" Imagine you awoke in darkness. You are in a small dark space not knowing what is around you. Then you crawl around, feeling things. You find a light switch, and upon pushing, discover you are in a room. You open a door. You see a hallway. You walk down the hallway to another door. You step into another room with another door, then through that door, you step outside. You see you were in a house. You walk down the street and see a sign, "Iowa City". You are in a city. You take an airplane and fly over and see the landscape. You see continents, oceans, the earth."

I admired very much that you had developed on your own exactly the same ideas as this whole philosophy.

Yes Hesse is indeed incomparable. Cheers!


newday98033 5 years ago

Thank you soum, I am having fun tracking your visits and comments to various sites.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot newday. I am doing the same with you. I enjoy that you enjoy both intellectual level discovery as well as what in India we call Bhakti path (identifying with supreme being with humility etc., you must have heard this word).

I also like very much your stress on every one has his/her own path towards truth.


newday98033 5 years ago

Thank you soum, I had not heard that word. I know little about the nuts and bolts of Indian discovery, except that the broad strokes fit nicely with my personal view.

Since it is a path along one's experience, it would seem to have to be individual. It's nice you agree!


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

yes! Your style quite detached at the same time full of energy, I like very much newday!


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

I have added two more paragraphs to the article with titles

"Exact translation of of Sanskrit terms according to experts: Brahman is really "opening up which lets every thing arise or come-into- being""

"Experts say Verbal forms rather than noun or adjective forms are more appropriate"

An advantage of online articles, you can add or subtract any time. Hope you will enjoy these additions


newday98033 4 years ago

As I continue to read your article I get more out of it. Thank you!


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot newday! I am very much looking forward to your comments and insight into these ideas.


Thought-Provoking 4 years ago

Great hub, loved it immensely, I always enjoy reading about Hindu philosophy, I feel that the eastern thinkers are years ahead spiritually wise and philosophically then many of the western thinkers by far. Sorry it took so long to read your hub and leave a comment, I've been busy but I look forward to all of your other hubs. I can tell there is a lot I can learn from you, you most certainly know more about this field than I.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Thought-Provoking

Thanks a lot for your visit. I have learnt still just a little. There is a lot more to learn. I am sure we can learn from each other a lot. Your intense search must have been indeed a richly rewarding experience. I am also looking forward to learning more about that.

Some of these ideas, specially model of the "universe" via Advaita Vedanta is very fascinating and does create enthusiasm to experiment with no inhibitions to start with. One can feel an eternal beauty in it and an urge to explore further. I am looking forward to many comments and insights from you.


Saroj Kanta Das. 4 years ago

I have gone through this modern day 'Mahabharata'. Please come to private msg. This has become too long a page. Thanks and Regards.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot for the visit Saroj. I do not know why do you call it Mahabharata?


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Some months after writing this article, I started to study basic details of this model of universe involving Maya and Brahman etc., built by philosophers of Advaita Vedanta School, which I vaguely described above, in a series of articles on speaking tree website. The final language to describe the model uses mainly usual rational style, putting clearly axioms and basic concepts and giving reasons from observations, why should one have such axioms and then deducing statements from those. I am giving here link for starting point of that series -part III (part I and II are more about History in India how this study started and description of what I may do).

http://www.speakingtree.in/soumyasrajan/blog/Walki...


EtherealElements profile image

EtherealElements 4 years ago from USA

Love this hub. Very interesting and very well written. I look forward to reading your Hubs. Thank you.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot EE, I enjoyed your articles very much.


mischeviousme profile image

mischeviousme 4 years ago from Bradenton, FL

I like it. I especially love the statues and pictures of great figures in eastern culture. Great article!!


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot mischeviousme for the visIt and appreciation!


shirin hasrat 4 years ago

I chanced upon the vedant Treatise by SwamiParamhansa quite by chance, and got hooked to it.I tucked it away into the reccesses of my mind and then stumbled upon Buddhism and did 3 Vipassana reytreats. Now I there is so much i want to know and read, and I'm buying and storing books by the dozen, yet at the end of the day I feel as if I know nothing. The day seems to be too short and my quest too long a journey.

"The truth may be one but it can have several manifestations or orders. Each manifestation in its own perspective may also equally represent truth".

Glad to have found guides and fellow travellers who brighten the way by sharing the light they have found.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot shirin for the visit and nice comment. I saw your comment only today. Yes all these ideas are similar and still each has some individual assets to learn and enjoy.

I feel the same to find you on ST.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

I have studied some of these philosophies before. There are many paths to the truth but only one destination.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot rasta for the visit and nice comment. I quite agree. Indeed that is the sentiment followed in India by all communities for 1000's of years.

May be if you like open a blog on a site run by Times of India dedicated to spiritualism, where there are people from all religions and all over world (though much more Indians). Your articles and ideas from rastafari philosophies will be very interesting to share there. Not many from India know about them, while they have so many similarities to ideas in India. Link is

http://www.speakingtree.in/


formosangirl profile image

formosangirl 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Thanks for sharing the history of Hindu philosophy, including Buddhism. I, especially, like your references to Siddhartha since as a member of a Japanese Buddhist sect (SGI), I only have learned snippets about the first Buddha. I want to learn more about the original mainstream Buddhism because I think the background is so important, and anything I learn is a bonus. Voted up and beautiful.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! formosangirl

Thanks a lot for visit. I quite agree with you it is nice to learn about these philosophies. Internet itself is such good source to know. There are so many interesting articles.

What I describe here as Advaita Vedanta Philosophy is quite similar to Buddhist ideas too. The Advaiata Philosophy developed to this style after Buddha so it had profound influence of what Buddha preached. Basic ideas in these philosophies originating in India are quite similar, except for a little change in names etc.

Do write what you learn also if you find good references do send me also.

The novel Siddhartha is available on internet for free. Just go through completely, you will enjoy. I specially like also in that book part where Siddhartha meets the enlightened one (real Siddhartha, Buddha). Though it is only a novel but I think Herman Hasse had deep understanding all these philosophies, he was quite influenced by Buddha's teachings.

Just Enjoy all these basic ideas! I am sure you will.


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sheilanewton 4 years ago from North Shields, UK

Sensational hug, my friend. Oh, what a beautifully-crafted article. And the images are stunning.

I voted up and across. You are a marvel. I'm going to enjoy following you. And one I have a hub uploaded (none yet - lazy girl!!) I hope you'll take a look at my work too.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Sheila

Thanks a lot for visit and so strong appreciation. Actually more than my article beauty is that intriguing question "what is truth?".

Of course I will enjoy reading your work. I came to your hub via one of your comments which I liked. I was sure you must be writing with full heart into your writing (your prizes any way show that). But did not find any hub, now waiting for one.

You write travel articles. I am mostly in Mumbai - if some time you come here do contact me.

Actually It reminds me of a nice travel article I had read in Sunday's Guardian many years ago when I was visiting London. It was about beaches of Goa. The author described nicely all knds of things you can do on beaches in Goa. But then he ended with "But finally if you are thinking of going to India to just enjoy beaches in Goa, then I will say you are crazy."


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

So well stated! Thanks to sheilanewton for pointing me to this article! Truth is what feels calm in one's heart-me thinks..

Just as I feel calm in my heart with my decision to move to hubpages! I've even written my very first 'hub'(odd word)! Now if only i could figure out the technical stuffs..Thanks for this, Soumy!


erickcb 4 years ago

Been awhile since I've been on. Basically, what I think all these things have in common is one truth. Just one, and that is change. Everything like you said changes depending on who is looking. People are like mirrors reflecting what is actually true. Yet each mirror acts like a small veil distorting the truth just a little based on the person's experience, knowledge, etc. Therefore, real truth can never be gazed upon directly. I think if there was an entity that could view all perceptions of all people simultaneously, it would be nearer to the truth than anyone before it, but then it again, you can not perceive real truth, especially if it is constantly changing its nature. One infinity is different from the next in a time infinitely smaller than a nanosecond. How can you possibly perceive the whole truth? You can't. You can only gaze at the illusion, the maya, of your own.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot for visit Karen. I already read both of your articles, enjoyed very much, humor makes a person reach truth faster, indeed you prove that.

Yes I also feel this word hub is funny. I prefer to use article.

Hubpages is simple to use, I am sure you will enjoy. If you need any particular help let me know (though I do not know much - just use it in simplest manner).


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Erick for visit and so nice comment. I like your description very much "each mirror acts like a small veil distorting the truth just a little based on the person's experience, knowledge, etc. Therefore, real truth can never be gazed upon directly."

Actually I remember your interesting article about what was before God. If you see carefully a lot of conclusions you arrived at starting with essentially axiom (or a belief system ) "that there is God" are

more or less the same as expressed here and in your comment, just the language is little different. Not surprising also as that assumption and assumption that there is only truth after all are not so different.

After writing this article I started this model of universe by advaiata vedanta school with much more details. Even this idea about one truth comes from very simple observations and one can deduce it from those observations i day to day life and simple rational arguments.

I am rewriting those ideas in today's language (I plan to later convert it into a book). If you are interested you can go though some of the articles. Your observations will enlightening for me. Here are links to starting one and last one I wrote so far. I plan to write a few more. This first one is essentially more history about those who started these studies The ideas start from the next one.

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/...

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/...


erickcb 4 years ago

Thanks for commenting back and valuing my opinion.

I will check out your workings :]

I am sure i will enjoy every minute of it.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks erick! Looking forward to your reactions and ideas.


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 4 years ago from India

Really have to appreciate your work, it is great. The pictures make this hub simply perfect. Voted up and interesting.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot dinkan for visit and so strong appreciation. I was wondering from which place you must be. That photo of elephant is very pleasing.


Anju Arya profile image

Anju Arya 4 years ago from India

Great article. it looks good but I did not read still. I will look later.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Anju. Do write more about your views on it after you go through more.


AJAY DVIJ profile image

AJAY DVIJ 4 years ago

What I liked the most are the "five verses called the ‘Manisha Panchaka' composed after Shankarachrya and Chandala- encounter!!!


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Pharma251

Thanks a lot for visit and appreciation.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Ajay

Thanks a lot for the visit. Yes I also like Manisha Panchaka and that whole story very much.


wayne92587 4 years ago

soumyasrajan wrote;

Main goal was to create a model of universe with as less contradictions as possible.

Wayne wrote;

My mathematical description of the Heavens and the Earth, the Universe, the Reality of Everything, (to include the Reality of that which is believed by some to be God) the Reality of Everything that existed before and after the Moment of Creation, the Creation of the Reality of First Cause; 0/1(n)


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Wayne. I saw yr comment only now. Did u notice that there is not such a big difference.

Did u notice that there is a lot of similarity in these ancient ideas and yr ideas.


wayne92587 4 years ago

Yes!

No doubt my concepts of Duality are the same and the Duality of Brahman and Maya.

I believe that the Knowledge of Reality has been lost and rediscovered many Times.

The Basic ideas from Ancient Indian Philosophy-Duel of Brahman and Maya do speak to me.

I think that if I used some of the terms used in Ancient Indian Philosophy that I will be better able to explain myself.

The Ancients had knowledge of Realities that are unknown today.

Myth hides a plethora of the lost Knowledge of Reality.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

"I believe that the Knowledge of Reality has been lost and rediscovered many Times."

I quite agree with u Wayne. That is also general sentiment in India for a long long time. Knowledge is lost and rediscovered cyclically.


wayne92587 4 years ago

If maya be filled with darkness, guilefulness, how great then is the Evil within, Maya being thine single eye.


wayne92587 4 years ago

Most do not understand Evil.

Evil is simply the unnatural cause of suffering, mental and Physcial suffering born of Illusion, deception, guilefulness, Duplicity, Evil not being born of Nature, not born of cause and effect, Evil being a creation of Man.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Wayne for these interesting comments.

"Evil is simply the unnatural cause of suffering, mental and Physcial suffering born of Illusion, deception, guilefulness, Duplicity, Evil not being born of Nature, not born of cause and effect, Evil being a creation of Man."

Yes indeed. I think not every human thinks of evil. Once one learns that thinking of universe in this separated manner as good -bad, evil- nice etc. is just due to an effect created due to our restricted vision. An obvious result is that one will stop thinking of terms like evil.

What has happened is that due to effect of Maya, "vision" of a person becomes restricted. It is only due to this restriction of vision that one is not able to "see" whole universe (or unique truth- note that it includes the universe not just today but all the time in past as well as in future) as just one entity. So goal is to improve one's vision (by Manana (understanding properly- analyzing) and nididhyasana (meditating, having right apprehension of objects) ) so that one gets clarity and goes on improving one's vision - ultimately to have complete vision of whole universe as one entity and identifying with it.

There is no space for terms like "evil" once u see universe in this cohesive manner. Every one in this universe (including so called evil) is just the same truth, only vision in some may be much more restricted.

Need is then only to make one's understanding clearer and clearer and improve one's own "vision".


wayne92587 4 years ago

Personally I am amoral.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

yes wayne one has to be when one sees not difference in evil good or say a dot on the wall and oneself. Then one is not much interested in playing any useless game.


wayne92587 4 years ago

Even though God does not exist as an individually, True, Absolute, Freedom exists, only for an Individuality, an Indivisible Singularity alone in the Infinite Emptiness of Time and Space, a Singularity that has no relative, numerical value, that is not subject to the relativity of Time and Space.


wayne92587 4 years ago

Here is my example of the workings of Evil, Guilefulness, duplicity, deception.

Evil begins as an Illusion of Reality, as Absolutely Bad Knowledge mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, is not Natural born.

Absolutely Good Knowledge being Natural Born, being born of our Common senses; the Knowledge of a Reality that is born of Nature, that is readily apparent, that is measurable as to location and momentum with Time and Space, Space-Time.

Absolutely Bad Knowledge, having a Dual Quality, being mistaken to be natural born, mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, is given two Names as it issues forth from a Single Source,even though the Two Names are indicative of a Duality, Duplicity, the Two being One in the same; Absolutely Bad Knowledge mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, said Duplicity, Illusion being born of Man’s Imagination; Evil not being Natural Born.

Evil, the Knowledge of Reality having a dual quality that is born of the Mind of Man, is not limited to a single thought, the Illusion of Absolutely Bad being Absolutely Good Knowledge being so attractive as to be adaptable to the Mind of many Individuals, takes on, a Life, a Soul, Being, of its Own as Absolutely Good Knowledge.

Here is my example of the workings of Evil, Guilefulness, duplicity, deception.

Evil begins as an Illusion of Reality, Absolutely Bad Knowledge, Knowledge having a Dual Quality as it issues forth from a Single Source is given two names even though the Two Names are indicative of a Singularity, the Two being One in the Same; Absolutely Bad Knowledge mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, the Knowledge of Good and Evil being born of the unnatural workings of a Single Mind, Source, the Imagination of Mankind!

I begin my example with the word Respect; Disrespect being a great cause of suffering, being the cause of the death of multitudes.

The term respect is misunderstood.

Respect is a character trait of the person showing respect.

No man can disrespect me; however many can, because of a character flaw, be disrespectful of me.

It is an Illusion of Reality to believe, imagine, that a person is only disrespectful of me and if I fall for the Illusion, the deception, the guilefulness, it is I that suffer, or perhaps he or she if I find it necessary to kill because of the lack of respect show to me.

.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Wayne

I am sorry I am replying only now to yr comment. Because of my travelling I could not see hubpages for a week.

"True, Absolute, Freedom exists, only for an Individuality, an Indivisible Singularity alone in the Infinite Emptiness of Time and Space, a Singularity that has no relative, numerical value, that is not subject to the relativity of Time and Space."

I completely agree with you. You have a deep understanding Wayne. I am amazed that you reached this understanding on yr own which are so close to Ancient Indian philosophies. It is very admirable.

"Evil begins as an Illusion of Reality, as Absolutely Bad Knowledge mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, is not Natural born.

Absolutely Good Knowledge being Natural Born, being born of our Common senses; the Knowledge of a Reality that is born of Nature,"

I agree with this one, only I do not think of it as evil or even illusion. I think of it more as a restriction we put on ourselves. With an effort one can come out of it - so duplicity deception, I agree but it is some thing which we seem to feel as if it is forced on us while it is not, we can actually come out of it. This coming out itself is sort of acquiring absolutely good knowledge.

About respect, I quite agree with u. I feel with absolutely good knowledge a person will have automatically respect not just for living being but even for say a dot on the wall.


wayne92587 3 years ago

Evil

Evil exists as a manifest Reality, is a characteristic of the individual or group mind, mentality.

Evil exists as a manifest Reality, as a characteristic of the individual or group mind, mentality.

Evil is distinguishable from undesirable phenomena;

Phenomena born of Mother Nature is never judge to be Evil

regardless of whatever pain and suffering is caused

.

Evil is made manifest Reality according to the nature of Guilefulness, Duplicity, Deception, is born of the Knowledge having a dual quality, the Knowledge of Good and Evil; Evil being a Creation, an Original Product of Anima, the Female, Spirit, Soul, Psyche; the Knowledge of Good and Evil being the greatest cause of all suffering.

The First emanation of the Knowledge of Good and Evil being of a Single Source, being a creation of the female Psyche, Spirit, Anima, the second emanation of the knowledge of Good and Evil being born Mankind in general, resulting in the Manifest Reality of Evil; Evil becoming the animating Spirit of the World, of the Universal Mind.

The Female Psyche, being the source of Wisdom, being likened to a Beautiful Woman, is Loved by Men.


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Wayne

Thanks a lot for this interesting comment.

I specially like

"The First emanation of the Knowledge of Good and Evil being of a Single Source, being a creation of the female Psyche, Spirit, Anima, the second emanation of the knowledge of Good and Evil being born Mankind in general, resulting in the Manifest Reality of Evil; Evil becoming the animating Spirit of the World, of the Universal Mind."

Once u do that *emanation of knowledge of good and evil being born of mankind", evil does not remain evil and good does not remain as good only. One starts enjoying all aspects of universe as those of self.

Words we may have used may be different, but basic understanding seems to be the same. I admire your understanding and expressions.


wayne92587 3 years ago

No doubt, having been beguiled Illusion, by defintion, is a Reality.

There is no differentiation between Good and Evil, as in the Knowledge of Good and Evil issues forth.

The Two Names given to Absolutely Bad Knowledge as it emanates, issues forth, from a Single Source, the Feminine Psyche, is a Singularity with a dual quality, the two being One in the same, the differentiation existing in Name Only, there being no differentiation in the quality of Good and Evil as it emanates, issues forth as the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as a Illusion of Reality, a Misconception of the Truth, a Lie, a Lie being a Half Truth.

Evil is born of a misconception of Truth, said misconception of Truth; Illusion, becoming the Knowledge of the Universal Consciousness, Mind.

Reality as perceived by the Universal Mind, Reality born of Guilefulness, Deception, Duplicity, an Illusion of Reality results in Evil, the Duality of Good and Evil, a Singularity of knowledge such as an Illusion, Absolutely Bad Knowledge that is mistaken Absolutely Good Knowledge, mistaken to be a Reality is never being Good.

The Universal Mind has been Beguiled, deceived, duped, as to the Nature of Reality, Knowledge.

Knowledge as an Illusion, mistaken to be the knowledge of Reality does not exist Independent of the Mind: Absolutely Good Knowledge being perceived of by the Senses.

Knowledge only exists as the Knowledge of Reality that exists independent of the Mind, our thoughts, our ideas, our concepts, speculations, theory, of a Reality that is readily apparent, measurable as to location and momentum in Time and Space, Space-Time.


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

I quite agree with u Wayne.

Your concluding remark is indeed great. I am enjoying that.

"Knowledge only exists as the Knowledge of Reality that exists independent of the Mind, our thoughts, our ideas, our concepts, speculations, theory, of a Reality that is readily apparent, measurable as to location and momentum in Time and Space, Space-Time."

quite true.


wayne92587 3 years ago

Making the same declaration is a little different way.

Knowledge of an Illusion imagined to be Knowledge of Reality is of a Reality that exists only in the Mind. is the Knowledge of Reality of only those that have been Deceived, Beguiled, Duped, exists as a belief, a conjecture, speculation, a Theory.


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Yes I agree Wayne.


deza 3 years ago

Great read!


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot deza. It is a big pleasure to see u here.


Rameshwara Gupta 3 years ago

Hi Saumya Srajan, I have gone through your exhaustive article, very precisely you have explained the Hindu wisdom.

Thank you for sharing. You are really a gem.

Rameshwar gupta (ST)


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Rameshwarji fro the visit and appreciation.


wayne92587 3 years ago

The Truth exists as the Knowledge of Reality that we speak of; Absolutely Good Knowledge of Reality; Absolutely Good Knowledge to be spoken of as being the Truth of a Reality that has substance, has Material Worth, the Knowledge of a Universal Reality, Reality that is Readily apparent, measurable as to location and momentum in Space-Time, the Knowledge of a Reality that exists Independent of the Rational Mind, that exists as an Objective Reality, that exists independent of our thoughts, Ideas, conjecture, beliefs, Theory concerning it..

The Truth exists as the Absolutely Bad Knowledge of Reality that we speak of when mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, the Truth about Absolutely Bad Knowledge being that the Absolutely Bad Knowledge of Realty has a Dual Quality, is Guileful, Duplicitous, deceptive, exists as the Duality that is the Greatest Cause of All Suffering, exists as The Knowledge of Good and Evil; The Truth of Absolutely Bad Knowledge being that it is of a Reality that has no substance, no Material Worth, is not Readily Apparent, measurable as to location and momentum in Space-Time, exists as a subjective Reality rather that as a Objective Reality, exists as the Knowledge of a Reality that does not exist Independent of our thoughts, Ideas, conjecture, beliefs, Theory concerning it; the Single Source of the Truth of Absolutely Bad Knowledge, being the Rational Mind, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Absolutely Bad Knowledge, being a Rationalization.


wayne92587 3 years ago

Rather than decoding the Pyramid, the Bible or whatever, I see it best to decode Language in general; Language being just so much Babel.

I see the purpose of all religions to be, to show man how to Live Well; the Good Life giving Man his meaning for Life.

Man in order to live well, must Transcend the Physical Reality of the Material World, allowing Man to become "Light Hearted."


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Wayne

Nice to hear from u again. I liked very much yr these sentences

"Reality that is Readily apparent"

"the Knowledge of a Reality that exists Independent of the Rational Mind, that exists as an Objective Reality, that exists independent of our thoughts, Ideas, conjecture, beliefs, Theory concerning it.."

"Rather than decoding the Pyramid, the Bible or whatever, I see it best to decode Language in general; Language being just so much Babel."

"Man in order to live well, must Transcend the Physical Reality of the Material World, allowing Man to become "Light Hearted."""

exactly! Wayne I quite agree with you. Some times clarity of some of yr expressions make me wonder were u part of these ancient rishi's ashram in one of yr previous birth who devised these abstract ideas (this is more as a joke - being born in a western country you may not like think about previous births) . But any way I seriously feel yr knowledge an understanding has a uniqueness, an exceptional clarity.


wayne92587 3 years ago

Much of this post came to me as I was responding to "What is Truth."

The thought about living well just came to mind, although I have heard reference to the Good Life many times without having any sense of what the Good Life was.

I was watching the History Channel about Egypt the other day and they talked about how that after death the Pharaoh’s Heart was weighed in order to determine if had been Heavy hearted or light hearted.

All the pieces just came to gather.

The question as to the meaning of life is not new but it has never been answered.

I think that many people exaggerate what they think the Good Life might be; while Living Well is a more modest form of the Good Life; Light Heartedness being the Key to Living Well.

I have been in discussion about the Reality of First and Consciousness, the Death of Materiality, on the Hubb for some months.

The other day I wrote a post saying that in order for Man to be Conscious he must Transcend the Physical Reality of the Material World.

I am a jack of all Trades, Religions, and a master of none; I have been stuck on Chapter One of the Tao Te Ching sense 1974 but not doing much for the last two years.

Transcendental describes the State or Condition of the Reality of Everything as it existed prior to the Creation of the Reality of First Cause, The Transcendental Steady Quantum State of Singularity.

The Reality of First Cause being the First Singularity to have relative, a Numerical value of One-1, the Reality of First Cause spontaneously coming into existence, being a Affect born of a State or Condition, the Uncaused Cause, having been displace, attained angular momentum, velocity of speed and direction becoming the direct Material Cause of the System of Chaos that has made manifest the Heavens and the Earth, the Universe, the Reality of Everything.

You wrote;

Some times clarity of some of yr expressions make me wonder were u part of these ancient rishi's ashram in one of yr previous birth who devised these abstract ideas (this is more as a joke - being born in a western country you may not like think about previous births) . But any way I seriously feel yr knowledge an understanding has uniqueness, an exceptional clarity.

Having an Imperial bent, My beliefs prevent from believing in past lives; However.

I do believe that I have an understanding of Ancient Knowledge.

I have an ability to decode Language.

Language is just so much Babel, Gibberish, but only because the meaning of words have a different meaning to the person that is speaking than the person that is listening, Language being born of Metaphors.

I have Ideas that are so far out they are difficult for me to see as being fact, being the Truth.


wayne92587 3 years ago

Correction;

understanding has uniqueness, an exceptional clarity.

"Having an Imperial bent, My beliefs prevent from believing in past lives"

Should Read; having an emperical bent, My beliefs prevent from believing in past lives"


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Wayne

Very nice comment, I agree wit most of what you have written.

what u mean by the last sentence

"I have Ideas that are so far out they are difficult for me to see as being fact, being the Truth."

Possibly truth is beyond conceptualizing? That si what you mean?


wayne92587 3 years ago

I am going to have to think about this; it looks to me as if I may have painted myself into a corner.

I have said that the Truth, is our Knowledge of Reality that we Speak of is of a Reality that is readily apparent, Universal, that exists independent of the Mind, Reality that is measurable as to Location and Momentum in Space-Time; I have said that the Knowledge of a Reality that does not exist independent of the Mind, is at best a Half-Truth; the Knowledge born of a Single Source, the Rational Mind, Rationalization, is Absolutely Bad Knowledge, has dual quality, is at best a half-truth, is mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, is not the Truth, Exists as the Knowledge of Good and Evil, is the greatest cause of all suffering.

I wrote;

"I have Ideas that are so far out they are difficult for me to see as being fact, being the Truth."

I do believe that you have put me on the Spot; I do not have a simple answer to the question.

I have noticed a exception to my sense as to the nature of Truth and the Knowledge of Good and Evil, in fact Evil itself, as spoken of by me.

It looks like I am going to have to redefine (make that clarify even to my self) my understanding of the Nature of Knowledge of Reality that is born of a Single Source, Knowledge having a Dual Quality, the Truth of the Knowledge of Reality that I speak of that is and is not Truth, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Knowledge of Reality born of the Rational Mind, Rationalization.

Man has found a way to speak of the Truth that does not exist in the Material sense of the word, that is not readily apparent, that is not measurable as to location and momentum in Space-Time.

You wrote;

what u mean by the last sentence

"I have Ideas that are so far out they are difficult for me to see as being fact, being the Truth."

Possibly truth is beyond conceptualizing? That si what you mean?

Yes and No!

Before now I have not tried to explain it even to myself; the thought being a thinly veiled shadowy figure sitting, stirring, vesturing, hidden, in the darkest corner of my mind.

The understanding, the Knowledge of this Truth that I speak of is born of a Single Source, the Rational Mind, is a Rationalization without being Absolutely Bad Knowledge, the understanding, the Knowledge of this Truth, although not existing independent of the Mind, not being readily apparent, Universal in Nature, is a creation, an original product of a particular “State of Mind”; said Truth being shown to exist by experiencing the Affect that said Truth has upon the Physical, Material World of Reality.

The Truth, is that Gravity does exist even though Gravity itself exists in Theory only; the Truth is, I know that Gravity exists not because Gravity itself is readily apparent but because the Affect of Gravity is readily apparent, is Universal, is measurable as to location and Momentum in Space-Time, Gravitation can be experienced.

I am speaking the Truth when I speak of my knowledge of the Reality of Gravitation.


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Very interesting comment Wayne.

I agree with you. Indeed way you explain gravity - you do not speak about just gravity but you are speaking about truth in general (there is any no other) - your last sentence can be actually

"I am speaking the Truth when I speak of my knowledge of the Reality"


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 years ago from london

Interesting article. For me, too long for Hub Pages. You need a reference point so that it can be returned to later. Still, I read a lot. Some good points and wonderful teachers some of whom I have heard of and respect. A lot on the different schools here.

I commend you for your detail and hard work. Much peace.


soumyasrajan 3 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Manatita for appreciation. I hope you will enjoy full article, it is a long but you have choice to read it in phases when ever you like. you mention that some of the people I mentioned you consider them as teacher. Please do write more about it - whom and how you felt like this about them.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Vivekananda definitely. He had a huge impact on the West and still does today. Yogananda also. Another God-lover. Herman Hesse's book I read, and I totally agree with you here. Sri Krishna was an immortal of immortals. You have some other greats too. Joy and Peace.


soumyasrajan 2 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

hi! Manathia

Thanks a lot for your nice message. I was initially surprised, reading yr comment, how u know so much about Indian philosophy and so well..

Then I saw that you have learnt with chinmoyanand. You have written interesting book also on him. I will some time read it.

I live in Mumbai -in Andheri (West). Near my home there is a school run by Chinnmoyanand Ashram. If u come some time to Mumbai do send me a message.It will be a great pleasure to meet you and learn from u.


wayne92587 2 years ago

I could be wrong but something I noticed to day in returning that should have been obvious True before was that although Adam and Eve ate the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in order to become wise, the Knowledge of Good and Eve being Maya, all that Buddha had to do to become wise was to sit under the Bodi Tree and Imaged what was or was not a Reality, the Truth, True Reality.


soumyasrajan 2 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Interesting comment Wayne!

I specially like yr last sentence

"all that Buddha had to do to become wise was to sit under the Bodi Tree and Imaged what was or was not a Reality, the Truth, True Reality."

It is different from your earlier comments. Yr question in this one now includes exploring methods "to be wise" (to discover or identify with what you call absolutely good truth -or truth itself in general).


soumyasrajan 2 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

I replied to you in comment below. some how hub server opens reply button only after u post a comment - some server error perhaps.


manghusha g 2 years ago

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manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

I'm here again, Dear Brother Soumyasrajan.

Judging by the many responses, your article worked and so I commend it and you also for its enthralling beauty.

I am a disciple of Sri Chinmoy, and yes, I am well read on Eastern Philosophy. Interestingly enough, I am here in Jamaica, Queens, NY for our (50th) Golden Jubilee. I sit with 1500 hundred people from around the world, and we sing, meditate, look at videos and praise God. So beautiful today!!

I love to meet all devotees of the Lord, and yes, If ever I am in your vicinity, I will look for you. God bless you for your continuing service to aspiring mankind.


soumyasrajan 2 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Oh! Thanks a lot maniatita for the visit. I just read your nice poem about love and peace. yes do visit us when you come to Mumbai. By chance just now I am in USA in Washington DC/Virginia. But I will be back in Mumbai in about 10 days.

It is enjoying to see you are doing mangal mahotsav (auspecious festival-fair) in NY. have a nice time there. Some time plan to do it in Mumbai.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Excellent!! Then invite me. Give me a few months to raise the necessary funds.

I have relatives in Silver Springs, Washington. OM Shannti!


soumyasrajan 2 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Oh! I do not have any money or organization but if you need just an invitation letter or some help of that type to help you to raise funds and come there, I will be happy to do it. what type of organization you run via which you may raise funds- send me its link.

Looking forward to some collaboration with you in this regard.

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