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Kaivalyam

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, description or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning, according to Wikipedia. The equivalent Sanskrit word in the Shruti is Jnana. In the Vedic scriptures “Knowledge” is the means by which humans can seek the help of gods to survive in this world or safely cross the turbulent sea of impermanence to reach the world of immortality. Knowledge opens their eyes to the truths of existence and the very truth which is hidden in them. Without knowledge they will be lost in a sea of ignorance and mental darkness. In simple terms, the human beings are epitome of ultimate truth but delves into dualism filled with three gunas, with the goal to experience the Knowledge, Knower and the Known are one and the same. The humans have strong afflatus to seek aeviternal bliss which is why we all experience happiness in life intermittently. We lack austere effort.

    Let us investigate the Scriptures to understand what the ways and means are to acquire this effable and inevitable knowledge. Scriptures express that there are only four subtle ways the knowledge could be assimilated and they are a) Pratyaksha (Direct perception), b) Anumana (inference), c) Upamana (comparison) and d) Agama (tradition). Truth about who we really are, could be experienced by direct perception. This is an uphill task as we are inundated with enormous amount of doubts and perceptions and in bastille of desires and attachments and only through constant effort to eliminate them, we could unfold and release the innate divinity in us. It is like constantly washing a dish with running water so that all the dirt in the dish can be eliminated. That could be one of the reasons why many who wash dishes or clothes feel meditative in that activity.

    The next is inference. How do we guess what would be the attributes of innate divinity unless one experiences it or discuss it with someone who had already experienced it? Besides, the innate divinity we search for has no name or form and attributeless. In scientific experiments, physical attributes are assumed and through constant experiments, one derives the answer to the research. Every component that enables the result of the experiment physically exists. Because of this, the most bizarre premises of quantum theory that the observer affects the observed reality, has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike. What is attributeless can’t be inferred.

    The next is comparison. Innate divinity is one without a second and what do we compare that with? Names and forms many worships are outside the innate divinity when the human being dwell in dualism assuming his/her own impermanent form. The paths to get innate divinity are many and each person’s experience is very different. Even someone explains what he or she experienced as innate divinity, there are no measures to validate what he or she experienced is the ultimate truth. There could be many Siddhis one could experience when on mission to experience the innate divinity.

    Final method is traditional way to learn about innate divinity from the scriptures. According to the learned opinion that this knowledge is not derived by human beings but planted as seeds in the minds of Rishis by this divine power. The mind can’t validate the authenticity as it remains within the confine of the Prakriti (primal matter) from which we need to separate in order to realize Purusha (Self or Soul).

    It is quite striking to know that the very same four ways and means of gaining knowledge are the obstacles in achieving bliss in life. We are blindly assuming our perceptions as real as viewed by our mind. We infer many things out of our life experiences judging the worldly matters. We also compare our perception of who we are with what we perceive others as and make judgment. We also follow traditions including reciting slokas and religious practices without understanding the significance of them. We don’t even comprehend the Agama Sastra of how the Temples are designed to understand the significance of innate divinity. Kaivalya is the isolation of Purusha from Prakriti, and subsequent liberation from rebirth i.e. Moksha and Upanishad explains that it could be achieved within this life (Jivanmukti) and after death (Videhamukti). What has made it possible for us to be separated (to exist independently with ignorance) from who we really are, is the one that is capable of revealing the ultimate truth.
     
  2. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    You amaze me with the depth of your knowledge and understanding of the most difficult subjects. You are fast becoming the Paramacharya of IL
     
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  3. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for imparting this knowledge.
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,
    Now we are in a place away from'WIFI'. We will return to Madars just before Shivarathri.Today we came home just for a few hrs to attend some marriage. After 20 days I had an access to PC.
    I just came across your writing on 'Kaivalyam',It is a topic most often taken by vedantins for discussion.In Teachers' college Karaikudi, I had a professor with the strange name 'kaivalyam'.At the age of 20, I was unable to decipher explanation of any sort given by him for the meaning of his name.Even now the position is not much improved.
    I have listened to a song of Deekshithar in kamboji ragam with the words'Kailasa Nathena Samrakshithoham;
    kaivalya prada nipunaatharena'.
    On many occasions I have listened to Shri Velukkudi krishnan , a Vaishnava scholar citing a difference between saayujyam and kaivalyam.
    Saayujyam means becoming close to the Lord. Kaivalyam means becoming one with the Lord. Kaivalyam does not mean merging in the Lord physically. Whatever the devotee says, the Lord will say the same. Whatever the devotee wishes the Lord wishes the same. This is vice-versa also. Such oneness is called Kaivalyam.( Coincidence of our desire and HIS WILL)
    The word 'KAIVALYAM' is derived from Sanskrit word 'keval'-only,talking of absolute bliss which can never be explained in any number of words but only be experienced.
    There are two explanations for Kaivalyam-self realization and God Realization,though both may ultimately mean the same.Vedas speak about self realization( atmasakshaatkaaram) while the puranas speak about attaining His lotus feet.
    When we read Gita we find Krishna advises Arjuna very often'to surrender to HIM alone( maam ekam sharam vraja).Krishna might not have spoken as son of Vasudeva but as the paramaathma or Supreme.
    So the expressions 'self realization and God realization seem to be one and the same.
    Purusha sooktham also points out to one Mahapurusha,lord of immortality.
    In vedantic studies Kaivalya is used in different meanings such as oneness or paramaanu or atoms,freedom from material bondage, and also liberation.
    There is an Upanishad called 'Kaivalya Upanaishad.'
    Vaishnava Sect clearly distinguishes between kaivalyam and Moksham and they also have a preference to moksham as revealed in their lectures on Thiruppavai and Divya prabandhams.
    Shri Velukkudi Krishnan Swami was once referring to Kaivalyam as seeing God through a glass frame whereas moksha is entering His residence and serving Him.Kaivalya , an output of Gnanamarga, is not generally recommended by vaishnavites.
    Many yogacharyas advise that by following rich austerities and discipline one could attain what is called 'kaivalyam'.
    Irrespective of what different words Kaivalya or Moksha mean, it is important how one should strive to get at them.
    The best advice is'SUMMA IRU'( KEEP quiet).Don't even read the original snippet or the responses.(That is the most difficult
    thing in the world.)The soul or Aathma , as its very nature is pure without blemish and this awareness is the great boon. You need not bring in purity to one which is already as pure as crystal.There is no question of attaining KAIVALYAM at all.
    Confusion Confounded!!!Can't help.
    Jayasala 42
     
  5. girvani

    girvani Platinum IL'ite

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    Dearest Viswa uncle,

    I never understod the meaning of Kaivalyam. But, I knew this word through many bajans and keerthanas. With your detailed article and Jayasala mam's answers I understood a little bit. I will have to read many more times to grasp this fully. Thank you so much uncle for educating us, making us more aware of scriptures and their meaning.

    love,
    Vani
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    "Vashistar Vayal Brahmarishi" (Being told as Brahmarishi by Vashista) probably came from such appreciation received from a learned person like you. I know my knowledge is very limited. Thanks to you, I had the wonderful opportunity to read "Deivathin Kural" of Paramacharya. I still struggle to understand the Volume 2 which has the essence of Advaita. I know my road is still too long and the only satisfaction I derive is in simplifying my limited understanding for someone like me.

    But learned people such as yourself and Smt. Jayasala might have a lot more to share than what I possibly could.

    Viswa
     
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Geeta,

    Thank you for reading and responding to this snippet.

    Viswa
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    Thank you for your in depth response to this snippet. Your response explains your absence from IL for a while. WIFI has become inevitable part of our lives nowadays. I came to know the differences of teachings in Dvaita, Advaita and Vishishitadvaita through many disciples of Swami Dayananda Saraswathi and Swami Chinmayananda. Having raised in family familiar with Advaita philosophy, most of what I write is in Advaita philosophy.

    In the last 10 years, we had many disciples of these Ashrams located in Rishikesh visited the US regularly and most of them taught us about Kaivalya Upanishad at length. Therefore, I am very familiar with Ashvalayana's question to Brahma and the response he had received as indicated in Adarva Veda. Even though it is listed as minor Upanishad, the content of this minor Upanishad is enormous.

    When Swami Vivekananda visited the US, he had a specific purpose of imparting knowledge of Veda and the Hindu philosophy to western civilization. But nowadays, just like many Carnatic musicians, playback singers and classical dancers, even disciples from these Ashrams make regular visits to the US crisscrossing the US. They come in Saffron clothes as people who decided to be Brahmacharis but the mission appears to be no different than those Carnatic musicians, playback singers, and classical dancers. Anytime, when one of the disciples refuses to accept the teachings of Dvaita and Vishistadvaita, it disappoints me as I have so much respect for all the teachings including teachings in other religions.

    The purpose of my writing on this subject is to simplify it for new generation with comparable insight revealed by science and philosophy. They understand the splitting of the nucleus of an atom results in release of enormous energy but my objective is to convey for someone like me who struggle between science and philosophy, how to reconcile. The methods to reach all-knowing attributeless innate divinity is many but I am trying to convey that remaining ignorant of these enormous energy residing in us is not an option.

    I am not sure whether a traditional discourse of Upanishad to the new generation of people would excite them. However, I have to admit that I am not the best teacher and moreover, my knowledge in both science and philosophy is very limited.

    Viswa
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    My Dearest Vani,

    I didn't either until I began listening to the disciples of many Ashrams in Rishikesh who visit the US to give discourse to ignorant people like me. My lack of Sanskrit knowledge is the biggest weakness to comprehend substantive understanding of Vedanda. I am just trying to compare what we learn from science and philosophy to simplify my own understanding and share it with the next generation of people assuming they may or may not be focusing their attention to traditional teachings of Upanishads. Some disciples nowadays are well prepared to answer questions while others struggle when the audience are filled with researchers, scientists, physicians, engineers, etc. They have understood the traditional line by line teaching of Veda is becoming a little difficult because of the distance people have traveled away into ignorance just like me.

    Viswa
     
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  10. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear V sir,

    The beauty of this kaivalyam seems to be that "unless we see oneness in all", we cannot stand alone (kevala!) - fascinating. When you wrote about this, it made an interesting read for me for while I had heard this word earlier, I had if paid any attention, was in Patanjali Yoga sutras and he pretty much uses 34 sutras to explain this - of course the commentaries to explain them are plenty and very interesting. But as teacher trainees we never touched this and our study was limited to the first two - samadhi and sadhanaa pada and that was mind blowing! I am also understanding that many of my teachers and others I spend time with can talk about it in an intelligent way but I often wonder if anyone has ever achieved it. Knowing there is something like that out there is mind boggling.

    I also found this interesting link that kind of simplified kaivalya

    Kaivalya

    It has been a few months since I actually looked up Yoga Sutras! Thank you!
     
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