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Krishna says Atma is always the same and never changes, in Gita 2.12.

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Krishna deals with Atma Vidya ( Self-knowledge) from three angles-
    Philosophical, ethical & worldly.

    First is the philosophical approach.

    The frank and plain statement of Krishna to Arjuna is

    Na thvaevaahum jaanu naasam na thvam naemae janaadhipaa:
    Na chaiva na bhavishyaama: sarvae vayamatha: param 2.12

    “I was not there in the past. You were not there. Those kings were not there”. (Such an idea) is not true. “All of us will not exist in the future”. (This is ) also not true.

    Chinmayananda’s words are relevant, here:
    “The endless parade of things and beings, issues forth from the womb, clash, grapple, embrace, play and then sink to be formless and nameless in the graves of their death.
    This is ever taking place in the Infinite Consciousness and the many varied manifestations are but Its own expressions. Waves arise, they play and die away. But the ocean remains the same.”

    Let us see ths comparison. If a pot breaks, the space inside it continues to be there. Thus after we die, Atma remains an eternal entity. This is the idea. Similarly, we were non-existent; on the contrary, surely, we too existed. So too, we shall not cease to exist, but continue to be in the future also, after the body disintegrates. The idea is that in all three divisions of time we (Atma) are eternal as identical with the Self. The plural in
    Vayam sarvae - all of us
    refers to difference in respect of bodies; it does not point to a plurality of Selves.

    We have a concept that everyone is born and we know that we were born at a given time. We take this to mean that there was, before that, a time we were not. We also think, we are getting old, we are going to die and so on. This notion is going to be there as long as we think, we are born.
    In the Gita vision, there is no such thing as the birth of you!
    “Atma – I am” is not born.
    Only the nama rupa – body-mind complex is born.
    It is also not true to think, we did not exist before. Atma is timeless and eternal.
    Similarly we lament that we will die and not exist later. This is also not true.
    As an individual (jiva) or Atma, we definitely exist
    The jivatva, individuality may not exist, but as Atma you will always exist.
    There is plurality only with reference to physical bodies and not from the standpoint of “Atma, the Self”. Atmas are not many; there is only one Atma.
    Atma is not subject to time, being without form and attributes. Atma is the very basis, the adishtana of time and therefore Nithya.
    There are many people (forms called upadhis), but Atma is one.
    Atma is one whole awareness (Chaitanyam) not bound by time. In that awareness alone, is my mind, your mind or any other mind. These minds differ as do the bodies. When we count the bodies, there are many but not from the stand point of awareness (Chith or chaitanyam). Thus the negation of the notion is necessary. Krishna thus removes from Arjuna the notion of his being time-bound, by saying that Atma is nithya.
    Again, Atma is eternal does not mean it has a long, long life. Instead, the concept of Atma being timebound is knocked off.
    By saying “ There was never a time when I, you or anyone else was not. Nor will there be a time when we will not be, Atma being timeless”, Krishna does this.
    Since we cannot cry for timeless, Atma is not a cause for sorrow (asochya).
    Anatma alone is subject to anithya. If we want to stop this minute, it is not possible and it is gone. Therefore crying for this minute is foolish. So, both Atma and anatma are ashochya.
    Anything time bound is always so. We cannot expect consistence from something whose very nature is change. If we are aggrieved because something that changes by nature, is non constant, then what we need is proper understanding of the nature of Atma and anatma, neither of which is a matter for sorrow. Either way you take it, this fact remains. Therefore the first line of verse 12 becomes more and more true as our understanding of atma and anatma increases.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra:
    This is a very profound post. Its going to take quite a few trips of reading and browsing for the meaning to sink in. I am going to reply be writing what I understand so it will be easy for you to correct me.
    In the philosophical approach in learning about the Atma the statement
    "Waves arise, they play and die away. But the ocean remains the same.”
    Truly exposes us to the concept of the Atma and how it is dealt with in approach to the world. It is as if so many things and so many incidents and people come and go but the atma will remain untouched. We just get so caught up with all the feelings and emotions that we identify ourselves with the outer things that we forget that the waves arise and die away but the ocean remains same or untouched.

    Atma is timeless and eternal.
    It existed before this birth and will continue to exist even when the body leaves this world.
    "Krishna thus removes fom Arjuna the notion of his being time bound;"
    It is so interesting to read this. It means that crying for this minute is foolish.
    Thats why we are asked to live in the moment. Everything that is happening is in the
    moment.

    The plural in
    Vayam sarvae - all of us
    refers to difference in respect of bodies; it does not point to a plurality of Selves.

    It does appear that we are one huge consciousness at the same time and individual beating atma's at the same time too. It is just that we need to understand that Atma is eternal and timeless.

    I plan to visit back again so for now Thanks.
     
  3. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi chithmam,

    Good explanation with examples.:hatsoff..still digesting and analysing..but thought will put in a word....
    liked this...example....
    Waves arise, they play and die away. But the ocean remains the same

    more than the pot....somehow i cant imagine about the space after the pot is broken...(En buddhi ki ettalai...)

    what i infer from this is death is not an end--life itself continues and always will, as it always has..the struggle of coming to terms with one's mortality and non-permanence the body with the greater permanence of the atma....

    Have i caught the essence....

     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    You cannot imagine what happiness your quick F B has given me.
    Even in the first reading(s?), you have grasped the essence of the post.
    There is only one Self - Atma - Brahman.
    Imagine thus - a big space is divided into rooms. The rooms are many, but once dislodged, space remains the same.The rooms are comparable to our bodies.That is what we will be calling body-mind-complex.
    You are right, these posts have to be read repeatedly to grasp the indepth meaning.
    Atma's nature is going to be the main topic in the next few posts.
    Since the views for my Gita posts are rapidly decreasing, I have this apprehension that I am not explaining with clarity.I am not bothered about FBs, but views tell me whether all my effort is worth !
    Thanks again, AC.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  5. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    More than the rooms I like the pot example. That really expalins it so very well. You are there and then you are not !!
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shanthi,
    You are yet another, who gives me a green signal about my Gita posts.
    Pot example is the most often quoted one ! Well, if you understand the ocean example better, well & good.
    Yes, you got & conveyed the essence in the last few lines.
    As we proceed further, better clarity will emerge.
    Thankyou very much, Shanthi.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  7. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Hey AC

    i like the room example is more visualizing and relating right???
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  8. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shanthi
    I know I can butt in and try and explain the pot example here. Hopefully I have understood it well. If not Chithra will correct me.

    The pot exists. Inside the pot there is space. You see the pot meaning the outer container the outer side. Basically the out side is enclosing an inside.

    So the pot breaks. What happened to the space it was holding ??

    Imagine the pot holding water. Then the pot breaks. the water spills everywhere. since its matter we are able to see/percieve it happening. But when its "space" the concept is abstract.

    Hope I am clear and even more important hope i'm right.
    Love. AC.
     
  9. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Shanthi
    forgot to add

    So after the pot breaks where is the space?

    in this manner
    .."If a pot breaks, the space inside it continues to be there. Thus after we die, Atma remains an eternal entity. "

    The Atman remains eternal. We are just the container the pot, the room but after we die the atma continues.

    It really does not continue continue Its always there. Was Is And Will be.

    Hope i helped clear. Do let me know
    Thanks Shanthi.
     
  10. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hey Ac,

    Thanks for taking all the trouble and explaining. i understood it and also now more clear, as veda says, more examples...make it more interesting and more easier to understand.

    i read it, as a layman reading things for the first time...so what hits my understanding/and what does not...i try to put it across as fb's

    now see the results...i have got chitmam giving me the room example...and you coming forward and explaining more......making chitmam proud of her student the middle "C":hatsoff
     

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