The wonder within! – Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.29

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Now, Krishna talks about thee glory, uniqueness, mystery, subtility and rareness of Self-knowledge. This is called in Vedanta parlance as
    Spiritual Knowledge or Paravidya.

    Aas(h)charyavath pas(h)yathi kas(h)chidaenam aas(h)charyavas vadathi thathaiva chaanya:
    Aas(h)charyavas(h)chainamanya: s(h)ruNothi s(h)ruthvaapyaena vaeda na chaiva kas(h)chith 2.29

    One rare person knows this (Self) as a wonder. In the same way, another one speaks about (this Self) as a wonder. Another one hears of (this Self) as a wonder. Still, another never understands this (Self) inspite of hearing.

    Atma is always a wonder (Aas(h)charyavath). When you understand atma, it is a wonder and, when you do not understand, it is a wonder to you, how anyone can understand it !

    This wonder takes several forms. Atma is something never seen before , something that appears all of a sudden to one who has been taught by a guru, something that is striking. The student understands and looks at the atma as a wonder (Aas(h)charyavath pas(h)yathi).
    Why? Because he or she now looks at himself or herself as a wonder.
    When I suddenly discover that I am the whole and everything is centred on me, everything is me, it is definitely a wonder.

    First, this reality of oneself seems to be an impossibility.
    Then it becomes a vague possibility.
    Finally, it is real, true !

    We experience this atma all the time. Only because of the atma, do we experience the world. This atma is very evident as ananda in moments of joy when we discover ourselves to be full (purna).

    But, still, when it is pointed out that we are that whole, we do not understand – which is another wonder (s(h)ruthvaapyaena vaeda na chaiva kas(h)chith

    This verse explains why atma is so difficult to understand. This verse may also be interpreted in this manner. He that sees, hears and speaks of the Self is a wonderful man. Such a man is very rare. He is one among many thousands.
    Thus the Self is very hard to understand.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Wonderful topic.There is no doubt that Atma is one of the most wonders and I know I do not give it as much wonder in thought as I would for a monument that stands in front of me..Maybe more because of the physical nature of things and the metaphysicals aspects too..
    You have so rightly said that it seems initially an impossibility and then becomes a vague possibility and then we accept it as true.
    You have written in layman terms that we experience atma all the time. I think since i get caught up with day to day troubles and problems that I tend to overlook what is more important and to focus on the only important.
    Thank you for writing on such a great topic in easy to read and understand words.
     
  3. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    I am able to appreciate what you have written more because I sometimes read Ramana's (M) works..He always says to look within and he keeps on saying you are this blissful self and you are this wonder Atma and keep asking who am I to reach that point.. We are that when we sleep but when we wake up our ego takes over and it really is an impossible task to get a glimpse of that atma caught up as we are in day to day issues.. By narrating in an easy to read style you are helping me to reflect on the words and thereby their significance.
    Reading some more I have one question: Why is that we do not stay in the Atma awareness all the time? Is it because we are caught up in the wordly matters and tend to forget our real state ? If that is the state one should be all the time why do we have to become a householder? We are born to perform actions and our duties but does it not conflict our interests in realising the Atma.
     
  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC
    You have raised a fascinating question:
    Why is that we do not stay in the Atma awareness all the time? Is it because we are caught up in the worldly matters and tend to forget our real state? If that is the state one should be all the time why do we have to become a householder?
    With Chithra Madam’s permission, I wish to dwell on this question at length.

    Let me begin with a quotation of Eckhart, the famous German theologian:
    “People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works."

    Man is not only a body and psyche but also a spirit. The body exists always in time and the spirit is timeless. The psyche is an amphibious creature that associates itself generally with the body under the compelling belief that it can not exist without the body. But it is fully capable of identifying itself with the spirit and consequently with the changeless Godhead. The spirit is timeless and eternal but man is so made that his psyche finds it easier to identify itself with the body and its periodic forays into the realm of the spirit are very short-lived. We celebrate birthdays and wedding days, Valentine’s Day et al because of our psyche’s strong identification with the perishable body. Our fear of old age and death is also due to our psyche’s predominant association with the body.

    Many theologians have condemned our time consciousness as a deterrent to the Ultimate Realisation. To quote Eckhart again,
    “Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time. And not only time but temporalities, not only temporal things but temporal affections; not only temporal affections but the very taint and smell of time”
    This is the reason why the famous Sufi mystic, Jalal-uddin Rumi, warns us that ‘Past and present veil god from our sight; Burn up both of them with fire’

    All our spiritual exercises should enable our psyche to transcend time. All our material thoughts are caused by our psyche’s strong identification with the time-bound body. Even our form of worship of God by material means to achieve temporal ends is caused by this association of the psyche with time. But the psyche that associates itself with the spirit will worship God as, as Gnanis do, a formless, timeless Godhead.
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    Let me be very frank - I wonder how you show so much of interest - wait for the Gita post & give an acknowledgement promptly.
    For your lines

    I think since i get caught up with day to day troubles and problems that I tend to overlook what is more important and to focus on the only important.

    my explanation is, the Self is of unmanifested nature; our life always revolves in the field of manifested.So it is not to be wondered at, if some peeople hear about it with great surprise and others are not able to understand it !

    Love,
    Chithra.





     
  6. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chith

    Again a great post from you chith. After reading all your posts on atma I too started wondering about the atma that is within me. Whether we experience the atma or not you really have turned our attention towards it. Thank you chith.

    I liked the following verse.

    First, this reality of oneself seems to be an impossibility.
    Then it becomes a vague possibility.

    Finally, it is real, true !

    Love
    Vidhi
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Today's wonder to me is your coming to my sub-forum (after the atma post, remember?) and giving a very deep and profound reply to AC.
    The Self
    Although omnipresent, is found as the individual self
    Although eternal, is found dying and being born.
    As you rightly put it, we are forever concerned about what we do than what we are! We are more bothered only with the temporary, phenomenal phases of life.Everyone looks at Self from his own level of consciousness.
    Thanks for your brilliant explanation with apt quotes, Sri !
    Love,
    Chithra.




    quote=cheeniya;233875]Dear AC
    You have raised a fascinating question:
    Why is that we do not stay in the Atma awareness all the time? Is it because we are caught up in the worldly matters and tend to forget our real state? If that is the state one should be all the time why do we have to become a householder?
    With Chithra Madam’s permission, I wish to dwell on this question at length.

    Let me begin with a quotation of Eckhart, the famous German theologian:
    “People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works."

    Man is not only a body and psyche but also a spirit. The body exists always in time and the spirit is timeless. The psyche is an amphibious creature that associates itself generally with the body under the compelling belief that it can not exist without the body. But it is fully capable of identifying itself with the spirit and consequently with the changeless Godhead. The spirit is timeless and eternal but man is so made that his psyche finds it easier to identify itself with the body and its periodic forays into the realm of the spirit are very short-lived. We celebrate birthdays and wedding days, Valentine’s Day et al because of our psyche’s strong identification with the perishable body. Our fear of old age and death is also due to our psyche’s predominant association with the body.

    Many theologians have condemned our time consciousness as a deterrent to the Ultimate Realisation. To quote Eckhart again,
    “Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time. And not only time but temporalities, not only temporal things but temporal affections; not only temporal affections but the very taint and smell of time”
    This is the reason why the famous Sufi mystic, Jalal-uddin Rumi, warns us that ‘Past and present veil god from our sight; Burn up both of them with fire’

    All our spiritual exercises should enable our psyche to transcend time. All our material thoughts are caused by our psyche’s strong identification with the time-bound body. Even our form of worship of God by material means to achieve temporal ends is caused by this association of the psyche with time. But the psyche that associates itself with the spirit will worship God as, as Gnanis do, a formless, timeless Godhead.
    [/quote]
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  8. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri
    Your writing style here reminds me of Swami Dayananda Saraswathi's lectures. I used to attend quite a few and was always impressed with his wealth of knowledge. He would ofcourse to make his narration interesting and intersperse his talks with lots of anectodes and quotes so much so that I would get lost and distracted from the main thread and topic by these interludes. So to stay focussed I had to take notes and a 1 hour lecture could easily be summed into 1 paragraph of content. (ofcourse he would not have an audience but for the wonderful narration technique-who really wants everything given in a nutshell?)

    So, You are saying here that "time" is responsible for us not being in the Atma awareness state all the time?
     
  9. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra,
    Indeed a wonderful lesson on wonders of Self(atma).I'm the kind of person who is hearing Atma(the self) as a wonderbonk..Still a long way to go to understand,realise the self(atma).


    Thanks for the lucid explanation on Atma- the wonder!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2008
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC
    "So, You are saying here that "time" is responsible for us not being in the Atma awareness state all the time?"
    The answer is yes. I am not saying this but many erudite scholars have reiterated this. Budhism also believes in it. Among Sufis, there is a concept of "Eternal Now" which is nothing but reaching a state of Timelessness. When our psyche relieves itself from the body consciousness and clings to our spirit, time loses all its relevance. This is Nirvana.
    Among a certain group of which I am a member, death refers only to the end of physical existence. Since we dont believe in body but in spirit, we dont refer to the end as 'death' but as 'until Time with us shall be no more'
    Sri
     

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