WHO IS BRAHMAN ?DOES BRAHMAN AN INDESCRIBABLE REALITY?PART-01...THE FOUR PATHS OF YOGA-
OM GURUVE ADI SHANKARA NAMAH Hindus believe that there is one true god, the supreme spirit, called Brahman. Brahman has many forms, pervades the whole universe, and is symbolised by the sacred syllable Om (or Aum). Brahman is present in every person as the eternal spirit or soul, called the atman.
WHAT IS BRAHMAN?
1-In the 'Taittariya Upanishad' II.1, Brahman has described in the following manner:
"satyam jnanam anantam brahma",
MEANING;-"Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge, and infinity."
2-Infinite positive qualities and states have their existence secured solely by virtue of Brahman's very reality.Brahman is a necessary reality, eternal (i.e., beyond the purview(range of experience or thought) of temporality), fully independent, non-contingent, and the source and ground of all things.
3-Brahman is both immanently present in the realm of materiality, interpenetrating the whole of reality as the sustaining essence that gives it structure, meaning and existential being, yet Brahman is simultaneously the transcendent origin of all things (thus, panentheistic).
NOTE;-Panentheism is the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part of the universe and also extends beyond time and space.
4- Brahman is surrounded by an ocean of mind, an ocean of prana, vital force, and an ocean of ether and tanmatras, essence of the elements and senses. That unheard hearer, that unseen seer, that unthought thinker, that unknown knower is Brahman. That from which this world has come out, that in which this world exists, that in which it gets dissolved is Brahman.
BRAHMAN IS NOT "GOD"
A-Brahman, as understood by the scriptures of Hinduism, as well as by the 'acharyas' of the Vedanta school, is a very specific conception of the Absolute.This unique conception has not been replicated by any other religion on earth and is exclusive to Hinduism. Thus to even call this conception of Brahman "God" is, in a sense, somewhat imprecise.
B-This is the case because Brahman does not refer to the anthropomorphic concept of God of the Abrahamic religions. When we speak of Brahman, we are referring neither to the "old man in the sky" concept nor to the idea of the Absolute as even capable of being unforgiving,(vengeful) fearful or engaging in choosing a favorite people from among His creatures. For that matter, Brahman is not a "He" at all, but rather transcends all empirically discernable( noticeable )categories, limitations, and dualities.
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF BRAHMAN?-
1-Ananta,( infinite), nirakara, (formless), nirguna, (attributeless), nirvishesha, (without characteristics), adrishta, (invisible), are His negative attributes. Sat-chit-ananda,( truth-consciousness-bliss), satyam,( truth), shantam, (peace), jnanam, (knowledge), are His direct, positive attributes.
2- This is a description of the nature of Atman in Ishavasya Upanishad (v. 8):-
Atman pervades all, is resplendent, bodiless, scatheless, (unharmed)having no muscles, pure, untouched by sin; far-seeing, omniscient, transcendent, self-sprung; he duly allotted to the various eternal creatures their respective functions.
3-The scriptures emphatically declare about the nature of Brahman:-
Akashavat Sarvagata Nitya –
MEANING;-“Like the ether, He is omnipresent, eternal.” Ether and the ocean are the two objects in this world which can be compared to Brahman in a way with reference to His infinite nature. Ether is subtle, all-pervading and without any support. Brahman also is subtle, all-pervading and without any support (niralamba).Hence the comparison between akasha and Brahman.
4-Smile, laughter, singing, dancing, are expressions of our joyful condition. They give the clue that we are in essence, an embodiment of bliss. They indicate that bliss is an attribute of the soul. They denote that Brahman is an embodiment of ananda (anandaghana). Brahman is a mass of intelligence (chidghana, vijnanaghana, prajnanaghana). He is destitute(extremely poor) of any other characteristics. He is entirely without any sort of difference.
5-In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4:13), it is said:-
“As a mass of salt has neither inside nor outside, but is entirely a mass of taste, thus indeed has that Self neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of knowledge.” Inside and outside are mental creation only. When the mind melts in the silence, ideas of inside and outside vanish. The sage cognizes one illimitable/without limits, homogeneous/similar mass of consciousness.
DOES BRAHMAN AN INDESCRIBABLE REALITY?- 07 FACTS;-
1-The eye cannot perceive Him. The mind cannot reach Him. The gross worldly intellect cannot grasp Him. The speech cannot describe Him. The speech returns back along with the mind, as it is not able to describe Him in adequate terms. The sages declare, “We are baffled in our efforts to describe Him. His glory is indescribable. To describe Him is to deny Him.”
2-How can a finite mind grasp the infinite? But He can be directly realized by that aspirant who is equipped with the four means of salvation, who does constant meditation, who has sharp, subtle and pure intellect.
3-As there is no language to describe Brahman or the Self to aspirants, sages generally take examples from the worldly experience to explain the nature of Brahman to the aspirants, for example, the comparison with akasha or Sat-Chit-Ananda.
4-The intellect can conceive of Brahman as truth-consciousness-bliss. That is the reason why these attributes are ascribed to Him. But Brahman is different from Satchidananda also. This does not mean that Brahman is non-entity or zero, a negative concept or metaphysical abstraction. He is the only Reality or living Truth.
5-He is Being. He is essence. He is a mass of knowledge or pure consciousness. He is the substratum for everything. Brahman is not simply this, but something far higher and far different. The above is only a provisional definition. Because we experience unreality, insentience and pain in this universe, we give the opposite attributes of Sat-Chit-Ananda to Brahman.
6-In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2:4:13), it is asked: “Then by what should he see whom?” This clearly indicates that Brahman is not an object of perception. It is always the knowing subject.There is neither an agent nor an object of action, nor an instrument.
7-It is only in the physical plane that there is triputi or the triad: seer, sight and seen. Who can know the knower? How should one know Him by whom He knows all this? You could not see the seer of sight; you could not hear the hearer of the hearing; you could not perceive the perceiver of perception; you could not know the knower of knowledge.
DOES BRAHMAN BEYOND ILLUSION?-
1-Once, ten ignorant people swam across a river. On reaching the other shore, they began to count themselves to see whether all had reached safely. One man counted all the other nine and forgot to count himself, and began to weep bitterly. He thought that one man had drowned. The other nine persons also counted in the same manner, each man forgetting to count himself and began to weep. 2-A bystander who was noticing their folly pointed out, “No one is missing. There are ten men here. The tenth man is yourself. You have failed to count yourself.” They were all immensely pleased.Just as the men who failed to see, though near, the existence of themselves, for their minds were engrossed in counting the others, so also the individual being on account of ignorance is quite oblivious (not aware)of his being in reality one with Brahman.
3-Thus Brahman, despite being atman itself, is not attained on account of ignorance. But when one is taught by the scriptures and the preceptor, one beholds the Brahman, the atman of all, to be his own Self. This is just as the men, who when reminded by someone else, found themselves again by knowledge.
WHAT IS THE FINAL GOAL & THE FINAL CAUSE?
1-As the source of Dharma, the metaphysical (highly intellectual and philosophical)ordering principles inherent in the design of the cosmos, Brahman can be viewed as the Formal Cause.And as the final goal of all reality, Brahman is also the Final Cause.
2-Being the ontological (the branch of metaphysics /सत्तामूलक )source of all reality, Brahman is the only substantial(having real existence) real that truly exists, all other metaphysical categories; Being either a contingent(dependence on chance) transformations of Brahman, having their very being subsisting("to support oneself") in attributive dependence upon Brahman, or illusory in nature.
3-These views about the nature of Brahman are in general keeping with the theological teachings of both the Advaita and the Vishishta-Advaita schools of Hinduism.
BRAHMAN IS THE ULTIMATE REALITY...All reality has its source in Brahman. All reality has its grounding sustenance in Brahman. It is in Brahman that all reality has its ultimate repose. Hinduism, specifically, is consciously and exclusively aiming toward this reality termed Brahman. ...SHIVOHAM..