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  1. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    I read briefly about the assertions and refutations. Basically reinforces that there is nothing but what is seen of by the mind itself.
  2. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    Sounds good on the erroneous view. Once again, it might help to know the definition of 'mind' in this context. Also, not sure what he means by 'there is but one common Essence', sounds like Advaita
  3. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    I get that part. But the comparison with the reflection of Moon in the water, I thought that can't be the attachments or concepts. It the things we are attached to that is the reflection, which causes the attachment.
  4. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    Sounds good. Do you mean to say the things that we are attached to are not really there, they are like the reflection of Moon in water? The reflection of something which we will get eventually. If that is what you mean, it sounds good for now.
  5. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    The articulation or the way concepts are communicated in this sutra is brilliant. I just wonder how all things are like reflection of Moon in water, if there is no self (at individual level or higher). Without the self, I wonder, they are the reflection of what, and who is seeing the reflection and discriminating?
  6. Yes, the concept of non-dual, it feels to me like it can be described in words and graped by the mind. More importantly it does not have to be explained by 'what it is not'. Like in the case of Dao (formless - totally devoid of form, attributeless, etc). If something contains everything or even present in everything, if that is the definition of non-dual Brahman, how can it be defined as formless or attributeless? It certainly has some form(s) and attributes. At least it can be described as sum of everything. I agree totally that several descriptions of Brahman does not sound like Dao or Emptiness at all. My question is about the ones that seem to match exactly or sound like Dao. Like, devoid of all form or attributes. I just wonder how that is possible, unless some understood Brahman to be different or similar to Dao compared to others. It is also possible that some of the definitions or interpretations are added later or amended
  7. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    Thanks for breaking the chapter. This initial part makes sense. It sounds just like an introduction or summary of what is about to come. At this point, he is talking about discrimination and grasping which are clearly issues. But it is not clearly stated, what is the issue with discrimination, at least not yet. Animals hallucination of springs, sounds like a total projection of the local mind. Need to wait and see how it relates to the discrimination problem. I am okay to proceed with the next part, unless someone wants to discuss anything specific with this.
  8. In Advaita, Brahman is the substrate and cause of all changes.[157][140] Brahman is considered to be the material cause[note 14] and the efficient cause[note 15]of all that exists.[139][158][159] Brahman is the "primordial reality that creates, maintains and withdraws within it the universe."[147] It is the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world".[160] Advaita's Upanishadic roots state Brahman's qualities[note 16] to be Sat-cit-ānanda (being-consciousness-bliss)[161][162] It means "true being-consciousness-bliss," [163][164] or "Eternal Bliss Consciousness".[165] Adi Shankara held that satcitananda is identical with Brahman and Atman.[163] The Advaitin scholar Madhusudana Sarasvati explained Brahman as the Reality that is simultaneously an absence of falsity (sat), absence of ignorance (cit), and absence of sorrow/self-limitation (ananda).[163] According to Adi Shankara, the knowledge of Brahman that Shruti provides cannot be obtained in any other means besides self inquiry.[166] This point on not being superseded, completely unchanging and everything "inside" is what I had meant. Yes, those are definitions of Brahman per Advaita Vedanta, which is one view of Vedanta. My point is there is also a description of attributeless Nirguna Brahman, which sounds similar to descriptions of Dao. Also, I wonder whether some of the descriptions from this (above) quote itself taken in a different context can apply to Dao. For example, can Dao be described as unborn and unchanging? If not, then I wonder why not? The one emerged from Dao, but Dao still is what it is. Also the description, 'as the truth that cannot be superseded by another truth'. Sounds like some of these can apply. Everything inside, I get your point on that. But that is what feels to me as the confusion between an all pervading Self/Atman or Shiva and the attributeless Nirguna Brahman described in other places of Vedanta. If it contains everything, then how can it be formless or attributeless. Yet, Brahman is also described as those things also. In other words, it is not the wrong definitions that bother me, but the ones that seem to be right, in places where the description seem to match that of Dao. How can such contradictions co-exist for the same term, unless the same term was used to imply totally different things in different places. Also, Vedanta states that Brahman cannot be graped by mind and it is beyond mind, beyond understanding, etc. It cannot be described by any words, because it is beyond description. If it is just a container of everything, or some all pervading truth, the concept can certainly be understood or grasped by the mind. So these type of descriptions just make me wonder, what it really is.
  9. No, I think that's always the definition for Atman. If Brahman is One with no second, then it cannot fit those other descriptions of formless, etc. that match the descriptions exactly from Tao Te Ching. This is the discrepancy that Ramanuja and several others saw and pointed out, that these two definitions don't add up. But, these concepts are mixed-up so much in texts like Gita, it adds to the confusion. It is not important to me if they are the same or different. I just wonder, if those who shared Vedanta only realized till One, then how were they able to describe the Brahman exactly as how it is described in TTC. It appears like some had that full realization of Brahman as how Dao is described in TTC. There was this concept about Atman also as Supreme. Somehow later these two were mixed up leading to lot of confusions. Perhaps if Brahman can be seen as Dao, and Atman as the One that emerges from it, then the entire Vedanta personally makes sense to me.
  10. In some places we do see such statements. Could be because of the connection made between the Brahman and Atman in some places. The problem or challenge here is that the Vedanta and Upanishads are huge. They were shared over a long period of time and by numerous Rishis. There are some contradictions. But, Vedanta also states firmly in so many places that Brahman is not a thing, therefore not bound by any qualifications or characteristics such as permanent, goes to great lengths to emphasize this, giving so many descriptions that seem to exactly match the descriptions from Tao Te Ching.
  11. Thanks The challenge for me is, everyone of those descriptions are attributed to Brahman in Vedanta. Including the unbroken chain and it is formless, imageless, cannot be seen, cannot be heard, etc. The only place where I see difference is when Vedanta connects Atman (Self) and Brahman stating they are one and the same. There are those like Ramanuja in whose interpretation Atman is not the same as Brahman. With this view, I am not able to understand any difference between the definitions right now. That does not mean the difference is not there!
  12. Yes, the Brahman realizing itself is the advaidic hindu connect. The way I am understanding this now is Dao is relevant only with respect to the emergence of One. Like at the time of creation of everything. Whereas Brahman is ever present on everything, Dao is not present in anything.
  13. Then in that case, it must be a realization that is beyond experiences. It is generally described as the realization of Dao or Emptiness. Is it the Dao or Emptiness realizing itself or becoming aware or knowing itself? I can't use the word aware also, because it is beyond awareness. I just wonder about the significance of the Dao or Emptiness if it is entirely outside the realm of experience. (To make it clear to everyone, I am asking this question not to challenge the view, but to truly understand the purport.)
  14. If it is beyond mind, then the question arises as to who experiences it, or what is it that realizes the Dao? How is it known to be there?
  15. Lankavatara Sutra - Study

    Another thought came up on discrimination. What is discrimination? It sounds like misunderstanding that there is multiple or duality in this context. Where as everything is but a reflection of the same as itself. But to discriminate, there must be a perceiver present who discriminates the reflections as duality and multiple things. This other things from duality angle may be classified as illusion, but what about the reality of the perceiver? That there is a perceiver cannot be denied and therefore the perceiver cannot be an illusion. This is why the video game example makes more sense to me .