Student Queries

Discussion Board for registered CIF Bhagavad Gita Course students; seek interpretation of concepts, clarify concepts and hold discussions with fellow students from the world over. May be periodically moderated by an Acharya.

Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:14 pm

Topic- Adhyatma and Adhiyajna
A student asks-What is Adythma?Is it different from Atman & Brahman. Atman being the conditionedconsciousness why do we use the word adhyatma which appears to be same as atman.
Is it the oneness of Brahman and Atman which is highlighted in the Mahavakyas .

Our Acharya replies- Basically Adhyatma meants "Pertaining to Self" or "Near to Self"Here Adhyatma is same as Atma.So, you are right.It is Mahavakya."Tat Tvam Asi". Sometimes Adhyatma can mean body/mind also. We have to understand depending on the context.

A student asks
Is Adhiyajna same as microcosmic causal body which is called prajna.

Our Acharya replies
Adiyajna means Antaryami. That is the pure consciosness indwelling in hearts of all beings.It is not prajna here. Prajna is ignorant. Adhiyajna or Antaryami is not ignorant.The yajna is done taking the help of body.So, Adhiyajna is said to reside inthe body.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:11 pm

Topic- Meditation and Bhakthi
A student asks-
Can you explain the relation of meditation and bhakthi – does more devotion helps in easily sliding into meditation Or is it that practice of meditation, evokes devotion?.

Our Acharya answers-
Here it is Upasana-Pure love.Karmayoga purifies the mind.The pure mind enters into portals
of Vedanta by sravana, manana and nididyasana.So,devotion will help in Meditation. Meditation also increases love for god.Highest love is Identification.So,Shri Shankaracharyaji defines Bhakti as Practise of Abidance in Self (Vivekachoodamani).

Topic: Goal of karma, bhakti and jnana
A student asks
Can you clarify the ultimate goal of 3 margas (karma, bhakti and jnana) - is it the same?

Our Acharya replies-
All the 3 Margas start from different point but ultimate goal is the Self. Other two Margas prepare one by providing chitha suddhi and chitha ekagratha to pursue the path and reach the goal.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:32 pm

Topic- Jivan mukthi and Videha mukthi

A Student asks-
As I understood, the person who is liberated -Jivan muktha also has videha mukti, when
he discards his mortal body. Or is it that Videha mukti is merely a classification from an observer stand point

Our Acharya answers-
Videhamukti is from the standpoint of ignorant. For a realised soul,body is not real.He is Brahman.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:20 pm

Topic-Sat and asat
A student asks
Kindly clarify why gross and subtle world is referred to as “ sat”. So also why is it that unmanifest vasanas is referred to as “ asat”.

[b]Our Acharya answers

In Vedanta,one word can mean differently according to the context. Here Sat means Sthula & Sukshma
Prapancha which is perceivable .
"Asat" means Karana Prapancha.Here Karana Prapancha is called "Asat" because we know nothing about it as though it is not existing for us !
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:24 pm

Topic
The entity identified with BMI and the “ I. “


A Student asks
Please explain - The “I” - Is it a product of BMI or is it BMI itself?
-If BMI is always an integral part of me then I will continue to be born.

Our Acharya answers
We are not BMI or its Product . We are in essence pure consciousness or Atma or Brahma or Satchitananda .When this pure Consciousness seemingly identifies wijth BMI (Actually Brahman has not identified with BMI),we call that pure consciousness as Jiva or "I".
Actually speaking BMI is doing all actions but we as jiva presume we are doing the action and subsequently the notion of “I” am the doer and enjoyer comes.At the dawn of Knowledge this notion is removed.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:28 pm

Topic- Upasana
A Student asks
Please explain what is ‘subtle’ upasanas. What is the benefit of such practices.
Our Acharya replies
Subtle Upasanas include Agnihothra ,Nachiketa agnividya, Panchagnividya etc . By performing such upasanas one can reach to higher worlds including Brahma loka. Again these worlds are ephemeral hence Vedanta advises one to undertake upasana for chitha-ekagratha which helps one in the pursuit of higher goal-the Brahman - the only one which liberates one and is eternal.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:30 am

Topic- Creation and its relation to vasanas
A Student asks-
In case a time comes when all jivas have exhausted all vasanas and there are no fructifying vasanas for all beings put together, does that mean the macrocosm itself will not be born again? Does that mean a new Brahma is not needed? Kindly clarify

Our Acharya replies-
Creation is the manifestation of vasanas which were in the unmanifest form.So It is true Bramaji & Universe will not be created in case all the vasanas of all the jivas get exhausted.But it never happens that way because only one among millions attains liberation(Manushyanam Sahasresu.....- B.Gita 7.3)Also it is important to know that God can create new jivas also if he wishes ! Example comes in Bhagavatam where Krishna teaches a lesson to Brahmaji when he stole cows and cowhards.Krishna created exactly similar cows and cowherds ! But remember - Universe is not actually existing.Our point of enquiry should focus more on Brahman and how to realize it than on unreal world and Maya !
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:49 pm

Topic- Meditation

A student asks
Is Meditation a kriya/ an action .Like any action will it lead to results and a feedback which will again form vasanas?


Our Acharya replies
In a real sense meditation is not an action but it is a state where one abides in his real nature. Of course this is accomplished through an unbroken stream of divine thoughts leading to constant awareness of divine within us .With increase in frequency of these thoughts the thoughts of ”I am jiva”.(vipareetha bavana) is put to an end and with an understanding of “ I am Brahman “ one moves forward in the path.
Like any other thoughts Vasanas are generated by the practise of Nididhyasana(Meditation).Nididhyasana generates strong "Aham Brahmasmi Vasana" which destroys " I am Jiva Vasana". That is why a seeker picks up easily his sadhana in the next birth if he has done it in previous births.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Thu May 15, 2014 11:16 pm

Subject-
Karma yoga and its effects on vasanas
A Student asks-
During our spiritual life .
1- living life as a karma yogi , will our vasanas get exhausted or reduced than living a dharmic life.
2. If reduced will there be the cycle of life again?
3. Can our nature Svabha be changed, ? Svarupa is permanent intrinsic nature , this I think I can understand. But please clarify about the nature.
Our Acharya Replies
1. Dharmic life by itself does not necessarily reduce the vasanas. If dharma is done in karmayoga spirit,then only it will reduce vasanas. If dharma is done in a selfish manner,it will increase vasana.Karma is for purifying the heart alone. It can reduce the vasanas upto some extent but complete elimination of vasanas happen only by direct experince of the self.
Karmayoga purifies the heart so that mind becomes capable for Vedanta Vichara.Therefore Shri Shankaracharyaji says in Vivekachoodamani
"Chittasya Shuddhaye karma,Na tu vastupalabhyate
Vastusiddhirvicharena,Na kinchit karmakotibhihi"
Meaning,liberation happens only by knowledge and not by karma. Karma is useful for purifying the mind. Then one has to move forward into enquiry into self .
2. Until and unless there is a total exhaustion of all vasanas by knowledge cycle of birth and death continues

3. Swarupa of the self is sat-chit-ananda and it can't be changed of course. The
swabhava or nature of mind can be defintely changed.Our sadhana(spiritual practices) is to change the
mind from tamasic to satvic. And then we have to go beyond the mind,beyond the three gunas !
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Re: Student Queries

Postby yogeshnadkarni05 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:13 pm

In one of the Chapters Bhagvan Shree Krishna said that rain comes from making yagna. How far this relates to rain as rain comes from evaporation of water from ocean. I think it is Chapter no 3. Can any one help me to understand this
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Re: Student Queries

Postby Arvind » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:21 pm

A student asks about how "Rain comes from Yajna" (Gita 3.14)

Our Acharya replies-
To understand the Shastras mere word meaning is not enough. Some times these vachyarthas (word meaning) bring confusion in the minds of the students. Contemplative people only can decipher the meaning of such statements.
In the karma kanda it is said yagas and yagnas sometimes produce rain. for e.g the Atiratra yagna.

In Kerala recently such a yagna was performed and it did rain. There are other yagnas like Varna yagnas etc which also produce such results. Even in music `Amruta Varshini raga can produce rain when sung by a Master Singer. How it can happen is difficult to explain. Why should two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen produce water cannot be explained even by the greatest of scientist.

But in Gita language `yagna ' means the selfless dedicated karmas of a pure soul. To consider the Surya, the air, water and the rivers as Devatas which are producing the rain is to see our indebtedness to Prakriti and its components - the space, the air, the heat and the water. It is the dedicated and selfless action of these Prakriti`s expressions that create the rain. Thus when in a devotional attitude we approach prakriti ( Aradhana Bhava) and do karma prakriti also blesses us with rain, prosperity and happiness. I think this Gita verse is a call to all of us to make all our actions into karma yoga in a spirit of surrender and love to the prakriti and its supreme cause, the Paramatma.
Hari OM
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Re: Student Queries

Postby lakssg » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:29 am

Hari Om,

My response on the concept of "rain comes from yajna" (3.14).

annad bhavanti bhutani
parjanyad anna-sambhavah
yajnad bhavati parjanyo
yajnah karma-samudbhavah


This is part of the Cosmic Wheel of Cooperative Action whereby the Lord explains the importance of selfless action in our life. This wheel of action is connected with and includes the Supreme.
When we take literal meaning of this - it is well known that if somebody performs yagna to invoke rain gods it does results in rain. Of course it requires faith and sincerity of those who perform the same. Rain in turn produces food for sustenance of all beings.

Here in this context
Yagna- indicates self dedicated activities
Rain- indicates favorable conditions as a result of such activities

Annam indicates - Results of such actions which benefits all in the society.
Importance of selfless service is stressed through this Verse.

Hari Om.
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Re: Student Queries

Postby Arvind » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:48 am

A student asks on concept of Manifestation, the trail of discussion between the Acharya and the Student is given below:

QUESTION: : Here I am to ask a doubtful question. What exactly is manifestation.? Am I right to say that which can be perceived ? Eg Form , sound etc What do we mean by Lord Siva manifested in Kailash ? Ganesha in Nepal?

ANSWER: A transformation from a subtler from to grosser from is called manifestation. As the grossness increases more and more senses can perceive and participate in the experience of that object.
For manifestation to happen - the inner desire to manifest and an environment that is conducive for manifestation are both required.

Lord Shiva or Ganesha manifesting is to be taken as that subtle all pervading God principle becoming available for a relatively grosser experience either to the intellect, mind or sense organs and the place (Nepal, Mount Kailash) being conducive for such an expression to take place in the form of Shiva or Ganesha respectively.

QUESTION: When we say Lord is all pervasive does it mean in unmanifest form? ( am I right)
ANSWER: Yes
QUESTION: So can God be manifested any where and everywhere .
ANSWER: Yes . provided conditions are conducive - Just as the sunlight is everywhere but only on the surface of the Moon it is reflected and we perceive it even in darkness. A Blind man cannot see even Moonlight!

QUESTION: Why do we talk of manifestation of God?
ANSWER: When that all pervading manifestation is available for the limited sense perception - we call it manifestation, just as radio signals tuned by appropriate circuits to produce sound in our radio sets.

QUESTION: So what do we say of his creation nature ? We Beings are also his creation but with ego (limited people). Where do we place ourselves in this context?

ANSWER: Advaitha Vedanata holds the view that creation is a mere projection which is enlivened by the presence of Paramathma. When that infinite Paramatma is as though limited, it functions as a limited being and adorns the ownership for actions & results as Ego.

QUESTION: Again why do we always consider Lord Siva in Kailash. With Gita lesson 15 in hand these questions seem unanswered. To me Lord Siva is everywhere . So what is my confusion of manifestation here and there. If it is topic of manifestation it means perceivable, so Siva is perceivable again it is a given form which we should not fix It.

ANSWER: When we are unable to perceive the existence of an object beyond our normal vision, we would take recourse to a telescope, we may need to keep seeing the object through the telescope to confirm its existence and once the existence has been firmly established the telescope is not needed for us to assert it.
In the same way manifestation in a form and shape that is conducive for the Mind and Intellect to accept is the forms of Shiva and Ganesha. Once the all pervading nature is established, then the means of form and shape will be only for the joy of confirming.

QUESTION: In our homam prayers in our house we invoke Lord Vinayagar with the turmeric and carry on our prayers with the belief that Lord is here to clear all obstacles. Being a Sai Baba Devotee I do get answers in the form of honey, vibuthi can I say this as manifestation of Sai Baba.
ANSWER: If your Mind is happy and your intellect accepts than it is fine. Before your intellect rejects this it understands, accept & must hold on to the next higher concept of the same God principle in Brahman and then you may relinquish the need for a saguna (सगुण) Brahman.

QUESTION: Well now I received in whats app, Mt Kailsh and in cloud Form Of  Lord Siva -- Do I call this as manifestation of Lord Siva or is it imaginary.
ANSWER: You have to decide. The stone that meant God to Hindus would be seen as a mere stone by the Britishers.

QUESTION: when we went to Nepal and when took local flight  we view of Himalaya it was beautiful to see Lord Ganesha   formed in clouds , Is this also manifestation of Lord Ganesha.?
ANSWER: Sanathana Dharma holds the view that any object can be divinized - the call is made by the devotee and state of his mind.
QUESTION: Some people go into meditation an come out describing the beauty of lord Ganesha manifested. Please help relate to all this in details. This will definitely help me to go further with my Lessons confidently. Till Than I will have to pause.
ANSWER: The Intensity of meditation with a view to see the form of Brahman in a particular form enables manifestation of that form for that devotee. This is the grace of the Lord. If the devotee wishes to become one with that paramathma and sits in meditation for that he realizes his Paramathma svarupam.

Queries will come to students of Vedanta because of two reasons -
One he/she has not grasped the message that is provided through the Vedantic texts clearly. This happens because mind is still holding on to worldly ties & intellect tries to understand the scriptures in the conventional way. The solution is to continue studying with faith & perseverance - continue till later part of the same text would clear the doubts.
One reads from various schools of philosophy and the approaches clash initially. The best way out of this is to pursue one school under one guru parampara till the subject matter is grasped clearly and then there will be no difficulty with understanding other schools of thoughts and where they fit in.
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