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JNANA YOGAM -6-1.

29/11/2017

CHAPTER- VI

6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-1

(Delivered in London, 1896)

1.
The one question that is most difficult to grasp in understanding the Advaita philosophy, and the one question that will be asked again and again and that will always remain is:-

How has the Infinite, the Absolute, become the finite? I will now take up this question, and, in order to illustrate it, I will use a figure.

Here is the Absolute (a), and this is the universe (b). The Absolute has  become the universe. By this is not only meant the material world, but the mental world, the spiritual world — heavens and earths, and in fact, everything that exists. Mind is the name of a change, and body the name of another change, and so on, and all these changes compose our universe. This Absolute (a) has become the universe (b) by coming through time, space, and causation (c).

This is the central idea of Advaita. Time, space, and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen, and when…

JNANA YOGAM -5-10

21/11/2017

JNANA YOGAM -5-10

CHAPTER - V

MAYA AND FREEDOM

(Delivered in London, 22nd October 1896)

CHAPTER -5. MAYA AND FREEDOM -10

1.
Now, if the manifestation of this power of freedom is really governing the whole universe — applying that to religion, our special study — we find this idea has been the one assertion throughout.

Take the lowest form of religion where there is the worship of departed ancestors or certain powerful and cruel gods; what is the prominent idea about the gods or departed ancestors?

That they are superior to nature, not bound by its restrictions.

2.
The worshipper has, no doubt, very limited ideas of nature. He himself cannot pass through a wall, nor fly up into the skies, but the gods whom he worships can do these things. What is meant by that, philosophically?

That the assertion of freedom is there, that the gods whom he worships are superior to nature as he knows it. So with those who worship still higher beings.

As the idea of nature expands, the idea of…

Jnana-Yoga - 5.9

16/11/2017

JNANA YOGAM -5-9

CHAPTER - V

MAYA AND FREEDOM

(Delivered in London, 22nd October 1896)

CHAPTER -5. MAYA AND FREEDOM -9


We are ethical when we follow that voice. Not only the human soul, but all creatures, from the lowest to the highest have heard the voice and are rushing towards it; and in the struggle are either combining with each other or pushing each other out of the way. Thus come competition, joys, struggles, life, pleasure, and death, and the whole universe is nothing but the result of this mad struggle to reach the voice. This is the manifestation of nature.

What happens then? The scene begins to shift. As soon as you know the voice and understand what it is, the whole scene changes. The same world which was the ghastly battle-field of Maya is now changed into something good and beautiful. We no longer curse nature, nor say that the world is horrible and that it is all vain; we need no longer weep and wail.

As soon as we understand the voice, we see the reassert wh…

Jnana-Yoga - 5.8.

09/11/2017

CHAPTER -5.MAYA AND FREEDOM -8

(Delivered in London, 22nd October 1896)

One curious fact present in the midst of all our joys and sorrows, difficulties and struggles, is that we are surely journeying towards freedom. The question was practically this: "What is this universe? From what does it arise? Into what does it go?"

And the answer was: "In freedom it rises, in freedom it rests, and into freedom it melts away." This idea of freedom you cannot relinquish. Your actions, your very lives will be lost without it. Every moment nature is proving us to be slaves and not free.

Yet, simultaneously rises the other idea, that still we are free At every step we are knocked down, as it were, by Maya, and shown that we are bound; and yet at the same moment, together with this blow, together with this feeling that we are bound, comes the other feeling that we are free.

Some inner voice tells us that we are free. But if we attempt to realise that freedom, to make i…

Jnana-Yoga - 5.7.

04/11/2017

CHAPTER -5.MAYA AND FREEDOM

MAYA AND FREEDOM -7.

(Delivered in London, 22nd October 1896)


Now all these various manifestations of religion, in whatever shape and form they have come to mankind, have this one common central basis. It is the preaching of freedom, the way out of this world. They never came to reconcile the world and religion, but to cut the Gordian knot, to establish religion in its own ideal, and not to compromise with the world. That is what every religion preaches, and the duty of the Vedanta is to harmonise all these aspirations, to make manifest the common ground between all the religions of the world, the highest as well as the lowest.

What we call the most arrant superstition and the highest philosophy really have a common aim in that they both try to show the way out of the same difficulty, and in most cases this way is through the help of someone who is not himself bound by the laws of nature in one word, someone who is free. In spite of all the diff…