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RE: Questions

From: Krishna Kashyap (kkalale1_at_san.rr.com)
Date: Sun Feb 24 2002 - 16:10:56 PST

Dear sri Govinda Madhav,
see the answers to your questions below. these may not satisfy you but I
liked the way you asked the questions.  Not many people think in upanisadic
ways. some questions come to us from within even though they may not appear
to agree with the philosophies we study. Finding the answers to these
questions may take us many years. Only when we find it, we feel happy. Hope
our acharyas bless us with the answers.

I will give only short answers. they are from the visistadvaita school of
thought. I am not going into arguments one way or the other.

.....
asmad gurubhyo namah
Krishna Kashyap

-----Original Message-----
From: govindamadhav [mailto:govindamadhav@yahoo.co.in]
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2002 1:40 PM
To: bhakti-list@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Questions


Dear Sir,
Hari Bol

Did we exist along with God as individual souls on the spiritual
planets or were we created by God?

********
we did exist always due to the eternal will of God along with him somewhere
depending on our karmas.

Are we God's expansions and if God expanded Himself to create us ?
What was his purpose in doing so . Was God Alone before the souls
were expanded or created?

God was one without a second independent entity, in the beginning, ie. he
was associated with souls and matter, who are totally dependent on him, in
the unmanifest subtle form during pralaya or the deluge. At creation he
willed to be many and made the matter and souls manifest in the form of
Universe and entered into this very universe as its inner soul (controller,
supporter and seshin ( world exists to satisfy him alone)). God himself did
not go any transformation during the process. the transformation happened
only to matter and souls. Even souls themselves do not undergo
transformation in its svarupa or form but only its dharmabhuta jnana or its
knowledge which expands and contracts due to karma. Hence everything and you
yourself for that matter is verily bramhan in the sense that God exists as
the inner controller or the atman. God exists as the universe: that means -
universe as its attribute and remains as the inner controller of this
universe. that is the meaning of tat tvam asi - "you are that".  - God
exists in you as the inner controller / supporter / seshin with "Your soul/
body" as His attribute. He is the underlying power that makes us live and
act the we way we do. Our freedom is also given by him.

Purpose behind creation is said to be his lila or divine play. One can say
why cant he enjoy by himself without bringing us in the picture? This is the
bheda jnana or thinking that we are separate from HIM. This is the error.
When we realize that he is within us ;we are never alone and he is our
everything, then we realize that this divine play is a way God uses to make
us realize Him and experience eternal bliss along with him.  When we
experience such bliss all these questions will evaporate from our minds!
The vedas say that one is not happy alone and hence even God needs company.
Hence he creates.

One can always question this lila theory or divine play theory of creation
for ages! All I can say is that the answers to these questions are not
available in this sensual world. The answers are known to the ones with pure
mind. The answers  can be known when God himself explains to us from within.
bhidyate hridaya granthih chiddhyante sarva samsayaha - tasmin driste
paravare.

"the knots of the hearts are broken;  all the doubts are cleared, when that
divine brahman is seen!" - upanisads.

If we were created, then for what purpose and why do we have to
suffer so much even when we are trying to be good.
************
For this one has to clearly understand karma.  Once it seems ganga threw all
her seven children into the river without caring for any dharma.  It looks
so inhuman.  However, if you see the previous story of those seven children,
you come to know that they were the vasus - devas, who did some mistake and
got cursed to be born as human beings; However, when they begged to be
saved, they were given a boon of not living for long and attain their
previous status of vasus immediately after birth.  When you know the whole
story, it becomes clear that what we see as "adharma" or suffering, is
nothing but the results of past actions. We human beings try to measure
analyse or assess everything from our perspective without knowledge of what
the past actions were. Only when we know what past was, we will understand
the truth behind suffering or karma or our actions.  Hence suffering is only
the result of our past actions which have to be experienced.  Hence we
cannot find an answer to the effects of past action without the grace of
lord. God is not cruel to put us through suffering. Suffering is only a
method adopted by God to teach us some values, which will make us pure and
attain Him / Bliss eventually.  When we have wealth or health or something
which truly belongs to God, we tend to feel that we got it due to our
independent efforts. This is is our ignorance. If we fail to see the action
/ presence of God in everything around us, that is error. Once we see that
everything in this world is for the happiness of God, one will lose all
sorrow, since he loses selfish identification with actions or their results.


Why do sometimes the thinking comes that it is very hard to
continuosly act ( do some work in devotion or do some fruitive work)
and the best type of realization is impersonal realization.

****
I am glad you asked this question.  Many people undergo traditional
education and just take it as it is due to fear of questioning or just
mechanically follow the scriptures and commentaries without contemplation.
Unless you contemplate you may not find such questions! what to say about
answers to these questions.

There is nothing wrong in impersonal realization as you put it.  As per the
upanishads, one did not have to stand in queue to take darshan of Lord in a
temple. Sun is visible practically everywhere and you can meditate on the
surya mandala madhyavarti - the Srimannarayana in the SUN. This is exactly
"sandhyavandana" is a ritual prescribed. What is impersonal realization? it
is not same as Nirguna realization.  Nirguna is different from nirakara.
nirguna means that which has no characteristics whatsoever. Such a
realization is a non-entity according to Sri Ramanujacharya. Such an object
with no characteristics does not exist!.  Nirakara means formless, but a
formless entity can have gunas or characteristics.  One can meditate on
truths in one's own mind or contemplation to assess the nature of these
truths.  What I understand from your term impersonal realization is - that
peaceful realization where you dont have to participate in any ritual or
bhajan or japa etc.  This can happen to some folks and there is nothing
wrong with it.  This is purely based on one's background. For those who are
not capable of meditating on God with all his divine attributes, one is
advised to meditate on ATma or jivatma. Note one can even meditate on God as
one's own atman or inner self.

note the verse in bhagawadgita 12-12.  shreyo hi jnanam abhyasat jnanat
dhyanam visissyate dhyanat karma phala tyagah. tyagat shantiranantaram.

- details of this verse are explained very well in Sri Ramanuja bhasya.  I
personally think that the commentary of Sri Ramanuja bhasya is brilliant for
this verse ( ofcourse for whole of Gita for that matter), which explains how
it depends on one's background to find what method works for
himself/herself). Not everyone can directly start doing bhaktiyoga or even
have samanya (ordinary) bhakti!. For such people for whom bhakti in lord is
difficult, one should take up the understanding of self, which gives them
peace of mind ( tyagat shantiranantaram). there is no point forcing oneself
to do like others. It has to come from within.  Even forcing someone to do
prapatti or bharanyasam is also equally erroneous. One should not insist
anyone however close to follow a path which works for them. A path has to be
taken only if one is interested and tuned to take up a path. However one can
instruct others in a calm way without any force, being a well wisher.  There
ends the matter. From then on, the quest has to take shape in the aspirant
naturally.

I am also sorry if I have made any mistakes.

adiyen Krishna Kashyap.



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