Five Concepts To Help Explain Advaita

[Lord Vishnu]“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Parambrahma, is the seer. He is different from the jiva soul, or individual living entity, who is combined with the senses, the five elements and consciousness.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.28.41)

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भूतेन्द्रियान्त:करणात्प्रधानाज्जीवसंज्ञितात् ।
आत्मा तथा पृथग्द्रष्टा भगवान्ब्रह्मसंज्ञित: ॥

pradhānāj jīva-saṁjñitāt
ātmā tathā pṛthag draṣṭā
bhagavān brahma-saṁjñitaḥ

1. An office – people, desks, chairs, lights, coffee machine

“You want me to describe an office? I am not sure what to say. I guess I can start with what you typically find within an office. There are desks. Sometimes attached, in what are known as spines, or sometimes separated. You might have cubicles, allowing for limited privacy.

“There are chairs to sit in. Lights to be able to see. Obviously, there are people in an office. You might have a separate room for breaks or snacking. Oh, there is a coffee machine. The watercooler, at which can be heard light conversation.”

2. Tennis – rackets, balls, nets, players, lines, tiebreaks

“You want me to describe tennis? I guess it starts with the court. That court has lines drawn in a specific way. Usually, there is extra space for what is known as the doubles alley, but that is not a strict requirement.

“There are tennis balls. Rackets. A net. Players, two or four. There is the scoring system. To keep the length of matches from getting out of hand, there is the more modern adoption of the tiebreak. There are super-tiebreaks now in the big matches, to determine the winner of the final set.”

3. Politics – campaigns, promises, vote counting, ballot stuffing

“Politics has campaigns and candidates. There are promises made to the voters, who will go to the ballot box to determine the winners of the elections. There are debates and campaign commercials. There is fundraising to pay for everything.

“Though this has gone on since the beginning of the implementation of vox populi, it is more prominent now due to mass voting by mail. I am talking about ballot stuffing. They say the elections are determined by votes, but it’s more important who is counting those votes.”

4. Economics – GDP, imports, exports, tax rates, employment rates

“If I were to describe economics, I would start with imports and exports. That is how you study how well a specific area is doing in terms of production. There are various ways to quantify production, such as the gross domestic product.

[economics]“There are employment rates, growth rates of the GDP, the rates of interest when borrowing money, and a general participation rate of the labor force. These are known as economic indicators. The experts consider this to be a science, but it is really more of an art that is constantly being revised.”

5. Life – birth, death, and everything in between

If we were to attempt to explain the varieties to the life experience, what it entails and so forth, our list would be expansive. We could begin with birth. There is the period within the womb of the mother. There are the visits to the doctor to see how the fetus is progressing, from the heartbeat to the emergence of different body parts.

Then there is the birth process itself. Entering the world. Taking food from the mother. Growth in the early years. Turning over. Crawling. Sitting up. Standing up. Walking. Talking. Going to school. Graduating and entering the real world, to work, in the formal sense.

Getting married. Having children. Saving for retirement. Finally leaving the workforce. Travelling to different places. Settling down. Suffering through old age and then eventually leaving the world.

Not every experience is guaranteed to occur, and there are many subtleties and nuances in between, but this is one way to view the life experience. There is extensive detail to the abstract or theory.

This review is one way to understand Brahman. Brahman is like the complete everything. If we were to create an abstract out of the variety, accounting for infinite time and space, we have Brahman. Further refining the definition, we have the individual sparks of life.

These are also Brahman. The highest objective in the human birth is to become Brahman realized. This is the real goal of intelligence. Not to find ways to be more comfortable within a temporary period of life. Not to enjoy the senses in a particular way. Not to only avoid the common distresses.

There is a kind of non-difference between the detail and the abstract. For instance, if I am having difficulties in marriage, someone might say, “Well, that is life. What did you expect?” Marriage is indeed part of life, but it is also not life in total.

In the same way, we are individuals within the Brahman collective, but we are not the Brahman collective. There is a kind of non-duality, known as advaita, but there is also a difference. Shrimad Bhagavatam explains that there is a superior entity, overseeing all of this.

[Lord Vishnu]That superior entity is Bhagavan. This is one way to understand Him. He is Brahman and more. Since we are part of Brahman, the philosophy of advaita is true. There is non-duality. We are the same as Bhagavan.

At the same time, we are different. We are not Bhagavan Himself. Hence there is also dvaita, or duality. A person may question the necessity for such an understanding. Isn’t it a waste of time? Who will actually be interested in such high philosophy?

The instruction is necessary because of the effects of illusion. Due to maya, I might one day consider myself to be the entire Brahman. I might theorize that there is no overseer, that every component to the whole will eventually become the whole, through realization. This is not the case. The truth is understood both logically and through support of authority like Bhagavad-gita and the sacred words of Bhagavan.

In Closing:

Truth perpetually sitting,
Not ever from Him quitting.

That sum and substance is He,
From Him everything to be.

In one way as same taking,
But simultaneously breaking.

Understanding of advaita to convey,
Bhagavan the full on display.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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