Everyone here who is discussing religion is rooted in faith. Despite occasional claims, hinduism is not scientific. Everyone here has put his "faith" in some unscienfic axioms, whether arising in one's own mind or selected from hindu scriptures. The question of reason only arises in making derivations from those axioms. One interesting activity that many "sects" of hinduism follow is in spending inordinate amount of effort "interpreting" the scriptural statements to mould them to a certain sectarian viewpoint. This creates a plethora of axioms apparently rooted upon the same scriptural statement.
Interesting statements, but not true at all.
What axioms have you seen me make so far?
Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Have you seen me take recourse to 'faith' in any logical presentation of a viewpoint ?
So, your charge of universal faith is misplaced.
If I pointed out some verses of the Upanishads, it was merely complementary, and not at all relevant to substantiate the logical argument.
I had earlier asked Alok_N to provide HIS scientific axioms of advaita, but noble silence reins...
The term "scientific" is rather misused in such discussions.
As long as the subject-object duality is necessary for "science", it can never profess to be "Advaita".
In that respect, science is NOT YET Advaita, rather than saying Advaita is not scientific.
Many a moon ago, I was challenged by a zealous Dvaitin to "prove" Advaita WITHOUT recourse to scriptures or axioms
, if Advaita was "so scientific" as claimed by books, blogs, posts and lectures from armchair NRI philosophers.
The fruit of that contemplation effort was presented in that "First Principles" post.
If THAT is not "scientific" enough ( no axioms or "faith" whatsoever ), I don't know what is.
Its only one interpretation. And as I mentioned above one particular "sect" may choose to view it one way, and other differently.
You are stretching the truth wildly.
Interpretations on what "Paramam Brahman" and "Brahman" is in that context may be subject of dispute among "sects".
But there is no
dispute regarding the simple verbs Veda and Bhavati, or the cause-effect relation between them.
It is clear that only after
knowing does one become, and NOT the other way around. That is incontrovertible.
If you are trying to mislead me and others into thinking that even the ORDER of THOSE verbs are in dispute, then we have very little common ground.
It wasn't claimed that "finite" mind-body become infinite. Vedantic view is that consciousness can get tied up with finite things through avidya or maya. Consciousness is only apparently bound, it can expand to accomodate even the universal consciousness of brahman.
Firstly, this "expansion" business is not logically defensible.
Secondly, nowhere in Vedanta does it say that.
The examples of space delimited by pots is given to show that when the "pot" is broken, the "space" inside the pot is non-different from the "whole" space.
Similarly, Cit/Chaitanya/Awareness in me INCORRECTLY identifies with a limited mind-body apparatus.
When ignorance is removed by knowledge, the identification of the apparent part ( I/Aham ) with the whole ( Brahman ) is complete.
The Cit/Chaitanya/Awareness doesn't
expand anywhere. Expnsion necessitates contraction. The Limitless could NEVER have contracted in the first place.
TattirIya upanishad puts Anandamaya-kosha beyond vijnAnamaya-kosha. Even Anandamaya-kosha is called a "kosha" or a sheath implying, it is not the final stage either. VijnAna-maya-kosha is put beyond the manomaya-kosha (the mental sheath).
I don't know what you are attempting to prove here.
The attempt of the 5-sheath argument in the TU was to make it clear that the "happiness" we experience during deep sleep is still limited by the nation of "I" as the limited agent.
In fact, the layers are so described such that the intellectual effort of "Neti Neti" discriminating contemplation succeeds in the effort to arrive at the irreducible substratum of any experience ( the Subject ).
However, the one DOING the contemplation is the mind.
That is precisely why "Manasa Eve Anudrashtavyam" is suggested as the ONLY way to knowledge.
Regarding the duration of consciousness, highest state is timeless, tirkAlatIta. You have been using the term "trikAla-abAdhita" in a certain way. Again IMHO that is a "sectarian" choice.
How is that sectarian ?
The statement "Tri-Kala Abadhitam Satyam" states the obvious- that which is the "Truth" cannot be contradicted at any time.
So, when the consciousness recedes back to lower level, it seems again to follow the "local time", so to speak.
The "Limitless" recedes back ?
Are you serious ? How is that possible ?
What occupies the space that the Limitless "receded" from ?
Regarding the "experiencer vanishing, are you talking about his consciousness, or are you talking about his mind-body? If you are talking about the experiencer's consciousness, then yes, for him his body-mind vanish.
So how do they come BACK from a vanished state ?
Even in dreams the body "vanishes" for the dreamer. But not for some other person who may be observing his body from outside. It is not the "body" that gets the experience.
is getting the experience ?
If Brahman is getting that experience, you and I should be getting that same experience as the "Yogi".
Is it something OTHER than Brahman ?
What happens then to "One, ONLY, without a second" ?
I am sure you have answers to these ?
This is a real good question and the one that is difficult to answer.
Where does this "memory" reside? If a person's consciousness comes down completely to the lower/darker state then the "memory" can be explained only if his lower instruments also underwent some transformations when his consciousness was in a higher state. Then the "memory" would relate to these transformations in lower instruments.
You just said that the mind-body VANISHES in that "experience".
"Memory" is stored in the brain as some neurochemicals.
How can there be MEMORY if the brain itself had VANISHED in "non-dual" experience ?
Its like being able to "see" a snake in a dark room, but knowing that it is actually a rope. Two levels of consciousness are being "spanned" here.
So you understand that once knowledge of the true nature( "rope" ) of the visual destroys the ignorance of the truth, there is no longer a problem with the "illusion" of the snake.
The illusion can continue in dim light, but the knowledge of "rope" removes the CONCLUSION of the "snake".
That's what I was trying to explain all along.
No "expansion-contraction" business of consciousness needed.
This conception has some "logical" issues related to contradiction, viz. how can something be one AND many at the same time. The key IMHO is the "same time" bit. They are not really the same time.
So Brahman is many NOW, but will be one LATER in some "experience" ?
You really think this makes sense ?
From that person's viewpoint, rope didn't exist until he turned on the lights.
I am not asking about "viewpoint".
Was the rope absent or present as a fact of the matter ?
So yes, thoughts hide the brahman from a person's consciousness. Only a silent consciousness can comprehend brahman.
Please try to understand what you wrote.
Brahman is HIDDEN because of ignorance, just like dust hides the shining mirror underneath.
But is Brahman ABSENT, or present in EVERY experience ?
It is PRESENT.
So, what's the solution ? Remove the dust, aka ignorance.
And that can ONLY be done by knowledge alone.
Here manas (mind) is below two others.
That's totally unrelated to the context.
Your 5-sheaths example is only used there to prove that "I" am NOT the body(annamaya), senses(pranamaya), mind(manamaya), intelligence(vijnanamaya) or the ego(anandamaya). It is an aid for the Drik-Drishya viveka ( Subject-object discrimination technique ) to be USED by the Mind ( using intelligence/analytical thinking ) to contemplate on the Self.
Mind ( Manasa ) is called Antah-Karana ( Internal INSTRUMENT ) for a reason.
Without the instrument of the Mind, you are as good as a vegetable with ocular lens, olfactory nerve and tympanic membrane.
The point is that ONLY with the Mind can you do Manana and Nidhidhyasana.
And that is why the Upanishads say "Manasa Eva Anudrashtavyam".
Also from Isha-upanishad "vidyAm cha avidyAm cha, yo tad-veda ubhayam saha...)
So there is a knowledge which is beyond ordinary "vidyA" and "avidyA", the dual pair. That is being talked about, not merely a mental "vidyA".
You have just embarked on a wonderful adventure on the versatility of the Sanskrit language.
The word Vidya here refers to "textbook knowledge".
For example, if I read the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in a Quantum Mechanics textbook, that is Vidya.
If I understand the concept
behind the Pauli-Weyl proof, and can satisfactorily remove all doubts in my mind, then it is Jnana.
Similarly, if I read "Tat Tvam Asi" in a textbook and FEEL "I am That", that is Vidya, but that is NOT Jnana.
The moment I feel "I am That", I have hypnotised myself.
The "Anudrashtavyam" or "Brahman Vid' "Yat Jnata" etc refers to a direct understanding of what "Tat" and "Tvam" really mean, through logical contemplation.
That's what is BEYOND both Avidya(Ignorance) and Vidya(Texbook knowledge).
Hope it is clear.
Swami Vivekananda is the archetypal "Neo-Vedanti"
. If you dismiss him, you are dismissing a huge part of current hindu consciousness as well as the hindu-renaissance that he and other neo-vedantis brought forth.
This is a "sectarian" view IMHO. And doesn't encompass whole of hinduism per se.
Let's just say that Swami Vivekananda has his own place under the Sun, as far as the revival of Hinduism is concerned.
Bengal(and Kamarupa/Assam) being the bastion of the greatest Shakta-Advaita tradition (which combines the best of Advaita Brahman-vada, Samkhya Tattva-vada and the most refined Dakshinachara and Vamachara Tantra ) of the last 1000 years, his attempt was "Samanyaya".
But although he espoused Advaita as the pinnacle of logic, that doesn't mean that his experiments with Raja Yoga represents the views of classical Advaita.
His epithet of a neo-Vedantin is based on this apparent disconnect, partly because of which the "scientific" ( aka logical ) edifice of Advaita is compromised by a whole new generation.