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Comparisons of Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, & others


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#1 3bob

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:20 AM

differences in concept and realization

 

"Comparison of Advaita Vedanta with Kashmir Shaivism

By admin on Oct 29, 2013 | In Srividya, Darshana

 

From Dr. Jaidev Singh

 

The Advaita Vedānta philosophy is generally known as śāntabrahmavāda or Kevalādvaita. The philosophy of Kashmir is known as īśvarādvayavāda or Pratyabhijñā or Trika.

 

The Nature of Absolute Reality

The most salient difference between the two is that according to Vedānta, the Absolute Reality is simply Prakāśa or jñāna, whereas according to īśvarādvayavāda, it is Prakāśa-vimarśamaya, i.e., it has both jñātṛtva and kartṛtva. Shankaracharya thinks that kriyā or activity belongs only to jīva or the empirical individual, and not to Brahman. Shankara takes kriyā in a very narrow sense. He takes it as synonymous with karma. Certainly, Paramaśiva does not act like a potter molding clay into pots. śaivāgama takes kriyā in a wider sense, in the sense of citśakti, in the sense of Spanda, throb or pulsation to manifest.

 

Without activity, the Absolute would be simply inert, unable to bring about anything.

Shankara says: “All activity belongs to Māyā.” But is Māyā simply a śakti of Brahman or is it something quite external? If Māyā is something quite external, then Advaita cannot be maintained. If Māyā is śakti of Brahman, then surely, it is an activity of Brahman.

 

According to śaivāgama, svātantrya or autonomous Free Will is an important characteristic of Chaitanya. Kartṛtva is an important aspect of svātantrya. As Pāṇini puts it: svatantraḥ kartā, a free being alone is an agent. Svātantrya of śiva implies kartṛtva.

According to Advaita Vedānta, Brahman is entirely inactive. Activity belongs to avidyā. When Brahman is associated with avidyā, it becomes īśvara who is endowed with the power to act. So the real activity belongs to avidyā. The activity of īśvara ceases when He is dissociated from avidyā. This is what Shankara says in his commentary on Brahmasūtra:

“Thus the potency of īśvara, His omniscience and omnipotence are contingent upon the limitation caused by the condition or association of avidyā (primal ignorance). In the highest sense, when all conditions are removed by vidyā (spiritual illumination) from the ātmā, the use of potency, omniscience etc., would become inappropriate for it.” (2.1.14)

On the other hand, jñātṛtva and kartṛtva are, according to īśvarādvayavāda, the very nature of the Supreme. Activity, according to this philosophy, is not an adjunct of īśvara, but His specific nature. His activity is summed up in the fivefold act of sṛṣṭi (manifestation), sthiti (maintenance), saṃhāra (withdrawal), vilaya (concealment of real nature) and anugraha (grace). He performs these five acts eternally even when He assumes the form of an empirical ego (jīva).

Maheśvarānanda says in his Mahārthamañjarī that inactive Brahman is as good as unreal.

“This is the specific nature of Parameśvara that He always performs the fivefold act of sṛṣṭi etc. If this is not accepted, ātmā as defined by Māyāvāda characterized by the want of the slightest trace of activity, would be as good as unreal.”

 

According to Shankara, Brahman is entirely inactive; all activity is due to Māyā. According to īśvarādvayavāda, activity belongs to śiva or īśvara; Māyā derives its activity only from Him.

Secondly, Māyā according to Advaita Vedanta is anirvacanīya or indefinable, but according to īśvarādvayavāda, Māyā being the śakti of śiva is perfectly real and brings about multiplicity or difference.

 

śvetāśvarata Upaniṣad equates Māyā with Prakṛti:

māyāṃ tu prakṛtiṃ vidyānmāyinaṃ tu maheśvaram |

The word Māyā is derived from the root ‘mā’ which means ‘to measure’. Māyā is that power of the Divine which measures out the phenomenon in definite forms. Māyā is the creative power of the Divine and not a power of illusion..."

 

quoted from:  http://www.kamakotim...1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1


Edited by 3bob, 31 December 2016 - 07:51 PM.

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#2 3bob

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 06:10 PM

by Swami Lakshmanjoo

 

from chapter 14 of, "The Secret Supreme"

 

"Moksha in Kashmir Shaivism and Indian Philosophy
The view that ignorance is the cause of bondage, and perfect knowledge
is the cause of freedom (moksha), is commonly accepted by all Indian
philosophers. Yet, in reality, these philosophers have not completely
understood knowledge and ignorance.

 

The Vaishnavites, for example, believe that liberation (moksha)
from repeated births and deaths occurs when you are united with
para-prakriti (that energy of Being that governs and contains all
the activities and conceptions of this universe). And this union
with para-prakriti will take place only when you observe in your
understanding that the apparent differentiation of this universe
is unreal. Then all attachments, pleasures, and pains will come
to an end and you will be established in your own real nature. It
is this establishment which from their point of view is called moksha.

 

The Advaita Vedantins, on the other hand, have concluded
that, in the real sense, moksha is only bliss (ananda) and nothing
else. They say that when you are residing in the field of ignorance
(samsara), you become the victim of the five-fold veils (kleshas);
i.e. avidya (ignorance), asmita (ego), raga (attachment), dvesha (hatred)

and abhinivesha (attachment to your own conception). These
coverings, which are the cause of your remaining in samsara, should
be removed by the practice of tattva-jnana. In this practice, you
must mentally negate all that is not your own real nature by thinking,
neti, neti, “I am not this, I am not this.” So here you
practice thinking, “I am not the physical body, I am not the
subtle body, I am not the mind, I am not the life essence (prana).”
You must negate all outside elements. And when you reside completely
in your own nature, which is that which remains after you negate
all outside elements, that knowledge, from their point of view,
is called moksha.

 

The tradition of Buddhist philosophers, who are known as
the Vijnanavadins, accept, that you are liberated only when your
mind is completely detached from all attachments to objectivity,
pleasure, pain, and sorrow. They argue that the mind must remain
only as mind, pure and perfect mind, because for them the mind is
actually pure, filled with light, and detached from all worldly
things. It is when the mind becomes attached to worldly things,
such as thoughts, pleasures, and pains, that you are carried to
samsara. And when these attachments are cancelled and the mind

becomes pure, then you are liberated.

 

The philosophers from the Vaibhashika tradition hold that,
liberation is attained by deleting the chain of thought’s,
just as the flame of a lamp is extinguished. When a lamp is burning,
we experience the existence of the flame. When, however, the flame
is extinguished, it does not go anywhere. It does not go into the
earth or into the ether. When the flame is extinguished, it simply
disappears. And the extinguishing of the flame takes place when
the oil of the lamp is exhausted. In the same way, when a yogi has
crossed over all the pleasures and pains of the world, those pleasures
and pains do not go anywhere, they simply disappear. This yogi,
who has extinguished the flame of the chain of thoughts by exhausting
the wax of the five-fold kleshas, enters into the supreme and perfect
peace which is, from their point of view, liberation.

 

"From the Shaivite point of view,
these philosophical traditions remain either in apavedya-pralayakala
or in savedya-pralayakala. They do not go beyond these states."

Apavedya-pralayakala is that state of pralayakala where there is
no objectivity. Savedya-pralayakala is that state of pralayakala where there

is some impression of objectivity. As an example, take the state of deep sleep.

When you wake up from deep sleep and then
think, “I was sleeping and I didn’t know anything,”
that is the state of apavedya-pralayakala. And when you wake up
from the state of deep sleep and think, “I was sleeping peacefully
without dreaming,” that is the state of savedya-pralayakala,
because you experienced that it was a sweet sleep and so “sweetness”
is the object for you in this state.

 

Shaiva philosophy does not recognize the theories of these philosophies concerning liberation
(moksha) because, in fact, the yogins of these traditions do not
move above the pralayakala state and are not, therefore, situated
in real moksha. Our Shaivism explains that jnana (knowledge) is knowing one’s
own nature, which is all Being (sat), all consciousness (cit), and
all bliss (ananda). Ajnana (ignorance) is ignoring this nature,
and this is the cause of the samsara which carries one in the cycle
of repeated births and deaths.

 

"Kashmir Shaivism explains that ignorance (ajnana) is of two kinds: paurusha ajnana and bauddha
ajnana."  Paurusha ajnana is that kind of ignorance wherein one is unaware
of realizing one’s own nature in samadhi. This kind of ignorance
is removed by the grace of masters and by meditating upon one’s
own Self. And when this ignorance is removed, you find yourself
in the real knowledge of Shaivism, which is all being, all consciousness,
all bliss. This kind of knowledge is called paurusha jnana. When
you possess paurusha jnana, you realize your nature of Self perfectly.

Bauddha ajnana (intellectual ignorance) occurs only when you are
completely ignorant of the philosophical truth of the monistic idea
of Shaivism. And bauddha ajnana is removed by studying those monistic

Shaiva texts which explain the reality of the Self. Therefore, these
texts are the cause of your being carried from bauddha ajnana to
bauddha jnana.  "Bauddha jnana is thought-based
and is developed through the intellect. Paurusha jnana, on the
other hand, is practical and is developed through practice."

Paurusha jnana is predominant over bauddha jnana because when you
possess only paurusha jnana, even then you are liberated in the
real sense. In this case, however, liberation is attained only after
leaving your body. When, however, at the same time, you attach bauddha
jnana to paurusha jnana; which means that, on the one hand, you
practice on your own Being and, on the other hand, you go into the
philosophical thought of the monistic Shaiva texts and elevate your
intellectual being, then you become a jivanmukta, one who is liberated
while living. If, however, you possess only bauddha jnana and not
paurusha jnana, then you will not attain liberation either while
living in the body or at the time of death. Bauddha jnana without
paurusha jnana is useless and will not take you anywhere. The study
of texts shines perfectly only when there is practical knowledge
at the same time. Without practical knowledge, philosophical study
is useless. Bauddha jnana will bear fruit only when paurusha jnana is

present and not otherwise. If an aspirant is attached only to practical knowledge and not
to theoretical knowledge, believing that the only real knowledge
is practical knowledge, which is the realizing of ones own nature,
then he is incorrect from a Shaiva point of view. If only paurusha
jnana is cultivated and bauddha jnana is totally ignored, then there
is every possibility that paurusha jnana may decrease day by day,
slowly fading away so that in the end it does not remain at all.
It is the greatness of bauddha jnana that, with its power, it firmly
establishes paurusha jnana. In this respect, therefore, bauddha
jnana is more important than paurusha jnana.

 

"In our Shaivism, it is said that when you go in search of a master so

that you can be initiated, you should first seek that master who is full

of both bauddha jnana and paurusha jnana. Finding him, you should consider him
a real master."  If in this world such a complete master is not to be found, then
you should seek one who is only filled with bauddha jnana. He is
to be preferred over that master who is filled only with paurusha
jnana, because intellectually he will carry you by and by to the
end point. That master who resides only in paurusha jnana would
not ultimately be successful in carrying you to that which you seek."


Edited by 3bob, 31 December 2016 - 08:01 PM.

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#3 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 03:26 AM

...parts of the previous quote nearer to the end sound contradictory to me how about to you? 



#4 Rishi Das

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 08:39 AM

...parts of the previous quote nearer to the end sound contradictory to me how about to you?


Regarding the importance he stakes on paurusha over bauddha and then how he seemingly switches that up?

It does sound contradictory. One thought- from the perspective of the Shaviate he clearly states both are of equal importance. The text then for me becomes the flow of Kashmir Shaivism itself. A teaching that takes us on a journey through the philosophy which seemingly holds contradiction in awareness and yet at the same moment see's all as already whole and complete.

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”- Rainer Maria Rilke
 


#5 Jeff

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 08:44 AM

Regarding the importance he stakes on paurusha over bauddha and then how he seemingly switches that up?
It does sound contradictory. One thought- from the perspective of the Shaviate he clearly states both are of equal importance. The text then for me becomes the flow of Kashmir Shaivism itself. A teaching that takes us on a journey through the philosophy which seemingly holds contradiction in awareness and yet at the same moment see's all as already whole and complete.


Abhinavagupta responds...

"True, but even though it shines there, it has not truly become a conscious apprehension. Without conscious apprehension, even if a thing exists, it is as if it did not exist..."

He goes on to say...

"The question is thus appropriate because contentment (enlightenment) is not possible without a conscious realization. Contentment is of two kinds. The first is effected by means of absorption (samavesa) and consists of magical powers. The second is attained by reaching a condition of conscious heart-felt realization, and it is the state of being liberated while still alive."

-Triadic Heart of Siva
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No worries... I am only speaking on my own authority.

#6 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 10:28 AM

Jeff, The contradictions below are not about different levels of insight (on a subject matter) that seem to be contradictions, they are straight up contradictions. Also imo your quotes trying to address this point are off base in this case. 

 

"Bauddha jnana without paurusha jnana is useless and will not take you anywhere."

 

soon followed by:

 

"If in this world such a complete master is not to be found, then
you should seek one who is only filled with bauddha jnana. He is
to be preferred over that master who is filled only with paurusha
jnana, because intellectually he will carry you by and by to the
end point."



#7 Rishi Das

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 12:56 PM

"The study of texts shines perfectly only when there is practical knowledge at the same time. Without practical knowledge, philosophical study is useless. Bauddha jnana will bear fruit only when paurusha jnana is present and not otherwise."

 

 

Would not a student seeking a master be full of passion and looking for a Sadhana to bring about liberation? Through the practical application of the Teaching, is it possible that the quality of paurusha jnana would arise of it's own accord?

 

Coupled with the masters transmission of bauddha jnana, wouldn't the student then be carried intellectually by and by to the endpoint without the need of the master transmitting paurusha.

 

"When, however, at the same time, you attach bauddha jnana to paurusha jnana; which means that, on the one hand, you practice on your own Being and, on the other hand, you go into the philosophical thought of the monistic Shaiva texts and elevate your intellectual being, then you become a jivanmukta, one who is liberated while living."


“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”- Rainer Maria Rilke
 


#8 Jeff

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 01:13 PM

Jeff, The contradictions below are not about different levels of insight (on a subject matter) that seem to be contradictions, they are straight up contradictions. Also imo your quotes trying to address this point are off base in this case. 
 
"Bauddha jnana without paurusha jnana is useless and will not take you anywhere."
 
soon followed by:
 
"If in this world such a complete master is not to be found, then
you should seek one who is only filled with bauddha jnana. He is
to be preferred over that master who is filled only with paurusha
jnana, because intellectually he will carry you by and by to the
end point."


3bob,

I was responding to this statement of yours...

"A teaching that takes us on a journey through the philosophy which seemingly holds contradiction in awareness and yet at the same moment see's all as already whole and complete."

My point was that even though everything is "already whole and complete", that is a meaningless statement for those who have not realized it. I just quoted Abhinavagupta for the response because I think most would agree that he was probably the greatest KS authority.

Best, Jeff
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No worries... I am only speaking on my own authority.

#9 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 02:09 PM

Jeff, Where is that post (originally) that I made?

 

I do get the different levels of insight possible concerning a seemingly contradictory matter,  which does not mean one can't point out straight up contradictions - that to me you are beating around the bush about? 



#10 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 02:20 PM

"The study of texts shines perfectly only when there is practical knowledge at the same time. Without practical knowledge, philosophical study is useless. Bauddha jnana will bear fruit only when paurusha jnana is present and not otherwise."

 

 

Would not a student seeking a master be full of passion and looking for a Sadhana to bring about liberation? Through the practical application of the Teaching, is it possible that the quality of paurusha jnana would arise of it's own accord?

 

Coupled with the masters transmission of bauddha jnana, wouldn't the student then be carried intellectually by and by to the endpoint without the need of the master transmitting paurusha.

 

"When, however, at the same time, you attach bauddha jnana to paurusha jnana; which means that, on the one hand, you practice on your own Being and, on the other hand, you go into the philosophical thought of the monistic Shaiva texts and elevate your intellectual being, then you become a jivanmukta, one who is liberated while living."

 

good point being that inspiration from an inspiring source (including written) can inspire, while a teaching given from a purely conceptual and intellectual pov. as implied has limits related to same. (btw. the term "transmission" is not normally used in the context of just an intellectual teaching when it comes to this subject)


Edited by 3bob, 01 January 2017 - 02:21 PM.

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#11 Jeff

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 02:34 PM

Jeff, Where is that post (originally) that I made?
 
I do get the different levels of insight possible concerning a seemingly contradictory matter,  which does not mean one can't point out straight up contradictions - that to me you are beating around the bush about?


I apologize. I was responding to Rishi's comment. My mistake with typing on a phone. :)

Will respond to yours in a later post.
No worries... I am only speaking on my own authority.

#12 Bindi

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 02:53 PM

by Swami Lakshmanjoo

 

from chapter 14 of, "The Secret Supreme"

 

...

 

The Advaita Vedantins, on the other hand, have concluded
that, in the real sense, moksha is only bliss (ananda) and nothing
else. They say that when you are residing in the field of ignorance
(samsara), you become the victim of the five-fold veils (kleshas);
i.e. avidya (ignorance), asmita (ego), raga (attachment), dvesha (hatred)

and abhinivesha (attachment to your own conception). These
coverings, which are the cause of your remaining in samsara, should
be removed by the practice of tattva-jnana. In this practice, you
must mentally negate all that is not your own real nature by thinking,
neti, neti, “I am not this, I am not this.” So here you
practice thinking, “I am not the physical body, I am not the
subtle body, I am not the mind, I am not the life essence (prana).”
You must negate all outside elements. And when you reside completely
in your own nature, which is that which remains after you negate
all outside elements, that knowledge, from their point of view,
is called moksha.

 

 

In terms of making a comparison, is this definition of Advaita Vedanta reasonable in the first place?

 

Is moksha equated with only bliss and nothing else in Advaita Vedanta?

 

"When avidyA is removed, the individual knows his own Self (Atman) to be brahman, so that there is no more world and paradoxically, no more individual. Here, the Self alone IS. Removal of avidyA is synonymous with brahman-realization, i.e. moksha."

 

Also Tattva Jnana - the knowledge of the absolute - is posited as the method of Advaita Vedanta, but isn't it actually jnana yoga, or self-enquiry?

 

"Jnana yoga, where Jnana means wisdom, knowledge or discernment of what is good (godly) and what is bad (devilish). Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom and jnana meditation is many-faceted."



#13 Jeff

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 03:32 PM

Jeff, The contradictions below are not about different levels of insight (on a subject matter) that seem to be contradictions, they are straight up contradictions. Also imo your quotes trying to address this point are off base in this case.

"Bauddha jnana without paurusha jnana is useless and will not take you anywhere."

soon followed by:

"If in this world such a complete master is not to be found, then
you should seek one who is only filled with bauddha jnana. He is
to be preferred over that master who is filled only with paurusha
jnana, because intellectually he will carry you by and by to the
end point."

I think it may be helpful to think of it as kind of two levels. Cessation of the "little self" and then if you have the right framework of understanding, that can expand to the full realization of Shiva. If one only has paurusha jnana (cessation of little self) in the Shavite view you get kind of stuck. With the correct intellectual framework (paurusha jnana), you may take a really long time (lifetimes), but at least not get stuck at the wrong/limited place. Very similar to the buddhist concept of the "right view" being necessary.

Edited by Jeff, 01 January 2017 - 03:56 PM.

No worries... I am only speaking on my own authority.

#14 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:43 PM

In terms of making a comparison, is this definition of Advaita Vedanta reasonable in the first place?

 

Is moksha equated with only bliss and nothing else in Advaita Vedanta?

 

"When avidyA is removed, the individual knows his own Self (Atman) to be brahman, so that there is no more world and paradoxically, no more individual. Here, the Self alone IS. Removal of avidyA is synonymous with brahman-realization, i.e. moksha."

 

Also Tattva Jnana - the knowledge of the absolute - is posited as the method of Advaita Vedanta, but isn't it actually jnana yoga, or self-enquiry?

 

"Jnana yoga, where Jnana means wisdom, knowledge or discernment of what is good (godly) and what is bad (devilish). Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom and jnana meditation is many-faceted."

 

Those are fair questions about the quote that I'm not sure about personally. I think it would be safe to say that there are unique experiences and answers per unique people.  (yet the general concepts and precepts among those following said path would in general be agreed upon, and far more so per a particular school and teacher) 



#15 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:44 PM

I apologize. I was responding to Rishi's comment. My mistake with typing on a phone. :)

Will respond to yours in a later post.

ok, later



#16 3bob

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:50 PM

I think it may be helpful to think of it as kind of two levels. Cessation of the "little self" and then if you have the right framework of understanding, that can expand to the full realization of Shiva. If one only has paurusha jnana (cessation of little self) in the Shavite view you get kind of stuck. With the correct intellectual framework (paurusha jnana), you may take a really long time (lifetimes), but at least not get stuck at the wrong/limited place. Very similar to the buddhist concept of the "right view" being necessary.

 

Jeff, It seems we are not reading the same text, or surely not understanding it in a similar way:

 

"Paurusha ajnana is that kind of ignorance where in one is unaware
of realizing one’s own nature in samadhi. This kind of ignorance
is removed by the grace of masters and by meditating upon one’s
own Self. And when this ignorance is removed, you find yourself
in the real knowledge of Shaivism, which is all being, all consciousness,
all bliss. This kind of knowledge is called paurusha jnana. When
you possess paurusha jnana, you realize your nature of Self perfectly.


Edited by 3bob, 01 January 2017 - 09:51 PM.





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