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All About Hinduism

All About Hinduism

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Publicado porSwanand Raikar
"All About Hinduism" is intended to meet the needs of those who want to be introduced to the various facets of the crystal that is Hinduism.
"All About Hinduism" is intended to meet the needs of those who want to be introduced to the various facets of the crystal that is Hinduism.

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Published by: Swanand Raikar on Aug 19, 2009
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INTRODUCTION

Prostrations and adorations to Sri Vyasa, the founder of Uttara Mimamsa or the Vedanta
system of philosophy, Avatara of Lord Vishnu, son of Sri Parasara Rishi.

Uttara Mimamsa or the Vedanta philosophy of Vyasa or Badarayana is placed as the last of
the six orthodox systems, but, really, it ought to stand first.

The Uttara Mimamsa conforms closely to the doctrines propounded in the Upanishads. The
termVedantameansliterallytheendoressenceoftheVeda.Itcontainsthedoctrinessetforthinthe
closing chapters of the Vedas. The closing chapters of the Vedas are the Upanishads. The
Upanishads really form the essence of the Vedas.

THE BRAHMA SUTRAS OF BHAGAVAN VYASA

Sri Vyasa wrote the Brahma Sutras or the Vedanta Sutras which explain the doctrine of
Brahman. Brahma Sutras are also known by the name Sariraka Sutras, because they deal with the
embodiment of the Supreme Nirguna Brahman. ‘Brahma Sutras’ is one of the three books of the
Prasthana Traya, the three authoritative books on Hinduism, the other two being the Upanishads
and the Bhagavad-Gita. Sri Vyasa has systematised the principles of Vedanta and removed the
apparent contradictions in the doctrines. The Brahma Sutras are 555 in number. Sri Sankara,
Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, Bhaskara, Yadavaprakasa, Kesava, Nilakantha,
Baladeva and Vijnana Bhikshu are the chief commentators on the Brahma Sutras. Each has
commentedinhisownwayandbuilthisownphilosophy.Themostreputedteacherofthisschoolof
philosophy was Sri Sankaracharya.

SriVyasahascriticisedthedoctrinesoftheVaiseshikasystemandtheSankhyasystem.The
several schools of Buddhism and the Bhagavata doctrines are also discussed.

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ALL ABOUT HINDUISM

Therearefourchapters,viz.,Samanvaya,Avirodha,SadhanaandPhala.Inthefirstchapter,
anaccountofthenatureofBrahmanandofitsrelationtotheworldandtheindividualsoul,isgiven.
In the second chapter, the rival theories, viz., Sankhya, Yoga, Vaiseshika, etc., are criticised.
Suitable answers are given to the objections levelled against this view. In the third chapter, the
means of attaining Brahma-Vidya are treated. In the fourth chapter, there is a description of the
fruits of Brahma-Vidya. There is also a description of how the individual soul reaches Brahman
through theDevayanaorthepath oftheDevas, whencethereis noreturn. Thecharacteristics ofthe
Jivanmukta or liberated soul are also discussed in this chapter. Each chapter has four parts (Padas).
The Sutras in each part form Adhikaranas or topics.

The first five Sutras of the first chapter are very important. The first Sutra is: “Athato
Brahma-Jijnasa—Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman.” The first aphorism states the object
ofthewholesysteminoneword,viz., Brahma-Jijnasa,thedesireofknowingBrahman.Thesecond
Sutra is: “Janmadyasya Yatah—Brahman is the Supreme Being from whom proceeds the origin,
sustenance and dissolution of the world.” The third Sutra is: “Sastra-Yonitvat—The scriptures
alone are the means of right knowledge. The omniscience of Brahman follows from Its being the
source of the scriptures.” The fourth Sutra is: “Tat Tu Samanvayat—That Brahman is to be known
only from the scriptures and not independently by any other means is established, because it is the
main purport of all Vedanta texts.” The fifth Sutra is: “Ikshater Na Asabdam—On account of
‘thinking,’ Prakriti or Pradhana not being the first cause.” Pradhana is not based on the scriptures.
The last Sutra of the fourth chapter is: “Anavrittih Sabdat, Anavrittih Sabdat—There is no return
for the released souls, on account of scriptural declaration to that effect.”

BRAHMAN, MAYA AND JIVA

Brahman

Brahman, the Absolute, after creating the elements, enters them. It is the Golden Person in
the sun. It is the Light of the soul. It is ever pure. It is Sat-Chit-Ananda, one without a second. It is
Bhuma (infinite, unconditioned). It dwells in the heart of man. It is the source of everything.

Brahman is the material cause, as well as the instrumental cause, of the universe. Brahman
and the universe are not different, just as the jar is not different from clay. Brahman develops Itself
into the universe for Its own Lila or sporting, without undergoing the least change, and without
ceasing to be Itself.

Brahman is without parts, without qualities, without action and emotion, beginningless,
endless and immutable. It has no consciousness, such as is denoted by ‘I’ and ‘Thou’. It is the only
Reality. Brahman is to the external world what yarn is to cloth, what earth is to jar and what gold is
to a ring.

Brahman is Paramarthika Satta (Absolute Reality). The world is Vyavaharika Satta
(relative reality). The dream object is Pratibhasika Satta (apparent reality).

129

HINDU PHILOSOPHY—I

Maya

Maya is the Sakti (power) of God. It is the Karana Sarira (causal body) of God. It hides the
real and makes the unreal appear as real. It is neither Sat nor Asat nor Sat-Asat. It is Anirvachaniya
(indescribable).Mayahastwopowers,viz.,thepowerofveilingorAvaranaSaktiandthepowerof
projectingorVikshepaSakti.Manhasforgottenhisessentialdivinenatureonaccountoftheveiling
power of Maya. This universe is projected owing to the Vikshepa Sakti of Maya.

Jiva

The Jiva or the individual soul is enclosed within five sheaths (Kosas), which are like the
sheaths of an onion. The five sheaths are food-sheath (Annamaya Kosa), vital sheath (Pranamaya
Kosa), mental sheath (Manomaya Kosa), intellectual sheath (Vijnanamaya Kosa) and the
bliss-sheath (Anandamaya Kosa). The first sheath constitutes the physical body. The next three
sheaths form the subtle body. The last sheath forms the causal body. The individual soul should
transcend all its sheaths through meditation and become one with the Supreme Soul which is
beyond the five Kosas. Then only it will attain liberation or freedom.

There are three states of consciousness for the individual soul, viz., the waking state, the
dreamingstateandthedeepsleepstate.Turiyaorthefourthstateisthesuperconsciousstate.Turiya
is Brahman. Turiya is the silent witness of the three states. The individual should transcend the first
three states and identify himself with the Turiya or the fourth state. Then only he can attain oneness
with the Supreme Soul.

Avidya is the causal body of Jiva or the individual soul. The Jiva identifies itself with the
body, mind and the senses on account of Avidya. It has the erroneous notion that the body is the
soul, just as one has the wrong notion that the rope is the serpent, in twilight. The moment the
individual soul is freed from the self-imposed ignorance by a proper understanding of the Truth
through the Vedanta philosophy, Vichara (enquiry), reflection and meditation on the Supreme
Brahman, all the illusion disappears. The identity of the Jivatman and of the entire phenomenal
worldwiththeSupremeSoulorBrahmanisre-established.TheJivaattainsimmortalityandeternal
bliss. It merges itself in Brahman or the Ocean of Bliss.

Badarayana believes in Jivanmukti or Liberation While Living.

CELEBRATED VEDANTIC FORMULAE

The following are the celebrated formulae of Vedanta:—

Ekam Eva Advitiyam—The Reality is One alone without a second.

BrahmaSatyamJaganMithya,JivoBrahmaivaNaAparah—Brahmanonlyexiststruly,the
world is false, the individual soul is Brahman only and no other.

Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma—All this is, indeed, Brahman.

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ALL ABOUT HINDUISM

Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma—Brahman is Truth, Knowledge and Infinity.

Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati—The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman.

Santam, Sivam, Advaitam—Brahman is Peace, Auspiciousness and Non-duality.

Ayam Atma Santah—This Atman is Silence.

Asango Ayam Purusha—This Purusha is unattached.

Santam, Ajaram, Amritam, Abhayam, Param—This Brahman is Peace, without old age,

Immortal, fearless and Supreme.

May you all understand the truths of Vedanta philosophy. May you all realise the bliss of
oneness. May you all become Jivanmuktas while living.

CHAPTER 12

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