Veda Dharma

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The puzzle of existence

Most of us believe that we exist....Do we exist in reality? This is a question which puzzles the most intelligent philosophers. So what is the answer to this question! If one analyses the philosophies of different branches of hinduism one gets contradictory answers. Some of them say the individual soul(jeeva) is eternal,some say it is a part of the Supreme soul etc. The correctness of any statement is generally dependent on the intelligence of the philospher. But we all know that all the hindu philosophers(Ramanuja,Sankara and Madhwa) are not only people with great austerity but also people with great intelligence. So what they say must have been true. But how can two things that are contradictory both be true? Water can be either solid or liquid but not both.
But the same way water can be solid at 0 degree celcius and liquid above that, the eternal nature of jeeva varies with the level of vasanas in him(it rather). But eternalness means something which exists forever without depending on any other condition. The sastras come to our rescue in solving this problem. They advise us to follow a process of negation(famously known among saints as "neti",not this). A sadhaka starts with the things that are gross and enquires to the finest levels of consciousness. Initially, he eliminates the body as it is known to be decomposing day by day. Also without the mind the body cannot be said to exist. So mind is the next item of enquiry. The mind also goes into nescience when the sadhaka is in sleep. This proves that the mind is also not reliable. So whichever brings the mind into action,puts it to sleep and allows it to dream is known as the "Eternal entity".(Known as brahman in scriptures). So the eternal intelligence that paints the picture of the world and all things therein is Supreme and eternal. All sadhanas are meant to realise this end. All the different philosophies consider the jeeva(individual consciousness) at different levels and give it different degrees of eternity and strength. When vasanas are less it is purer and more eternal.
Then what about all the ritualistic worship that we do? Is it just a mere illusion and useless unlike the process of Self-enquiry? What about injunctions that say "Manava Seva is Madhava Seva"? Are they mere superstitions? What about Japam, Dhyanam etc? The sastras indeed formulated all these means as a way to realise the Supreme Brahman, Sri Venkateswara. All these actions are designed to thin the ego of a sadhaka and thus take him more closer to reality or eternity rather. By doing devotional worship to the Supreme Consciousness , vasanas are purified gradually and when vasanas are removed totally the Sadhaka experiences Supreme Bliss. Similarly, when a sadhaka chooses the path of "social service" he forgets himself in serving others and thus purifies his vasanas and thins his ego. Same is the case with all other ways like tantra, mantra, japam, dhyanam etc. So it is indeed true that everything is pervaded by Lord Venkateswara. In fact, the word Vishnu it self means that one who fills the Viswam(Universe).
"Brahmanda Antar Bahir Vyapto Sri Venkatadri Gadadharah"

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