Defining God

Swami Sarvapriyananda is a young monk of Ramakrishna Order in India famous for his lucid and simple method of describing the essentials of religion and spiritual life. He belongs to the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism and gives frequent talks on the subject. He has given many lectures, including a Ted Talk, all available on youtube. I attended one of his talks last month here in Washington DC and loved it very much; he has a way of simplifying the deepest concepts. So, if you are interested in the deeper and more esoteric meaning of religion, then I highly recommend this video; and if you don’t, I still highly recommend it.

7 thoughts on “Defining God

  1. Thanks for sharing this.. wonderful discourse !

    I have perhaps asked this question in your other posts, I would like to ask again with a mild variation:)

    As a jeevaathman, I know the realisation that everything is Brahman liberates me from samsara, makes me not to invest in this world or anything anymore and remain in the state of being. Somebody in the video asked if we are all one consciousness why we are not able to experience what others are experiencing. The Swamiji gives an analogy with buckets and reflection and characters appearing on a screen. So that does mean my ultimate level of realisation involves in only realising the illusive aspect of this cosmos and does not take me to the source of the Supreme Dreamer. Or a ‘transcendence’ is still required here that would take me to the Supreme Source. If this is the way it is, then it disappoints me a bit since I would say transcendence is an ‘act’ (likely of a supernatural aspect) and not a very nature of being or existence that comes along with this supreme realisation. Also if self realisation doesn’t include this transcendence to the Supreme Source, would that not still leave us at a plane of duality (with a dreamer and the dreamt, who even though realises that his self is the only truth is unable to master the dream )? Would like to know your views.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TamG thanks for your comment. I can only, as usual, offer my perspective on the isusue: One thing that is sure, and not just my or anyone’s particular perspective, is that the Supreme Realization does in fact include that transcendence by which one goes to the source, or more precisely in which one realizes one’s identity with the source. This is really a matter of fact and not speculation, since it is done and recorded by mystics. Now, as far as I know there are lower degrees of realization in which the source is not yet realized and transcendence has not occurred.
      But in Supreme Realization transcendence does happen. But this is transcending the individual as such. So after this realization, the human cover of the person too vanishes. One realizes oneself verily as Brahman and not as an individual who has realized Brahman.
      The individual form is always subject to the laws of nature and mind. So for a Jivanmukta who is back down from that supreme realization he cannot violate these laws simply because he is still in human form, and forms are always subject to laws. But the Jivanmukta in light of his realization has no desire whatsoever to change anything, for he is everything.
      On another topic, about the many minds, my take is that the reason we cannot know the experience of others is that there are no others in reality. There is only you and your experience; it is a necessary and logical components of experience to have as its content other apparently experiencing subjects. But these are all projections of one subject. In other words, there are no two in this universe. This is a one man universe, that being Atman. And you are that, and I am that, and we are all one Atman appearing as many, same way that in your dream your mind appears as many experiencing minds.
      Going back to above, Supreme Realization is the end of it; one is transcended in that state. But that is a peculiar state. The closes state to highest state which we know as humans is a dreamless sleep. Note that dreamless sleep is a state of knowledge but it is also a nondual state. We cannot know what it is or we cannot describe it, but we know that it is. Now, supreme realization is like that in that both are nondual. But Supreme realization is different only in that unlike sleepless dream it is a superconscious state; it is still nondual like dreamless state but after going into it one knows that the ultimate truth is realized, something lacking in dreamless sleep.
      I hope I could address your question.

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      1. Thanks once again Tomaj,
        “my take is that the reason we cannot know the experience of others is that there are no others in reality”

        And that illumines my mind yet again, this is fitting more than the reflections in the bucket analogy 🙂

        We are all His projections, yet we are merely His reflections. To think the loved ones around me are merely a passing reflection saddens me but also wants me to love just everything and everybody around me like He does.

        I am awestruck by God..

        Liked by 1 person

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