Sunday, 3 January 2016

LIVING LIFE WITH EGO AND PREJUDICE. (Part 2) Debate on द्वैत, अद्वैत.

The focus of the discussion soon shifted to द्वैत and  अद्वैत.
Some scholarly comments on  LIVING LIFE WITH EGO AND PREJUDICE!

The basis of dvaita and advaita: In Dvaita, jeevatma and paramatma are two distinct entities. In this ego could go on a limb and takes the consequences that comes to it. In Advaita, paramatma and jeevatma co-operate and guide the ego in the right direction.
What about those who do not believe in this, i.e. the science types? Psychoanalysis answers their concerns: There is a psyche called super-ego which is critical of the self and enforces moral standards trying to make bad ego into good ego. There is also the id which is also part of the psyche which works on the pleasure principle and whenever the id is unacceptable, superego tries to block it.

Prejudice is made up of judgment or opinion formed without a factual basis and not necessarily a bad thing if declared as such. However whenever prejudice turns out to be crass bias, superego has the power to block it. Also super-ego works both at conscious and unconscious levels.

Criticising ego requires obviously a conscious super-ego, there are actions that super-ego can force on ego even at unconscious levels. Stitha prajna (simple awareness) seems perhaps to fall into this category (such as: when a tiger chases you, your unconscious super-ego will direct you to go up the nearest tree).

Given that the ego is properly controlled within its earthly life why do we need Advaita? The ultimate purpose of God is to go beyond, from the earthly to the transcendental. As Krishna says in the BG: “The way of the God separates the carnal from the ultimate, the life of the soul from the life of the body”.

Rejoinder to the comments:

Your opening sentences have put very succinctly what I meant! But that was only my interpretation to support what I was developing on Ego. The perennial  Vedas are amenable for a variety of interpretations and  like the proverbial Devil, can be quoted for any argument.
Dwaitam is still followed and they may not like this interpretation of Ego only arising out of dualism. It may find favour with persons claiming the superiority of Adwaitam over Dwaitam.
 Seriously Dwaitam should have come first and later Adisankara must have refuted this by arguing Adwaitam (negating Dwaitam), as the name suggests .Otherwise he would have coined a different self standing word!
I have often wondered on the dual, split personality of Adisankara. On one side he is a serious philosopher, with deep contemplations on atma and Paramatma and the relation between, far above mundane requirements of God or Bhakthi,  but yet spent equal time on compositions on devout  Bhakthi hymns like  bajagovindam, vishnusahasranamam , lalitha sahasranamam, anandalahari etc., not relevant to Adwaitam of  brahmasutra and commentaries (bhasyams) on Upanishads.
Maybe a very wise appraisal of the masses and the need for a few tricks of the trade to entice and keep the lesser mortals!
Why did all the three originators of the three schools, went to such depths of Upanishads to find subtle differences in the same text and form different schools, thus dividing a great religion!
What does it matter to the masses with our daily lives whether atma and Paramatma are different or same or partly this and that!, to warrant the great religious founders to be so dogmatic about the individual faiths!
What did Vivekananda find so great in Advaita  that renowned saints like Madhwachariar and Raghavendra swamy  did not find in Dwaitam? Going deeper, what is the gnanodayam that Buddha found that was against the previously existing religion, Hinduism, that could be counteracted only by starting another religion? A crude, unpalatable answer is the bad ego, the very trait all were fighting against!
I would have welcomed better education, on these confused thoughts, assuming immaturity in my thinking. The formidable obstacle was the deep division of tradionalists, happy with one version and rituals, and Progressives trying to find implied meanings out of ritualism each calling the other as untouchable!, with the same sacred Upanishad at the top! Some were happy in just recitation of Vedas and some indulge in scholarly reinterpretation of the other end vedantas, the Upanishads.

What did Krishna mean by the karma he advocated in BG?
Whether to accept the inevitable Fate and build over it what you can with Effort, guided by Intelligence
Or follow the ritualistic path as given in Vedas,
Or , when met with insurmountables, fall back on Bhakthi, as the only thing we could do?
I do not know.
Maybe that is how the Bhakthi yoga also coexists with the other two Karma yoga and Gnanayoga!

As much as the KNOWLEDGE of such intricacies have NOT helped mankind for a better life,
So much the IGNORANCE of such intricacies also have NOT hindered mankind for a better life!

I have to put a disclaimer! This is not to be interpreted as irreligious or disrespect to Faith, but, as a child learning to walk, only trying to move my limbs and arms of rational thinking, to find my mooring! Corrective views are always welcome!

The dialog goes on further:

 Your statement on knowledge and its intricacies (with reference to ego and prejudice) are a little worrisome. Are we coming to the conclusion that when the sun sets it won’t make it any difference whether we are part of the universal soul (Advaita) or we are only a reflection of it like in a mirror (Dvaita). When the mirror crashes while somebody steps on it in the dark, all we will be left with hundreds of pieces of shards of glass.

Even if we are part of something bigger (Advaita) there won’t be a skull to hold our thoughts when we breathe our last. No one has shown us yet that the “I-ness” can last beyond our last breath or at the most the last puff of smoke from the pyre. The intricacies we discussed above seem to lead to a crisis of our consciousness if nothing else. While we two are seriously discussing this issue, silence elsewhere is deafening which suggests we are either going on a limb however unintentional it may be or we lost some thread along the way. We have to find a way out of this cerebral travesty for our own sanity.

There is no doubt that reality of who we are provides the ‘keyhole’ for mankind to find a purpose. On the other hand human purpose must have a mooring in a reality. It is in this interaction that one will discover destiny. Maybe the fallacy in our logic so far is that we focused too much on it as an individual’s journey in life (of self, atman) which was self-limiting in the end rather than focusing on mankind as a whole (collective self or collective consciousness) which will take us to a level of discussion where we develop our thoughts not for ourselves but the larger species as a whole. We do this kind of thinking when we write our last wills not that we care about ourselves less, but we recognize our responsibility to the future of our overall lineage. This obligation extends to mankind as a whole when we consider not just our journey as an individual but the human species as a whole.
The problem of three acharyas and two philosophies can go to the backburner for the moment.

Another comment on Dwaita and Adwaita

It is very difficult to write on the topic of ADVAITA & DVAITA
My self will say one line of RAMAYANA: ~

जाकी रही भावना जैसी, प्रभु मूर्त देखी दिन तैसी ।

Since last 05 year's self practicing Meditation ,initially I believed in Parmatma & Jivatama (DVAITA )
But now  I am shifted  in the side of ADVAITA ( UNIVERSAL Soul )
As said in RAMAYANA~
May be some soul's realised in the state of DVAITA
Some Soul's Realised in the state of ADVAITA.

What I think
I think Dwaita (द्वैत) appeals our common sense, as we normally think of anybody as a person (not his soul) and we cannot consider him or ourselves as 'The God' almighty. Most of the people pray God and/or are afread of Him. In both cases they are different than The God. 
A common man cannot digest the idea of common soul. It is difficult to imagine that the terrorists who attacked a place, the innocent persons killed by them and the commandos or solders who killed the terrorists are all having the same soul, part of the same Paramatma?
 Adwait (अद्वैत) is about Jeevatma (जीवात्मा)and Parmatma (परमात्मा), understood by those people who have reached a high level of philosophical thinking. Perhaps Adi sankaracharya might have written भज गोविंदम् for common people and चिदानंद रूपः शिवोSहम्।  for learned विद्वान पंडित type people who can appreciate and get that feeling of unity with The God.     


  1. A very good analysis of Indian philosophy. Will it be possible to add the reference to the ancient literature as well.
    That will make the literature more athuntic.

  2. The authors have given their comments based on their long experience and understanding of the subject. I do not expect them to remember and quote the exact references. However, if they can do it, they are welcome to add value to this post.