The Atman – Part 1
[Last Update: 10.09.2022]
As I already have pointed out in some of my posts is the existence of Atman boundless but not eternal. Hinduism describes the cycle that the Atman runs through as rebirth. It is free or not bound to religion, culture, gender, life form (e.g. animal, plant, etc.), geographical location, etc. Hinduism does not only describe the circle of rebirths, it also shows the (three in the Gita called: bhakti, karma and asceticism) different paths to enter the womb of God or in other words to be freed from the circle of rebirths. The controlling element here is karma (sum of your own actions and non-actions). In an abstract way one can compare karma with a bank account but that is not the full truth. The problem with humans is that they try to find loopholes to avoid or to bend laws given by Lord. Perhaps this behavior is a result of customs and traditions of this world. One should also not forget that customs and traditions, languages, etc. are always subject of changes in German language we say they are alive. To come back to the comparison between karma and the bank account. One can overdraw a bank account and settle the debts again. This comparison also shows that a person directly projects this behavior in the understanding of karma: I have committed a sin and now I am trying to do something good. What is the use of repentance if one committs a sin the next day again? This is what I was intended to say with my post “Sacrifice offering and the true meaning”. One will realize this if the human attributes such as intolerance, hatred, ignorance, or false formation block out our mind.
To explain you the rebirth, I will try to illustrate this in two or three models / examples:
Jaabaali was an atheist in the time of Ramayana and was very closed with Rama. He was not an atheist of conviction that he has doubted the existence of God at first, it was rather the product of norms, customs and traditions in the society those days. Rama’s actions have changed Jaabaali in his last phase of his life. So, his understanding of God has changed. When Jaabaali’s rebirth as Albert Einstein take places in the Kali-Yuga. He will be born in a similar mental form, which was his view in the last phase of his past life. We should only focus on one point (religious worldview) otherwise one will lose the overview. One should also know that Albert Einstein was in the beginning phase of his life not really bonded with God. Although he was born into the Jewish family and religion. First in his later stage he realized the true bond with God. In his side notes of his works and the noted numbers, he realized that he was not the real creator of his own works/knowledge – he understood that he was guided by God’s hand. Albert Einstein have passed away in 1955 and is reborn 20-25 years later in a German / Italian family with Catholic religious affiliation.
Atharvan was a sage in his time and a great Shiva worshiper. He has written down the Atharvaveda – one of the four vedas. In his rebirth in the Kali-Yuga, he is born in a German family with Protestant religious affinity and is a professor at the Ludwig-Maximilian University München (LMU).
With these two examples, I want to show what I mean when I write* that karma and rebirth are not bound with Hinduism.
In this context here again the quote from the Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad IV.5:
You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
Updated: 08.06.2017 [ReBirth: pdf & mp4]
- Some of the ReBirths in the Kali-Yuga (3:16 min, 177 MB, mp4-Video file: 1080p)
- Some of the ReBirths in the Kali-Yuga (pdf-File, 749 KB)
Bhagavad Gita 2.12
Srimad Bhagavad Gita with Commentary - Swami Nikhilananda, 1944, Page 72 Never was there a time when I did not exist, not you, nor these kings of men. Never will there be a time hereafter when any of us shall cease to be.
This does not refer to those who are condemned in the Kali Yuga by the Kalki-Avatar. The condemnation is for the infinity and the suffering of those too.
The content of Bhagavad Gita 2.12 does not contradict with my first sentence in this post: “As I already have pointed out in some of my posts, is the existence of Atman boundless endless but not eternal.”
According to my definition the two terms endless and eternal have different meanings. It’s important to understand these differences. The contradiction dissolves when one understands what Atman is.
For the creation of the universe Shiva and Adi Parasakthi (Purusha and Prakriti) have been separated. The first manifestation of Adi Parasakthi was as Sati the daughter of King Daksha, the second manifestation as Parvathy the daughter of King Parvateshwara, the third as Seetha the daughter of Janaka and the fourth will be in the Kali Yuga, where Shiva and Adi Parasakthi will reunion after a long time of over 47 million years.
The word Sakthi in “Adi Parasakthi” stands for the word “force“. Adi means primordial and the syllable “Para” also has the meaning all-pervading, so Adi Parasakthi is the all-pervading primal force. These are the fundamental forces that holds the universe and every matter together. They are the so-called four fundamental forces of physics: gravitation, electromagnetism, weak interaction, and strong interaction. Parvathy is therefore the personification of the forces. Now we come closer to the definition of Prakriti (Parvathy).
If one sees nature and its forces as parts of Purusha and Prakriti, one will better understand what Prahlada try to explain:
தூணிலும் இருப்பார் எந்தத் துரும்பிலும் இருப்பார் → He is in pillars, and he is in the smallest twig. My translation: He is in pillars, and he is also in the smallest needle head (or atom).
Definition of the terms eternal and infinite
There seems to be a lot of definition for the word “eternal”. Some of them are in contradiction or are not defined well. So, I’m going to define it in my own way, regardless of all other existing definitions. This definition applies to the texts and explanations I have formulated:
Eternal is used in the context of space and time and is therefore limited. Infinity is unlimited. According to the Hindu worldview, the universe is ephemeral* and will eventually be recreated* at ist end. It's a recurring process. It should be clear for one that according to the Big Bang theory, time only came into being immediately afterwards.
* Bhagavad Gita 9.7 All beings, O son of Kunti, go into my prakriti at the end of a kalpa. I send them forth again at the beginning of (the next) kalpa.
Those who had subjects such as chemistry and physics at the school, will still know that everything is transformed and cannot be created or destroyed, e. g. energy, matter, etc.
- Somvara Vrata – the numbers and their reference (pdf-file, 60 KiB)
[Permanent link – for update date, see file]
People and their comments to Bhagavad Gita
“When I read the Bhagavad Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.”
Henry David Thoreau
In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.”
“The marvel of the Bhagavad Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.”
“The Bhagavad Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions.”
Carl Gustav Jung
“The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states…” behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant.” This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15.1 of Bhagavad Gita.”
“The Bhagavad Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.”
[Book recommendation: Aldous Huxley – Brave New World; You can map lot of the things from the book in our real world and you will realize that not everything is fictitious.]
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”