Monday, September 14, 2009

NOTHING IS EVER BORN

Consciousness is All: Peter Dziuban


Mandukya Upanishad comprising no more than twelve mantras is truly unique amongst the ancient Indian scriptural texts. The seventh mantra contains the core inexpressible Philosophy of Non-Duality. While other Upanishads may deal with religion, theology, mysticism in addition to philosophy, Mandukya concerns itself with pure philosophy. It is most truly and very deservingly said that “Mandukya alone, among Upanishads, is sufficient for liberation.”

The commentary by Gaudapada (7th Century (?) on Mandukya is well known. Gaudapada affirms in no uncertain terms in his Karika (commentary in verse form) that “No body is ever born; no cause exists for any origin. The highest Truth is nothing is ever born” (Chapter III Verse 48). This astounding and counterintuitive conclusion is repeated by him towards the end of the Karika (Ch. IV – 71) to convey, in full force, the only Truth, Nothing is ever Born. Further he declared boldly that “there is none in bondage nor any seeker for liberation nor any one liberated” (Ch. II – 32).

“You were never born” is the hidden message that lies behind Vyasa’s declaration in the words of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita, when understood in proper context and depth. Quoting from Gita:

By the Maya of the Supreme, we revolve like puppets mounted on a machine (Ch XVIII - Sloka 61);

We are only an apparent cause and whatever has to happen has already happened (Ch XI - Sloka 33);

Because of the reason that Prakriti produced everything, the world goes round and round (Ch IX - Sloka 9-10);

Prakriti performs all actions and only an egoistic fool thinks that “I am the actor” (Ch III - Sloka 27).

The above veridical words unmitigatingly demolish the conceptions "I" can do, "I" have to do or "I" do any thing and point to the non-existence of a 'me as a self'.

The four words “You were never born” encapsulate the core wisdom expounded by Sage Vasishta, if you distill the 32,000 verses in the six chapters of Yogavaasishta by Sage Valmiki.

“You were never born” is the secret key for Happiness and Happiness is what you are!

John Wheeler wrote a book in 2007 with the title “You Were Never Born” (click for a review of mine

http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/teachers/wheeler_ramesam.htm)

Still we remain unconvinced and those four words continue to haunt us as an enigma, a conundrum, hard to digest.

And now comes Peter Francis Dziuban (pronounced Jubin) laying bare the Truth of it in his book “Consciousness is All.” It hits straight in our face. We cannot run or hide anywhere. For, there is nowhere to go.

Peter was not exposed to Mandukya or Gita or even Advaita. He followed theistic Christian doctrine initially and through his own Self-inquiry stumbled on to the Great Truth of Non-Duality. And he likes to spread the joy of what he found. He does it gently, unambiguously and non-dogmatically in plain simple English, no special argot nor any abstruse scriptural quotes in obscure lingo to impress.

But simple words like You, All, Is, Presence, Happiness all stand out with self-effulgence and a new brilliance in his delicate persuasive prose and they become synonymous to Consciousness, the only Thing (No-thing) that Is! It is all unblemished Pure Oneness, Non-duality, Advaita!

Scott Kiloby’s interview (audio) of Peter is at :

http://www.kiloby.com/uploads/PeterDzuibanJune2009Part10.mp3

Peter comes out in the discussion as the guy next door, like you or me or anyone on the other side of the road, in his humility, politeness and the story of his life. But his words carry mind-boggling, nay, mind-shattering, profound truth. First timers may get confused or amused when he talks of is-not being not is when Is is all that Is! The message sounds simpler if you have pre-read at least Chapter I of his Book – he makes a few Chapters from his book available free at his website:

http://www.consciousnessisall.com/peter-dziuban-writings.html

Peter’s book is a well-reasoned out presentation from the position of Supreme Oneness about our Presence, the only thing that is present at the present. This is unlike the more familiar approach of leading a seeker from the visible world to the sensory perceptions, to mind and finally to the One Universal Self. The breathtaking view from the position of Oneness suddenly dissolves all our perceptions and implodes our sense of time-space dimensions, into an undimensional Infinity (which becomes one more term for Consciousness in his deft argument).

Those of us who understand Non-Duality intellectually feel at ease with the metaphor of a mirage to describe the unreality of the world. We comfort ourselves that we continue to see the mirage though we know it is unreal. But Peter uncompromisingly sticks with the more fundamental and more famous snake-rope metaphor -- the world disappears like the seemingly appearing snake on realization of it being actually a rope. Speaking like one abiding in that Consciousness, Peter nonchalantly proclaims that the tree all of us see in the yard across has not arisen at all! That leaves us gasping for breath at the very pinnacle of Advaitic teaching.

That Advaitic position is perhaps incommunicable and only to be known by the Presence, of itself and by itself. Upanishads describe this as “Drik” state (Turiya) and one who abides in this permanently is a Jivanmukta.

10 comments:

Anjanna said...

Ya! the post "Nothing is Ever Born" is thought provoking. My mind dictates me couple of querries:

1. If that so, What is Jeevotpadana?

2. How Lord Krishna states that He takes birth again and again to establish peace and destroy the evil ? (Bhagavadgeeta Ch. IV, Sloke 7&8)

3. Is birth reserved for Lord only?

4.How is it, if Humans do not attain 'Moksha' has to take birth again and again? (Bhagavadgeeta Ch..., Sloke...)

5. Your references of Bhagavad geeta Chapters XVIII, XI, IX, III and the verses 61, 33, 9-10, 27 respectively are very much appropriate in their meaning as understood by me by referring to corresponding translated (Telugu) verses of "Sreemaddesineni Bhagavadgeeta of Late Sh. D.Venkatramaiah)to present context.

6. However, my doubt about "Nothing is Ever Born" still has no answer.

7. Your review of book "Four word concept" as we can call, is glorifying with likes of 'Cause-Effect, Rope-Snake, Existence-Knowledge', Subject-Object, Presence-Awareness, Nuerons and scientific studies, Oneness, Conciousness, Dirk etc.

8. What is 'Nothing' from Guru? of John Wheeler.

9. Does it not deny the very meaning of 'Guru'?

10. These are some of my thoughts developed on seeing ur thought provoking Post of today.

ramesam said...

Dear Anjanna,

Thank you for the comment. Glad that you found the Post to be thought provoking.

Re: The Questions raised by you:

Permit me to say upfront that it is best to approach Non-Dualism without carrying any prior baggage. That way it makes it easier to grok the ideas that Advaita tries to convey. Otherwise, any amount of information and content within the answers to your questions would become only more contentious especially if one attempts to shoehorn the material into dualistic or other notions.

I shall now attempt to answer your queries. Please feel free to raise any doubts if what I express hereunder is unclear.

Queries # 1 to 4:

Dreams are quite common to most of us. You are only the one dreaming your dream. And you create in your dream several other characters, things, trains, rivers snakes etc. You can even fly like a bird and find yourself landing on a stream and immediately swim like a fish! The one, you, has become many – jivotpatti. This creation has happened in accordance with the rules of space-time dynamics of dream physics. Nothing of this surprised you or made you to question the goings on in the dream when you are dreaming. When once you wake up, you do not find any evidence of the things or events that went on in your dream. Nor can you function in accordance with the space-time rules of dream physics. In your awake state you follow a different set of space-time dimensions and rules of physics and biology in your actions and jivotpatti.

Based on the which set of laws of space-time physics it is, you distinguish dream and wakeful states. Advaitins consider both sets of rules belong to the same genera. So there is no distinction between wakeful and dream states for them. The so called wakeful state is also like a dream state having its own dynamics and doctrines, which look equally funny and equally disappear the moment you are out of that state.

Hope thus far it is easy to follow.

Now let us tackle how space and time are formed in the awake state and who is it that gets out of this state:

Our own existence, “I am”, is experientially known to each one of us. It is quite simple and does not require any proof. When you say ‘I am”, automatically it means ‘you are’ or the ‘other is’. Thus a differentiation, a separation between “I” and “you” is established. “I” and “you” have to be separated by a distance and thus ‘space’ gets created.

The thought “I am” also produces the thought “I should be big, fat, rich, knowledgeable or like God etc. etc.” So “I am” gets separated from what “I should be” at a later date, in future. And thus ‘time’ gets created.

If you stop here for a while and closely examine, we overlooked an important aspect. How do you know that “I am” or “you are”? We have to be obviously conscious to say “I am” or “you are”.

“Consciousness” has to exist thus prior to even the thought “I am”. “Consciousness” is the detector that stays unaffected by what is detected: I, you, sad things, happy things, birth, death etc. etc. Consciousness is like the TV antenna which is not bothered by what color, language or emotion the TV program is.

When I use my “Consciousness” and say “I am”, who is the “I”? “I” here refers to the body organism to which this particular “I” feels affiliated and assumes a responsibility for the safety and security of that specific body organism. With this constant affiliation and association, “I” gets attached to the body. Later “I” feels identified with the body. “I” and body mutually develop an identity. They become one. Same thing happens with “you”. I and you now stand permanently separated.

ramesam said...

(CONTD. FROM PREVIOUS BOX)

Let us now consider what this body organism is. How do we know that there is a body? We know from our senses. We can see it, touch it, feel it, smell it and so on. That means we become aware of it from our sensations. If you close your eyes, you will not know what things are there in the room. If we close all our sensory perceptions, we will not know if anything exists or not. So if we remove the sensory perception, you will not know if you have a body at all! Hence what you actually know and aware of is NOT your body but only sensations of it.

If you are not convinced, let me ask you from your own experience. When you are in deep sleep, do you have any of the senses working? Do you then experience your body?

It is clear now that there is nothing solid as a body but what we have are a bunch of sensations. The sensations are nothing static. They are under constant flux. It follows from this that the body too is under constant flux, change.

The “I” we started with, is constantly chasing the ever fluctuating non-solid sensations which appear as a body. “I” is always on the run to catch some non-existing imagined constellation of sensations you call a body. Result is assured misery and sorrow.

Now let us shift the gear. Let “I” run in the reverse gear. Instead of chasing the ever changing constellation of the sensations mistaken as a solid body, let it run after “Consciousness”, the detector.

But is there a running to do here? No, not at all. Because, “Consciousness” is like the antenna, unchanging, constant, always existing, unaffected by what it detects. So “I” by just stopping the chase can easily identify itself with “Consciousness”. It does not have to do a thing!! With this identification, it becomes One with Consciousness, It becomes Consciousness. As Consciousness, it does not differentiate me, you, the other, the world – everything becomes One to It. All the physical laws and dynamics of the world disappear. Further analysis shows that “I” in fact never left Consciousness at all. And that is Non-Dualism, Advaita. There is no second, no other.


Query # 5: I added an extra sentence in the Post after the Gita quotes. Please have a look.

Query # 6: When “I” has identified with Consciousness, it cannot suffer any changes because Consciousness is unchanging. ‘Unchanging’ means it can be neither born, nor can grow, nor decay and die. It remains as is for ever. But then a question can come. When was Consciousness born? To answer this there has to be some Consciousness existing prior to it. It becomes an infinite regress. Hence Non-dualism takes all consciousnesses as One Consciousness, the Supreme Consciousness.

Queries 7 -9: Please read Ramana Maharshi’s’s Talk I quoted in the write up once again. If you posit a Guru as different from a disciple, you are talking of two entities, not one. How can two exist in Oneness? Can any Guru help? Is there any “thing” that he gives? It has to be NO-THING. Consciousness is NO THING.

Anjanna said...

Yes, the present post vividly tries to put in "Oneness", "non-dualism", "Conciousness", "I", "You" etc.

Support is drawn from Dream sequences, Oneness, Sayings of Sages.

I am aware to the extent that Dreams are reflections of workings of Mind in sub concious state. Thus it is a state of Mind the integral part of the body. It is not nothing.

We are considering the sayings of Lord Krishna, Sages like Vasishta, Valmiki, Ramana Maharshi. But they are sayings . It is easy to say than experience.

Conciousness is variable. It has a degree to be attached. What level of conciousness one attains matters.

Oneness is ultimate. Before attaining that we cannot deny existence of Guru & Disciple. Through teachings and practices ultimate is attained.

My ideas may be a distance away from non-duality or oneness but true to my understanding.

satya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ramesam said...

Hello,

Feel Free to make any comment / observation.

ramesam

Anjaneyulu said...

I refer to the post of Satya & Girish Duvvuri.

"SEE AND BELIEVE RATHER THAN HEAR AND BELIEVE OR IMAGINE AND BELIEVE" Would be better title for the post "SEEING IS BELIEVEING iS IT REALLY SO?" by Stya & Girish Duvvuri.

The apple identification and leaving the sensations and concluding that there is nothing is interesting. Does it contribute to non materialistic approach?

Why then Sensuray organs are created in human body? Wisdom to analyse what is true and What is not true leads to confirmations.

The magicians do create illusions. The substance in the quoted research material on the works of magicians qualify site specific, situation specific, exposure specific and overall they are tricks of trade. They may not influence the conciousness of oneself.

To achieve conciousness or oneness we need much more matured "Mind". Bits & pieces do help but in small measure only.

ramesam said...

Thank you, Anjaneyulu Garu for the Comment.

"Mature mind" is just another 'imagination', a mere concept. Borrowing a word from J. Krishnamurti, it is 'propaganda', a result of too much organizing into "Dos and Don'ts"!

The take home point is: Oneness is beyond mind, nothing to do with mind being mature or otherwise. Concepts, imagination, processes of maturing etc. are all WITHIN the mind. Cosnciousness is automatically and always IS there. Consciousness is that "You" who is 'understanding' the meaning of these words on the screen - not your eyes, not your body, not your brain, not your mind but that detecting element within 'you' which you refer to as "I".

(P.S. A small suggestion. Your present comment could as well have appeared below the Post titled "Seeing...." which was also by me and not by Satya and Girish. Sorry for the confusion. I shall make it more clear next time on).

Anjaneyulu said...

Dear Dr.Ramesam Garu,
Thanks for correcting me. Anyway I hold my views. My reaction for some of the views expressed in reply of October 2 is as follows:

Mind & brain are there for the taking.

Similarly maturity do exist. If the brain reposed in Dr.Ramesam garu at the age of teens or youth might not have elucidated Vedanta as of now. It is because of the oppertunity the brain got over years of exposure to this materialistic world it gained vast amount of intelectual vigour.

Yes conciousness is there in every brain. Only difference is it varies from brain to brain. If it is uniform to every brain there will not be so many differences in thinking. Take for example Anjaneyulu's brain is limited to his abilities while Dr.Ramesam garu (atleast I consider) much much advanced than Anjaneyulu's thinking.

Yes Oneness is beyond the Mind & brain. How to get over there is the question. By click of a mouse it cannot happen. One has to strive to be there. Practice makes man perfect. Whether right or wrong I have the inquisitiveness to put forward my beliefs.

If my observations stirr the mind of the intellect "I" will be happy. When I will be able to remove "I" from my brain is not known to me.

For continuity I am sending these comments over here. I would like directing me to the views of Satya & Girish Duvvuri if they have already contributed. Sorry for my confusion.

Elucidate me further if considered reasonable.

ramesam said...

Dear Shri Anjaneyulu Garu,

In my Post of Oct 2, 2009, the word "I" refers to Consciousness (with Capital C, Chit or Chaitanya in Sanskrit). Its qualities are, in a way you can say, Consciousness and Beingness. In fact, Consciousness, Beingness and I are synonymous. Consciousness is same in every body. It is NOT different.

When you said "I hold my views", please look carefully. This I is NOT different from the 'views' you hold. The ensemble of your views define your I, i.e. you. What happens if you drop all your views? What would remain? Just drop and see!

Re: Maturity: There is biological maturity, there is maturity in acquring expertise, knowledge etc. to be a surgeon, an engineer. Practice is needed for this sort of knowledge to attain perfection. No such maturity is required in the context we are talking here. As a matter of fact all such acquisitions are down right hindrances! It is these acquisitions that bring out differences between people and their thoughts. Consciousness is same in one and all.

Finally, you don't have to strive to be there. I give a Quote from Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj here (p: 270, I Am That). The quote also refers to the kind of "maturity" that is needed:

"Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realising that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. It is like deep sleep -- you do not give up your bed when you fall sleep -- you just forget it."

So what you do is like the click of a mouse -- just give up the 'views' you hoarded and you hold onto. They are not anyway yours. They were drilled into by society, accumualted over time etc.