Monday, November 10, 2014

Advaitam and Dwaitam - What are they

Advaitam (Non-Dualism) and Dwaitam (Dualism) are both two ways of thinking about God. Simply saying Advaitam says there is no distinction between I and God. Dwaitam says the other way.

Advaitam as a philosophy was spread by Adi Shankaracharya. Likewise in the modern era it was Sri Ramana Maharishi who spoke largely about this.

Once the Advaitam is understood, it is difficult to understand or go back to Dwaitam. Because it is one and all. I am learning the process of Dwaitam and even now I am not open to understand what it means by Dwaitam, you will know the reason why.

Our Vedas teach us there are two things which we call life. One is Jivatma and the other one is Paramatma. Jivatma is what we call residing in every body, and the Paramatma is what we call God. But Advaitam teaches they are one and same called just Atma.

Read the following question asked by Sri M.Sivaprakasam Pillai to Ramana Maharishi.

Q: What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of mind?
A: The which rises as "I" in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought arises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly "I", one would be led to heart. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the "I" thought is first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second or third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.

What a powerful message. If someone says "That", it is only after treating him as "I", that a thought of "That", "This", "Us", "We", "Theirs" or even "God" can arise.

We are taught right from our birth that "I" and "You" are not the same. Due to education like this we are incapable of opening our thoughts to even understand what it means by Advaitam. To truly understand what it means, and to experience Advaitam, one must surrender his thoughts.

Having said that it is not simple, in fact that is where we all fail always. We cannot surrender our thoughts. If this means a dead-end why bother travelling the path? Because there is something called faith that can change everything.

Keep a vigil over ones thoughts. Keep faith in what you are doing. Whenever there is a thought that arises, understand that mind is at work. Try stopping that thought. Some other thought might arise at this point, keeping vigil can stop that thought also. This process has to be running always within. Only and only then we will have a fair chance of succeeding. This is why there is no scope for me to learn Dwaitam, which won't help me in this process of stopping dualistic thoughts.

If one keeps faith over practice to surrender ones thoughts there is chance of succeeding. If one succeeds then one is said to attained Moksha.

I think its only Hinduism (as known today) has gifted this unique concept of non-dualistic thoughts to mankind, though most Hindus believe that God and the personal are different, because of dualistic nature of God's idol and the personal who is praying. Likewise Christians believe in a creator and creation, so do Muslims.

But only when you speak of Advaitam (as spoken by Adi Shankaracharya) that there is no Creator. When we speak about Creator the creation has to be separate from the Creator. But Advaitam suggests that we are manifested just like any Avatar of God. The dualistic approach only comes within the mind. Everything is only one and that is God.

Do not try to reach or see the God the same way you see other things, you will fail. To understand God as it is we must stop our thoughts, and we will know what it means.

There is no book that you must read nor need a priest nor you must be learned nor be rich or be anything for that matter. Just stopping ones thoughts will take you to God.


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