Sunday, September 27, 2015

God Incarnation and Ordinary Guru - a contrast

God Incarnation and Ordinary Guru
(By Muktipada Behera)

Even though Vedanta talks of “All are Brahman”, there is a clear difference between God incarnation and ordinary Human Guru. Here we will outline few differences.

1. There is no clear way of knowing who God incarnation is or not. Only another enlightened one can say through his divine vision that somebody is a God incarnation. We need to look for some reference from another enlightened person or accept it after having proper clue through own Sadhana.

2. Most of the time the person reveals himself God incarnation while alive to their close disciples. Like Christ, Krishna did.  Public could know it after they are dead. For example only ten Rishis knew that Rama was an incarnation.

3. However based on qualities seen by earlier incarnation, we have some standards to judge an Avatar. For example God incarnation demonstrates the morals or spiritual values to its highest extreme which normal human cannot achieve. Krishna dancing with sixteen thousands Gopis, lifting mountain on little finger, Chaitanya dev was in strict following of monk’s rule, Sri Ramakrishna keeping Brahmacharya while sleeping with his wife, Buddha’s compassion as highest example, Jesus ready to be crucified alive etc. Other than this normally every organization tends to declare their guru as God incarnation out of reverence.

4. General Guru descents on earth through their past Prarabdha Karma. But incarnation descents to earth due to “Samasti Prarabdha – cumulative Karma” of whole society at that time.

5. Incarnation has two main purposes – (a) Rejuvenation of spirituality, and (2) Destruction of spiritual obstacles. Ordinary Guru is not capable to fulfill this high cosmic demand.

6. God Incarnation demonstrates the moral and spiritual paths relevant to current society. They can change the thought wave of society. And then Smritis and other teachers tend to follow that path for reformation. Without God incarnation, ordinary Guru does not have enough power to change the cosmic thought wave.

7. God incarnation is of Saguna Brahman – Vishnu. And those incarnations manifest different power of different qualities or Kala based on social need. For example Krishna was with sixteen Kala, Rama was with twelve kala.

8. General Guru transmits spiritual power through Mantra or teachings. Avatar transmits energy though touch or mere wish. The person can be uplifted immediately and get divine vision. Like Arjuna got from Krishna, Vivekananda got from Sri ramakrishna, chaitanya did same for Nityananda.

9. God Incarnation has a power to liberate other humans out of grace. They are like a big ship that can carry many others out of the realm of Maya.

10. General Guru is a one man show. But whenever God descends to earth, He comes with a team of enlightened teachers. Like Buddha, Chaitanya, Ramakrishna etc came with 10-20 teachers with Him, all-powerful to uplift others.

11. God incarnation has ‘oneness’ from birth. They are aware of their divine nature from childhood. They don't need to practice any sadhana to get it because they are already liberated and came here to help others.

12. The preaching done by God incarnation will continue forever even after his death. He will be more popular and get more followers as time goes. But normal Guru will be popular while He is alive. After his death people will forget him and tend to get fewer followers slowly. Like Buddha, Chaitanya are still popular.

13. Sometimes there are scriptural proof and documented incarnations. We can name below as accepted by many: (1) Rama (2) Krishna (3) Buddha (4) Christ (5) Chaitanya (6) Ramakrishna etc. They had enough power to change the world and will be followed eternally. 

14. It is accepted by scriptures whenever a God incarnation manifests, a new divine loka/realm is created from divine to accommodate their devotees. Those are called Bhava-loka. Devotees of same Bhava [ecstasy] settle eternally there after death. For example Goloka, Ramakrishna Loka etc.

And many more differences are there. Generally God incarnation is compared with a huge ship carrying thousands seekers and ordinary guru is compared with a small boat which can accommodate only one.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Brahman and Creation According to Vedanta

Brahman and Creation According to Vedanta
(Muktipada Behera)

Pure consciousness through its Sankalpa [wish] or will-power projects this creation. Like the spider projects the web and later swallows the web inside. Upanishads mention about this Sankalpa of Brahman - "Akoham Vahusyam - I am one, I will become many".

This Brahman has an inherent wonderful power called Maya-Shakti. This makes him omnipotent. Through this Maya Shakti it projects cosmos. People also call this Maya Shakti as cosmic-mind. So this universe is the Isvara's dream creation - known as Vyavaharika Satya. Each individual also projects its dream world while sleeping - known as Prativashika Satya. And Brahman is known as Paramarthika Satya. So all these in living beings and Universe are in God's dream.

Jiva consists of 24 principle centred around 'I-EGO' or Ahamkara. These 24 principles are Pancha Bhuta, Pancha Tanmatra, Pancha Karmendriya, Pancha Jnanendriya, Manas, Buddhi, Chitta, Ahamkara. Jiva is deluded due to Avidya or ignorance of its true nature Brahman. Each soul is potentially divine. However Jiva forgot it - thinking himself as body-mind complex. This ignorance causes suffering.

Brahman is Satya-Sankalpa. So whatever He imagines manifests into reality or materializes immediately. Brahman is the best artist with excellent imagining capacity or potential. The same does not happen to Jiva due to its limitation. Whatever Jiva thinks it does not materialize into reality.

This creation is Isvara's divine Leela. It is created for divine fun or play. However creation is temporary. It manifests and unmanifests periodically. Brahman is eternal and it sustains creation. It is known as Sat-Chit-Ananda - Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.

Upanishads say - Raso-vai-Sah - He is like nectar. He is the source happiness or bliss. 

From one perspective it appears as Nirguna and from another perspective it appears as Saguna for seekers. So the same entity is both Nirguna and Saguna at the same time. Like with full-stomach in waking state, we can feel hungry while dreaming. So both full-stomach and hungry are true at the same time. Nirguna means niskriya [inactive], all attributes appear unmanifested, but it is not powerless. Brahman appears to be devoid of all attributes. Saguna means sakriya [active] with  all manifested triguna - Sattva, Rajo, Tamo Guna. Brahman is always associated with its inherent illusion power. We don't consider illusion power or Maya Shakti as separate because it does not have separate existence. Maya is associated with Brahman like a shadow with body. 

In the word's Sri Ramakrishna (Exerted from book THE PHILOSOPHY OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA, by SWAMI HARSHANANDA)

'God is formless, and God is possessed of form too. And He is also that which transcends both form and formlessness. He alone knows what all He is.' (Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, 871).
Sri Ramakrishna calls the Absolute as Brahman, in Its eternal (nitya) aspect, when It is at rest and inactive. The same in Its sportive (lila) aspect, when involved in the process of creation, preservation and destruction, he calls Sakti or Kali, the same as Isvara or God. So, according to Sri Ramakrishna, Brahman and Sakti are one and inseparable. 'The distinction between Brahman and Sakti is really a distinction without a difference. Brahman and Sakti are one (abheda), just as fire and its burning power are one. Brahman and Sakti are one, just as milk and the whiteness of milk are one. Brahman and Sakti are one, just as a gem and its brightness are one. You cannot conceive of the one without the other, or make a difference between them' (Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, 857).
'God the Absolute and God the Personal are one and the same. Belief in the one implies belief in the other. Fire cannot be thought of apart from its burning power, nor can its burning power be thought of apart from it. Again, the sun's rays cannot be thought of apart from the sun, nor the sun, apart from its rays. You cannot think of the whiteness of milk apart from its milky whiteness. Thus the Absolute cannot be thought of apart from the idea of God with attributes, i.e., Personal God and vice versa. (Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, 856).
'The Primordial Power and Supreme Brahman are identical - It is like the snake and its wriggling motion.' (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna)

In Kena Upanishad Goddess Uma Haimavati taught the power of Brahman to Devas. Without His power, the Agni and Vayu are powerless.