Is Brahman personal or not?

Is Brahman personal or not?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The different schools of Vedanta and Agamic Hinduism and the schools that are a mix of these two all propound different ideas about Brahman. In my opinion the primary Upanishads don't present Brahman as being a personal being but they present it as an ineffable blissful awareness that dwells within everyone as their innermost Self while being untouched by the sorrows and problems of those beings.

    Some later minor Upanishads present a personal view while others are very impersonal, but the latter Upanishads are usually seen as less authoritative than the early primary Upanishads and they are interpreted via the lenses provided by the early ones. The schools that affirm that Brahman is personal typically also accept other scriptures as revealed alongside the Vedas which place a greater emphasis on the personal nature of God, the Vaishnavas do this with their additional scriptures. Advaita is the most prominent proponents of the "impersonal" view of Brahman, but there are other examples like Bhaskara's Bhedabheda Vedanta who also propound an impersonality view of Brahman while disagreeing with Advaita. Some smaller schools of Shaivism also teach an idea of a supreme Shiva that is a blissful impersonal awareness.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Interesting. Have you read all the Upanishads? How long did it take? I was trying and they seemed difficult to understand.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I have read most of the primary Upanishads, without notes/commentary it doesn’t take very long. Radhakrishnan’s translation of the primary Upanishads has all of them in one volume but may take a month or two to read if you are following it carefully.

        You can read all 108 here, but I recommend reading a professionally published translation of the primary Upanishads with commentary or notes vs the ones in the pdf, the pdf is good for smaller & more obscure ones that cant be bought on their own.

        https://gita-society.com/wp-content/uploads/PDF/108upanishads.pdf

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Thanks. What's the correct order of the Upanishads? Shouldn't the first one be from the Rigveda? For example, the first one in the pdf (Isavasya) is from the Yajurveda.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >What's the correct order of the Upanishads? Shouldn't the first one be from the Rigveda? For example, the first one in the pdf (Isavasya) is from the Yajurveda.
            You can read them in any order, I have never heard of there being a reading order to them that everyone should follow, I would read the principal Upanishads before the minor ones though. The earliest one chronologically is almost certainly the Brihadaranyaka (a part of the Yajur Veda also), followed by the Chandogya. Sometimes the Upanishads make reference to an idea mentioned in an earlier Upanishad, but for the most part each Upanishad is a self-contained lesson in metaphysics.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            My idea would be to read them in the historical, chronological order. What I don't get is, if the Rigveda was written first, then how is the Brihadaranyaka the earliest one?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >What I don't get is, if the Rigveda was written first, then how is the Brihadaranyaka the earliest one?
            The Upanishads were composed or “heard” (the literal translation of Śruti) after the other Vedic layers were already assembled, but the Upanishads occur or were originally inserted in-between other Vedic textual strata which are themselves older. In other words, they didnt tack the Upanishad onto the end as the ‘last chapter’ but inserted them all throughout the text, likely in part because occasionally the Upanishads reference, comment on and clarify some of the Vedic sections that occur right before that Upanishad in the text.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Got it. What do you think is best then, reading in the order of the Vedas or in their own order of insertion? I guess maybe there's not much difference, since, as you said, they are self-contained lessons.

    • 1 month ago
      Une Chienne Andalou

      >In my opinion the primary Upanishads don’t present Brahman as a personal being
      by “primary Upanishads” do you mean the 10 oldest/“principle” Upanishads? What do you think of those who add one or three more making the total number of primary Upanishads 11 or 13
      >but they present it as an ineffable blissful awareness that dwells within everyone as their innermost Self
      Isn’t the “other side” of Brahman the “objective” Ground of Being, the only truly real Being as opposed to all the other apparently real objects of the cosmos (which in reality have no inherent existence but appear to exist because of Brahman)? It seems strange to say Brahman/Atman “dwells within” sentient beings as if it’s here rather than there, a local entity, like an internal organ like the heart or liver, all the while maintaining that Brahman/Atman is absolute and has no limits including spacial limits/boundaries. Perhaps this is being pendantic or maybe it’s the Buddhist in me that finds this idea contradictory (superficially at least) or maybe I just don’t understand it

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >Isn’t the “other side” of Brahman the “objective” Ground of Being, the only truly real Being as opposed to all the other apparently real objects of the cosmos (which in reality have no inherent existence but appear to exist because of Brahman)?
        According to Advaita yes, but that ‘other side’ is not a formal division or part but rather what you said and what I said are both true and both apply to the same undivided Brahman.

        >It seems strange to say Brahman/Atman “dwells within” sentient beings as if it’s here rather than there, a local entity, like an internal organ like the heart or liver, all the while maintaining that Brahman/Atman is absolute and has no limits including spacial limits/boundaries.
        There is no contradiction between saying It dwells within individuals as their innermost Self while at the same time affirming that It’s infinite and omnipresent like space, since what is the innermost Self of all creatures is the same universal Brahman appearing in conjunction with the intellects of all living beings simultaneously; in other words It doesn’t form isolated cells within individuals that are distinct from each other but It is the same undivided universal Self appearing or revealing its presence within the intellect of all living beings simultaneously, like how space in itself is one and undivided but can nevertheless provide room for thousands of clay pots to be situated in space, the same undivided space is present everywhere including both within and outside of each pot and it only incidentally appears to be separated into distinct “areas of space” within the pots due to the form of the pot even when its still the same space that is present everywhere.

        • 1 month ago
          Une Chienne Andalou

          >According to Advaita yes, but that “other side” is not a formal division or part but both apply to the same undivided Brahman
          Yeah I thought so. I never meant to imply that there was a division or internal distinction within Brahman. It seems to be more confusing when it comes to the apparent division between nirguna Brahman and saguna Brahman. I’ve always been confused as to whether “sat chit ananda” refers to saguna Brahman or nirguna Brahman. I’ve seen different opinions that seem to support both conclusions.
          >it doesn’t form isolated cells within individuals that are distinct from eachother
          If I understand correctly this is the view of the Sankhya school of philosophy where there are many “atmans”
          >like how space in itself is one and undivided but can nevertheless provide room for thousands of clay pots
          This has always been curious to me, why isn’t Brahman just identified with space? It seems to share a lot of the same characteristics, space is formless, all-pervasive, attributeless etc. I guess you could say space isn’t conscious so it can’t be Brahman and maybe that it “depends” on the other objects of the cosmos to define it at all so it’s not the ultimate/absolute Reality.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I'm about to sleep but thought I would post a quick reply before I did

            > I’ve always been confused as to whether “sat chit ananda” refers to saguna Brahman or nirguna Brahman. I’ve seen different opinions that seem to support both conclusions.
            It applies to the Supreme (Para) Brahman, which is the Nirguna Brahman. However it should be clarified that Nirguna specifically means "without the gunas" i.e. without sattva guna, without rajas guna and without tamas guna; that is to say, it doesn't mean "without any nature/attributes/character whatever to the point of being nothingness" but it just means that the nature of Brahman is completely uncompounded and undifferentiated and that it's not comprised of some mixture of the gunas like all relative phenomena are. That is why Shankara often uses phrases like "without worldly attributes" and "without phenomenal attributes" instead of always just referring to Brahman as "attributeless". Furthermore, Sat-Chit-Ananda isn't taken as a formal or exhaustive definition of Brahman's nature either but is a pointer, sometimes other triads are used instead and some Advaitins give even longer lists of more than 3 qualifiers.

            >If I understand correctly this is the view of the Sankhya school of philosophy
            Yes, they affirm a numerical plurality of Atmans or Purushas of pure consciousness that are qualitatively identical

            >This has always been curious to me, why isn’t Brahman just identified with space?
            In Hindu thought space isn't conceived of as an empty vacuum but it is rather considered to be the ether ie akasha, the ether-substance itself provides the space/medium for things to move around in. The main reason that Brahman isn't identified with the akasha is because the Upanishads say that Brahman is more subtle than the ether is, and that Brahman is both the origin of ether (and the elements) while also permeating that ether from within. But as a secondary reason they would also reject it for what you said.

          • 1 month ago
            Une Chienne Andalou

            >I’m about to sleep but I thought I would post a quick reply before I did
            Ah I see, American I take it? I feel like we’ve met before in another thread about Vedanta and the time at which I posted those threads gave me the impression that you might have been from Europe. either way, thanks for answering my questions and recommending the reading material. Vedanta was my hyperfixation many months ago but I haven’t really studied it in a while even though I want to get back into it.
            >It applies to the Supreme (Para) Brahman, which is the Nirguna Brahman
            That’s what I suspected. Although nobody really talks about divine simplicity as the link between Western and Eastern spiritual traditions I think it is especially helpful in understanding Nirguna Brahman, as the doctrine of divine simplicity doesn’t say God is a void or “nothingness” but like what you said about the nature of God/Brahman being uncompounded, undivided, and homogenous. The core teaching seems to be that Brahman doesn’t “exist” so much as Brahman is Being Itself. Brahman doesn’t “have” consciousness, but it *is* consciousness itself. When Brahman is said to be “without attributes” or “attributeless” it simply means all “attributes” of Brahman are identical with Brahman itself rather than Brahman instantiating or “possessing” these attributes.
            >Some Advaitins give even longer lists of more than 3 qualifiers
            I take it these lists are also just “pointers”? As at the core Brahman is said to be ineffable and indescribable, “neti neti” (neither this nor that) as the Upanishads say. I have heard the triad of “Being, Knowledge and Infinity” used to describe Brahman also.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Ah I see, American I take it? I
            yes
            >Vedanta was my hyperfixation many months ago but I haven’t really studied it in a while even though I want to get back into it.
            I recommend reading Shankara's works if you want to get a good grasp of the original sources, pic related is a guide, they require some patience but are very rewarding.
            >I take it these lists are also just “pointers”?
            yes

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >by “primary Upanishads” do you mean the 10 oldest/“principle” Upanishads?
        Yes, they are called mukhya (primary or principal) Upanishads

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_Upanishads

        >What do you think of those who add one or three more making the total number of primary Upanishads 11 or 13
        I dont think it changes much, they seem to be very much in agreement with the ideas expressed in the earlier principle Upanishads as far as I’ve seen.

    • 1 month ago
      Une Chienne Andalou

      >The schools that affirm that Brahman is personal typically also accept other scriptures as revealed/authoritative alongside the Vedas
      I have noticed this too, starting with Ramanuja who tried to reconcile the Upanishads with the Vishnu-centric poetry of the Alvars. Madhva continued this being a staunch Vaishnava himself, and later schools focused specifically on Krishna. I know there are some schools of Shaivite Nondualism but I’m not sure if they even get their nondualism from the Upanishads or arrive at these conclusions independently. Advaita seems to be the natural conclusion of the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras uncorrupted by outside texts/mythology.
      >Bhaskara’s Bhedabheda Vedanta who also propound an impersonal view of Brahman while disagreeing with Advaita
      Interesting, I never knew the Bhedabheda school also viewed Brahman as impersonal/nirguna. What differentiates Bhedabheda from Vishishtadvaita? Is it just the lack of Vaishnava influence that you see in Ramanuja and later Vedanta schools?
      Do you think the Bhedabheda school’s interpretation is closer to the Upanishads than Advaita?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Ramanuja is a funny case because he was heavily influenced by the earlier Vaishnava thinker Yamuna, Yamuna died before Ramanuja met him but Ramanuja repeats many of his ideas and arguments. Yamuna wrote several works including one arguing that the Vaishnava Pancharatra scriptures are on an equal status to the Vedas and also come from Brahman; however Ramanuja who also accepts this doesn’t quote or mention any Pancharatra texts in his major philosophical works and instead tries to back up every idea with reference to the Upanishads, so even though he clearly does accept ideas from the Pancharatra there is an evident tension where he is self-conscious of openly admitting this and he wants to instead show that it all comes from the Upanishads.

        >know there are some schools of Shaivite Nondualism but I’m not sure if they even get their nondualism from the Upanishads or arrive at these conclusions independently.
        There are Shaivite Agama/Tantra scriptures which they get their ideas from, although it’s common for them to also cite and accept the Upanishads as valid and to view the Shaiva scriptures and the Upanishads as issuing from the same source just like Vaishnavas do with their scriptures. Most of the Shaiva agamas propound a kind of non-dualism, a smaller amount of these seem to teach dualism but afaik these are regarded as provisional or lower-levels of understanding by the non-dual Shaiva schools.

        >Advaita seems to be the natural conclusion of the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras uncorrupted by outside texts/mythology.
        Some people seethe at this claim but I personally agree completely.

        • 1 month ago
          Une Chienne Andalou

          >Ramanuja tries to back up every idea with reference to the Upanishads
          Yeah from what I know Vaishnava Vedanta schools seem like one big game of cope and trying to shoehorn ideas from foreign texts into the Upanishads
          >Most of the Shaiva Agamas propound a kind of non-dualism
          Do you think this influenced Shankara before he became an adept and teacher of Advaita? I have read that Shankara came from a Shaivite family so I presume it was rather easy for him to understand and teach Advaita. I’ve also heard he a wrote hymns for Vishnu though
          >Some people seethe at this claim but I personally agree completely
          Yeah I’ve heard that some scholars say the Bhedabheda view is the “true” conclusion and I can see why as there seems to be statements in the Upanishads about the relationship between Brahman and Atman that are contradictory at worst (at least superficially) and vague/ambiguous at best. I personally think Advaita is the correct interpretation. It’s the simplest interpretation of the Upanishads that doesn’t jump through hoops and cope to make a complex philosophical system. It’s also the only Vedanta school that doesn’t compromise the absolute status of Brahman and preserves the divine simplicity of Brahman

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Do you think this influenced Shankara before he became an adept and teacher of Advaita?
            I don't think so if the stories of his life are true because they describe him entering monkhood and being initiated into Advaita before even reaching puberty, so I don't think as a young kid he would have time to study esoteric tantric scriptures on top of learning sanskrit grammer etc.

            He actually criticizes one idea each from the Vaishnava Pancharatra texts and the Shaiva Agama texts in his Brahma Sutra commentary for being non-Vedic. He does further acknowledge in that commentary that a number of doctrines of the "Bhagavata sect" based on the Pancharatra text are very similar to Advaita but he specifies that the purpose of what the Brahma Sutra is saying at that part is to call out the non-Vedic/non-Upanishadic ideas taught by those text, so he just follows its lead without launching into an exhaustive examination of what exactly those texts do get correct. He doesn't specify though if the Shaiva Agamas also contain ideas similar to Advaita like how he explicitly acknowledges this for the Bhagavata/Pancharatra (but presumably if he had the chance to examine them in detail he would affirm this). Some much latter Shaiva Advaitins like Appaya Dikshita say that there are higher Agamas that agree with Advaita/Upanishads and lower Agamas that teach a lower-level understanding of reality and which are meant for women and shudras etc.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Yeah I’ve heard that some scholars say the Bhedabheda view is the “true” conclusion
            What's funny is that a lot of the early Orientialists and Indologists who traveled to India and learned sanskrit and conversed with Brahmin priests and monks did affirm that Advaita is one of the most prominent schools and that their interpretation of the Upanishads is spot on, but then a later generation of scholars saw these earlier researchers as not taking enough of a "critical approach" but then it seems like they overreacted to this by going too much in the other direction and going out of their way to try to give flimsy excuses as to why Advaita should be discounted or regarded as unimportant because it's somehow considered passe to agree with the views of the earlier generations of western Indologists.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >What differentiates Bhedabheda from Vishishtadvaita?
        Im not an expert but afaik but Bhedabheda Brahman is like a clay that forms everything out of itself and it is really divided up and bound in rebirth, whereas in Vishishtadvaita only Brahman’s body makes up the universe and the souls being reborn in it, while the Supreme Self of the Brahman (that “ensouls” the body of Brahman) remains transcendent to and unaffected by the transformations that happen to its body, this Supreme Self is also conceived of by Ramanuja as a personal being who has infinite auspicious qualities

        >Is it just the lack of Vaishnava influence that you see in Ramanuja and later Vedanta schools?
        Their metaphysics are different too although Ramanuja seems to have been influenced by him in important ways. Dasgupta has an Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophy that can be read for free on the WisdomLibrary website, I have mixed feelings on the work, some parts are very informative but I dont agree with all his conclusions. In relation to your question though he does have a section summarizing differences and similarities between them

        >It is possible that Rāmānuja was indebted for his views to Bodhāyana or other Vaiṣṇava writers, but, however that may be, his indebtedness to Bhāskara also was very great, as a comparative study of the two systems would show. However, the two systems are not identical, and there is an important point on which they disagree.
        https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/a-history-of-indian-philosophy-volume-3/d/doc209959.html

        >Do you think the Bhedabheda school’s interpretation is closer to the Upanishads than Advaita?
        No, I think they miss out on and fail to properly interpret the scriptural passages that talk about plurality and change being illusory.

        • 1 month ago
          Une Chienne Andalou

          >Bhedabheda Brahman is like a clay that forms everything out of itself and it is really divided up and bound in rebirth
          >in Vishishtadvaita only Brahman’s body makes up the universe and the souls while the supreme Self remains transcendent.
          I see. It’s a subtle distinction but I guess you could say Bhedabheda is pantheism and Vishishtadvaita is a kind of panentheism, but I’m not sure if Behdabheda school completely denies the transcendence of Brahman (if it doesn’t I wouldn’t consider it pantheism). From what I know both of these schools teach the parinamavada, where Brahman is the material cause of the cosmos and is *really* transformed into it. Whereas Advaita has vivartavada and ajativada.
          >Dasgupta has an encyclopedia of Indian philosophy that can be read for free
          >In relation to your question though he does have a section summarizing differences and similarities between them
          Thanks I will definitely look into it. It’s nice to come across someone who has an understanding of Vedanta beyond the most superficial teachings. I have noticed most Vaishnava schools seem to place a high emphasis on the Bhagvad Gita, and it has always confused me as to why the Bhagvad Gita is included in the Vedanta canon alongside the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras. I have never read it beyond a few excerpts but from what I know it seems to explicitly teach bhakti as the path to liberation and views God as a personal entity, and it’s from the mythological texts of the Mahabhrata, why does the Advaita school even consider it canon? How can it have equal status to the other 2 parts of the canon, I feel like it is a secondary text at best

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >and it has always confused me as to why the Bhagvad Gita is included in the Vedanta canon alongside the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras.
            It's included because it's considered to be a distillation of Upanishadic teachings

            >I have never read it beyond a few excerpts but from what I know it seems to explicitly teach bhakti as the path to liberation and views God as a personal entity, and it’s from the mythological texts of the Mahabhrata, why does the Advaita school even consider it canon?
            The focus on bhakti is just one component of the text, it mixes and combines ideas from Vedanta, Yoga/Samkhya and Bhakti into one vision; I personally see it as being more Vedanta-centric but as integrating the ideas of Yoga/Samkhya etc which don't conflict with Vedanta.

            While it is true that Krishna in the text talks about the path of devotion, he also speaks about the path of selfless work (karma yoga) and also the path of renunciation and knowledge (jnana yoga). Different commentators interpret these parts differently but most agree afaik that it presents different paths to Brahman that are more fitting for various classes of people or for people at various stages of understanding. The Upanishads focus more on talking about the path of renunciation/monasticism and liberation through knowledge, they also acknowledge other more indirect path to Brahman but don't go into much detail about them, so in a way the Gita continues and expands on this by talking about how people of all castes and stages of life and progress on the journey towards Brahman in ways befitting to their abilities and circumstances.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Furthermore, there are plenty of verses in the text where it talks about non-dualism and God's power of illusion, so various parts of it seem to be in close agreement with Advaita. For example Krishna says that though he is really unborn, that he appears to take birth via his maya.

            >Though I am unborn and am of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet, ruling over My own Nature, I take birth by My own maya - BG 4.6

            And there are verses where it talks about the Yogi being absorbed in Brahman and about Brahman being the inner Self/consciousness

            >Here [i.e. even while living in the body.] itself is rebirth conquered by them whose minds are established on sameness. Since Brahman is the same (in all) and free from defects, therefore they are established in Brahman. BG 5.19

            >One who is happy within, whose pleasure is within, and who has his light only within, that yogi, having become Brahman, attains absorption in Brahman. BG 5.24

            >The Blessed Lord said -- O son of Kunti, this body is referred to as the 'field'. Those who are versed in this call him who is conscious of it as the 'knower of the field'. And, O scion of the Bharata dynasty, understand Me to be the 'Knower of the field' in all the fields. In My opinion, that is Knowledge which is the knowledge of the field and the knower of the field. BG 13.2-13.3

            >How can it have equal status to the other 2 parts of the canon,
            It technically doesn't, since the Brahma Sutra and Bhagavad-Gita are both Smriti, while the Upanishads/Vedas are Sruti which are of a higher status/authority. Traditionally, the Sruti is supposed to guide the interpretation of the Smriti, and when they conflict the Sruti is supposed to supersede the Smriti.

  2. 1 month ago
    ࿇ C Œ M G E N V S ࿇

    «BRAHMAN» IS HOW THE VEDICS INTERPRETED —ERRONEOUSLY— THEIR INTUITION OF GOD.

    • 1 month ago
      Une Chienne Andalou

      take your pills schizo

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    As someone who has a healthy interest in Vedic philosophy, but who leans spiritually Catholic, how do you guys find peace with God if the belief is that no aspects of your identity or material self go with you into the afterlife, and you will never see anything or anyone you ever love again, etc.? How do you find ultimate peace with that?

    • 1 month ago
      Une Chienne Andalou

      >how do you guys find peace with God if the belief is that no aspects of your identity or material self go with you into the afterlife
      Well Hindu cosmology and philosophy does not exclude heavenly realms (or hells for that matter), your personal identity will carry with you into these realms, but they are not permanent final destinations, and the goal is not to go to heaven, but rather to get off the wheel of Samsara so that you never return. Heaven and hell are both conditioned states of being, and as such cannot be the ultimate reality which is unconditioned and absolute. To me this seems far more logical and philosophically sound than the Abrahamic ideas of “afterlife” which seems to be thinly veiled materialism. In these philosophies the soul has a borderline identity relationship with the body, how old will you be in this ideal “heaven”? Matter is irredeemably impermanent and wholly bound up with suffering, there is no “perfect age” at which you are not already decaying. Does time just magically “stop”? There is no change but somehow there is still motion (I presume)? These images might be comforting to people but I find them to be absurd and philosophically indefensible. The thought of my body being dredged up and my soul being eternally bound to it like a genie in a lamp evokes a deep existential dread within me. This sounds absolutely hellish to me and in no way could I consider this liberation/salvation. It is a corruption of the truth, an attempt to make what is fundamentally unreal/impermanent into something real and eternal
      >you will never see anything or anyone you love ever again, how do you find peace with that
      According to Vedanta, I am those people I love, this one Self is the basis of love in the first place.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        > Heaven and hell are both conditioned states of being, and as such cannot be the ultimate reality which is unconditioned and absolute.
        They are unconditioned.
        > ideas of “afterlife” which seems to be thinly veiled materialism
        Physical aspect is part of it, but the overarching principle is complete wisdom, complete lack of disorder.
        > This sounds absolutely hellish to me and in no way could I consider this
        Why exactly?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >They are unconditioned
          Heaven and hell are unconditioned realities? This is literally impossible. Only God alone is the unconditioned/absolute reality.
          >Physical aspect is part of it
          See this is where I have to call bullshit, because anything that had a beginning will have an end, and can not be considered eternal. This whole idea rests on intellectually bankrupt metaphysical assumptions. Abrahamic traditions claim to believe in an “eternal soul” but that’s not true. They will say that the soul is created at conception, and anything created can in principle be destroyed, anything that had a beginning is NOT eternal. This metaphysics is hardly better than reductive materialism that sees consciousness as an emergent property of matter. The body is not eternal, and fantasies of an eternal material world is ignorance of the highest degree, mistaking the unreal for the real.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            > Heaven and hell are unconditioned realities? This is literally impossible. Only God alone is the unconditioned/absolute reality.
            Hell may be something akin to being sealed in samsara, but heaven is a personal experience of the unconditioned, in a revivified spirit-body.

            Idk if I even like the sound of this, though, as for the most part I don’t like myself and am disappointed in myself, and it would be a relief to no longer identify as who I am.

            >how do you guys find peace with God if the belief is that no aspects of your identity or material self go with you into the afterlife
            It would be more accurate to say that your true identity is timeless and that furthermore it was already free, complete, eternal and beyond all troubles/needs and always has been; and that ending transmigration is more like the dancing display of a theatre of phenomena (none of which are you) coming to an end, while you just remain in the infinite and blissful plenitude of yourself as you always have and always will.

            Sounds good.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            > Heaven and hell are unconditioned realities?
            The reason you think they’re impermanent is because they’re conditioned right? Yeah no they’re not conditioned, God simply assigns them according to his unconditioned sovereignty.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >how do you guys find peace with God if the belief is that no aspects of your identity or material self go with you into the afterlife
      It would be more accurate to say that your true identity is timeless and that furthermore it was already free, complete, eternal and beyond all troubles/needs and always has been; and that ending transmigration is more like the dancing display of a theatre of phenomena (none of which are you) coming to an end, while you just remain in the infinite and blissful plenitude of yourself as you always have and always will.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    How could the Formless be personal? And also, how could He not be personal?

    Paradoxal thinking. Westerners are not used to it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Why do you call it "He"?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Because Abrahamic ideology is insidious and most people think of God as having a gender (along with other blasphemous attributions they make)

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          AFAIK the majority of Vaishnavites and Shaivites conceive of their Supreme God as masculine, with a few small subschools who disagree but they are the execution that proves the general rule.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            *exception

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Fair enough, that’s why Advaita and Buddhism with it’s strict apophaticism are superior to those schools though with their crude anthropomorphism

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