Updated: May 3, 2024

Good morning exploring the Brahma Sutras and related scriptures. I thought, let's call this series exploring Brahma Sutras and related scriptures and the Brahma Sutras, of course, have a history as the Vedanta Sutras, attributed to somebody called Badarayana. And before that, even to Vyasa who wrote the Mahabharata, according to Ancient law. And of course, the Shankara and many of the monastics from the Ramari mission. But as I read these Sutras, I find some of them redundant and some of them arcane and some of them actually may be confusing to modern people and modern societies.

So I'm taking the liberty of using the Sutras to trigger whatever thoughts come to me randomly and put them to the best of my ability into a coherent hole that might be of benefit to you, may not be of benefit to you. This is my journey right now and I'm sharing it with you. So with that little bit I will read to sutras right now in Sanskrit and then we'll see what they trigger. OK. So the first one says शास्त्रयोनित्वात्
Śāstrayonitvāt शास्त्रयोनित्वात्
Śāstrayonitvāt it says Brahman is known through the scriptures. And then the second principle there, a statement there which is an extension of that says the first cause is an intelligent principle. OK. The first cause is an intelligent principle. So let's discuss these two ideas, but then let's actually expand on them and then expand on them and actually maybe even start a few spiritual practices that might be helpful. But I'll need your feedback and see if you are finding this enjoyable at all.

OK. So here we go. Brahman is the ultimate reality, the ground state of all existence. OK. But this ground state is a state of pure awareness. And this ground state has been experienced by great Seers, Sages, Richis, avatars enlightened beings. And we might say messengers of the divine, they in turn contributed to spiritual practices that we can talk about. And these include many things, Raj Yoga, the eight limbs of yoga, which I have spoken about social emotional intelligence, understanding the body as a field of awareness through postures and yoga techniques, withdrawal of the senses, interoceptive awareness. And that's one huge contribution, yoga called Raj Yoga. But then there's the yoga which is devotion and love. Basically, love is the means to realization, self realization. There's karma yoga which is love and action in my view. And there's gyan yoga, the intellectual principle, these are various methodologies to that have contributed to spiritual literature, literature, the other is our own inquiry, our own inquiry into the nature of reality.

And that is a meditative practice inquiry, including the direct method. Then there is a very important cause here principle here is that the knowledge we acquire of spirituality is a different kind of knowledge. It's not something we know, rather, it's something we become. So there's an expression to the extent that you know Brahman, you become Brahman. And these are very important principles. Then of course, there are all these different schools of interpretation of spiritual literature schools. You may have heard of as the what do you call it? The six schools of Indian philosophy, Sankhya, which is a dualistic school where Purusa and Prakrti are experienced differently but represent the same underlying reality.

That's one Sankhya, we can explore that as also contributing to tantra. Then there's Yoga which I've just talked about the different types of yoga. There's something called Nyaya, which is logic, inference and deduction, but also understanding the limitations of human knowing, which we and philosophical systems call epistemology, the limitations of knowing and the modes of knowing. And so that is part of what might be called Nyaya as well to use logic, to understand the limitations of logic, to use rationality, to understand that actually, rational thinking, logic, reason. they don't give us access to reality, they only upgrade the experience of perceived reality. But that's nice too, isn't it? And then there's something called Vaisheshika, which is metaphysics into the nature of reality beyond the physical. There is Mimamsa which is basically the integration of various understanding of literature, the study of hermetic.

And finally, there's Vedanta which is my favorite know that by which all is known. And what is that? Atman and Brahman pretty extensive literature here. And what I would like to do is start with some basic principles that are inspired by the sutra but then take off independently on our own and shoot the breeze and see if it helps us. It helps me by the way to share all this with you. So today, let's do a very simple examination of something that both the the what do you call it? Vedantists and the some contemplative traditions of Buddhism agree on. OK. So in the Buddhist version, all phenomena arise from and emptiness and that emptiness is the intelligent principal. The first cause. Emptiness is the intelligent principle, the first cause. But then there is the different vocabulary in Vedanta, the emptiness is referred to as as the formless without which form is not possible. And that, which asks these questions that which inquires into the nature of the mind, nature of the intellect, nature of the ego nature of the body nature of the physical world that which enquires and that which wants to seek understanding is formless and invisible.

And it acquires some understanding by examining form and phenomena as expressions of that formless. OK. So whatever the, whatever you wanna call it, whether it's emptiness, chidakasha, formless fundamental reality, Atman Brahman, that which we call I I am, we're meaning all the same thing. So you cannot directly see yourself because you're invisible. What you see as the ongoing changing body. Mind is a symbolic representation of the invisible. And so is the world. So is everything that you call an object. So is everything that you call a thought. So is everything you call a feeling. So is everything we call a quality of experience or qualia. And all these phenomena arise from emptiness or the formlessness as interdependent co-arising interdependent co-arising nothing exists by itself even objectively and also subjectively. So you can take any example, OK, and say, OK, this is a book and this is made of paper. The paper comes from a tree, the tree is the entire ecosystem of trees and other biological organisms that the tree represents the flora, the fauna, the bees, the bugs, the the microbiome, the weather patterns and of course, the trees all the way also made of the same elements and forces as the universe.

So it's held together by subatomic forces, strong and weak interactions, electromagnetism, gravity and all of that is part of the cosmos. So in that tree, not only in that tree, in a fruit, in a leaf, in a twig, in a branch is the whole universe. So the tree is the interdependent co-arising of the universe, the ground state of which is the zero point infinite potential energy state. The singularity that's one very deep level of examination of any object, doesn't matter what that object.

It could be a book, it could be a hand, it could be the spectacles, it could be that painting. When you really look into the nature of it, you end up with the ultimate reality. And so too is every other phenomenon that we experience, you know, you look at sunrises in the east and west. But that's an appearance of a much deeper relationship of, you know, the earth circling on its own axis going around the sun, the complicated movement of the sun, moon and earth as related to each other. So the sun rise is just the appearance of an entire universe of interdependent happenings. So is the weather, you know, you say, what's the weather like today is the interdependent co-arising of things like temperature, pressure, humidity, wind clouds, et cetera. Look at the decomposition of death of any biological organism involves so many things, microorganisms, temperature, moisture, you know, all kinds of elements and forces or look at wave propagation of sound, which requires the movement of air as a medium, wave propagation of ocean as waves of water, water being the medium propagation of light with space.

And then ultimately, the propagation or the manifestation of the whole universe from probability waves in an infinite consciousness. So this is amazing, isn't it? That no one thing exists by itself? And that leads to a deeper understanding of empathy and compassion and love and joy and compassion and letting go. Because you as body, mind don't exist by itself, you're the matrix of beingness. Yeah, the matrix of inter beingness. OK. So with that today, let's do a simple, there are many exercises that go under the heading of something we call Mahamudra, the great seat of contemplative inquiry and to the nature of reality.

So right now as you're looking at me, instead of looking at me on your screen, actually look at the space, bring your awareness to your eyes, look at the space and note that this space right in front of you is connected to intergalactic space that just by putting your attention here in this space, you connect it to everything all that exists. And this space doesn't have a form, doesn't have boundaries, doesn't although some cosmologists will say it's expanding and that's called dark energy, forget the nuances of mathematics and all that.

But this space right in front of you is connected to all of space intergalactic, infinite space, a little bit of contemplative awareness of this space and you're connected to all that exists and now close your eyes and experience your own body as empty space. Of course, in that empty space, you may hear sounds, you may feel sensations. images and qualia may crop up and disappear as soon as they do, but they are modulations of space. And in that space is the matrix of all existence. So experience your body as made of space, as formless and make that your internal reference point and now open your eyes and look at your body and look at everything around.

This is the interdependent co-arising of empty space of empty space. The first intelligent principle because this space is not just empty and void is the womb of creation. It has self organization, self regulation, synchronicity, evolution and infinite possibilities make the formless your constant companion and we can delve deeper as we explore these sutras and related scriptures. It doesn't matter if the scriptures include Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, Yoga Vasistha, Baghvad Gita, And some of the other texts that I'm not mentioning right now. But they're part of this great body of scripture. OK. My friends have a wonderful day and let me know if this is useful..

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