Advaya lll


To the Eastern ways of liberation the most important discrimination possible is the one between ‘the two levels of reality’: between the level of the timeless, the discrimination less, the always-present (Reality with capital R), and the level of the manifesting, which continuously is changing, with birth, growth, decline and death. A multitude of definitions is possible for this second level, varying from ‘total illusion’ to ‘temporal reality’.

The order in which both levels are mentioned here is not arbitrary. Although of course terms like ‘first’ and ‘second’ level are ultimately not true, one can still say that it is essential for the realisation of one’s true nature to first dedicate oneself totally to what is always true, to what is ‘always already the case’: called ‘first level’ here. The fact is that if you continue to focus your attention to the particulars of the individual simultaneously, this will form a hindrance to the view of your nature that is always present.

Hence one can say: make the recognition of your true nature the all-important in your life, the main point. Owing to this recognition you can see that the first level encompasses the second one. The first level is always present within the second one, and the other way around. Training of discrimination between both levels and the nomination of the first level as ‘main point’ must not be interpreted as a means to deny or neglect the world of phenomena. It is about the recognition of a ‘hierarchy’, an order of importance, in which the essential is investigated first of all (and that just until the actual recognition of the same is a reality, so that after that all the non-essential can be interpreted from the recognition of the essential. Each reversal of this order leads to the continuation of the identification with a limited, perishable form.

In view of the great importance of this order or sequence, this latter could even be called ‘sacred sequence’. The world ‘sacred’ feels to be appropriate, because this word shows that it is not about a method here. For the individual does not have a say in the matter here anymore, so all methods have been dissolved into no-knowledge. ‘No-knowledge’ is another term for your true nature, or ‘no-mind’. All knowledge is a collection of memories stuck to the stillness of our essential nature. Exactly no-knowledge enables to see that the true nature of thinking and feeling, the true nature of ‘ourselves’ is simplicity. It is the simplicity of pure, concept less Consciousness.

All searching, stemming indeed from the urge to know, is carrying away from simplicity. The invitation is to let attention fall into this simplicity, now. Into that which is prior to thought. That you have never lost; in fact you cannot lose it.

The return to this simplicity of no-knowledge, no-mind, for instance by means of the question ‘Who am I?’, is an immediate, wordless Understanding, in which can be seen that no-knowledge is the source of all impulses, like thoughts and sensory perceptions. Thoughts may arise, and they may go again as well. Speaking is allowed, being silent is allowed as well. Immediate Understanding is never absent, neither whilst speaking, not during a possible projection of thoughts when there is silence, not during the absence of thoughts. Immediate Understanding is identical to pure Consciousness, which as ‘Awareness’, the essential nature of all thinking and feeling.

Being permeated by this immediate Understanding, and getting stabilised in it, is realisation of non-duality, of advaya.  This is the realisation of the natural state, also called the ‘Buddha-nature’. This is what it is all about here.

Philip Renard 2000 and 2015

(English translation: Johan Veldman)

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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8 Responses to Advaya lll

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    This would appear to tie-in nicely to the lengthy exchanges we enjoyed a few months back, Alberto. Many thanks, and best wishes, Hariod.

    • Beware! Anonymous is not a nihilist or a down and out sceptic as I formerly thought, but a sort of ‘know-it-all’, a seer who sees what we poor misled mortals cannot see, for his gaze is directed from the summit of mount Everest. We have had endless debates with him in ‘Advaita Vision’. I tell you, he is invulnerable. A Protagoras reborn.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wasn’t aware that Anonymous replied to this thread, Martin. I did have a good laugh at reading your comment, though. You are being too kind.

        In psychology 101, they teach you that what you see in others is usually what is going on in you. So when you dislike a trait or mood of a person, it is usually because you see it in yourself and react to it. We are mirrors to each other, that is all. Where is your non duality in your response? Is it to come to a conclusion about your experience? A final judgement? Surely, name calling is way beneath you and Advaitic principles.

      • ‘Is it not something like a battle, one trying to top the other, win them over, ‘share’ their conceptual view? Does it ever end? Lol’
        This is a proof of what you indicated, Hariod. Projection, projection…
        ‘… As with Martin, there are probably a few ‘influences’ there that he is also guilty of parading as his own. ‘
        Innuendo (I can also Lol!).
        Great! I should have known that this is the same Anonymous that is always on one’s back in AV!! He is the winner, as usual… but never (or hardly ever) answers specific questions put to him for the sake of argumentation.
        As to the conclusion (wh. Anon. will never agree with but rather, assuredly, refute), it is not hard, or an earth-moving revelation… for later.

      • Anonymous III
        If you want to hear something ‘personal’ from me, that is, my position in what interests, or seems to interest, us – Enlightenment? Self-realization? Understanding?), I subscribe the following published statements – hereunder – that are under my name.

        The following is excerpted from ‘The Celibacy project’ – 2010 http://www.nondualitymagazine.org/nonduality_magazine.celibacyproject.page.htm

        NDM: Are you saying that post moksha, there is no more free will, or a sense of free volition, to overcome these inclinations?
        Alberto Martin: I said [“there are things which we are not able to avoid doing, or, let’s say, are being inclined to do”] ‘being inclined to do’, not ‘determined to do’. There is bindingness, there is inclination (samskara or vasana), and there is freedom. In a way, everything is bound to happen – there is no free will; individual destinies (life stories) are what they are and were destined to be; this is the play of life, of samsara, where each person (‘persona’=mask) has a role to play, and one can either resist it or accept it willingly, knowing that it is a role. That is because samsara is also nirvana. If I know that I am not the role, but the witness behind the mask, then I, who am witness-consciousness, am free. Witness-consciousness is not different from pure consciousness

        Who is enlightened?
        Posted on 29 January, 2015by amartingarcia

        DIALOGUE.
        X. “Of course, if everything is like a dream (mithyA), then the sages and their scriptures are a part of that dream. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the teachings and the scriptures are not useful for awakening from the dream.”
        Y (Martin). That is true, in my understanding. ‘Life is a Dream’ (Calderón de la Barca’s play), ‘All the world’s a stage’ (Shakespeare). As to Vedanta, here is what a sage (among so many others) has said: “Vedanta plays the role of the dream lion in this world. Vedantic knowledge itself is part of the illusory world. But then it dissolves the entire illusion of this world, revealing reality as it is.” Sw. Parthsarathy.
        X. “If no one dies, then no one is enlightened either, and yet we still talk as if people really do die and really do become enlightened.”
        Y (Martin). True also. That modifier, ‘as if’, is crucial.
        In the next para. you write: “…an individual who appears to exist while not really existing (AS AN INDIVIDUAL) has appeared to become enlightened while not really being enlightened (AS THE PURPORTED INDIVIDUAL).” I have taken the liberty of adding the capital letters, for advaitic sense. Further, while ‘everybody is enlightened’, as Neo advaitins claim, ‘no one is enlightened’, as the sage Gaudapada declared. Are these two seemingly contradictory statements true – and in what sense? *
        X. “I think the problem with brain damage is the possibility that a j~nAnI [sage] would lose most or all of the knowledge (including Self-knowledge) that he gained through his studies… “
        Y (Martin). This is as seen from the vyavaharika (empirical) perspective, which cannot be denied (only understood). Jñani/s (sages) also experience thoughts and emotions. With them, these either quickly disappear, or are transmuted or resolved into consciousness; in fact, they are only consciousness, as mind is also a projection of consciousness.

        Something more for pondering: “People forget the reality of the illusory world”. Huang Po.

        (*) Gaudapada (Shankara, and the whole tradition of advaita Vedanta) deny multiplicity as being real. In essence ‘all is One’. The Neo-advaitin’s dictum (’everybody is enlightened’) is thus true and false at the same time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why do you want to consistently marginalize and reduce what I have to say into an image of who Anonymous might be? Is this a useful thing to do, Martin? I was getting the impression from our private chats that you were past this and we could talk about our ‘personal’ experience without judgement and dispute. Maybe some of the fault lies with me and my inability to express my own experience in a suitable language. But, I don’t really want to express this is in Advaitic or Buddhist terms as it sets up so many unnecessary images that don’t address the heart of the matter even though there is great poetry that flows from someone like Longchenpa. But it is not through poetry that one comes face to face with the here and now, but through your own attention to your own experience. No one can walk you through this. As Longchenpa reminds us that Rigpa is spontaneously self-sprung, not a result of any ‘intentional doing’. This statement is meant for us to reflect on how we are ‘intentionally doing’ from moment to moment to try to attain Rigpa or any other absolute or timeless state. In a very real way this is a total surrendering of will, or ego.

    • Anonymous III
      If you want to hear something ‘personal’ from me, that is, my position in what interests, or seems to interest, us – Enlightenment? Self-realization? Understanding?), I subscribe the following published statements – hereunder – that are under my name.

      The following is excerpted from ‘The Celibacy project’ – 2010 http://www.nondualitymagazine.org/nonduality_magazine.celibacyproject.page.htm

      NDM: Are you saying that post moksha, there is no more free will, or a sense of free volition, to overcome these inclinations?

      Alberto Martin: I said [“there are things which we are not able to avoid doing, or, let’s say, are being inclined to do”] ‘being inclined to do’, not ‘determined to do’. There is bindingness, there is inclination (samskara or vasana), and there is freedom. In a way, everything is bound to happen – there is no free will; individual destinies (life stories) are what they are and were destined to be; this is the play of life, of samsara, where each person (‘persona’=mask) has a role to play, and one can either resist it or accept it willingly, knowing that it is a role. That is because samsara is also nirvana. If I know that I am not the role, but the witness behind the mask, then I, who am witness-consciousness, am free. Witness-consciousness is not different from pure consciousness

      Who is enlightened?
      Posted on 29 January, 2015by amartingarcia

      DIALOGUE.
      X. “Of course, if everything is like a dream (mithyA), then the sages and their scriptures are a part of that dream. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the teachings and the scriptures are not useful for awakening from the dream.”

      Y (Martin). That is true, in my understanding. ‘Life is a Dream’ (Calderón de la Barca’s play), ‘All the world’s a stage’ (Shakespeare). As to Vedanta, here is what a sage (among so many others) has said: “Vedanta plays the role of the dream lion in this world. Vedantic knowledge itself is part of the illusory world. But then it dissolves the entire illusion of this world, revealing reality as it is.” Sw. Parthsarathy.

      X. “If no one dies, then no one is enlightened either, and yet we still talk as if people really do die and really do become enlightened.”

      Y (Martin). True also. That modifier, ‘as if’, is crucial.
      In the next para. you write: “…an individual who appears to exist while not really existing (AS AN INDIVIDUAL) has appeared to become enlightened while not really being enlightened (AS THE PURPORTED INDIVIDUAL).” I have taken the liberty of adding the capital letters, for advaitic sense. Further, while ‘everybody is enlightened’, as Neo advaitins claim, ‘no one is enlightened’, as the sage Gaudapada declared. Are these two seemingly contradictory statements true – and in what sense? *

      X. “I think the problem with brain damage is the possibility that a j~nAnI [sage] would lose most or all of the knowledge (including Self-knowledge) that he gained through his studies… “

      Y (Martin). This is as seen from the vyavaharika (empirical) perspective, which cannot be denied (only understood). Jñani/s (sages) also experience thoughts and emotions. With them, these either quickly disappear, or are transmuted or resolved into consciousness; in fact, they are only consciousness, as mind is also a projection of consciousness.

      Something more for pondering: “People forget the reality of the illusory world”. Huang Po.
      (*) Gaudapada (Shankara, and the whole tradition of advaita Vedanta) deny multiplicity as being real. In essence ‘all is One’. The Neo-advaitin’s dictum (’everybody is enlightened’) is thus true and false at the same time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We seem to be on very different wave lengths. Sorry to bother you.

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