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  1. My brother vsd prasad, thank you for your contribution. However, I would like to clarify that I really do not have a problem with the fact that the body that I have is temporary. If that is what 'Asat' means. The problem is with its translation as 'non-existent'. The body is not non-existent, even if it is temporal. My only problem is that reality and illusion are not distinguished by their temporal or eternal nature. The points of distinction are other than this factor. A dream is an illusion not because it ends and life is not relatively 'real' because it continues after the dream. What I had asked for was to give an example from life where we had held something to be real and later, merely because it ended, we called it an illusion. A dream is not such an example. Even if we held the dream to be real while we were in the process of dreaming, yet it was not its temporal nature that made it an illusion. On the contrary, the mere realizatioin that it was a dream made it an illusion. I would like you to think of an example in real life where you considered something to be real and later, merely because of its temporal nature, we categorized it as an illusion. Thank you very much. God bless you.
  2. Thank you, my brother Avinash In that case, it seems that the translation of 'asat' as 'non-existent' is not accurate. Would you not agree? As you taught me earlier the prefix of 'a' to a word makes an opposite of that word. Applying the principle here, if 'sat' means one that exists eternally, then 'asat' would obviously mean that which does not exist eternally. Would you not agree then that that is how it should be rendered in the translation? This again points to the inadequacy of the translation, then. No. The person himself would decide and adjust accordingly. If that is not the case, it would indeed be real for the person, even if that means that the world considers the person to be sick. I still do not think that the time for which something is perceived is of any significance here. Please do bear in mind that we are not talking about the perception of one person here. I might consider another person's spiritual experiences as his 'illusions', as I have no way of knowing if they are real or even true. What we are talking about here is that we see, touch, taste, hear or smell something. The experience of each and every individual is the same and can be repeated for another person, without any value judgments. As an example, take this discussion. Every person who clicks on the relevant links can see and read it. Now, while the forum was being shifted to a new server and this discussion was not viewable for sometime, do you really think that the respected visitors and readers of this forum started believing that because it was perceivable for a very short time only, this discussion was just an illusion? I still do not understand how? I have met my grandfather for a very small fraction of my life. I have never seen him since his death, early in my life. I know I will never meet him in this life again. However long I may live. Yet the experience of meeting him is not an illusion, either to me or to anyone else. Can you please give me a real practical (not philosophical) example from your life, where you considered something an illusion merely because of the length of the time for which you perceived it? Ok. If that is what you say. However, 'real' and 'unreal' are words of the English language with established connotations and their connotation is not relative to the time of sense perceptions of the person perceiving them to be real.
  3. Thank you, brother Avinash, I am sorry, but I do not understand this explanation. You write: It is not the length of time that makes something an illusion. On the contrary, it is the subject's unreal nature that makes it an illusion. However short the time for which the body exists, it cannot be said to be non-existent, while it exists. Obviously, one may live a whole lifetime with an illusion, yet it would remain non-existent. As you have very correctly explained it as "i.e.something perceived to be existent but non-existent in reality". You write: I really don't understand this. An Illusion is quite different than real existence, even if it is for an iota of a second. How can we call real existence to be an illusion or non-existent, merely because that existence is for a short time only? As for the second reason, can you please explain how we understand that? If that is what the scripture actually means by 'existent', then why does it not use the phrase 'independently existent'. Is there no word for 'independently existent' in the language of the scripture? Secondly, the opposite of independently existent is not 'non-existent', but 'dependently existent'. Why then use the phrase 'non-existent' for not independently existent? You wrtie: "non-existent" or "temporary"? If it is temporary, then the explanation 'hence will not endure for ever' is redundant, as that is precisely what temporary means. If it is 'non-existent', then the explanation 'hence will not endure for ever' is contradictory, as something that does not exist and never will exist, endures to not exist. I hope, I could make myself clear.
  4. Dear brother, I am sorry to take you back a few shlokas. While trying to summarize whatever I have read thus far, the following once again caught my eye: Just wanted to know why the material body is called non-existent? Also, 'the non-existent has no endurance' seems to be self refuting. It is like saying the one who is never born will not survive. How do we understand this?
  5. I see. So if i were to do a job for the purpose of making a living, i'd be 'karmic' and if i were doing a job only for the purpose of earniing God's pleasures, then I would 'akarmic'. Correct? Hopefully, I understand now. Just a point of clarification, if one does something for the purpose of getting rewards for the soul (for instance getting freedom) or for getting into God's kingdom, would that not make the actions karmic?
  6. Thank you, my brother Avinash, I get your point. But, forgive me for asking, what practical difference would it make if one were not making this distinction and were mistakenly identifying the body with the soul? This is precisely what I do not understand. What is the way of looking, that would place these conditions in the body, rather than the soul. Brother, I understand (and please correct me where I am wrong): The body is a tool assigned to the soul, the soul is the controller of the body; The body does what the soul makes it do; Thus the soul is responsible for its actions and should be rewarded and punished accordingly (however it may be) The foregoing is what we agree on. Now, if someone were to say that the body is not responsible for its actions or that the body acts under the influence of the soul or even that the soul can be acting under the influence of ignorance or passion or goodness, it would corroborate with the above and would raise no questions in the mind. However, in contrast, if one were to say that the soul does not act but is only doing things under the influence of the body, this would make the body responsible. It would clearly be like saying that the driver does not drive, but only acts under the various conditions of the motor vehicle. If this is true, then the very premise of the driver (or the soul) being responsible is refuted. In this case, the driver is no longer responsible and, therefore, it is the body that deserves punishment and that too only if these conditions are opted by the body. I understand how we can say that the conditions of passion, ignorance and goodness are related to the soul. Now, can you please explain how do we look at it to say that the conditions of passion, goodness and ignorance are related to the body, and not the soul? Thank you.
  7. Please excuse me, but may I know what is a 'Karmi'? Why is this question asked specifically for karmis? Is 'Karmi' an atheist?
  8. Thank you, my brother Avinash You write: Why is it required to reduce identification with body? Continuing with the example of the car. Suppose, I was driving your car and I hit someone with that car. Now, in this case, you are not going to say 'I hit someone', merely because your car hit someone and I cannot avoid saying that 'I hit someone', merely because it was your car with which I hit someone. It is clearly the driver's fault and the ascription of hitting will always be made to the driver, knowing that the car cannot and does not operate on its own. This is obviously based on the principle of responsibility or control. If one were to hit and kill another person with a hammer, how can one plead that the hammer killed the person and, therefore, I should not be punished for it? If the body is truly a tool, as you say and if the soul is truly the driver of this tool, then how can we say that the actions are performed by the body and not the soul? How can we even say that the body acted in ignorance or goodness or passion? Does the car act in passion when a speeding driver crushes an old woman passing the road? To sum it up, what I still fail to understand is: If the body is only a tool and the soul is the driver of this tool and if the body cannot perform anything without the soul and if the soul is controling every conscious action of the body, only then the responsibility of action should be on the soul and not on the body, as you say that it is. In this case, I can understand someone saying that the soul acts under the influence of passion or goodness or ignorance or under varying combinations of these qualities, but, if the body and soul are, what you say they are, then I cannot understand if someone says that the soul does not act, it is the body that acts under the influence of the three modes of physical existence. In my mind, it would be like saying that the driver did not do anything, it was the car that acted under the influence of passion (of speeding). I hope this will clarify the question in my mind. Thank you and God bless you.
  9. I am sorry for such a long break, brother. I was very indisposed and could not even come to read the forums. Today, I had to recollect the point at which we had reached in the Gita. The last verse, I had posted my question was 3.5. I had asked you about the three modes of material nature. Allow me to summarize the results of the discussion that ensued: The three modes of material nature are goodness, passion and ignorance, all human activity falls within the framework of any one or a combination of these three modes; This means that the concept of goodness, passion and ignorance are related to the physical body not to the soul. These are the two points that I have understood, however, subsequently, you say that when a man sins, it is not his body, but his soul that sins and, as a result, his soul will have to pay for the sins. My question is, if goodness, passion and ignorance are concepts related to the material body, then how do we say that the soul sins. The soul would only have been responsible for actions, if the concepts of goodness, passion and ignorance were related to the soul and not to the human body. May be, when you say that the three modes of goodness, passion and ignorance are related to the physical body, you mean something other than what I am interpreting. Please do clarify.
  10. Thank you My brother Avinash, Brother, I am still not clear with this explanation. Let me ask you a direct question. When a person sins, is it the soul that is being sinful or the body? Is it the sould that would require cleansing or is it the body?
  11. As much as I understand it, Hinduism is itself a mystical movement.
  12. Does this mean that whatever wrongs committed by a person are committed by the body and not by the soul? Is all the blame to be placed on the body? Are the decisions for right and wrong taken by the body and not the soul?
  13. Thank you brother Avinash, Does this mean that the concept of goodness, passion and ignorance are related to the physical body and not to the soul?
  14. Thank you, brother Avinash, This is with reference to BG 3.27, which says: "The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature" Can you please explain what is meant by the 'three modes of material nature'?
  15. Thank you, my brother Avinash, After reading your response, I was looking for some explanations of this shloka. I found this one (by Mr. Swami Sivananda) to be closest to what the words apparently imply: Do you not consider this to be correct?
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