Infinity Expression: 23.10.2019: Let us not forget the soul catching net…your gita does not talk about these things..and if the consciousness were unified and not splitted up there would be no chemtrails…be sure. A – divine only – consciousness never creates pathogenic or ecocidal situations…that is a contradictio in adjecto.. NEVER!
“Reincarnation: WHO is it that Travels? Atma? Jiva? Subtle body?”
Arsha Bodha Center – Swami Tadatmananda
Atma, the eternal consciousness which is your true nature, and soul – sukshma sharira – are often confused with each other. This presentation employs the traditional sun/bucket metaphor to make the difference between these two easily understood.
Swami Tadatmananda is a traditionally-trained teacher of Advaita Vedanta, meditation, and Sanskrit. For more information, please see: https://www.arshabodha.org/”
“We can restate this with familiar Sanskrit terms and say,
there is but one paramatma, one supreme or universal consciousness, whereas there are many jivatmas, many
individual conscious beings. Notice that it’s the presence of water in each bucket that allows it to reflect the
sun. In the same way, it’s the presence of your sukshma sharira that allows you to enjoy sentiency
and experience the world around you. (Swami Tadatmananda)(2017)
As long as your sukshma sharira continues to dwell in your physical body,
you’ll continue to experience the world.
And when your sukshma sharira leaves your physical body,
your experience of this life will come to an end.
Now, to understand reincarnation a little better, we can extend this metaphor.
Suppose one of the buckets is 85 years old.
The wood is rotting and several leaks have been already been plugged up
so that the bucket can´t continue to hold water.
That’s like doctors plugging up the leaks in our bodies, so to speak,
using various medical procedures to keep us alive.
Eventually, the old bucket will leak so badly
that it’s impossible to prevent the water from draining out.
This, obviously, represents death.
When a bucket is empty, it no longer reflects the sun.
There’s just an empty bucket.
In the same way, when the sukshma sharira leaves a physical body,
the reflection or manifestation of consciousness comes to an end,
and the body no longer enjoys sentiency.
There’s just a dead body.
Now, it’s time for a riddle, like a zen koan.
Does the sun shine on an empty bucket?
The answer, of course, is yes.
The sun shines on an empty bucket, but the sun is no longer reflected by it.
So, if we ask, is the one, all-pervasive consciousness known as atma present in a dead body?,
the answer, most certainly, is yes.
Consciousness is all pervasive.
How can you keep it out of a dead body?
But even though it’s present in a dead body, consciousness is no longer manifest or reflected there,
due to the absence of the sukshma sharira.
Now, we can extend this metaphor even further.
Suppose the water that leaked out of the 85 year old bucket
is collected and poured into a new bucket, a tiny little baby bucket.
Then, we’ll see a new reflection of the sun in the baby bucket.
I suppose this represents the birth of a sun, if you’ll forgive the pun.
When you see that one reflected sun has disappeared from the old bucket,
and a new reflected sun has appeared in the baby bucket,
you might wrongly assume that the sun has traveled from the old bucket to the new bucket,
when it’s actually the water that has traveled.
In the same way, many people wrongly assume that atma travels from one body to the next,
when it’s actually the sukshma sharira that travels.
In addition to the traditional metaphor we just used,
there’s a clever modern metaphor that you might find helpful.
Your desktop computer has hardware and software.
And so do you.
The computer’s hardware represents your sthula sharira, your physical body,
and the computer’s software represents your sukshma sharira.
If you look inside your computer, you’ll see the power supply unit in a corner.
In this metaphor, that power supply represents your heart.
You’ll also see a tangle of assorted wires that represent your veins, arteries, and nerves.
And you’ll find the main CPU chip hidden beneath its cooling fins.
Obviously, the CPU chip represents your brain.
Inside the computer chassis, you’ll also find the hard disk,
the memory unit that contains all your computer’s software.
That hard disk weighs about a pound
and might be able to store 20 gigabytes of software in its memory.
Now, if you were to completely erase all the software from that hard disk,
would it weigh less?
And if you were to store more software on that hard disk,
filling it up to its 20 gigabyte capacity, would it weigh more?
This metaphor accurately describes the distinction between sthula and sukshma,
physical and non-physical.
The hard disk is physical hardware like any part of your physical body.
But the software is not physical, it is subtle, like your sukshma sharira.
Without any software, your computer would be useless.
It’s the presence and function of software that makes your computer a powerful, intelligent device.
In the same way, it’s the presence and function of your sukshma sharira
that makes you powerful and intelligent.
Suppose your computer has been working fine, but when you try turn it on today, nothing happens;
the screen remains dark.
You hit control-alt-delete, or whatever, and try to reboot it, but nothing happens.
What’s the problem?
If your computer isn’t plugged into an electrical outlet, how can it work?
In this metaphor, electricity represents atma, the one, all-pervasive consciousness,
like the sun did in the previous example.
It is electricity that makes each computer work,
and it is the one, all-pervasive consciousness, atma, that makes all living beings sentient.
If many computers are plugged into the same power source,
it’s actually the same electricity flowing into each of the computers.
In the same way, it’s the same all-pervasive atma shining within each of us,
illumining our minds, revealing our thoughts, emotions, and memories, and enabling us to experience the world.
Now, we can extend this metaphor to explain reincarnation,
like we extended the bucket metaphor.
When you buy a brand new computer, what’s the first thing you do with your old computer?
You download all the software files from your old computer,
and then you upload them to your new computer.
Computer geeks call this software migration;
we could call it transmigration.
Just like software can be transferred or migrated from an old computer to a new one,
the sukshma sharira travels from a dead body to a new one.
To complete this metaphor,
suppose you erased all the software from your old computer.
Then, even when it’s plugged into an electrical outlet and switched on,
nothing will happen.
The computer will be dead, so to speak.
In the same way, even though the one, all-pervasive consciousness continues to pervade a dead body,
that body will be lifeless in the absence of a sukshma sharira. (Swami Tadatmananda)(2017)
Now, we come to the final part of this presentation.
Wood eventually rots and water seeps out of old buckets.
That’s the way nature works.
Computers eventually grow old.
They get outdated and become incompatible with newer generations of software.
So an old computer must be retired just like an old bucket.
All this refers to the fact that our bodies are constantly aging
and will eventually be unable to hold on to a sukshma sharira.
We know that our sukshma shariras will travel on to inhabit new bodies,
but we also know that at the time of death, we lose everything.
We lose our loved ones, our possessions, the activities we enjoy, everything.
It seems like a terrible loss awaits us all at the end of our lives.
But, with the help of Vedanta, we can discover that we truly lose nothing at the time of death.
How is that possible?
Let’s return to the bucket metaphor.
When all the water leaks out of an old bucket, it stops reflecting the sun, and this represents death.
But, how is the sun affected by that?
Not at all.
The sun just goes on shining as the bucket decays, as it leaks, when it’s empty,
and when its water is poured into a new baby bucket.
The sun remains unchanged throughout.
As we saw before, the sun represents the one, all-pervasive consciousness, atma.
And, that atma is you.
With the help of the teachings of Vedanta, you can discover that you are that very consciousness.
You posses a physical body, but you’re not that body.
You possess a sukshma sharira that inhabits your body, but you’re not that sukshma sharira either.
You are the consciousness that illumines your mind.
You are the consciousness that experiences all your thoughts, memories, and emotions.
You are sat cit ananda.
You are cit, consciousness.
And that consciousness is sat, real.
What is truly real is unborn, unchanging, and eternal.
That means, you are eternal, unchanging consciousness.
And that eternal consciousness is ananda,
it is full, complete, perfect, limitless.
These teachings are amongst the greatest discoveries of the ancient rishis.
Unfortunately, due to ignorance, we usually identify ourselves with our bodies and minds,
more specifically, with our sthula and sukshma shariras.
And this erroneous identification turns out to be the root of all suffering.
The teachings of Vedanta demonstrate this clearly.
Fortunately, we can put an end to suffering by destroying that false identification.
We can use the teachings of Vedanta as a guide to look within ourselves,
in a process of self-inquiry.
And, that process of self-inquiry can lead to a personal, direct discovery of what the ancient rishis discovered.
That discovery is moksha, freedom, liberation.
Moksha is not merely freedom from rebirth.
Moksha is also freedom from ignorance,
freedom from false identification,
and freedom from the suffering caused by our ignorance and false identification. (Swami Tadatmananda)(2017)”
vor 6 Monaten
Such a SUPERB video, Swamiji! As a physician, my comment is that brain cells are just vehicles (vaahanas) for
memory and other brain functions. A stroke in the left parietal lobe deprives us of speech. But the patient can
learn other ways to communicate; the thoughts and ideas are not destroyed. Many scientists want to limit
consciousness to just brain activity whereas brain activity is just an electrical activity that reflects what
consciousness is doing.
I too have been very concerned about what “Aathma” really means and this is probably the finest presentation on the
subject that I have ever seen! This is a poem I wrote over 20 years ago on this subject:
The seeker and the Sought
We see, but who is the seer?
We dance, but who is the dancer?
We think, but who is the thinker?
Greater, grander, and mightier,
Than the seer, thinker or dancer,
Is the Self, the Spirit, the Consciousness
Still, silent, deep, yet suffused
With light, beauty and wonder.
Seek thou this light, this Source.
To seek, however, is not to find.
For It finds you, and you do not find It.
As you dwell in peace, at rest,
With the trust that It is not far
Indeed a hairsbreadth away,
It overcomes, overpowers and enlightens.
With the power of a million candles
It burns away our ignorance, our ego,
Our craving, unrest and turmoil.
To infuse joy, restfulness, and peace.
With it comes wisdom, love, and understanding.
Centered, we are then, to dwell forever,
In That, the elusive goal
The final frontier.
October 20, 1996