Footloose Sanyasi #4: A different take on Vedanta

Madhukar Thompson goes to afternoon satsang with Ram

Thiruvannamalai, Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ram is teaching two fundamentals of traditional Vedanta different from what Sri Gangolli used to teach.

According to Sri Adi Shankara (and Sri Gangolli), the deep sleep “state” IS actually Pure Consciousness. According to Ram the deep sleep state is NOT PC (Pure Consciousness) but one of the three states (besides waking and dream state) that comes and goes; a state of pure consciousness but with ignorance of our true nature. The vasanas (tendencies of the mind and body) are resting dormant only to appear again on waking up into the dream or waking state.

The point is: In deep sleep the subjective direct “non-experience” for the “non-sleeper” is that his ego, mind, body and the world don’t exist. Nor is there space and time. So how can there be a seed?

Gangolli/Shankara teach that on waking up, manifestation (or dream) appears in and as consciousness with name and form; consciousness and manifestation “coexist” concomitantly (at the same time). Ram says through conception and perception, through the senses and the mind, respectively, the objects without are reflected within. That is to say the world keeps existing objectively while we are asleep and they are already there, waiting for us, so to speak, when we wake up. In contrast, Gangolli/Shankara teach that only the direct subjective experience counts. This means that the world manifests itself (“each time”) at the moment of waking up from sleep. In fact, the mind, body and world exist only at the instant of conception or/and perception. Pure Consciousness and the appearing manifestation remain always non-dual!

I will need to discuss this point with Ram in one of the future sessions.


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