Celibacy/Abstinence/Advaita and Platonism

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hello,

I read some secular philosophy, both eastern and western. Do you think the Advaita philosophy was propragated and influenced the ancient Greek philosophy called Platonism?  WHy there is some similarities as both believed in reincarnation and meditation? Annd below when it says one must become God, not like God, but God, is it self-realization?

In practice it says: "Here, then, we enter upon the practical philosophy. Along the same road by which it descended the soul must retrace its steps back to the supreme Good. It must first of all return to itself. This is accomplished by the practice of virtue, which aims at likeness to God, and leads up to God. In the ethics of Plotinus all the older schemes of virtue are taken over and arranged in a graduated series. The lowest stage is that of the civil virtues, then follow the purifying, and last of all the divine virtues. The civil virtues merely adorn the life, without elevating the soul. That is the office of the purifying virtues, by which the soul is freed from sensuality and led back to itself, and thence to the nous. By means of ascetic observances the human becomes once more a spiritual and enduring being, free from all sin. But there is still a higher attainment; it is not enough to be sinless, one must become "God" (henosis). This is reached through contemplation of the primeval Being, the One ó in other words, through an ecstatic approach to it. Thought cannot attain to this, for thought reaches only to the nous, and is itself a kind of motion. It is only in a state of perfect passivity and repose that the soul can recognize and touch the primeval Being. Hence the soul must first pass through a spiritual curriculum. Beginning with the contemplation of corporeal things in their multiplicity and harmony, it then retires upon itself and withdraws into the depths of its own being, rising thence to the nous, the world of ideas. But even there it does not find the Highest, the One; it still hears a voice saying, "not we have made ourselves." The last stage is reached when, in the highest tension and concentration, beholding in silence and utter forgetfulness of all things, it is able as it were to lose itself. Then it may see God, the foundation of life, the source of being, the origin of all good, the root of the soul. In that moment it enjoys the highest indescribable bliss; it is as it were swallowed up of divinity, bathed in the light of eternity. Porphyry says that on four occasions during the six years of their intercourse, Plotinus attained to this ecstatic union with God."

ANSWER: 1. There are many philosophies world over that have similarities. The self is considered no different from God, being an integral part in Advaita. Hence the objective of oneness.

2. The union described is the merger that the Yogi experiences in 'Nirvikalpa Samadhi' (non-dual super-consciousness). When the Yogi is able to hold on to that state even while passing through the daily motions of life, it becomes continuous and permanent. That is the state of the self in the self, beyond time. It is permanent union with God.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Those philosophies are without any religious content which means the essence of religion is philosophy, not worship or rituals which come after. The true religious practice is detachment without giving any importance to religious backgrounds.

Answer
1. The essence of any religion is to reach the Atman (self) and nothing else. Philosophy is an elaboration of methods to overcome identification with the non-self. There is no other objective.

2. True religion is hence the means to attain to the self and the self only. The self is always full & complete, not being attached or detached from anything, for there is nothing to attach or detach with.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  

Celibacy/Abstinence

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Dhananjay

Expertise

Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.

Experience

The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

Education/Credentials
Bachelors degree in Engineering.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.