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Hindus/Hiranyagarbha

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Question
Dear Brother William,

Thank you very much for your previous illuminating answers.

My understanding of Hiranyagarbha is that it is the state of Brahman before creation of the universe which is in an embryonic form (before Big Bang). But, I also read that the aspect of the Lord in our astral (sukshma) body is Hiranyagarbha (Ramana Maharshi).

Can you shed some light on this matter?

Answer
Dear Bijoy,

Thank you for your question.

Creation in Vedanta philosophy happens continuously; it is not a single, historical event sometime in the distant past. It is the evolution of Consciousness as the mind, ego, buddhi, citta, the five tanmatras, the five senses, and the five elements. It is a psychological analysis of human experience from the perspective of the individual. It is not to be compared with Western scientific theories that purport to understand the world objectively, as if that were really possible.

This is not to say the external world is not real in some sense. It is merely not the material object we assume it to be.

Hiranyagarbha in this model is the state of Consciousness prior to ego-awareness but short of liberation. It is equivalent to the vij˝anamaya kosha, the last sheath prior to total disidentification with any specific ego identity.

The purpose of this kind of analysis in Vedanta is to guide spiritual aspirants in the devolution of experience, the process of withdrawing identity from all perceivable objects and identities to realize the Self as the the state of Absolute Subjectivity, i.e., Pure Consciousness.

Best wishes,

Brother William

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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