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Unformatted text preview: Shankara Discussion --Myers, Stephanie10/12/20100 The Atman is the essence of a being or human. It is our core self, unchanging, and eternal; "eternally manifest by the power of its own knowledge. Its glories are infinite". Shankara speaks of the of the three gunas, or qualities, that make up all material, including man. He speaks of the veil of Tamas, which hides from man the true nature of the Atman. Tamas, in ancient Hindu beliefs, is the quality of stupor, laziness, stupidity, heaviness, and ignorance in general. Shankara says when the Atman is concealed, man becomes deluded and identifies himself with his body, which is non-Atman, and no longer sees the truth of the eternal being which he really is. Shankara also speaks of Rajas, another guna which is the active principle opposite of Tamas. The power of Raja attacks the man, creating fears and sorrows in him, leading him on the path of suffering as he is mislead by Tamas into believing the physical, like his body, is real and of ultimate concern. According to Shankara, the bondage created by Tamas and Raja can only be broken by "the sharp sword of knowledge" which is "forged by discrimination and made keen by purity of heart, through divine grace." Discrimination, in Shankara's meaning, is one's ability to see to the heart of truth. To realize the physical body and manifestations are temporary illusions, and the Atman-Brahman is the true reality; that which is eternal, unchanging, and the part of ourselves which is the nature of our eternal consciousness. Our soul, if you will. ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2010 for the course PHIL 1301 taught by Professor Lolly during the Fall '10 term at Lone Star College System.
- Fall '10