Truth, Brahman and Parabrahman

Truth, Brahman and Parabrahman

From a discussion on-line on the concept of truth I thought worth sharing. Not as organized as an article. Edited slightly for context.

I’d suggest that expecting there to be one truth that is universally true is false. Reality is different in different stages of development.

Everything is material is quite true for some people. This is more honest than someone saying the world is an illusion philosophically when they experience it as real.

Absolute and Relative, 2 faces of one reality is another truth that arises when consciousness becomes conscious within.

One reality that shows many faces is another truth. And so on.

And there are many variations and different ways of framing even these few.

Statement: The idea of truth is that it is utterly reliable, always the same, incontrovertible. This is a definition used in Vedanta. If something changes, that is not the truth, even if temporarily stable. Under this definition what would be experienced in different stages of development would be untrue, or perhaps delusion, and not real…

Yes, philosophically, there is a goal to achieve an absolute truth. However, there is essentially no such thing as who we are is ever-evolving and our perspective can change, and thus the truth we recognize.

Vedanta is an excellent approach but I can honestly say it’s not the highest truth. For example, the Brahma Sutra of Vedanta is concerned with Brahman. Brahman is not the highest reality.

Is it then useful to say Vedanta is delusional? Or that it is a high truth of one stage?

Truth is all about perspective and is therefore inherently progressive. The idea that we can find the one perfect truth seems to be a delusion of the mind. There is one reality but many, many ways of knowing it.

We’re not built to know all of it simultaneously. Even a taste of such an experience can be difficult, as described in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11, when Krishna reveals his true form (of being thousands of beings at once).

Question: What is beyond Brahman?

Beyond Brahman is Parabrahman, also called pure Divinity and the source of the source. The 2 are quite distinct but difficult to describe as they’re not something nor have qualities like consciousness does.

Parabrahman is uncreated and unexpressed but the origin of all expression. Brahman has appeared to be the source, as did consciousness before that, but both have unresolved paradoxes that Parabrahman resolves. There is very little in the available literature about this.

Brahman has the sense of being the “eater” in that everything is progressively recognized to be That. ParaBrahman is the inverse and is recognized to be the power and motive of everything, including awakening. Thus it can also be called pure grace.

It is clear there is one reality because the deeper one goes, the more the branches merge into one wholeness. It also becomes clear that our prior stages were other perspectives of that one reality.

We could call the one reality “the truth” but because of the nature of our ability to know, the realization of that truth is progressive. That’s been the experience here.

Question: Nirguna Brahman the same as ParaBrahman?

Nirguna and Saguna Brahman are ways of knowing Brahman. ParaBrahman is beyond this.

One way you can see this is as layers. Some talk of the koshas or sheathes – the physical, surrounded and penetrated by the energy body, then the mental body, then the intellect, then the bliss body. That’s as far as most go, from a perspective of the Self as Consciousness. Consciousness is the source and container of these sheathes. The bliss body is also where the seed/ space of our universe is.

But a late-Unity/ Brahman perspective sees 7 sheathes: the above, then the kosha of creation that arises in the space of consciousness and contains ours and other universes, and the sheath of Atman, consciousness itself. Before, consciousness was seen as infinite and eternal. But from Brahman, it has a source and there are greater and lesser infinities. Put another way, space is nested, infinities within infinities.

Nirguna (without qualities) we might call pure Brahman. Saguna (with qualities) is inclusive Brahman, Brahman and all that appears to arise within consciousness within Brahman.

ParaBrahman is a step beyond Brahman. This doesn’t make Brahman a sheath as it is unqualified. It’s more like ParaBrahman is a refined version of Brahman, Brahman with the lights on. But that’s not an entirely accurate statement either as ParaBrahman is more than everything and nothing both.

From my perspective, there is 2 parallel process in these stages. One is the unfolding of consciousness to itself. This evolves into Brahman. We can also call this the masculine or Shiva side of the process.

The other process is the feminine. This includes the refinement of perception, the awakening heart at several octaves, and integrating Shakti.

If just the first process is developing, you see Self Realization and potentially a movement into Unity and Brahman stages.

If you have the second also in play, you see Self Realization, God Consciousness, Unity, Refined Unity, God Realization, Brahman, refined Brahman, and ParaBrahman. (or a variation thereof)

I have seen examples that have moved through just the first process but are later coming back and having God Consciousness, etc after Brahman. But if there isn’t the refinement, those stages and truths are essentially invisible.

The light of consciousness is a basic example. For many, samadhi or transcending is a quiet but dark place. In time though, the lights can come on and consciousness is recognized to be alive and effulgent. Bliss also doesn’t tend to show up unless there’s some refinement.


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  1. Stig

    “I’d suggest that expecting there to be one truth that is universally true is false. Reality is different in different stages of development.”

    May I humbly suggest, that one may expect there to be one truth that is universally experienced, is true. Reality is never different, but is experienced as different, at various stages of evolution. Total knowledge would require that all of these worlds/stages of partial knowing of total knowledge, together, synergetically, is total knowledge.

    The vibrational identity of blue light does not contain the totality of white light, nor does red or yellow etc. they are however realities that when taken together provide the totality of Whit light. If white light was missing any of one of those vibrational identities, the vibrational sum could never be white light.

    The implications of this, where Total Knowledge is concerned, lead one to the inevitability of immortality, and the specialness of any and all things, as they relate to that Cosmic whole.

    1. Hi Stig
      Yes, reality isn’t different, it’s the way we experience it that varies. And yes, there is a total knowledge or ultimate truth.

      My point is just that as humans, we can’t know that total knowledge all at once. We can get a pretty big picture and come close to it. But we’re not built for omni. As Buckminster Fuller put it, we’re special case, experiencing one thing at a time. It can be a very big thing we know. But the vast complexity of totality can’t be known all at once by a human.

      In fact, if you read some of the old texts, they suggest we’re here for That to know itself (the “specialness” you refer to). In other words, all of these ways of seeing add up to a totality of knowing that only the totality itself can know and it is still discovering.

      Immortality, yes, but what is immortal?

  2. Sabrina Page

    So glad you have included this feminine part Davidya, as a woman who has been awakening for 50 years, there has been little written on this “The other process is the feminine. This includes the refinement of perception, the awakening heart at several octaves, and integrating Shakti.” My own process of embodiment has included this, since the mid 80s, initially beginning with TM and the sidhis for 12 years or so in the 70s. I love that you put it in the context of the the whole. All blessings, Sabrina

    1. Hi Sabrina
      I agree. Many of the old texts that cover this are ignored because they’re not comprehended. Shankara would be a good example – most ignore his post-Mother Divine unfolding and focus on his earlier, drier commentary.

      I frequently cover this territory as it’s missing from most modern teaching. It’s the development of both aspects of the process that brings out the fullness of our potential.

      You may enjoy the recent “Layers of Love”, for example, on that aspect.

  3. Stig

    For me, as for the whole universe as I see it, immortality, eternal, is the idea. For That, which imagines perfectly enough, remembers all, reality is the idea and the idea is the reality.

    Using the analogy of the white light and the spectrum of frequencies/colours required to make it so…. does that white light require the prism that splits up the total frequency into the outward expression of its individual frequencies, to be awake to its constituents….or is it enough to know those constituents, in detail, within its self, without expression? Is not memory/smriti immortal, eternal?

    Total knowledge requires all the constituents to be present within that Totality, eternally, to remain Total knowledge. Is that not immortality? Is that not immortality for every little thing? Totality must remain total…or it becomes something else and not its Self. It must know its Self as Its constituents, simultaneously, as It also knows its totality.

    This knowing, to my mind, requires no time, as That consciousness which knows, contains the totality of all, matter, space and time that may be known. Unless,… That which knows, chooses to limit, to sacrifice, the Knower to that which is to be known, while participating in the knowing.

    While also knowing, it is doing so.

    “In other words, all of these ways of seeing add up to a totality of knowing that only the totality itself can know and it is still discovering.”

    Totality knows its Self therefore, may I in all humility ask, what might it discover that it must, as is its nature, not already know? It must know, surely, that It, is the Source Course, and Goal?

    1. Hi Stig
      I understand. I would describe this as a consciousness perspective. Consciousness experiences itself as eternal, infinite, and all knowing. However, consciousness doesn’t know it’s own origins. This is revealed in a later, post-consciousness stage.

      We can call Smriti eternal from one perspective and it certainly seems like it. However, it can become apparent that much of consciousness goes to sleep in the vast cycles of time and it forgets much of itself. We then go through a cycle of waking, as now. On the flip side, there is a blueprint that ensures the remembering is complete but that blueprint is inscribed beyond consciousness and thus cannot be said to be eternal as it is beyond time.

      Consciousness does experience itself as the source, course and goal – of everything that arises from it. But it doesn’t know it’s own origins. And as long as there is a distinction of knower and known, there is a duality. Even being vs non-being is a subtle duality. It may be wholeness, but it is not totality until it transcends itself and discovers it’s own source.

      These are very subtle and complex points. For example, if the purpose of the universe is for That to know itself, what’s the point of repeating it? There we get into the deeper perspective that it was never created in the first place. There was an instant, total knowing that consciousness has then taken and unfolded out into space and time so it too can try to know. But that totality of knowing is Divinity, not consciousness nor an individual human.

  4. Blanche

    Hi Davidya,

    Thank you for a very helpful article to put words to the unfolding here. The masculine Brahman has swallowed everything, and knows by being everything. Beyond it, the feminine aspect emerges, the Divine Mother, immensely powerful. And just as it happened before, this seems to the ultimate source. Is it anything more? 🙂

    1. Hi Blanche
      Beautiful. This is why I write articles like this.
      From here, there is a great deal more to Divinity than being the source. In a sense, there has only ever been Divinity – everything else was just an appearance (the reason for that has varied).

      There is apparently degrees of purity of Divinity and there is certainly degrees of embodiment. But that process can take some time. The potential there is astonishing, though I’m not sure how far we can take this in the current time. We’ll see. 🙂

  5. Erin Smith

    I love reading about all the facets of refined states of consciousness here but I’m really glad you mentioned the part at the end about samadhi being a quiet dark place for many until the lights go on. This quiet dark is my general experience (for nearly 17 years) and its nice to see those initial states spoken of also.

    1. Hi Erin
      Yes, I don’t always cover the earlier things. After a big shift, you forget what it used to be like until someone reminds you. After a few shifts, it seems like lifetimes ago. (laughs)

      What you describe is very common. It depends on prior life development and karma and sometimes grace as to when “the lights come on.” The grace of awakening is another thing.

      In the larger scale of things, 17 years is just warming up. But happily, we’re in a time when development is accelerating and it’s getting progressively easier to progress. We still have to be a bit patient and see what life has in store. But it still surprises me whats unfolding for people now.

      My original teacher never even spoke of some of whats in the article yet there are multiple people in my town for whom this is reality. Wonderful times.

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