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#3221 - Tuesday, July 8, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Here are what may be the earliest appearances of the English words non-dual and non-duality. The earliest I found was 1883. I found these and other uses of variations of "non-dual" by searching the enormous website http://sacred-texts.com.
And how then could there be injunction or prohibition, since all are one, and there is no distinction of caste? If the doctrine of non-duality be thus held to be established, then what offence has the Buddhist committed?
Hence all injunctions and all other means of knowledge end with the cognition expressed in the words, 'I am Brahman;' for as soon as there supervenes the comprehension of the non-dual Self, which is not either something to be eschewed or something to be appropriated, all objects and knowing agents vanish, and hence there can no longer be means of proof.
From this it follows that the non-dual Lord is free from all evil qualities, and that to ascribe to him contrary qualities is an error.
Have we not here an explanation of the remarkable similarity between the Hindu philosophy, as expressed by Sankara in the eighth, and Râmânuja in the thirteenth century, and the "Divine Names?" Sankara treats of the Supreme as "absolutely One;" Râmânuja as "non-dual, with qualification." Both these truths are combined and expressed in Dionysius.
"What, then, is the teaching of the Mahayana?"
"From the point of ordinary men," replied the Patriarch, "enlightenment and ignorance are two separate things. Wise men who thoroughly realise Mind-essence, know that they are of the same nature. This sameness of nature, that is, this non-duality of nature, is what is called 'true nature'; it neither decreases in the case of an ordinary man and ignorant person, nor increases in the case of an enlightened sage; it is undisturbed in an annoying situation, and is calm in Samadhi. It is neither eternal, nor not-eternal; it neither goes, nor comes, it is to be found neither in the interior, nor in exterior, nor in the space intervening between. It is beyond existence and nonexistence; its nature and its phenomena are always in a state of 'tathata'; it is both permanent and immutable. Such is the Norm."
Gradually, as the Bhakta approaches God, he will rise above such dualistic conceptions and realize that his Beloved is not only transcendent but immanent in nature, that nature is His body, that He dwells everywhere, that He is the Soul of our souls and the Life of our life, that He is the one stupendous Whole while we are but His parts. The Bhakta then reaches that state which is called qualified non-dualism. He sees that from the minutest insect up to man all living creatures are related to the Iswara 1 s a part is related to the whole. Therefore he cannot kill or injure any living being. Understanding that everything pertaining to any part belongs in reality to the whole, he says, "Whatever is mine is Thine"; and it is from this moment that absolute self-resignation and self-surrender to the will of the Iswara begin to reign supreme in the soul of the Yogi. Then he is able to say from the bottom of his heart, "Let Thy will be done," and never again can he forget that his soul is a part of the Iswara. His devotion henceforth consists in remembering this new relation, and his worship takes a new form. Whatever he does with mind or body becomes an act of worship of the Supreme Whole, for he realizes that he possesses no power that does not belong to God. Eating, drinking, walking, talking, and every other work of his daily life become acts of devotion, and the entire existence of such a Bhakta is a continuous series of acts of worship. Then the heart is purified and selfishness is dead.
The devotee thus rises to the second grade
of Bhakti Yoga and begins to taste that Divine Love which is the
fruit of the tree of Bhakti. Here all distinction between lover
and Beloved disappears; the lover, the Beloved and Love all merge
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