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In more detail, I am someone who lives in the West (1) who accepts the teaching of traditional Advaita Vedanta (through self-study), but (2) who doubts I will be able to attain moksha in my current lifetime. Practically, I can only hope to attain a good rebirth and then try to progress toward moksha. What is required for someone in my position to attain a good rebirth? Is upanayana necessary? Is receiving a mantra diksha necessary? Thank you.

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  • I suggest you change the pronoun I in the body of your question since this web site does not encourage person questions. However, your question is good. Jun 25, 2023 at 4:37
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    Thank you for the suggestion. I will keep it in mind for any future questions. However, it seems too late to change the pronoun in the question details, since there are already answers, and changing the pronoun can create a disconnect between the question and the answers.
    – Mark Smith
    Jun 25, 2023 at 15:10

7 Answers 7

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Gita gives the minimum needed to avoid a bad rebirth.

Lust, anger and greed - this triad leads to the destruction of man's spiritual nature. They form the gateway to hell; they should be abandoned.

Gita 16.21

You can hope to gain good rebirth if you keep lust, anger and greed in control.

Destination

Those who have realized Self can get release. Those who resort to rituals can go to heaven. Those who commit sins go to hell. Others rotate on the wheel of birth and death.

Garuda Purana, Dharma Khanda, Chapter XLIX

You doubt that you can attain moksha in this life. Nevertheless, you have to start walking down the path to moksha right in this birth.

Number of births and importance of human birth

In the eightyfour lacs of bodies of creatures one does not acquire true knowledge anywhere unless one is born as a man.

Here, after thousands of crores of births a creature obtains human form only sometime due to aggregate of virtue.

Having obtained a rare human form he should endeavour for moksha. If he does not endeavour for it, there can be no greater sinner in the world.

Born in the most beautiful human form he incurs the sin of slaying a Brahmin if he neglects his self.

Without human body it is not possible to obtain the supreme goal. One should be, therefore, very cautious to guard wealth in the form of his body and perform good actions.

……

So far as this body remains intact he should practice dharma.

One is a perfect fool who digs a well only when the house is on fire.

[Garuda Purana, Dharma Khanda, Chapter XLIX]

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Please read, contemplate and abide as per the teachings of nondualism in these books - Tatva bodha (Chinmaya mission) or internet achive

  • Atma Bodha (same)
  • Aparkoshanubhuti (same) -Drg Drishya Vivek (same) -Vivek Chudamani (same)
  • Who Am I by Ramana Maharishi -Bhahwat gita commentary of Adi shankara -Isha Upanishad(same) -Katha Upanishad(") -Prashna Upanishad (") -Mundaka Upanishad(") -Mandukya Upanishad(") -Aittrya Upanishad (") -Taittreya Upanishad(") -Chandogya Upanishad(") -Advaita Bodha Deepika, -Ashtavakra Gita, -Yoga Vashishta, -Avadhuta Gita, Brahmasutra bhasya with advaitin commentary. Reading, understanding, verifying, contemplating and abiding in teachings of these books mentioned from beginner to advance level in systematic way by me, will help you realise and abide in brahman and the more time you spend on reading and contemplating on such materials, the more imprint on your causual body(soul) you make of teachings of nondualism and self realisation enhancing your chances of rebirth in spiritually higher planes and dimensions of existence in next life. You can skyrocket your spiritual progress by adding mindfulness and awareness training as practical aspect of your training. Last but not at least There is one master peice book "VIGYAN BHAIRAVA TANTRA" spoken by Shiva where he teaches 112 methods to meditate and remain aware of TRUE-SELF / EXPERIENCER / BRAHMAN /CONCIOUSNESS while eating, drinking, walking, talking, sleeping in every moment of life. This is a practical small handbook and only book which teaches such effective and powerful meditation techniques. Add these 5 changes to your life - no intoxication, no cheating or adultery (no illicit sex), no gambling and avoid meat eating, violence etc and last but not at least try to wake at 4 am in the morning and give first 2hours to spirituality and then 1hour to your health by exercising because the more you live the more you can practise advaita the higher you can go spiritually before dying ultimately. And 1hour in evening for spirituality. That is enough.

Now as for mantra chanting it is needed for devotees not plain advaitins. If you love a saguna form of god(Brahma/SELF/conciousness) like Krishna, Devi, Shiva etc then they can accelerate your spiritual growth. You need to chant their respective names(choose one diety and his/her one name) as much as you can while focusing on the sound of your voice chanting loudly enough for you to hear as you see their photograph infront of you. This is called saguna meditation. Listen to there stories as you need name, form, pasttimes of your diety to think from now one and that DIETY IS NO DIFFERENT FROM SELF/BRAHMAN/EXPERIENCESR/YOUR TRUE SELF and the devotee is Jiva mind,intellect, ego and body. first it will purifies the mind and help you get a vision of them(same as self realisation only here self has a form but is still nondual with Jiva. Here mind, intellect, ego is collectively called Jiva or individual who experiences oneness with the self and see it's chosen from (saguna brahman) reflecting in your mind similar to how you see your reflection in mirror.) This is God realisation here you stop believing in God as now you know that he exists.According to certain scriptures It takes on average 13 crore or 130,000,000 names of same diety and same name repetition to get the divine vision or godrealisation. It may take from 10-15 years if you blend meditation and name chanting meditation together. If you are loving or are emotional or devotional sort of person then I would recommend this practise which seems dualistic but is intrinsically nondualistic. Here mantra chanting is asked by the guru after godrealisation(after mind is purified of lust and vulgur thoughts) as mantra after godrealisation takes the individual mind, intellect and dissolving ego to the same plane of existence (loka) as our chosen diety, like vaikuntha for viashnavas(like Chaitanya mahaprabhu), manidweep for shahktas(like ramakrishna paramhamsa) and kailasha for shaivas(Shiva devotee) during meditation, sleep and after death. This is called salokya moksha. They donot reincarnate as long as their chosen beloved diety or they themself do not will and are liberated. True devotion is only possible in nonduality the god of devotee is the self of jnani. Hope it helped, first choose your main paths and then the practise plan to attain moksha in this life only who knows what happens in the next. MOKSHA IS SOMETHING YOU BETTER AQUIRE WHILE STILL BREATHING AND LIVING LIKE RAMANA MAHARISHI NAD RAMAKRISHNA AND BETTER NOT KEEP IT FOR AFTER THE DEATH. I would personally recommend a combination of Gyan(knowledge), bhakti(devotion) alongside goodkarma done selflessly.. YOU CAN READ ALL THE BOOKS I MENTIONED ONLINE FOR FREE IN ARCHIVE.ORG. except first few (2-3). If you want to remain just an advaitin (plain path of knowledge) or jnani no problem or if you want to fasten it then after 3-4 years practising Advaita come to path of nondualistic devotion. I myself am advaitin vaishnaism with connections from authentic traditional samprdayas(guru disciple lineages) going back thousands of years. And knows several shaktas(again advaitin) and shaivas. I can further guide you if you wish. But seeing your inclination to Advaita I would personally recommend Kashmiri shaivism if you wishes to be a shaivite. All three vaishnaism, shaivism and shaktism are authentic Vedic paths.

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    advaitin vaishnaism with connections from authentic traditional samprdayas(guru disciple lineages) going back thousands of years, which vaishnav sampradaya does has this??
    – user29449
    Jan 13 at 5:19
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    Jan 15 at 13:35
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You don't have to worry about a good birth if you have done good conduct in this life as is said in the Chandogya Upanishad:

  1. Among them, those who did good work in this world [in their past life] attain a good birth accordingly. They are born as a brāhmin, a kṣatriya, or a vaiśya. But those who did bad work in this world [in their past life] attain a bad birth accordingly, being born as a dog, a pig, or as a casteless person.

Here if you do good karma's then you will for sure attain the good birth you deserve like that of a Brahmin and other twice born castes. Thus with you being born as a twice born such things as sacred thread etc become available to you since you have a virtuous birth. So the conclusion is that if you want a virtuous birth then you must be of good conduct (which means doing your Dharma). So you don't need a sacred thread in this life as you are not really allowed to such so just do your Dharma or good conduct and your good birth is ensured.

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To attain a good birth you need to do good karma. In your case, what is more important is that you get born in a place/family/culture that will continue your quest for ultimate Moksha. Gita and other scriptures only assure you that whatever spiritual progress you make in this life will be carried on in the next birth. Live a normal ethical life doing your duties and try to be detached from the world - this is the real Upasana. For more details read on Nishkam Karma Yoga topic from Gita.

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In the context of advaita vedanta specifically, there is no birth, no death. The Atman is never born, he never dies. It is the temporary appearance of the body that causes the illusion of birth, growth, and death and the cycle keeps on changing.

The Atman is an eternal witness, like a dreaming state, deep sleep state, and waking state [Viz. Mandukya Upanishad].

Since the world is not real in Advaita Vedanta after one gets enlightenment, neither the laws of karma apply to him.

The subtle body in Hinduism is known to store karmas (acts that you perform) and reaction to the karmas (reaction of your actions) throughout the lifetime of an individual and the re-birth is supposed to be the only factor that determines successive births. As soon as your karmas exhaust from the memory of subtle body (It is possible to do that in seconds using advanced Yogic techniques) or life after life (the illusion of birth to death of the physical body), your attachment to the physical body too would come to an end and soon the appearance of the world and body would too stop and only external witness (Brahman) in the pure state would remain. This is nirvana in Hinduism.

Jīvan-mukti-viveka of Swamī Vidyāraṇya of Advaita Aashrama discusses this in great detail.

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Good rebirth is never 100% guaranteed because it is not easy to decipher how the Law of Karma operates. This is true for everyone - westerners or non-westerners, hindus or non-hindus, vedAntins or non-vedAntins.

However, it is possible to increase the likelihood of obtaining moksha in future births by following sAdhana chatuShTaya mentioned by Sri Shankara in Vivekachudamani.

sAdhana chatuShTaya consists of -

  1. Viveka or discrimination between real and unreal

  2. Vairagya or renunciation

  3. Six qualities (a to f) listed below -

    a) Sama or calmness

    b) Dama or self-control

    c) Uparati or self-withdrawal

    d) Titiksha or forbearance

    e) Shraddha or faith

    f) Samadhana or self-settledness

  4. Mumukshuta or desire for liberation

These are explained by Sri Shankara as below -

sādhanānyatra catvāri kathitāni manīṣibhiḥ | yeṣu satsveva sanniṣṭhā yadabhāve na sidhyati || 18 ||

  1. Regarding this, sages have spoken of four means of attainment, which alone being present, the devotion to Brahman succeeds, and in the absence of which, it fails.

ādau nityānityavastuvivekaḥ parigamyate | ihāmutraphalabhogavirāgastadanantaram śamādiṣaṭkasampattirmumukṣutvamiti sphuṭam || 19 ||

  1. First is enumerated discrimination between the Real and the unreal; next comes aversion to the enjoyment of fruits (of one’s actions) here and hereafter; (next is) the group of six attributes, viz. calmness and the rest; and (last) is clearly the yearning for Liberation.

brahma satyaṃ jaganmithyetyevaṃrūpo viniścayaḥ | so'yaṃ nityānityavastuvivekaḥ samudāhṛtaḥ || 20 ||

  1. A firm conviction of the mind to the effect that Brahman is real and the universe unreal, is designated as discrimination (Viveka) between the Real and the unreal.

tadvairāgyaṃ jihāsā yā darśanaśravaṇādibhiḥ | dehādibrahmaparyante hyanitye bhogavastuni || 21 ||

  1. Vairāgya or renunciation is the desire to give up all transitory enjoyments (ranging) from those of an (animate) body to those of Brahmāhood (having already known their defects) from observation, instruction and so forth.

virajya viṣayavrātāddoṣadṛṣṭyā muhurmuhuḥ | svalakṣye niyatāvasthā manasaḥ śama ucyate || 22 ||

  1. The resting of the mind steadfastly on its Goal (viz. Brahman) after having detached itself from manifold sense-objects by continually observing their defects, is called Śama or calmness.

viṣayebhyaḥ parāvartya sthāpanaṃ svasvagolake | ubhayeṣāmindriyāṇāṃ sa damaḥ parikīrtitaḥ bāhyānālambanaṃ vṛttereṣoparatiruttamā || 23 ||

  1. Turning both kinds of sense-organs away from sense-objects and placing them in their respective centres, is called Dama or self-control. The best Uparati or self-withdrawal consists in the mind-function ceasing to act by means of external objects.

sahanaṃ sarvaduḥkhānāmapratīkārapūrvakam | cintāvilāparahitaṃ sā titikṣā nigadyate || 24 ||

  1. The bearing of all afflictions without caring to redress them, being free (at the same time) from anxiety or lament on their score, is called Titikṣā or forbearance.

śāstrasya guruvākyasya satyabuddhyavadhāraṇam | sā śraddhā kathitā sadbhiryayā vastūpalabhyate || 25 ||

  1. Acceptance by firm judgment as true of what the Scriptures and the Guru instruct, is called by sages Śraddhā or faith, by means of which the Reality is perceived.

sarvadā sthāpanaṃ buddheḥ śuddhe brahmaṇi sarvadā | tatsamādhānamityuktaṃ na tu cittasya lālanam || 26 ||

  1. Not the mere indulgence of thought (in curiosity) but the constant concentration of the intellect (or the affirming faculty) on the ever-pure Brahman, is what is called Samādhāna or self-settledness.

ahaṃkārādidehāntān bandhānajñānakalpitān | svasvarūpāvabodhena moktumicchā mumukṣutā || 27 ||

  1. Mumukṣutā or yearning for Freedom is the desire to free oneself, by realising one’s true nature, from all bondages from that of egoism to that of the body – bondages superimposed by Ignorance.
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  • Again, another excellent answer! Please keep writing, you write very good answers! :)
    – user29449
    Jan 14 at 15:54
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    @User29449 Thank you for the kind words.
    – estimator
    Jan 14 at 15:59
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Note: "Though World or politics used the Word WEST and EAST globe is round around powerful SUN GOD who showers love on human".

Answers: " Upanayanam is not just for Moksha. It is a commitment between God and Braahmana(saatvik maantrik & swayambu SMS origin) to request energy for all living beings on Earth".

"Deeksha is a revelation of truth by Guru to disciple in gurukula system"

Example of Deeksha: GOD to Arjun अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च। नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः।।

Getting good birth in next Janma is not MOKSHA but depends on following human needs

  1. Kshematrayam KSHAMA : humility SHOUCHAM: purity ADROHAHA: non vengent

  2. TYAKTVA AATMAKSHAYAM : Avoiding 3 extremes: A. Lust that may physically torture more females B. Anger that may result in murders/crimes C. Greed that may spoil living communities around and their generations

SOLUTION TO PROBLEM:

I. If above a b c are avoided one can put an end to repetitive janmaas. Good birth depends on few janmas only. If born again and again a human spirit becomes a demon spirit. II. Thinking that God lives in ourselves and a human also has power to invite God amidst Kaliyuga fantasies - transforming DWAITHAM TO ADVAITHAM by regulated mind may give good results.

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