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I post some further questions in continuation of the question About the mind's eye and the third eye in Hinduism:

I understand from @SwamiVishwananda's answer to the first question that the Ajna chakra of most people is said to be closed, and that its opening is considered an advanced stage in a spiritual path, and that "It is this eye that allows one to see into the spiritual realms".

  • Are Purusha, Atman, and Brahman considered part of these spiritual realms?

  • If so, does one need to open the Ajna chakra to be able to see the Atman?

  • Or, can people see the Atman naturally (or after short explanation or short practice of meditation)?

  • Are there different answers to these questions in the tradition?

  • Purusha, Atman and Brahman are not 'part of these realms'. They are You. The Witness who is meditating, the seer, is Atman. Can people see the Atman naturally? The Atman is ever present. It is You. The Bhaktas see the Atman through love. The Jnanis see the Atman through sel-inquiry and the Yogis through opening the Chakras. They are all different ways to achieve the same thing. :) All the best – Sai Sep 24 '15 at 21:29
  • @Sai, isn't saying that the Atman is you, a form of attachment? I tend to view it as a watching without a watcher, and that the word "I" cannot be ascribed to it in any way. is that consistent with Hinduism? – nir Oct 5 '15 at 11:41
  • @sai, what about the third question? do people see it naturally? or is it difficult to get to the point of being able to see it or make other people see it? take a look at my follow up question: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/8854/… – nir Oct 5 '15 at 11:42
  • According Advaita philosophy (one of the many many sometimes conflicting philosophies of Hinduism) there are two 'I's. One is the limited 'I', also called Ego. This is the one you refer to when you say 'Atman is You, a form of attachment'. But the 'I' that I was talking about is the second 'I'. It is the greater of the two. It is that quality of you, which exists despite the destruction of mind, senses and ego. it is your true nature. When watch without a watcher, what you are doing is, you are eradicating your 'I' ness (or EGO) and experiencing yourself as You are (this time You=Atman). – Sai Oct 5 '15 at 14:34
  • 'Do people see it naturally'. It is like walking, writing, eating, talking, etc. Initially it is not natural. but with practice, it becomes so much natural. :) However once you see that Atman, you will realize that THAT is the natural state that everyone is already in. That everyone is actually a reflection of You. All the best – Sai Oct 5 '15 at 14:36
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Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says (Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, chapter 12, available here - http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/index.htm):

[Ramlal sings these lines]: Above, in the throat, is the sixteen-petalled lotus flower,...Transcending which, one sees at length the universe in Space dissolve,

the Master [Sri Ramakrishna] said to M.: "Listen. This is known as the vision of Satchidananda, the Formless Brahman. The Kundalini, rising above the Visuddha chakra, enables one to see everything as akasa."

Others have described it as seeing Brahman, but like having a pane of glass still between the soul and Brahman. It is called Aparokshanubhuti - Transcendent Perception. Actual merger occurs in the highest chakra.

How to get there - exterminate the senses. Swami Vivekananda says (Complete Works, V7, p 71)

Control the mind, cut off the senses, then you are a Yogi; after that all the rest will come...You continually do it unconsciously as when your mind is absorbed; so you can learn to do it consciously.

Notice - "...after that all the rest will come..." Learn to control the senses, then you can sit back and the 'wind of the grace of God' will unfurl your sail and take you to the goal. My guru used to say - what we want is freedom from the senses, not freedom of the senses. All the different practices have one goal in mind - control of the mind and freedom from the senses. There are different practices for different people.

How to exterminate the senses? Find your guru. All the scriptures tell you this. Your guru can look at your face and know what is your way.

  • please forgive me for being kind of literal about it (after all I have wandered over here from philosophy SE), but I don't understand how this answers my question; I am trying to figure out if being able to see (experience) the divinity of the Atman is something that is considered natural for most people, or if it is considered something that most people are initially blind to; and if they are blind to it, how hard is it considered to get them to see that divinity in their inner world? – nir Sep 25 '15 at 20:15
  • are you the spiritual guru by that name? – nir Sep 26 '15 at 14:06
  • NO I am not thank God. All people are initially blind to it, it is not natural. Yoga is going against what is natural. What is natural is to remain stuck in samsara. How hard it is depends upon your own efforts in that direction. – Swami Vishwananda Sep 27 '15 at 4:13

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