Pure Consciousness vs. Supreme Consciousness


May 1, 2019
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There is currently a misunderstanding among seekers of the truth between the definitions and differences between pure consciousness and supreme consciousness. It is quite common for so called modern day spiritual leaders to equate pure consciousness with supreme consciousness. This is an unavoidable error when the speculative mind prefers it's own conclusions over the seasoned conclusions of the Vedas. Pure consciousness is the definition of the individual atma or spirit soul. When all material contaminations and bodily identifications are removed from one's individual existence, then he can enjoy himself through pure spiritual senses. But removing all that is negative does not automatically mean that one has now received all that is positive. As long as the individual atma is non-cognizant of the supreme consciousness, then he tends to believe only in his formless self. Since he is formless and beyond the body, he speculates that God is also formless. Being that he is pure consciousness similar to God, he concludes that he too is God and the goal of existence is to re-merge oneself with Godhead

This, of course, is not the Vedic conclusion. The Vedas teach that there is both the pure consiousness, known as the atma, and the supreme consciousness also known as the Atma. While both are fully spiritual and of the same quality, the individual soul is not all pervasive or all controlling like the Supreme soul. There are both similarities and differences between both types of atma. The supreme Atma is always the resting place or shelter of the individual atma. The Supreme Atma is infallible and never overcome with illusion while the individual atma is prone to illusion due to his small amount of independent free will. The Supreme Atma is the source of the individual atma. The constitutional position of the individual atma is to render service to the supreme Atma. The Supreme Atma is always the beneficiary of such service. . In this way, there is an eternal and loving exchange between both atma and Atma, without the fallacy of ever seeing that one atma can become the other Atma. The Supreme Atma has a body type that is always superior to the individual atma, although both are original and transcendental.

Unfortunately, with the demise of the Vedic literatures, proper knowledge of the Supreme Atma has dwindled and people have become less intelligent when formulating their subjective opinions. Although it is quite customary to hear that "you are god, he is god, we are all god, etc", no one has factually ever become God. If we revert back to the Vedic scriptures under the guidance of the disciplic succession, we can easily discover the real nature of God. Happiness for the individual atma comes when he has dovetailed his life into the service of the Supreme Atma. Rendering transcendental service to the Supreme Lord is the constitutional position of the individual atma and when that is reestablished , both the Lord and his devotee are supremely happy.

Trying to falsely merge ones self into the supreme self is both difficult and non-permanent. Temporarily one may feel himself merged into the Supreme, but because it is not natural, the experience is temporary. Lacking any transcendental engagement of the senses, the yogi returns to bodily consciousness and performs charitable and altruistic service to his fellow man. A transcendentalist who follows the precepts of the Vedas finds adequate engagement on the spiritual plane in relation to His Lord and thus is not required to return to bodily consciousness. His present life is a success and with the demise of the body, he is not obligated to accept another material body. Until one acts in his constitutional position, he must continue to rotate from body to body, due to the force of unavoidable material desire.

On the true spiritual plane of existence, there are spiritual activities classified as devotional loving service. There are varieties of devotional service displayed by the innumerable liberated living souls in relation to their worship-able Lord and according to one's proclivity, he gets a corresponding spiritual body with which to please the Lord. There are five generally accepted moods of pure service rendered by the Lord's pure devotees. There is neutrality, servitude, friendship, parental and conjugal love. With each progressive mood , there is an increase in devotional ecstasy along with a newer revelation of the Lord's eternal form. Both the Lord and His devotee fully enjoy one another's association in the unlimited ocean of trancendental loving service.
source: krsnaconsciousness.org

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