Without a Second (Fundamentals of Vedanta)

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Item Code: IHK018
Author: Sheela Balaji
Publisher: East West Books (Chennai) Pvt Ltd
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8188661309
Pages: 255
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.0 Inch X 5.5 Inch
Weight 280 gm
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Book Description
About the Author

Sheela Balaji Graduated with a master’s degree in history of art. She became a pioneer in the field of natural dyes in the textile industry and spent 20 years perfecting the craft.

A chance meeting with Swami Dayananda Saraswati opened her mind to the wonder that is Vedanta. Few years in the study of Vedanta she realized that it was the beginning of a long journey in the quest for truth. This book was written to help introduce Vedanta to those who might be interested in making such a beginning.


What is the relevance of a contemplative life today? Given our single minded pursuit of a wealth power success life style does a spiritual life hold any attraction? Surprisingly it does simply because human beings are blessed with intelligence and curiosity. We have an insatiable need to know and we remain restless until we find the answers to our many question questions as to the reason for our dissatisfaction despite the many success. Why are we unable to hold on the pleasant feelings that fleet past us in succession? Where is life leading us? Where do the answers lie? Do they lie in us or in our various situations and achievements?

We know that each one of us is a self conscious being conscious of ourselves and the world around us. This in turn makes us painfully aware of our helplessness our limitations in relation to the world. Unable to accept this helplessness this emptiness within us we seek to fulfill ourselves through various experiences. The sense of satisfaction or fullness that these experience bring however is either wanting or short lived or yet it we can we long to stretch these precious moments to eternity. Dedicating our lives to the pursuit of happiness we have become endlessly seeking creatures. Chasing ever receding goals without rest without an end without realizing the dream of eternal happiness our lives peter out in hopeless frustration.

Is there an end to this ceaseless seeking and suffering? Not an end that comes with death but while we are still alive? The answer according to Vedanta is a resounding Yes we can understand the reason if we analyze our feelings our state of mind when we hold what we have longed for when we achieve the goal we have yearned for. We find we are no longer a seeking or wanting person. We the seeker and the goal the sought are no longer apart separate. There is no division or split no psychological distance between the seeker and the sought. They are one there is neither a seeker nor a sought. We call this state of mind happiness when we feel complete full and whole.


Without a Second- second to what whom? Ah! That’s an interesting question If you have the patience to listen I shall try and explain It all began long ago a few wise persons discussed the how’s and why’s of the world who the creator and why the creation why the pain and suffering amidst the joy and Laughter Tears and smiles alternating Is there an order underlying the seeming disorder all around Many were the questions and doubts they wished to discuss thinking they would find the answers in questioning at first the creator who and where its relation to the creation its genius love and compassion or is it an impassive observer of its production the what’s and where’s of the supreme

The Woman in Blue said “The One above created these the almighty omniscient god he guides seated in his glory in heaven every little creature every divine spark the only purpose of our existence to be with him to regain our original home worshipping him bathed in beatific light eternally shinning like brilliant stares”

Another “That is true is a sense we are the same and yet different we are a part of the One the one with infinite divine attributes It is the indwelling spirit the whole while we are the parts inseparably locked together and yet apart”

The Third stated “Between the one and us there is no real difference no separation no being a part The one and we are not different the differences are apparent In essence the one and we are the same we could quite well say there is no two there is just the one but due to our ignorance we think that we are different”

One of the persons as a moderator turned to the man in grey and said “we know these is one some call it god spirit the self-consciousness being true emptiness or the all pervading absolute what is its nature? What is its relation to the world and us? we are beset with conflicting opinions separate a part not different how do we know which should we choose? Let us hear your point of view on this very puzzling issue”


Foreword vii
Preface ix
Introduction xvii
1 Limitless Existence Consciousness 1
2Real (Satyam) and Dependent real (Mithya) 11
3 Subjective Perception 14
4 Orders of Reality 19
5 Self conscious being the knower 21
6 Individual I and universal consciousness 31
7 The need for sacred Texts 38
8 Validity of the sacred texts41
9 The Sacred texts are valid means of knowledge46
10 Beyond the senses and the mind51
11 Many texts and interpretations55
12 The Sacred texts are dependent reals 60
13 Sentient and insentient 66
14 Origin of ignorance 70
15 Cause and effect 72
16 Creator and Creation77
17 Is creation an action 83
18 The world after knowledge 87
19 Projection and superimposition 89
20 Reality of Superimposition 96
21 The Cause of Projection 98
22 Maya’s veiling power 101
23 Maya’s Ontological status 106
24 Maya and the limitless one The Connection 107
25 Maya and the individual Mind 120
26 Individual understanding 125
27 Many minds but one Consciousness 127
28 Helpless Individual 129
29 The importance of a master 134
30 Are the Sacred texts second hand knowledge 139
31 Can the self be known 148
32 Is without a Second a tautology 152
33 Fate and suffering 155
34 The limitless one and God 159
35 Compassionate god in heaven 165
36 The one without Attributes 170
37 Is creation a part of god 174
38 Is god affected by the creation 177
39 The Problem of nothing ness 185
40 Mystic experience and knowledge 194
41 The Role of forms and rituals 198
42 The Ideal seeker of truth 202
43 What does death mean for the wise 214
44 For those who do not know 217
45 The wonder that is without a second 219
Afterward 224
The Story of the Eighteenth Elephant 232
Glossary 234
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