ADVENTURES IN ADVAITA VEDANTA...


Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..

THE ADVENTURE

HARI OM!
Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Things in Threes

Hari OM
'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

We now explore the Sri Adi Shankara text, "SadaachaaraH". To obtain your own copy, click here.

It is time to introduce three aspects to be remembered when approaching saadhana. It is possible, as a saadhaka, to work on one aspect at a time, if one so wishes, or to incorporate all three for consideration as one practices. The 'Tritapas', the forces of destiny, are the influences which can cause fluctuations in the course of our daily lives. Sometimes referred to as the three 'miseries' or 'agonies', they have a similar effect upon our karma as vaasanas but differ from them in that they are 'external' disturbances, whilst vaasanas are 'resident' and preset disturbances we have brought upon ourselves. The forces are sent to provide the challenges we need to further our growth, whilst the vaasanas will determine much about how we respond to those challenges. What are the three forces?
  • Adhibhautika literally means pertaining to the bhuta or living beings.
  • Adhidaivika literally means pertaining to the daiva or fate, unseen forces.
  • Aadhyaatmika literally means pertaining to the ātma or the body (and the mind).

ADHIBHAUTIKA;
The one we can mostly relate to. Things that happen in our environment. Various disturbances from the external world that stem from nature or living beings. To this belong influences from heat, cold, noise, natural phenomena such as floods, whirlwinds and earthquakes, as well as attacks by wild animals, violent people, and so forth. Adhibhautika is also about how we work in the environment; selfless service, inexhaustible energy, punctuality, honesty and integrity are some of the positive aspects of this force and which can be used to overcome the negatives.

ADHIDAIVIKA;
Disturbing influences from astral forces and beings. For example, these can be the cause of sudden accidents, psychic disturbances, fears and depression. There can be no telling how we succumb to these darker influences - except that vaasanas and praarabdha are playing out. To help us overcome the negatives we can employ the positive aspects of this force; meditation and prayer, being prepared to seek help and guidance as well as give it, and to learn as much as we can about self-improvement such as the uptake of saadhana.

AADHYAATMIKA;
Pertains to the aatmaa, the purely spiritual aspect of our lives; the most subtle part of our existence. The disturbances often cannot be sourced, but we can see the effects of the disturbance in the rise of anxiety, serious mental or emotional disturbance (clinical, not just one-off events), and self-destructive traits such as alcoholism. The way to overcome the negative forces is to gain as much Knowledge as we can. Apply the intellect, address the soul through devotional activity, research and understand consciousness and Self… seek the Higher and give purpose to life.

Any activity undertaken as saadhana, therefore, addresses all three forces, and as one builds the practice, it will be possible to identify which is at play on any given day and address it accordingly. This is the way to balance life.


How to Pray

Hari OM
Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!

The Mukundamala of King Kulashekhara is the focus, currently, as we seek to raise our devotion.

The intention of prayer counts for much.

Naah< vNde tv cr[yaeÖRNÖmÖNÖhetae>
kuM_aIpak< guémip hre nark< napnetum!,
rMya-rama-m&dutnulta< nNdne naip rNtum!
_aave _ave ùdy_avne _aavyey< _avNtm!.5.
Naaham vnade tava charanayor-dvandvam-dvandva-hetoH
Kumbhiipaakam gurum-api hare naarakam naapanetum,
Ramyaa-raamaa-mRdu-tanu-lataam nandane naapi rantum
Bhaave bhaave hRdaya-bhavane bhaavayeyam bhavantam ||5||
I do not worship Your pair of feet to go beyond the pairs of opposites
Nor to avoid the intense suffering in the hell such as Kumbhiipaaka,
Nor to enjoy the soft-skinned, slender, beautiful, charming damsel in the delightful gardens of heaven -
I do so only for the sake of remembering You in every thought in the palace of my heart!.

When we enter any relationship, the quality of it, the duration of it, will depend very much on our ability to put the other before ourselves. This is not about subjugation of our beingness, or brushing the ego of the other. Those things do happen but in error. There is misunderstanding of a balanced relationship.

This shloka points out that there must be no ego or selfishness in our relationship with the Lord, there must be no small demands for personal satisfaction. When we pray, it must simply be that we wish to sit in the company of the Higher, in Love and Worship. In B.G. ch7 shl.16, Shri Krishna says to Arjuna, "...there are four types of devotees… those who have physical afflictions… those who seek wealth, name, power… those who seek spiritual knowledge...and those who are jnaani and require nothing of Me…"

Even of the jnaanis, there are two types. Those who seek full mergence and to become One with That… and those who wish to remain separate and in a devoted state towards That/Him.

Until we reach jnaani state - some time yet! - we will have much for which we need support from the Lord so we will have requests which are personal, but these must be tempered with daily remembrance without demand. Just as with a parent, it is the child who helps and honours them daily who will find it easiest to obtain what they need when they need, due to having formed a relationship built on proper Love and respect. If we are difficult or wilful children, we are more likely to be pointed towards growth lessons and to work harder. Importantly, note, the parent will still support and provide for the difficult child, but it may not be what that child expects or wants - it will be what it needs. Likewise, the Lord is there for all. In fact, there is the Biblical parable of the prodigal son; when the father is asked by the son who remained faithful why so much was now being provided to the wayward brother, the response was that "he has repented and understands now where his priorities lie."

This is not an excuse to go off and be wild then seek forgiveness selfishly. Rather, be the faithful son and all that is the Lord's is yours then anyway. However, if we have never before prayed daily simply to be in the company of the Lord, if we have not remained constantly faithful, it is never too late. He will sing back to you, the prodigal one, and rejoice at your new found devotion!

Pray. Pray daily. Do so only because you want to and not because you need to. This is bhakti.

NB - today over at Yamini-amma's personal blog, there is a post on Prem - Love with the capital 'ell', which you may wish to read in conjunction with today's article.







Choose the Long Haul

Hari Om
Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

Another of Guru-ji's articles which brings forth the need to think and choose wisely, the retain determination before acting.

Controlling or mastering the mind has nothing to do with one’s stage in life - age…education…prosperity…poverty. It works according to its own set of rules. If it were possible to control the mind by just changing one’s clothes, becoming a sannyasi, life would be a 'cakewalk'. Very easy, very simple.

We see the world through our various sense organs and then react according to our own inherent tendencies. Controlling the mind does not mean not using the sense organs. It means utilising them wisely by giving them beneficial areas to roam in.

IT CAN AND SHOULD BE DONE.

Once a young man went to a re­nowned musician and in all seriousness asked him, “How long will it take to become a famous musician? The maestro replied, “It can be done overnight.” The amazed young man remarked, “OVERNIGHT! How is that? How can that be?”

The musician asserted “Yes, overnight! Only…you have to practice for twenty years before that!”

Controlling the mind is not contingent on our outer circumstances. It depends on internal strength which increases surely and steadily by constant and alert practice.


– – Swami Tejomayananda.