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!

Surrender

Hari OM
Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
The text under study is BHAJA GOVINDAM, song of despair of time-wasting, by Sri Adi Shankaraachaarya.

The twenty first shloka of the text laments the binding of the karmic cycle…

punrip jnn< punrip mr[<
Paunrip jnnIjQre zynm!,
#h s<sare bhuduStare
k&paya=pare paih murare.21.
Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam
Punarapi jananiijatHare shayanam;
Iha samsaare bahudustaare
kRpayaa-paare paahi muraare. ||21||
Again birth, again death…
And again lying in the mother's womb;
This samsaara process is very hard to cross over.
Save me, Murari, through Thy Infinite Kindness!.

As long as the individualised ego (jiiva), prompted by desires and habits and an over-fertile imagination, fails to improve, it must seek ever fresh fields of experience in which to gambol. Thus we set up for ourselves the karmic cycle. In each lifetime, instead of exhausting the vaasanas, each one gathers to himself even more 'debts'. We come here for purgation, but due to our ignorance of the way and the goal, the extrovertedness in us compels us to get ourselves attached to objects and people and situations… Maayaa at work!

Our true purpose is to figure out life and to live it in such a way that we can sever for good the bondage of this world. By all means, act and achieve, but let your actions be in an attitude of dedication, with an idea to serve for the greater good. This reduces the existing vaasanas and minimises the risk of adding to the karmic burden. Once the state of 'zero balance' has been obtained, when mind has been totally tamed, the jiiva will be freed and will return to Self-Source. This state of perfection eludes the greatest majority of us though and we remain our small selves, birthing, 'living' and dying then coming back to do it all again. The momentum of it makes it almost impossible to halt it all by ourselves. To free ourselves, we now require a mighty friend, one who has already vanquished that 'foe' of the ego tyrant.

Muraari is such a one - a.k.a. Sri Krishna! Thus the writer of the verse raises a plea for aid. This is where, in our weakness, we can find succour in accepting and submitting to a Higher Power. It does not have to be a physical form, but understanding that overcoming the ego requires submission is the key to it.

Surrender to the Grace of the Higher Self; beg guidance and relief… what is more, accept that by placing your trust there, that relief will come to you. This, then, requires that you also leave doubt at the lintel of surrender.

The way a child completely and unstintingly looks to the parent for shelter and direction is how we must be if we are to grow and begin to break our bondage to the world. This is seen also in the teachings of Yeshu… Not only does he speak of placing your burden upon Him but also, specifically to the theme of this verse;

3“Truly I tell you, He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.… (Matt; 18)


Do Not Succumb

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.

In our life, we must distinguish between our needs and our desires. We have natural, physical needs – when you are hungry, you want food; when you are thirsty you want to drink something. These are natural; they cannot be categorized under desire or kaama.

Categories of Desire

The desire for realization of Truth, for Liberation, or desire for God, are all desires and there will be some agitation until the desire is fulfilled. This type of desire which is for one’s own upliftment will not make you engage in sinful acts. Such a desire cannot be said to be mahashaani or mahapaapama.

So the desire that should be considered as your enemy is the desire for more and more sense pleasures, indulgence and gratification of the senses. Greed for more power, wealth and pleasures can never be fulfilled. These desires are very different from fulfilment of our natural needs. Here we are talking about the extrovert mind and the consequent seeking of pleasure in sense objects. Such desires only go on multiplying. Sri Krishna says ‘viddhi enam iha vairinam – understand this to be your enemy. It makes you do wrong things.

Overcoming harmful Addictions

It is true that some desires are very strong and difficult to overcome. They cause so much sorrow that you think, ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this’. For example, someone suffering but addicted to alcohol or drugs, says, ‘I want to quit’. Unfortunately, by that time the habit has become so ingrained, the inclination (vasana) has gathered strength and become so deep rooted that it cannot be easily overcome. Just his saying that he wishes to give it up is very superficial; it is not a strong desire. Mark Twain said “Giving up cigarette smoking is the easiest thing to do. I have done it a hundred times”. We are just like him!

Another reason for ‘feebly’ wanting to give up something is because we like it. It gratifies our senses and we enjoy it, even though we know it is harmful. Thus, we may say that we do not want to do a particular thing, but secretly we enjoy it. Sometimes we say we want to give up a particular habit because it is considered wrong or undesirable by others; but the fact is that deep down, we do not think that it is wrong.

If you do not want to do a certain thing, nobody can force you to do it. Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda used to say that if somebody does not want to attend a Gita lecture, twenty horses cannot bring him here. Often in our lives we fail to do many things which may benefit ourselves or others. Why? Because there is no real will or desire to do so.

So the reason why we commit sin is because of ignorance, wrong notions, or the power of habits which have gained such a strong grip over us that they push us into doing something that we may not want to do.

As was seen on last Story-day's post, we have the matter of choice. We can rise from our addictions of various kinds, but we must fund the true will to do so. If we have not the strength within ourselves as part of our nature, this is when the 'prop' of a solid philosophy which holds the values we desire can become our life saver. Inculcating the values, following the practices, garnering results of changed habits all build the encouragement to continue along a path away from our self-destruction.


Peace Supplications

Hari Om
Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation

For the month of September we are looking at music as a focus for meditation. In this clip, no words appear to distract, you can simply fix your eyes upon the OM and other images in its centre and allow the sounds to transport you. This is pure vedica and the chants are all peace prayers. Rather than meditation as such, make this time one of contemplation on the need for peace and Love to spread around your own environment and out into the greater world. Add you own prayers into the sounds created by the pundits here; you may have no clue of the meaning of the words they say, but the essence is one of offering, submission, dedication, devotion… and Love with the capital 'ell'… 

shantiH shantiH shantiH