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!

Sat-guru

Hari Om
'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…

Western eyes look upon the Eastern propensity to sit at the feet of the Guru with some degree of disdain or consternation. Similarly the freedom with which those in India fall before God (in whichever form they have chosen) is difficult for the Westerner - even if the philosophy is making sense to them.

Why are we so often asked to 'surrender to the Guru'? Quite simply, if we have not learned that our biggest hurdle to inner progress is our very own selves - the ego - then we are to be stuck forever. If we cannot even prostrate and revere the one who has already traveled the path we desire to follow, where does that path lie, actually? There is nothing more freeing and uplifting to the intellect, than to finally surrender to the possibility that we know nothing. Making of ourselves empty vessels is all that is asked. This is the best prostration.

Then comes the question, 'which Guru to follow'? In the beginning, follow not a Guru per se, but the philosophy which appeals… in the case here, that would be Vedanta. Having researched and decided it is worth committing to, begin some of the basic practices. It will feel clumsy and foreign at first, but these things will become your anchors. If you are genuine in your desire to improve with the philosophy of your heart and mind, you will be surprised at how a teacher happens along. Oh yes, it is an old saying but a good one; when the student is ready the teacher will appear! What is interesting is that there can be interim teachers. They can take the form of actual teachers, of community elders, of peers. If we are open to learning about life beyond mere books and material, we will find all the pointers and each of them will carry us that bit further along our path until the One, the True, The Teacher who will make the greatest difference in our lives, appears.

The word disciple is little applied to those who follow the teachings and guidance of any teacher nowadays; but it applies very well in this situation. When the Sat-guru has arrived in one's life, one readily submits to their guidance - the disciple is one who applies discipline. The discipline of the philosophy adhered to. The disciple is not simply the reader, the listener or the thinker… the disciple is the one who lives what is taught.

Also, note, we get the teacher we deserve. This can mean that we may find we are with one who is not as pure or as true to the philosophy as we hope to be ourselves. There are many such; they start out in the Truth, but the world corrupts. Many of their teachings are still valid, but they are not the model of what they teach. Fine. Acknowledge what you have gained and move on. If you are truly purifying yourself, the Sat-guru will appear, but only when you are truly ready to take on the challenges which will rise before you.  All the teachings of Vedanta, taken in their correct order and context, and applied to life, cannot fail to carry you into the light and before one who is True and shines as brightly as the sun. When you meet them, you will know, and there will be no hesitation, not even any thinking. You will readily fall at their feet.


Make Introductions

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

This month, as was done for AUM-day last month, there will be some revision prompts…

Reread the 3rd and 4th posts of the Tattva-bodaH.
  1. What purpose does a mangala charana serve?
  1. Write out the mangala for this text
  2. Summarise the  meaning - a bit more than just a translation!


It is good saadhana to also practice the chanting. Even if you have never done anything like it before, you are in the privacy of your own space - give it a go!


Prepare

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

In other posts Q&As have been taking place for revision and focus. It is time to do the same for this day of the week - and of all of them 'Workingsday' ought to be exactly that! You have perhaps been reading this blog and gaining something from it, but how much work has actually been applied in all this time?

Let this first Workingsday review, then, be about your own self-assessment;
  1. Have you set up the workbook and taken notes?
  1. Have you set up a daily record for yourself? - if nothing else, at the end of each day, write down what you did well and what could be done better; introspection is an important part of self-improvement
  1. Do you at the very least chant the Gayatri mantra once each morning?
  1. Do you give thanks for your food before commencing every meal?... In truth, everything which is to be consumed ought to be offered in thanks first
  1. Do you remove shoes within the home and have you set up a corner (or a separate room) for you study and meditative practice?


These are very basic things for the early student of Vedanta!