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


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!

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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.

We are reading "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).

What happens when we do not have a clear value system?

AadzRhIn> àlae_ane ptit nZyit c.5.
Aadarsha-hiinaH pralobhane patati nashyati cha ||5||
One without ideals falls prey to temptations and perishes.

If you do not stand for something, you fall for everything. Falling prey to temptation and giving up our values is called compromise. Withstanding temptations and living up to our values is called sacrifice. In both there is renunciation; in the former, we renounce the higher for the sake of the lower, in the latter the lower for the sake of the higher.

Sometimes, compromise can seem to yield benefit to the one who dropped his or her values. The short-term gain may have made it worth that drop in standards of being. However, it will cost them their esteem, within themselves as well as in the eyes of others.

Equally, our self-esteem grows when we stick to our principles (noble ones of course, not the selfish, self-serving kind) and those around will admire our resolve and discipline.

Does this mean that inert objects have no place in life?

AavZyktanusare[Ev jfpdawRe_yae mhÅv< Swan< c d*at!.6.
Aavashyakataanusaarenaaiva jada-padaarthebhyo mahatvam sthaanam cha dadyaat ||6||
Material objects should be given importance and place according to one's needs alone.

Objects of the world have their place and function - a handkerchief is necessary when have a running nose and warm clothes are required in winter. Objects should be given their due value and respect, but no more than that. Respect is necessary only to demonstrate the inner value - if one has no respect for keeping one's clothes in good order, or one's home tidy, what does it say about the mind? What of the respect for Self and Scripture?

The objects of life aid us through it and treated well will serve us well, but beyond this they are unimportant. They are not the 'be all and end all' of life. We should remain masters and not become dependent or even slaves to the objects. The 'idiot-box' should not dominate family time and mobile phones and emails should not replace person-to-person meetings. Attachment and addiction to things can only cause sorrow, for they will surely fail us in one way or another and we mourn their loss.

A place for everything and everything in its place is what we need to remember. Prioritise objects, persons, relationships and values.

Take A Walk

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

SOLITUDE. Does it serve a purpose for the meditator? Does it have to mean 'lonely'? We are going to explore the writings of a number of notable contemplatives of various backgrounds and explore the role of solitude in spiritual pursuit. These are from a collection published by Chinmaya Publications.

Swami Chinmayananda - Gurudev - himself is the next essayist in the book. Actually, it is a lengthy excerpt from his diary of 1948, when he was making yatra (pilgrimage) of the Himalaya and pondering how best to serve the world. The insight the excerpt gives as to adjusting to solitude and gaining benefit from it is quite revealing. In order to keep this post manageable in length, but also to distill an essence of the different sections (days of the diary), instead, quotations are going to be presented - key sentences which hold entire lessons within them. Your task is to ponder each deeply.  The title given the 'essay' is Communing With Nature.

After returning (from Rishikesh) I went for a long walk alone among the tall, awsome-inspiring pine trees. At first I felt terrified just looking at their majesty. Then I stepped into their midst…

(Leaving the Jamuna) the ascent was no joke. Even a healthy man must pant ere he can proceed half a furlong. Yet the going was pleasant - because of the solid silence in these vaults of nature… the sight was gorgeous all around, the vegetation thick. Tall trees laden with leaves, shrubs short and stout. I wanted to leave even my friend Sri Gautamji, who seemed to be afraid of the silence and stuck to me even more. I could not shake him easily, but gained a lead as we descended down the serpentine path. It is a lovely, exhilarating experience to be in the forest alone with the silence. You seem to perceive the silence, dandle it, and come to be silence yourself. The thicker and heavier the silence, the more Gautamji would talk… not everybody can take silence in their stride. It can be as unnerving as incessant chatter.

Except for the twitter of a few birds at 4am, nothing disturbed the serenity of the moment. In such an atmosphere, prayer comes to one naturally.

We visited a vairaagi sadhu, Sri Raganath Dasji. We were with him for ten minutes. He spoke not a word; we spoke not a word. It was the most eloquent ten minutes. In that silence, the attitude of babaji, the room, the fire… everything assumed a special significance. If we did not receive its meaning, it could have only meant a weakness in our own understanding. The real life is in meditation and renunciation.

The early morning sun played on the fresh whiteness of the snowpeaks. Together they formed a chorus of welcome… as we marched along this winding ridge, falling to depths on either side, with an amazing variety of flowers of white, yellow, violet, we felt that we were on the roof and crown of creation and were, in essence, at one with the reigning spirit of pure beauty and thrilling silence. There is no language in the world that has worlds powerful enough to express such deep, voiceless, undiluted inner earthly joy can compete, for they are incomplete and finite; this is infinite, immeasurable bliss which rejuvenates and shatters into smithereens the entire market-place values in life. in the deepest, fiercest forest section, I was alone for an hour. Any rugged stretch is a 'path'. Nature is formidable with her eerie noises; birds, leaves, rivers, twigs cracking underfoot, distant calls of shepherds, all falling thickly on the exploding silence. Woven into this intricate pattern, how can one call one's life one's own?! There is the humility of absolute surrender.

OM - Start Your Day

Hari OM

Sounds-day is for listening/viewing a variety of devotional items from and for all ages and traditions.