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
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 author, that king of ancient years, brings us back to the practicalities of praise.

zÇuCDedEkmÙ< sklmupin;ÖaKysMpUJymÙ<
s<saraeÄarmÙ< smupicttmSs‡inyaR[mÙm!,
svREñyREkmÙ< VysnÉujgs<d:qsÙa[mÙ<
ijþ ïIk&;[mÙ< jp jp stt< jNmsa)LymÙm!.24.
Shatru-chcchedaika-mantram sakalam-upanishad-vaakya-sampuujya-mantram
Samsaarottaara-mantram samupachita-tamas-sangha-niryaana-mantram,
Sarvaishvaryaika-mantram vyasana-bhujaga-sandashta-santraana-mantram
Jihve shriikRshna-mantram japa japa satatam janma-saaphalya-mantram ||24||
Oh tongue, please chant always the mantra 'Sri Krishna' that can give complete fulfilment of life. This mantra can destroy all the enemies, it is praised by statements of all Upanishads; it can lift one from the ocean of worldly existence; it is the mantra that can completely remove all darkness (ignorance) accumulated (over many lives); it can give great prosperity and can save even when bitten by the 'snake' of afflictions.

We all know our mind to be a monkey, do we not?! Even great sages will practice japa, and many will still use a mala to do this. Indeed, japa is the perfect activity of bhakta for a jnaani, for it forms the very basis of meditation. We MUST have a tool to keep our mind from distracting itself with all sorts of nonsense.

When we are at work, the mind is focused on the tasks there… (isn't it…?!) When we are dealing with family, our mind must focus there. Then we come to being with ourselves and the mind is generally let off the leash. It can land us all sorts of imaginings, dreams of the impossible, creating scenarios, rerunning events. You name it the mind will get into it. Japa is likened to the net put up for catching birds; it keeps the thoughts drilled to the one point of focus. In the case of this verse, the focal point is Shri Krishna. You may choose any form of the Higher which suits you. Remember, even the great masters maintained a practice of this nature. Never take for granted the control of your mind.

Mantras have power. Much emphasis is given to them in Santana Dharma. It is not that they are 'spells' - yet if you experience a prolonged period of focus on any mantra, you do begin to appreciate the energy it creates and develop and instinct for the present you may not have previously had. How so?

We tend to take language as only a means of communicating. But that communication is something beyond the mere words if we pay attention. This is felt quite easily if we have someone talk to us in such a manner that we feel abused. "Idiot! - Fool!" - Thief!" All of us have felt badly at some point in our lives in response to such words or accusations. Our egos rise and fall according to praise or condemnation. The words are nothing but a collection of letters, but we attach greater or lesser importance to them and allow them to affect us for all sorts of reasons. It is true, too, that the manner of delivery affects how we receive the words. A mother smiling and saying playfully, 'oh you are a fool!' will have much less damaging an effect than a boss at work yelling it in the office.

Mantras, then, are imbued with a resonance which intensifies the meaning of the bundling of letters. The grammar in Sanskrit is also complex and adds its own value to the mantra. This is why the king can say, here, that the simple mantra of "Shri Krishna" repeated well and with focus, can build a wall of security about us and help to lift us spiritually. It can cure us of the ills of our karma and, above all, rein in that monkey!


Hari OM
Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality.

This month we are looking more closely at SHREYAS and PREYAS. Today, let us concentrate on the second of these words.

Last week you were shown the dictionary chart with meanings for shreyas. The observant will have noted the usage was mostly as an adjective or a noun, but that there was one indecisive usage; 'rather'. What would shreyas be 'rather than'?

Preyas is again used as a baby's name and is frequently translated as 'most loving' or 'affectionate'. This reflects the more visceral and impulsive quality of preyas. You will see here in the shabdkosh meanings, there are a lot fewer offered than for shreyas. The one which pertains most directly, particularly for the saadhaka, is 'most desirable'.

When we talk of shreyas and preyas in Vedanta, we are referring to the choices of life. If we are tending to predominantly preyas, we will be not over-analysing our choices and tending to a loose, perhaps undisciplined lifestyle.

Preyas wants the quick fix and the path of least resistance. Preyas wants the tasty and the intoxicating. Preyas - wants

That is the key to this. You may think of it as having the fairy on one shoulder and the imp on the other. If you subscribe to the general notion that fairies have only our good at heart, they will guide us for our betterment and improvement and with the long-term outcomes in view. The imp is mischevious and even dangerous, pushing us to not worry about the consequences to ourselves or others, that we can always say sorry and live another day.

The problem with that is we rarely actually do say sorry - at least with any degree of contriteness and humility. What is more, the worst damage is to ourselves and saying sorry won't fix anything. What fixes things is to act better, with shreyas in mind, in the future.

Therefore, shreyas is to be opted for RATHER than preyas if we are truly determined upon self-improvement and spiritual advancement.

Word Contemplations; P

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

These articles first appeared on Yamini-amma's personal blog. They were designed to promote deeper thinking on values, personal growth, Vedantic understanding - and to prompt conversation. Use them for contemplation either before or after your regular meditative practice. 

Preman - affection, fondness, joy, kindness, tender regard

Love - with the capital 'ell' - is the Universal Love, unconditional, unselfish, unstinting. It seeks no reward, no kudos, has no expectation of receipt. Preman is Pure Love and even in the worldly plain, holds no strings, makes no demands, states no ownership and is a bottomless well of compassion, affection and kindness.

To apply prem in our daily life, we need to be secure within ourselves and clear about our understanding of Love of the capital variety. It is a commodity which is often taken for granted. The mistake is to think it abundant. It is certainly freely available, but the ability to tap into it and work with it and live it… well, that takes some doing.

Even the noblest of people can get lost in the myriad other connotations of love - seriously, check out that list, love in all forms but the Universal. The love which permeates the world in all sorts of guises and which can as often be nothing more than lust, jealousy, anger, greed and so on, all dressed up with a cherry on top to fool the unsuspecting and the needy.

Needy, yes. We all of us, every single one of us, wish to be loved - but what that is to us is as individual as ourselves. There is the expectation of something coming our way - even among the most giving of us. Indeed, almost certainly we all know of at least one person about whom it is said 'they have such love to give' but who seek attention through that love, or control, or drama… indeed 'love' is the most abundant emotion we have available to us and yet it is the most abused, misused and discarded.

In fact, for many, the idea that a Love which makes no request of them, which has no expectation that they can return it, is as alien as the atmosphere of Venus. They have learned that there is always a cost, a charge, for love and they expect to pay it. They can be suspicious of motives, be greatly in fear of it, and seek to second-guess the bearer of Love.

So demeaning has been the experience of love, by some, so sceptical have they become, that there is a refusal to believe such an Unadulterated Love can exist. This is beyond sad.

Those of us who can, who have seen, felt and experienced the capital 'ell' Love have a duty to vibrate and spread it to the world. In thoughts, words or deeds, whichever is appropriate and of which we are capable.

There is room, though, to ask the Parent to listen, to cry in His Ear...

It is my Prayer, that all can come into the embrace of Prem, that all will feel its healing and be lifted.