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!

Neighbourliness

Hari OM
Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
















This is a blog of philosophy and spiritual pursuit. Therefore the first part of the reference from Matthew can readily be taken, but the second part, concerning community, may hold greater worth.

The thing to be remembered about such writings is that they are written for daily use, not just weekly devotion. The stories and parables are provided to keep us focused on the art of living and steer us from falling into pits of poor behaviour and habits. It is sad that, for many, any reference to scriptural teachings holds some degree of fear, disgust, threat, or other such negative connotation. Institutional religion has often used the scriptures as a kind of weapon against the devoted. Judgementalism and criticism arise from this misuse. Many in modern generations have turned their backs upon the religions of their forefathers due to a sense of restriction and the idea that it infringes upon their 'freedom'.

Freedom, though, is not a license to do whatever one pleases. Freedom comes with a responsibility to behave in such a manner that does not infringe upon the liberty of our fellow beings. To ensure this, we do require to have discipline and discipline requires a set of measures.

From where to get those measures? They appear not from thin air. They arrive on the long trail of previous learning. Thus we must have role models, teachers, guides. Our own experience can be useful, but it can also mislead. If we have no direct beacon in parents or other pillars of society, then it is helpful to have a philosophy to hold onto. The laws of the land in which we live serve to protect and correct, but that one size fits all format does not necessarily provide the succour and support each individual in the society requires.

If we are lucky, there will be at least one, and hopefully many, of our 'neighbours' who will be there for us in good times and bad. What is more, if we, in turn, are a good neighbour, the reward is our sense of worth from giving that aid, whatever be its form. It is this need within the human psyche which resulted in the rise of Humanism as an alternative spiritual outlet. Even in atheism there is a need to feel greater than the sum of our small bodies. It is also useful to note that atheism is a philosophy of life. Atheism does not preclude the need for being a decent human being living to the highest standards which one can.

Whether we accept a deity or not, we cannot deny our part in community and the unity of human existence. Thus the second commandment of Master Yeshu holds good for us all.


Surprise!

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

Yesterday, the scientific nature of Vedanta was expounded. India is known, artistically, for mandalas. They have figured in the cultural expression for centuries, likely tens of centuries. They are mathematical and are expressions of the universe and how energy manifests through the human experience.

How wonderful, beautiful, awe-inspiring is it then, to have discovered this little expression of a part of the universe close to us. It is impossible to watch this and not think of the Rsis all those timeless years past meditating and visualising the cosmos and how it works. Was it from such as that, a perception beyond our understanding, that mandalas arose? Speculation is pointless. Let us merely enjoy this image and allow ourselves to be amazed.


Eight Earth years are roughly equal to thirteen Venus years, meaning the two planets approximately trace out this pattern with five-fold symmetry as they orbit the Sun. (With thanks to 'Reddit')

Quest

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

Even reading the prakarana grantha, the 'beginners' texts, it is possible to see the depth of thinking behind Vedanta. When one builds one's reading and digs into the more technical writings, it is astounding to discover that the Rsis, those early, advanced thinkers and meditators, truly understood the workings of the physical universe and had a grasp of the mechanics of it. All without the benefit of scientific instrumentation - using their minds alone, they determined these things.

The fact is, theoretical physicists are doing much the same. They will argue that they have lots of scientific research to build their theories and projections upon, which is true, but it is not necessarily any better or different than that with which the Rsis had to develop their arguments. It was merely gathered and documented differently.

Make no mistake, those ancient minds were as scientific as any current master of physics, chemistry, medicine, psychology. Their teachings about the state of the universe, the human species, and the individual being are as current today as they were millennia ago. Which means that Mankind has not developed any further intellectually than was present at the time of the Rsis. A conservative estimate is that it's around six thousand years, but continued research now suggests up to ten thousand years past. Either way, modern Mankind is inclined to think that it is getting smarter and more qualified than the generations before. It is not. Delving into Vedanta for more than just a cursory investigation soon reveals us to ourselves.

It is this which separates the philosophy from other spiritual treatises. It is true that a 'religion' has developed from the Vedic culture which has become known as Hinduism, but Vedanta itself is not a religion. It is the science of Man.

The fact that large numbers of Mankind do take up religion is that, for many, the need to hold onto something 'other' is very forceful. The force of nature which unifies us all has become singled out and deified because Mankind cannot bear the idea of a vacuum. Also, most make the mistake of thinking that vacuum, 'nothingness', holds no value, no energy. Not the case.

Modern science would like to think that it can debunk the 'God myth', yet many of the truly great scientific minds come to admittance that there is 'something' which is just beyond the grasp of Man and may never be fully discovered. Our modern equipment and hi-tech approach are bringing the deepest and most subtle parts of the universe into our ken, but it is nothing more than has already been posited by the Rsis. The arrogance of Man is such, though, that this cannot be properly admitted. The discoveries are desired to be 'owned'. Egos and names get attached to them.

The Rsis wished to remain unnamed. They understood there was no ownership of anything, least of all the very building blocks of the universe. Vedanta is a rational, logical and scientific approach to the inner state of being which they have gifted to us. There is room left within it to practice ritual, to acknowledge a power greater than our own, small, individual selves. At no time, however, does it say there is "a creator being". That is left to the more earthly texts. They have been written because the masses need something more concrete and are, mostly, unwilling or unable to accept that 'God' is a state of being which they can manifest for themselves.

Most of the spiritual texts with which we are familiar tend to social conscience and living in community. This is right and proper and, therefore, these books hold great value also.

Make a saadhana to read daily. Whichever text sits well with you, hold it close and read it thoroughly. Look beyond the words on the page, though. Pick it apart and delve into the fullness of its context and purpose. This is the Vedantic way. Be sceptical. Ask questions. Seek answers. Open your inner ears to hear the answers.

Dr Carl Sagan