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!


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

The next several weeks, this day will carry short narratives from Swamini Supriyananda (Hong Kong-based). These are inspirational tales which were given or are about Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda-ji. They bring a focus on how to live Vedantically.

How Much?

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

Some readers may start to wonder about studying such texts as SadaachaaraH and Mukundamala, for most of you are from the Western background with little or no relationship to Indian traditions. As well, it has been said more than once, follow your own faith path, even as you study Vedanta. How, then, can texts which advocate 'foreign' practices be of use?

Protestantism arose as a rebellion against the use of rituals and set practices, but the early Christian church, which developed into Catholicism, understood the need for 'anchors' to keep the faithful focused. The human mind, for the majority, does require this sort of thing. Those of us who think we do not require them might be surprised at the sense of calm and devotion which does arise from such practices. Do not think, either, that all must be taken on board at once. At least one, perhaps two, pointers contained in the texts will sound and feel 'right' for you at the moment. Begin there. Build as you need to.

The critical thing is to determine just how much you wish to follow a path of spiritual devotion and reflective practice.

Expansion of Purpose

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

We now explore the Sri Adi Shankara text, "SadaachaaraH". To obtain your own copy, click here.

We left off last week with the suggestion that conviction can bring about change. To build conviction, we must gain suitable knowledge and understanding of the subject. There are different levels to this also; we can scan for knowledge which works in the short term, but which falls away from disuse thereafter. We can take on the knowledge at a middling level, whereby we can recite it, but not necessarily apply it to ourselves. Or, we can decide to delve into the knowledge and work at making it our own. It can only stay with us then and we can only act in accordance with that knowledge after.

The process of changing our actions to match our values is thus achieved by consistent application of good conduct. Building knowledge of what is considered better conduct and proper habits must become as regular a thing as taking the daily bath. As we develop habits for cleanliness of the body, so we too must we do so for our mental and spiritual 'bodies'.

As we embark upon the body of the text now, we will find that twelve key practices are advocated for daily routine. All who desire freedom from sorrow will follow these;
pratataH smaranam - remembrance of the Lord in the morning
Shaucham - cleansing of the body
Chasnaanam - bathing
Chaaghamarshanam - working to remove sins
Sandhyaa -  prayers
japa - repetition of the names of the Lord
Tarpanam - offering water to ancestors
Agnihotram - offering to the fire
Tathaaarchanam - worship
Maunam - observation of silence
Dhyaanam - meditation
Bhojanam - correct eating

(...cha sadaachaaraH prakiirtitaaH mumukshunaam to kartavyaaH svaatmanaarthe to jnaaninaam - and with right conduct undertaken, the dedicated one can work to reach union with Knowledge).

Adi Shankaraachaarya will show us how each of the above practices of our daily life can be converted into meditation upon the Supreme. What is more, we will find that each of the steps is explained at three levels;
  1. As a regular practice that all of us should undertake, per the Dharma ShaastraaH, through which we attain outer prosperity and inner unfoldment
  1. As an exercise in meditation for the seeker of Truth
  1. As a natural state of the realised person.

We shall commence with the text-proper next week.