'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general page reviewing the week so far…
No one has submitted request for a chance of the free copy of Kindle Life. It shall remain on the shelf for now. As we progress to more and more study, the offer may be revived. It is still early days here with Aatmaavrajanam. Not your standard blog! One of the things which delayed the launch by more months than intended was the constant thinking and rethinking of what form it would take. In the end it was a case of "just take the leap and trust the process". Within a matter of days the format developed itself.
This is partly trusting the inner voice which is ever-present. A large element though is that the training of the last few years has not gone astray. There comes a time when the apprentice is ready and can be trusted with carrying on the 'craft'; maintaining tradition even whilst finding their own 'voice'. An apprentice will always appreciate what the master has given them and their work will always reflect the influence of that master and, therefore, all the masters before him/her. Master and apprentice? Yes! This is the tradition the West would most recognise as being close to that of guru and shishya. The difference is that in West, this tradition has almost entirely been wiped out. There came a point at which it was considered that unless one had 'formal education' (i.e. a paper to wave around) at the end of a defined period of study, then one was somehow lacking; the passing of practical knowledge combined with experiential wisdom from one 'unpapered' craftsman to another was not considered worthy.
A point of difference between university study and being at gurukula is that of surrender. At uni, whilst there may be respect for professors and tutors, there would rarely be the reverence which is found when under a guru. That reverence is not only for the personage which has raised itself to such heights of understanding but also for the knowledge which they have decided you are worthy to share.
"Knowledge can only truly be preserved by the teaching of it."
As all who have ever been in the position of teaching will know, this itself adds to one's own learning and aids one's growth. Having to lay out the basics and cover familiar territory reinforces disciplines, reminds what has been forgotten, aids in the expansion of saadhana. It means that ever wider and deeper researches are undertaken - for it becomes easier to make things simple by knowing the most one can. Teachers require aids. In the medium of blogging, images and videos become a great tool in this regard. Browsing the Chinmaya channel this week, this small program was found. A lot of it is spoken in English and where the French comes, subtitles have been provided. Here you will find a good, general expression of what it is to feel the call of advaita and to guru.
You will have noted, again, the mention of study group and seen it in action here. Clearly a genuine study group setup is not possible in this particular arrangement, however you are most definitely encouraged to ask your questions, debate points, voice doubts either via the comments box OR, if shy or wish specific direction, by emailing. The link is on the P-O-O-P page. This is not to be a monologue. The feedbacks already given are gratefully received, but interaction is sought. Questions will always be responded to; the more which appear publicly the better as this too aids learning. Those who have remained shy in their reading (there are quite a number of you!) do consider joining fully. You are all encouraged to print off each of the posts, as, almost by default, a 'handbook' of study is developing. This comes with a proviso, however; in no way must this material be used for anything other than your own edification. It has been seen everywhere, not just in vedanta but in any spiritual learning, that the over-eager take things away and use them as whips against their near and dear…"see I told you…!!!" or seek to take up a position of authority for which they are not qualified.
Nothing here is ever for you to use against others. It is to build yourselves.