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


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Hari Om

'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general page reviewing the week so far…

To those who like to have spooky fun, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  There are many who subscribe to this being a pagan festival, and of course many of the Western Christian feasts and holy days are 'upgrades' on local customs in order to bring more into the 'flock'.

November 1st, though, has long been designated All Hallows' (i.e. Saints) Day, therefore, the evening before is referred as All Hallows' Evening (e'en in old English). This was the evening of the year when all the spirits who had fallen into the half-way house of Purgatory could roam free and create havoc, whilst the Saints were other-ways focused!  That this was probably a variation on the Celtic Samhain tradition (as Autumn turns to Winter) is highly likely.  Northern Europe also, it seems, designated this a 'new year', hence some revelling.

However it came about, the principle of facing up to the darkness and acknowledging that there is more to humanity than the mere body is in line with the tradition of Diwali which Hindus share at a very similar time.

As you light your lanterns, think not just of mischief and gore, but also of the releasing of the trapped spirits, that they may now rise and move on. Think on the relief of your own spirit as you seek to bring light into your darkness.

On another matter of greeting... There was an email enquiry as to the translation of HARI OM. This is complex! As has been mentioned prior, Sanskrit is such a tightly compacted contextual language that no single translation/explanation can really cover it.  The very language itself enforces each individual to go in pursuit of meaning.  As a brief response to the questioner , the following was given;
Hari Om is a greeting used by followers of Vedanta, the philosophical knowledge path within the Sanskrit traditions (akin to Gnosticism in Christianity, Sufism in Islam or Kabballah in Judaism...) and means 'That is All'.

Hari, or Brahman, is not 'God' as most would refer to that part of ourselves which we cannot quite understand but need to label. It is the entirety of all that we see, feel and express, yet has no form of its own, hence the term 'that', rather than 'God', which has come to mean a physical and separate entity.

Many Hindus utilise the greeting in relation to Lord Vishnu, as Hari is a name given to this manifestation of God.

Hari is the one who can relieve us of our darker selves. The name derives from हरः /haraH meaning 'to take away/to steal/to remove... OM is of course the omnipotent, the unnameable life force, the everything that is. Thus, it can be considered as a plea to the Higher to assist us in keeping to the path of righteousness, to help us in rooting out our vaasanas and aid our self-purification.

When used in greeting form, somewhat similar to 'namaste', the greeter is acknowledging that That/Lord is present everywhere and in everything/one, and all of 'this' has the potential to be of assistance in the path. Therefore, whilst the paths may diverge, all who are met on our way at the intersections of life are companions and helpers...and equally, that help and companionship is being offered.

It might be said in looser terms, then, that when greeted with Hari Om, you are being held in complete unity with the greeter.

1 comment:

  1. Hari OM,
    Thanks for the new insights Yamini!


Hari OM
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