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!

What's the big IDEA?

Hari Om

Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

Nothing which we read in philosophy or religion can amount to anything, in truth, unless we have a clear perception of where it lies within our own field of reference.  One of the great beauties of Vedanta is that it naturally enforces self-analysis; every text speaks as if to an individual. I, you, they...are the individual. The more that is learned the more it becomes apparent, though, that there is only One-ness. Shruti arrived to rescue that One which, through illusion (Maya), appears as many.

Which at this stage - depending on one's spiritual development - will seem like a delusion!

When the ancient seafarers set off from land, at a time when there was nothing at all to prove there was any other land than their own, what is it that drove them to embark on such a risky journey? Well, of course initially is was lust - lust for land, for treasures and to conquer. The first major drive to reach out for something is usually because we see someone else gaining some enjoyment from that thing. A value is then set upon that object. Extending boundaries over a more treacherous route - the ocean - required the drive to acquire, trust that land would again be found, hope and desire that there would be improved rewards from the finding of that land.

So much for those early travellers of the Pacific and the Atlantic. Even when ships set sail today, with all the modern equipment and knowledge, with all the certainty that there is indeed a destination to be reached, there are many hazards to negotiate. The surface travelled is unstable, constantly on the move.

The Sanskrit word  संसार/samsaara is commonly translated as 'ocean of life'.  It is descriptive of the way life takes us to peaks of enjoyment, then dashes us to the troughs of despair.  Other times it can seem entirely stagnant. (The term 'doldrums' which is used for melancholia is an adaptation of the maritime term for conditions found around the equatorial seas.)

Just as there were pioneers of the oceans who established safe routes and located places of safety to rest, equally there were 'sailors of the soul' who explored deeply the inner seas. Not everyone is born to be a sailor. For those who have a notion of it though, there are places to go in order to learn the necessary skills, to build experience, ultimately to venture out. Similarly, not everyone has a natural bent for philosophy of spirit.  For those who do embark on the wider ocean, the rewards are precious.  The sailors who reach the shores of Vedanta are those prepared to explore a little beyond the established channels, willing to risk a little turbulence for the possibility of greater gains.  It is not mythical territory; it simply awaits discovery.

What will bring us on this less travelled route? What helps us decide it is worth journeying?

I - starting with the ultimate question "who am I?" This level of interest of the condition of the individual by that individual will fund a drive for enquiry. This requires intellect. A level of cognition greater than the sum of the thoughts which inform it. The functioning of the intellect is determined by many things and is, essentially, the focus of Vedantic teaching. Frequently there are discoveries which inspire us to go further.

D - desire for an answer to the question. Determination to pursue that answer. Doubts will surely arise but the intellect which pointed us here will now start asking the related questions as well as deeper questions. Deciding to reach beyond our boundaries, delving into the unknown is not without its risks. The knowledge gained makes them worth it.

E - is for experience. With every move in life, we gain experience. Positive and negative. Not all that seems positive is necessarily good; not all that seems negative is necessarily bad. There are times when experience causes us to withdraw and not wish to interact with the world. Sometimes though, we have to extend ourselves.  'E', then is for exploration, in order to add to our experiences.  Only then can we test ourselves.

A - analysis. Assessment of the conditions. Reckoning of the factors. Weighing up. How we do this will be affected by the current functioning level of our intellect, the level of desire to make a determination and the nature of our experiences. The act of analysis does not always equate to logical exposition. At the animal level it can be as straight forward as 'can this be eaten?' and the decision made on inputs from the senses, measured against levels of hunger, and experience of whether there is potential for poisoning. At the highest level it can be the positing of seemingly outlandish theory, followed up with adequate reasoning, experimentation and coming up with a proof or solution.

Having been here to read this, you have certainly seen, on your inner horizon, the possibility of the Land of Vedanta.  There has been a level of curiosity built up from a questioning intellect. This doesn't mean you have to be a 'brainiac'! Only that you have a keen desire to understand the world more deeply and are starting to understand that this entails knowing yourself.  Whether you choose to search more deeply and how far you go will be, in part, determined by your experiences to date and furthered by the experiences gained by taking up the exploration of Vedanta.  Whilst here, there will be much which will require your analysis.  Not least your own self.

There is something for everyone in Vedanta. As with visiting any land other than your own, how much you gain from being here is up to you. 

1 comment:

  1. Yamini,thanks for the great reflective moments!


Hari OM
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