'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general page reviewing the week so far…
Mananam. It has been mentioned a few times. In shravanam (active listening) we ought to not only be hearing the sounds, the words given out (or read as the case may be), but actively taking them into our intellectual store ready for milling and mulling… mananam.
The importance of properly and carefully thinking through each and every new thing which comes to us, or indeed anything familiar which comes to us but in new guise and unfamiliar setting, cannot be over-stressed. When we attend talks and lectures on any subject, it ought to be with the expectation of hearing something fresh, gaining a piece of knowledge we have otherwise lacked and, perhaps, having our perspective altered slightly in ways which help us grow. With luck, after such meetings, we may be able to discuss the subject, the points raised, with others who attended and in comparing notes there is further potential for intellectual benefit.
This is the essence of the study group methodology Gurudev set up. No doubt, one can study alone and in the end mananam must be only within the individual. Sharing the learning though, finding out where others feel 'stuck', adds a wonderful and practical dimension. Oftentimes we have a question but are not sure how to ask, or whether we even ought to ask. In a study group it is generally found that if one person asks a question, then almost certainly others within the group will admit to having been wondering the same thing.
Likewise, there are those in the group who can bring 'live examples' to demonstrate points from the text under study and add to the pool of growing knowledge and experience.
Here at Aatmaavrajanam, you are being afforded the benefit as if at a study group. You have the option of utilising the comments facility to bring out doubts and questions and offer your own thinking on a matter. One or two of you are using this, but it could be so much more! For the shy, or for more personal guidance you have the option of emailing. Where responses are warranted, they will be either to the comment directly, to your email directly, or - where a more general learning can be taken up - right here on Free-day.
Mananam was taking place here whilst preparing the Sadhana Panchakam post for the week. One was struck by the concept of being 'boxed in'. We all do it. As per the teaching, at the highest philosophical level, the Greater Soul has divided itself among all living things, and due to that corporeal incarnation, becomes attached. First it attaches to the body which carries it. In lower species, that is all it knows and it fights and struggles in only the maintenance of the body and the procreation of more bodies. Further up the evolutionary line, greater levels of awareness lead to other attachments. Ultimately, in Mankind, the attachments and bindings and complexities are enormous.
We build such boxes for ourselves with all our attachments and expectations. We set ourselves up for disappointments and hurts when our attachments don't meet our expectations. A lot of time is spent patching and repairing our ego boxes; they become murky, thickened and inflexible, and despite all our efforts, the world gets through. We allow ourselves to be governed by the external...and our ego.
All scriptures preach humility. Taking on the mantle of humility to the fullest is far from easy. We can wear it like a cloak, yet be festering with ego beneath it. Dramatic? Perhaps, but think more; give this mananam. Every single human being (other than the realised sages, who are few indeed!) must face their own self at different times. As will be discovered as the lessons here progress, there are every day challenges to this ego of ours and nine times out of ten we are unaware of it. Our boxes are so comfortable. We have laid out our 'ego territory' and the minute we feel that it is infringed it pricks at us.
Yes. The ego is a minefield and we alone can disarm it. Not to loose character but to repair and rebuild with improved materials and experiences. There will still be a box. It is inevitable as long as we reside within the BMI matrix. However, the box which is becoming ours now through application of good values and the shastric principles will be pure, clear and flexible. It can allow us to take part fully in life with still some protection.
In this state, there is no place, nor is there any need, to hide.Turn your thoughts always to the Higher. Extend your boundaries. Become Pure. Become Clear. Become supple. Become subtle.