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


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Inner Decorum

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.

KINDLE LIFE. We continue exploring points raised by HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda-ji in the publication of this name. Remember, you can purchase, (very economically!), the book from  Chinmaya Mission Publications or if you prefer, the Amazon Link. Thus you can read Gurudev's words directly and bring your own voice to the discussion.

Chapter Fourteen now. Gurudev's topic herein is HARMONY AND POISE.

Societal living presents us with endless confusions and tensions, within our own selves and in the confluence of events outside ourselves. It can seem, at times, that there are challenges ever at our door, determined to bring us 'low'.  The wisdom of the Rsis is that, by seeking to live in 'harmony' with whatever comes our way, we can find the best method of overcoming the strife. Accepting that what comes to us is intended for our improvement, allows us to then adopt a stance of discretion and problems can be cleared with minimum fuss. Living this way is what brings a level of 'poise' which others can perceive and some tranquillity to our core being.  Practice of this enables and strengthens us and future problems not only appear less often, but are dealt with more calmly.

In many a study class on reading/discussing this, there are cries of protest! Life does this, that woman does the other, he is a monster, Nature did that to such and such a group… constantly the rebuttals are there about how 'cruel the world is'. There is competition between workmates, backbiting among our peers, immorality all around; and everything which takes place at local level becomes magnified when it occurs at national and international level.

The effect of all this is depends on how we react - and if we are 'reacting' then we are most likely sitting in our ego.  We are allowing our own basic natures and undisciplined thinking to dictate what we do and say.  What happens outside of us creates tensions, and what happens within us in trying to respond, is confusions.

Be clear; that which is external is going to happen. How it effects us depends upon how skilled we have become at self-control. If we surrender to the buffeting of the external, believing it has rule over us, we will be forever lamenting our circumstances. If we have worked on building our inner fortitude, developed strength of character, then we are more likely to understand which of the external circumstances we can make a difference to and which we can't, what it is that we can do to minimise the effects upon us and, in some cases, turn the disadvantage into advantage. The Rsis advise, "The life of harmony can be lived by rising above our limited egocentric view of things and happenings, expanding our mind to accommodate a constant awareness of the totality of the world, the entirety of mankind and the vastness and wholeness of the universal problems."  In current parlance, this is 'taking the world view', understanding the rightful place of all things.

Bulk of our troubles come from remaining rooted 'locally', when we perceive the world as being only this or that and expect the wider world to follow suit. We sit in our ego centre and build inner bastions which only add to our troubles; we may begin to hit out, seek to run our lives through others', or worse, to run theirs for them; and each event which arrives then becomes ever more fearsome to us, more threatening; we begin to see our problems out of context and they become larger than mountains!

Many mistake this concept of living harmoniously with all that comes as becoming 'doormats' to events, or an excuse for idleness in which there is no need to respond to circumstances. No, indeed, any who adopt this stance could be said to be worse than those who are throwing their arms about complaining, for the latter at least are raising awareness.  The harmony the Rsis are referring to is that where the practitioner is sitting in a secure and balanced inner silence, with a clear vision of how the world is truly working and that everything has its place in the Great Play of Life, no matter how ghastly or foreboding. True harmony is practiced even in the heart of the city, during the heaviest crisis and at the most joyous of times.  It is the titiksha of the saadhana chatushtaya manifesting as vairaagya.

When we become adept at this inner balance, most of the strife of life melts away and even the big stuff can be handled with greater levels of coping.  Where then to find this harmony and poise?  Through study of the classic principles of life as laid out by the ancient wisdom and the scriptures.  The groundwork has been laid centuries ago.  All that is required is that we read and practice.

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