'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general page reviewing the week so far…
On Workingsdays we have been running through a kind of 'potted version' of Vedanta. As with any summary, it can be a tad frustrating, both for the writer and for the reader.
In the first case, how much to relay at this point? How much of technical language to introduce? What is not pertinent at this stage for the casual enquirer? ...One of the great tools for writers is imagery and analogy. Though even then it can be tricky.
In the second case... 'wanted to know more about that'…' that bit appears to contradict that other bit'… 'this is far too esoteric'… the reader either has imagination fired - or doused.
The difficulty lies between the two; telling enough to make the subject interesting, to convey its essence fairly and to highlight the point of its study sufficiently to bring the reader to a place of wanting to explore further; in reading, finding the points which gel with current understanding, noting the ones which beg to be questioned and finding a desire to explore further.
If the balance has been found, at that pivot point of the desire to explore further the two shall meet. The teacher will find an audience and the seeker shall find new ways to view the world.
It might be argued that this precis of Vedanta could have constituted the first several posts on Aatmaavrajanam. However, that too would not necessarily have been correct. Think of it in terms of 'real world'. How do individuals connect in live situations? You, the reader, out on the bus one day might overhear a conversation between two fellow passengers, currently strangers to you. One has asked the other about Sudurenium-lined Sthana-pliers, along the lines of "Yesterday you mentioned a step-wise system of application, would you mind elaborating on that for me?" The expert in these tools addresses the question using 'trade' language, but still keeping it plain enough for the apprentice to appreciate the finer points. You have an understanding that the other is an apprentice because he or she had enough knowledge to have asked such a question in the first place. Until now, you had never heard of Suderenium-lined Sthana-pliers! Having studied some engineering yourself, you are finding your curiosity piqued.
Next morning, these two passengers who use specialised tools are again sitting behind you. Their conversation continues to intrigue you. Enough that, for quite a few rides, you endeavour to ensure you are on the same bus and seated close enough to eavesdrop on this strange new field of interest. Sometimes the technical stuff is total gobbledegook, other times there are simple things from the senior of the two along the lines of the skills-level required; things like knowing how to approach, how to handle, knowing the effect on the user, and so forth.
Even though you are still on the 'outside' and have no idea what they are, you come to appreciate that Suderenium-lined Sthana-pliers can turn an average engineer into a master of virtually all engineering disciplines; that what this apprentice is getting is leverage into a whole different stratosphere of practice.
You find yourself wondering what these strange tools actually are and just exactly where do they sit in the scheme of things…
In that live scenario, you might then approach the two and make enquiry. What you will then receive is a summary. From that you will find things familiar from all the conversations you have 'shared' thus far, you may find things which intrigue you even further and, quite possibly, you will find that you are invited to join the 'course' and be advised of useful texts; for it turns out that the senior of the two is a Professor of Suderenium-lined Sthana-pliers, those incredible, mysterious tools which can open up the world of engineering.
Vedanta is no 'Harry Potter' world, neither is it the land of 'Merlin'; yet sitting at the feet of a guru, or having His words brought to you by one of his disciples, equates somewhat to those fantasy lives. The mystery of life which unfolds through Vedantic study has all the magic, all the charm and all the challenges you might read about from those books.
The key difference is that readers of fantasy are seeking escape from life as they reach for control; readers of Vedanta are seeking to control life as they reach for escape.
The great beauty is that, in learning Vedanta, one can appreciate the messages portrayed within fantasy, one can find the Vedanta everywhere. One of the learning tools for the CHYKs (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra - youth groups) is to watch movies such as Matrix and Batman and then discuss the Vedantic analogies to be found therein. You see, it is not that one must not read or watch fiction, but in doing so, find the underlying thread.
Or, to coin a phrase, 'the one ring which binds us all'…. &*>