ADVENTURES IN ADVAITA VEDANTA...


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

THE ADVENTURE

HARI OM!
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!

Brushing The Cover

Hari OM

'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

TATTVABODHAH.
[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]

Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. Think again on the meaning. Seek to focus on the subject.

We saw, last week, that the mangala can act as a sort of 'carrot' to the seeker, offering not just learning but the potential for moksha.  Everyone and everything has a desire for the sort of happiness which stays and is not dependent on the environment or the situation. This is universal. It is the human creature who has the potential to work out that this form of lasting joy comes not from the external, not from the material objects, but from within. We have the ability to apply परिषेश  ज्ञाय/parishesha jnaaya, logic(al understanding of) that which remains. We can investigate until there is no place left to search, where all we must conclude that what we are left with must be true. There can of course be traps in this... searches can be stymied by false endings and delusional conclusions. The seeker must not give up.

It follows that if Knowledge is the solution, that which it replaces must be the problem... and that is ignorance. In Vedanta, ignorance is synonymous with 'bondage'.

Ignorance sits within.  To rid ourselves of it we must wipe it out with Knowledge. There is a tendency for many to seek blessing from holy men, or go on pilgrimage to gain spiritual 'credit'. All good and well. Heading up Mount Kailash or to Lourdes will not of itself free one from bondage. By all means take the waters, do the yatra (trek)... but do it whilst gaining Knowledge.  Better still, gain Knowledge, then decorate it with spiritual actions!

Recall, also, that mangala serves as a 'label' of advertising as to the nature of the text, who it best serves and acknowledging the teachers who have enabled the production of the text. First we need to determine which type of mangala has been given; does it address the nature of its content (vaastu nirdesha), does it honour the parampara (lineage) through namaskaara ruupa, and/or does it ask for/provide blessings to the writer and the reader (ashiirvaada)? Further, the shishya having expressed desire to obtain moksha, or at least some Knowledge which may lead to such release, will look for the anubandha, that which confirms this is indeed the correct text to be reading at this time.

Actually, we can find that all three types of mangala are satisfied. 'TattvabodaH' is not simply the title but also the vishaya and prayojana of the text. Thus, in this word alone, we have vaastu nirdesha ruupa as well as two of the anubandha chatushtaya. By calling upon 'Vasudevendrayayogiindram', the author has called upon Higher Power and the guru paramapara, satisfying namaskaaram and ashiirvaada. In mention of 'Mumukshunaam', the shishya is alerted; how keen is s/he to gain the knowledge given in the text? What is there to gain by reading it?  The shishya will now ask, "am I the adhikaari, the fit one for this text?  I have seen the vishaya and the prayojana; these excite me, therefore it appears to serve my purpose and it must thus also fit the sambandha."

(NB, there are a few other terms for relationships within and around texts in Sanskrit, but these will not be given here at this time.)

Fine. The seeker has had interest piqued. The cover has been brushed, the title taken in and some grasp of what may be presented is gained. A little more than the 'cover blurb' is now looked for. Inside the jacket of modern texts, there is just a bit more about what can be expected of the book in hand. 'Chemistry Module 4' has told the student what the subject is and at what level it lies. The student, in deciding between this text and another similar one which says 'Chemistry Module 4 with prep' needs to now find out the structure of the text - is it going to provide a method of learning which fits with his or her methodology thus far, or is it at least going to add to that method and perhaps aid in modification, all the better to proceed in learning?

In Sanskrit, the प्रतिज्ञया/pratigjnayaa is sought - the promise of how the student can learn - and the प्राक्रीय/praakriiya - the promise to provide methodology by which learning can be improved.

How does TattvabodaH proceed to reveal the pratigjnayaa and the praakriiya?..

We shall see next week!
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Hari OM
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