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!

Prompt Response

Hari OM

Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!

This is the title of a publication from CM which, whilst it of course has items by Gurudev, also includes selections of writing from other well-esteemed Gurus from the Vedantic tradition as well as leading businessmen. Its focus is the working life. We shall be exploring these essays for the next few weeks on Workings-day as, clearly, they pertain directly to the premise of this section of AVBlog! As ever, you  are encouraged to read back over previous posts, to ensure full benefit.

Part 2:Fulfillment Through work
Efficiency in Action (Gurudev)

We have seen that work is inevitable. The quality of work seems to be dependent not only on the field in which we work, nor on the theme for which we work, but on the ardour and sincerity, the intention or ideal that has inspired our hearts when we work.

What do we mean by action? How best to act? What promotes action and what are the personality layers that express themselves in through action? In knowing the mechanism of action, we ought to be able to understand the technique and the art of adjusting the personality in such a way that action falls under the highest type of activity, benefiting not just the actor but their community also. Today, we are all students of science and not ready to accept an idea unless we clearly know the complete mechanism of it. This is the spirit of the modern age. Therefore, when the teachers of the scriptures try to explain that we must work and that the quality of our work depends upon the beauty of our emotion behind it, we are not ready to accept it. We want to know how these are connected.

Mechanism of Action.
All living creature constantly receive stimuli of the five senses. We cannot remain even a single second in the world without receiving stimuli. One or other of our sense will always be on the alert, and often, several at the same time.

As these signals reach the individual, the instrument or mechanism within man which processes the signals is called the mind. If our mind is not attentive, we cannot properly see, hear, smell etc and can miss things. If we are worried or busy with another involving task, the stimulus may be missed. So there can be these sorts of interruptions further confusing the interaction with the world. When the signals are received, the mind does not of itself make responses (other than survival/instinctive ones). It passes what it receives onto the higher functioning part which is our intellect, the part where analysis and judgement take place. The intellect is the place which prompts response to the stimuli.

Intellect is not a haphazard instrument. Everyone's intellect comes to its conclusions based upon other factors such as the individuals vaasanas and the recall of past, similar experiences. It is the vaasanas which can determine our habits; for example, if a bottle of whiskey is put between a brahmin priest and a street drunkard, which would have the greatest struggle not to lunge at it? It is not the bottle, or indeed the contents, which promote the action of grabbing, but the vaasana of "I must have that alcohol" which is resident in the street drunk which prompts it. This is an extreme example, but it is at play in all of us all the time. The ideas and ideals that we already have in our intellect condition the intellects judgement as how it should tackle any given stimulus.

Thus, the outer world enters through the sense organs into the mind, the mind takes the signals and awaits the intellect's input; the intellect judges the messages according to the existing vaasanas, judgement is made and an order is returned via the mind. The mind can thus be considered as both the receiving and dispatch clerk. Whilst this has been described here, it must also be understood that all this is happening at an almost instantaneous moment.

The intellect must come to a judgement; but how each one judges any given situation is different from another person in the same situation. This is because the backlog of experiences and the ideas and ideals which inform and inspire judgement are different between each individual. No one individual can ever have precisely the same experience-assessment-response ratio as another. This is uniqueness. 

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