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!

Twelve Steps

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.

We are reading the small booklet called "Not Too Loose, Not Too tight - Just right!" This is written by Swamini Vimalananda, and gives a very general overview of Vedanta for the beginner, with emphasis on the sattvic, rajasic and tamasic approaches to life. Remember, we are a mixture of all; use this as your mirror.

Today we conclude the study of this small text on the context of the trigunas and how the influence our interaction with the world. The strings of our mind should not be too lose, nor too tight, but just right! we should seek to hold the sattvic principle as dominant. This can be worked on; there are some fortunate ones who have earned the karma points to be born in sattvic-predominant state. The remainder of us must find ways to rise above our current circumstances of personality. To finish off this particular study, then, a few points are now given as to how this may be approached... think of them as the twelve steps of self-transformation.

Image result for alertness1; by being intellectually alert.  Objective and alert observation of one's thought flow and behaviour makes us more aware of ourselves. Start to see the different tendencies which arise within - but do not condemn yourself! This is not about judgementalism, but self-assessment in order to improve.  All aspects of us are there for our learning and we must accept them, whilst working on 'cleansing' them.

2; by analysis. We must assess our thought processes and discover how the various qualities arise, how they are staying within us, what aggravates them and what stops then. We must become our own 'doctors of the gunas' - in diagnosing that we are brooding over objects which are not a source of happiness and that such brooding only begets more brooding, then we can 'medicate' with the higher thoughts, that by releasing the brooding, calmness comes, for example.  similarly, we will start to find that the company we keep has its bearing; by swapping tamasic or rajasic company for that of more sattvic types, we too start to adopt a greater level of sattva.

3: by substitution. When a person grows tired of the same music being played, they will find something else to play in  its place. In the same way, rajas and tamas can be replaced with sattva. For example, if we find a selfish thought arising, awareness will permit us to substitute it with one of generosity. At first this will feel very 'clunky', like trying to get an old bicycle running smoothly - but keep oiling that chain of thoughts for it will give you good service soon!

4: by outgrowing tendencies. Knowing when to let go of old habits. As we learn more about Vedanta, it becomes easier and we even begin to actively 'spring clean'.

5: by observing others. There can be nothing better than finding a role model and emulating their style for our early stages of self-reformation. Similarly, we can observe those who are of rajasic or tamasic tendency and find ourselves become distant to them; not in a condemning fashion, but simply by noting that these are behaviours we no longer wish to have ourselves and moving on.

6: by one's own suffering. The wise learn from the experiences of others - but when not thus, they learn from their own mistakes. Rajas and tamas inevitable bring about some level of 'retribution' to us for various actions or behaviours and quite often, the embarrassment or the pain of such times becomes our best teacher.

Image result for bhakti yoga7: by action (karma yoga). Doing the right action with the right attitude will bring results and exhausts our negative qualities. What are right action and attitude? The performance of expected duties without the ego sense of 'doership', surrendering the action to the Higher.

8; by devotion (bhakti yoga). Attachment to the Divine liberates us from rajas and tamas. Simple and effective.

9; by Knowledge (jnaana yoga). Inquire into what is Real and unreal, Eternal and ephemeral. Seek answers to the big questions - start with "Who am I?" Such inquiry will automatically start to raise our intellect and thus bring about a greater subtlety in line with sattva and dropping rajas and tamas.

10; by meditation (dhyaana yoga). During meditation our dormant and subtler vaasanas will make themselves known to us; witnessing them this way is itself a method of cleansing.

11; sequentially. It is important to note that tamas cannot over-ride tamas. Only rajas can do that - and one cannot go from tamas directly to sattva. It is a progression - like sport, one must make appropriate training in order not to shock the muscles!

12; saadhana (daily practice). Such saadhana can be meditation as mentioned, but also things like japa, puja, swadhyaaya (scriptural study) and so forth. These are all tried and tested means for tuning the mind.

Any or all of these may benefit you in your early practices; how much and to what depth you apply these remedies is, as always, your choice. One thing is certain; there can be no results without application!

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