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!

The Meditative Readings 1

Hari Om

Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.

We have been exploring the writings of Gurudev, through his book 'Meditation & Life'. All the instructive chapters have been rendered and now there follows twelve 'chapters' which are designed for contemplation both before and after each meditation session. Please note that the actual writings of Gurudev are quite lengthy, so only the gist and key points are going to be given here. You are again encouraged to seek out a copy of the book to keep to hand as it is an inspiration and with each reading something more will drop into place.

Ch. 27; Progress-Halting Ruts.
For those who make serious efforts in meditation there will always be those moments, as practice deepens,  where it seems as if one is falling backwards rather than progressing. A kind of anguish or despair can descend - it is "the dark night of the soul". The unprepared student will tend to fall on reaching this rut; there are likely to have been internal 'storms' as the battle with the ego is fought. The ready student though, the one who has progressed evenly with well-applied saadhana, is less likely to succumb to the distractions which can present at this testing time.

All the Sanskrit writings point to the ways and means of preparing oneself. They are like signposts on the spiritual path. Like signposts on many a rural road, they are notalways so clear, legible or even intelligible to one who is not paying full attention.

The keen pilgrim, however, will decipher and follow the examples both within the texts and provided by the Guru - even if not a physically present Guru, but one who has left such writings as Adi Shankara, Ramanuja and so on. These explanations and discourses are the torches lighting the darkness.

No sensible traveller will depart without appropriate preparations. All equipment checked and rechecked. There must be necessary technical knowledge according to the journey to be undertaken. There must be an adaptability in order to make the most of sometimes very difficult terrain. there must be a clear understanding and acceptance of those times when it may be necessary to slow, divert, or even stop to ask directions...

Image result for preparation for travelThe analogy is not lost on you, surely?! It is possible to go into what you believe is meditation, but get bored, frustrated, even end up cursing it for being less than promised - but on asking those who have followed the footsteps of the great, it is possible to recognise the error and start afresh - with a compass in one's mind!

The journey of the spiritual seeker is to merge the mind/ego system into the Pure Consciousness which drives the universe. The nature of one's thoughts determine how this is approached and managed. A seeker, to begin with, must learn to initiate new and healthier 'thought patterns' before attempting to reduce thoughts.  In doing this, the 'channels' into which our thoughts have habituated reveal themselves, for they can be difficult to restructure - they are our 'vaasanas', the grooves of personality and preferences and talents - the foundation desires if you will - which direct our motivation. Becoming conscious of these, the seeker can now find ways to cut round them or eliminate them altogether.

Remember, all the physical equipment we use - the body and its senses both internal and external, are driven, ultimately, by these thought channels. If we govern our thoughts, the rest of us can come more clearly under our control. Nothing of the physical word can affect us except via the mind.

The force which drives the mind into better herding of the senses and body is the intellect and the desires which arise from it. As we progress, our underlying desires become naked before us and we can again root out all which is extraneous to the journey towards union with the Higher. These vaasanas are referred to in our teachings as the 'causal body' - the highest subtlety of our matter state. The deepest, the root, cause of all our troubles, the Upanishads tell us, is avidya; ignorance or our spiritual being, the Totality of Truth.

By veiling this Truth from ourselves by attachment to the physical, matter-levels of our being, we are drawn into all the vicissitudes of life. Thus, the Rsis declare, life and its traumas and ecstasies result from our own spiritual ignorance. Removal of avidya is the goal of meditition, moving into vidya, the Knowledge of Self.

"Seek the Self" is the battlecry of the serious meditator. However, on this grand path, take care; hasten slowly.

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Hari OM
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