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!

Let It Go

Hari OM
Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
The Narada Bhakti Sutra is our guide for a while… the nature of Love (with the capital 'ell') and a full exploration of it. As always, you are encouraged to seek out the full text from Chinmaya Publications (links in side-bar); but for those who prefer e-readers, this version is recommended. Whilst awareness and interest can be raised by these posts on AV-blog, they cannot substitute for a thorough reading and contemplation...and practice!
We continue chapter 4 section 1, which itself continues to tell who is a fit student to progress well in Bhakti.

yae ivivKtSwan< sevte yae laekbNxumuNmUlyit,
inSÇEgu{yae _avit yaeg]em< Tyjit.47.
Yo viviktasthaanam sevate, yo lokabandhumunmuulayati,
nistraigunyo bhavati, yogakshemam tyajati. ||47||
...he who keeps himself in a solitary (quiet) place, he who plucks off his bondage with the world by the roots; (who) goes beyond the influences of his gunas (tendencies) and (who) renounces all his anxieties for acquiring and maintaining

It is a very necessary requirement to travel this path that you enjoy your own company… and Gurudev once said that if you cannot enjoy your own company, then please don't inflict it on others! Without understanding the basis for such a quip, it can look harsh. The truth is, though, that those who are unable to sit in silence for a period of time, or who are all the time restless and wanting to be doing something, are often those who are least aware of their own personality and can be, for others, somewhat trying to be around. If you know and appreciate stillness and quiet, you can carry that with you in the world, so that even in action there is a sense of repose; such folk are the ones other folk wish to be around.

Traditionally, for spiritual research, serious students would go into the forest or up into the mountains and seek actual solitude away from the disturbance of the world. The restless and noisy persons who attempt this, thinking that it will help them alter their personality without effort from themselves, will find that the restlessness and noise follow them - for it is an internal state!
Knowing that this is the case, it is not so much that one must retreat to a lonely place; but that one must find that space of solitude within oneself.

The fit environment for solitude is not on the mountain top or deep in the forest. To be alone with yourself, simply sit in you meditation seat and release the mind from all connection with the external; for the time being you are to none of the labels you otherwise bear - sister, brother, father, mother, Hindu or Christian, short, tall, lean, fat, believer, non-believer…. These are nothing more than names for relationships with the objects of the world. Remember, even your own thoughts are objects of the world! Detach, detach, detach. Be alone and find you are nothing but the Higher Self, the Aatman. This is the demand of this sutra from Narada-ji.

Thus, as saadhana, go to a spot where there is the least disturbance from your family and friends; even if just for ten minutes in any day, find that place of solitude. Throughout all other parts of the day we are acting through our 'labels' and connections and not as our Self. As Gurudev puts it, "to interview oneself with oneself, and to feel our essential oneness with God, is resorting to aloneness."

There are those who are of the Hindu tradition and brought up with lots of ritual around spiritual matters, particularly in the Bhakti marg - pre-aarti bathing, arranging flowers, ringing bells, waving incense and such like. All are fine, but must not BE the devotion. These are all to bring the mind to a focus and to settle the physical ready for the REAL work, that of meditation upon the Higher. Even within some Christian communities, much is made of the ritual aspect. External displays of piety do not of themselves bring the ardent seeker to the point of union (yoga). The cleansing of the inner being alone is what will do this and this requires inner hard work. We need to look deep and discover the roots of all the negatives within us - hence the reference in the sutra to rooting out our bondages; anything which attaches us to the external is such a bondage. Anything which prevents us from flying to the Higher is binding us down. The one who can free themselves from such bondage can begin to appreciate the Love Divine on a level beyond words.

Beyond the physical bonds, and often even more difficult to cut away, are the gunas, the vaasanas; those habits and traits which are intrinsic to our personality. Often, as we progress on the spiritual path, we discover these 'time bombs' and they can be daunting. Sometimes, we even uncover some which have not yet been released in us, but were waiting to trap us as we try to climb the heights of meditation and devotion. Beware, even spiritual desires and dreams are bondages!

y> kmR)l< Tyjit kmaRi[ sNNySyit,
Tatae inÖRNÖae _avit.48.
yaH karmaphalam tyajati, karmaani sannyasyati,
Tato nirdvandvo bhavati ||48||
He who relinquishes the fruits of actions, who renounces all ego-centric activity and thus becomes free from the play of the pairs of opposites.

Those who act with a desire for reward from those acts are acting with a selfish need. Relinquish such self-interest! In doing so, one can act more freely, and without fear. This in turn means that we are no longer so freely available to the emotions which are attached to selfish acts. The extremes of joy or sorrow, the accolades or the criticisms and such like no longer affect us.

Anytime you find that you want to claim "I did that" or use the "look what I did for you/them" as a weapon of guilt upon others you are setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment. Or, when folk do give gratitude for efforts, if you claim them and build your ego with them, you are gearing up for an even greater deflation at a later point. Action for action's sake is all that is ever required of us. Release the "I"ness in the doing. Release the expectation of recognition for such action. Even in our daily employment, the compensation is our wage at the end of the week or month. Anything else is just part and parcel of dealing with the world and we ought not to let it wear us away.

There are some who think that action itself needs to be renounced. This is an error. We are in the world, therefore action can and must happen. It is unavoidable. What can be avoided is the sense of "I"ness and "my"ness in the action.  This is all that one needs to understand.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha.... like that Desires and pop up windows.


Hari OM
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