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!

Temper the Ego

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.

The next text which will guide the Choose-day posts is "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).

What, then, should be our attitude in giving and receiving help?

jIvn< ivnyenEv zae_ate.7.
Jiivanam vinayenaiva shobhate ||7||
Life becomes beautiful only with humility.

Here is a pure aphorism! One may have everything in the world, be it knowledge, wealth, status, power - even the practice pure and high virtues - but unless one has humility, all these things are empty of worth. When one has humility, one understands all things to have no worth anyway!

There is a quote of Gurudev, "humility is a strange value; the moment you think you have it, you have lost it."

It is true. Think. The minute you say to yourself, 'I am a humble person' you have let the ego stand up!

Humility, by its very nature, does not permit even the thought of it applying to ourselves. We may observe and admire it in others but we cannot see it in ourselves. If another says of us that we are humble, we will know instantly if it is true of us, for the ego will surely put up its hand and agree… or it will blush, acknowledge and then turn again to the task in hand, thinking no more on the matter.

An outer show of humility is of no use to us in spiritual practice. When all pride (maana) is removed, what remains must be humility (non-pride; amaana). There is the example of the saint Rahiim, who was a prosperous man, but a generous one. He always kept his eyes down as he gave to others. When questioned about this he said, "I cannot meet the eyes of people as they falsely praise my generosity. It is the Lord alone who gives." In other words, he saw himself purely as an instrument of the Higher to serve those in lesser circumstances and claimed nothing of that giving as his own.

When a person gives with arrogance, quite often the receiver will sense it and will either feel no proper gratitude or may even reject what is given as it may feel like other than charity.

Herein lies the essence of receiving also; appropriate gratitude requires humility. How often have we rejected help because our ego-pride got in the way?! If we genuinely do not require the assistance offered, then it behoves us to explain fully why this is the case. Otherwise, it is fine to accept and to do so with simple and meaningful thanks. Even if we think that the giver may have an 'agenda', if we need what is given, it is okay to accept and to be grateful. (Though, of course, if the relationship has potential for some kind of bondage, then there ought to rightfully be rejection.)

Write up this suutra and place it where you can see it as a visual prompt each day!

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Hari OM
If what you have read has made you think, tell me why. If you are wondering, others are too, so ask that question. If you have a doubt, let it out.

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