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!

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

The text under study is BHAJA GOVINDAM, song of despair of time-wasting, by Sri Adi Shankaraachaarya.

Having given the 'short sharp shock' treatment in the first verse/refrain, the Guru now goes on to explain the rationale for such an exclamation.

mUF jhIih xnagmt&:[a<
kué sÓiÏ< mnis ivt&:[am!,
yLl_ase ingkmaeRpaÅa<
ivÅa< ten ivnaedy icÅam!.2.
muuDha jahiihi dhanaagamatRshnaam
Kuru sadbuddhim manasi vitRshnaam
Yallabhase nigakarmopaattam
Vittam tena vinodaya chittam ||2||
Oh fool! Give up the thirst to possess wealth. Create in your mind, devoid of passions, thoughts of the Reality. With whatever you get, entertain your mind
(NB, after each subsequent verse, now, if chanting, the first verse would be straight away repeated.)

It is all too easy to look externally and become enmeshed in the attractions and distractions to be found there. Desire for possessing, acquiring, hoarding and enjoying is the motivational force for many; but these things tend to result in a loss of inner equipoise as the desires and longings of all various types churn within a person's being. Dramatic language? Perhaps you think you live a quiet life without any such. The desire for the home-delivered pizza, or the bottle of wine, or the fantasy television program can't be the same thing… you think. What happens when those things become unavailable to you? Okay, if you only indulge once or twice a year, perhaps there will be no disturbance and it will not affect you one way or the other. If these are your habit, however, you may only properly understand that they have become so by their absence. No one is immune from this - we all have something which holds us to samsaara!

In the context of Vedanta, anyone who is not focused on the search for the Real versus the unreal is considered foolish.

Wealth in and of itself is innocent; the philosophy is not against wealth per se. It is not said that one must renounce wealth, but rather renounce the thirst for it and the effect it has upon the personality. Wealth is a side effect to our activity and it comes and it goes. To expect it to be always there and to cling to the various other conditions which arise from the pursuit and attainment of it, these cause attachment and attachment is to be ignorant of the Reality. The world of objects is not condemned, but our relationship with it.

No philosopher worth their salt will leave a fellow hanging with the thoughts of what not to do, but will also provide guidance what to do instead. In this case, the Guru states quite simply that one must be content with whatever comes one's way. It does not mean that there cannot be striving to better that, but this must be the main motivation. At all times the purpose of life is to understand one's relationship with the inner world of spirit and it's connection to the outer, in order not to become bound by the outer at the cost of the inner. The problem with desires which are based upon the external is that they can never be satiated, for as soon as one thing is obtained, another comes before us and we go in pursuit of that. If we are fortunate to gain wealth, fine, but do not consider that to be the purpose of life. Desire for wealth degrades our personality, attachment brings endless worry. The effort expended in acquiring something then has to be matched in the maintenance of it… then there is the continual concern at the possibility of losing what has been gained, because of course, all such things are transient.

'Renounce and enjoy, covet not others wealth', is the cry of the Iishavasya Upanishad. There are biblical references for this too, and almost certainly any faith doctrine will provide its adherents similar advice. 

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Hari OM
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