Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Know Your Usefulness

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.

The next berating from the teacher is to consider the fact that you are not indispensable.

StaviÚjpirvarae r´>,
píaJjIvit jjRrdehe
vataR< kae=ip na p&CDit gehe.5.
Staavan-nija-parivaro raktaH,
Paschaaj-jiivati jarjara-dehe
Vaartaam ko-pi na pRchcchati gehe ||5||
As long as there is the ability to earn and save, so long are all your dependents attached to you. Later, when you come to live with an old, infirm body, no one at home cares to speak even a word with you!.

Mankind is essentially a selfish species; majority cannot give without there being an expectation of return. Indeed, one of the greatest hypocrisies we can be guilty of is to deny this underlying expectation within ourselves. It sets up disappointment when the return does not come.

In this verse, the Guru focuses on that part of humanity which, in a ploy of self-preservation/ survival/greed/…, looks to another for support and succour. It is used by all animals to a large extent as it ensures the survival of the species. In the human critter, though, it has reached levels of sophistication that move beyond true survival purposes and leaves us open to all kinds of mistaken relationship. When we build a family unit, if we are the breadwinner, that family looks to us adoringly and often with respect, but with the expectation that we will provide. This is part of the 'natural order'. We, in return, will be fed, have the home kept… and ultimately, we would not be unreasonable to expect that that family in return would look after us when we can no longer keep up the role of provider.

Sadly, it is not always the case.

Being intelligent, we ought to definitely earn to our best capacity and be prepared to share it around with those who are dear and near to us - and to the unknown in the form of charity. Then when accolades and love and other such positive attitudes are offered, accept them without ego, without attachment and desire for more adulation, for even this is transient. Understand the goal of life is to move through it with minimal attachment, full acceptance and with a self-sufficiency, working for inner peace and contentment independent of others.

Beware any false sense of security, turn to contemplation upon the Higher. Don't delay. Begin today! Let all earn, save, give and serve as many as possible; but these are to be considered as hobbies. The main occupation of life should be the art of self-purification and the seeking of Perfection. 

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Hari OM
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