'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
We are now studying Aatmabodha. As always, with each week, you are encouraged to review the previous teachings and spend some time in contemplation of the meanings as the affect your life. Please do consider purchasing the text. Remember, also, to recite the mangala charana before each study and review the lessons before each new one.
We reach the final shloka of this text. Make no mistake...this is only the beginning!
ySSvaTmtIwR< _ajte ivini:³y>
s svRivTsvRgtae=m&tae _avet!.68.
Yassvaatmatiirtham bhajate vinishkriyaH
sa sarvavitsarvagato-mRto bhavet ||68||
One who renounces all activities, who is free of all the limitations of time, space and direction, who worships his own Aatman - which is present everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which is stainless and eternal Bliss - becomes All-Knowing and All-Pervading and thereafter attains immortality.
Note that the chchhandas (meter) changes. This is to emphasise the import of this concluding shloka. Aatman awaits. Only those who are prepared to work hard in gaining not just book knowledge but putting into practice the various 'experiments' in order to prove the theories for themselves will make their way to the Reunion with Self.
The Truth is something which is beyond all ability for physical sciences to approach. Only spiritual science can hope to do this - but only then when the conditions are perfect for it.
The dreamer, on waking, knows the dream to have been false, despite having felt so very real whilst s/he was still in that dream. Likewise, the alert and limited ego-self, on transcending the body-mind-intellect equipment in which it travels, itself discovers all this to be but 'dream' and that it, the jiiva, is nothing other than That, the Aatman. Immortal, without beginning and without end.
When we studied Tattva-bodaH, we were introduced to the Rsis concepts on the physical nature of creation and how this world manifests before us. Here in Aatmabodha, we have been asked to look beyond the physical and have been offered teasing glimpses of what is available to the philosophical seeker.
You are reminded that sitting reading this - or any book on self development and spiritual practice - is of no value unless you are actively making use of what is learned. In doing this, it is also necessary to take a measure every now and then, to ascertain whether one is actually moving forward or is just stuck in the same place with a few extra words in the one's vocabulary. In a live gurukula situation, the Guru would - without warning and at any time of night or day - approach a shishya and demand a response to some question… or test the application of the philosophy, by challenging them with a task. Part of the Guru's remit is to assist the shishya in the burning of their ego.
Here at AV-blog, little is asked of you. On this occasion, however, there are going to be some questions posted next week. Your sadhana this week is to review the text as thoroughly as you are able. Pay particular attention to the thought-flow of the text, how it moves through the analogies, raising the seeker a little higher each time.
You are encouraged to ask your own questions, using the comments box or the contacts form. One of the pitfalls of self-study is that we can think we have 'got it', but - without the guidance of the qualified teacher - may have missed a key point or have misapplied the contexts and subtleties. No question or doubt should be left unasked. No assumptions should be made.