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 singer of this song now points in desirable direction for the keen student;
Nishchalatattve jiivanmuktiH ||9||
Through the company of the good, there arises non-attachment,
Through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion;
When there is freedom from delusion, there is the Immutable Reality -
On experiencing Immutable Reality, there comes the state of 'Liberated in Life'.
To live in attachment is to bind ourselves woefully. Through àitpúa _aavna/pratipaksha bhaavnaa - dedicated inner searching - we learn to withdraw from our bindings and free ourselves in the grace of Govinda.
When we read a philosophy, we can nod and agree and understand the logic; it is quite another matter to adopt it into practice, though. Indeed, it is almost impossible to all of a sudden to live its recommended way of life. The teachers must appreciate this logical difficulty n the student and provide various practical methods by which it can be applied… else the philosophy becomes nothing more than a 'utopia'.
Here, the Guru Shankara, gives a simple 'ladder of progress', the steps to success in Vedantic philosophy.
In spite of our appreciation of it, though, the fact still is that we are living our existence amidst temptation and desires. No matter what barrier we attempt to build within ourselves, the temptations abound and the majority of us are weak in our resolve. In order to shore up efforts, it is advised that, at first, seeking the company of the good (satsanga), those who have travelled further than ourselves, is a worthy step, for we can take heart from their successes and guidance. This is not such an odd thing to offer - after all, do we not seek out fellow collectors to improve our knowledge (from stamps to bird-watching and so on)? Why then should we not form a group with spiritual travellers?
Gradually, as we improve our own practice and as non-attachment becomes more real for us, we can address the issue of understanding the delusion called 'world'. Likewise, as we build our clarity in that, we begin to glimpse the Actual Reality behind it all… and finally, with endurance and attentive practice, we have the promise of becoming truly free of all worldliness and the chance to live without fear.
Become pure, become clear, become steadfast in Truth, become free. This is the process. This is the promise.