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


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The Vehicle

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 Guru presses on with examples of how the body is nothing.

yavTpvnae invsit dehe
tavTp&Cdit kuzl< gehe,
Gtvit vayaE dehapaye
_aayaR ib_yit tiSmNkaye.3.
Yaavatpavano nivasati dehe
taavatpRchcchati kushalam gehe,
Gatavati vaayau dehaapaaye
Bhaaryaa bibhyati tasminkaaye ||3||
As long as there dwells breath in the body,
So long they enquire of your welfare at home.
Once the breath leaves, the body decays,
Even the wife fears that very same body.

It is imperative that one evolves a detachment from the blind affection of the world and the objects of hollow enjoyment. There is a realism, or practicality, in Vedanta; for as long as we are not Realised (and that is the majority of us the majority of the time), we still have to interact and deal with having family and friends and work commitments and such. However, following the philosophy also demands that we understand our proper connection to these and that with our very own body. There is something of a relentless honesty in this verse.

Due to excess body-centred focus of the human species, death becomes something to fear. What death? Even aging and the impending nature of death are a terror to many. We care for someone deeply - until we are challenged with seeing the ravages of time and the loss of their personality as they fade into the twilight of life.

However, if we adjust our focus to the spirit, the essence of being which is the unifying factor between us all, we come to understand there is nothing at all to fear. To meditate on this fact, to develop a healthy disregard for body-vanity and to build the spirit of detachment, is to bring oneself ever closer to the loss of that fear. This is not to say that we must ignore the body. Certainly the health ought to be attended, and basic hygiene observed, all social conventions as to that attended; but remember at all times it is only a vehicle for the spirit. The vehicle will eventually require trading in, but the spirit is eternal.

Know the body for what it is; no more, no less.

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Hari OM
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