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


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We Are Family...but...

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.

There is no denying the fact that the institution of 'home' (family bonds etc) are a beneficial influence upon us and can help to eliminate some of the basic selfish ego-centricity that mankind is prone to…

ka te kaNta kSte puÇ:
s<sarae=ymtIv ivicÇ>,
kSy Tv< k> kut Aayat>
tÅv< icNty tidh æat>.8.
Kaa te kaantaa kaste putraH
Samsaaroyamtiiva vichitraH,
Kasya tvam kaH kut aayaataH
Tattvam chintaya tadiha bhraataH ||8||
Who is your wife? who is your son?
Supremely wonderful indeed is this samsaara;
Of whom are you? From where have you come?
O brother, think of that Truth here.

The family, though, even at their best are limited; they are not an end in themselves. Living together in mutual love and respect as a couple, growing into parenthood, each have much to learn from the other. If there is a true spirit of togetherness and shared coping, it is a wonderful thing; but in truth, most grow into such unhealthy states of attachment that resentments are the result. Jealousies arise and 'love' is contorted into a sorry shadow of its truth. The Hindu shaastras declare that a man and woman must live in a spirit of togetherness - but also that there be space between the two… no clinging or dependency.

Families provide a grindstone for our personalities, but are not in themselves our destination. Life is to be lived with a degree of detachment, but family is to be held as the valuable place of learning which leads us to this.

The essential message of this verse, then, is that philosophy is provided so that we can move beyond the mundanities and not become bound by the externals. As long as we are in the material form, certainly we must engage in material matters, but as human beings we are also granted the opportunity, via our intellect, to rise above the material; to make intelligent enquiry into our condition and as to the true purpose of this life… indeed we can begin our philosophical enquiry by asking these simple questions of ourselves and grasping our proper relationship with wife, with son, with daughter, with life. If we are seeking and absorbing the answers which come properly, we will find that everything of the material world, including this very body, mind and intellect with which we "I"dentify, are nothing but clay, all the same material in different combinations of elements, and that the "I" which is seeking is something separate from these.

That then starts to become our destination, the Truth of Self.

The guru of this heroic song appeals again to the listener… acknowledges a relationship through that Self, by addressing the listener as 'brother' (it could equally be 'sister')… stop wasting time getting bogged down in nonsense, get real about The Real!!!

1 comment:

Hari OM
If what you have read has made you think, tell me why. If you are wondering, others are too, so ask that question. If you have a doubt, let it out.

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