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


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If This Then That

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 singer of this song, the Guru, gave an indication of the steps for a spiritual seeker in the previous verse. Now he goes on to point out the elusive nature of the external.

Vayis gte k> kamivkar>
Zau:ke nIre k> kasar>,
úaI[e ivÅae k> pirvarae
}ate tÅce k> s<sar>.10.
Vayasi gate kaH kaamavikaaraH
Shushke niire kaH kaasaaraH,
Kshiine vitte kaH parivaaro
Jnaate tattve kaH samsaaraH ||10||
When the age (youthfulness) has passed where is lust and its play?
When water has evaporated where is the lake?
When wealth is reduced where is the retinue?
When the Truth is realised where is samsaara?.

Get used to this word 'samsaara'; the quick and easy translation is 'sea of life', but it has depth, as does the sea! It is the word which encompasses everything that life represents for every living being, regardless of their position, physically or mentally, or their spiritual outlook. We are all in samsaara, even if we deny our spiritual nature. Life is life and there is not a person alive who does not experience what it provides. For some that is better than others, but there are basics which are common to all.

Such as aging. No one escapes! Not only do we lose our physical drive, often we are worn down mentally also. In the environment around us, similar changes can be found over time. In our life, everyone wishes to be our friend in the good times, but how often are we left alone, when those times pass?

Cause and effect is what is pointed out here. The ever-changing nature of existence. One thing happens, another will certainly follow. Not always predictable, but effects will arise from each and every event.

For the spiritual seeker, when Realisation takes place (...if!..), then it will become apparent that even the wholeness of this thing we call life and world will be known to be an effect of delusion. The process provided in verse nine is what will bring the serious devotee, the untiring researcher of the spirit, results; devotion to the process can reveal this Truth. Our purpose, should we choose to follow it, is to rise to the True State of Selflessness, Brahman-hood. 

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Hari OM
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