Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation
SOLITUDE. Does it serve a purpose for the meditator? Does it have to mean 'lonely'? We are going to explore the writings of a number of notable contemplatives of various backgrounds and explore the role of solitude in spiritual pursuit. These are from a collection published by Chinmaya Publications.
Swami Ranganathananda wrote in "Bhagavaan Buddha and Our Heritage"…
Gifted as Buddha was with a keen mind, a pure mind, a mind that questions and struggles to find the Truth; the spirit of utter dispassion for the life of empty pleasures came upon him at the age of twenty nine, and he entered the second stage of his career, renunciation and whole-souled search for Truth. Getting the spirit of dispassion (vairaagya) and leaving the world of evanescent pleasure… is not a new or strange phenomenon in Indian history. Hundreds and thousands of ordinary and gifted men and women had passed through the same experience. They had followed the path of renunciation to search for the meaning of life, so that at the time of Gautama, there were many wandering teachers who were also inspired by the great desire to penetrate the world of appearance and come in touch with Reality.
They had renounced all sense pleasure and become wandering ascetics - parivraajakas - and these folk were large in number at the time of Buddha. This tendency to go forth into the homeless state in search of Truth was well-established in the age of the Aaranyakas and the Upanishads; they give us arresting pictures of gifted people imbued with the spirit of renunciation and earnestness, with hearts pure and tranquil, leading lives of meditation and analysis, alone or in groups, in forests and quiet retreats.
[NB; Prince Siddharta aka Gautama, was following the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, the road to the highest revelation. At the point of his moksha (enlightenment - 'nirvana' in Tibetan terms) he enchanted others who named him the Buddha - the 'pure-minded'/enlightened one… from this arose the branch of Vedanta known as Buddhism…]