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


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Seek The Wise

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.

Having remonstrated about the seeker about following the world of desires, a question is now posed;

ka te kaNta xngticNta
Vaatul ik< tv naiSt inyNta,
iÇjgit sJjns<gitreka
_avit _ava[Rvtr[e naEka.13.
Kaa te kaantaa dhanagatachintaa
Vaatula kim tava naasti niyantaa;
Trijagati sajjanasangatireekaa
Bhavati bhavaarnavatarane naukaa ||13||
O distracted one! Why worry about wife, wealth, etc?
Is there not for you the One who ordains?
In the three worlds it is the association with good people alone
That can serve as a boat across the sea of change.

To worry over anything is a fruitless activity. It dissipates our mental energy, and often our physical power also. In short, worry exhausts. Man fails not because the world is strong, but because Man becomes weaker relative to the world.

Our spouses are  more than a mere sensuous convenience (or ought to be!); to consider them there as only for sense-gratification is to pull down the institution of home and sanctity of marriage, parenthood and family. Lasciviousness is definitely being frowned upon in this stanza! The listener is challenged - 'are you not on a spiritual path? If so, are you not to be commanded by The Higher?'

The remedy to raise oneself out of such poor and demeaning habits is to sit in satsanga; find groups of folk who are on the path and sticking to it. Listen to them, learn from them, apply what you learn to your own life… in this way it is possible to break the bindings of the worldly life. This satsanga is not only helpful in the elementary stages of spiritual seeking, but also for subsequent stages… there will always be someone who is further along the path than we are and we can always follow them. Constant association with the wise becomes, then, a protective armour of the inner-equipment.

At this point in the song, we have heard only from the one voice as Guru, Adi Shankara; the following verses are thought to have been added by several of his devotees and take a different, less direct format, offering examples to ponder and meditate upon.

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Hari OM
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