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 Six Wealths

Hari OM
Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!

Saadhana-chatushtaya. The four rules of practice. You have read about these here, before. (See label in the sidebar.) The thing is, though, is that these are the workaday tools of practice. Having read them, now use them!  Over these four posts of February, then, you will be prompted to make the s-c a part of your daily life, that they become second nature to you and do not remain as just concepts written in words upon a page, but activities within your every thought, word and deed.

The six-fold wealth. Let us be reminded of them as they are presented in Tattvabodh;

What is the inner wealth starting with shama? They are shama, dama, uparati, titiksha, shraddhaa and samaadhaana.

What is shama? It is control or mastery over the mind.

What is dama? It is control of the external sense organs such as the eyes and so on.

What is uparati? It is the strict observance of one's own dharma (duty).

What is titiksha? It is the endurance of heat and cold, pleasure and pain etc.

What is the nature of shraddhaa? Faith in the words of the guru and Vedanta (scriptures) is shraddhaa.

What is samaadhaanam? It is the single-pointedness of mind.

Good, but often for beginners, the question arises as to why these are not given as the first step instead of the very high-level viveka. The answer is simple. Without viveka, how would we know these six? Viveka is the very foundation of our entire interaction with the world. Everything else in practice is there to support and strengthen the viveka. In vairaagya, having discerned what was worth putting any effort into or not, we then have to learn to not let things matter as much to us as they have done. Not that we should become careless or inattentive or unloving, but that those things also become more focused and meaningful by dropping away all the detritus of life and letting the stuff that doesn't matter go past us.

It, in turn, is supported by these six 'wealths'. The most obvious one to support vairaagya here is titiksha. The others are no less important, however.

For saadhana in the next seven days, take each one singly, then on the last day observe how much you can integrate the six. There are fine lines between them! With shama, notice when your mind runs of its own accord, without the intellect's proper engagement. Practice reining in the wild and random thoughts, the what-ifs and if-onlys. Perhaps keep a record of all the thoughts of envy, greed, anger and so forth which arise. Use a dot system and monitor yourself thoroughly. Be prepare to be surprised. Or shocked.

Likewise, next day with dama. Notice where your eyes wander, your ears, your smell, taste etc. Keep notes! Record how often your thoughts are drawn away by the physical senses.

Uparati is a little more difficult in the Western situation, but we are not without our own sense of dharma. Earning money to pay the bills and feed our family is certainly part of it, but having a sense of charity and compassion to fellow humans and to animals would be a more subtle extension of this. On day three, observe whether you are true to your own sense of values in these things.

Titiksha; this is quite easy to monitor. Note every time you flinch at another's comments or want to complain about temperature/food/state of the nation… in titiksha, we take action to remedy the things over which we have control, as long as they do not interfere with another's comfort. If we have no control over something, we move on with life and let that take care of itself.

Shraddhaa; use this day to assess your level of faith. It is not blind belief and neither is it 'religious'. Even scientists of the most ardent and atheistic turn of mind have 'faith' - how else would they carry out their experiments? There is a trust that things are in order and that the problem they are working on can be resolved. Faith is to trust that something is truly there, even when it cannot be seen.

Samaadhaanam. On day six, focus on focus! Whatever tasks you carry out during this day, keep track of how concentrated your mind is exactly on that task and not wandering off on tangents. This is essential, for it is a measure of how you can meditate to the fullest and to your progress as a saadhaka.

Day seven; bring them all together!

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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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