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


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Ask A Little

Hari OM
'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

We now explore the Sri Adi Shankara text, "SadaachaaraH." To obtain a copy, click here.

As with all texts in the tradition, we begin with the mangala charana.

siCcdanNdkNday jgd»rhetve,
Sadaeidtay pU[aRy nmae=nNtay iv:[ve.1.
Sachchidaanandakandaaya jagadankuruhetave,
Sadoditaaya puurnaaya namo-nantaaya vishnave ||1||
Salutations to Lord Vishnu of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, the cause of the world, the ever-present, the complete and the eternal.

We make such invocation in memory of the fact that, no matter how much effort and finely tuned we make ourselves, there will always be a shortfall - nothing can be perfect except That which we call God. One of the names of That is Vishnu.

Lord Vishnu was performing puja to Shiva-ji, whom he considered closer to That which is All. However, he found that he did not have the thousand lotus blooms, after all, only nine hundred and ninety-nine. To ensure that the one thousand offerings were complete, he plucked out one of his own eyes. From this, one of his names became Kamalanayana - the Lotus-eyed One. Shri Shiva was so satisfied with this level of devotion, he appeared before Vishnu, and thus the worship reached its fulfillment.

Through this tale we recognise that even the deities we name are not That which we seek. They are our guides, our lights in the darkness. By holding onto their ankles with our hearts and minds, we can find our way past them to sit before That which All. It is for this reason we require our saints and sages. It is for this reason we begin with praise to them.

If you have been reading from the beginning, you will recall that prakarana texts - writings for beginners - follow a pattern. The next shloka, then, will be the anubanda chatushtaya. Thus today's post is short, and we shall study the anubanda closely next week.

In the fast modern world, we may often forget to ask for guidance before we start our studies or tasks. Take a measure of how much you could add to your devotional account by offering up a 'mangala' before, say, each morning's work, or starting the meal preparation. It is one thing to give thanks for the completion of tasks; it is another level again to seek blessings and a 'watch over' before starting. This is part of what now needs to be considered as we embark on SadaachaaraH. 

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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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