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


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Expansion of Purpose

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 your own copy, click here.

We left off last week with the suggestion that conviction can bring about change. To build conviction, we must gain suitable knowledge and understanding of the subject. There are different levels to this also; we can scan for knowledge which works in the short term, but which falls away from disuse thereafter. We can take on the knowledge at a middling level, whereby we can recite it, but not necessarily apply it to ourselves. Or, we can decide to delve into the knowledge and work at making it our own. It can only stay with us then and we can only act in accordance with that knowledge after.

The process of changing our actions to match our values is thus achieved by consistent application of good conduct. Building knowledge of what is considered better conduct and proper habits must become as regular a thing as taking the daily bath. As we develop habits for cleanliness of the body, so we too must we do so for our mental and spiritual 'bodies'.

As we embark upon the body of the text now, we will find that twelve key practices are advocated for daily routine. All who desire freedom from sorrow will follow these;
pratataH smaranam - remembrance of the Lord in the morning
Shaucham - cleansing of the body
Chasnaanam - bathing
Chaaghamarshanam - working to remove sins
Sandhyaa -  prayers
japa - repetition of the names of the Lord
Tarpanam - offering water to ancestors
Agnihotram - offering to the fire
Tathaaarchanam - worship
Maunam - observation of silence
Dhyaanam - meditation
Bhojanam - correct eating

(...cha sadaachaaraH prakiirtitaaH mumukshunaam to kartavyaaH svaatmanaarthe to jnaaninaam - and with right conduct undertaken, the dedicated one can work to reach union with Knowledge).

Adi Shankaraachaarya will show us how each of the above practices of our daily life can be converted into meditation upon the Supreme. What is more, we will find that each of the steps is explained at three levels;
  1. As a regular practice that all of us should undertake, per the Dharma ShaastraaH, through which we attain outer prosperity and inner unfoldment
  1. As an exercise in meditation for the seeker of Truth
  1. As a natural state of the realised person.

We shall commence with the text-proper next week.

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Hari OM
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