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


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Clear With Air

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.

Today's verse closely ties with yesterday's of the Mukundamala. Each of has the capacity for self-condemnation, taking on guilt whether it be proper or implied. Regrets can be many, and we often mull over perceived errors or misdemeanours. How to clear ourselves of this through the practice of saadhana?

Awa"m;R[< kuyaRt! àa[apaninraext>,
Man> pU[eR smaxay mGnkuM_aae ywa[Rve.8.
Athaagh-amarshanam kuryaat praanaapaana-nirodhataH,
manaH puurne samaadhaaya magna-kumbo yathaarnave ||8||
Afterwards one should accomplish the expiation by the restraint of the in-breath and the out-breath, after having placed well the mind in the Absolute, like a pot immersed in water.

We saw aghamarshanam earlier, being part of the daily prayers during varunam. We also know that action is inevitable. Sometimes, our actions and our thoughts result in harmful outcomes, whether intentional or not. These are known as 'paapa', which is generally translated as 'sins'. When we are aware of our paapa, there as in impression left upon the mind and we then tend to thoughts and feelings of guilt and regret and so on. The aghamarshanam is used consciously cleanse ourselves of these negatives.

The fact that there is a way to do this does not give us licence to go around misbehaving! There are those who say 'just do it and say sorry afterwards'. This is not a right attitude. A significant part of spiritual cleansing is to accept mistakes made and endeavour not to repeat them. The best cleansing is not to get dirty.

With the aghamarshanam, some water is taken in the palm of the right hand, the left hand holding the left nostril, we then blow air through the right nostril into that water. As we do this exhalation, visualise and offer repentance for the paapa. The throw away the water, with the eyes cast down. Now we can inhale cleanly. The act can be repeated if you so wish. With each cycle of pranayama (in-out breath), we are emptying our 'pot' of paapa. Shankaraachaarya-ji also states here that if we now think of cleansing our minds similarly it becomes stiller and we can not entertain the notions of guilt, regret and so forth. Just as a pot is filled when immersed in water, with no space left, then the mind of the saadhaka can immerse itself the in the 'water of Truth', leaving no space left for paapa.

1 comment:

  1. Introspection and corrective method will save you from depressive thoughts. But one should not repeat the errors. Good work.


Hari OM
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