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!

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To Rise

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

The Mukundamala of King Kulashekhara is the focus, currently, as we seek to raise our devotion.

Why again are we studying what it is to be a bhakta? To clear the mind, make it a pleasant field upon which to meditate! As the mind does not easily cease its flow, let it at least be filled with beautiful imagery of the Higher.

icNtyaim hitmev sNtt< mNdmNdhistannaMbujm!,
 nNdgaeptny< praTpr< nardaid muinv&ndviNdtm!.9.
Chintayaami hatimeva santatam manda-manda-hastaananaambujam,
nanda-gopa-tanayam paraatparam naaradaadi muni-vRnda-vanditam ||9||
Constantly I think of Hari (Krishna) alone who has a pleasant smile on His lotus face,
the son of Nadagopa, who is higher than the highest and is worshipped by a host of sages such as Narada.

Not everyone can immediately - or has the desire to - go into the flights of extreme intellectual meditation. For some, the path to the Higher is through such deep devotion that they are transported into a meditative state by that very devotion. This is the basic premise of the Mukundamala.

The mind, as we know only too well, is a fickle beast. Unguarded, the mind wanders into all sorts of places it ought not to be. Our time is frittered and lost without gain. As it is a tool which requires a constant flow of thoughts, why not take control of the thoughts it has? Training the mind strengthens it against the onslaught of the external influences. The loose mind can be pulled in directions unexpected and unnecessary. A tightened mind can resist these forces and lures. There is a joy which comes from knowing that one has strengthened oneself with devotional focus. A joy which shines and the shine comes forth upon the face, in the eyes and the smile of the devotee. One of Gurudev's favourite quotes is "Keep smiling!"  Gazing upon the murti of the ishta devataa, we see the example of expression and body language to adopt.

In this verse, the guru-king points to the need to work towards the higher level of pure meditation by using the example of the sages and saints. For the every-day human, role-models are imperative! The very advanced levels of meditation can seem like a kind of science fiction to the human intellect. However, the philosophical theories are given life and are sustained by those who do have the ability to apply them in daily life and the ultimate practitioners are those bright spiritual lights such as Sri Narada, the Buddha, the Christ… and not just these major 'celebrities', but also the lesser men who admitted to their faults and frailties as they pursued the perfection, such as Saint Francis of Assisi who came to understand that even the blades of grass represent spirit, or Ratnakar the bandit who became Sri Valmiki as a result of chanting the Lord's name.

Sometimes we are inclined to think of saadhana as just another daily chore. In thinking this we are lost to it. Saadhana ought to be effortless, something which brings sanity to daily happenings, a natural flow of activity which lights the way for all other acts of the day. If our only saadhana is to light the lamp before the Lord in the mornings and offer two or three prayers, let that be done with fullest heart, Love, focus and joy. Our saadhana is our offering to the higher, be joyful in it and from it!

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