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


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Word Contemplations; C

Hari Om
Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation

These articles first appeared on Yamini-amma's personal blog. They were designed to promote deeper thinking on values, personal growth, Vedantic understanding - and to prompt conversation. Use them for contemplation either before or after your regular meditative practice.

Charanavat - of good conduct.

cr/char = conduct; by extending with the [/n, it relates to walking and to stability by reference to root of a tree, or pillar; vt!/vat = possessed of.

One might ask, 'is this not the same as yesterday's post?' The answer would be, 'no.' Brahmacharya is undoubtedly about good conduct, but it is contained only within ourselves. Charanavat is our conduct in our external dealings, with other beings and with the environment.

This may seem an obvious word to use concerning self-improvement, but the point is, how well do we apply it?

It pays to be questioned at times, to be challenged. It pays to examine ourselves and hold ourselves culpable for falling below the mark.

What is the mark, exactly?

Each must decide this for themselves. However, there are some marks which are quite generally accepted by society as to what is appropriate behaviour and what is not. That is what rules and law are about. The basics, then, are clear.

At a personal level, though, we can do better than the basic - can't we? This is why people join up with various spiritual organisations, or other groups which hold high philosophical ideals that we are expected to adhere to if we seek to belong and, what is more, attain the self-improvement we seek. It is how self-help billionaires have made their money, cashing in on people's desire to get better at being who they think they are.

Here's a rocker for you. It should cost you nothing other than your purushaartha, your self-effort. The Lord helps those who help themselves.

Most of us need something to get us properly on the road, though. So joining a group is absolutely fine. Until the time when we can consistently and adequately walk on our own, we need our aides. People who are travelling with us and who can offer support and guidance and point out where we might be going adrift. We need guides to help us see ourselves and to learn how to measure our conduct against the standard we have chosen.

Today, then, think about the current level of conduct, at work or home, and consider whether there might be cause for raising the bar, for working to improve. Regardless how high your standard, it might be surprising to find that there is still room to lift.

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Hari OM
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