ADVENTURES IN ADVAITA VEDANTA...


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

THE ADVENTURE

HARI OM!
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!

Burn

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.

As is the way of Adi Shankara, there is now a verse which 'ups the ante' for any serious seeker of the Truth. Given that we still in the physical embodiment, can we expect any return for our efforts?

AaTmain Svàkaza¶sR ivÄmekahuit< i]pet!,
Ai¶haeÇI s iv}eyíetra namxarka>.12.
Aatmani svaprakaashaagnau chittamekaahutim kshipet,
Agnihotrii sa vijneyashchetaraa naamadhaarakaaH ||12||
One should offer the mind as a single oblation in the self-effulgent fire of the Self. He is to be recognised as a performer of agnihotra, and all other performers are only for namesake.

That which is inert cannot function. No action will occur without sentience. The sentient factors behind the inert in this world - and all actions - are called the presiding deities (devataas). We invoke blessings for improved hearing, sight, movement so that we can function best in the world. In traditional households, a most powerful upaasanaa is the agnihotra (homa) - fire worship.

Fire is recognised in many cultures as being cleansing and having the ability to focus us upon the mysteries of life. In Sanatana Dharma is very refined, there being a special container (homa kunda), particular wood for kindling the fire. Ghee is used to pour oblation and herbs, and grains are thrown upon the flames as the mantras are recited. All that is burned becomes the sacred ash which is then given out to the devotees around the fire. They may place some upon their brows or take it to their private altars. That is the gross aspect of the homa. Then there is the more subtle aspect of the smoke, considered to be curative and purifying. No one minds if the smoke drifts to them. The most subtle aspect of the fire is the sound of the mantras which enters the flames and is carried to the Higher, from which blessings come down again upon those present.

However, we chose to worship, be it through such physical expression as the homa, or the verbal of chanting, or the mental of japa, each will require of us a level of sacrifice of something lower to gain the Higher. The ego is the first and obvious sacrificial item. To worship fully and successfully, we must become meek and humble.

The homa is a Vedic practice; to take it to Vedantic level, we must understand that the 'fire' is the very Self Itself, which resides within our bodies. We must burn our ignorance within that fire and brush away the smoke of Maya and our ego-selves in order to see those glowing embers of Truth. This is the ultimate fire-sacrifice, the small self into the Effulgent Self of Pure Consciousness, the Endless Flame. The one who succeeds in this can truly be said to have Realised Truth.


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Hari OM
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