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


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Constant Remembrance

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.

After the 'prescription' to the worldly that they look to the light of Sri Krishna to help them halt the endless wheel of life and death, the guru-king now offers a piece of advice as to how one might conduct oneself in the process.

he mTyaR> prm< iht< z&[ut vae vúyaim s<]ept>
s<sara[RvmapdUimRbhul< sMyKàivZy iSwta>,
nana}anmpaSy cetis nmaenaray[ayeTymu<
mÙ< sà[v< à[amsiht< àavtRyXv< muhu>.19.
He martyaaH paramam hitam shRnuta vo vakshyaami sankshepataH
Samsaaraarnavam-aapad-uurmi--bahulam samyak-pravishya sthitaaH,
Naanaahnaanam-apaasya chetasi namo-naaraayanaayety-amum
Mantram sapranavam pranaama-sahitam praavartayadhvam muhuH ||19||
O mortals! Listen to this most beneficial advice which I shall tell you all in brief.
You have entered deeply into the ocean of worldly existence which has many waves of afflictions.
Leaving aside all ignorance, may you all chant in your mind
With salutations, and along with the OM, the mantra 'Namo Naaraayanaaya'.

Here is an advocation of manasa japa - mental repetition - of a name of the Lord.

First, after telling us in shloka 17 that we are 'worldly', we are now told that we are mortals, subject to the limitation of life. How is it so? It is due to our jiiva having landed itself on this wheel of birth, life, death, return, do it again. While here in our worldly existence, we are bombarded with all the ups and downs and round and round flow of life. Often this is described as being 'tossed upon the sea' and thus is called as 'samsaara', the sea of life.

What is the reason? Ignorance. We have forgotten our True Nature as we battle with the demons of the here and now.  Therefore, it makes sense to drop the ignorance to rediscover our Truth. One of the methods long-tested and proven by the saints and sages, is to keep a mantra in our minds. At all times this mantra, through repetition, becomes the background music of our mental state so that when our thoughts cease, even for a moment, the mantra becomes louder again. It becomes like a rudder, or a sail, keeping us on true course even as we sail upon the choppiest waves, or thrown into the deepest troughs upon samsaara. Neither do we require endless numbers of mantras (albeit there is one for just about any event in life). Keeping one name of the Lord as our 'anchor' is all that is required. Show trust and devotion to that one mantra, and it will keep us steady. This is true of scripture also.

When asked how many Upanishads were required to be read to Realise Truth, Ramana Maharshi asked in return "how many mirrors do you require to know your face? … only one is necessary. But even that one will not serve you if you have your eyes closed. In the same way, if you do not understand one Upanishad, what purpose will many serve? Knowing one and knowing it well can reveal You to Your Self."

There are many who are knowledgeable in scripture yet still do not live it. Intellectual arrogance arises. Spiritual ignorance due to non-application. We can learn all we wish, even become adept at informing others with our knowledge - but until we let that knowledge transform us, what purpose has it served, in truth?

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