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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Pay Attention

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.

In this next shloka, the Guru points to part of the method of practice towards the highest spiritual goal; this is, after all, about the discipline of saadhana!

AtItanagt< ikiÂÚ Smraim n icNtye,
ragÖe;ivna àaPt< ÉuÃaMyÇ zuÉazuÉm!.15.
Atiitaanaagatam kinchin-na smaraami na chintaye,
Raaga-dvesha-vinaa praaptam bhunhaamyatra shubhaashubham ||15||
I do not remember nor do I brood over even a wee bit on the past and future.
I enjoy both the pleasant and the unpleasant that is attained without likes and dislikes.

The alert, the deep readers and note-takers among you, will see what is familiar and what is being advocated here. Shama; be ever present in the now. Titiksha; forbearance in the face of samsaara.

Adi Shankaraachaarya is the champion of the Saadhana Chatushtaya - the four steps of daily discipline. In many respects, this third step can be the starting point. It is the step with which the majority of us can most directly identify regarding practical application. While viveka and vairaagya are one and two in the saadhana, it is the shatka which nurture and feed these qualities. How can we have best of discernment and detachment if we do not first have shama (control of thoughts), dama (control of senses), uparati/uparama (control of ego), titiksha (ability to withstand vicissitudes), shraddha (abiding faith) or samadhaana (a meditative demeanour)?

Here, then, it is pointed out that we must not let the thoughts of past events and experiences haunt us by detracting from our attention to the present. Equally, let not our thoughts wander in the what-ifs and wonder-whats of a possible future. That future can only evolve according to what is happening in the now and thus, again, pay full attention to the present moment.

Further, at this moment, do not be swayed by excesses of emotion and response. It is okay to be joyful or sorrowful in extreme situations; the birth of a child must be celebrated, the death of relative mourned. However, even in these, and certainly in all regular daily activity, the emotions themselves ought not to be excessive. It is not that one must be unmoved, unfeeling, however, one must exercise some restraint and measure one's responses to any situation. If something or someone comes along that is not to one's taste, let it/them come and go with as little interaction as can be managed and without excessive remonstration. Each thing has its purpose, each person their own path. Let them be and move along your own with minimal fuss. Practicing in this way, it comes to be that nothing too much will hinder one along the spiritual route.

Within the write up in the textbook, Swamini Vimalananda takes the opportunity to tell us about the practice for approaching food - this will be given a separate post next Text-day, as it is quite an important part of daily practice.

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Hari OM
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