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


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That Within

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.

After making it clear the in the performance of actions, we are but instruments for the Consciousness (Spirit) which moves us, we are now admonished to understand That Consciousness as the Lord, and our worship should be focused there.

dehae devaly> àae´ae dehI devae inrÃn>,
AicRt> scRÉaven SvanuÉUTya ivrajte.13.
Deho devaalayaH prokto dehii devo niranjanaH,
architaH sarvabhaavena svaanubhuutyaa viraajate ||13||
The body is said to be the temple. The owner of the body is the pure Lord. When worshipped with full devotion, he shines forth by the experience of the Self.

As happens in the flow of texts in Vedanta, we find a conjunction of verses here now; yesterday's offering from the Mukundamala pointing to bhakti as a tool of jnaana and here, that in jnaana, do not forget the bhakti!

It was seen yesterday that the senses can be reined in and the mind centred upon the Higher, aided by rituals such as archanam and daivyam (offering flowers and food), pradakshinaa (circumambulation), dhuupam and diipam (lighting incense and lamp) et cetera. Actions, by themselves, are inert; they become 'alive' only by the intention which generates them, be that positive or negative. Now, if we consider the body in the same way as the bricks and mortar temple, we must consider how we treat it. Is there respect? Is there appropriate maintenance? Do we understand that physical structure contains its power not merely due to how it is put together, but by the life within it? A temple or church with a vibrant community and committed congregation will show that in the very fabric of its structure. It will be clean, well-cared for, decorated in various ways according to the culture.

In India, it is considered that bhakti (devotion), aadara (respect) and shraddhaa (faith) must merge to bring forth true reverence for the Higher and one way to do this is with the practice of puja (the single word for worship). However, not everyone necessarily can, or wishes, to attend a physical puja, therefore they will apply 'maanasik' puja - mental worship. All the steps will be observed, but within the memory and with the mind fully focused.

In both physical and mental worship, the focus is likely still to be on the murti - the image of the Lord that we favour. In this verse, Shankara-ji points out that the Vedantic view is that the Lord is in everything and that includes this very body which carries and therefore do think in terms of a duality of "me" and "Lord", but rather, consider that "this IS the Lord".  It is a step towards the ultimate recognition that "I AM That" (aham brahmaasmi).

Consider the following statement;
svR< oiLvd< äü - Sarvam khalvidam brahma 
All of this is Brahman 
(All of this, including me, is that absolute reality)

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Hari OM
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