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!

How to Rise

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.

Returning fully to the text, we have been asked to consider our saadhana and remember that it is a means to an end - the aim of receipt of Knowledge. Then how is it we are to 'qualify' for the gaining of the Supreme Knowledge?

AÉy< svRÉUtana< }anmahumRnIi;[>,
injanNde Sp&ha naNye vEraGySyavixmRt>.13.
Abhayam sarvabhuutaanaam jnaanam-aahur-maniishinaH,
Nijaanande spRhaa naanye vairaagyaasya-avadhir-mataH ||13||
Wise men describe fearlessness towards all beings as Knowledge. The yearning for the Bliss of the self and not for anything else is considered as the limit of dispassion.

Two words, at the very least, you must now be recognising. Vairaagya and jnaana; dispassion and Knowledge.

The saadhana chatushtaya has been mentioned here and there. Vairaagya is the second step of the four 'qualities' required of the shishya who would commit themselves to work true dharma with a view to gaining moksha - final liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. (It requires spiritual maturity - a majority people dream of returning to life in the mistaken understanding that this is desirable!) This is why the fourth step given is mumukshatvam - 'burning desire for liberation'.

If one has followed the path laid out per dharma (the Bhagavad Gita does provide the briefest and most succinct guide in regards to this in the first six chapters), then it is a natural progression to attainment of these qualifications. Conversely, the application of the shamaadhi-shatka sampatti (the six-fold wealth contained within the third step) assists this process.

Dispassion is assisted by discrimination (viveka). The two together provide a balance of the personality, but quite often we tend to focus on one aspect or the other and this can appear as a flaw in personality. To be all the time applying viveka without the balance of vairaagya (and the underpinnings of the sampatti) can appear rather calculating and harsh-minded. To be all the time dispassionate without the sympathy which comes from shraddha and samadhaana can appear to others as being cold and unfeeling.

Viveka is to be used to determine shreyas from preyas; vairaagya serves us in not over-reacting to situations or conditions. It permits us to see clearly and act wisely, without excess or histrionics. Vairaagya is not about distaste or hatred of things, but simply a case of understanding the proper place of things, knowing that one's happiness is not dependent upon them.

Viveka and Vairagya, properly balanced, bring serenity and in this state, we are open to appropriate listening and digestion (shravana and manana) of the teachings of the Supreme Knowledge and are more able to apply ourselves to rumination and determination of its worth (nididhyaasana).

In this way, we work our way to The Knowledge (jnaanam). This is the Knowledge of unity and allness. We tend to have a lot of fear in our lives as they stand. Fear arises from lack of knowledge and understanding. That example often given is of seeing the snake in the rope until someone picks up that rope and proves to us it is no snake. The more we attach ourselves to the objects and persons of the world, the greater we build a fear of 'losing' them. Thus, it is said that when in full possession The Knowledge, there can be no fear.

So it is we are told, embrace appropriate dispassion and build that desire to relieve yourself of the ignorance of That Which Is.


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