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


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Lay It On The Line

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.

Never tiring of setting the example, we hear again how this teacher all the time reminds us of the focus - how to raise praise.

bÏenaÃilna nten izrsa gaÇESsraemaeÌmE>
k{Qen SvrgÌden nynenaeÌI[Rba:paMbuna,
inty< Tv½rparivNdyuglXyanam&tasvaidnam!
ASmak< srsIéha] stt< s<p*ta< jIivtm!.21.
Baddhenaanjalinaa natena shirasaa gaatrais-saromodgamaiH
Kanthena svara-gadgadena nayanenodgiirna-baashpaambunaa,
Nityam tvach-charanaaravinda-yugala-dhyaanaamRtaasvaadinaam
Asmaakam sarasiiruhaaksha satatam sampadyataam jiivitam ||21||
Oh Lotus-eyed (Lord), may our life always be enriched by tasting the immortal nectar of daily meditation upon Your Lotus feet. With folded hands in a gesture of prostration, with head bowing down, with a whole body full of horripilation, with throat choking without words, and with joyful tears flowing down from the eyes.

Is this not a cry of ecstasy?! By writing thus, the author reveals by example how to show devotion to the Higher. We are all emotional beings; even the higher-functioning animals display emotion. Our daily activities may be seen as habits - eating, dressing, thinking. Each of these is influenced by how we 'feel'. Is not our primary concern whether the food is tasty, or our outfit fashionable? We are driven by our emotions and these are associated with 'the heart' - although they actually generate from the mind. In Vedanta, heart and mind are one.

When it comes to studying, in particular of scriptures, the intellect is engaged. All too often, we read and study and forget to engage the emotional part of our being to it. We see heart (mind) and intellect as being separate. This is a loss. To bring heart and intellect together is the aim of the true seeker.

Bhakti is of the heart, jnaana of the intellect. Gurudev called these the 'two wings of the soul'. Conviction of the intellect and emotion of the heart must be present to gain most and best from a scriptural study.

Even in the Bhagavad Gita, this example is given; 'keep your mind (heart) in Me, keep your intellect in me. Thereafter, doubtlessly you will remain in Me!' (BG 12-8). The focus of this text is how to apply devotion (heart) even while studying and obtaining Knowledge. He couches the approach to the Lord in words and terms that anyone with heart will understand. Who among us has not felt moments of intense sorrow, or high joy in such a way that it caught at our throats, gave us goose-bumps, or brought us to tears? To have not felt these things at such times is to indicate a disassociation from one's feelings and experiences. The heart must open!

One must gaze upon the murti of the Lord as if He (or She if you opt for Durga or Lakshmi) is your beloved, your nearest and dearest, for whom you will give all.

The king-seer does not forget, however, that there must be Knowledge informing this demonstration of emotion - thus he alludes to meditation. This is performed by the jnaani. In this way, he lets us know that bhakti and jnaana are intertwined if one is to truly worship. What is more, it is not a one-off thing. It is a daily activity.

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