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Thread: Practice of Advaita: advaita-abhyAsaH

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    Practice of Advaita: advaita-abhyAsaH

    The main objective of this thread is to encourage members who believe in Advaita,

    • to acquire and practise the neti-neti point of view in their thoughts and thereby fine-tune their expressions in writing and speech, avoiding the use of I, me, you, he, she and we, and other subjective pronouns that in reality do not stand for the Self,

    • and replace them by objective pronouns and references, making it all sound natural and (as far as possible) accurate, rather than contrived.

    **********

    Here is a list of suggestions in this regard: Members may add to the list:

    • Let us refer to the Universal Self by the term Self or Atman/Brahman/ParamAtman, and the individual self by the term self or jIva/jIvAtman.

    • This would give us the facility to replace the first person pronoun 'I' by 'my self' (not myself, but my self, meaning 'this jIvAtman of mine').

    • Similarly, 'you' can be 'your self', he can be 'his self (not himself)' she, 'her self' and 'we', 'our selves'.

    • Pronouns such as 'me, you, him, her, us' which have subjective references, although they are gramatically objective cases, can be replaced by adding 'self' to 'my, your, his, her' as above.

    • Possessive pronouns such as 'my, yours, his, hers, ours' may be used as such, as long as they denote possessions.

    • As regards the pronouns 'it, this, that, its' and so on, they may either be used as such or with 'self' added, as the context demands.

    • Let us note that the Self (with an uppercase S) that is Atman/Brahman/ParamAtman, is Universal and has no objective or possessive attributes. Although it is immanent in all the selves, since it is transcendent at the same time, no single self can claim its subjective usage. This means that we cannot in general use the term Self with reference to a single self.

    **********

    With such niyama--restraints, on our mind, let the Game begin...

    • Here is a classical example of an Advaitic expression from the 11-year old boy VenkaTarAman, who, after his first awakening of the Self that was sudden, left his home in search of sustained Self-Realization. His note to his brother and parents read thus:

    "Searching for my Father, and in accordance with his command, I have left his place. This (meaning his person) is only embarking on a virtuous enterprise. Therefore, no one need to grieve over this act. And let no money be spent in search of this..."

    Needless to add, that the boy VenkaTarAman, very soon became RamaNa MaharShi.

    **********

    • My mind recollects a conversational Tamizh quiz--called 'Uma vinoda vinA-viDai'--conducted in Radio Ceylon in the 1960s by the famous compere K.S.RAjA. The rules of the quiz said that the participants in their replies should not use the words such as 'yes' or 'no' or their equivalents, or monosyllabic words, or use gestures like nodding heads, or remain silent without speaking for more than five seconds. A typical conversation went on these lines for about five minutes for each participant:

    Compere: You know about the rules of the quiz?
    Participant: You explained them just now.

    Com: Shall we begin the quiz then?
    Par: I am ready, if you are ready.

    Com: I am ready of course. Your name I understand is M.S.PrasAd, right?
    Par: That's right, as you very well know from my application you hold.

    Com: Does the initial M denote a place name?
    Par: It stands for MannArguDi.

    Com: Are you married?
    Par: You are right, I am married.

    Com: Of the three children you have, the eldest is a boy?
    Par (sensing the trap to say no): The eldest is a girl.

    Com: Would you describe yourself as a loving husband and father?
    Par: That would be my description of myself.
    ... ... ...

    The compere was of course was decent not to ask loaded questions such as "What are the two forbidden words in this conversation?" But our selves cannot expect such decency and decorum in our daily life which is a flux of sensual inputs and outputs furrowing into our mind and deluding our selves to identify our Self with them.

    **********

    For example, a narration such as below (which is not my personal experience), with its strong emphasis on the ego, can be smoothened into its Advaitic dissolution by the 'revised narration' that follows:

    I usually get up at dawn time. The first thing I do when I wake up is to pray to GaNesha with the shloka 'vakra tuNDa mahAkAya'. After I finish my personal ablutions, I go for a walk in the streets of the neighbourhood. As I walk enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, I find the daily urban life starting slowly with a rustle and work its way quickly to a rumble.

    I mentally chant the gAyatrI mantra as I walk along. I have always found the mantra to smoothen my activities by its silent efficacy. The mantra I chant is not just for me: when I sight or remember someone ailing, or a puppy wailing, I direct a few of them for peaceful resolution of their troubles.

    I strongly recommend you to take to chanting the gAyatrI, whenever you are mentally free, and spread the message around. We can do wonders to make our world a better living place, by being--and becoming--actively conscious of this mantra.

    *****

    When my self slips back, usually at dawn time, into its existence of the waking state, the first thing my mind does is to pray to GaNesha with the shloka 'vakra tuNDa mahAkAya'. Finishing my personal ablutions, my self goes for a walk in the streets of the neighbourhood. As my legs walk and my mind enjoys the peaceful atmosphere, my self finds the daily urban life starting slowly with a rustle and work its way quickly to a rumble.

    My self lets its mind chant the gAyatrI mantra as my legs walk along. This self has always found the mantra to smoothen my activities by its silent efficacy. The mantra my mind chants is not just for my self: when my eyes sight or the mind remembers some other self ailing, or a puppy-self wailing, my self directs a few of the mantras for peaceful resolution of their troubles.

    My self strongly recommends your self to take to chanting the gAyatrI, whenever your self is mentally free, and spread the message around. Our selves can do wonders to make our world a better living place, by being--and becoming--actively conscious of this mantra.

    **********

    On a lighter vein, here is the Advaitic birthday song:

    Happy birthday to your self, happy birthday to your self!
    Happy birthday to dear one, happy birthday to your self!
    May the Self bless you, may the Self bless you,
    May the Self bless you dear one, may the Self bless you!

    **********

    That's it. Member-selves are welcome to post their worldly and spiritual expressions, experiences and narrations of life and times with an Advaitic viewpoint, under the guidelines given above. Please do not spam this thread. Since the route of our expressions in our daily activities is through the triad of mind-speech-body, the more accurately we identify their sources, the better could be our spiritual perspective.
    Last edited by saidevo; 12 October 2010 at 10:31 AM.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: Practice of Advaita: advaita-abhyAsaH

    Happy birthday to your self, happy birthday to your self!
    Happy birthday to dear one, happy birthday to your self!
    May the Self bless you, may the Self bless you,
    May the Self bless you dear one, may the Self bless you!


    The Self blesses the Self! In turn the Self thanks the Self! Superficially it looks simple to think. To realise the One and Only Truth, only God knows when it would happen! Even that realisation, comes through Him only!
    Om Tat Sat!

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