Practical Vedanta

mmsudan mmsudan at BOL.NET.IN
Sun May 9 09:14:12 CDT 1999


I wrote
>What I mean by Practical Vedanta is those basic  principles of Advaita
>Vedanta which needs to be applied by all persons, irrespective of their
>position, in their daily life.

well use of word 'applied' or 'practice' does not make much difference.
Thanks for the references. I will have an opportunity to have a look at them.
I don't think we need to carry any further debate on this word. My desire is
to concentrate on the problem I have highlighted. I have no solution in my
mind. I feel like discussing and discovering an answer. The problem has
always existed in some degrees or other. Each generation tried to find
solution to it. I refer from a very good passage from the lecture "The
Philosophy of Service" by Swami Ranganathananda contained  in his book
"Eternal Values for changing Society" Vol... III. It is Published by Bhartiya
Vidya Bhavan. Bombay. I quote

" We can better understand the anatomy of our society today by listening to
what poet-king Bhartrhari says about the human types in a society.
Bhartrhari hailed from Malwa region of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and lived
over thirteen hundred years ago. Says he in his Nitisataka (Verse 64)

Eke satpurshah pararthaghatakah svarthan parityajya ye,
samanyastu parathamudyakbhrta svarthavirodhena ye;
Te'mi manavaraksasah parahitam svarthaya nighnanti ye,
ye tu ghnanti nirirthakam parahitam te ke no janimahe.

There are some sat-purusas, good people, who engage themselves in the good of
others sacrificing their own self-interests; the samanyas, the generality of
people, on the other hand, are those who engage themselves in the good of
others so long as it does not involve the sacrifice of their own
self-interest. There are those others, the manava-raksasas, devilish men, who
sacrifice the good of others to gain their own selfish ends; but alas, what
am I to say of those who sacrifice the good of others without gaining thereby
any good even to themselves or to any one else!

Swami ji further speaks " As for the first type, the satpurusa, every society
does have a small minority of this group, unselfish, compassionate, morally
alert, and spiritually sensitive,. Every society must zealously create and
nourish this small minority. Every society will have a majority of its
population belonging to the second type-- the samanyas, motivated by
self-interest, but of the enlightened variety. But every society should take
steps--educational and preventive-- to see that the ranks of the third
category are thinned, if not entirely eliminated. And the fourth should be
completely eliminated, it should never be allowed to rise again, As to the
second category, there is great need for vigilance that it does not slide
down to swell the rank of the third category by too much preoccupation with
self-interest and too little with enlightenment. this group has to be
specially alert to see that its self-interest is illumined by its being
subjected to the larger interest of society. The moral health of the nation
entirely depends upon this immense group steadying itself by drawing
inspiration from the small minority of the satpurusas group above it."

I consider myself belonging to second category and I am worried about my
category getting reduced everyday. I have self-interest to protect my group.
I am more keen to have advice and views of all the respected members of the
list. That is how I wish to practice Vedanta as Practical Vedanta in my,
this, life. Moksha for me is presently a very far off destination. May be I
have to be born again and again  for that.


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