Notes on Brahmasuutra-IIIa

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 30 17:43:23 CDT 2000

On Tue, 29 Aug 2000 13:31:12 -0400, K. Sadananda <sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL>

>                             Adhyaasa Bhaashhyam
>(The topic is presented in three parts - because it is quite long and also
>it helps to assimilate the subject providing enough time for discussions.
>know some people are preserving in a file to study later.  But I can
>guarantee that if you do not have the commitment to study now the
>probability that you will study later is almost zero.   One needs to study
>couple of times before the concepts and the definitions become clear.  The
>first three notes are very important since subsequent topics will relay
>heavily on the definitions and concepts discussed in these.)

 This is indeed golden advice! Let me broaden this point to include
 all of advaita. These days, there seems to be a strong tendency
 among "truth-seekers" to trivialize advaita. By such trivialization,
 advaita is shown to be a mere jugglery of words, a mind-game, if you
 will. Ultimately what you end up with is something like: OK,
 if you think you are bound, then you are bound. If you think you are
 liberated then you are liberated. So bondage and liberation have no
 meaning. Hence, no need to even try for liberation for it is a
 meaningless venture!

 In tracing the cause for this trivialization, it occurs to me that
 the culprit is what is called "instant gratification." The world
 today is a "fast moving" one. What was not possible yesterday or
 what was time-consuming yesterday is now instantaneous! It has become
 perfectly normal to expect all tasks to be done faster and faster
 as time progresses. While this may be true in the material world,
 the foolish person expects the same to apply in the spiritual world!

 The fool thinks that the same results of studying vedAnta according
 to the teachings of the Gurus of the past can now be had in a
 matter of a few months, nay even days! This is simply not true for
 an overwhelming majority of us. The results of advaita cannot be
 had by following a crash course. But the fool thinks otherwise.
 When confronted with advaita literature and various sAdhana's,
 he is more likely to brush them aside as "minor details" which are
 cumbersome and unnecessary. And what happens when you are confronted
 with minor details? You get bored and become sleepy! My Yoga and
 meditation teacher once told me,
 "You know why these business people come to my meditation class?
 They just need some sleep that they find it hard to get otherwise."
 This is true. Sri Abhinava Vidyateertha of Sringeri remarks in one
 of his discourses that some people are using the Vedic chantings to
 put them to sleep. The Vedas are the very pinnacle of knowledge.
 But fools trivialize them and use them as sleeping aids, or as some
 kind of cheap entertainment. I would not be surprised even if some of
 this list's members are here for such entertainment only.

 Coming back to adhyAsa and other important tenets of advaita,
 the correct approach is that of the cow, as Swami Tejomayananda
 explained in one of his lectures on the gItA. If you have seen
 a cow consume its food, you will understand. It first eats as if in
 a hurry but then it settles back and thoroughly masticates what it
 has eaten. A similar approach is required for topics in advaita. Just
 one reading and understanding is not enough. You have to keep revisiting
 the topic again and again. Each time you revisit you get a better
 insight (hopefully!).

 But then such revisiting requires perseverance and takes time,
 something that is against the expectation of "instant gratification."
 Unless the temptation to trivialize advaita is discarded, there can be
 no hope.

 I welcome back Sadananda and am delighted to see his posts. I have
 always admired his analytical approach.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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