advaita lifestyle.

Subrahmanian, Sundararaman V [IT] sundararaman.v.subrahmanian at CITIGROUP.COM
Mon Jul 29 09:30:56 CDT 2002

Dear Sri Gaurav Goel,

As has already been pointed out there is no "advaita-lifestyle".  If there
is any such life style it clearly belongs to a jnaani.  From where we are,
we should not even call ourselves advaitins.  But we do recognize it as a
goal that we would like to reach through efforts.  So for us
"advaita-lifestyle" would mean that kind of life that makes it conducive to
help us in our efforts to achieve that goal.

This process is not a 100 meter dash where you go from point A to point B.
Instead it is a process of correcting our wrong notions and erroneous
understanding about ourselves - in short a process of purification.  So what
you are probably looking at is this life style that will help us in this

(Dear Sri Ravi - the Admin, the following is available in Swami
Paramarthananda's discourses)

There is a distinct lifestyle prescribed for sadhakaas called the vedic life
style.  One has to study the shruti, smR^iti to know what is the life style
that is pertinent to one's station in life (varna + ashrama).  But if we
were to abstract the contents of these for the benefit of understanding,
vedic life style comprises of 3 main elements:

1.  Developing certain attitudes:
This involves a conscious process of knowing how one relates to various
beings in the creation.  How does one look upon one's mother?  How does one
look upon one's father?  How does one look upon one's teacher?  What should
be one's attitude towards work, society, money etc.  All the constitute
development of attitudes.

2.  Cultivating certain values:
This involves cultivating (assiduously) certain values that are conducive to
the effort in realizing "advaita".  It is the value system that helps the
most in the path way to realization.  Swami Dayananda Sarasvati (not Arya
Samaj) says that even yoga can give only a certain poise of mind but it is
the practice of values that makes one really ready for receiving the
knowledge.  These values are detailed in the bhagavad giitaa in the later
chapters.  shrii kR^iShNaa emphasises about 20 qualities of a saadhakaa -
starting with amaanitvam (lack of egoity) etc.

Another good source of the minimal set of values is available in the last
section of shikshaavalli of taitiriyopaniShad.  It is where we find the
famous maxims - satyam vada (speak truth), dharma chara (follow dharma) etc.

3.  Performing certain actions:
This involves performance of certain actions.  This is primarily for the
purification of 3 instruments of human life - mind, speech and body.  It is
here (as has been emphasized in this list so often), that one has to consult
the scriptures to find out what should be done and what should not be
(shaastram pramaaNam kaaryaakaarya vyavasthithau).  Actions are classifed as
those that are mandatory, occassional but mandatory, prohibited, performed
for achieving a material goal etc.  A saadhaka is asked to focus on
mandatory (daily and occasional) actions and avoid prohibited actions.  This
helps in purifying the mind which is essential for self realization.

The above 3 is a summary of vedic life style.  For many even this can be
life time adventure.  But the best way out is to start working at it right

I hope this answers your question.


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