[Advaita-l] Questions

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Apr 14 09:18:14 CDT 2004

On Tue, 13 Apr 2004, Martone wrote:

> The first question is: what is the main practice we must do in Advaita? is
> there a kind of meditation, or mantra ou exercise we must do? is it the
> question "Who am I?" or "who is doing this?"

All things have Brahman as their true nature.  All sentient beings are
capable of realizing this but as their capacities vary so do the means.
Some ways are only for certain castes.  Some are only possible with a
certain amount of money or education etc.  So there is not only one answer
to your question.  You should ask ones Guru to give advice on what's right
for you.

We can say that Advaita Vedanta approves of the practices that increase
vairagya -- the sense of non-attachment to the things of maya.  The wise
person realizes that the outward names and forms come and go but the
Brahman-nature is eternal.  So he eliminates all desires for the
non-eternal.  Thus only the sannyasi (monk) is a true practitioner of
Advaita Vedanta.  Only the sannyasi is capable of getting liberation.

But what if circumstances mean one cannot take sannyasa?  In fact the
Bhagavad Gita is an example of when in the short run, sannyasa would have
been the *wrong* thing to do.  In that case Bhagavan advised Arjuna to do
his duty dispassionately (karma yoga) This at least increases vairagya
until such time as one can properly take sannyasa.  Yoga, meditation,
rituals etc. can be done for the wrong reasons.  Some people do yoga just
as an exercise.  Some people use mysticism as an excuse for not thinking.
And some people use rituals to try and get favors from God like money,
etc.  But when these things are done for the right reasons, to increase
vairagya they become Advaitic practices.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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