[Advaita-l] what is advaita to a samsari?

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Fri May 14 23:57:27 EDT 2021


This is my understanding based on a discourse by Sri Chandrasekharendra
Saraswathi on Advaita in Practical Life.

It is based on two paths one leading to the other, the Pravrutti Marga and
the Nivrutti Marga (vrutti = indulgence in activities / occupation). One
starts out in the Pravrutti Marga by being born into a particular family,
location, etc. and the context around that person determines one's karma
(actions to be performed) in which one must be occupied. The advancement
from Pravrutti Marga to Nivrutti Marga (actionless state) and eventually
Advaita Jnana occurs in 3 stages:

Stage 1: Perform one's duties (karmanushtana) with bhakthi
Performing one's duties with bhakthi means to perform them with
ishwarpana-bhava, i.e., with the thought submitting all results of action
to Ishwara. Ishwara here is an all eternal sentient entity who is control
of Maya and has none of the 5 kleshas (impurities) of the Jiva, namely,
avidya (ignorance), raaga (likes), dvesha (dislikes), asmita ("I am"-ness /
ego), and abhinivesha (clinging to life / results of action). By sincerely
do so, one develops the four-fold qualification for Jnana marga, which is
the next stage. In the first stage, one very much has the sense of doership
(kartrtva) and bhoktrtva (enjoyership), however, one does what one must do
according to their sva-dharma (what is right action according to their
personal context) and slowly dissolves away bhoktrtva by dedicating all
results of action to a higher power. By doing so, one is said to get
Ishwara's grace, which is reflected as chit-shuddhi (purity of mind) and
allows one to qualify for the next stage.

Stage 2: Develop saadhana chathutayam (four-fold qualifications) for Jnana
The four-fold qualifications are:
a) nithya-anithya-vasthu vivekam: being aware of what is permanent and what
is temporary
b) vairaagya: with the knowledge of what is temporary, having dispassion
towards the them
c) shama-adi-shatka-sampatti: 6-fold wealth of shama (mind control), dama
(sense control), uparatti (withdrawal of senses/looking inward), titiksha
(tolerance of the dvandvas or pairs of opposites, like sorrow-happiness,
insult-praise, hot-cold, etc.), shraddha (sincere faith in the words of
one's Guru (or in the shruti vaakya, or claims of the vedas, as seen by the
rishis) and samadhana (single-pointed concentration)
d) mumukshutvam: an intense desire for liberation from the cycle of samsara

Stage 3: Enter into Nivrutti Marga (Sannyaasa) and do
Sravana-Manana-Nidhidhyaasana (listen, reflect, and experience the truth as
revealed by one's sannyaasa Guru)
In this stage, one leaves behind all activities (hence 'nivrutti'), gets
sannyaasa diksha from a Guru by receiving the Advaitic Truth directly from
the Guru (sravana), and dedicates all his effort mananam (reflecting on the
truth and becoming convinced of it) and performing dhyaana (meditation) to
experience the Truth oneself.

I consider myself and most people I know to be in Stage 1. Therefore, as an
Advaiti, while I keep listening to a Advaita Vedanta, I am fully aware of
my ajnana and therefore, to the best of my abilities, do my duties (as a
son, husband, employee etc.) with as much Ishwara-arpana bhaava as my
limited mind can possibly afford, and as a person from a dvija varna, I
perform the required duties of Sandhyaavandana and Svaadhyaaya, also with
Ishwara-arpana bhaava. Therefore, I derive the actions to be performed by
the duties that are determined by the context in which I am, and as much as
possible, I dedicate the results of the actions to Ishwara. From time to
time I reflect on the four-fold qualifications, especially in times of
difficulty, and remind myself to progress on these, e.g., by developing
forbearance towards both good and bad results. I also reflect on the
ultimate Advaitic Truth at least a few minutes day, e.g., during
Sandhyaavandana, after offering Arghyam, one says "asAvAdityO Brahma,
BrahmaivAham asmi" or "that Adithya (Sun) is Brahman, I am also (that same)

Om tat sat.

On Sat, May 15, 2021 at 8:15 AM raji narayanan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

>  I request scholars  to speak about advaita in daily life. From morning to
> night  till we retire to bed  explain the role of  advaiti in samsara    as
> a father,mother  and a citizen? What role  he has to play   during the
> difficult period  like threatening corona days as  an advaiti.?
>            I give one example.  A dog chases  few people on the road.People
> run
>  in fear and  an advaiti also runs-if so what is the difference  between me
> and others ?  We all avoid to discuss  about practising advaita in  daily
> life of a samsari.
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