#2 – When Religion is the stepping stone to Spirituality!(12 mins)

OM!

Before getting started with spirituality, let’s discuss ‘Religion’, because of which I am where I am and love being today!

Religion to me is like that teacher who places a nut with its hard shell in the hand and tells us to “believe” that there is something in it. When the nut is shaken out of curiosity, there may not be anything immediately perceptible in the case of a very tightly packed nut. At such point, 1 of 4  reactions is possible:

  1. One rejects it because the inside is not immediately known/perceptible-atheists.
  2. One becomes so obsessed with the nut itself, its shape, colour, beauty and thus becomes “nut obsessed” that they even forget the possibility of something existing inside of the shell-extremely religious folks whose entire life is consumed by and ends at religion.
  3. The nut obsession itself is pushed so far that the obsessor himself turns into a nut (hehe sorry I simply couldn’t hold that back)-religious fanatics who won’t stop short of even killing.
  4. Holding the nut long enough in the hand based on some initial belief induces curiosity and questioning to the point where there is a frantic search for a tool to crack open the shell to look at what’s within it. Philosophy is that tool to crack open the nut and voila, the core is exposed-those driven into Philosophy through initial instillation of belief/faith by religion.

Points 2, 3 and 4 above clearly indicate a grounding in some belief without which the nut would have been discarded, as in 1.

It is only when that core of the nut is exposed that its very purpose is served! Similarly insist the wise, Religion has served its highest purpose only when it has led to the core of it, God!

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#1 – A journey into the Truth that you Are what you seek!(11 mins)

OM!

When life takes us from Seeking to Searching!

Life is a constant seeking for happiness and contentment by all (no exceptionso) in the following fields:

  • Securities (arthA)- wealth, property, better paying jobs, etc.
  • Pleasures (kAmA)- luxury car, mansion, exotic vacations, expanded friend circle, etc.
  • Religion (dharmA)- accumulating brownie points through worship, good deeds, etc. to take us to a Heaven after death

In the quest for preferably uninterrupted happiness through all transactions, all the time, everywhere and through everyone and everything we come in contact with, the early part of life frantically engages us in secular actions one after another mainly in the fields of pleasures and securities. As age and maturity catch up, some discerning peope start failing to see consistent happiness in material objects and relationships and slowly turn towards God and devotion, still seeking happiness there though! This shift now drives them to indulge in more sacred actions than secular like social service, pilgrimages, fasts and other austerities. Many don’t feel complete even after having sought Religion. They might have everything in life and yet continues an unexplained, nagging itch in the heart which wants something more. That itch may turn to questions– “Why do I seek relationships to make me feel loved, complete and happy?” “Why do I need the world(which includes situations, behaviour of people, etc.) to be a particular way for my happiness?” “Is this ever-changing physical body the real “I”?” “Why am I not comfortable with the idea of death and losing people I love?” “What is God?” “Is my purpose here just to eat, sleep and procreate or is there a greater meaning to all this?”

This seeking process doesn’t follow a specific linear order of progression for all but is an average blueprint for man’s general behavioural progress!

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Beginner Series – Blogs on advaita vedAntA!

OM!

Namaste🙏 and welcome! I am Priya, a humble seeker and privileged student of advaita vedAntA under the  tutelage of Swami Paramarthananda. Having benefitted greatly from a changed life perpective that the beautiful teachings of vedAntA have granted me, I wish to share the liberating knowledge with others who may be interested.

I propose to take you on a journey, one that is fun, full of exciting twists and turns with many new things to learn and discover, through a series of blogs. Every other trip we’ve been on so far has left us with beautiful memories. This is one journey that will change inside out the very One making the memories! Be ready to be introduced to a new, upgraded version of yourself at the end of this journey! Ready yourself for the biggest change of your life!

This journey will be in the form of blogs written in simple language incorporating everyday examples. The highest, most profound and subtlest teachings of the self and God as expounded by the vedic vision of advaita vedAntA will be unfolded here. The word “unfolding” is of significance here! Many of us spiritual seekers in the initial phase of enthusiastic spiritual seeking read and listen to matters pertaining to spirituality in a very random fashion from literally all over the place. While this is certainly not bad, such randomness is not very fruitful and productive in terms of the results it yields. Afterall, the very idea we pursue spirituality is to effectuate change in the way we live and react rather than it simply remaining as an intellectual collection of new jargon in our already crowded, busy minds. Just as a folded, ironed shirt has to be carefully unfolded in order for it to be usuable, spiritual teachings, if they have to be of good use to us mentally and emotionally, necessarily HAVE to be unfolded and received in a very systematic manner and that is the aim of these blogs.

Whom are these blogs for?

The world is in dire need of love, peace, satisfaction, compassion, contentment, kindness, unity, happiness. Today we are living life focussed on the most superficial differences which results in dividing us more and more. As long as we continue to stay divided at the level of race, colour, Religion, language, etc. any chances for happiness, untity and peace will only be a far cry. Spiritual study is the means of going past the differences even while living in them, by effectuating shift in the very way we think by teaching us to turn our awareness towards the unifying factor that connects us all. Such study is beyond the scope of Religion which still is at the realm of difference. That means, anyone with an open enough mind ready for change, belonging to any group, culture, country, sect, race or religion is welcome to join the journey.

Why read my blogs?

No, I am no learned teacher but an enthusiastic seeker and student as much as you are. That means I have  the same questions and doubts that you have! By writing these blogs, from my standpoint I stay completely immersed in the teachings which helps my understanding and assimilation better while from your standpoint I will raise the same kind of doubts and questions that might pop up in your mind. There is absolutely no taking away or replacing the process of receiving these profoundly subtle teachings from an Enlightened teacher!

I am blessed with a compassionate preceptor who gives me the teachings and also am fortunate to have plenty of time to devote to spiritual study. Into seemingly simple, short blogs, many many hours of study and contemplation go. I am happy to consolidate my efforts into blogs which might run to be about 12-14 minute reads every 10 days initially and then every 15 days as things start getting hotter! That gives a busy person enough ‘catch up time’ to take it in before the next blog is published. You don’t have to scramble and search the internet for more spiritual information, they will come to you in the right sequence as they came to me, at the right time! advaita vedAntA texts are in Sanskrit(what is considered the Mother of all Languages) and I will provide Sanskrit equivalents in red wherever appropriate. In the blog, points that I would normally consider important enough to highlight while studying will appear in green. The title will be followed by an average reading time in brackets to indicate how much time will approximately be needed for the blog.

Join me on a journey like none other and experience for yourself all the wonderful possibilities that lay ahead!

OM! Peace!

Picture credits:pixabay.com