Is Vedanta Only For Philosophers?

Q:  Is Advaita Vedanta only for philosophers? How can the average person practice Advaita Vedanta in his or her daily life in a way that it is easy to follow and not be drawn other ideologies?

Vishnu:  No. I don’t consider myself a philosopher and I’ve studied and “practiced” Advaita Vedanta for over a decade. Don’t take my word for it though. Just go to an Advaita Vedanta satsang and see for yourself. Spoiler alert: It is going to be filled will average, everyday people. Why? Because everyone is looking for truth, not just philosophers.

You practice Advaita Vedanta in your daily life by:

1) Living a life committed to dharma (in this case, dharma means right living).

2) Consistently applying the teachings of Advaita Vedanta to your mind until they help you directly realize your total non-difference from brahman, the non-dual absolute reality. After that, there’s nothing to practice. Sure, you continue to live a life committed to dharma.  But once you’ve seen the truth of your own nature, it’s not something you can practice. It’s just what you are.

Advaita Vedanta is not there to convince you to follow it’s teachings. Rather, it says you’re just fine as you are (but you just don’t know it!). If what Advaita Vedanta has to say appeals to you, you won’t need to be convinced to commit to it.  Nor will you look for answers in other ideologies (not that Advaita Vedanta is an ideology).

So if what Advaita Vedanta has to say speaks to you on a deep, inner level, then you’ve found the right teaching. If not, start looking for the one that does!

All my best – Vishnu

Steady Wisdom: Day 51

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 51

I am infinite and pure, free from attachment and desire.  I am at peace.  Objects are illusory and they do not limit me in any way. 
-Ashtavakra Samhita 7:4
Meditation

Do the objects I experience limit me, pure consciousness, in any way?  No.  I am consciousness in the presence or absence of objects.  They come and go but I remain as the very light which reveals their coming and going. 

Do the objects I experience limit me, pure existence, in any way?  No.  I exist (and I am existence itself) before, during and after the appearance of an object.  Otherwise, how could I even say that an object appeared and subsequently disappeared?  Further, as existence itself, I am the intrinsic nature of all objects, just as gold is the intrinsic nature of all gold rings.  Just as the appearance of a ring does not limit the nature of gold, so the appearance of objects does not limit me. OM.  

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Steady Wisdom: Day 50

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 50

Untouched by suffering, beyond all illusory appearances and free from doubt and indecision, I am all-pervasive; I am not the body which is unreal.
-Aparokshanubhuti V.26
Meditation

Seeing as the body and mind disappear in deep sleep and continuously change during waking and dreaming, how can they be anything but unreal appearances of myself, all-pervasive pure being?  As such, I am free from the doubt and indecision of the mind; I am untouched by the suffering of both the mind and body.  OM.   

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Steady Wisdom: 7 Week Progress Check

Steady Wisdom:  108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 49

One who has the firm conviction, “this is done by the body and not by me, the pure self” does not act, even while acting.
-Ashtavakra Samhita 18:25
Meditation

I, the pure self, do not act, even when the body acts.  I, the pure self, do not think, even when the mind thinks.  Therefore, I, the pure self, do not do nididhyasana, even when the body-mind does nididhyasana.  This is my firm conviction. 

After 7 weeks of nididhyasana, I remind myself that the primary goal of Vedanta is to help me see that I am the pure self, not the body, the mind or any combination of the two.  When I directly realize this for myself, I can patiently and objectively correct the behavior of my body-mind, all the while understanding that I am never defined or affected by the state or activity of the body-mind.  OM. 

Read Series Introduction  

Steady Wisdom: Day 48

Steady Wisdom:  108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 48

Untouched by suffering, beyond all illusory appearances and free from doubt and indecision, I am all-pervasive; I am not the body which is unreal. 
-Aparokshanubhuti V.26
Meditation

I am not the body nor the mind, both of which are illusory appearances projected onto myself, the one, all-pervasive reality.  Because I am not the body or mind, I am free from doubt, indecision and suffering.  I am the one, limitless reality.  OM. 

Read Series Introduction