Steady Wisdom: Day 85

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 85

I am the self, the essence from which the universe arises and into which it dissolves, like waves and foam arising and dissolving into the sea. 
-Avadhuta Gita 2:34

When waves arise from water and dissolve back into water, nothing is added or subtracted from the water—its nature as water remains completely unchanged.  And while the waves depend entirely on the water for their existence, the existence of water is completely independent of the existent of the waves.

Similarly, when the universe arises from me, pure being, and dissolves back into me, nothing is added or subtracted from me—my nature as pure being remains completely unchanged.  And while the universe depends entirely on me, pure existence, for its illusory existence, I am completely independent of the illusory existence of the universe. 

Therefore, let the universe come and go—I remain the same.  I do not depend on its illusory existence to be the limitless reality that I naturally am.  OM. 

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The Practical Application of Vedanta

Q: What is the practical application of Advaita Vedanta in everyday life?

A:  The conclusion of Advaita Vedanta is: Brahman alone is real; the individual person you think you are is illusory; the essence (true nature) of the illusory person is brahman; therefore, you are brahman.

What is brahman?  Immortal, unchanging, limitless, self-existent consciousness. As such, it does not suffer when the body and mind suffer.

So what is the practical application of knowing that you’re brahman?  Well, when you’ve realized the truth of Vedanta for yourself (that you are brahman), the illusory world doesn’t suddenly disappear. It continues on just as before.

But the difference is that instead of going about your life riddled with the anxiety caused by believing that you’re the body-mind, you can live your life knowing that no matter what happens to the body-mind, you are always completely okay (because you are really brahman, not the body-mind). When this is clear, you no longer have to rely on the state of the body-mind (or it’s external circumstances) for security and peace of mind. You understand that as brahman, security and peace are your very nature (insofar as you are ever-present, unchanging and undisturbed by the world).  Bringing this knowledge to the forefront of your mind when you’re presented with life’s difficulties is the practical “application” of the self-knowledge gained from Advaita Vedanta.

All my best – Vishnudeva


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 40

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 40

I am unattached to objects, actionless, self-luminous and without any blemish. This is my true nature whether or not I practice meditation.  Thinking otherwise is bondage. 
-Ashtavakra Samita 1:15

I am the pure, self-evident, actionless consciousness that is unattached to the mind, regardless of what it does or does not do.  This always has been true and always will be true.  I was only ensnared by bondage because I believed otherwise. OM.  

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Steady Wisdom: Day 31

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 31

I am other than the body so there is no birth, death, or decrepitude for me.  The senses do not belong to me so I am uninvolved with, and unaffected by, the objects of the senses such as sound etc. 
-Atma Bodha V.33

The body is a temporary form that arises in me, pure being, like the form of a pot arising from clay.  Just as clay is present and unaffected before, during and after the arising of the pot, so am I present and unaffected before, during and after the arising of the body.  Therefore, there is no birth, death or decrepitude for me. 

The senses are temporary forms that appear in me, pure consciousness, like waves arising from water.  Just as a wave cannot belong to water because a wave is nothing separate or different from water, the senses cannot belong to me because they are nothing separate or different from me, pure consciousness.  Just as water is unaffected (fundamentally unchanged) by a wave, so am I unaffected by the senses and their objects. 

Read Series Introduction