[Advaita-l] Help needed

Sundaram, Vaidya (MED) Vaidya.Sundaram at med.ge.com
Tue Sep 30 14:48:07 CDT 2003


 An essential first step universally accepted in our tradition is to do
the enjoined nitya karmas. At first sight, this might look misleading,
because it emphasizes the value of the karma kanda portions of the
vedas. But it is really not. Performance of nitya karmas is necessary to
attain chitta shuddhi. Chitta shuddhi is the state where the intellect
is "refined" or "clear" enough to grasp the contents of a subject
matter. This is very important when the subject matter is rather
abstract such as vedanta.

 In my humble opinion, the goal of chitta shuddhi is rather "lofty",
sort of like the "carrot" part of the "carrot or stick" proposition. To
be fully grounded in any practice, the human being needs to have feed
back that the practice is working. Sort of like exercising, or dieting.
One is motivated enough to continue doing exercise only if there is a
perceptible feedback in a positive sense. In the case of performance of
nitya karma with sole aim of chitta shuddhi, I am not conversant with
any means of being able to judge the levels of chitta shuddhi, and hence
it becomes a problem with motivating yourself for this. However,
shastras also say that non-performance of nitya karmas incurs sin. That
is "stick" part of it ... if you don't do your nitya karmas, sin is
attached. It is possible to ask a question: "how can you associate an
effect with a negative cause, such as non performance" - the answer is
not that the non performance of nitya karmas' have sin associated with
them per-se. Rather, the performance of nitya karmas, prevent the karma
phala from the past that was negative from attaching itself to you.
Hence, you are also free from fear of future (or present) ill effects or
past mis-deeds to a certain extent.

 At a more fundamental level, the sandhya vandhanam in my opinion is
clearly sprinkled with the seeds of advaitic thought. The meditations
such as "asaa-va aadityo brahma . aham brahmasmi . bramhaivaahamasmi "
are the first baby steps we practice in advaitic thought.

Another very important step in the process is to start reading works of
bhakti such as the naaraayaneeyam, or even raamaayaNam etc. Development
of bhakti is an integral and indispensable part of advaitic development.

 Karma and Bhakti together prepares one for the attainment of jnana. All
three are finally sort of "set fire to and burned to non-dual
realisation"  by the grace of the Guru. This is intimate and immediate
(or non mediated) advaitic realisation.

 This response post from me may just raise more questions. Hopefully, it
will help. I am sure other more knowledgeable members will have more to
add on this. 
bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

-----Original Message-----
From: Raghavendra N Kalyan [mailto:kalyan7429 at yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 1:51 PM
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] Help needed

This is a request for help. I intend to practice advaita. What is the
first step in bringing advaita vedAnta into practice in day to day life?

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