[Advaita-l] Seeking God

Krunal Makwana krunalmakwana at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 8 06:55:06 CST 2006

namo nArAyana

Santhosh Nair <santhosh_twin at rediffmail.com> says

>I tried to learn about God, Vedas etc but the more I read, the more I get 

don't worry everyone's in the same boat, lol

>So is there anyone who would be ready to help a very very confused soul?

The first thing is to find a qualified Guru who would be able to guide you 
through your spiritual path. advaita vedanta (AV) pays alot of emphasis on 
seeking the guidance of a guru, this is not to say that a guru is compulsory 
but it helps (quite alot).

>How should one live according to Advaita?

To be a Vedanti student or to live according to AV, there are four 
characteristics one should posses (or follow, if not already possessed):

1. Viveka: Discrimination of Real and Unreal

2. Vairagya: Dispassion for all materialistic gain and deisres (hence 
everything that is Unreal)

3. Satsampatti: 6 Treasures:
a. Sama: Calmness
b. Dama: Self-conrol
c. Uparati: Self-settledness
d. titikSA: endurance of all afflictions from the senses etc
e. samAdhAna: Concentration of mind
f. SradhA: Faith - Ultimate faith in Guru, SAStra and BhagavatpAda.

4. mUmUkSUtva: Longing of Liberation

further reading: 

>Whom should one pray to?

BP has introduced panchAyatana deva pUjA meaning the worship of 5 main 
deities. Namely:

1. ViSnU
2. SIva
3. GanapatI
4. ShaktI (devI)
5. sUrya

Any of these devatas can be worshipped BUT that is not to say other devatas 
cannot be. Sankara encourages that you follow your IshtadevatA (preferred 
diety of worship) but always keeping in mind that when realisation dawns 
that there is only brahman....so the worshipped, worshipper and worship 
vanishes and brahman remains. So....worship whichever diety your prefer but 
not in essence that the diety and the atman are the same.

further reading: 

>Is someone allowed to have nonveg and alcohol?

According to the bhAgavatam 5 actions/substances are named the 'rooms of 
kalIyuga' hence forbidden (1.17.38-39):

1. Gambling
2. Intoxicating substances (e.g. anything that alters the state of your 
mind, e.g. alcohol)
3. Meat
4. Illicit Sex
5. Possession of wealth which is gained adharmically (unrighteously) but in 
the bhagavatam this is example is used in the sense of gold.

Further reading: Read chapter 17 of canto 1 of the shrimad bhAgavatam

>Are there any specific rules regarding praying, like how many times to pray 
>or when to pray?

According to Vedic injunctions, there are innumerable procedures that are 
laid out to be followed, but in this day and age, no one seems to have the 
time or patience to carry them out, especially in the west (there may be 
exceptions but genreally this is not the case). But having said this the 
vedas pay alot of attention to sandhyA pUjA, this is performed 3 times a 
day, once just before sunrise, one during the middle of the day and lastly 
just before sunset. There is a book called 'nItya karma pUjA prakAsh' which 
shows how sandhyA vandan should be carried out (there may be other books 
that the list may identify but this is the only book i know of).

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,


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