Advaita Vedanta and Atma Vichara

IMG_1800The nature of reality

Advaita Vedanta is the brilliant spiritual knowledge described in the Upanishads and outlined further in other world renowned spiritual texts including the Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutras and works of Adi Shankacharya. The essential wisdom points to the oneness of reality and the nature of God as existence -consciousness- infinity. The experience of being a separate human being is an appearance and not the truth of what I am. Responding to this situation and discovering the reality is sadhana (spiritual practice).

Atma Vichara means self-enquiry. It is the activity undertaken by the mind to see beyond appearance and experience freedom. In practice it is both a meditation and an investigation to progressively overcome illusion entrapment and limitation. This timeless teaching which is thousands of years old, yet constantly fresh and bright each day, was given renewed exposure  in the early 20th century by Sri Ramana Maharshi. It can be considered as Jnana Yoga.

The essential texts of Sri Ramana Maharshi that describe the reality are available to download

During the 1930s some of the satsangs and dialogues given by Ramana were noted. Here are some examples read from the recorded texts.

How to control the mind

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Enquiry seems impossible

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How do I gain solitude

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When problems arise what is to be done

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Atma Vichara-Enquiry into the self

Atma Vichara is based on this knowledge.

You are not what you take yourself  to be. Your real and enduring nature is not found in the experiences of personality, memory and perceptions. These things are happening but they are temporary and changing events, they do not define you nor contain you. These things are themselves known to you, they happen to you, they are seen. What is it that knows and sees? It is the very power of being. All your experiences are arising in this being as the one source of all awareness. This unfathomable beauty is who you are, this is your true nature which does not die. It is the recognition of that and the experiential knowing of that, which is Self realisation.

camera dump august 2008 055Sadhana The practice

Practice involves a certain approach, an investigation into life and an application of the attentiveness within you to see through obstacles and limitations to knowledge. In the meditation itself we turn away from all objects, assumptions and habits and allow the presence of Being to shine alone. This is accomplished through progressively understanding the reality of things and then discovering that same reality directly within us. Pursuing this requires motivation, practice, guidance and support. YogaLiving is a framework within which  practitioners choose to pursue this practice and this spiritual life.

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