In this post, I cover some Vedantic topics.
A.Shankara defines the following requirements as ‘The four-fold qualifications’ – collectively called the ‘4-Ds’ for Vedantic study. These are:
1. Discrimination between what is eternal and what is ephemeral;
2. Dispassion to reject that which is ephemeral in order to gain that which is eternal;
3. Discipline of the mind to divert it from trivial or ephemeral pursuits in life in order to conserve the energy to pursue that which is eternal, and finally
4. Desire strong enough to motivate one in that pursuit without getting discouraged by any type of obstacles that arise.
B.Every gain involves a loss; every achievement involves a sacrifice of one thing or another. I thought I was going to be happy when I got married, but with marriage I lost the freedom of my bachelorhood.
We wanted wealth for security but now we are worried about the security of the wealth.
C.‘Any dependence on something other than yourself is slavery, while dependence on only yourself is freedom’.
D.‘That which has a beginning has an end or that which is born has to die and that which dies has to be born again’. If my heavenly abode has a beginning then it should end one day, as per the law. This applies even to liberation. If I am going to be free or liberated one day or at some time then it should end too. Hence freedom or mokSha cannot be of the type of gaining something that I do not have. If that freedom is not intrinsic to my nature, and I have to gain it by some process or by some grace, then it is equally likely that I will lose it.
E.Whatever I see, what ever I have, whatever I transact with are all objects. That includes this body that I claim as my body, my mind and my intellect. Whatever is mine is not me, the subject.
F.Vedanta is not an objective science, but about the subject, about ‘oneself’. Hence it cannot be objectified or quantified or described. In principle, words that are finite fail to describe that which is infinite. However, ‘words’ become proper tools in the hands of a competent teacher who can uplift his student’s mind, which has been properly trained in the contemplative thinking, to leap forward beyond the words in the direction indicated by the words. Thus words are only pointers and pointers are different from that which is pointed to.
H.An appropriate teacher will come when one is ready; just as a flower need not go in search of a bee - all it has to do is to bloom itself to its full glory and a bee shall come wherever the flower is’. The way to bloom is through karma yoga and with constant company of the good so that the mind will slowly bloom to recognize the higher values.
I.For any knowledge to takes place we need a means to know, just as to get an academic degree we need to register and complete its requirements at an accredited University. The means of knowledge is called ‘pramANa’. All perceptual knowledge is direct as long as the senses and the mind behind the senses are in operation.
Reference & courtesy: An introduction to Vedanta by Dr.Sadananda