Vedas-Upanishads-Vedanta and Philosophy-Psychology
A lifelong search recently culminated when I took my first dive into the world of the Upanishads. The richness of philosophy, the fact that every angle has been covered, the various pathways examined, the depth of the psyche plumbed - I do not have words to express the profound abundance I have found there, and I have only scratched the surface. All my questions are being answered, and I feel as if I am finally home. Now I can put down roots knowing that the foundation is firm.
I had always come across the Vedas in relation to religion. Since I wasn’t a devotee type of a person, I never paid much heed to it. But there is so much to it than just rituals, and I am completely blown away by it. For me to find someone or something that reflects the depth within me, let alone go beyond, that is an extremely rare occurrence.
I must have gained some merit to have been able to not only come across it, but also to understand it! All pathways and all streams of thought culminate and begin from here. After this, there is not much left to say.
I posted this under this forum, because this is where it all begins. The highest recommendation I can give to anything.
D24 is activated
I liked your post and I am happy for you that you have found Upanishadic wisdom.
I am also very grateful to have found Advaita Vedanta and am a commited student since a couple of years.
Since I know that there are some common pitfalls in the study of Vedanta shastra, I wanted to point some things out:
It takes three things for self knowledge to take place: 1. a qualified student 2. a competent teacher 3. the grace of Ishvara
Many people stumble over the Upanishads and think that they "get it", but it usually takes a bit more then a weekend seminar or a casual reading.
For any higher knowledge we need a teacher. Vedanta is meant to be taught. Its medium are words (sound), reading it is not enough. The main practice is shravanam (listening)
Wounded people are often attracted to (Neo-) Vedanta, because they sense a possiblity to get away from their problems. They repeat like a parrot " I am not the body/mind. Nothing can touch me. I am not a person". Without understanding this becomes just another avenue for spiritual bypassing. This can become really, really pathological. If you decide to live your life in an artificial bubble, Ishvara will bring you to reality sooner than later.
Advaita Vedanta really takes a proper teacher otherwise its effects can be disastrous. A proper teacher will show you that the pursuit of Vedanta is twofold: 1. self growth and 2. self knowledge. Neo Vedanta teachers who exclude the self growth part from the teaching are a real danger. Astrology is an excellent tool to make you aware of your karmic samskaras, your wounds and how you can heal as an individual. If you have done the work and grown into an emotionally mature, relatively peaceful, happy and secure individual, only then you are ready for absolute peace, security and happiness. You can´t skip self growth and you can´t bypass Ishvara.
Vedanta is not a religion but without a religious temperament it just doesn´t work. It takes trememdous grace to find a proper teacher and to let the knowledge do its job. The only way to get this grace is by a life of Dharma and Karma Yoga.
Thank you. I am really glad I found Advaita Vedanta too, but I also understand the other systems, and understand their value. All my life I have been looking for deeper understanding, and it always felt as if something essential was missing, something that I just wasn’t able to see or grasp. Now I understand why on a few different levels.
I know what you mean about the “Heal Yourself In 7 Days Without Any Pain” programmes. They never rang true to me. I am aware that this is just the beginning, and I am someone who moves very slowly and has an intense need to understand the root concept - the beginning of the beginning. Without it, everything feels like shaky ground, and anything built upon it can only come tumbling down at any minute. I also know that to get to the root, one has to take the time to travel through and understand many layers. It brings one back to where one started from, but with a deeper understanding. And around the block we go again. LOL.
I have been looking for the right teacher all my life, but I wasn’t clear what I was looking for. A few months ago, I had the privilege of attending a Japanese tea ceremony. The young apprentice has been learning to make tea for the past 3 years from someone, who has been learning for the past 40 years and still doesn’t consider himself to be a Master. There aren’t many people who appreciate Old Man Saturn and Time. One could feel the entire room being submerged in peace and calm as he started making the tea. I was just so grateful to have found someone who substantiated my value of patience. Anyway, we got talking about finding a teacher. Basically what he told me was the difference one finds between Jupiter and Venus.
At the moment, the universe is my teacher and it is teaching me through the experiences I have. If I earn enough merit, the universe will guide me to the right teacher who would invite me to sit quietly with him and immerse myself in his experience, without the need for words. Till then, I will follow the path that the universe shows me. I have a way to go yet. It would be good to get started with Sanskrit, but I guess the time is not right for me yet, and my energy is still not focused enough.