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Article XVI: Practical Vedanta

It is intellectually stimulating to analyze and discuss the abstruse concepts of the ancient, rich Vedanta philosophy. However, the intellectual analysis is insufficient. True wisdom lies beyond the intellect. Truth must be internalized and realized. Only then can one reach enlightenment, liberation, or moksha. Classically viewed, the three steps to moksha are sravanam (receiving Truth), mananam (contemplating Truth), and nidhidhyansanam (absorbing Truth). Although nidhidhyasanam traditionally means to meditate upon and absorb the Truth, I posit that nidhidhyasanam includes LIVING Truth. It is necessary to live Truth in every day, throughout the day, in every action, and in every interaction. Peace cannot only be experienced in meditation or worship, but must be experienced continuously. Consider these passages by Krishnamurthy, Yogananda, Vivekananda, and even Einstein. I leave you with some of their words on how to incorporate peace in every moment.

Krishnamurthy, in response to the "duties of a student"
"The real student is studying, learning, inquiring, exploring, not just until he is twenty, or twenty-five, but throughout life... The moment you are a student there is no one in particular to teach you, because you are learning from everything... learning that comes through self-knowledge has no limit, because to learn through your own self-knowledge is to know how to listen, how to observe, and therefore you learn from everything: from music, from what people say and the way they say it, from anger, greed, ambition... It must come from within because we love the earth and all the things thereof; and that is the state of learning."

Swami Yogananda
"Laugh at maya, delusion. Watch life as a cosmic motion picture, then it cannot work its delusive magic on you any more. Be in God-bliss. When you can stand unshaken 'midst the crash of breaking worlds, you shall know that God is real. He doesn't mean to hurt you. He has made you in His image. He has made you already what He is. That is what you don't realize, because you acknowledge only that you are a human being; you don't know that this thought is a delusion."

Swami Vivekananda
"To be able to use what we call Viveka (discrimination), to learn how in every moment of our lives, in every one of our actions, to discriminate between what is right and wrong, true and false, we shall have to know the test of truth, which is purity, oneness. Everything that makes for oneness is truth. Love is truth, and hatred is false, because hatred makes for multiplicity. It is hatred that separates man from man; therefore it is wrong and false. It is a disintegrating power; it separates and destroys. Love binds, love makes for that oneness. You become one, the mother with the child, families with the city, the whole world becomes one with the animals. For love is Existence, God Himself."

Albert Einstein
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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