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No One-Size-Fits-All Sadhana
Robert: Thanks for the words of wisdom. I’ve been taking some time to ponder them and inquire more deeply into some of the current vasanas. Yes, you make a great point about the relationship. I don’t think it matters much to jiva, partner/no partner, family/no family; each has an upside and a downside; family and intimate relationship are low down on jiva’s list of values. So I do see a conflict between my value for solitude and her value for having a family.
Sundari: You do or you don’t see a conflict? Big difference. Just be sure you are very clear about the karma involved in a relationship with “family/children” being the major motivator/goal, not to mention the financial burden of having children. Apart from the fact that you can kiss solitude and silence goodbye having kids, an intimate relationship ideally should be based on love as the primary goal, not on having children.
Robert: Perhaps the desire for a relationship is disguised as nididhyasana. It provides an opportunity for the needy relationship samskara to rear its head and to see how powerless it truly is in the light of self-knowledge, Isvara giving jiva exactly what it needs, more shiny objects full of glaring imperfections, but none quite as shiny as the perfect shining self. However, on another level, it is possible that such a relationship could be conducive to jiva’s svadharma. It is much too early to say, but I think the next visit to her home in Hungary in September will make it clearer. I don’t want to waste her time either.
Sundari: You should read my book; it’s out on Amazon and in the ShiningWorld shop.
Robert: I think the question is, are my vasanas for love binding or non-binding? Are they bhoga vasanas? It is a difficult call on my part. There is still traces of visible suffering, but I don’t feel bound by it. I cannot say that discrimination is completely spontaneous as described for the stage of karma yoga sannyas. However, the fan, though still spinning, does indeed seem to be switched off, although there are moments when I question the reliability of the switch. ☺
Unfortunately, I don’t find Vedanta to be a clear-cut, predetermined sadhana. I understand what it is on paper, but in mithya it doesn’t seem to be as straightforward as some predetermined set of steps. It seems that I must use discrimination as to what karma yoga is appropriate for in the situation. Sometimes acting out desire or not acting on a desire and taking the pleasure and pain that exists in both scenarios as prasad, in both cases the important point being the inquiry into the nature of the ever-free, unchanging self. It seems to depend on what Isvara presents to jiva as to how it will respond, the inner controller both weaving the web that catches the fly, only to destroy it all with the wind.
Sundari: Yes, indeed. There is no “direct resolution plan” to remove ignorance. It would be so easy if we could hand out a quick-fix “how to be free of ignorance and respond appropriately to each object to avoid unwanted karma” manual, but sadly, it does not work that way. Vedanta is a valid teaching for the assimilation of Self-knowledge, but it is not theory in practice. Discrimination is the name of the game in mithya. Although ignorance works the same way for everyone, it plays out according to your particular vasana load, so “your” karma is personal to you. And although Self-inquiry must be conducted according to the progressive methodology of the teachings, there is no “one size fits all” formula available to combat any samskara other than sticking to what the scripture teaches, not your own ideas, experience or, obviously, likes and dislikes. Sometimes that is hard, I know, because it’s not always clear-cut what is the right way to respond. Sometimes we must just go with the flow and see how it turns out. Karma yoga!
~ Much love to you too, Sundari