Hindus/study of vedanta
sir, what one has to study under a guru to gain the knowledge that there is no happiness in sense objects. what is this study includes?
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Study of Vedanta is very similar to completing a post graduate study in a reputed university. It is difficult if one does not put in the required effort. It is easy if one follows the basic rule: Consistent and Systematic study of Vedanta under the guidance of a competent live guru for a length of time.
Let me explain the significance of each word/phrase.
Vedanta: Upanishads and any reputed works based on Upanishads. (There are countless books and most of them are compiled at http://www.celextel.org/
Study of Vedanta: The teacher formulates the syllabus, selecting a number of books from this huge set. For example I prescribe Bhagavad Gita, Jeeva Yatra, Sadhana Panchakam and Panchadashi in that order. The selection will vary depending on the exposure of the student to Vedanta.
Consistent: One must spend time on the study regularly. It is preferable to spend one hour a day. One hour per week is the absolute minimum. If one is spending time on the study 'as and when he/she finds time', it is not consistent. It is ok to take a break from the study for a specific pre-fixed duration. For example, in an university a student may not take any classes during summer. However, he/she consistently spend the time on the studies for the rest of the year. Similarly, one should continuously spend time on the study of Vedanta. If one takes an indefinite break lasting more than a week frequently, then the study is NOT consistent.
Systematic : From the first verse/page of the book till the end. It is not systematic to read any chapter/section of the book randomly. Also one should start with Bhagavad gita and then graduate to advanced books like Panchadashi.
Length of time: It is not possible to complete the study in a few months even if the student spends 8 hours a day on the study. It takes atleast a year or more.
Guru: Guru is the one who actually teaches the subject like any teacher/professor in a school/university. Those who are giving blessings and those who have powers to do miracles are not called gurus UNLESS they actually teach Vedanta systematically.
Guidance: A guru can teach more than one student at a time. But he should be available for private one-to-one interaction for clarification of doubts by a student. Since each student is different, this one-to-one guidance is essential.
Live guru: It is not possible to complete the study by reading books independently. Dead people can not teach.
Competent Guru: A competent guru is one who has studied under a guru. The guru must have studied vedanta systematically and consistently for a length of time. There are few enlightened people who have gained enlightenment without a guru. These people are NOT competent gurus. Since they did not go through the systematic study they may not know the difficulties faced by the student.
The guru-student-guru tradition is very important. A competent guru is one who has come in such a tradition. The first guru is God.
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