Around the time when I intensified my journey as a student of vedAnta (scriptures at the end of the vEdAs which is the religious text of the Hindus) is also when I also began my journey as a PhD student. As much as I read and blogged on vEdAnta which to me gave the philosophy of the way of living, I also read and wrote for my PhD..

Many times, I wonder if I have taken more than I can chew.. I wonder whether having one foot in vEdAnta and one foot in PhD is ever going to cause an imbalance.. Many days I spend time on both because I find it difficult to go to sleep without taking a few steps in both the journeys; though the steps taken everyday in the journey of PhD, is always higher in number due to the priority.. Addictive, is it? Certainly yes 🙂

The question of ‘Why am I taking both the journeys at the same time?’ occurs to me often. A learning from my PhD sessions in the last couple of days led me to apply the learning, to gain an answer to this question.. What are the commonalities and differences in these journeys of mine into vEdAnta and PhD?

I began listing some of them..

What are the commonalities? Both of them (in no order of priority)

  • are time consuming
  • need intense effort and understanding
  • require physical and mental energy
  • have to be understood and analysed
  • have concepts that need to be looked at with their strengths and limitations
  • need a parallel to be drawn to what is observed and experienced in personal life
  • have to be read in a focused manner
  • have a lot of writing to be done
  • are unique in their own language
  • have a structure that needs to flow in such a way that any one who reads what is said or written, understands it in the way it is meant
  • have immense referencing that is needed to support what is said
  • give opportunities to feel how it is to journey alone and also to journey with others
  • give the pleasure of building and contributing knowledge
  • generate an inner calmness and a sense of joy
  • need a teacher to guide thru the process

What are the differences?

  • There is no finishing date for a vEdAntic student (barring the time of the last breath) whereas the PhD journey is time-bound
  • Self is the sample for vEdAnta whereas PhD needs an external sample that ranges from one to many

Strange it is that I was able to think of many commonalities of journeying in vEdAnta and PhD, but am unable to think of more than two differences..

Even more strange is the fact that there is that constant thought that lingers in the mind, that there is something common in each of the differences as well.. Does the answer to my question lie in this thought? Well, if I can find the answer in this thought then I guess I don’t need to fear an imbalance 🙂