Ignorance, guru and change of attitude – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Vedanta, Bhakti Sutra Narada

Trust in a guru? Manipulation and guru. Respect teachers with
knowledge. Don’t hand over your trust to a teacher simply
because you are suffering. If your heart is pure ishvara will give
you the right guru. You should be able to recognise fear in you
and root it out. What is maya? You have to act to change your
life. Change your attitude, start loving the right things and do
dharmic actions that produce beneficial results, i. e. sattva. If you
surrender and stay passive your life won’t change. Justifications
to keep negative thoughts don’t make sense. You punish yourself
when you hang on to negative thoughts. Low self esteem
motivates you to punish yourself. It’s just as easy to trust.
Associate with good people and good thoughts. Spiritual people
are samsaris dressed up in spiritual clothes. Tanmatras. Causal
body causes you to do actions to feel better. Problem is that you
have the wrong idea of who you are in the first place. Enlightened
people are happy to turn over their karma to ishvara. Shankara:
Self knowledge removes ignorance as light removes darkness.
The thought ‘I am small, I am inadequate’ generates all the
actions to feel better. Destroy it with the opposite thought.
Obstacle is attachment to ignorance. Ignorant people defend their
beliefs when you suggest an alternative attitude. Ask yourself: is
there any evidence that something is wrong with you? You should
question what you have been told in light of your values and
svabhava. A feeling is not a command. The tendency to fool
yourself is very strong. A real guru and the scripture prevent you
from that. You have to put you in a situation where you don’t get
egoic. Vers 48: “Who is capable of crossing Maya? The one who
transcends the pairs of opposites and renounces the materialistic
point of view.” You are valuable with normal hair. You don’t have
to be special. Vers 49: “Who is capable of transcending Maya?
The one who renounces even the Vedas and obtains exclusive
and unbroken love of God.” You contribute your love to the world.

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Association with materialists or sages? – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Vedanta, Bhakti Sutra Narada

Revision of verses 38-43. Vedanta is a method that the teacher
applies to your mind. You are always aware. Elimination of nonessential
factors. Bliss in deep sleep. Do you stop existing when
you go to sleep? Something that you can never dismiss is real.
The scripture is never wrong. The problem is in my
understanding. Consequences of association with negative
people. Verse 44: Association with materialists causes anger,
confusion, forgetfulness, loss of intelligence and total spiritual
calamity. Verse 45: Rising like waves from association with
objects, these bad effects amass into a great ocean of misery.
You get a big samskara. Verse 46: Only those who abandon
material associations, serves the sages and becomes selfless
crosses beyond maya. Verse 47: The one who avoids society,
loves solitude, lets go of the belief that there is security in worldly
situations and transcends the gunas crosses beyond maya. You
don’t want to change your state of mind. Gunas teaching.
Awareness and the creation of the world. Causal and subtle body.

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James Swartz – Nature of non dual love – Talk 8

Beginning of the verses of Narada’s Bhakti Sutras. Traditional
versus modern style of teaching. Vers 1: Using intellect for
justification is not useful. Devotion is directed to God. Treat
the people around you as if they are God. Devotion is rational.
Vers 2: Focus all of your attention on one topic: who am I?
Samadhana. Love is willing attention. Love of what is right
here and now. You are always present. You love your self.
Selflessness. You are the goodness that makes goodness
good. Hate is a perverted form of bhakti. Duality: Men are
defined by women. You don’t love objects, you love love.
Chasing love in objects is useless. Vers 3+4: You know you
don’t die and get a security benefit. The worry goes away.
Immortal love. Perfection benefit. Gain of knowledge, loss of
ignorance. Enlightenment sickness. Love is your nature. You
are not the body. You were here before your body was born.
Solution is to accept the words of the scripture. Vers 5: Life is
not jiva centered anymore. Free of passion for objects. No
need to feel special. Vers 6: Feel wonderstruck because you
understand and fulfilled the purpose in your life. You know you
are love.

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James Swartz – Karma Yoga and Dharma – Talk 7

Recap of the last session. Freedom as the number one priority
in life. Nondual bhakti is exclusive love of the self. To progress
spiritually you have to commit yourself to the vedic tradition:
work through all stages. Skipping of the purification by karma
yoga is not useful. Understand the progression. Take care of
all instruments. Dual love is there to qualify for nondual love.
Nondual relationship. Samsara is a zero-sum-reality. You can’t
win and you can’t loose. Karma yoga is suitable to get out of
samsara: prepares you for jnana yoga, jnana yoga gives you
knowledge and knowledge sets you free. You need a noble
idea for your life. All beings are a set of rules by Isvara that
form their nature. Svabhava and svadharma of a human
being. Nature of animals. Karma yoga dharma. Example of
Arjuna. Karma yogis honor samanya dharma or universal
values. Vishesha dharma or situational ethics have no simple
formula. Dharma yoga. React appropriately in relation to
dharma in every situation to avoid bad karma. Krishna: I am
the desire that is not opposed to dharma. Adharma: Going
against your nature or to go against universal values.
Adharmic action creates mental and emotional agitation.
Pollute the environment and living in it is adharmic.
Svadharma of someone commited to Vedanta: be a karma
yogi, develop discipline. Karma yoga is build into the indian
society, that is a dharmic society. Svadharma and profession.
Karma yoga makes less stressful. You start thinking: who is
this Isvara? 4. Upasana. Listening, reasoning (reflecting and
getting rid of opinions that are not in harmony with the
teaching), actualize the knowledge “I am the self”. Getting rid
of obstacles to perfect satisfaction: by continuing the sadhana.
Total sense of confidence.

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James Swartz – Karma Yoga, Teachers and Scriptures – Talk 6

Karma yoga is bhakti yoga. Swami Vivekananda, Freud,
consequences of technology. Psychological designation in
Vedanta appeared. Multipath confusion. Better to integrate all
parts of the psyche. All stages of devotion are necessary, must
be practised. For karma yoga you need a guru and the
scripture. Only a mature person can surrender to Isvara.
Mantra “sadāśiva samārambhāṁ
śaṅkarācāryamadhyamām…” The self is the guru. Self is
beyond perception and inference. You need a guru because
the tendency for self-deception is immense. Dead gurus don’t
reveal your self-deceptions. You should manage your own life
based on the knowledge. Desire produces anger, depression
and delusion. Karma yoga as right action: dharmic lifestyle is
necessary. 5 daily practices: worship teacher, worship of
ancestors (tvam eva mātā…), worship deity, service to
humanity, protect environment. Desire hides your self from
you. Karma yoga turns an extroverted and subjective mind
into an introverted and objective mind. Inner child becomes an
inner adult. Relationship of guru and disciple: Krsna and
Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Sakhya bhava. Karma yoga is an
appropriate use of your free will. Described in chapters 1-6 of
the Bhagavad Gita.

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James Swartz – Karma and Karma Yoga – Talk 5

3. Formal devotion. What is karma? Prarabdha, sanchita and
agami karma. Karma is similar to a bank account. 3
possibilities: add karma, exhaust karma or stay the same.
People with little karma become sannyasi. Karma Yoga means
how to relate to your karma. Neutralise your karma to have a
steady mind. Gunas, mind and karma. Deities are Vedas in
code. Rishis show you who Isvara is. The love for myself
depends on whether I am handling the karma properly. You
are the witness of karma. The I has no karma. All karmas are
created by Isvara. Isvara or God: creator, upholder or dharma,
giver of results. Isvara is in charge of the results. The principle
to hand out results to jivas are the needs of the total. Isvaras
versus jivas mind. Karma is hard to understand: I want results
and I am not sure if I get it. Karma Yoga is acting like an
enlightened person: offering the actions as a worship to Isvara
as the giver of results. Isvara gave you your life as a gift.
Karma Yoga is love of God. This attitude during action reduces
karma. Giving instead of grabbing. Your whole life is an altar.
It is normal to do good things with love. Accept the good and
bad results with an attitude of gratitude.

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James Swartz – Love, Ishvara and Informal Devotion to God – Talk 4

By reading Vedanta texts it is easy to misinterpret them.
Ignorance and knowledge are mixed up. Teaching makes
difference between ignorance and knowledge clear. Live your
life based on knowledge not on emotions. Isvara and action.
What is real? You see reality on the basis of your experiences.
Reflecting media. Three gunas and the mind. 2. Informal
devotion. Personal deity, ishta devata. Religion. Influence and
judgements of the family. God is a helpful concept in the mind.
God doesn’t judge. Dead gurus don’t judge. Living gurus make
you grow. In informal devotion you bring God down to your
level. Vedanta lifts you up to Gods level. Karma Yoga as the
beginning stage.

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James Swartz – Vedanta, Love and God – Talk 3

Existence is my nature. Love is my nature. Everything you do
is motivated by love. Stages of love (see chart in the video):
1. Love of objects. What do you love? Samsaris love objects.
Suffering comes because objects are not under their control.
God controls objects. Does the love of your life last forever? To
love god is the only option if you want to be free.
2. Love of god. Informal devotion.
3. Isvara. Who gave life to you? Gods laws in the creation.
Moral dimension. Isvara/God: creator, upholder or dharma,
giver of results. Gods grace. Law of pleasure and pain. Joy and
sorrow are connected. Is it wise to worship God? There is only
God. Dharma field is a field of laws. God is the rule giver and
the rules.

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James Swartz – Love, Existence and Scripture – Talk 2

Meditation on the silence. It is impossible not to love. You are
Love: Sat Chid Ananda. Every action is motivated by love of
the self. What is existence? Scripture as the appropriate
means of knowledge. You are not a person. The person is an
object known to you. Three states. Experience of the self?
Everything you see reflects you. What are you doing to be
aware or to exist?

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James Swartz – Big Picture of Vedanta – Talk 1

To direct love to the Self you have to practice. Love in
relations is dualistic love. Personal gods are symbols to
worship you own self. Symbols invoke the love that you are. Is
the joy in an object? Inquiry into love. Yoga is necessary to
understand nondual love. Love is the nature of the Self.

Existence and Consciousness are the same.
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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 17 by Ira Schepetin

Revision and conclusion. What is the meaning of ignorance? The oneness of the individual and the supreme reality. The method of Vedānta. How to get a sattvic mind. Jñāni. You are the happiness you are looking for. You have to go beyond the gunas but in the end there are not even gunas. Direct experience of the self. Tat tvam asi. Neti neti.

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 16 by Ira Schepetin

How Ira met Swami Dayānanda. Q + A. Books of Shankaracharya. Study Brahma Sutras only with a qualified teacher. Vivekacūḍāmaṇi. Are Advaita Vedānta and Yoga Philosophy harmonious? Vedantic dhyana. Kaṭhopaniṣad and vedantic meditation. Books and articles of Ira.

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 15 by Ira Schepetin

Introversion of the mind and the witness. Intellectual knowledge is not helpful. Discriminative wisdom comes only to bhaktas. Bhakti means love of god. Unless you turn your mind to him he won´t reveal himself to you. The highest teaching in Vedānta is not this not this. Q + A. Ira and his teacher. Mumukshuttva.

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 14 by Ira Schepetin

Discussion of the three states. The beauty of Vedānta is that it is based on common experience, not on mystical experience. Pūrṇa anubhava. 2 experiences: being aware of something or being not aware of anything. The states are not in the world. The states are not in time. Avyakta and deep sleep. Dream and waking are both private. Are you the
witness of the dream and the waking state? You are not in time because time is in the states. Is sleep the self? The Bhagavad Gītā has not to be studied sequentially.
Deliberate superimposition Bhagavad Gītā ch. 13, 13. īśvara and māyā. The world is imagined by ignorance. Ramanuja.

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 13 by Ira Schepetin

Nirvāṇaṣaṭka. Morning remembrance prayer. Vedānta and modern science. No conflict between science and Vedānta. Science makes statements about the waking state. Vedānta is a subjective science: its about your own experience. Analyse of the three states according to Gauḍa-pādas kārikā.

 

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