879 – Who is the mirror?

Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

Extracted from the book, The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. Continue reading

631 – What faith one belongs to

Why does one have to explain?

The Same God

Now there are varieties of gifts, the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord: and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common God.
1 Corinthians 12. 4-7 Continue reading

613 – Who is Ayyappa?

Ayyappa is the son of Vishnu and Shiva? How did this come about? He was born out of the mystical union between Shiva and Mohini, who is the temporary avatar of Vishnu. Vishnu took the form of Mohini to undertake tasks that he could not accomplish in his original male form. Continue reading

608 – The Hindu Code of Conduct

Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion. It is also known as Sanatana Dharma. It is a natural religion and its practices and philosophies are considered accessible to all.

All beings from the smallest organism to man, are considered manifestations of the divine. Hinduism views the universe as a family, or in Sanskrit, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Continue reading

303 – The central teaching of all the saints

It is our dharma, our faith to serve humanity. We must give love to those who need love. We must help those who are poor and neglected. Our resources must be utilized for the welfare of others. Our strength, intelligence, mind, heart, soul, money, knowledge, power, and friends should be used for the benefit of others. Enjoyment and happiness comes from giving and sharing with the needy and the unhappy. These are the teachings of Jesus Christ, Saint Francis, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira, Mahatama Gandhi and every enlightened human being. Continue reading

245 – Kalki will save the universe

Kalki is the tenth avatara of Vishnu, who will come riding upon a white horse, which is also an avatara in itself. Kalki carries a sword to strike down all evil, and he battles for the cause of righteousness. Kalki will come at the end of Kali yuga to destroy the creation that has sunk into total darkness, after which it will be created anew. Continue reading

James Swartz – Devotion and dharma – Talk 11

Verse 10: Elimination of nonessential desires: Worldly or emotional security, wanting to be recognized. Single goal is freedom. Active sense of renunciation is important. The only security is your self. Five stages of devotion: 1. Sakama Bhakti 2. Nishkama Bhakti. Praying to Isvara to resist your desires. “Zorba the Buddha” versus “Sin intelligently”. 3. Istha Devata Abyasa, Personal deity 4. Visvat svarupa. Worship of everything 5. Non-Duality.

Verse 11: Suitable values. Crazy wisdom gurus. Follow dharma to protect society.

Verse 12: Firmly commit yourself to maintaining an ethical code even after your devotion to Isvara/God is firm.

Verse 13: As long the notion of doership is present there is the danger of a fall. Enlightenment Sickness. Dharma trumps enlightenment.

Verse 14: For as long as the body lasts, one should minimally engage in worldly activities and only perform those actions necessary to sustain the body. Non-dual devotion is expectation-free.

Verses 15-22. Various definitions of the characteristics of devotion. Love in presence, love in absence. Unconditional love.

Verse 23: If you forget that every person is your self, only selfish passion remains.

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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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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 12 by Ira Schepetin

Vedānta is not a business. The highest teaching of Vedānta. The method of Vedānta: deliberate superimposition for the purpose of teaching and negation of this teaching in the end. Mutual superimposition. 3 identifcations: knower, doer, experiencer. adhyaropa and apavāda. Tat tvam asi. Role of the teacher. You are everything. Is samadhi necessary?
Making the knowledge of the self firm? How many jñānis are there?

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 11 by Ira Schepetin

2 ways to get vairāgya: 1. seeing the defects of happiness from objects (it has a beginning and an end) 2. understanding that objects are not real. Bhagavad Gītā ch. 13, 7-11. Spiritual sadhana: developping qualities. Humility is knowledge because it leads to knowledge. Cultivate the qualities through effort. Only if a person has these qualities
direct knowledge can arise. Bhagavad Gītā ch. 13, 12. If you negate everything existing and non existing the self remains. There is no other way to teach the self except by
negation: neti neti. Is vers 13, 12 a contradiction? That which is devoid of all duality is described by adhyaropa and apavāda,” i.e., by superimposition and negation, by
attribution and denial. Intuition of the self. After negation of objects, even the mind, the self stands self revealed.

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