Today is Thursday and the day of Guru. I was reading about my Master, Swami Satyananda Saraswati. My first teacher at the Ashram was Swami Satyadharma Saraswati. She was the best teacher in the ashram and she was assigned by Swamiji to teach me. She was an American and had travelled the world. I was a young mother with twin sons, 3 years old, and a cat. I had severe arthritis in my left hand, and being left handed it was tough. I could not even brush my hair. Continue reading
It was a stormy night. There was thunder and lightning. A sannyasin was walking with a lantern. It was a road in the hills. When a motorcyclist whizzed past him. He had no lights. The Sannyasin called out, “Hey, take my lantern. The roads are slippery.” Continue reading
Verse 38: However, the primary method by which one develops devotion is association with great souls, that means a free person of the vedic tradition. Teacher who was taught properly. The teaching sets you free not the teacher.
Verse 39: Contact with great souls is rare, difficult to understand and infallible. The reason is that qualified students are rare. Great souls: you see the self in a person pretending to be a person. Great souls transform your life. The effects of meeting great souls are infallible. The spirit of renunciation is the essence.
Verse 40: The association of great souls can be obtained, but only by the grace of the Lord. Don’t seek them. Isvara will supply a great soul when you are ready. Many schools are knowledge averse.
Verse 41: There is no difference between the Lord’s grace and the great souls that manifest it.
Verses 42-43: Strive only for God’s grace. By all means, renounce all relationships with ignorant, negative, selfcentered individuals.
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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
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More on: Vedanta.
Learn more about: Yoga Vidya.
Talk 3 of Swami Nityabodhananda at Yoga Vidya Center in Cologne, Sept 2019.
Question and answers. Human pursuits. Roles in life and attitudes. Need for a teacher. Self inquiry. Vedanta and you are that. The tenth man. Sadhana.
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One gramm of praxis is more than tons of theory. Practice Yoga!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nirvāṇa–ṣaṭka. 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.
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?
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.
Story about Swami Satchidanandendra and Kirtan. The concept of avidyā / ignorance. Best source is adhyāsa bhāṣya: Introduction to the commentary of Shankaracharya
on the Brahma Sutras. 2 notions of ignorance: Shankaracharyas notion of mithyā jñāna and Padmapādas notion of mithyā ajñāna. Avidyā and māyā. Waking ego, dream ego and the witness. Vedānta is no dogma. Ego is kṣetra. Every quality is an object to the witness. Sadhana: act to get rid of tamas. Do your duty with no desire for the fruit of your action to overcome rajas. Sadhana to become free from actions (naiṣkarmya): no attachment to saṅkalpa, karma, karma phala. Freedom from the gunas. Jñānaniṣṭha. Jñāni. Bhagavad Gītā ch. 18, 66.
Explanantion of the shloka Brahmanandam paramasukhadam. Shankaracharyas critique of other schools of thought. Knowledge as the solution to remove ignorance. 3 types of ignorance: 1. not knowing as the root. 2. Misconception. Adhyāsa. Superimposition. 3. Doubt. Ancient vedantic position. Five fundamentals of Vedānta: 1. The witness 2. Nature of ignorance 3. Difference between doing something and knowing something 4. Absolute and relative perspective 5. Method of Vedānta.
Review of the first two Shlokas of chapter 13 Bhagavad Gita Bhasya. Witnessing consciousness: unique teaching of Vedanta. Paramahamsa. Witnessing consciousness is identical with the supreme reality. Avidya: mixing up of subject and object. Forms: Not knowing, misconception, doubt. Verses 3-6: Kshetra. Ira and his teacher Swami Atmanandendra. Wise and Dharma. Jnana Sadhana is necessary. Q & A: Jnani versus Jnananishta. Role of a Guru.