Value management and attaining unconditional love – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Bhakti Sutra

In the satsang we create a sattvic atmosphere that makes it easier
to focus on the knowledge. It is important to keep the knowledge
active when the mind is rajasic or tamasic. When the values are
assimilated the mind stays sattvic and the knowledge stays active.
A change in your lifestyle may be necessary to make the mind
sattvic enough. Deliberate thinking is observing the mind, step
back and think about it before you act. If necessary pause, collect
your thoughts, you can edit your thoughts as they come up. Pay
attention that the information is appropriate, kind, timely and
credible. Impulsive thinking has the need to react immediately. 11.
Dispassion towards sense objects, for example music, food, sex. No
obsession, except obsession for Vedanta. Assimilating these values,
starting with an intellectual understanding brings you a lot of
experiential and emotional satisfaction. 12. Renunciation and
Austerity. Eagerness to get rid of things and to live simply. Do not
accumulate stuff. 13. Absence of egoism. It’s about a simple
recognition about the difference between my (real) Self and the ego
(reflected self). Sadhana: Whenever you say the ‘I’ in the day-to-day
activities ask yourself which ‘I’ is meant. This helps to
discriminate. Keep track of your speech. Keep a short leash on your
ego and let it walk in front of you. 14. Appreciation of time. Don’t
waste time and go on with self-inquiry. 15. Absence of ownership. Is
it your body or your children? Everything comes from isvara.
Sadhana: Pay attention to the word ‘mine’. 16. Absence of
excessive attachment to loved ones. Serve the people in your field
with love but don’t get excessively attached. 17. Sameness of mind
under all circumstances. Cultivate the value of a quiet mind and for
sattva. Read the book Yoga of the three energies. Importance of
the management of the gunas. You can remove most of the
physical pain with guna management. Most of the daily pains are
caused by blocked prana or tamasic energy. 18. Non-dual devotion
to God. 19. Love of solitude. You can hear the silence speaking.
Gradually work to it if you have a busy life. 20. Absence of craving
for company. People can be in your life but you should have no
need for it. 21. Constant practice of self-knowledge. 22. Value for
completing or resolving things. Too much agitation prevents you
from finishing projects and brings to starting new ones. Karma yoga
reduces your karmic load. The degree to what you reduce your
karmic load is the degree to what your mind is peaceful. Tamasic
people don’t want to complete things. Rajasic people want to
complete things but they are too busy to do the completion.
Consequence is that they are always agitated. 23. Precaution,
deliberation and restraint. Think ahead and make a plan before you
judge. Value for holding back. Rajasic people want to do things
immediately. If you can’t hold on you find yourself doing a lot of
things you don’t have to do. 65. Offering all activities to the Lord,
one should direct negative feelings – desire, anger and pride – to
Him. 66. Transcending the gunas, the devotee should act only out
of pure love of God and remain perpetually in the relationship of a
servant to his master or a lover serving her beloved. 67. Among the
Lord’s devotees, the greatest are those who are dedicated solely as
intimate servants. Sakhya bhava and further bhavas. Secret love
affair with God behind the back of your husband. What is your
dominant way to express your love? Love with understanding is
better than only emotional love, for example sakhya bhava. 68.
Conversing among one another with throats choked, hair
standing on end and tears flowing, the Lord’s intimate servants
purify their own followers and the whole world. 69-83. 84. Anyone
who has faith in these auspicious teachings will attain non-dual
devotion. Indeed he or she will attain unconditional love.

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Jealousy, consistent effort and mastery of the mind – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Bhakti Sutra

These values are qualifications for moksha. When you are
spiritually stuck it’s probably because one or more spiritual values
are only partially assimilated. When you are not up to the mark,
pick a value and work on it for 1-2 months. It’s a constant practice.
When you find a consistent pattern of frustration, anger or
depression there is some value that needs work. Apply the opposite
value. If you are a selfish person then learn how to be generous.
Value management is extremely important. 8. Jealousy and Envy:
Rajas is the problem. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you don’t
know who you are the bad values are obstacles and the good
values are helpful. Pay attention with comparisons that make you
feel inferior. Nobody is trying to make you feel inferior. You have to
make yourself feel inferior or superior. Comparison leads to
competition and competition leads to violence, anger and
sometimes destruction. Jealousy and Envy are transformed anger
and they usually lead to depression. You are never jealous of a
whole person only of an aspect. In other words, jealousy is a
projection that masks an insufficient appreciation of my own nature
and the abundance of good qualities that spring from it. A self-realized
person is never jealous, because she is mindful of her
fullness. The Bible’s statement that God is “a jealous God” means
that when you know God you cannot love anything else. Shiva
means what is always good at any place and time, that’s me the
self. Ask yourself: ‘Why do I feel guilty?’. Without following dharma you
won’t get enlightened. When I feel jealousy I should apply the
opposite thought. If you realise that you are greedy try to be
generous. Give 5 or 10 Euros to a beggar. When you break one of
isvaras rules you should feel guilty. 9. A consistent effort to achieve
a stated goal is required for self-knowledge because self-knowledge
is not partial knowledge like worldly disciplines. Tapas with
steadiness and devotion over a long period of time is necessary for
self-realization. As the gunas are constantly changing the tapas
should take guna management into account. 10. Mastery of mind:
4 types of thinking. Impulsive, mechanical, deliberate thinking and
spontaneous thinking. Idea of instant gratification is a problem.
Fast food: I want my food immediately. The mantra of impulsive
people is: If it feels good do it. Better mantra: if it feels good think
about it before you do it. You are bored to death doing and thinking
the same things. Then you need entertainment, for example
different food every day: You live to eat. If your mind is mechanical
or impulsive it is not under your control. Convert these types of
thinking to deliberate thinking with the help of Vedanta. Applying
the opposite thought or always thinking from a non-dual
perspective. Intuition is normally impulsive thinking. Learn to think
like god from a perspective of love. Learn to think useful thoughts
and avoid useless thoughts. Channeling. Value of visions. Meaning
of angels and demons. Being separated from god is painful.

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Gunas and value of values – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Bhakti Yoga, Bhakti Sutra, Narada

1. Pride, Vanity, Conceit, Self-Glorification: Any form of hurt is due
to pride, an inflated ego, one that is excessively attached to what
it thinks it knows, believes, possesses or how it looks. When you
expect other people to make you feel good you are going to be
hurt because they do those things that make them feel good.
Often they waste time and energy trying to save face or plotting
revenge. Solution to these problems is inquiry into isvara. Where
did your special qualities come from. 2. Pretension, Affectation:
Claiming something that has no basis in fact. Creating fake
identies brings a lot of stress. Problem of judging your value in
comparison to other people. 3. Non-Injury: Mutual expectation of
non injury. It may be injury if vegetarians hurt the feelings of non
vegetarians. A bad thought doesn’t go to the other person. It stays
in your mind and hurts yourself. You should think the opposite
thought. Think before you speak or act. Only help people when
they ask you for help. 4. Accommodation, Commodiousness:
Making room for people in your life, being not too busy to pay
attention to other people. People want to be heard. At least you
can spend enough time to find out what others want from you.
Accomodation to the needs of others is a sign for a sense of nonduality.
If you are aiming for sainthood, non-injury and
accommodation are the minimum requirements. Wisdom and
scriptural knowledge are not necessary, only these values. 5.
Straightforwardness, Truthfulness. Your actions should be in line
with your thoughts. Diplomacy and manners are helpful to
communicate unpleasant information successfully. 6. Service to
the Teacher. By keeping your mind on the Self, doing your karma

yoga. The teacher has nothing to gain. Teacher wants to share the
love of god with you. 7. Cleanliness: Outer cleanliness. A mind with
no secrets. Transparency. Being natural. The bad stuff was given
to you by isvara too. It is not your fault. When you acknowledge
your vulnerability and your selfishness you are over it.

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Gunas, devotion and values – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Bhakti Yoga, Bhakti Sutra, Narada

How to overcome tamas?

When you are rajasic and succesful you
have no time to pay attention to yourself. Stuck in sattva. Danger
of vanity and stop of growth. Verse 58: “Success is easier to attain
by informal devotion than by any other means.” If you bring
discipline into your life you do things that are good for you and
your self esteem grows. Verse 59: “Devotion is easiest because it
does not depend on any other authority; it is self-validating.” In
Vedanta you have to live according to the scripture. Verse 60:
“Furthermore, devotion is the embodiment of peace and supreme
joy.” Verse 61: “Once all worldly and spiritual duties are consigned
to God, the devotee need not worry about gain and loss.” Ishvara
takes care of your worldly affairs. Do the best every day and then
see what happens. Manusha the one who thinks and worry. Verse
62: “To attain non-dual devotion, do not abandon responsibilities
in this world, but surrender the results of all actions to the
Lord.”Expression of Karma Yoga. When you give the actions to the

Lord then your worry stops. Karma Yoga and gratitude. Gratitude
as a sadhana. Honesty and purity. Verses 63, 64: “Don’t chase
money or entertain yourself with sex. Don’t compromise your
values and don’t quarrel with others. Relinquish false pride,
hypocrisy and other vices.” Fearless moral inventory is necessary.
12 step program. Sorting out spiritual and material values. Fully
assimilate the good values, renounce the bad values. In the
Bhagavad Gita the values are called knowledge.

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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 – 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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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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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 10 by Ira Schepetin

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.

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 9 by Ira Schepetin

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.

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