Swami Sivananda’s mission and vision was to make people aware of the divine life. He said that material stuff was only one end of the spectrum. In order to experience the evolution of our consciousness, we had to live a healthy life. A healthy life was a balanced body and mind. Continue reading
The Bhagwada Gita describes all the Upanishads as cows and the Supreme Lord Krishna as the cow herd boy and the devotee Arjuna as the calf. It is said that cows give milk only when there is affection for the calf. The cow has four udders, two are for the calf and two are for humans. The cow is described as one of the seven mothers of mankind in the Vedas.
The seven mothers are: Continue reading
The world is such a beautiful place. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the flowers are fragrant and dazzling with their colors, the fragrance is enveloping us and the taste of a fruit lingers in our mouth. The sound of the rustling of the leaves and the brushing of the breeze on our face. All our senses are tuned to these wondrous gifts of responses from mother earth. What happens our senses are very seductive; they ensnare us and we become their willing victims. Continue reading
We all take great care of our body. We use fragrant soaps, lotions and perfumes. Our desire is to look good and attractive. We touch up and blow-dry our pictures on facebook and want to present a beautiful persona to the world. We eat healthy as we aspire to be full of energy and have a glow of wellbeing. We exercise and many of us came to Yoga because we wanted to remain fit. When we are unwell, we go to the doctor and take care of ourselves. We are completely involved with our external appearance. Continue reading
Walk along memory lane and think of all the flavours and fragrances you have experienced. Each of the sensations of piquancy and poignancy are perceived in your nose, mouth, and throat. The citrus fruits from the family Rutaceae are also known as the rue family and contain flowering plants that have a strong scent. These fruits have been cultivated since ancient times. Continue reading
The Upanishads describe prana as the breath contained within the breath. A person is dead when this breath leaves the body. It is called Mahaprana and is the instrument of consciousness. It nurtures and nourishes us. It is the energy which is gross and subtle, and which is present in all life form. It is present in the universe from the blade of grass to the most microscopic sign of life. It exists where there is life and this includes physical, mental, Intellectual, psychic and emotional health. To fully understand this life force, we have to be aware of the flow of prana. Prana is present everywhere in our bodies, it is inside the oxygen, which is in our blood, inside the bones, inside our veins, our arteries and is the subtle breath within our breath. Continue reading
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.