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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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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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.

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