Yoga Vidya is a nonprofit organization whose aim is to spread the knowledge (vidya) of holistic Yoga. Founded by Sukadev Bretz in 1992, Yoga Vidya now runs 4 ashrams, 100 Yoga centres in various cities and has trained more than 17.000 top-quality yoga teachers. This makes us Europe’s leading and largest yoga educational organization. We teach in the tradition of Swami Sivananda, welcoming people of all spiritual paths and traditions of yoga.
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In this Podcast Sukadev is talking about the question: “Is Vedanta a Philosophical System?”
Advaita Vedanta is a school in Hinduism. People who believe in Advaita believe that their soul is not different from Brahman. The most famous Hindu philosopher who taught about Advaita Vedanta was Shankaracharya who lived in India more than a thousand years ago.
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This lecture by Swami Sivananda begins by chanting some of the Shantih mantras, followed by a discussion of the nature of the Self. The Knowledge of the Atman, or supreme Self, is subtle and cannot be realized by our own doing. He discusses many topics such as: the individual soul is identical with Brahman, the importance of a guru, the sreya marga and preya marga, avidya, and more.
Swami Sivananda talks about the Kena Upanishad, also called the Kenopanishad, in which is revealed the Truth of Brahman and how it relates to man. Everything is possible by the power of Brahman. Brahman shines by his own light, and everything shines as a reflection of this. Therefore, we should meditate on Brahman until we Know Brahman as pure Self consciousness, not as an object.
Identification with the perishable body is the greatest obstacle to Self-Knowledge, says Swami Sivananda in this very detailed synopsis of some of the most important points of yoga and vedanta. He discusses the 3 bodies, the 5 sheaths, the 3 states of waking/dream/deep sleep, the 6 changes the body goes through, the tattvas, indriyas, 5 pranas, the antakharana, and much more. A lecture not to be missed.
Swami Sivananda begins by recommending we meditate on Soham, and Aham Brahmasmi. He explains that the Brahmakara vritti is the form taken by the mind when it is about to lose itself in Brahman, and that it is not like ordinary vrittis of the mind. Find out more in this amazing lecture.
Brahmavidya is the science of Brahman, the Knowledge of the Absolute and here Swami Sivananda talks a great deal about what this means. He explains who a person with Brahmavidya is and their qualifications. He also covers many topics related to Knowledge of the Self and how to obtain it – some of the topics are Om, the Atman, the aspirant, self-control, discrimination, intellect, Purusha, and more. A wonderful lecture not to be missed.
Sukadev is talking about the lineage and tradition of Yoga Vidya and himself. Our lineage stars with Narayana and also contains Shankara. Shankara was an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
If you are interested in visiting one of the four ashrams of Yoga Vidya to join one of the many english seminars, click here.
Sukadev Bretz is the founder of Haus Yoga Vidya and the Yoga Vidya organisation. From his adolescence he was fascinated by the possibilities of the mind, learned fast reading autodidactically and attended concentration and memory training courses.