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Found 19 results

  1. When I was 3-4 years into my Tai chi journey, my first teacher's recommendation of "letting go" became very real for me. I realized that I had to "let go", in order to become empty (which is a big deal for tai chi/dao people) The baffling thing for me was, "How do I let go?" I'd ask my teacher and he would say "just let go", but I didn't understand what he meant exactly then. My present teacher too says, "letting go is easy, but is also kind of hard at the same time". I think the following section does a good job of explaining to me how to let go. The Sage Ashtāvakra, whose compendium (samhita), also known as Ashtāvakra Gita, is known for his simple and direct teachings of Nonduality. Now, Ashtāvakra is considered to be for those who have already spent significant time following the tripartite course of listening (to advaita teachings), contemplating (upon those teachings and understanding them intellectually) and meditation (making the teachings a living reality). The great Swami Chinmayānanda (founder of the Chinmāya Mission), wrote a beautiful commentary on the Ashtāvakra Gita, which is the reference material for this post. Ashtāvakra outlines 5 principles or guidelines by which one can let go of all phenomenal attachments. Ashtāvakra says, if your senses and mind are attached to any object, those objects are essentially poison (they bind you). So, they have to be let go. Here are his five principles (my own understanding of them) -- kshamā or forgiveness -- when something wrong happens through you, and you are aware of it, it is the hardest thing to forgive yourself for it. Forgive yourself. Not being able to forgive yourself, you bind yourself to the past. Arjava or sincerity -- Perform every action with full awareness. That itself is sincerity. Since you already know your true nature as being the ever-free awareness, when you operate from that point of presence, all action becomes totally sincere and pure (and nothing bad will come from it). Dayā or Compassion -- Don't be hard on yourself or others. Be compassionate towards all, including yourself. This rises from the understanding that there IS no one or nothing apart from you. So how can we be anything but compassionate? Thosha or Contentment -- Maintain the sense of fulfillment and contentment in your life, whatever the circumstances. If life's ups and downs frustrate you, then how can you remain compassionate? The example given is, consider that you are going to die in 10 days. What would your priorities be? Would you worry about property and money or what you eat etc? Be happy and live each day as it is, with full acceptance and joy. Truth -- What is truth? Whatever is, right now, in the present moment. Everything else is ephemeral. Change is inevitable. Death is inevitable. The body changes? The people change. Everything changes. Only what is now is real. Hold on to that.
  2. In the advanced text of Advaita Vedanta, titled ā€œjivanamukti Vivekaā€, the author, Vidyāranya Swami lays down three requisites for liberation, enlightenment, awakening. The three are ā€” Self knowledge, jƱāna dropping of vāsanās, or habitual patterns of the mind that appear in the form of compulsive behaviors and cravings Cessation of the mind, in the sense the mind stops clinging to things According to the book, all three must happen simultaneously, and not sequentially. However, depending on whether one is a seeker or a knower (jƱāni), the emphasis is on different components of the triumvirate. While for the seeker, the primary emphasis is on gaining the knowledge (via studying the texts, transmission from a realized master, contemplation and meditation), along with cessation of the mind, for one who has realized the Self already, the emphasis is on dropping the habitual patterns of behavior that arise from activated karma.
  3. This is an excellent and humorous explanation of the Ocean-wave analogy often used by Advaita Vedanta circles
  4. For those who are interested in knowing more about the nature of liberation/enlightenment (in the Advaita Vedanta tradition), this is a must watch ā€”-
  5. This video is highly recommended. Ashtāvakra Gita is one of the highest level texts of Advaita Vedanta. But watch it at your own peril
  6. Strongly recommend watching this (Rx as needed)...
  7. According to Vedanta, any object that is known to us has five characteristics. They are ā€” asti - ā€œIs-nessā€/existence bhati - shining/illumination (ie is known) priyam - desirability (which is actually a trigger for experience of/seeking pleasure) nama - name rupa - form This Article does a very good job of explaining the subject (https://www.advaita-vision.org/becoming-oneselfpart-22/) I am quoting from it below...
  8. Here's the text I am working with -- https://www.swami-krishnananda.org/panchadasi/Commentary_Panchadasi.pdf
  9. Thought I'd post this as an example of how grownups share and exchange thoughts and ideas This is special because of the venue -- The Vedanta Society NY, which is a bastion of Advaita Vedanta. I've had the occasion to attend Swami Sarvapriyananda's lectures in person (besides the many youtube videos that are there for people to view) - never once have I heard or seen behavior remotely close to the neurotic and parochial approach that is often on display in public fora.
  10. The Divine Artist

    The questions and answers after 35:00 are golden!
  11. A key takeaway is towards the end -- "One doesn't become Brahman...One always is that..."
  12. The delusion of Lust

    A current thread by Gerard (titled Lust and the undeveloped mind) brought these verses from Adi Shankara's Bhaja Govindam to mind... Read the entire composition (and associated translation) http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_vishhnu/bhajagovindam.html?lang=sa
  13. Swami Dayananda

    One of the great teachers of traditional Advaita Vedanta died today. Rest in Moksha, Swami Dayananda (15 August 1930 - 23 September 2015).