How does one instill the values of Indian culture in our children growing up here? In India, the religious culture, which touches every aspect of one’s life, was imbibed by osmosis from one’s home and the immediate community. The situation is different here, however. To cultivate and understand the values and attitudes, the Vaidika vision and view of life has to be taught to the children in a structured way. Pujya Sri Swami Dayanandaji said,
Swami Tattvavidananda will unfold the nondual nature of the self as revealed in the Upanisads. The understanding of oneself as this nondual reality frees one from the struggle of the human urge to be complete.
At the end of the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna what are the characteristics of a person who is well-established (sthita) in the self-knowledge (prajna) that Lord Krishna has just taught.
Category: Past Events
Siva means mangalam , ‘auspiciousness’. Sivaratri means an ‘auspicious night’. On Sivaratri, we worship Lord Siva all through the day as well as the night for ajnana nivrtti (removal of ignorance of the Self). Devotees observe fast during the day and remain awake during the night, absorbed in nama japa and mantra japa (chanting the Lord’s names) and spend the night in a worshipful way. This helps one gain a certain mastery of the mind and sense organs. Pujya Swami Dayananda Sarasvati while referring to the mahima (greatness) of Sivaratri, has pointed out that spiritual practices undertaken on Sivaratri are especially effective and yield very good spiritual results. [ Read More …]
Arsha vidya gurukulam celebrated the new year with patrons and friends with Abhishekam to Medha Dakshinamurthi and pusha puja.
Swami Pratyagbodhananda talked on the occasion, Swami Tattvavidananda and Swami Viditatmananda saraswati sent in recorded messages. [ Read More …]
The debate is based on the on-going 6-week course classes conducted by Sri Swami Tattvavidananda.
Nine of the students attending the course presented the dialogue between the Siddantins and Mimamsakas in Bhagavadgita, chapter 18, verse 66.
The debate was held on November 14, 2016 at the end of Six week vedatanta course at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Saylorsburg, PA.
[ Read More …]
Arsha vidya Gurukulam is beginning construction of a new Lecture Hall/Dining Hall complex. Over a period of time, the demand for the gurukulam services has increased necessitating a new complex. This was Pujya Swami Dayanandaji’s vision and efforts are under way to make it a reality.
The proposed building will be located next to the rear parking lot. It will have a First Floor and a partial basement for a total area of 33,800 square feet. Several additional parking spaces are proposed near the building. A loop road will go around the building, providing handicap drop-off at the side of the building together with a service entry at the rear. The main entrance will be through an outdoor paved patio which will have seating and landscaping.
by Swami Dayananda Saraswati
[ Published in the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam 15th Anniversary Souvenir, 2001 ]
As we have Father’s Day and Mothers Day, Gurus also have their own day. This day is Gurupūrṇimā and it marks the anniversary of Veda Vyāsa, who occupies an exalted place in the hierarchy of teachers. Although there were also gurus for Veda Vyāsa, we look upon Vyāsa as the one who forms a link between the teachers that we know and the teachers that we don’t know. On this particular day, Gurupūrṇimā, the sannyāsins make a vrata, a vow, to stay in one place and teach for two months. Gurupūrṇimā occurs at the beginning of the rainy season in India, during which time one finds many small insects and other tiny creatures on the ground. Although sannyāsins usually wander from place to place, during the rainy season they remain in one place. At the time of taking sannyāsa, they took a vow of ahimsā, or non-injury to any living being, [ Read More …]
Satsang with Swami Viditatmananda
…continued from previous issue
The first verse describes the Self as sat cit ānanda, while the second verse describes It as self-effulgent. In the third verse, the Self is described as the Self of all.
Early in the morning, I bow to the limitless, that which is beyond darkness, which has the luster of the sun, which is the changeless support known as the supreme being, in whose limitless form the entire universe has appeared like a snake upon a rope.
Prātarnamāmi, early in the morning, I bow down to you, I salute you. We bow down to one who is worthy of worship and reverence. When I stand erect, I have a long shadow, and when I bow down, my shadow becomes shorter and shorter; when I fall flat, and there is no shadow at all. Bowing down is a symbol of falling flat at the feet of the Lord, the revered one. Falling flat means that I am not there, only the Lord is there. The ultimate limit of salutation is that I, who am saluting, am not there; only you, whom I salute, are there. The ultimate meaning of namaskāra is non-duality. [ Read More …]
Swami Dayananda Saraswati
If we take the word “meaning” to be “goal”, the meaning of life certainly cannot be death. If death is the goal of life, then I need not be born at all, the goal being my absence. If I was absent before I was born, I do not need to be born in order not to be. So, I cannot say that death is the goal of life.
Nor can I say that anything other than life itself is the goal of life. Therefore, the meaning or the goal has to be found within life itself. I would say that the meaning of life is just to live. Death happens, but is not the meaning of life. And, since the meaning of life is living, the next question becomes, what is living?
I cannot say I am alive when I am not alive to realities. Not to be alive to realities is dreaming, living a dream life, a false life, which is not living. Therefore the meaning of life must be to live a true life. Living is the meaning. Living implies a life of meaning, a life of truth, a life wherein realities are confronted.
[ Read More …]
Satsang with Swami Viditatmananda
The non-Self is able to reveal objects only due to the presence of the Self
Vāco vibhānti nikhilā yadanugraheṇa. Yadanugraheṇa, by whose grace, nikhilā vāco vibhānti, all these words manifest, is speech also manifest. What makes speech function? Again, the Kenopaniṣad [1-5], says,
yadvācā’ nabhyuditaṁ yena vāgabhyudyate,
tadeva brahma tvaṁ viddhi nedaṁ yadidamupāsate.
“Brahman is that very (consciousness) which one does not know with the mind and by which (consciousness), they say, the mind is known” – (Thus) you understand. This (deity), which (people) meditate upon, is not (brahman).
Speech reveals words, and through words, speech reveals various objects and ideas. The Self is that which cannot be revealed by speech, but that because of which speech reveals. It is that which cannot be seen by the eye, but because of which the eyes see. It is that which cannot be thought of by the mind, but because of which the mind thinks. The mind does not have the capacity to think on its own; it is only because of the grace of the consciousness imparted by the Self that the mind is able to think. [ Read More …]
Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati
[From the book, Āditya Hṛdayam with the commentary Tattvaprakāśikā by Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati]
In the Vedic culture, worshiping of Īśvara – Īśvaropāsana – is very characteristic and unique, and probably slightly different from what we come across today in the Hindu society. Here, Īśvara is worshiped in a form, which is readily available for our perception as part of the Nature before us. For example, Īśvara is worshiped as the Fire. The Ṛg Veda, the foremost of the Vedas, starts with the invocation
अग्निमीडे पुरोहितम् ।
I praise the glory of Agni, who is the foremost as a benefactor.
Here Agni is Īśvara. Aurobindo explained the word Agni as the Divine Will and Wisdom. In the Vedic culture, fire is universally taken as the symbol of Īśvara. We relate to, or worship Īśvara in the form of fire. Another such altar described in the Vedas is the Sun. Vedic people regularly practice a mode of worship called Sandhyā vandana. It is the most well-known mode of worship in the Vedic culture even today.
Vandana is upāsana or worship. Sandhyā means the junction between the night and day when the Sun rises, or between day and night when the Sun sets. Vaidikas worship Īśvara at that time in the form of the Sun. They offer water (arghya) thrice to the rising and setting Sun, and then meditate upon Īśvara as the presiding deity of the solar orb by reciting the famous Gāyatri mantra.
Satsang with Swami Viditatmananda
The meditator and the object of meditation are different from each other in one type of meditation.
Prātaḥ is dawn and smaraṇam is remembrance or meditation. Prātassmaraṇam is thus, meditation at dawn. The meditation is upon the Self, the very meditator. Usually, meditation involves a division of meditator and that upon which he or she meditates. We meditate upon or concentrate on a form, a name, or some object or thing other than ourselves. If it is a worshipful meditation, a meditation on something reverential, we call it mental worship or upāsana. Thus, one type of meditation is of the nature of worship or upāsana. In such meditation, the meditator and the object of meditation are different from each other. This is quite valid as a kind of meditation and is a step in the right direction. Such meditation, of the nature of worship, is meant to prepare our minds. When we worship the Lord, we gain His grace or favor, which removes the impurities of our minds. While we attain the purification of the mind, we can also develop focus, the single pointedness or concentration of the mind. [ Read More …]