Why did Jiva come out of Brahman
Vedanta (Sanskrit: वेदान्त vedānta m.) literally means "end of knowledge": Veda = knowledge, Anta = end; Vedanta is also the philosophy of the Upanishads as the Upanishads are the last part (end) of the Vedas. The basic text of this philosophical system, which is one of the six orthodox darshanas, is the Brahma Sutra (also Vedantasutra) of the Badarayana. Another name for the system of Vedanta is Uttara Mimamsa (uttaramīmāṃsā) in contrast to Purva Mimamsa.
What is Vedanta?
Vedanta is the philosophy of the absolute and the philosophy of oneness. Vedanta wants to teach you to come to your true nature. To get out of the perception of the apparent, illusory world and instead experience Brahman, the absolute.
Vedanta says you will learn the highest truth in four steps. These four basic principles are:
- Shravana, that means listening (for example a lecture)
- Manana, that means thinking, thinking (for example about the content of this course)
- Nididhyasana, that means meditating (for example on individual contents of this course)
- Anubhava means to realize / literally: the emergence of the feeling of one with unity, because Vedanta wants to lead you to unity.
Vedanta literally means 'end of knowledge'. Veda means 'knowledge' - anta means 'end' -> Vedanta = end of knowledge
Vedanta refers to the Upanishads, therefore a 2nd meaning of the word Vedanta is 'the end of the Vedas'. Vedas are the ancient Indian scriptures that are several millennia old. The Vedas consist of different parts, the last part of the Vedas being the Upanishads.
Upanishad also literally means 'at your feet or sit by'. The last part of the Upanishads consists of conversations or conversations philosophical dialogues between a student and a teacher. The students went to the master and asked: 'Oh master, show me that according to whose knowledge everything is known. Show me that after the experience of which all desires have disappeared. Show me that after which I have realized the Eternal. Show me the way to the knowledge of the self. Let me experience the ultimate. ´
And so the disciples of the Upanishads confronted the masters with deepest questions. And the masters answered and also partly put the students to the test and partly also gave them severe tests to check their seriousness. They gave them tasks that the students found very difficult at first. But the Upanishad disciples were sincere. They wanted the answers to that question. They wanted to know the end of knowledge - Vedanta. They wanted not only to have the highest truths answered intellectually, but also to fathom, experience and realize deep in their souls. And so Vedanta is the way to come to the highest knowledge.
Video - What is Vedanta?
Vedanta basic concepts
- A lecture by Sukadev Bretz 2019 -
The terminology of Jnana Yoga
If you have already completed a Yoga Vidya yoga teacher training course, you probably already know these terms, or you have heard them at least once. But it is also good to repeat these again so that the terms can be better memorized and set.
Explanation of Vedanta terms
The most important term in Vedanta terminology
Brahman is the absolute, the infinite, experienced as infinite being. Brahman is that which has always been, is and will be and that which is eternal, which however cannot be imagined and cannot be perceived, but which is itself the consciousness behind everything.
Brahman is Sat Chid Ananda. Sat = is, unlimited and eternal, therefore absolute being - detached from time and space. Brahman is Chid = consciousness, which is often translated as knowledge. And that is absolute knowledge - not knowledge of something, but knowledge in itself.
Brahman is not simply there somehow and at some point, but Brahman is conscious being. Nor is it just an abstract, cold being that is conscious, but Brahman is a joyful being - and an absolute joy at that. Brahman is also Ananda = perfect and highest bliss, bliss, true and lasting joy. What is meant here is no limited joy or no joy that comes or goes, but joy in itself. And in that joy there is also love.
Maya projects itself out of Brahman, although there is no conclusive explanation for this.
The most difficult term to explain in Vedanta
Maya is very difficult to explain, although it is a key term in Vedanta. Maya is called the power of illusion or creative power and also means cosmic energy itself. Maya is ultimately what is responsible for creating this universe.
Brahman projects himself as Maya and Brahman emerges through the projection of Maya Jagat - see next section.
For more information about Maya, see the explanation of Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu on the next page.
Jagat is the world as we perceive it, the world of the universe and the world in time and space. Jagat exists in 3 density levels:
The causal world or Karana is the world beyond time and space as we understand it. It is the world of causes, where the primordial laws of the universe are anchored, the primordial principles and the ideas as Plato would call them. So everything that manifests itself afterwards in time and space, in Sukshma and in Stula, that is all contained in Karana.
The subtle world is the world of our thoughts, emotions and prana. In addition, the world of spirits, astral beings and natural beings also counts there as well as the world of the deceased and those who have not yet incarnated and will soon be incarnated again.
- 3rd density level = sthula, i.e. coarse material world
The gross world or sthula is the world that we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel in everyday life.
In this Jagat everything manifests in 3 Gunas.
The composition of the primordial matter
- 2. Rajas - Rajas denotes everything that is restless.
- 3. Tamas - Tamas denotes the contracting, the limiting, the sluggish, the dark.
This universe does not just exist of itself, but this universe is directed by Ishvara.
The meaning of Ishvara
Ishvara is also called the lord, the ruler, the ruler or the ruler. He is the personal God. So God who creates, sustains and destroys the universe. And these three aspects of Ishvara are then named as follows:
Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu
The 3 main Indian gods, the three main gods
- Brahma - is the Creator, because everything in this universe has a beginning. That is what Brahma stands for.
- Shiva - is the destroyer, everything in the universe comes to an end. This is what Shiva stands for, among other things.
Here's an example:
If you were to watch this course unit as a video, you would see the body of the speaker. And this body initially seems to remain the same during the duration of the video. Even if the body moves all the time, the hair color does not change and the face does not change. Why is that?
There is Brahma - the body takes in air. And there is Shiva - the body gives off air. It is precisely through this inhalation and exhalation that the body can continue to exist. So everything that remains the same can remain the same because there is a balance between Brahma and Shiva, between creation and dissolution. Vishnu forms this balance. Nothing that is apparently permanent is permanent because it is permanent, but because the processes of creation and dissolution are in equilibrium, even if this cannot necessarily be perceived externally. This also means again: in the manifest universe everything is changing.
Origin of the relative world
Brahman is the absolute and can be experienced as infinite being = Sat. Pure awareness = Chid and pure joy = Ananda.
For some inexplicable reason, a Maya, a creative power, is projected out of Brahman. And so one can also say that the creative power Maya manifests itself as Ishvara, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Maya creates this world. Jagat in their causal principles, the original principles of this universe, the laws of nature, the archetypes, the ideas. In addition also the subtle world, with the astral world, etc. and then as sthula, as physical world with all its manifestations and representations - sthula Sharira.
This world is ruled by Isvara. There is a meaningful universe. It's not just messy. One can experience a divine being there. And within this there is the more luminous sattva, the more restless rajas, and there is the contracting and indolence producing tamas.
And although the Brahman appears as Jagat, Jagat in turn directed by Ishvara, it is all only apparent. In truth, Brahman always remains Brahman - and the universe as it manifests itself is Maya. It doesn't really exist the way we see it, it always remains Brahman.
About this as well as about the distinction between Sat and Asat, Sat Asat Viveka, the distinction between the real and the unreal, is explained in detail in another lesson.
Further terms from the perspective of the individual
There is not only general Brahman, general Maya, general Jagat and general Ishvara. We can only speak because we speak about it as individuals. And now we come to the individual approach. There is atman there.
Atman - the self
Atman is the self. The self itself is again Sat Chid Ananda. We covered the Atma Viveka in one of the previous lessons. In truth the self is pure being. You know you are René Descartes said: "Cogito ergo sum - I think, therefore I am."
Because I know that I can think, there has to be someone who thinks, so I have to exist = Sat. But I am not just somehow, I am also conscious. You can only talk to someone about a certain subject such as Vedanta because there is someone who is aware. If the other person couldn't listen and you weren't aware of what you were saying, then the whole conversation would be very pointless.
One could also equip computers with so-called artificial intelligence so that they then also give Vedanta lectures and there could be another computer that would listen to that. But without awareness, no computer will understand what it is saying and no computer will understand what it actually means.
On the other hand, we are conscious as human beings, and the yogis say that this applies not only to human beings, but also to animals, plants, the earth, the sun and the universe there is an Atman. the individual self, the indestructible, eternal essence of the spirit, which is often translated as soul. Brahman manifests in everyone.
Individual as atman.
Atman is also Sat Chid Ananda = being, knowledge, bliss. But we forget that. Through the power of the Maya manifests in the individual as Avidya = ignorance. What is meant here is essential or existential and metaphysical ignorance. We forget who we really are: Pure consciousness, one with the world soul. And we identify with Upadhi.
Upadhi means: limiting attribute. We identify with Karana Sharira, which means the causal body. And we identify with Sukshma Sharira, the astral body and with Sthula Sharira, the physical body.
We also go through Sattva, Rajas and Tamas again and experience ourselves as an individual soul, as a Jiva. One can say that Brahman in the individual is experienced as Atman. The Maya power that creates the whole universe is in the individual Avidya, ignorance, Jagat, the whole world and in a part of it is Upadhi. In this Upadhi Atman is reflected and experiences itself as Jiva.
If Brahman is reflected throughout the Jagat, then it is Ishvara, the consciousness - reflected. Ishvara is personal god throughout the universe. So God, who creates, receives, destroys.
If Brahman is only reflected in a part of the universe, in an individual body-mind system, then that is Jiva, the individual soul. This individual soul then thinks, 'I am this physical body' or 'I am this subtle body', 'I have prana, emotions, personality, intellect, talents, abilities' or also 'I have concerns' - on the subtle body level.
And Karana Sharira, the causal body - the blissful envelope and cause of Sthula Sharira and Sukshma Sharira - thinks: 'I have an intuition, an inspiration somewhere'. All of that is also Karana Sharira. We identify with it and with that we are Jiva.
And in all of that there is sattva, rajas and tamas.
- The body can sometimes be in a tamasic state, i.e. very sluggish, maybe even sick and lacking drive - nothing works anymore.
- The body can also be rajasic, it can have high blood pressure, it can be restless, the organs can be messed up, or the body has autoimmune diseases.
- And the body can be sattvig, in a healthy state, and the body systems can communicate well with each other, and the body is healthy.
The subtle body can also be sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. You can feel restless - rajasic. You can feel tamasic - feeling tired, sad, listless, or depressed. And you can feel saturated, that is, you feel pure, sublime, full of joy, full of compassion and love. But Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are in constant change. The body, no matter what you do - is not always satiated. For example, he sometimes needs sleep. The psyche is not always satiated either. It goes through Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
The problem with this is Avidya. Avidya means you identify with it. Instead of experiencing yourself as infinite consciousness, which is now particularly effective through this body and this psyche. In addition, the consciousness has the body and the psyche as an instrument to do as part of the cosmic Ishvara what is to be done in this purple (game) of the world, in this Maya, you think 'I am this body'. And woe to the body has any problem, for example if the wrist cannot move properly, lumbago manifests itself, you catch a cold or you have a stain on your skin and you are unsure whether it could be skin cancer - or something else. You immediately get into fears and hardships. You identify with the Sthula Sharira, the gross body.
It would be good to know that you are not this physical body and that the body is going through various processes and changes, that you can take care of the body but you are not the body yourself and that the body has a beginning and an end has that you are infinite consciousness. When you have this knowledge, you come out of identification with the body.
Some people, as Jiva, identify particularly with the body. Be it that they consider themselves to be a great athlete, be it that they care about their beauty, attractiveness or, for example, their long hair or bald head, etc.
Still other people have a tamama-like self-image and define themselves, for example, by their ugliness. And other people also identify particularly with their emotions. As soon as they get angry, they are full of anger, as soon as they are happy, they are full of joy and as soon as, for example, fear, they are full of fear. Sometimes this identification is so strong that they project their emotionality onto everyone else.
And there are people who identify with their intellect. `I am smart and wise. I can understand everything.´
There are people who even identify with attributes of the body, for example the last millimeter of skin, white skin, red skin, brown skin, white hair, a long or broad nose, or they make a difference whether the hair is a bit lighter or darker are.
People sometimes identify with other origins: `I have been a member of the XY family, a specialty for generations, I am German, I am French, I am English, Indian or Chinese. 'Or also:` I am a Lipper, an Upper Bavarian, a Franconian. 'In some cases, people also identify by gender:' I am a man. I am a woman.´ or about my job: `I am a craftsman. I'm an artist 'or about other things:' I'm an extrovert. I'm an introvert. 'Etc. These are all identifications. Every identification necessarily leads to Dhukha = suffering. Dhukha or suffering is discussed in other lessons.
We know intuitively 'I am Atman' and 'I am pure, unclouded consciousness, completely free and I am Ananda, I am joyful'.If one expects one's upadhis to be eternal, infinite, and free, and to give lasting joy, we are always disappointed. Upadhi are instruments with which we work. We are not them. Confusing Upadhi with Atman as Jiva leads to Dhukha, to suffering. And it is important to transcend this suffering and to get out of these identifications.
Brahman: The Infinite and Eternal, that which exists. What you can experience again and again in everyday life, when you abstract from words and images, when you experience consciousness in itself. Brahman can be experienced as infinite being, if you expand your consciousness into pure being, ananda, joy can be experienced.
Maya: This is the power of illusion, which leads to the fact that a universe appears: In causal form = Karana, in fine material form = Sukshma and in physical form = Stula - in constant change in the 3 Gunas, which alternate and mix again and again : Sattva = purity, Rajas = restlessness and Tamas = indolence.
The reflection of Brahman in the entire universe is directed and directed by Ishvara. Ishvara ensures that this universe has a cohesion, as Brahma, as Creator, as Vishnu, the sustainer and as Shiva. Sometimes it is even said that Brahman manifests as Isvara and Ishvara dreams of this universe. The fact of dreaming is Maya and the dream world that comes out is Jagat.
There really isn't a world, it just appears that way. It's similar when you dream at night. There is not the world that you dream, there is only your consciousness. So there is only your awareness that manifests as Ishvara, apparently becomes Maya and then creates the dream world. And in this dream world Brahman can also identify with a part of this whole world, namely with Upadhi. These upadhi are causal, astral and physical bodies. Through Avidya, ignorance, Brahman then identifies with these Upadhis and Jiva, an individual consciousness, arises. But this individual consciousness as consciousness itself is always atman, pure self. And you can experience yourself as pure being, pure knowledge, pure bliss and thus as one with Brahman, as the world soul.
You can go beyond Avidya. You don't have to think you are the body, the psyche, etc. The job of man is to go beyond Avidya. And no longer cling to sattva, rajas and tamas. In yoga we also want to increase Sattva, reduce Rajas and Tamas to a minimum, but the relative world is in Sattva, Raja and Tamas. More Sattva, more joy, more lightness, more lightness, more purity helps that Atman can come out of Avidya and no longer identify with Upadhi.
There is no separate Upadhi. Everything in the universe is related to everything. And a relative spirituality can also be recognized: `` I am not limited to the body. I breathe in, I breathe out and through the breath I am connected to all living things. I eat and drink and excrete, which in turn is food and drink for others. I am connected to everything. I perceive everything, everything responds to me, I live in a universe of prana and thoughts, I am connected to everything. This was also discussed in another lesson and a meditation technique for this was presented, namely the Samprajnata-Asamprajnata meditation, the connectedness on all levels.
In this sense I would like to encourage you to make yourself particularly aware that there is an infinite reality, namely Brahman, which can be experienced in you as Atman. You have a psyche, you have a body = Upadhi. The body and the psyche are also connected to the whole world. There is an individual consciousness, but the full identification with the body and the psyche or your body is Avidya. You can loosen this again and again and understand yourself as Atman.
Video - Vedanta Basic Concepts
Summary: Main concepts and terms of Vedanta
- A lecture by Sukadev Bretz 2019 -
Basics of Jnana Yoga
With this course unit the most important concepts of the Vedanta be gathered. Vedanta literally means: end of knowledge, Anta = end, Veda = knowledge.
Vedanta has Jnana, which means knowledge, as its main technique. We want to come to the highest knowledge through systematic knowledge. Vedanta asks questions like:
Four main steps in Vedanta
Vedanta works in 4 main steps:
Vedanta is above all a spiritual path and the path to full realization. When atma jnana is spoken of in Vedanta, it is not an intellectual realization of the self, no knowledge, but the full realization.
Three tenets of Shankara
Vedanta can be summarized in 3 sentences:* Brahma Satyam - Brahman is real. * Jagan Mithya - The world as we perceive it is unreal. * Jivo Brahmaiva Napara - The individual is nothing other than Brahman.
In the poetic translation this means:
Let it be announced in three sentences what one finds in 1000 books.Brahman is real, the world is illusory, the world is nothing but Brahman alone.
- Brahman is real. There is an infinite, eternal reality - beyond time and space. This reality can be experienced. This is your true nature.
- The world as you experience it - in time and space, in the 5 sensory perceptions, as concepts, as words and images - does not exist. Jagan Mithya - the world is an imagination, an imagination, Mithya, it is unreal, Maya and ultimately a projection, Adhyaropa.
- Your true nature is being, knowing, bliss - Sat Chid Ananda. In other words, Brahman.
And you experience Brahman the moment you expand your awareness and experience connection with everything. Every experience of deep joy, every experience of deep love, every experience of connection, every experience that goes beyond body and mind is an experience of Brahman.
In a broader sense, everything is Brahmanic experience because there is only Brahman. In the narrower sense: An expansion or intensification of your awareness, love and joy - everywhere you experience Brahman.
The 4 great Mahavakyas - the 4 great statements:
The first two Mahavakyas state:
In the sayings of the Upanishads, the teacher says 'Tat Tvam Asi' and the disciple says 'Aham Brahmasmi'.
And what is Brahman?
The 3rd Mahavakya says:
This means consciousness itself. There is only consciousness in the whole universe. Just as in a dream the whole world apparently exists, but consists only of consciousness, so this world appears as a whole, but in truth consists only of consciousness.
The 4th Mahavakya says:
You are only Brahman. I am only Brahman. Or also `Sat Chid Ananda Swarupoham - my true nature, infinite being, infinite knowledge, infinite bliss.
The four vivekas
We had talked about the four vivekas, Chatur Viveka, the power of distinction. These vivekas are crucial on the path of jnana yoga.
- Viveka - distinctive character, one of the four traits of the student.
These are the four means in Jnana Yoga how we Moksha can achieve liberation - i.e. 4-fold Viveka, as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra and also Shankaracharya in the Viveka Chudamani:
These are briefly explained and summarized here:
Nitya Anitya Viveka
The distinction between the eternal and the ephemeral.
You are forever The body is impermanent, the psyche is impermanent, the manifestation of the psyche is impermanent, desires are impermanent, the bodies of your relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances are impermanent, the type of relationship with your fellow human beings is impermanent, everything is impermanent. Stop striving for the impermanent and accept the impermanence of the world. `Panta rhei´ - so said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Everything flows, everything is in Parinama, in constant change. Accept that and do not be attached to what changes, but also relate to what is eternal.
Perhaps there is some work to be done in the relative world, but without expecting durability. The idea that something is permanent in this world is an illusion. The world is always changing.
Atma Anatma Viveka
The distinction between the self and the not-self.
Know you are the immortal self. You are not the body, you can watch the body, the body changes, you can influence the body to a certain extent, and you can do some things with the body. Just as you can do something with a video camera or for example with a meditation scarf or with a bicycle, you are still not the video camera, not the scarf, not the bicycle, not the physical body, not the psyche and you are not the personality. Make yourself aware of this again and again! Viveka again and again - and smile again and again when you identify yourself with your body, identify yourself again with your psyche.
Sat Asat Viveka
The distinction between the real and the unreal.
The world as you see it, the names and shapes in the five senses is an illusion. I already pointed this out when I was talking about the Three Sentences of Shankara and the four Mahavakyas, for example.
The conception of a world is Adhyaropa, an overlay, a projection. In truth there is no world. And about this illusory world, about this collective illusion, you still give your own illusions. You have ideas about other people, ideas about yourself, you have ideas about what different things mean. Imaginations, Adhyaropa, projections - break away from them or at least break away from absolutization or at least take note of it with humor and accept that others live in their own illusions. Or people who live together live in a common illusion. But ultimately everything is just Brahman.
Ananda Sukha Duhkha Viveka
The distinction between eternal joy and pleasure.
Deep down you know Anandoham - I am joy. Because you know this, you strive for lasting joy. But this lasting joy is nowhere to be had. When you get your favorite dish, it may give you sukha, joy. Assuming you got your favorite dish at any time of day and every day, at some point it would be dukha, limitless suffering.
If the person you are most dear to was with you 24 hours a day, every day for months, then at some point that would also be Dukha. And the same thing that gives you joy today gives you suffering tomorrow. And no matter how much money you have, it won't make you happy. No matter how many possessions you have, it won't make you happy. Permanent only makes you happy that is permanent. And only Brahman and your deep self are permanent.
Temporary happiness, sukha, is just a reflection of ananda in upadhi in a limiting attribute. You can only be given happiness temporarily. You can enjoy temporary happiness and enjoy little things. You can see this as a flash of Brahman and this with the awareness that this brief flash goes by again and again. So stop obsessively chasing after anything that doesn't give you what you really want. Only one thing gives you lasting happiness: God-realization!
You could say these are the most important statements of Vedanta. You see, it can be said quickly, but it is important to live from this spirit.
Procedure in Vedanta practice
So first of all: Shravana - to listen. You kept hearing about it. I hope you have given some thought to during or between the different course units Manana and / or meditate on it, Nididhyasana. I deliberately designed this Vedanta course in such a way that meditation is always included. And in the past 19 lessons I have always given you small tasks for everyday life. I hope that in this way this Vedanta mindset has become a part of you. Keep doing it, putting it into practice - it's worth it!
At some point you will come to Anubhava - to small realizations and at some point to the greatest realization. With this in mind, learn to live from the spirit of Vedanta. Live it in everyday life, meditate every day. You learned many meditation techniques. Choose one or take turns meditating with different techniques. It doesn't matter whether you practice with these Vedanta meditation or mantra meditation techniques or with other meditation techniques that are available, for example, in the meditation course for beginners. Daily meditation is important and always ask: Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? Furthermore, it means not to identify yourself every day. And practice other practices as well to resolve the identifications, to make the mind purer and clearer. With a clear mind, with exalted prana, it is easier to know who you really are.
Vedanta in everyday life
I would like to address a few more practical implications of Vedanta: For example, Swami Sivananda writes in his book Vedanta for Beginners that Vedanta must be a practice. Not just a theory. Vedanta is not just something intellectual that needs to be learned to understand in the mind. It should be anchored in the depths of the being. It can be that from whose original reason you act. And here are a few of the most important Vedanta statements for everyday life:
Not - identification
The non-identification - the awareness of the immortal self: Make yourself aware again and again in everyday life: I am the immortal self. The body goes through different states. The body is sometimes better and sometimes less well. But make yourself aware of 'I am the immortal self'. And whenever you experience mental pain, be aware: there was an attachment here. Mental pain without attachment doesn't really work, definitely not if the pain is persistent. Emotions have their purpose. Small fears, small anger or even grief. These are reactions of the psyche. But if it takes longer than a few hours, then there is an identification somewhere. Be grateful when you notice an identification and break away from the identification. Experience yourself as Brahman.
In the previous course unit you also learned: Sat Chid Ananda Svarupoham - you are being, knowledge and bliss.
Courage instead of fear
Those who live by the spirit of Vedanta have courage and not fear. Nothing can happen to you. Something can happen to the body. Without question, anything can happen to the body in the course of its life. A well-lived life does not mean that you will not have illnesses. A well-lived life doesn't mean that you won't have accidents. The body will eventually die. And before that, you will most likely have one or the other illness. You don't need to be afraid of it. Everything that has a beginning also has an end. Without a doubt, everything you have now will be taken from you at some point. At the latest when you die, most likely before. You do not have to be scared. On the contrary: have courage!
Tat Twam Asi - you are the immortal self. And whenever you discover a fear in yourself, you know: Aha, there is an attachment, there is an identification. Free yourself from the attachments and realize: ´ Aham Brahmasmi - I am the infinite Brahman. ´
All happiness is in you - Anandoham
You don't have to run back and forth to be happy. Get rid of the obsession that you need this and that, and that you still have to have this and that. And stop complaining that someone hasn't treated you kindly enough, for example. This is nonsensical. Happiness is not found in objects, it is not found in individuals, happiness cannot be found in treatment by others. Happiness cannot be found in what you do either. Anandoham - I am happiness, I am bliss. Feel that, experience that and make yourself aware of it again and again. And also make yourself aware: Even small happiness is a reflection of your deep happiness in small events.
You can enjoy being with other people and see in it: Brahman lights up. You can especially love individual people: Brahman lights up. You can make wishes come true and be happy: Brahman lights up. You can learn to be focused on what you are doing: joy lights up. You don't need anything, but you can enjoy little joys. But in truth, the greatest joy is the experience of your highest self. Sat Chid Ananda, you are gradually getting there.
All strength is in you
You don't need anything on the outside. You are not missing anything. Nothing can be taken from you and you cannot be mistreated. You cannot be treated unfairly. Everything is in you. Sat Chid Ananda Svarupoham - my true nature is being, knowledge and bliss.And in this being everything is there: all the happiness in this world, all the energy in the world, all the knowledge in the world, everything is in you.
Make yourself aware of this and draw strength from it. And that from the consciousness `Sat Chid Ananda Svarupoham´. Infinite energy can flow through you, flow through you and do a lot.
Stop thinking 'I'm little, nobody likes me, I can't do this, I can't do that,' etc. You are the infinite self with all abilities and all powers. Even if in a relative sense it is not necessary to implement all skills and powers. It doesn't matter. But everything is in you. You can also enjoy the powers of others, because you are the immortal self and with that you logically enjoy yourself through the powers of everyone and everything. You can admire others because you, as the highest self, manifest yourself in each one. Aham Brahmasmi.
You are surrounded by Brahman and everything is Brahman. Brahma Satyam. Feel the divine presence again and again. You don't have to wait for meditation to experience Brahman either. You can always pause for a moment and go into silence for a moment and experience Brahman. And even in the sound you can expand your awareness and experience Brahman everywhere. And when you expand your consciousness to a person, then Brahman can also be experienced. When you turn your consciousness inward, there is Brahman too. Consciousness everywhere - Brahman.
When you stop seeing boundaries, when you stop going into the past and present, when you stop being in the here and now, there is Brahman too. There is only Brahman, so Brahman can be experienced everywhere.
The world is an illusion
The world is an illusion and as a world separate from Brahman. The world is really as Brahman. The world is also a play, LilaGottes, a dream of God. Play the game along, but don't worry so much. And even if you have worries and emotions and anger, etc., that's part of the game. Just like a theater actor plays the game in a kind of improvisational theater, but know that I am not the actor, I am not the role, but the one who plays the role, so be aware of this on a relative level - body, psyche, etc. - are all roles and costumes. You are the immortal self. Play your role, enjoy it, maybe emotionally too. But don't identify yourself.
The self of all beings is one
There is only one Infinite Reality that manifests in everyone. Don't just think of yourself and your needs, in terms of the needs of body and mind. A necessary consequence of the Vedanta is also unselfish service. If you know you are the immortal self, manifesting in everyone, then you should care about the bodies of others as much as you care about your own body.
If you are the immortal self in everything, you should care for the well-being of your own psyche as much as you should care for the well-being of the psyche of others. But of course, just as you know that your body can never be 100% okay, you also know, even if you help others physically: They will never be 100% okay either. And just as you cannot get your psyche to feel good over the long term, you cannot make others feel good over the long term either. Practice unselfish service, but also see that everything has its limits.
The highest altruistic service would be to teach others: Tat Twam Asi. But of course this only works with people who are actually ready for it. And when people are ready, teaching yoga, meditation, Vedanta is the greatest thing you can do. If you are interested in teaching people more on this level, then maybe go to a yoga center and become a co-worker at a Yoga Vidya Ashram.
Free yourself from attachments and focus your life on the highest. Otherwise, it is important to live everyday life: love your neighbor as yourself, because he is your self. Live from this spirit and put it into practice, then you will learn more and more: Aham Brahmasmi - I am Brahman. Ayam Atma Brahman - this self is Brahman. Sat Chid Ananda Svarupoham - my true nature is being, knowledge and bliss. Brahma Satyam - there is only Brahman.
Practical tips to deepen Vedanta
Here are a few more tips on how you can continue to practice and deepen Vedanta in the future:
On the one hand, you can of course start these 20 lessons all over again. You can also go through the various Vedanta meditation techniques again. You can put it into practice, also based on what I just said. If you need further input, you can of course also find it on the Yoga Vidya website. There are, for example, the 68 verses of Atma Bodha from Shankaracharya about "awakening to self" - one of the most important Vedanta texts. From this you can listen to a 5-8 minute program every day and get further inspiration.
The texts on Atma Bodha can be found in the Yoga Vidya Scriptures blog or enter on our website: "Atma Bodha video lecture" and follow the instructions for the corresponding blog. Another possibility is to enter this term in a search engine and you will also find all these lectures there.
Viveka Chudamani, the jewel, Chudamani of discernment, Viveka is another possibility for further information on Vedanta, because this is one of the most significant works on Vedanta. There is another series of lectures about this and this link gives you an initial overview of Viveka Chudamani.
If you watch one of these 550 short videos every day, you will have new inspiration every day for about 1.5 years.
There is also a series of lectures on the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutra, Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Bhakti Sutra.
If you have not yet completed a Yoga Vidya yoga teacher training course, then I can only recommend it. There you will get to know many of these concepts in an even more practical and realistic way. You can also learn asana, pranayama, meditation, kirtan, arati and other things and find out how you can implement and integrate these into your everyday life.
If you already have this Yoga Vidya yoga teacher training or a comparable yoga teacher training, which also included the topics Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, etc., then you can also take part in one of the Vedanta training courses. At Yoga Vidya there is the concept of 9-day training courses as intensive training courses. We have quite a few of these in the field of Jnana Yoga and Vedanta.
All training courses marked with an "A" or "F" in front of the seminar title are Vedanta training courses. So we have the 9-day advanced training “Intensive A1 - Jnana Yoga and Vedanta”. From this training, this course comprising 20 course units is roughly the summarized content of this training. Further training opportunities related to Vedanta and Jnana Yoga are, for example:
Simply enter the appropriate title on our website and you will receive more information.
So you can easily go through all the important Vedanta texts and there is also something special to immerse yourself in this world of thought for 9 days at a time and to reflect on it and to meditate on it in this special setting.
Of course there are also so-called silent retreats at Yoga Vidya and most of the silent retreats are geared towards Vedanta. If you are away from everyday life or away from the constant thinking about everyday life, then you can get much deeper into Vedanta, and so can also 2-day, 5-day, 7-day, 9-day spiritual silence. and meditation retreats will give you a deep experience in Vedanta.
In addition, we also have simple, so-called open seminars in which everyone can participate, even without any special prior knowledge. In the future there will also be a Vedanta teacher training course, where you can learn how to systematically pass on what I have taught.
And I would also like to go into a few books. In the following you will find an overview of books on the subject of Vedanta and Jnana Yoga.
Book Overview - Vedanta and Jnana Yoga
Very condensed, everything there is to know about Vedanta in a nutshell. Everything that I have dealt with in more detail in these 20 course units can be found in short form in this little work.
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