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Tattvabodha by Adi Shankaracharya (8 C.E.)
Tattvabodha literally means 'Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth'. It is a complete and in-depth introduction to the basic tenets of Nondual (Advaita) Vedanta. This is a fundamental text for those desirous of moksha (freedom from the sense of limitation centered on the egoic ‘I’) through the path of Jnana Yoga. Its value is to present succinct definitions of some key terms in Advaita Vedanta. Italsoun folds the 4-fold classical disciplines (Sadhana Chatushtaya) that converts an average student into a qualified seeker of Self-knowledge. This small, but all-encompassing Prakarana Grantha (introductory text) of Nondual Vedanta has been written by our lineage ancestor Sri Adi Shankaracharya. He is regarded in India as the Avatar of Lord Shiva himself, an embodiment of the timeless and immortal vision of the Vedas.
Study Suggestion: New seekers can embark on the verse-by-verse study of this text with Acharya Shunya suggests watching one video per week in chronological order.
This series was recorded over a period of two years.
Series Start Date: September 4, 2014 • Series End Date: July 21, 2016
Text: Tattvabodha by Adi Shankaracharya with Commentary by Swami Tejomayananda, Chinmaya Mission
Sadhana Panchakam by Adi Shankaracharya (8 C.E.)
Sadhana Panchakam is a short introductory text of Nondual Vedanta consisting of only five verses composed by Adi Shankaracharya. In Sadhana Panchakam (Sadhana – means/practice, Panchakam – set of five verses), Shankara provides 40 steps as a means/practice to achieve the end goal of Moksha (spiritual freedom). In these five verses, Shankara unfolds the entire teaching of Advaita Vedantathrough the progressive paths of Karma Yoga and Upasana yoga and ending in Jnana Yoga. There are five verses in Sadhana Panchakam, with each verse having four lines and two steps in each line, making it 40 steps altogether. Each stanza is like a step in a ladder taking us progressively towards the goal of Moksha. In these five verses and masterful discourses by Acharya Shunya, sincere spiritual students (Sadasyas) are prompted to think about the essentials of life: values, concentration, devotion, the need for positive company and the attainment of complete happiness. Study of this scripture is absolutely necessary for all sincere aspirants of spiritual growth. This text is especially helpful if the seeker is confused between conflicting duties as a householder and as a spiritual student.
Series Start Date: July 28, 2016 • Series End Date: September 15, 2016
The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as simply the Gita, is a 700 verse scripture in Sanskrit that is part of the Hinduepic Mahabharata (chapters 23-40 of the 6th book of Mahabharata). The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer, who is considered none other than Supreme Reality incarnated as Lord Krishna. The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of the concept of Dharma, Moksha and theistic bhakti, through Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, and Raja Yogas.
The Bhagavad Gita is considered by eastern and western scholars alike to be among the greatest spiritual books the world has ever known. This is because the Gita reveals the eternal principles of the Soul, which are fundamental and essential for spiritual life from all perspectives and allows one to perfectly understand the esoteric truths hidden behind “existence” consisting of “individual, world and God”. The knowledge is universal and the wisdom that is shared, perennial. Many great thinkers, such as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweizer, as well as Eckhart Tolle in our current time have all appreciated its timeless message. Traditionally in India, ThenBhagavad Gita is taught in the traditional Advaita Vedanta based lineage schools, as it is one of the three canonical texts (prasthana trayi) – however, it is not taught verse-by-verse by modern scholars of non-dual Vedanta. This in-depth study is therefore a rare opportunity available to all new Sadasyas.
Series Start Date: August 23, 2017
Suggested Text: The Bhagavad Gita, S.Radhakrishnan, Harper Element publishers, 2014