Sunday, December 3, 2017

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TatvamasiDecember is a month for study of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta). A jnana yogi practices discrimination, reason, detachment, and satyagraha (insistence on Truth). The goal is freedom from limitation (mukti). Our teachers say that all miseries in life are caused by seeing inaccurately. As a jnana yogi, you may break through this delusion and see only the Divine Presence everywhere, in everything and everyone.

Over time, a jnana yogi systematically sets aside the mirror that reflects everyday reality onto his or her consciousness. In the words of the Sage Vasistha, a jnani “annihilates” the mind. In its place, a jnani deliberately and persistently focuses on scriptural truths, such as: Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma, meaning All this is verily Brahman (Chandogya Upanisad, 3.14.1), and Tat tvam asi —That thou art. (Chandogya Upanisad, 6.8.7).

This is a demanding transformation — as we’ll see, it requires a complete change in the form of the mind. Some teachers of the jnana path offer their students this technique — shravana, manana and nididhyasana — listening or reading; contemplation and assimilation; and meditation. In this talk we explore and discuss how, as a jnani, you can use this method to achieve Self-realization.