Separation – Br. Shankara

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

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SeparationThis month we’ve been studying the yoga of action – Karma Yoga. Next month we’ll take up Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation. Our last talk for October focuses on how these yogas can co-operate like the gears of two finely-designed machines. Together, they transfer the power of spiritual practice to your nervous system, to your muscles and sinews, and thereby transform the way you see and behave in the world of action and experience.

Today, you and I probably live as if we are pretty much what we appear to be: a body, which is host to a mind that is governed by our intellect and emotions.

However, India’s scriptures tell us something very different about ourselves:

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad a sage says, Aham Brahmasmi (“I am Brahman,” the Godhead).

The Chandogya Upanishad adds, Tat tvam asi —“You (also) are That” (Godhead).

These ancient mahāvākyas (“Great Sayings”) insist that, in fact, you and I are the Divine Being itself.

More recently, our teachers have put it this way:

“Each soul is potentially divine.” — Swami Vivekananda

“Your chosen (spiritual) ideal is you yourself, no different. Learn to feel that living presence.” — Swami Prabhavananda

“I do not exist, He exists” — Swami Sridharananda

Yet, due to a persistent illusion (maya), you and I live far apart from the truth of ourselves. This separation between the reality of our being and our way of life is the root cause of our anxiety and suffering. In this talk, we explore together how Karma Yoga and Raja Yoga can, slowly but surely, dissolve that sense of separation.