Setting Aside the Mirror – Br. Shankara

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Feb. 23, 2020
Sunday Talk: Setting Aside the Mirror
with Br. Shankara

February is a month for study of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta). As a jnana yogi, you practice discrimination, reason, detachment, and satyagraha (insistence on Truth).

The goal is freedom from limitation (moksha). Our teachers say that all miseries in life are caused by seeing inaccurately. An earnest and persistent jnani may break through this misapprehension (maya) and see only the Divine Presence everywhere, in everything and everyone.

That’s the frame of reference for next Sunday morning’s conversation. Yet, why would you want to hear that talk? Perhaps because, like John Lennon in the song you wil hear, you are questioning, exploring who you are and what you are doing — alive in this world of apparent duality — joy and pain, and all the other experiences offered by Universe.

Perhaps you come here for some explanation, some answers to your questions, a few insights.

Well, here’s a reassuring explanation from Swami Vivekananda: Like everything else in Universe, you are evolving. You began as a disequilibrium, the most subtle and elementary vibration in the fabric of Absolute Reality. Over aeons, you took the subtlest of form and this gave rise to Active Intelligence and a sense of Identity — “I-ness.”

Still far, far, from human birth, your Intelligence formed a Cosmic Mind, which began to name the forms spontaneously appearing in Creative Universe. And finally, ages later, our Solar System and the Earth was born. Some 2 billion years later, single-celled creatures came to life, each one, Vivekananda said, containing the blueprint for evolution to humanity — to you sitting in our Chapel on Sunday morning. And so on and on, forward to superconsciousness and reunion with your source, the Perfect Equilibrium of Brahman. You, and each of us, is part way “there” — who knows how far or where this incredible adventure of human life will lead us.