Talk: Seven Sayings of Swami Prabhavananda – Br. Shankara

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June 2, 2019

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Swami Prabhavananda
Swami Prabhavananda

June is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. A bhakti yogi (bhakta) establishes a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. As a bhakta, you practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.” All your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your prayer is for self-surrender and, ultimately, union with your Belovèd.

Swami Prabhavananda headed the Vedanta Society of Southern California (VSSC) from 1931 until his death on July 4, 1976. He had many disciples to whom he gave private instruction. Some of these teachings came to the attention of Edith Tipple (Nalini), a devotee working on the VSSC’s Archives Project.

A skilled writer-editor, Nalini selected seven of the swami’s instructions to publish, by themselves, on the last page of her book, “Realizing God.” Those notes will be the subject of Sunday morning’s talk:

  1. So long as we feel we can do it, so long God remains hidden.
  2. As you proceed further, you will say, I don’t understand anything — until the darkness goes away and there is the light of Brahman.
  3. I know it’s hard to hear but, as I have repeated many times over the years, there is absolutely no one who is your own but the Lord.
  4. People have a right to their pain and suffering. Don’t try to remove it. Sustain and comfort.
  5. The secret of meditation is fourfold: 1) The chosen ideal is you, yourself, no different; learn to feel that living presence. 2) Patience. 3) Perseverance, and 4) expectation.
  6. If each one of us would see ourselves as the Atman, the true Self, and look at the things of the world objectively, everything would pass by, and be all right.
  7. At the moment we become completely free from cravings and we are overpowered by the one desire for God, that very moment God becomes revealed to us.

In this talk we explore and discuss these 20 lines of instruction, from the perspective of Bhakti Yoga.


Note: There is silent meditation in the Chapel from 10:30-11am, before each Sunday’s talk. After the talk, devotees and friends meet in the Monastery from noon to 1:30pm, for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship. Spiritual talks and classes are open to the public and free of charge.

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