Talk: What Deserves Your Attention? – Br. Shankara

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May 19, 2019

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Dream StateMay 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 (mukti). 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.

When we learn to see accurately, what will we see?

Swami Vivekananda said: “Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter. …

“Each (one of you) is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. …”

An infinite ocean of knowledge and power, and yet: Though you may start each day with clear priorities and a plan of action, often – by the end of that day – you can hardly say where the time went.

What happened? The short answer is you got distracted: In the moment, something else seemed more important than what you intended; or, an incident occurred that left you feeling angry, dejected, worn out. Either way, the day is gone and you’re not much closer to what you planned than you were in the morning.

Must this continue? Why are we so easily distracted, and why does what happens frustrate, confuse, even anger us? Here’s one explanation, from Swami Yogeshananda’s article, “A Closer Look Through the Looking-Glass”:

“In a lecture in which he clarifies the … doctrine of Maya, Swami Vivekananda says, ‘I may be dreaming all the time. I am dreaming that I am talking to you and that you are listening to me. No one can prove that it is not a dream. … We are walking in the midst of a dream, half-sleeping, half-waking, passing all our lives in a haze; this is the fate of every one of us… When we dream, the things we see all seem to be connected; during the dream we never think they are incongruous. It is only when we wake that we see the want of connection.

When we wake from this dream of the world and compare it with the Reality, it will be found all incongruous nonsense, a mass of incongruity passing before us, we do not know whence or whither, but we know it will end; and this is called Maya.’”

In Sunday’s talk we’ll look further into Swami Vivekananda’s definition of Maya, and discuss Adi Shankaracharya’s explanation of how we can wake from Maya’s spell.


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.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_button button_url=”https://vedantacenterofatlanta.org/audio-archive-of-past-talks/” button_text=”Talk Archive” button_alignment=”center” admin_label=”Button – Talk Archive” _builder_version=”3.16.1″ custom_button=”on” button_text_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.96)” button_bg_color=”#9f4204″ button_border_width=”4″ button_border_color=”#d59952″ button_letter_spacing=”1″ button_font=”|700|||||||” button_icon=”%%372%%” background_layout=”dark”][/et_pb_button][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_sidebar area=”sidebar-1″ _builder_version=”3.16.1″][/et_pb_sidebar][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]