James Swartz Interviews, Review & Critique on Vedanta and Non-Duality

By Andre V | October 8, 2018

This is a collection of various James Swartz interviews (Q & A) on topic of practical use and correct method of Vedānta – as means to mokṣa (Liberation) – through proper self-enquiry. James Swartz is an author of “How to Attain Enlightenment: The Vision of Nonduality“. He worked tirelessly teaching traditional Vedānta for 40 years…

Why a Wise Person Won’t Argue Against an Ignorant Person

By Andre V | October 1, 2018

What a wise person (Jñāni) knows directly – can be summarized in below Ādi Śaṅkarācārya’s words. Which is why there is NO GAIN for a jñāni to argue or defend themselves – when challenged by criticism of an ignorant Jīva (person who identifies “I” with Body-Mind complex): brahma satyaṁ jagan-mithyā jivo brahmaiva nāparaḥ anena vedyaṁ…

‘I’ – The Subtlest of the Subtlest

By Andre V | August 30, 2018

Bhagavad-Gītā says that we have five sense organs of knowledge (seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting); these are very subtle. Example: Organ of seeing is a lot more subtle then the physical instrument of seeing; eye. More subtle than the sense organ is the Mind. Subtler than the mind is the Intelligence. Subtler than these is…

Moving from Jīva-Sṛṣti (Vision of Samsari) to Īśvara-Sṛṣti (Vision of Wise Person)

By Andre V | August 15, 2018

Persons false notion about reality is called “Jīva-Sṛṣti”. It is seeing what is NOT. It is subjective notions born of Ignorance. It is misapprehension/projection onto Īśvara (God). It is cause of adharmic (sinful) actions and ahimsā (entertaining thoughts of injury towards one own self or another being). It is also cause for years spent pursuing…

Keyswap – Tool for Quickly Typing Sanskrit Transliteration Diacritics (ā, ī, ṁ, ñ, ṝ, Ś, ḥ, etc)

By Andre V | August 9, 2018

Keyswap is a Windows language transliteration application which was created during my years of Sanskrit study – for naturally typing letters with diacritics – by simply pressing “=” after the corresponding letter. Traditional ITRANS format is unacceptable for serious scholars. Example: ITRANS: bRhadAraNyaka upaniShad  😯 Diacritic marks by Keyswap: bṛhadāraṇyaka upaniṣad  😀 It can be used…

When Fruit of ‘I am Brahman’ is Denied (viparīta-bhāvanā)

By Andre V | August 4, 2018

A common question by a person with Self-Knowledge: “Having done Śravaṇa and Manana, I am very clear I am Brahman. But in my behavior I do not find myself, ‘I am Brahman’. Why?“ Answer: You may have to deal with another problem – that of “viparīta-bhāvanā“. It’s caused by your memories. There is another parallel…

Shankaracharya’s Song to Fool Caught in Samsara (Bhaja Govindaṃ)

By Andre V | July 29, 2018

Bhaja Govindaṃ was written by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya. Bhaja govindaṃ is one of the minor compositions of the spiritual giant, Ādi Shankarācharya. It is classified as a prakaraṇa grantha, a primer to the major works. Though sung as a bhajan, it contains the essence of Vedānta and implores the man to think, “Why am I…

Advaita Vedanta in a Nutshell (Aparokshanubhuti by Adi Sankara)

By Andre V | July 15, 2018

Our ancient teachers have left behind a treasury of useful and convenient means of understanding Vedānta, the science of life, contained in the prasthana traya. Mainly in the Bhagavad Gīṭa, the Upaniṣads and the Brahma Sutras. One such stream of teaching is through their works called prakiriya granthas. A Prakarana Grantha is a User’s Manual or a Guide Book…

7 Stages of Enlightenment (Panchadasi by Swami Vidyaranya)

By Andre V | June 29, 2018

(Following excerpts are from book Inquiry to Existence by James Swartz, chapter 7. Whole text is actually from Panchadasi by Swami Vidyaranya. James provided some commentaries for legibility. We will go through these stages in detail in class.) Seven stages can be distinguished with respect to the realization of the Self: ignorance, veiling, projection, indirect…

Purpose of Studying the Scriptures (Śruti)

By Andre V | June 20, 2018

Śruti (Scriptures), the Vedas is the only means of knowledge to understand nondual Brahman – I am the limitless reality I seek. Above statement doesn’t exclude Scriptures from other world’s Religions. For sake of this article, we’ll focus on Vedas. Science is primarily based on three other means of knowledge – perception, inference and two…