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June 12, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
If you're unfamiliar with Advaita Vedanta, it's purpose and how it can help one solve the eternal problem of ignorance preventing immediate recognition of one's real unchanging nature, please read an introduction here.
That's the symbolism of the picture seen. One believes one needs to get somewhere or experience something (implying future point in time), through some path. When in truth you are ALREADY – and can never NOT be whole, complete, eternal, limitless.
However one's life experience contradicts above statement, and says “I know that intellectually and heard it before many times, but I still feel and experience myself as small, mortal and limited”. Another notion is thinking one can get “there” by doing some special technique in the present.
But the fundamental problem is the “I” by which entire life is recognized (eg: I meditate, I learn, I experience, I doubt, I __), doesn't know who or what it is. Hence no matter what is done or experienced – it's resting on an unresolved foundation of this “I”. Even to disagree or agree with this statement, you'll say “I __”.
As a result, the limitation (lack of freedom caused by ignorance; avidyā) that one experiences is proven in own behavior in form of non-stop seeking and improving (materialistically or spiritually), in hopes to remove the sense of limitation which you somehow inherently know – DOES NOT belong to you.
What's more, it seems every-time you get “there” through some spiritual experience/knowledge, you're convinced it's the final “there”. And from NOW on it'll be the permanent new “HERE”. But eventually you notice the intensity subsides. Why? Because what begins in time, ends in time. Thus seeker continues looking for another new “there” today. Endlessly chasing permanent fulfillment.
Therefore purpose of Advaita Vedanta is to solve this apparent contradiction and dilemma which every human being experiences – whether acknowledged or temporarily alleviated by means of worldly entertainment, “transcendental states of consciousness”, substances, knowledge acquisition, special types of yoga-meditation, etc.
As long as ‘I' remains unresolved, saṁsāra continues.
So what is Vedanta?…
Vedanta is the source wherefrom guru's in all times with direct and true “vision” of Oneness – borrow teachings and examples to help sincere aspirants seeking Absolute/Final Truth (that which can't be negated). We're not speaking of Relative, which can be negated by another point of view or school of thought.
Teachers job of traditional Vedanta is to help align aspirant's understanding to “what-is” by removing false notions of separateness (MANY are seen, when in fact there is only ONE) – as revealed in Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutras, and other.
In fact, there is no teaching of Absolute Truth outside the knowledge revealed in Vedantic texts. Thus it's not a Religion, way of life, nor a philosophy – but a direct revelation of Existence (which doesn't exclude you) AS IT IS.
Purpose of weekly classes of this Intensive Course – is to remove student's false sense of limitation (avidyā: ignorance and vikṣepa: projection) – seeing oneself as small, separate, imperfect, incomplete and mortal. Which is responsible for not knowing “Who/what I am” – and a life of general dissatisfaction.
This conclusion is what causes one to endlessly seek for permanent happiness through endless means – in material and spiritual world. Yet failing to recognize what BEGINS in time, ENDS in time.
Thus yesterday's happiness/epiphany/insight – is today's new-normal. Which then becomes another target for improvement tomorrow. This cycle of constant improvement and modifying one's experience is saṁsāra.
As a result – one endlessly seeks in hopes to “arrive” to satisfaction which is permanent, UNCHANGING and limitless. Meaning satisfaction-happiness which can NOT be increased or decreased because it is already whole, full, complete, LIMITLESS. (Obviously we're not talking about feeling/emotion – because that depends on CHANGING body-mind).
Vedanta is the solution to this endless seeking dilemma – which was present at beginingless beginning of man-woman creation… as it is today.
This is done by careful and systematic unfoldement of the highest non-dual knowledge (bramavidyā) from Upaniṣads & Bhagavad Gītā – by a competent teacher (guru; remover of ignorance), well versed in Vedic texts – and who understands the WHOLE.
Process of listening and self-inquiring on the teachings gradually reveals oneself as the unchanging, ever-present Self (Ātman: that which is whole, full, complete, LIMITLESS).
Although there are qualifications. Because Vedanta (means of Self-Knowledge) only works on an individual who have sufficiently matured in life(times). (Just like voting has an age limit because an individual too young/inexperienced – is still in process of maturity to comprehend the social, economic system.)
Such individual qualifies for the final stage of life, Total Freedom – being the highest accomplishment/purpose of human life.
The qualified person has recognized the impermanence of chasing worldly objects (Material and Spiritual; like attempting to experience high states of Consciousness). And notices that nothing works to solve the problem of establishing PERMANENT satisfaction – with self, world, God, known, unknown, everything and nothing.
In fact if something did work so far, one would've found the solution a long time ago – and stopped seeking or asking for subtle validation if they “got it”. Because no human being is interested in partial fulfillment over complete, total fulfillment.
But fact is, solution hasn't been found yet. Thus the trait of a qualified student primed for Vedānta (original essence of all non-dual wisdom) – is one who courageously acknowledges an undeniable conclusion “I can't figure this out on my own!”
Henceforth, a qualified expounder eventually crosses path with such an aspirant to help you solve the fundamental problem of shifting the “I” from the mortal, changing, limited body-mind… to the unchanging, limitless Existence/Awareness (sat-chit-ānanda).
Aspirant who is truly qualified is no longer tempted, nor fooled by the endless opportunities of building, improving and increasing the quality-quantity of first 3 stages of life:
(1) Dharma: wisdom/morals/responsibilities. (2) Artha: wealth/security. (3) Kāma: enjoyment/pleasure/luxury.
Paradox is, if first 3 stages are out of balance (eg: one is exclusively passionate about woman, wealth, status) – then the final stage (Who is this “I”?) is unlikely. This is explained in class.
Therefore, a qualified student is one who's life is decently in order. Meaning, you are not running away from anything. But simultaneously your eyes and ears are obsessed with the last stage of life: mokṣa (Freedom, Liberation).
Enlightenmentis an inappropriate word, as there's no such word in Sanskrit nor the Vedas (source of Advaita Vedānta), and contains mixed connotations. What's more it was popularized in 19th century by German scholar of Indian studies, Max Müller. Thus we use this meaningless word to a minimum.
If this is YOU, then you likely qualify to attend our weekly Intensive Advaita Vedanta Course classes. Program is ongoing. New comers are welcome.
Qualifications to attend?
When you are motivated by a burning, unstoppable, uncontrollable desire for Liberation (mokṣa; cessation of suffering, freedom, permanent satisfaction).
Attendee comes with humility. Intellectual pride and your vast Spiritual experience is put away. HONESTY is all that's asked. 🙂
When repetitively exposed to this Self-Knowledge, the spiritual search/seeking ends permanently. Because the Absolute Truth is directly recognized as Self (your true Identity), not-separate from Existence.
Class teachings comprise of Bhagavad Gītā and various Upaniṣad texts.
Program is adapted/simplified for Western Mind (without excess Sanskrit usage as in Traditional Vedanta taught in India) – while essence of the teachings is STRICTLY preserved.
Already familiar with Vedanta?
New to this methodology?
If never been exposed to Vedanta methodology, must watch recordings 1-12 and 23 (because style/depth changes in later sessions). This is compulsory and may NOT attend class without this requirement. Because we already established advanced terminology. Also please contact to let me know your intent of attendance.
How is Vedanta different to other Philosophies:
Schedule & Cost:
Ongoing classes are free – as is standard in the tradition. Teacher has own job, loves it, and doesn't depend on teaching for financial support. No donations either please.
Address: 4 Rosalind Cres, Blackburn, Melbourne. (0 4 1 3 6 8 1 4 2 9. SMS only. No calling).
Come sharp everytime! Program lasts 2+ years.