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Arsha Bodha Center


 

Origin and Growth of Arsha Bodha Center

This presentation describes the origin and development of our beautiful little ashram in Somerset, New Jersey where Swami Tadatmananda teaches Vedanta, Bhagavad Gita, meditation, chanting, and Sanskrit, following traditional methods learned from his guru, Pujya Swami Dayananda.


 

Discovering the True Source of Happiness - Intro to Vedanta - part 1

The sages of ancient India discovered that atma - the inner divinity or conscious essence of each person - is the true source of happiness. Failing to recognize that inner source of happiness, one endlessly seeks lasting happiness in the world without success.


 

Atma: Sat Cit Ananda - Intro to Vedanta - part 2

Your essential nature is consciousness, unborn, uncreated, untouched by suffering, the true source of happiness. But this inner reality is hidden behind a veil of ignorance, and as a result, we identify ourselves as being male/female, young/old, healthy/ill, etc. when these attributes actually belong to the body, not the true self, atma.


 

Unchanging Consciousness - Intro to Vedanta - part 3

Perceptions, thoughts, and emotions arise in your mind as vrittis and become known to you, the eternal conscious being. To observe these changing vrittis, consciousness must necessarily be unchanging, and is therefore utterly unaffected by the vrittis it reveals -- like the sun is unaffected by all it shines upon.


 

Sakshi - The Awareful Witness - Intro to Vedanta - part 4

The consciousness that is your essential nature, atma, is the sakshi, awareful witness, of all mind's activities when you are awake, dreaming, or in deep dreamless sleep. In deep sleep, you remain conscious, but there's nothing to be conscious of. That consciousness is all-pervasive and is reflected or manifest differently by every mind as the divinity dwelling within.


 

Ishvara: Blind Faith vs Knowledge - Intro to Vedanta - part 5

Rather than relying on blind faith in scriptures, as Western religions do, Vedanta unfolds the existence and nature of Ishvara (God) through scriptural teachings that are extensively supported by the use of reason and rational discourse. Thus, Ishvara is shown to be the efficient cause (intelligent agent) for the universe, who possesses both the knowledge


 

Ishvara: The Fabric of Creation - Intro to Vedanta - part 6

Ishvara is not only the intelligent creator of the universe, but is also the very material out of which the universe is fashioned. The material for a spider's web comes from its body, but the spider remains separate from the web, unlike Ishvara who is non-separate from the universe like a dreamer is non-separate from his or her dream


 

Symbolism in the Bhagavad Gita

In the Gita, the Kurukshetra battlefield symbolically represents the battle between dharma and adharma. It also represents the inner battle between intellect and emotions, or between head and heart, which is further explained by the famous chariot metaphor.


 

Reincarnation: Who is that Travels?

Atma, the eternal consciousness which is your true nature, and soul - sukshma sharira - are often confused with each other. This presentation employs the traditional sun/bucket metaphor to make the difference between these two easily understood.


 

Doctrine of Karma - part 1: Drishta & Adrishta Phala

Every action produces two kinds of results, drishta phala - the immediately seen result, and adrishta phala - the result that fructifies at some later time, accounting for the "hidden variables" that affect the outcome of every action you perform.


 

Doctrine of Karma - part 2: Karma and Free Will

The outcome of every action is determined by two primary factors: effort born of free will and adrishta phala from deeds performed before. Though either free will or past karma can be dominant, you are never helpless because you can always choose how to respond in any situation, being endowed with free will.


 

Doctrine of Karma - part 3: Sanchita, Prarabdha & Kriyamana Karma

Reincarnation is explained in this way: Your present life has been brought about by a portion (prarabdha karma) of the infinite accumulation of past karma (sanchita karma) accrued over an infinite number of prior lives.


 

Consciousness: Vedanta's teachings about your true nature

According to the teachings of Vedanta, your consciousness is utterly unaffected by all sources of suffering in life, like sunlight is unaffected by what it illumines. By discovering this truth, which was first taught by the sages of ancient India, one can become completely free from suffering and enjoy the state of liberation -- moksha.


 

The Vastness of Consciousness -- Vedantic teachings for liberation

According to the rishis - the sages of ancient India - the consciousness which is your true nature is not limited by your body and mind; it pervades the universe. This video explores the nature of consciousness and experience, drawing upon the teachings of advaita Vedanta.


 

Satyagraha: Opera in Sanskrit about Mahatma Gandhi by Philip Glass

This presentation is about the unique opera composed by Philip Glass based on Mahatma Gandhi's struggle for social justice in South Africa. Its libretto consists entirely of Sanskrit verses from the Bhagavad Gita which are shown in subtitles. The opera explores Gandhi's role in fighting injustice and compares him to Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita who had been reincarnated for the sake of restoring dharma -- justice or righteousness.

 

Arsha Bodha Center 2008
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