Tattvabodha – Part 16

Part 16 of the commentary by Dr. VIshnu Bapat on Shankara’s Tattvabodha.This is a key work which introduces all of the key concepts of Advaita in a systematic manner.

The commentary is based upon those by several other authors, together with the audio lectures of Swami Paramarthananda. It includes word-by-word breakdown of the Sanskrit shloka-s so should be of interest to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced students.

Part 16 looks at the ‘definition’ of Atman as sat-chit-ananda – existence-consciousness-bliss and concludes the section on Atma vichAra.

There is a hyperlinked Contents List, which is updated as each new part is published.

Q. 363 – Divine Grace

Q: Over the past eight years I have developed a personal relationship with a God of my understanding – or should I say with a God of my non understanding and I know that the term God is loaded and perhaps not word enough. I love God and naturally want to be with God.

 I have some experience of Hinduism and spent time studying Buddhism, I even spent time living at a Buddhist center while going about my ordinary business of work, life and family. I couldn’t continue with Buddhism even though they were wonderful people because in my heart I knew it was not the right path for me and I felt conflicted. I returned to my love of Hindu practices because it felt more right for me and over the past two years I have tried to find my way. I have deepened my understanding through reading books, internet teachings on you tube and meditation. 

 More recently I have ventured upon Advaita Vedanta and it feels right for me. However, I have no teacher and no one to ask when I have questions.  Sometimes it all gets a bit too non dual for me and I feel disconnected from the love part with all the philosophy and intellectual explanations.  I experienced the grace of God eight years ago when I was in a desperate plight and Divine Grace is an absolute for me. What I want to know is how does Grace happen, is it Brahman or Divine consciousnesses. Thank you for any time and consideration you might give to answer my question. Continue reading

Q. 352 – sexual desire and happiness

Q: I have read the book ‘How to Meet Yourself’. I understand I think about desire; that it is a searching for a return to our natural state of happiness. I understand that we are already that, but when around women or just bored I start moving toward pornography to get relief from the desire. How exactly can I just access this happiness? Do I not take the desire seriously and not look at women, or do I need a more practical way to cope and not go down this spiritual route so to speak?

Answers are provided by: Ramesam, Sitara, Ted, Martin and Dennis. Continue reading

Ānanda – our Svarūpam

When I went to a school, I asked the Children what are they in the school for? Someone said “to study”. I asked “Study for what?” “So that we can pass the examination with good marks” pat came the reply. “Why should you score good marks in the exams?” “So that we can get a good job?” “Why do we need a good job?” “So that we can earn a lot.” “Why do we need to earn a lot?” “So that we can buy things that we want.” “Why do we need to buy things that we want?” “So that I can be happy.”

What if you are Happiness here and now? What if Happiness is your Svarūpam? Please pause to think about the profundity of this possibility…..

Svarūpam, the word means one’s intrinsic nature. Like even heat and light are the intrinsic nature of fire.

Ānanda – it is a nuetral state; it is neither Happiness nor Sadness. It is neither bliss, for ignorance can be bliss. Ānanda is a state of equilibrium when one is at peace with oneself and the world.

We can logically arrive at Ānanda as our Svarūpam. How? Let’s analyze.

Continue reading