Bhakti - The Heart of Wisdom
Challenged by life situations the heart longs for comfort and completeness.
As we look for love in people and possessions, the weary heart collapses in the heap of unanswered questions –
Is unconditional love possible? Will I ever be loved deeply?
What/whom can I anchor myself on, when everything around me is uncertain and insecure?
How can I overcome my fears?
Some people reply – ‘Become a devotee.’
Further doubts emerge – What does bhakti, love for Bhagavan really mean?
What are the expressions of bhakti?
Since Advaita, Non-duality is one without a second and Bhakti is jiva’s love for Bhagavan which rests on duality, can Advaita and Bhakti go together?
After an elaborate teaching of Vedanta, Shvetashavatara Upanishad concludes with the following mantra
यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः
Only those great ones who have intense devotion to the Lord and equal devotion to the Guru
will fully know the teachings of Vedanta.
In the Vedanta tradition, wisdom is not possible without love for Bhagavan.
Love for Bhagavan is not possible without wisdom of Bhagavan.
And hence this five month course –
Bhakti – the Heart of wisdom
10th Jan – 30 th May 2023
(Every Tuesday 6.30-7.30 pm IST)
Course content –
Our lives are the material which the sessions will light up.
The approach will be to look at our life in the light of the Narada Bhakti Sutras.
We find love, connection and emotional mastery through being a devotee.
Text – Narada Bhakti Sutras holds us as we fumble in our shaky steps of devotion and leads us to firm and supreme love. Rishi Narada defines bhakti, explains the nature of surrender and teaches us how to practice bhakti.
Through the different exemplars of divine love, he shows us to look through a devotee’s eyes and feel through a devotee’s heart. This will be supplemented by some select stories of the Bhagavatam.
Love is the dynamic expression of Ananda, fullness
– Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
Love and Happiness go hand in hand. When we are loving we are happy.
When we are happy we are loving and lovable.
You will –
Experience more love and connectedness with self and others
Gain more calm, objectivity and emotional mastery
Deepen your relationship with Bhagavan
Learn more about bhakti and bhaktas.
Enquire into the nature of the bhakta, devotee.
The class includes chanting of the Sanskrit verses which is repeated by the students. The word meaning of the verses along with the relevance of the verse in everyday life with contemporary examples are shared.
2. Meditation – Students will be introduced to different types of meditation.
3. Homework assignments pertaining to situations in life will be given from time to time and discussed at the end of the class in small groups.
4. One-one session with teacher once in three months in person or on Zoom/skype or a phone conversation.(initiated by student when required)
5. Disciplines/certain practices suitable to the student will be given in class or one-one online. Students will be encouraged to visit atleast 3 temples of their choice and asked to write about it.
6. Participation in Arsha Vidya Ananda Sangha, a private online community for support to each other and to address questions
Internet connection: Joining live class is simple. All classes are held on Zoom. You can join with one click from a mobile device or a computer. You’ll need an internet connection to join live or watch/listen later. You will be provided the class link which will be valid for ALL classes. Just as in traditional teaching, the teacher needs to see the student and hence students are expected to keep their videos on for the class.
It is recommended that you watch all classes live. In the rare occasion that you miss, you can access the video recordings. All classes will be video recorded. The video classes will be uploaded in the next 48 hours. You can access the video classes in the course section of the website with your login details.
Please purchase Narada Bhakti Sutras – Swami Tyagisananda or Swami Bhuteshananda. (Advaita Ashrama publication). If you prefer a soft copy, please tick that option in the registration form.
No problem at all. If any Sanskrit word is used it will be explained in English.
A minimum of two hours a week, one hour to attend and the other to go over your notes and do the prescribed sadhana-s .
(Some perspective – When you really look at it, the sessions totally are only for 20 hours, 1 hour on 20 days across five months. If your spiritual growth is a priority it will get seamlessly integrated into your weekly schedule)
You know you are ready if –
1 – Spiritual growth and commitment is important enough that you are are willing to invest in your self mastery and self discovery, approximately 2 hours a week.
2 – You have tried many things in spirituality and are keen to try Vedanta.
3 – You can relate to the teacher, Swamini and feel free to ask questions.
4 – You have been studying Vedanta for some time and want to work on your adhikaritvam.
If you do not tick any of the above, it is better to wait a bit and join a course at a more favorable time in your life.
The teachings are priceless and cannot be charged. However, in the Vedic tradition, the students are expected to offer a guru dakshina (respectful contribution).
A good estimate is the nominal cost of an ongoing yoga or music or dance class.
3 options are presented for suggested contribution:
Option 1 : Rs 501 per month/ Rs 2201 for all five months
Option 2: Rs 1001 per month/ Rs 5001 for all five months
Option 3 : Any other amount
For overseas contributions, paypal or Wise can be used.
Details will be provided after your form is accepted.
Those who cannot afford to contribute can contribute in kind through transcription effort or seva (voluntary work) in their place of residence and provide some related documentation. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click on Register now which takes you to a form
- Fill up the Google form and submit
- After Swaminiji reviews the form, you will receive an email from email@example.com in 72 hours. Please save the ID for it to land in your inbox. Also check your spam and promotion folders in case you do not receive it. If there are any problems please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The email will include the contribution information.
- After you make the contribution you will receive the Zoom link to join the course.
- See you in the course!