Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:01 am

Hari Om from Flint!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Around 4 months ago, we explored the eternal niyamas (active commitments or do's) of the eternal Yoga Sutras of the eternal Patanjali. Now, we complete this exploration by embracing the eternal yamas (passive commitments or don'ts) from the same Scripture, Master, E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 11, 2011) --- Passive Commitments

* Ahimsa (non-harming) is the practice of not violating any entity, from objects to ourselves, in any form, from financial to mental - ahimsa should not be limited to non-hurting for often we need to cause hurt to help (i.e. canceling a credit card, cleaning a wound, correcting a thesis, etc.)
* Satya (non-lying) is the practice of not misinterpreting an object, being or situation with the colour of one's ego - tuning into an entity, we are enabled to be honest and naturally this begins with oneself
* Asteya (non-stealing) is the practice of not claiming ownership where ownership is already known - where appreciation is, especially of other's efforts, asteya cannot be
* Brahmacharya (non-wasting) is the practice of not weakening oneself in the pursuit of pleasures (i.e. dependency on the senses) - to engage in the pursuit of Peace we need unparalleled physical, emotional and intellectual stamina and losing oneself in the mundane is a total, toxic, tragic waste
* Aparigraha (non-collecting) is the practice of not having what is not needed - initially this may be a harsh message, yet if we sincerely reflect on the billions who do not even have what they need, we will come to realize that aparigraha makes our lives simpler and the lives of the needy liveable
* When we invoke Self Knowledge, self ignorance is dissolved, Oneness prevails and duality becomes impotent - then one does not practice yamas, rather these become the fabric of one

The single-most transformative experience of my life has been The Vedanta Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya. Living as a monk for 2 1/4 years united me with the Scriptures, Guru, Knowledge...Peace. Upon returning to North America i naturally wanted to share the same. And in April of 2008 i aspired to do so by initiating a Discussion Group in Buffalo, New York and Mississauga, Ontario. This week will mark the completion of 3 years of study for these Discussions and in the past we celebrated our 1 and 2 year Anniversaries by spreading the word. How? The Total Thoughts. The Total Thoughts is the learning shared by everyone participating in the Discussion. For whom? Everyone. The Total Thoughts recorded on our 1st and 2nd Anniversary Discussions were emailed to hundreds who in turned emailed hundreds and technology united us all in unimaginable ways. In April of 2009, our Mananam Mondays email was received by 1,223 people. In 2010, our Mananam Mondays email was received by 3,794 people. In 2011, let our Mananam Mondays email be received by over 6,000 people!

On Monday, April 18th our Mississauga Discussion will have a Special Satsanga. During the Satsanga everyone will verbally share their learning which i will then synthesize into an email. Next, i will send this email titled Mananam Mondays from the E-Vichara Account or Lifeseva Account to all of you near the end of the week. In turn, i humbly request all of you to forward this email to AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. And email me letting me know how many addresses you forwarded the email to. In turn, request those you forwarded the email to, to do the same. And by May 1 let us hope that the message of Vedanta is shared with over 6,000. Technology can divide us...not next week though for we are going to harness technology to UNITE US!!!

Along these lines, the opportunity to be in the presence of Pujya Swami Tejomayananda this Summer in Chicago is growing tighter. Over 600 have already registered for our Chinmaya Mahasamadhi Family Camp. For the sake of bringing everyone together for this precious satsanga, the Discounted Registration has been extended from March 31 to April 15! Please do not miss out on this chance to revel in the Scriptures, Guru, Knowledge...Peace. Check out (http://www.mychinmaya.org/msc/index.php) for more information on this Special Camp. Looking forward to being with everyone, in Chicago!!!

" The diminutive chains of habit are seldom heavy enough to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. " --- Samuel Johnson

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:18 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

The religiously unaware often claim that Hindus are cow worshipers. Such an understanding is limited and limiting. Within Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Be-ing), the true name and spirit of 'Hinduism', all beings, animals, plants and stones are worshiped. All are an expression of the One, of the Infinite. Appreciating all as Divine, all become a source of learning. From the sun above to the ants below. Especially the ants below! Especially the ants below? How we can learn from ants is how we can learn from our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 18, 2011) --- Ant's Philosophy

* Motivational teacher Jim Rohn is the original thinker of Ant's Philosophy conveying his open mindedness - an open mind is a receptive mind is a motivated mind
* Whenever an obstacle is put before ants, ants either go around the obstacle or over the obstacle - we are never blessed with a challenge without being blessed with the capabilities to face the challenge so never give up
* All summer ants think winter, preparing physically - appreciating good times do not last rather good people do, we should look ahead by investing in what we need not what we want
* All winter ants think summer, preparing mentally - appreciating tough times do not last rather tough people do, we should stay positive by investing in ideals not impressions
* Ants do not entertain confining attitudes based on comparisons and quotas to govern their lives - we should do all we can for this attitude becomes a catalyst to prosperity and peace
* By treating living as lessons to know Life we become the most sincere of students - only the sincere discover Life, discover solace

The single-most transformative experience of my life has been The Vedanta Course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya. Living as a monk for 2 1/4 years united me with the Scriptures, Guru, Knowledge...Peace. Upon returning to North America i naturally wanted to share the same. And in April of 2008 i aspired to do so by initiating a Discussion Group in Buffalo, New York and Mississauga, Ontario. This week will mark the completion of 3 years of study for these Discussions and in the past we celebrated our 1 and 2 year Anniversaries by spreading the word. How? The Total Thoughts. The Total Thoughts is the learning shared by everyone participating in the Discussion. For whom? Everyone. The Total Thoughts recorded on our 1st and 2nd Anniversary Discussions were emailed to hundreds who in turned emailed hundreds and technology united us all in unimaginable ways. In April of 2009, our Special Mananam Mondays email was received by 1,223 people. In 2010, our Special Mananam Mondays email was received by 3,794 people. In 2011, let our Special Mananam Mondays email be received by over 6,000 people!

On Monday, April 18th our Mississauga Discussion will have a Special Satsanga. During the Satsanga everyone will verbally share their learning which i will then synthesize into an email. Next, i will send this email titled Special Mananam Mondays from the E-Vichara Account or Lifeseva Acount to all of you shortly thereafter. In turn, i humbly request all of you to forward this email to as MANY people as possible. And email me letting me know EXACTLY how many addresses you forwarded the email to. In turn, REQUEST those you forwarded the email to, to do the same. And by May 1 let us hope that the message of Vedanta is shared with over 6,000. Technology can divide us...not next week though for we are going to harness technology to UNITE US!!!

"Ideas won't work unless 'you' do." --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:58 pm

Hari Om from Piercy!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Krishnalaya is the 1st Chinmaya Mission ashram our Pujya Swami Chinmayananda established outside of Bharat. Krishnalaya is 1 of a few ashrams our Pujya Swami Tejomayananda teaches at for more than a week a year. Krishnalaya is where i am reflecting on these Masters more and writing to you, sharing insights into the subtlety of imparting Vedanta (Science of Life), manifested through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 25, 2011) --- Knowing the Knower

* Each and every science teaches about expressions of Life (i.e. physics, athletics, rituals, etc.) whereas only Vedanta teaches about Life (i.e. Existence-Awareness-Joy) - the expressions of Life are objective, tangible, malleable whereas Life is Subjective, Sublime, Being
* The sole message of Vedanta is we are Infinite, yet the sole means of knowing this is finite (i.e. our equipments) - the Truth defined is the Truth defiled
* Imagine what an unimaginable challenge a Vedantic Guru (Teacher) faces having to use the finite (i.e. Scriptures, words, thoughts, etc.) to raise a shishya (disciple) beyond the finite - imagine what an even more unimaginable achievement a Guru humbly embraces having transformed the shishya into the Guru (i.e. the Guru Parampara within Santana Dharma and especially within Chinmaya Mission)
* A student enters the forum of Vedanta with limiting preconceived notions, expectations infused with ignorance, sheer indiscipline and on and on and on, yet a Vedantic Teacher accepts all smilingly - what mettle such a visionary (the Teacher not the student hahaha!) has invoked, inculcated, internalized
* A Vedantic Acharya gives all of his/her resources, time and effort to the upliftment and unfoldment of those he/she has no relation to - in turn the Acharya is given praise and comparison, dakshina (donations) and nothing, bhikshas (meals) and more bhikshas so think about how vigilant an Acharya must be to not be swayed by the movement of maya
* Patience (no further elaboration is needed nor is relevant) - perseverance (no further elaboration is needed nor is relevant)

Narayana samarambham, Vyasa Sankara madhyamam. Asmada Acarya paryantam, vande Guru paramparam.
(Salutations to the lineage of Teachers commencing with Bhagavan Narayana, with Vyasa and Sankara in the middle and continuing up to my immediate Teacher.)

Why should we salute our Guru Parampara? They have taught us Yoga - Knowledge which transforms our belief of being limited to knowing we are Limitless! And from this true Yoga has come pseudo-yoga which most of us are exposed to and are attracted to. Even such diluted yoga has physical and mental benefits. Please read the below abstract on the Yoga of Awareness in the Management of Fibromyalgia published by the Department of Anesthesiology and Peri-operative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland -

A mounting body of literature recommends that treatment for fibromyalgia (FM) encompass medications, exercise and improvement of coping skills. However, there is a significant gap in determining an effective counterpart to pharmacotherapy that incorporates both exercise and coping. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive yoga intervention on FM symptoms and coping. A sample of 53 female FM patients were randomized to the 8-week Yoga of Awareness program (gentle poses, 'meditation', breathing exercises, coping instructions, group discussions) or to wait-listed standard care. Data were analyzed by intention to treat. At post-treatment, women assigned to the yoga program showed significantly greater improvements on standardized measures of FM symptoms and functioning, including pain, fatigue, mood, pain catastrophizing, acceptance and other coping strategies. This pilot study provides promising support for the potential benefits of a yoga program for women with FM.

3,267...this is how many people have received our Special Mananam Mondays email on All WE need is Love. An immense number...yet we hope to still reach out to at least 2,733 more people. This present E-Vichara is being sent to 1,416 of you. If each of you forwards the Special Mananam Mondays email to 2 others we will reach our aspiration to spread the word about Love to 6,000 within 10 days!!! If you have not let me know how many you forwarded the email to, please let me know! If you have not forwarded the email, please do so and let me know to how many addresses! Those tending to listservs, distribution lists, contact lists, etc. we are looking for your participation. May 1 is our alive-line (deadline is such a harsh word)...

Awaiting your responses...

"If you are lost in thoughts then that is agitation. If thoughts are lost in you, then that is meditation." --- Swami Tejomayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue May 03, 2011 2:44 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Life is elemental: Existence-Awareness-Joy just Be-ing. Living is detailed: hearing-reflecting-meditating to know Life. Our understanding of Life and living is complex: energy, random, temporary, eating, drinking, TRYING to be merry, etc. We all actually have only two options when engaging in any and every experience. Such simple framing is the framework of our E-Vichara...


E-Vichara (May 2, 2011) --- Only Two Options

* In life we either get stuff we expect or get stuff we did not expect - if we get what we expected, why sulk for we should have planned for this and if we get what we did not expect, why sulk for we could not have planned for this
* In life we can either do something about a situation or we can not do something about a situation - if we can do something, we should and not stress and if we cannot do something, we shouldn't and not stress
* In life we can either learn to adapt to others or we can not learn to adapt to others - if we learn to adapt, we reduce suffering for ourselves and others and if we do not learn to adapt, we raise suffering for ourselves and others
* In life we can either appreciate objects as they are or we can not appreciate objects as they are - if we appreciate, we facilitate living and if we do not appreciate, we fabricate living
* In life we can either accept our circumstances or we can not accept our circumstances - if we accept, living is delightful and if we do not accept, living is detestable
* In life we can either forgive beings or we can not forgive beings - if we forgive, we free ourselves of emotional baggage and if we do not forgive, we fasten ourselves with emotional baggage

The above are just some general ideas for us to reflect on when dealing with objects, beings and situations. Respectfully, this simple, succinct, saving logic is universal. To truly be able to live such a peace-filled life, one needs to truly understand Self Knowledge. To truly understand Self Knowledge, one needs to truly have a pure mind. To truly have a pure mind, one needs to truly engage in tapas (austerity)...

May 8th is Pujya Swami Chinmayananda's Jayanti. And June 30th is Pujya Swami Tejomayananda's Jayanti. Beginning this Sunday, May 8th and concluding on Wednesday, June 29th (inclusive) i will be engaging in the discipline of being a vegan (consuming no animal products). During these 7 1/2 weeks i will aspire to further work with the mind for the sake of one day transcending the mind. Our sevakas/sevikas in Buffalo, Toronto and Orlando organizing bhikshas during this period, please note this change in diet. And for all those reading these words, i encourage you to join me in this tapas to live what our Acharyas have taught us and so offer homage to our Guru Parampara...

"It is only possible to live happily ever after if we choose to do so on a day-to-day basis." --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed May 11, 2011 9:18 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

The past few weeks the universe has been teaching me to become simpler. When i was in San Jose, at one of the homes i stayed in the shower was not working and so i had to take a bucket bath. When i was in Niagara, there was a wind storm causing a power outage and so i had to read by sunlight. When i was with my nephew, as he was opening his birthday gifts he was discarding the money given and keeping the envelopes so he can draw on them. Reflecting on these 'back to basics' lessons is the syllabus for our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 9, 2011) --- The Old School

We are often handled and even more often hypnotized into believing quantity is more valuable than quality - though a bucket bath involves far less water than a shower, one is able to clean oneself just as thoroughly for the hands become more vigorous
We are often handled and even more often hypnotized into believing speed is more valuable than satisfaction - knowing one has a limited supply of water, one slows down and enjoys each scoop of water falling onto the body
In traditional Vedic culture, one awoke with the rising of the sun and slept with the setting of the sun, creating a perfect tuning with the circadian rhythm - our addiction to electricity is a catalyst for apathy towards our inner nature and outer nature
We are affected by the universe and we affect the universe - the joy of 'feeling' the sun on one's eyes and mind is more 'illuminating' than any other light
Our understanding of utility value and perceived value is now valueless and has encouraged us to be value-less - a child only wants what can be used and nothing else
If society believes pursuing outer growth is more worthy than pursuing inner growth, only we are to blame for this tragedy - by choosing to be straight-forward, surprised, sincere we return to innocence, return to the path of the Infinite

Continuing with the idea of what we can learn from the universe, please read the following short story on the Carrot, Egg and Coffee...

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how living was so hard. She did not know how was she was going to survive and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting, tired of struggling. As soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She then filled 3 pots with water and placed them on the stove and turned the heat on. Soon, the pots came to a boil. In the first she placed carrots. In the second she placed eggs. And in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

After twenty minutes or so she turned the stove off. She took the carrots out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. She took the eggs of the pot and placed them in a bowl as well. Finally, she took the coffee out of the pot and put this in a bowl too.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted they were soft. The mother then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the egg was hard. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted the rich flavour. Confused, the daughter asked, "What does this all mean?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Yet each reacted differently. The carrots went in strong, hard, unrelenting. However, they came out weak, soft, vulnerable. The eggs went in fragile however, came out hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in boiling water, they changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked the daughter. "When faced with adversity, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Are you the carrot that seems strong but with adversity wilts? Are you the egg that begins with a malleable heart but with adversity becomes bitter? Or are you the coffee bean which is fragrant and flavourful and with adversity becomes even more so, changing the very circumstance that brings the hardships?


Recently, to celebrate Vedanta, we had aspired to share the Love by forwarding the Special Mananam Mondays - All WE need is Love email to 6,000 people by May 1. The number we reached out to though was 4,152. Again, the universe teaching me to - Do your best and leave the rest...

On the note of sharing the Love, 7 of us (from Chicago, Niagara, Portland and San Jose) have chosen to engage in the tapas of being vegan until Pujya Swami Tejomayananda's Jayanti on June 30th. To all of you, keep the ideal in mind and raise yourself!

"The only true disability in life is a bad attitude." --- Scott Hamilton

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue May 17, 2011 2:49 am

Hari Om Everyone,



i hope this email finds everyone well…



Physical health is not determined by how much food one eats rather how much food one digests. In the same way, spiritual health is not determined by how much knowledge one hears (information) rather how much knowledge one lives (wisdom). And the commencement, catalyst and conclusion of our Inner Journey is vichara. To celebrate our 100th E-Vichara together, let us reflect on reflection through our E-Vichara…



E-Vichara (May 16, 2011) --- Vichara, Vichara, Vichara…96 more times…Vichara!

-To engage in vichara one needs no dravya (materials such as idols, priests, foods, etc.), only an assertive intellect – to engage in vichara one needs no muhurta (timings such as stages of the moon cycle, alignment of the stars, periods of the day, etc.) only an active intellect

-Depending on dravya and muhurta to engage in vichara is an unambiguous excuse to avoid this sadhana (spiritual discipline) – ignoring sadhana one will unambiguously wait for Enlightenment forever, remaining ignorant eternally

-Wrong thinking is the disease that infects the mind with vices whereas right thinking is the medicine that infuses the mind with values - All can, all must, engage in vichara, always

-A catapult to begin vichara is mauna (suggested solitude schedule: 1 hour a day in silence sans entertainment, sans media, sans people, just oneself) – we have to make time to rediscover peace or we should prepare ourselves to face restlessness

-Instead of asking futile questions like, ‘Who said what about whom?’, we should ask fundamental questions like, ‘What is death? Am I happy? Who am I?’ – we should never be satisfied with superficial answers to these life-moving questions, rather should continue with these questions until our life is moved

-Synonyms of vichara are mananam, reflection, conscious thinking, assimilation – eligibility for vichara is being a human being and what is hilarious about this truth is that we need an email to awaken us, remind us, encourage us to be…human

Glad you could join me for the celebration of our 100th E-Vichara. You will have noted that of late i have been writing a fair amount about celebrating (i.e. serving at 20 of our Chinmaya Mission Centers, completion of 3 years of Discussions in Buffalo/Toronto and now 100 E-Vicharas). Now some may be thinking how can one associate satsanga, seva and/or sadhana with a celebration? A celebration is about joy and there is simply more joy in these direct means to joy. More than promotions, more than anniversaries, more than birthdays. Actually, the real way to celebrate worldly achievements is by creating satsanga, seva and sadhana. Think about it…

"We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself" --- Lloyd Alexander

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon May 23, 2011 8:00 pm

Hari Om from Dunnville!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Fasting is a discipline which all religions embrace, yet none as much as Sanatana Dharma (commercial term is Hinduism). Concurrently though, there is much ambiguity, much anguish and much atrophy revolving around this practice. Aspiring to diffuse the meaninglessness traditions of fasting, aspiring to infuse meaning to the traditions of fasting, our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 23, 2011) --- Purposeful Fasting

-To fast means to not engage in a specific activity (i.e. eating food, speaking needlessly, etc.) - what we fast from should be an activity we regularly engage in, an activity we do not have control over (i.e. to a moderate eater, fasting from food is not demanding enough, to a moderate speaker, fasting from speaking is not demanding enough, etc.)
-We often claim we can be at peace without a specific activity (i.e. not playing golf, not buying purses, etc.) - prove this claim by 'walking away' from this activity otherwise we are simply lying to ourselves, we are simply addicts
-When fasting from a specific activity, whenever the thought of that activity arises, we should refocus on the Divine not the disturbance (i.e. if fasting from food, when hunger arises, we should not think about the hunger, rather hunger should serve as a reminder for us to remember the Divine, etc.) - remembering the Divine in (unchallenged) an Ashram is easy, remembering the Divine while cleaning (challenged) the Ashram is real
-Ekadashi symbolizes the 5 organs of perception (i.e. hearing, etc.), the 5 organs of response (i.e. speaking, etc.) and the mind - upavas symbolizes 'sitting near the Divine'
-The key to successful fasting is to give the mind another activity, a purpose, an altar - when the mind is 'full' there is no opportunity to think about being 'empty' ("When the heart is full, the stomach is full." --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda)
-One should not fast for the sake of fasting, rather to develop purity of mind (anagha) to cultivate clarity of knowledge (bharata) - fast for through fasting we rediscover how we are truly Independent

Another practice which we all participate in and unfortunately are participating in more and more because we believe this is more and more normal, is stress. Please read the following short anecdote on the crippling effects of choosing stress...

Once, a young lady confidently walked around a room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'Half empty or half full?'...

She fooled them all! "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "And that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."


"The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence." --- Ravindranath Tagore

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:41 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

You racist! You sexist!! You materialist!!! You blah blah blah blah blah. Society tells us not to discriminate yet we do. Seers tell us to discriminate yet we do not. And confusion ensues followed closely by conflict. Conflict inside, naturally leading to conflict outside. Exploring the myths and magic of discrimination is our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 30, 2011) --- Developing Discrimination???

-Discrimination is only applicable in the construct of duality (dvaita) and never in unity (advaita) - discriminating is the intellect engaged in focusing on separation, what disconnects us not what connects us
-To truly appreciate Oneness we need to become intensely aware of how random and trivial our differences are - a newborn has zero control over their age, gender, colour, wealth, family, ethnicity, religion, etc. yet right from birth our judgements begin (i.e. he/she is dark, he/she is poor, he/she is a he or she)
-Wherever discrimination, there is judgement - wherever judgement, there is non-acceptance, non-appreciation, non-ananda
-Everyone is always discriminating on futile grounds (see above) and the return on investment of resources, time and energy is wasteful, is sorrowful - fascinatingly, one of the fundamental qualities of a seeker of Solace is discrimination (viveka)
-What distinguishes secular discrimination and sacred discrimination is the former is a 'game between finite teams' whereas the latter is a 'game between a finite team and a Infinite team' - the first, foremost and forte sadhana (spiritual discipline) we can embrace to cease from identifying with the limited and to commence identifying with the Limitless is to be intimately aware of change (i.e. the spinning world, the spinning society, the spinning body, all is spinning)
-When we begin to acknowledge change we begin to understand that our fundamental Nature is changeless (one has to be outside of change to know change) - the evolution of such a strategy is to then refocus (vairagya) our resources, time and energy to That which does not change for the return on this investment is perpetual Peace

Continuing with using discrimination as a means for emancipation not entanglement, the following is a brief article from the Huffington Post on how to be more peaceful in relationships. The technical synopsis - Know that people are changing so be independently happy. The simple synopsis - Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket, keep it in your own. The poetic synopsis - Live and let live. The musical synopsis - Don't worry, be happy. Enough of synopses! JUST BE HAPPY...How to Take Things Less Personally (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-hanson-phd/how-to-take-things-less-personally_b_851208.html?ref=email_share)

"All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything" --- Swami Vivekananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:24 am

Hari Om from inside my Heart!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

As i reflect on the upcoming completion of 3 1/2 years of teaching Vedanta, 2 years of writing the E-Vichara and commencement of 3 months of relentless travel, i have understood more about the ego and Self than i could ever dream of. These insights are intimate, intense and infinite. And since i am writing from inside my heart, i am sharing with one and all what this heart has experienced being an Acharya, in the form of our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (June 6, 2011) --- Seeker or Servant?

-The scope and depth of service is endless and soon after making service a lifestyle the demand on one in the form of questions, administration, advice, engagements, feedback, etc. is ruthless - sheer time management is the only way to survive such a gauntlet

-When one is physically younger than 3/4 of who one is teaching and the subject matter is Life and living, one has to work significantly harder to ensure the message offered is piercing through the wall of preconceived notions that older is wiser, that biological age and spiritual age are equatable, that quantity of experiences and quality of experiences are comparable - acceptance, endurance and humour are the virtues the mind is to be infused with to 'keep serving'

-People are rattled by change, resist change, revolt against change, especially when this change involves being 'left' by one who is changing - the essence of yoga, the essence of kaizen, the essence of growth is change and the most important change one can make is from dependently happy to independently happy

-To unreservedly offer one's resources, time and efforts to encourage individual and communal peace only to have these denigrated by an individual's and/or community's self interest, levels one's whole personality - when one is hit fervently and frequently one realizes this is a blessing which transforms a servant into a seeker

-As one serves publicly, in time one receives much praise and concurrently much judgement - the ego is nourished by this ever changing feeling of superiority and inferiority and the only relief from such confusion is surrender of doership

-The Infinite is manifested through Knowledge is manifested through Scriptures is manifested through a Guru and this is simply the nature of life - the sole means to rediscovering the Infinite is invoking a Guru who can/will navigate the Scriptures, reveal Knowledge and this is simply the nature of seeking

Our next E-Vichara will commemorate the completion of 2 years of E-Vicharas! 2 years of reflecting together!! 2 years of realizing together!!! In Vedantic tradition, teachings are given free of charge. No price can be attached to the guidance a Teacher offers to live more peacefully. Still, out of gratitude and fulfillment the student seeks to give back. This offering – Guru Dakshina – is to express appreciation for the Teacher’s sacrifice and service and is used to further the sharing of Spiritual Knowledge. Each E-Vichara we write requires approximately 2 hours. Time is invested in thinking of content, typing emails, maintaining contact lists, etc. In a year this translates to over 100 hours just on the E-Vichara. The greatest wealth we have is our peace of mind. And if you feel the E-Vichara has aided you in gaining and retaining this wealth amongst the endless 'thieves' we are incessantly facing then give whole heartedly...

How?


-Cheque/Check (please make out and mail to the following address)

Chinmaya Niagara
5743 Valley Way
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada, L2E 1X7

-Credit Card (please click and enter information on the following link)

Chinmaya Niagara courtesy of CanadaHelps (http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s100847)

-Cash (please meet me in any of the cities i will be teaching in found on the following link)

Chinmaya West Itinerary (http://www.chinmayamission.org/acharya.php?id=56)

Chinmaya Niagara is a registered non-profit charity. Your donations are humbly accepted and in turn a tax-deductible receipt will be issued.

"We make ourselves a slave of the world because we want to take from the world." --- Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:55 am

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

This week is an auspicious time in Western New York and Southern Ontario! In Buffalo we have completed our study of 1/4 of Vivekachudamani. In Niagara we have completed our study of Srimad Bhagavad Gita's Chapter 2 and 4 as well as 1/3 of Vishnu Sahasranama. In Hamilton we have completed our study of Srimad Bhagavad Gita's Chapter 2. In Mississauga we have completed our study of Tattva Bodha. In Toronto we have completed our study of Tattva Bodha. And if one were to summarize the teachings from all these scriptures into a single message this would be:

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattvadarsinah

Srimad Bhagavad Gita - Adhyayah 4 - Shloka 34

Know that by long prostration, by question and service,
the wise who have realized the Truth will instruct thee in that Knowledge.

The Celestial Song - Chapter 4 - Verse 34

Continuing to invoke and evoke auspiciousness, we explore the role of a Guru in our pursuit to transcend the ego, through our 104th E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (June 13, 2011) --- I AM NOT THE DOER

-Traditionally, a disciple repairs to a Guru carrying dry twigs over one's head and upon reaching one's Guru offers these at His feet symbolizing that only He can burn the Self ignorance of the disciple - upon offering the dry twigs the disciple prostrates fully (sa-ashta-anga: with feet, hands, stomach, chest, head and MIND) symbolizing the openness to receive, the openness to Realize

-Almost all the Scriptures of Sanatana Dharma revolve around a dialogue, NOT A DEBATE, between Guru and disciple for a Guru was once a disciple and empathizes with the struggle of a disciple - the teachings of a Guru need to be reflected upon again and again and again before approaching the Guru with doubts, NOT sending a thoughtless email with a question and expecting a thoughtful email with an answer within apathetic time frames

-A Guru is Content and thereby independent of the need of any object, being or situation - a disciple is encouraged to serve a Guru not for the Guru's benefit rather for the welfare of the disciple for only through service does a disciple have the opportunity to tune into the Life and teachings of a Guru

-Infinity, Divinity, Knowledge, Scriptures and Guru are all synonymous, are all sacred, are all Supreme - intellectual knowledge and intimate knowledge are as different as information and wisdom, a disciple only has information, a Guru only has wisdom

-If we think deeply and carefully on all the learning/knowledge we have absorbed in our lifetime we will appreciate that all has been connected to a teacher so who do we think we are to claim and in some erroneous cases proclaim that we have walked the spiritual path or will walk the spiritual path sans a Guru - only one who truly lives the Truth can truly inspire another to do the same and all else is theatrics

-We need not entertain drama or confusion or anguish about what the purpose of living is for the sole and sweeping purpose is Enlightenment - as a disciple strives to grow within, the disciple's understanding evolves to appreciate that he/she is not the doer, rather 'all is done' and in time we will all live this Freedom, we just have to choose when

And with this E-Vichara we commemorate the completion of 2 years of E-Vicharas! 2 years of reflecting together!! 2 years of realizing together!!! In Vedantic tradition, teachings are given free of charge. No price can be attached to the guidance a Teacher offers to live more peacefully. Still, out of gratitude and fulfillment the student seeks to give back. This offering – Guru Dakshina – is to express appreciation for the Teacher’s sacrifice and service and is used to further the sharing of Spiritual Knowledge. Each E-Vichara we write requires approximately 2 hours. Time is invested in thinking of content, typing emails, maintaining contact lists, etc. In a year this translates to over 100 hours just on the E-Vichara. The greatest wealth we have is our peace of mind. And if you feel the E-Vichara has aided you in gaining and retaining this wealth amongst the endless 'thieves' we are incessantly facing then give whole heartedly...

How?

Cheque/Check (please make out and mail to the following address)

Chinmaya Niagara
5743 Valley Way
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada, L2E 1X7

Credit Card (please click and enter information on the following link)

Chinmaya Niagara courtesy of CanadaHelps (http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s100847)

Cash (please meet me in any of the cities i will be teaching in found on the following link)

Chinmaya West Itinerary (http://www.chinmayamission.org/acharya.php?id=56)

Chinmaya Niagara is a registered non-profit charity. Your donations are humbly accepted and in turn a tax-deductible receipt will be issued.

Our forthcoming year of E-Vicharas promises to be even more potent than the years passed! How? Beginning next week i will be recording a 10 minute talk elaborating on the ideas shared in the E-Vichara. This is going to be offered through a podcast and will be available through our Chinmaya Yuva Kendra website. And for those living in the Greater Toronto Area, beginning in September i will be offering weekly discourses at our new Ashram. The content of these discourses will tend to be based on our E-Vichara. Naturally i will share more concrete details as plans are set in place. Stay tuned to the endless opportunities to learn!

And to conclude our year of reflection together, i am sharing the Dedication i wrote for the commentary on Bhaja Govindam i wrote while studying at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya. This Dedication continues to apply to Year 2 of the E-Vicharas and will continue eternally...

The contents herein are an attempt at lending a hand to Swami Tejomayananda who is carrying the ancient Guru – Disciple tradition which carries all of humanity…

Dedicated to the Undefeatable Truth in the form of my revered Guruji…


"According to the occidental idea, the master serves as the medium for imparting knowledge or Truth which is the final goal. As Aristotle said, "Dear is Plato, but dearer still is the Truth." But in India Truth and the Guru are completely identified. There is no Truth apart from the Guru and to know and serve the latter with whole-hearted devotion is also to serve the cause of the Truth." --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:50 am

Hari Om from Orlando!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

A common misbelief of the modern intellect is that our Scriptures are only philosophical, not practical. Such a perspective is bred in an environment of misinterpretation. And to address and annihilate such misunderstanding, the eternal message of the Divine is shared:

Dravya-yajnas-tapo-yajna yoga-yajnas-tatha-pare
svadhyaya-jnana-yajnas-ca yatayah samsita-vratah

Srimad Bhagavad Gita - Adhyayah 4 - Shloka 28

Others again offer wealth, austerity and yoga as sacrifice,
while the ascetics of self restraint and rigid vows offer study of scriptures and knowledge as sacrifice.

The Celestial Song - Chapter 4 - Verse 28

How to infuse sacrifice into each and every action is the thought to commence Year 3 of our E-Vicharas...

E-Vichara (June 20, 2011) --- Yes to Yajnas

-Whether appreciated or not, whether accepted or not, whether acknowledged or not everyone is wealthy in their own way (i.e. with materials, with capabilities, with qualities, etc.) - every moment we have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice our wealth and to the extent we decide and plan to offer oneself (resources, time and effort) to that extent we will live a life of charity, live a life of contentment

-All true religions teach the need for austerity - every moment we have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice our indiscipline and the one and only way to actually practice self control is to invoke an ideal (i.e. our family, our community, our Divinity, etc.)

-The contemporary definition of yoga is bettering oneself, the orthodox definition of yoga is cessation of thoughts - every moment we have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice our troubled mind in the fire of 'watching the mind' catalyzing our understanding that we are more than the mind

-We are all experts in exposing ourselves to Self Knowledge and concurrently we are all amateurs in applying Self Knowledge - every moment we have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice our superficial pursuit of Peace by making the time, daily, for deep study of our Scriptures, for deep study of our Self

-Fire is known as a purifier and the fire of Knowledge is known as THE purifier - everyone moment we have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice our ignorance of the Self by dedicating ourselves less to the changing and more to the Unchanging

-These sacrifices are simply an expression of how every moment we have the blessed opportunity to engage in self development regardless of context, regardless of excuse - only sincerity and consistency in living the attitude of sacrifice will protect us from a mundane life and propel us to a mystical life

As was shared in our last E-Vichara, our forthcoming year together promises to be even more potent than the years passed! How? For every E-Vichara, beginning with the present one, i will be recording a 10 minute talk elaborating on the ideas shared in the E-Vichara. And this is going to be offered through a podcast which i will email to everyone when ready as well as through our Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) website which is being readied. Please stay tuned for and into the podcasts and encourage others to do the same.

As you think so you become. So what are we thinking about? To aid us in becoming more spiritual we should think more spiritually. To aid us in thinking more spiritually we should read more spirituality. And a sincere and consistent read is Chinmaya Mission's Tapovan Prasad. This International Magazine is very inspiring and very inexpensive. Please check out the following link for more information of bringing satsanga to your home every month - www.tapovanprasad.com

"If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished." --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:39 pm

Hari Om from Ithaca!

i hope this email finds everyone well…

Traditionally, the 1st Scripture one studies at the Chinmaya Mission Vedanta Training Courses is Adi Shankaracharya’s Tattva Bodha (Self Knowledge). Having been in this situation, upon completing this text Pujya Swami Tejomayananda had shared that the most important qualities for a seeker are faith and vigilance. We have reflected on both of these qualities many times in our E-Vicharas. Still, the more we think the more we become. And so being vigilant about vigilance is the aim of our E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (June 27, 2011) --- Mindful Living

-Many modern speakers, writers and teachers share that one should ‘just live in the present’ and though this is a seductive message, to actually be true to the present one needs training – by developing the right relationship with the past (learning, not regretting) and the future (planning, not worrying) one tunes to the present

-The key to mindful living is mindful activities – every month we should select a different routine activity (i.e. brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, driving to work, etc.) and strive to engage in this with a single pointed mind

-As we continue to embrace more and more and more activities with mindfulness soon enough we will actually be living mindfully not just speaking, writing or teaching about doing so – the joy of focus and the pain of distraction should be the ‘carrot’ to urge us to continue this discipline

-A technique to home the mind to the activity on hand is to quietly describe (mentally or verbally) the actual ‘movements’ involved with the activity (i.e. now i am picking up the phone with my right hand and dialling with my left…) – the difference between conscious thinking and unconscious thinking is the former is controlled and the latter uncontrolled

-Just as we know we are watching a movie or a game or a show so too we should develop the attitude of ‘watching’ all of our affairs – with the perspective of ‘watching’ we invoke even mindedness, empathy and enjoyment

-Lucid dreaming is a state of mind where one knows one is dreaming and this state can be triggered by asking oneself “Am I dreaming?” while awake for the tendency is to then do the same while dreaming – in the same way, we should keep reminding ourselves to be mindful and create a support system with others to encourage the same for satsanga (similar company) is infallible

Almost all of us are almost always living mindlessly. And to begin living mindfully demands change! A major reason why we do not change is we do not understand the nature of change. Knowledge is supremely powerful. Attached is an article from the Huffington Post sharing insights into the nature of change. Read, reflect and reform! - Why We Change (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cassandra-vieten/understanding-why-we-change_b_856387.html)

Our 1st podcast elaborating on the ideas shared in the E-Vichara has been recorded. We will continue to refine the quality of the content and formatting so please be patient as we continue to learn too. In time all these talks will be archived and be available through our Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) website which is being readied.

"Self observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening." --- George Gurdjieff

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:48 am

Hari Om from Crystal City!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Animals. We love them, we hate them. We study them, we ignore them. We treat them, we eat them! Why such disparity in our attitudes towards animals? Knowledge (spiritual) is the foundation for our attitudes. If our knowledge is feeble our vision is feeble. If our knowledge is full our vision is full. Aspiring to share knowledge on animals, aspiring to share vision for animals is our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (July 4, 2011) --- Equal to Animals

-Animals are necessary for our survival (i.e. bats control the mosquito population preventing a proliferation of associated diseases such as malaria, etc.) - humans are not necessary for animals to survive and actually threaten the survival of animals (unprecedented numbers of fauna are disappearing from the earth, some forever, as a sacrifice for our greed)

-In a civilized society the less intelligent are protected (i.e newborns, infants, children, etc.) - humans have evolved from animals and therefore are more intelligent (intellectually) yet we are immature in our evolved role and responsibilities for our present strategy is not to protect the less intelligent rather to prostitute the less intelligent (i.e. torture and kill animals for decorations, designer apparel and dinner)

-We can certainly love animals and animals can certainly love us - in the pursuit of knowledge, preservation and love of animals we should think deeply about being more sensitive to the shock, stress and sorrow an animal must face from originally being in the limitless home of nature (let us never forget we domesticated animals for our own use, this is not a natural evolution) to being in the limited hostel of captivity whether this be our labs, our zoos and even our homes

-In Sanatana Dharma (The Divine Way of Life) animals are considered to be a source of learning, are considered to be our preceptors (i.e. we can learn contentment from pythons, for they accept whatever food comes their way, etc) - we can learn from all animals (i.e. adaptivity from polar bears, etc.), we can respect all animals as preceptors

-Many scientists, anthropologists, zoologists, etc. share that humans are animals while vedantins share that humans were animals and those humans still choosing to live like 'animals' may devolve to actually become animals in their next embodiment - empathy need not cease with humans rather needs to continue to animals for real world unity

-Just as humans come in different shapes and sizes and colours, animals are simply an extension of this 'catalogue of life' - imagine being a different animal, how would living be

Hear ye, hear ye, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Canada will now serve vegan chicken...VEGAN CHICKEN! A joyous victory for all those who are truly concerned for animals, not just talk the talk. Please read this inspiring article from the Globe and Mail and please continue to encourage all restaurants to adopt this precedent - Finger lickn' TOFU (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/trends/trends-features/finger-lickin-tofu-kfc-goes-vegan/article689737/)

Finally, Happy Canada Day to our Canadian brothers and sisters. Happy Independence Day to our American brothers and sisters. Be Happy Everyday brothers and sisters...

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge." --- Daniel J. Boorstin

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:57 am

Hari Om from Minneapolis!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Some faiths believe that heaven and hell are places one goes to above or below the earth. And this is decided by 'God' who judges us post death. The belief of Sanatana Dharma is that heaven and hell are not physical places but mental states. And God does not judge, for this is what makes God, God...accepting, compassionate, content. We are the ones who judge...ridiculously, ruthlessly, relentlessly. And so judgement day is actually every day, is actually every moment, for us. Judging judgement to be nonjudgmental is our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (July 11, 2011) --- Judgement Day

-Have we ever looked at someone's clothes, tasted someone's food, visited someone's Ashram and not compared the same to our own clothes, food, Ashram - what begins as merely entertaining comparisons, stealthily deteriorates to being enveloped by the very same comparisons and we all know there is no peace for the comparison-monger

-Have we ever met someone, worked with someone, listened to someone and not criticized them in one way or another - how sad that we find offering compliments to be a struggle and offering criticisms to be seamless

-Have we ever participated in a dinner, attended a reception, joined a camp and not commented on how the organizers planned for these affairs - even when organizers have noble intentions for their gatherings, the ignoble are habituated to question these intentions instead of questioning their own intentions

-Though the above thoughts are depictions of human nature today, these thoughts are not justifications - if we have not changed tomorrow we have accepted mediocrity, we have strayed from the path of Yoga (continuous growth of joy)

-By sincerely understanding that judgements are thieves of peace for oneself and others, a sincere worker of welfare for oneself and others will cease from such a destructive way of living - whenever judgements come to the mind, come to the lips, come to the hands, tell those judgements to SHUT UP

-Have we ever observed the language of our body, the content of our words, the quality of our thoughts - for those who have, these reflections will come as a mirror, for those who have not, these reflections will come as a myth lost in the mist of self absorption

Judgement can be equated to negativity, to sadness. Non-judgement can be equated to positivity, to happiness. Please take the time to carefully watch and listen to the TED presentation by past Harvard Professor Shawn Anchor on how to train ourselves to be positive, to be happy - The Happiness Advantage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXy__kBVq1M&feature=youtu.be&wl_token=xUWS0ewdVMQtzpd4RI3Qk7HpFkZ8MTMwOTczMTYzNUAxMzA5NjQ1MjM1&wl_id=GXy__kBVq1M)

"Friendship is like a book. This book takes years to write yet seconds to burn." --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:16 am

Hari Om from a plane 38,000 feet above North Dakota!

i hope this email finds everyone well…

As i write this email i am listening to Bob Marley, looking at the city below and observing how stealth this mind is in engaging in judgement. Judgement about yesterday’s dinner, comparisons of different airlines, criticisms of passengers. And so, back by popular demand and sheer necessity, is more vichara on judgement through our E-Vichara…

E-Vichara (July 18, 2011) --- Judgement Day…Again

-Just as metal can subtly serve different functions (i.e. a knife can kill vs. a scalpel can save) so too thoughts can subtly serve different functions (i.e. judgement of the changing vs. discrimination towards the changing) – we have to be aware of the differing quality of thoughts we entertain (i.e. desire for indulgence and desire for Infinity are both desires yet one binds and the other breaks)

-Judgements, comparisons, criticisms serve a purpose when this is our duty (i.e. a quality control personnel) and when these types of thoughts are a base for growing towards greater joy (i.e. criticism towards doership is a catalyst to embracing surrender) - the key to developing the right contact with judgement oriented thoughts is having a wholesome purpose for oneself and others (i.e. criticism offered in a sincere manner and supported with action is constructive whereas a lack of sincerity and support is destructive)

-None of us want to be judged for this an expression of limitation, of duality – conversely we all want to be accepted for this is an expression of Limitlessness, of unity

-We know education begins at home, we know charity begins at home, why do we NOT know non-judgement begins at home too – if we do not want to be judged we should stop judging (i.e. those who are deeply conscious of their own bodies are deeply conscious of others’ bodies too)

-Negative thoughts are mental sentences that never end – when writing, we end a sentence with a change of topic (‘COT’ as Pujya Swami Tejomayananda says when others are praising him) and the same applies for thinking (i.e. when we are lost in thoughts of criticism, we should find ourselves in thoughts [chanting the name] of the Divine)

-Each and every object, being and situation has a facet that is noteworthy, is worth imbibing – by choosing to focus on the positive we abandon anger (duality) and adopt acceptance (unity)

Spiderman has taught us, "With great power comes great responsibility." What Spiderman has not taught us is how to embrace such responsibilities. Especially those who are public figures, asked or unasked. With great responsibility comes great judgement, again asked or unasked. And the way to learn to be responsible through being judged is taught by the Divine through the Guru.

Please read the following message on a moving (literally!) opportunity to study an unprecedented Scripture in the form of Srimad Bhagavad Gita from an unprecedented Master in the form of Pujya Swami Tejomayananda from of an unprecedented Ashram in the form of YOUR home!

Bhagavad Gita Course by Pujya Swami Tejomayananda
Launch on Guru Purnima (July 15, 2011)
Register Today!


Srimad Bhagavad Gita contains the essence of all our Upanishads. Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda conducted more than 500 Gita Jnana Yajnas, conveying the teachings of our ancient sages to the modern world. Now, Chinmaya International Foundation carries the work forward by offering a Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course in easy modules so that people can study it at their own pace at a convenient time, in the mode of their choice, whether by post or by email.

This course, authored by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda and edited by a team of scholars from CIF, offers a complete and systematic study of Bhagavad Gita with a step by step elucidation of the verses in the holy text, bringing out their relevance in our daily life.

Each lesson is accompanied by a full-fledged questionnaire which helps to assess one’s grasp of the facts offered in the lesson, while giving enough scope for reflection and personal assimilation. Thus the course becomes interactive, clarifies our doubts and guides our understanding along the right direction.

It is to be noted that this course is not a replication of The Holy Gita, the famous commentary on the text by Pujya Gurudev.

This is a highly personalised course which eventually helps us to understand the full significance of the matters discussed by Pujya Gurudev in his commentary.

The special feature of this course is its easy flowing style that demarcates the points clearly, while offering a profusion of illustrations from our day-to-day experiences.

This Guru Purnima Day, treat yourself to this prasada from the Guru Parampara and also offer it as a gift to your friends on the spiritual path.

Please register for this Course @ www.chinmayavishwavidyapeeth.in.

"Guru and God both appear before me. To whom should I prostrate? I bow before Guru who introduced God to me." --- Kabir


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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:59 pm

Hari Om from Calgary!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

This past Weekend i had the great fortune of being part of Chinmaya Mission Calgary's Rocky Mountain Retreat in Canmore. The cohesion of Nature - mountains, trees and respectful humans, in Canmore is indescribable. i am trying to describe what i experienced and am failing again and again. During this Retreat we had a session of Q & A. One of the questions was one that we all have and one we will continue to have - How to practice detachment? The answers given to this universal and undying doubt is offered through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (July 25, 2011) --- Real Independence

-Be peaceful - only when we are full, complete, joyous will we not depend on articles, beings and circumstances (abc-s) for the same

-We believe the source of joy is beyond us, go about helter skelter projecting that joy is in abc-s and then attach ourselves to these apparent sources of joy - through Self Knowledge one Realizes that the nature of our Nature is Joy so the question of being dependent is out of the question

-Be practical - why do we think a crying man can help another crying man

-Contrary to what we believe, the true Lover of a single being or all beings is the one who is not demanded to do so nor has expectations in doing so - by developing inner strength through the 3-Rs (reading, (w)riting and reflection) we are enabled to support ourselves and others

-Be patient - other than in spiritual circles the idea of detachment is simply apathetic, antagonistic, alien

-Sincerity and regularity are pivotal in practicing independence especially amongst and with dependents - detachment is an attitude not an action, still we have to be intensely careful about not hypnotizing ourselves into believing our indulgence is facilitated by independence when there is a great chance this not

Controlled by technology or controlling technology? And more so, why the infatuation with technology? Check out the following short article from the New York Times about our dependence on technology - Deriving Emotional Support from a Gadget (http://dailygood.bo.lt/f3i86)

"The cause of your misery is not in the life outside you, it is in you as the ego. You impose limitations on yourself and then make a vain struggle to transcend them." --- Ramana Maharshi

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:19 pm

Hari Om Everyone,

i hope this email finds everyone well...

Apologies for being tardy in sharing this E-Vichara. Though apologies are most potent sans excuses, still i am going to share the reasons for this late message: 1 Master and 900 seekers. Pujya Swami Tejomayananda and 900 devotees from all over the world gathered in Chicago late last week to remember and celebrate the Life & Teachings of Pujya Swami Chinmayananda leading up to His Mahasamadhi Day (August 3, 1993). Endless satsanga naturally lead to endless learning and glimpses of this is shared through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (August 1, 2011) --- Satsanga is a Way of Life

-Reluctance to engage in that which is good for us is only before the action, never during or post the action (i.e. exercising in the morning, etc.) – reflection leads to reminding which leads to Realization

-Each and every facet of the universe has pluses and minuses (i.e. choice can be overwhelmingly satisfying or overwhelmingly stressful) - by focusing on the positive aspects of abc-s (articles, beings and circumstances) one is insulated from the corresponding negativities

-Though empathy appeals for time, by offering our total attention, even for a short period of time, to one in need, the quality of connecting with another is achieved within the construct of quantity (limitations) - sincerity is sincerely one of the most pivotal qualities of one seeking Joy

-The ego is so unimaginably integrated into our Being that we justify our a-spiritual thoughts, words and deeds (i.e. claiming to not desire results when we are actually slaves of expectation, etc.) – the one truly independent of results is the one who is silent when not recognized and equally as silent when recognized

-We are an immature society who lead family lives based on desire and then presume that spiritual teachers and spiritual literature will immediately change desire to discipline – spirituality is ‘caught’ not taught

-Jnana (knowledge) demands effort whereas Vijnana (wisdom) demands effortlessness - meditation is that sadhana which turns us towards the Self most potently and so to internalize knowledge thus revealing wisdom, meditation is elemental

For all the Young Adults reading this E-Vichara, try to join us for our upcoming Retreats. And for everyone else reading this E-Vichara, try to encourage the Young Adults you know to join us for our upcoming Retreats:

All We Need is Love (http://chyk.chinmayadc.org/) --- in Washington DC from Aug 12 – 14

Efficiency through Spirituality (http://www.chykcamp.org/) --- in Boston from Aug 26 – 28

And stay tuned for a Special E-Vichara this week!

" Exercise your mind regularly with new ideas; it needs to be kept as fit as your body. " --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:37 am

Hari Om from Washington DC!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

On July 16, 2010 one of the grandest movies ever imagined was offered to the world. This creation has claimed four Academy Awards, has earned a billion dollars and has demanded a decade to envision. And i have given everyone 1 full year to watch, think and learn from this cinematic presentation of the mind. Now, it is time to investigate, inquire and internalize. For the next month (1/4 of the movie each week) our study will be of I-N-C-E-P-T-I-O-N through our E-Vicharas...

E-Vichara (August 8, 2011) --- Initiating Inception

(In order of scenes so follow along!)

-(Dominic and Saito discussing at a table) --- Those rare ones who believe there is more to life than meets the eye and actually pursue this are considered to have 'radical notions' by the mundane masses - the ones who reflect on the precarious nature of living soon enough rediscover Life and nothing is radical about this pursuit nor is anything more radical than this pursuit

-(Dominic and Saito discussing at a party) --- A thought is most resilient and contagious often never letting us go - we need to practice being the observer of thoughts rather than the owner of thoughts or else our lives will be diseased with sadness

-(Dominic and Mal discussing in a standoff) --- We wake up when we die in a dream for the varying states (waking, dreaming, sleeping) are only varying states of mind (active, unclear, dormant) - similarly, we Realize when the ego dies, in any state, so let us mark our ego relentlessly

-(Dominic and Mal discussing in a standoff) --- Pain is a relative concept, being impotent to the pure minded and potent to the impure minded - real beauty, strength and efficiency is through self development (i.e. self study) not sense development (i.e. sense indulgence)

-(Dominic and Saito arguing in a room) --- When we know an illusion we are masters of that model and when we believe in an illusion we are slaves of that model (i.e. a adult versus a child seeing 'waves' on a hot road) - if knowledge is power then Self Knowledge is All Powerful and our Spiritual Masters then are the real Kings not heads of state

-(Arthur and Ariadne discussing in warehouse) --- Time is a relative concept, which moves slower (i.e. while waking, complaining, etc.) and faster (i.e. while dreaming, enjoying, etc.) based on the state of mind - the mind is man and by mastering the mind man masters himself, man masters mankind, man master maya

"Meditation is like peacefully swimming in an ocean of knowledge and understanding everything." --- Unknown

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:29 am

Hari Om from Chantilly!

i hope this email finds everyone well...

The mind is a most magnificent entity which can make or break an individual, a family, a community, a nation, a civilization. And this power of the mind is powerfully taught through I-N-C-E-P-T-I-O-N (when i write I-N-C-E-P-T-I-O-N like this we are more in awe!). Let us continue to engage in inception of I-N-C-E-P-T-I-O-N (Part 2 of 4) through the 'compound' of our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (August 15, 2011) --- More Inception!

-(Dominic and Eames in restaurant) --- If we want an idea to be internalized by another, imagination or empathy is needed - we all know we reject complex ideas and accept simple ideas so why do we lie to ourselves/others by chasing the complex

-(Inception Crew and Dream Assistant in basement) --- How do we definitively know we wake up from a dream and not into a dream - the mind regularly proves it's capacity to create a dream universe, dream population and dream subject

-(Dominic, Eames and Saito on roof) - An idea can change every aspect of a person ("Change your thoughts, change your life.") - when we gain knowledge (sacred or secular) we can never revert to ignorance (i.e. once i know a rainbow is an optical illusion i am not disappointed when i try to touch a rainbow, which we all still try do anyways hahaha!)

-(Dominic and Ariadne in warehouse) --- The moment we identify/Love Freedom more than slavery is the moment the ego/vasanas/Mal (mal means dirt in Hindi, wrongly in Latin and bad in French) finally fade away - the spiritual path is about merging the limited ego with the Limitless Self and to do so, All We Need is Love...for the Divine

-(Inception Crew in warehouse) --- Positive emotion trumps negative emotion each and every time (i.e. be independent vs. do not be attached) - from our intimate personal experience we all know Love is a more potent 'teacher' than force is so let us stop justifying otherwise and focus on the long term (i.e. police officers scare society to abide by the rules while Spiritual Teachers inspire society to abide by the rules)

-(Dominic and Ariadne in elevator) --- Do we truly want to overcome our vices ("The main reason why we are unable to overcome our anger is that we secretly love getting angry." --- Swami Tejomayananda) - only we can forgive ourselves and in turn others (You can spend your time alone, re-digesting past regrets, oh. Or you can come to terms and realize you're the only one who can't forgive yourself, oh. Makes much more sense, to live in the present tense." --- Eddie Vedder/Mike McCready)

So have you begun studying the movie?

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions" --- Naguib Mahfouz


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