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 On the auspicious occasion of Navaratri, we launch into an exploration of Shakti, the Divine Goddess of the Tantras. By Her grace I hope to share with you some deep insights from Ramprasad, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda regarding the worship of Ma and its important in spiritual life. I am going to take an approach that is entirely like Ramanuja in that I will attempt to show, by Her grace, how we can use Jnana, Raja and Karma Yoga to attain to Bhakti Yoga, the highest. Faith and devotion. These alone are everything. But do they come easily and naturally? Hardly! We'll discuss Bhakti for those to whom Bhakti does not come naturally. It does not come naturally to anyone and those who say they they have it might only be making pretences! Who can truly Love the way a devotee loves?! May tonight’s lecture address that directly! We’ll discuss how the Motherhood of God offers a unique opportunity to deepen Bhakti. All this is Her play."Mother! Mother! My boat is sinking, here in the ocean of this world;Fiercely the hurricane of delusion rages on every side!Clumsy is my helmsman, the mind;Stubborn my six oarsmen, the passions;Into a pitiless wind I sailed my boat and nowIt is sinking!Split is the rudder of devotion;Tattered is the sail of faith;Into my boat the waters are pouring in!Tell me, what shall I do?For with my failing eyes, alas! Nothing but darkness do I see.Here in the waves I will swim, O MotherAnd cling to the raft of thy name!"- Swami Nikhilananda's translation of Ramprasad.This is the follow up discussion: How To Connect to Ma Kali The Most Fascinating Icon of India00:03:00 What Today's Lecture Is About00:05:58 Swami Vivekananda's Early Experiences of Ma Kali00:22:25 Swami Vivekananda's Endorsement of Mother Worship00:34:13 Introducing Prakriti: The 24 Cosmic Principles00:47:49 Purusha: The Pure Spirit00:50:20 Shiva-Shakti 00:52:24 Why Does Prakriti Create?00:55:12 Moksha and the Movies: The Aesthetic Theory of Shaivism00:59:18 The Two Gifts of Ma Prakriti: Bhoga and Yoga01:08:21 Prakriti as Maha Mayi as Mother01:15:25 How Do I Get Bhakti: Love for God?01:19:44 Why Does Ma Kali Look So Terrifying? 01:21:22 Sri Ramakrishna on How To Realise God (Hint: Worship Mother!)01:28:27 Ramprasad's Poems on Kali01:37:46 Closing PoemSupport the show
Today's lecture is about Renunciation, the ultimate ideal of Indian philosophy and the secret to happiness in life. You will learn the Four Principles of Non-Duality (Advaita Vedanta) which are:1. Upadhi : mistaking yourself to be something you are not as the cause of suffering)2. Sakshi : developing the Witness to create more intimacy with experiences in life)3. Adishtana : recognising Awareness as the ground and substance of the world to awaken agape, all-encompassing love)4. Viverta : recognising the world as an appearance in Awareness and thereby recognizing your own innate purity and invulnerability. This creates a tremendous fearlessness because you know whatever the scenes of the movie, you, the movie screen, will remain unchanged/untarnished/unharmed.)Even the mere intellectual understanding of these Four Principles can radically alter one's life to make room for more spaciousness, peace and joy.However once you go beyond an intellectual understanding to truly internalize and manifest these principles in life, you will awaken to fearlessness, perfect compassion, perfect non-attachment and unspeakable bliss that is your birthright The philosophers of ancient India certainly saw the quest to understand (and master) the natural world as valuable however much more interesting to them was the quest to understand the "inner" world, the psychological landscape of what it means to be human. As early as 2000bce, the philosophers of India dared to ask "what is the secret to happiness? How can a human being come to live in a meaningful and purposeful way in a world of impermanence such as ours? Is there more to life than the fleeting pleasures of the body and ego?"And over the millenia, we have developed subtle and profound (and most importantly, effectual) systems describing what a human life is for. The ultimate teaching, the essence of all this inquiry is...(drumroll please)RENUNCIATION!Renounce the world and you will come to enjoy it in a way you could never have expected!OM Shantih Shantih ShantihThese lectures happen Live every Monday at 7pm PST. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: more videos, guided meditations and instruction and for access to our lecture library, visit me at: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here: the show
Why do we such high ideals in spiritual life? What is renunciation and why is it important for genuine spirituality? Once we understand why these ideals are the way they are, we will naturally take up and attempt to live according to them. Naturally, we will also  fall short time and time again. The temptation here might be to drag the ideal down to make excuses for our weakness. Or conversely, our tendency might be to be overly critical of ourselves for failing and thus render our spiritual practice wholly unsustainable. What then are we to do? This class first establishes what ideals exactly are valuable in spiritual life by studying the teachings of Jesus next to the Buddha. We read a little from a transcribed talk from Swami Ashokananda. Then, we offer some suggestions about how to deal with falling short of these ideals with reference to the standing balancing poses of Hatha Yoga as a metaphor.I hope this talk will be some encouragement to you as you endeavour to live a genuinely spiritual life, a life lived insight of the Highest. After this little talk, we all go into a Hatha Yoga class called "The Spiritual Ideal", to apply some of these ideas in real-time. You can follow along with that class here: Tat SatSupport the show
In this mini-episode, we say a few words about the Vedic calendar month of Shravan and what makes it so auspicious for the study and practice of Non-Duality. Then, we ask the question: "why is Lord Shiva so blissful all the time?" The answer reveals a lot about the context in which live our hatha yoga and meditation practice. For more classes like this, visit our lecture library here: Namah Shivay!Support the show
Here is a wonderful Q&A discussion comparing Classical Non-Duality with Tantrik Non-Duality to show that despite what pandits might say, they are actually ultimately one and the same and perfectly complementary!00:01:06 What Is It To Be a Human Being? Does Buddhism/Advaita Invalidate My Personhood? Yes. All Religion Does! Here's Why!00:12:14 Kashmiri Shaivism and "Playing the Character of Me"00:14:20 Tantrik Non-Duality vs Classical Non-Duality: Iccha-Shakti, the Role of Desire in God00:19:18 The Role of Creativity in Enlightenment00:23:35 Why Is There Suffering in The World? The Tantrik Response to the Problem of Evil00:28:55 How Is One Thing Different From Another In Tantrik Non-Duality? 00:30:00 Non-Dual Worship in Tantra and Abinava Gupta's "Devi Stotra", Hymn to the Goddess00:34:11 Advaita Vedanta, Prasangika Madhyamika Buddhism and Tantrik Non-Duality Are The Same and Complementary and Why I Don't Teach Tantra To The Public00:36:25 The Dangers of Tantra and Kali Worship and some Precautions 00:41:55 Some Resources To Study Tantra00:53:17 Live Lectures Throughout the Week00:55:00 How To Set Up Boundaries If You Are Not The Body?01:02:53 How Are Things Different If Awareness Is One? What Is A Jiva, Individual?01:09:27 The Erotic Metaphors of Tantra and the Role of Embodiment01:22:30 Does Tantra Contradict Classical Non-Duality? They are actually the same! Here's why.  01:32:11 How Does Reincarnation Work? And the End of the Mahabharatha 01:41:06 The Role of Renunciation in Spiritual Life01:47:11 "Walking Each Other Home?" and the Story of Sukadeva01:55:30 Discernment in Tantra vs in Classical Vedanta (The Doctrine of the 7 Perceivers in Shaivism)02:07:20 Should I Be A Monk? Householders vs Renunciants and the 4 Ashramas02:30:30 Does The Brain Produce Consciousness? Or Does Consciousness Produce The Brain? How Do You Know Spirituality Isn't Just Chemicals?Support the show
In one of our most productive Q&A sessions of all time (in my opinion, at least!) we ask the central question: "why aren't you enlightened yet?" "why have you not seen with clarity that you are Awareness, ever free?" "what is keeping your from claiming with conviction your essential nature as the Self, which is even now the case?"00:00:00 Introduction: Why Aren't You Enlightened Yet?00:00:30 Awareness vs Mind: Does Awareness Change? It Seems To!00:08:45 The Role of Discernment/Intellect in Spiritual Life (And It's Limits)00:14:30 After Enlightenment, What Do You Do?00:34:00 How Does Jnana, Knowledge support Bhakti, Devotion and Raja Yoga, Meditation?00:59:16 What Is Samadhi?01:08:53 Brett's Success! + How Mantras Mysteriously Work To Liberate Us01:23:00 Spiritual Health vs Physical Health: Does Spirituality Mean The Body-Mind Will Always Be Healthy? + The "Sin" Narrative In The New Age 01:56:35 Channelising the Power of the Avatar02:03:13 How To Maintain Spirituality in the Midst of Busy-ness and Overwhelm02:14:00 The Joy of Monday Night Sangha/ Celebrating Our Community!02:17:08 Does Enlightenment Go Away? and Flow States vs Meditation02:26:10 Closing PrayerSupport the show
What Is A Guru?

What Is A Guru?


Who (or what) is a Guru? Today we talk about the role of a Guru in our spiritual life as the living embodiment of scripture, as an initiator or empowerer of mantras, as a "broadcaster of reality" and as a living example of the full possibilities of a human life. What qualifies the Guru to be a Guru? And when/how does one find one's Guru in this life? Must the Guru have a body?All this and more in today's class!This lecture is from our program "Journey Into Tantra"! It is an 18 part, college-level lecture series in audio and video featuring ~44 hours of content with Q&A + a guided meditation. The idea was to create an interactive learning environment in which these ancient and transformative teachings come to life! I'm very excited to share that with you! You can pick up a copy here! Poem to my Guru:Better than a hundred ministers who preachAre the lessons that Silence can teach.A mountain’s instruction unceasingIs better than the pastor’s wheezing!And yet how many among us who yearnFor God’s vision can profitably learnFrom the Sphinx-like silence inscrutable?How many are truly ableTo draw from the rock it’s sacred teachingIn a way that is stable and far reaching?A precious few, I say, a precious few!And even among them there is need tooOf a living emissary between Spirit and matterOtherwise we remain enmeshed in the latter!But whence forth comes the one who can teach like the mountain?Who is truly fit to serve as God’s fountain?of unfaltering Grace and Wisdom unstintingTo be a holy jewel, glimmering and glinting?A previous few, I saw, a previous few!But this I can guarantee to you:If you are sincere in your searchAnd if you practice some,Then to you this true Teacher will come.A teacher who is strong and infallibly pure.Of this my friend, you can be sure!God is drawn to the devoteeWho is pure at HeartGod years for such a one –She cannot keep apart!To the one who has no thoughtFor pleasure or for moneyGod is drawn like a bee to honey.After all, the Guru is God in a mortal frame.The Guru is God’s first name.Like lightning flashing in the dark of the stormThe Guru is Silence clothed in form.The Guru is a tree with roots reaching deep.The Guru is the Witness in dreamless sleep.The key to meditationIs the Guru’s face.The key to liberationIs the Guru’s grace.Oh, my friend, haven’t you heard?The key to your freedomIs the Guru’s word.So he who hath ears, please listen wellTo what Nishanth has to tell:The Guru is God in a mortal frame.The Guru is God’s first name.Support the show
What is it that turns someone away from the shallow, fleeting pleasures of the world and towards genuine spiritual life? Obviously, it is grace. Abinava Gupta, in his masterwork, Tantraloka takes up the very nuanced work of articulating the science of Grace: how did this Grace come about and who is "worthy" of receiving it? Are there practices you can do to invite this grace? And where does this grace come from and why? All these questions are taken up and brilliantly answered in Chapter 13 of Abinava's Tantraloka and in this lecture we sketch out his reasoning so that we can truly understand the Tantrik doctrine of Shaktipata (Descent of Power/Grace/Sudden Awakening). From our discussion of Shaktipata, we learn the 9 different "grades" of awakening which sheds light on Chapter 2 of the Tantraloka, on Anupaya (The Wayless Way) which consequently contextualizes the Anava Upaya we get in Chapter 5 and onwards.If any of the above discussions on the practice and theory of Tantra are exciting to you, you should know that we do a weekly live class every on zoom every Thursday at 7:30pm PST on the Vijnana-Bhairava Tantra, the central practice manual of non-dual Tantra. In these classes, we discuss together some of the subtlest nuances of our Tradition. All are welcome. You can sign up for these classes by clicking on my name and reserving your spot in the Yoga World Heart website here: can of course access all the previously recorded classes in our lecture library here: or pick up this introductory program: Right now, I’m working on a shorter introductory Tantra program that is not as in-depth, thorough and long as the one linked above. Kind of like a crash course on Tantra. By Mother’s grace, I expect to have that one out by our next newsletter!)Support the show
Who or what is Kali? In what form does Shakti create this Universe? And how can I (a) interact with that and (b) BECOME that?In perhaps one of our deepest discussions yet, we explore the ultimate nature of Reality: the mantric body of Shiva, i.e Shakti. Everything that you see around you is a mantra, a subtly vibrating phoneme that gives rise to thought structures in the mind which in turn produce language structures in speech which ultimate filters down into your subjective and intersubjective realities as you perceive it and negotiate it against others. Does that sound philosophical and obtuse? Necessarily it must! Because today we are discussing the subtlest and highest of Tantrik philosophies. In this lesson, we unveil the "Way of Shakti", a particularly subtle and exciting approach to spiritual practice. We contemplate verses 99 and 102 of the Vijnana-Bhairava Tantra.May your contemplations of these two verses flower into the full bloom of Enlightenment, the attainment of your own innate Shiva-nature of Pure Consciousness.Jai Maa Kaali!OM Namah Shivay!Support the show
In 10th CE Kashmir, there were a slew of Tantrik masters who wrote brilliant commentaries on principal texts in Tantra and in so doing developed a wholly unique, thrilling and sophisticated approach to spirituality. These masters wrote within the tradition of Shaivism, the spiritual philosophy centered around Shiva as the principal divinity. Naturally then, their approach came to be called "Kashmir Shaivism." While this is a broad and far reaching school with many technicalities and subtleties, I wanted to share with you one particularly striking feature of Kashmiri Shaivite meditation, namely, the Shambava Upaya (Way of Shiva) approach that attempts to seize every day moments of ordinary cognition as profound opportunities to recognise the deepest Truth of your own being. If you properly master this technique, the idea is that in each and every moment of your embodied existence, you will constantly be reawakened to the ever-fresh joy of rediscovering your essence nature as Lord Shiva himself.If you'd like to come and have your question answered, LIVE lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here: the show
In this Buddha Purnima special, we celebrate the birth, death and enlightenment of one of the world's greatest spiritual teachers, Gautama the Buddha by having a Q&A discussion on various themes in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and spiritual life in general. 00:01:16 Is Buddha's Enlightenment and Sri Ramakrishna's Enlightenment the same?00:07:46 Nagarjuna's "Nirvana = Samsara"00:12:15 The Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu?00:21:45 How is Advaita Vedanta different from Soliplism/Subjective Idealism?00:34:51 Westopher's Firm Footing00:50:30 Why Is There Suffering In The World?01:09:25 Dzogchen and Tantrik Buddhism with Orion01:45:50 What Is Bhuta Shuddhi, The Essence of Tantrik Puja? + Kundalini  01:56:03 How Stay Motivated On The Path02:03:29 "Let He Who Hath Ears Hear" (The Importance of Reviewing)If you'd like to come and have your question answered, LIVE lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here: Tat SatSupport the show
On May 1st this year, the Ramakrishna Mission turns 125 since Swami Vivekananda established it in 1897, in Balaram Bose's house in Calcutta. As an offering to my Guru, I say a few words about the central theme of this mission that to me represents the Highest Ideal of Spiritual Life: service to our brothers and sisters, not out of the delusion that we can "help" them or that they are in need of "our help", but out of the recognition of the innate divinity of the soul. As such, our service to others is really nothing but worship of the Divine as She appears to us in this or that person. Really, this is conversation about turning every moment of your life into spiritual practice. May this words serve you.Jai Shri Ramakrishna!Jai Maa Kaali!
When you surrender your life to the Divine Inspiration arising from deep within you, then, you no longer live your life. Your life lives you.In this sangha Q&A discussion, we interview celebrity author and sister-disciple, Lissa Coffey (Parama) to talk about:Why don't we do the things we know we want to do? What is holding us back? And what will happen when we surrender our life to our inspiration, that is, to our Svadharma, our Personal Mission?In this moving discussion, we hear about Lissa Coffey's new project, the Bhagavad Gita Rock Opera, and how following her inspiration has created positive changes in her life and spiritual practice. Her testimony proves to us that if we surrender to the Divine, we will always be provided for and that our lives will be filled with genuine joy and ease-fulness. Then, we answer some questions on how to find motivation for spiritual practice, reincarnation, the obstacles to spiritual practice and many other important themes in spiritual life.For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here: the show
What Is Freedom?

What Is Freedom?


When people talk about freedom, they usually speak about the freedom to be a slave to their own impulses. The million year tyrant of our biology has kept us entangled in its own survival and reproduction motives, using us as pawns in a much larger game that we cannot win. Every now and then we wake up to this reality and ask if there are other motives by which we might live our lives, motives more meaningful and fulfilling than simply the dressed-up drives of sex and survival?00:00:00 What is the Purpose of Life?00:04:12 The Test of Truth (Don't Believe A Word I Say!)00:06:15 What Do People Commonly Want Out of Practicing Yoga?00:12:15 What Does A Mature Spiritual Desire Look Like?00:15:05 What does "Dukkha" (Suffering) really mean?00:17:59 The Danger of Immature Spiritual Practice (The Dragon of Biology)00:28:40 Why Don't Pleasures Satisfy Us? (The Bondage of Kama, Artha and Dharma)00:42:41 The Freedom Paradox: Common Conceptions of Freedom and Why They Don't Work vs The Spiritual Ideal of Freedom from Lust and Greed00:59:12 The Peace that Passeth All Understanding (Ananda)01:11:11 Freedom in Kant, the Christian Mystics and the Tarot 01:18:12 How To Achieve Freedom?01:22:11 The Central Thrust of Indian Philosophy (Polytheism to Monotheism to Monism)01:35:22 An Argument to Show You Your Freedom (You are God!)01:46:34 If I Am God, Why Do I Incarnate and Forget? 01:53:34 Stanzas on Freedom (Nirvana Shatakam)For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there:
What Is Evil?

What Is Evil?


Theodicy or "The Problem of Evil" is as follows: if God is omnipotent (all-powerful) AND omnibenevolent (all good), why is there suffering/evil in the world? Either this means God is not powerful enough to stop evil even if She wanted to OR it means God could stop it but won't and as such is not all "good" by human standards. Today, we explore some ideas from Advaita Vedanta (Hindu Non-Duality) to offer a fresh perspectives on the Problem of Evil. Advaita argues that there is no such thing as "evil" in the world. What appears to be "evil" is simply a contracted state of love. How can this be? Let's find out together!For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: Introduction: What Is Truth?00:08:05 What is "Evil"?00:14:00 Does the appearance of Evil imply the existence of Evil?00:16:00 "Sociopath"/"Psychopath"/"Narcissist": Do These Words Mean Anything?00:18:00 The Approach of Scientific Materialism to Evil and It's Drawbacks00:22:00 Can We Study Evil "Objectively"? (A Methodological Point)00:26:00 What Is Advaita Vedanta's view of Science?00:29:00 Can Science help us face the "evil: in the world? (Hedonism and Humanism)00:32:50 What is "God" according to Dualistic Religions? 00:36:00 If God is all-good and all-powerful, why is there Evil?00:41:47 Why does God value "Free Will?" (The Story of the Fall)00:46:19 Zoroastrianism and The Origins of Dualistic Religion00:50:26 If there is Good, there has to be Evil, right? Here's the Problem!00:55:55 Kali Worship: A New Way of Looking at God01:00:45 How To Look Evil in the Eye With Love?/How To Overcome Guilt01:03:50 Samkhya, Advaita and Buddhism: A Mature Approach to "Getting On With It"01:08:19 The Story of Milarepa: A Tantrik Approach of Evil and Guilt01:18:43 The Advaitic Approach to Evil (The Main Course for Tonight!!!)01:29:50 The Ultimate Ethical Project of Spirituality: Cultivating Selfless-ness/ Pacifism?01:32:00 Give Your Enemies a Sandwich! (The Wisdom of Bootsy Collins)01:37:40 Kant on Evil: Can Anybody Will Evil in-and-of-itself?01:44:17 The Bhagavad Gita on Evil 01:54:16 Closing Prayer
For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here: is for a human to literally be God? It seems counter-intuitive! One can of course study the life of the great Avataras like Buddha, Jesus and Ramakrishna and see a remarkable similarity. All the stories are almost replayed, almost word for word. But even then the mind has room to say "well, they are just stories, maybe they were intentionally crafted to mirror Avatars of the past to gain credibility. I mean after all, wouldn't everyone like to claim their Guru as the Avatara of the Age?"The mind is powerless to comprehend. But for some reason, this heart feels what it feels!Now the interesting thing is that when young Narendranath (later Swami Vivekananda) met Ramakrishna, he didn't care at all whether he was an Avatara or not. He had heard such implications but it was enough for young Naren that before him was a genuinely spiritual man with a deep love for God and a powerful penchant for teaching spirituality. He was ready to learn from such a man once he felt the depth of feeling and wisdom housed in that slender frame. Ramakrishna was a Guru for Vivekananda at first. But then, as time went on and Naren saw more and more of Ramakrishna, he begin to feel intuitions that of course waged war with his keen, rational, Western-trained intellect. He doubted Ramakrishna up to the very last moment, when Ramakrishna was about to die from throat cancer. Vivekananda thought "is this really the Avatara of the modern age? If he can affirm it now, even amidst all this pain, I might accept it". It was jut a thought but on cue Ramakrishna said "do you doubt it even now, my boy? The one who was here as Rama and the one who was here as Krishna is now here as Ramakrishna. But not according to your Vedanta!"That last response is very important to me because it expresses that there are many ways of looking at a phenomenon like Ramakrishna and that all these ways are legit. Each must come to an understanding according to their own predispositions. 
For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here:, the Dancing Shiva is among the most riveting and mysterious symbols in South Asian spirituality. What does it mean? Who is Shiva and why is he dancing? In this lecture, we explore the subtlest and most sublime esoteric teachings of the Tantrik tradition of Shaivism, teachinga that are given life and expression in this symbol of the Dancing Shiva that has captured the hearts and imaginations many! To hear this teaching even once can radically alter the way we see ourselves, others and the world such that we live a joyously and fearlessly, relishing each moment in life, even grief, as the Divine Play of Shiva!May this teaching trigger in you a recognition of what you already are at your esence nature!Jai Shiva Shambho! Jai Maheshwara!
The Great Night of Shiva

The Great Night of Shiva


For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here: lecture exploring the mythology, symbology and philosophy of Shiva, the Benign God of Yoga. The New Moon is a very significant time for yogis. Yoga is about diving deep into the essence of one's being and coming face to face with primordial fears like the fear of death, only to overcome them. The New Moon is the darkest night of the month and as such offers a profound opportunity to look fear in the face and smile. The New Moon is a time for introspection and spiritual practice and these nights are sacred to Shiva, the Formless Aspect of the Divine, personified as the Yogi Par Excellence! Every New Moon night then is called "Shiva Ratri", a Night of Shiva because it is an auspicious time to do what Shiva does best - spiritual practice!But of all the New Moons in the year one is particularly important. And that is the New Moon of the Vedic month of Maaga: Maha Shivaratri, The Great Night of Shiva!What makes it "Great"? Certain astrological considerations make this night the most auspicious night for spiritual practice of any kind!And so:The best way to celebrate Shiva Ratri is just to practice your practices. Whatever spiritual work you do is trebled in meaning because of the various astrological considerations of the day. But even better than this is to feed the homeless for the homeless are all Shiva incarnate and the wandering mendicants of the world are particularly dear to this benign God of Yoga.Almost everything that we love about Yoga comes from the tradition of Shaiva Tantra. The mantras, the symbolic depictions of the various deities (which are all just patterns of Awareness, the Awareness-Bliss Absolute that you are!), the sacred hand gestures, the yoga postures, the initiation tradition of lineage based education etc...all of this is what is being celebrated on this auspicious New Moon!
In what might be one of our most philosophically rigorous discussions yet, we explore the four main orientations to life: Scientific Materialism, Dualistic Religion, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta (Non-Duality). In this "compare and contrast" style lecture, we attempt to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each school of thought with the view that they are all incredible paths appropriate for different times suiting different dispositions.  “Truth is One, though sages call it differently. (Rig Veda 1:164:46)And, sometimes it is only through studying the context in which a school of thought emerges and through studying its opposition, that we can truly come to understand it.   Chapter Markers:00:00:00 Introduction: How Does Indian Philosophy Work?00:04:30 Meet The Players On The Stage: The Four Streams of Thought00:09:50 What is "Advaita Vedanta" (Hindu Non-Duality)?00:19:03 History of Scientific Materialism (Charvaka)00:27:00 Galen's "Hard Problem of Matter" and Chalmer's "Hard Problem of Consciousness"00:31:07 Promissory Materialism and the Benefits of Science  00:35:30 The Drawbacks of Scientific Materialism  00:47:37 The Mystics of Science00:52:00 Dualistic Religion: What is God?  00:57:00 The Benefits of Dualistic Religion01:06:00 Dualistic Hinduism: Shaivism vs Vaishnavism  01:08:53 The Drawbacks of Dualistic Religion: "The Problem of Evil" (Theodicy) 01:17:11 Another Drawback of Dualistic Religion: "Time Based Liberation can END"  01:19:29 Buddhism01:27:35 Madhyamika Buddhism of Nagarjuna: "Samsara = Nirvana"  01:35:35 The Logical Problem of Buddhism01:38:20 The Advaitic Solution01:46:33 How To Deal With The Evil in the World? (Political Action)01:50:00 How To Cultivate Unconditional Love  01:54:45 Is This A Dream? (An Experiment to Show Non-Duality)02:02:30 What Happens After Non-Dual Awakening?
Happy Valentine's Day!Have you ever wondered: why are some relationships more fulfilling than others?What can we do to improve our romantic relationships?Do romantic relationships even have a place in spiritual life? And how is a relationship, which requires two things to relate to one another, compatible with Advaita Vedanta (Non-Duality) that posits only one thing?In this lecture we answer all these questions as well as explore a few models of conscious relationships in Indian spirituality.May this be an offering to Laxmi, Goddess of Beauty and Abundance!OM SHREEM LAXMIYAI DEVYAI NAMAHA  ||For more videos, guided meditations and instruction, access to our lecture library, and to support this work, visit me at: lectures happen every Monday at 7pm PST on Zoom. It is open to the public. Use this link and I will see you there: get in on the discussion and access various spiritual materials, join our Discord here:
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