January 7 — March 14, 2024
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Immersion
Swami Sharvananda Giri
What is the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Immersion?
It is an immersion in the traditional study of Vedanta offering a deep dive into the Upanishads.
What does the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Immersion involve?
The Mahatma (great saint or sage), Swami Sharvananda Giri, will be chanting the original Sanskrit verses in the daily morning class from 8 to 10 am. Following the chanting, Swami Sharvananda Giri will translate the verses to English and will teach the traditional commentary of Adi Shankaracharya and Ananda Giri. This method is the most authentic way to study and practice Vedanta and has been utilized for thousands of years in India to help spiritual speakers grasp the answers to such questions as: What is the Self? Who am I?
The practice of listening to a great saint or Mahatma relay the knowledge of the Vedas, ancient scriptural texts in India, has been the foundation for spiritual liberation for countless people. This immersion offers the doorway through which moksha or true freedom is attained.
It is not necessary to attend the entire immersion, but we ask that you if you do choose to join, that you attend daily during your stay—the immersion consists of one morning class from 8am to 10am, leaving plenty of time to attend both of the daily satsangs, one yoga class, both of the delicious vegetarian meals, as well as to enjoy the ashram grounds.
What is Vedanta?
Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy. It translates to the “end of the Vedas” or the “end of all knowledge”. It reflects the ideas that emerge from the study of the Upanishads, which deal with topics such as knowledge and liberation. Vedanta, or the study of the Vedas (the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), form the basis of Jnana Yoga, the Yoga of Knowledge.
What are the Upanishads?
The Upanishads are the most recent part of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. While earlier parts of the Vedas deal with mantras, benedictions, rituals, and ceremonies, the Upanishads deal with meditation, philosophy, consciousness, and various ontological knowledge (that is, the knowledge pertaining to the nature of being). In short, studying the Upanishads is studying what is Real and what is Unreal. It is the study of the Self.
Why study Vedanta? Why partake in the immersion? What are the benefits of studying with a Mahatma like Swami Sharvananda Giri?
This course is a classical example of the practice of Jnana Yoga (the Yoga of Knowledge), which consists of:
- Savanna, listening to the teachings of the Upanishads
- Manana, reflecting on their meanings
- Nididhyasana, divining into deep meditation on the insights that one receives from the reflection
Mahatmas such as Swami Sharvananda Giri are among the most senior teachers of traditional Advaita Vedanta in India. They rarely—if at all—travel to the West or anywhere outside of India. In India, Mahatmas teach in the most traditional high Vedanta institutions such as the Kailash Ashram. These spaces are not even accessible to lay people!
More than a decade ago, Swami Swaroopananda, the acharya or spiritual director of our ashram, started to invite these Mahatmas to come to the Bahamas for a long stay (1-3 months) to teach in-depth intensive Vedanta Courses. He did so to allow the ashram’s swamis, brahmacharis, and senior staff the opportunity to study Vedanta in the appropriate, traditional, and authentic way. These courses are open to all who are at the ashram (guests, karma yogis). They are offered for free and there is no tuition for attending the courses.
January 7 — March 14, 2024:
8-10 AM ET Sunday-Friday (day off on Saturdays)
Join anytime and you will have until March 14, 2025 to catch up on recordings.
Come visit us on Paradise Island!
This program is included at no extra cost in our Yoga Vacation Program.
This program is offered live through Zoom webinar.
For enrolled students, a video recording will be available after each class in the event you miss a class or would like to review the content.
Course content will be made available for 1 year, expiring on March 14, 2025.
Swami Sharvananda Giri Maharaj started his training under the personal tutelage of the great Vedantin Swami Chaitanyananda Sarasvati in 1984. He took his monastic vows in 1991 and mastered the entire Prasthana Traya and Sanskrit grammar.
Swamiji was appointed as the acharya of the renowned Kailash Ashram in Uttarkashi and elected as the president of the Sadhu Samaj. He serves as the president of Chaitanya Tapovan Trust and vice president of Adi Shankara Brahmavidya Peeth.
Swamiji has expert knowledge over vast Vedantic literature as well as fluency in Sanskrit, Hindi, English, and Bengali.