May 3 – June 21, 2021
Vedantic Meditations: The Practice of Self Inquiry
8 WEEKLY SESSIONS, Mondays, 6:00-7:30pm ET
Vedantic meditations help the practitioner to remove limiting ideas regarding oneself and the universe. These meditations do not require a particular time, place, or posture. Rather, they can be practiced throughout the day, while engaged in activity.
Knowing your true nature is essential for happiness. In this course, you will learn techniques in order to connect with and know your true nature while you are doing your daily tasks. These techniques focus on contemplation and analysis in order to reclaim what you already are.
It is not necessary to have a background in Vedanta in order to register for this course.
This course focuses on five Vedantic meditations or five techniques of Self Inquiry. Each method helps the practitioner of Jnana Yoga to remove the wrong identification with the non-self and claim their true identity.
- Neti Neti – (not this, not this) or the Vedantic analysis of negation: Discover how union with the Absolute is achieved by denial of body, mind, name, form, intellect, senses, and all limiting adjuncts.
- Sakshi Bhava – the witness state: Learn how to observe the play of life as though watching a movie, without identifying with it.
- Abheda Bodha Vakya – Recognize that every sentient being and insentient object in the universe has five components–name, form, existence, knowledge, and bliss. Name and form are impermanent and illusory, while existence, knowledge, and bliss are permanent. Through the meditative technique of Abheda Bodha Vakya, they are discarded. Only Existence-Knowledge-Bliss remains–within me as well as outside of me. There is nothing other than that. All differences are eliminated. Only the oneness remains.
- Laya Chintana – The method of absorption. The effect is absorbed in its cause. We will explore three different analytical meditations of absorption:
- Margining into the intellect, which in turn merges into the unmanifested universe, which then merges into the Supreme Imperishable Brahman.
- The elements of creation merge with each other, starting with the grossest and proceeding to the subtlest. The processes of merging is earth into water, water into fire, fire into air, air into ether, ether into the unmanifest and the unmanifest into Brahman.
- The microcosm merges with the macrocosm. The individual merges with the universe, the soul merges in Brahman. All external attributes gradually merge into their Source.
- Panchikarana – The doctrine of Quintiplication. This method further develops the concept of absorption of the gross into the subtle by breaking down the components of the body and its functions into the five basic elements called Tanmatras. When it is seen that these are not Brahman, they may be either absorbed into each other or discarded by negation. In either case, one arrives at the Self, which is beyond them all. By negating the ideas of possessiveness and attachment to the illusory qualities of the body and mind, one can achieve emancipation.
“Vedanta must enter your bones, nerves, cells and interior chambers of your heart. Even a little of real practical Vedanta will elevate you quickly and make you immortal and fearless. We should become absolutely fearless. That is the sign of life in Atma. No more words. No more talk. No more arguments, heated debates or discussions. No more study. No more wandering. Live in OM. Live in truth. Enter the silence. There is peace. Peace is silence.” – Swami Sivananda, Sadhana
“Vedantic meditations course is a jewel. You do not need previous knowledge of Vedanta to take the course. The teacher will take you from zero, up to giving you three beautiful meditations that you can use in daily life, to realize your true Self. These types of Vedantic meditations are not like the Japa meditation, where you sit still and focus your attention on an object. Instead, they are made to be practicing when you walk, when you eat, when you are working, etc. Moreover, the passion of the teacher for this subject is so contagious and I’m sure it will get straight to your heart and built a special connection with the teachings.”
– Jun Ishida (Jyoti Dev)
“I found Rukmini to be excellent teacher and one of the gems at Sivananda. Although all the instructors at Sivananda are great, Rukmini was very engaging and made the concepts of Vedanta clear and comprehensible. We have signed up with more of her classes (and others) because she left us wanting more.”
– Doug Habig
Offered as 8 weekly sessions on Mondays, May 3, 10 17, 24, 31 June 7, 14 & 21 6:00-7:30pm ET
This program is offered live through Zoom webinar with the availability for students to interact through Q&A with the presenter.
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.
It is possible to register and take the course at any time. You can catch up on any classes you miss with the recordings.
Requirements and Recommendations:
Rukmini Chaitanya is a senior staff member of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas, and the personal assistant to Swami Swaroopananda, the Acharya, or spiritual director of the Ashram. She regularly teaches the Bhagavad Gita during the Sivananda Yoga Teacher training as well as other courses on the Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, positive thinking, meditation, and yoga philosophy.
Rukmini Chaitanya is known for her enthusiastic and inspiring teaching style as well as for her devotion to the lineage and the scriptures. She is dedicated to each of her students and has an innate desire to share knowledge with them. She brings a great deal of clarity to every topic and is highly appreciated for her capacity to unfold complicated topics and present them in a coherent and pure way.