Current Weekly Classes
1. Kathopanisad (An In-depth Study): Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 PM
The word Upanishad consists of 3 parts: Upa, meaning innermost, i.e you; Ni, meaning definite, clear; Sad/Sat, meaning knowledge that removes a false sense of limitation from oneself, revealing a beautiful and happy nature that you are. Upanishads are part of theVedas, and form the basis of all Vedic/Hindu thought. Kathopanishad is one of 10 major ones that should be studied by all serious students - from a competent, experienced teacher, and not independently.
Nature of the class
This class is ideally suited to experienced students - ones who have studied Upanishads before, including Kathohopanisad. This text was last taught in 2005-2006. Although new students will be accepted, the focus will be on mananam (the 'how' of gaining self-knowledge). In this teaching, texts by Swami Parmarthananda (a renowned student of Swami Dayananda), a text called Anubhuti Prakasha by Swami Vidyaranya (famous author of Pancadashi), and commentaries by Swami Maheshananda (founder of Dakshinamurti Matha) will be mainly relied on. Working knowledge of Sanskrit is not required, but will help.
This advanced text tackles the more persistent of one's problems, that of identification with the body-mind complex. An analysis leads to ways of solving these problems. This text is appropriate for relatively advanced students. All 3 chapters will be chanted at the beginning of each class. Svaras (Vedic intonations) will be taught.
Chapter 1: Shiksha Valli: Advice for a student. The importance of having the correct attitude for learning. We will go over the verse meanings, and sometime go into Sankara Bhasya
Chapter 2: Brahmananda Valli: This is the principal section of the Upanisad. It specializes in Panca Kosa Viveka (as Mandukya Upanisad does on the three states of experience - waking, dream and sleep). It goes over how to recognize the mistakes one makes, and work on removing the wrong identification with the body-mind complex. It is also the calculous of joy - how that increases with study and analysis. We will take the help of Sankara Bhasya, and also of an excellent commentary by Sri Vidyaranya (author of Pancadasi).
Chapter 3 (Bhrigu Valli): This presents the teachings of the previous valli in another context. We will not go in to as much detail as in the Brahmananda Valli
An opportunity to understand Gita
The quintessential guide to a happy life, and to immortality beyond this life. Revered in India through the ages, respected by the whole world, it is a must read by everyone. Yet, it's message is not easy to grasp, it's deeper meanings evade us. It can even be confusing to interpret - duty vs. what feels good, action vs. knowledge, conquest of the wrong tendencies, and so on. It is like a complex puzzle, sometime needing an experienced guide.
Nature of the class
Weekly discourses, in English, but extensive use of Sanskrit. Last 15-20 minutes will be Q&A. Guided meditation from time to time. Correct chanting will be taught. All verses in all chapters will be covered. Verses will be read, sentence meanings conveyed and relevance to the topic or topics will be explained. All classes will be recorded, for the benefit of occasional absences.
If you would like to attend these classes, please contact our teacher Sri Vijay Kapoor at VijayKapoor@gmail.com.