Swami Swaroopananda Q&A: Dispassion Does Not Mean Indifference

SwamiSQ: If one successfully attains vairagya, or dispassion, why would one do anything beyond one’s immediate responsibilities and duties? For example, why did Swami Vishnudevananda feel such a strong need to promote world peace, if he had attained vairagya?

Answer: In the yogic scriptures, vairagya, or dispassion, is described as acting without desire for the fruits of the action. Let’s say, for example, that you are feeding hungry people, that you are feeding a million hungry people a day. Someone might ask, why do you do this? What do you get out of it? When this question came up during a talk yesterday, one person spoke about a smiling child. She said that seeing a smile on the face of a distressed child is a great reward for helping.

But we have to ask the question, “Did you help the child for the smile?” Is that really the reason you helped? I don’t think the person helping the child thought, “I’m helping the child so I can get a smile.” Let’s assume you helped the child, but you didn’t see the smile, or that you helped the child, but didn’t see any direct results at all. Now let’s suppose someone again asks, why do you do what you do? Your answer will be, I do what I do because I care for the child, because I love the child. Then the person might ask, but what do you want for yourself? The answer is, if you really love, if you really care, ultimately you don’t want anything for yourself. All you want is for the other, not for yourself.

Many of our desires relate to the question, “What can I get for myself?” We want happiness or knowledge or power or name and fame. “I have to get something for myself. If I get something for myself, I’ll be happy.” But there is another way to look at it, like this: “I do a lot of good in this world. I act. But whatever I do, it’s never for myself.” If whatever I do is never for myself, at that very moment I am free. That freedom is called vairagya, or detachment. I am free of desire that has as its motive an egotistic reason. I am free from selfish desires, and that is vairagya. Vairagya means that I act, but not because of selfish desires. I only act out of love, out of care. I don’t want anything for myself. Nothing. Not even a thank you. The joy is in serving, in loving.

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Gracious Living Creamy Apricot Salad Dressing

Oddly delicious and always nutritious! www.gracevanberkum.com

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Arugula spinach salad with walnuts & hemp seeds,
topped with Gracious Living Creamy Apricot Salad Dressing.

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If The World Is Illusion, What Is The Purpose Of Science?

Science & Spirituality: Integrating Disciplines

Join us for a variety of conferences, symposiums and workshops with world renowned scientists, authors and theologians as they investigate a variety of topics integrating science and spirituality. Check our website for upcoming programs.

September Promotions

dispatcherThere’s still time to sign up for our “Early Bird” discount on any upcoming 2013-14 Teacher Training Course. This special offer will be ending soon (September 30), so be sure to sign up today for any one of our upcoming Teacher Training courses. Check our website for more information and to register.

Lastly, to celebrate the upcoming opening of our high season, we are offering a 25% discount off all November and December course tuition fees to those who register by September 30th. (The Ayurveda Body Treatment Certification Course is excluded from this offer.)

So take a look at our calendar and make plans to come visit us here at the Yoga Retreat!

 

Make Sure You Keep Receiving Our E-Newsletters!

As some of you may know, Gmail completely altered their web-based email interface last week. Many email blasts and e-newsletters are now showing up in a separate Inbox entitled “Promotions”. To change how Gmail handles your “Promotion” emails and to make sure you keeping receiving the latest news from the Yoga Retreat, follow the directions below.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click the “Promotions” tab.
  3. Look for any emails from the Yoga Retreat. When you see one, drag it to the “Primary” folder.
  4. A question will pop up asking if you want this done automatically in the future. Click YES.

Swami Swaroopananda Q&A: World: Real, Unreal or Both?

Q: If everything is Brahman, is there really any such thing as an individual’s past life? Or is there really just a collective evolution?

Answer: Both exist, but we first need to understand that many systems of philosophy have appeared within India. There are different points of view, and different ways that Ultimate Reality is described in India, and even within the history of India. Within the school of Advaita Vedanta, which is the school to which we belong, it is indeed said that “All is Brahman.” All is that Absolute Reality, which is of the nature of existence, consciousness and bliss. There is only one reality, and there is nothing second to it. Within this teaching it is not accepted that there is Brahman, and also something else.

Nevertheless, even the teachers of this school, the school of Advaita Vedanta, had to acknowledge that they could not deny our common, conventional, empirical experience. Indeed, we experience multiplicity, variety, diversity. We experience duality. How can we deny our own experience? We cannot.

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What Is the Relationship Between Grace and Karma?

Russill Paul & The Bhakti Boys

Join Russill Paul & the Bhakti Boys for The Yoga of Sound March 21 – 22, 2014

Allow the sacred power of sound to bring you fully alive during two days of high-energy chanting and devotional bliss. Through mantra recitation and ecstatic kirtan you will experience the transformative power of sound.

Gracious Living Chocolate Superfood Smoothie

Recipe contributed by Grace Van Berkum & Gracious Living
 
* handful of raw cacao beans
* Sunwarrior plant-based chocolate protein powder
* 3 tbsp dandelion root powder
* 3-4 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk)
* 1 frozen banana
* 1 cup frozen papaya
* 1 tbsp maca powder
* 1 tsp bee pollen
* 1 tsp Lucuma powder
* natural sweetener of choice
* handful of ice

Blend till smooth and creamy.  Sprinkle with cacao nibs.

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