Online Program

Vedanta: Teachings from the Upanishads on the Essential Freedom of the Self

6 WEEKLY SESSIONS, Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm EST

Swami Brahmananda
Tuition: $129

Program Type: Online Course

Date & Time: Offered as 6 weekly sessions on Thursdays, Jan 7, 14, 21, 28, Feb 4 & 11, 6:30-8:30pm EST

Hours: 12 hours

What you’ll learn:

  • Teachings from the Taittiriya Upanishad, one of the major Upanishads.
  • The essential nature of Brahman as existence, knowledge, and infinity.
  • Brahman or the Supreme Self can be known in the cave of the heart or mind, as the true nature of the knower.
  • The knower of the Self attains the supreme happiness of having all desires fulfilled simultaneously.
  • How does the creation of manifold names and forms arise from the One Reality or Brahman?

Course Description:

The oneness of all existence is the message which Vedanta teaches. The Upanishads form the basis of Vedanta. It is the science that raises us above the plane of bondage and suffering and shows the path to freedom. Vedanta reveals the essential nature of the self which is ever free and blissful. The study of Vedanta frees us from all limiting ideas about oneself and the world.

Course topics:

Topic 1: Brahman or ultimate reality – its nature as truth, knowledge, and infinity

In the first topic, we will study the definition of the nature of ultimate reality or Brahman as the absolute truth, absolute knowledge, and infinity. This definition allows us to gain knowledge of Brahman by understanding what Brahman is not. This method of knowledge through negation is called neti neti – not this, not this.

Topic 2: Knowledge of Brahman as one’s own true Self is available in the heart

The Upanishad declares that Brahman is to be known in the space of the heart, or the cave of the mind.

In this teaching, we learn how Brahman or ultimate reality is recognized as the Self-illuminating the mind and manifesting as the I AM.

Topic 3: The state of liberation or knowledge of Brahman, Brahman as the source of all happiness

Finally, the knower of Brahman is liberated, which amounts to having all desires fulfilled simultaneously. Brahman being the absolute happiness or bliss and the source of all manifest happiness or pleasure is explained.

Topic 4: Brahman’s desire to manifest creation 

This teaching explains that creation manifests out of the will of the infinite consciousness, which is the intelligence bringing creation forth and controlling its evolution. The purpose of creation is for the jivas or souls to experience the fruits of their past actions.

The teaching on the entry of Brahman or consciousness into creation is explained.

Topic 5: The One becoming the many

Creation is the manifestation of all names and forms which have no independent reality from Brahman, just like the waves don’t have an independent reality from the ocean.

Brahman is ever one without a second, but appears to be the diverse creation. How does the One reality appear to be many is explained.

Topic 6: He who is in man and He who is in the Sun, are one. He who knows this…attains this Atman…

The One Self who is the existence of the individual soul, known as I AM and experienced as bliss or happiness, is the same One who exists in the supreme Lord. This mahavakya or declaration of the oneness of the self with Brahman is explained.

Also, what is the meaning of the attainment of the Atman or Self is explained.

Additional Information:

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 & Recommendations: 

  • No experience necessary. This program is open to beginners as well as advanced practitioners.
  • Viewing Device: Desktop or laptop computer will provide the best experience, although you can also connect via a tablet or smartphone.
  • Internet connection: High-speed broadband wired or wireless is best.
  • Video: Download Zoom to your computer, or install the Zoom app to your device.  For interactive group sessions, a webcam or integrated camera will allow others to feel more connected with you.
  • Audio: Headphone speakers are recommended. If you wish to participate vocally, a headset with a microphone will be ideal.

Course Includes:

  • 12 hours on-demand video
  • Last 15 min of each class will be Q&A
  • Downloadable course manual
  • Teacher’s availability to reply to students’ questions between classes via Google classroom

Swami Brahmananda is Manager of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and senior staff of the Sivananda organization. A long-time practitioner of yoga, he regularly teaches yoga philosophy and meditation for the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses as well as meditation immersion courses. He is a much-loved, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher.

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