Swami SivanandaSwami Vishnu

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Online Program
February 4 — 25, 2021

You are That: Unfolding the Great Declarations of Vedanta

4 WEEKLY SESSIONS, Thursdays, 7:00-8:30pm EST

Rukmini Chaitanya
Tuition: $79

Date & Time: Offered as 4 weekly sessions on Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18 & 25, 7:00-8:30pm EST

Hours: 6 hours

Course Description:

The Mahavakyas are Upanishadic statements that express the highest truth of the identity between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. They are can be comprehended only by those who have purified their minds and are capable of sublime understanding. Understanding the Mahavakyas enables the individual soul to identify with the Supreme Soul.

In this course, we will explore the four main Mahavakyas, or great proclamations: Prajnanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahman), Aham Brahma Asmi (I am Brahman), Tat Twam Asi (That Though Art), Ayam Atma Brahma (This Self is Brahman). We will focus on the Tat Twam Asi Mahavakya, which is the declaration by which the guru initiates the disciple into the knowledge of Brahman. The disciple reflects and meditates on it, and eventually recognizes his or her identity with Brahman. We will learn different Vedantic methodologies to understand and reflect on this Mahavakya. We will discover how the Bhagatyaga Lakshana method of reasoning helps us to unfold the Tat Twam Asi Mahavakya, how to remove the direct meaning of Twam (you, the individual soul or reflected consciousness) and Tat (That, Pure Consciousness or Braman) and assert that the individual soul is, in reality, the Supreme Absolute. We will also explore the famous Upanishadic story from the Chandogya Upanishad in which Indra, the king of the gods, and Virochana, the king of the demons approached Prajapati, the creator to learn the knowledge of the Self. Through this story, we will discover how to unpack the true meaning of the Tat Twam Asi Mahavakya. The significance of this Mahavakya can be grasped only after long, detailed and careful consideration. Once it is understood, it can carry the aspirant across the abyss of ignorance.

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.

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.

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