A commentary on the Ishavasya Upanishad by Swami Nishchalananda on Friday 28th of August. This was Swamiji’s usual Friday evening online get-together with people from Europe and the UK, organised by Mandala Yoga Ashram.
(Note: this article is also given in Swamiji’s book ‘The Edge of Infinity’ (chapter 7), published by Mandala Yoga Ashram).
The Bhagavad Gita (lit., the ‘Song of the Divine’) is a superb classical Sanskrit text on the practical and mystical teachings of Yoga. It is a scripture on Brahma Vidya (the ‘Science of Consciousness’), showing us how Yoga can be lived moment to moment in daily life and how our actions can be a way to transcendence.
A commentary on Verse 16 of Chapter 2 from the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Nishchalananda, extracted from a longer online transmission given to a group of people from Europe and the UK.
Swami Nishchalananda studied with his teacher, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, in India for 14 years and during that time explored the rich history of Yoga and Tantra in the land of their origin. The Bhagavad Gita is an astonishing text. It doesn’t matter whether it narrates a historical event or whether it is allegorical myth; the Wisdom expressed is profound. The translation Swamiji is using is that of Swami Sivananda Saraswati, the Teacher and Guru of Swami Satyananda.
The Process of Spiritual life, it’s really just a process of more and more identifying with this Conscious Presence….. the fact that we are Conscious
An online satsang given by Swami Nishchalananda to participants worldwide, 31 July 2020
Even if a sense is cut off you can still perceive through the subtle medium of that sense. This is the basis of using the senses inwards, just think of what happens in dreaming. But from the perspective of Conscious Presence what is outside is outside but also what we considered to be inside, mind emotions and feelings, they are also outside.
This is the mystery, if we go deeper, that nothing is outside of consciousness.
Actually… the day before. On a Friday evening the day before Swami Nishchalananda’s birthday we again got together with people from around Europe and the UK courtesy of online videoconferencing platform Zoom. We started with a rousing, and raucous, rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to you’. Set the atmosphere for a session underpinned with a feeling of love and affection. Nice.
Of his birthday, Swamiji said that anyone’s birthday is an opportunity to re-affirm the mystery of our life…. to come back to the basics with regard to our way of thinking, feeling, doing…. look at ways in which they block the natural unfolding of our realisation of conscious presence.
Then a question, one of the big ones…. ‘Is there a conscious presence even when there is no-one to perceive it?’
As individuals, we are expressions which come out of Conscious Presence.
There’s a discussion regarding the way we’ve taken the description of Reality given via the materialistic paradigm taught to us as children, and the fact that now some branches of Science put consciousness at the centre of their paradigm (e.g. especially Quantum Physics).
Further to the discussion of Consciousness as the centre of our life, Swamiji also points out that we also have our Personalities which are expressions of our uniqueness as human beings, but we can get stuck in repetitive ways of acting and feeling, and that can cause us problems.
Spirituality, Yoga, doesn’t mean we have to reject our personality. It just means that we have to get a feeling for that which underlies that personality.
The last of the Friday morning Web-based Q&A sessions (they are moving to Friday evenings) started as usual with a guided meditation on the Chakras to develop awareness the ‘spaciousness from which everything arises’.
The satsang responded to questions from participants in the UK and Europe, and one of the biggest issues naturally, is the dramatic changes brought about by the ‘lockdown’ in many countries around the World. Swami Nishchalananda raised the issue of honesty; saying there is so much potential now that the World could be destroyed by people with power; it’s crucial that we look for honesty both in ourselves, and in those to whom we give political power.
This was a Zoom transmission organised by Mandala Yoga Ashram, giving not just the Ashram residents but about 50 people around Europe the opportunity to join with Swami Nishchalananda. He gave a long reflective guided meditation, then a question and answer session…..
…. here’s a taster of some of the questions and extracts from Swamiji’s answers
that we’re editing and bringing into the public domain…
… and was given before an audience of quite a few people, and several million Cicadas! Hence the buzzing noise especially at the beginning, which it’s very difficult to edit out. It’s authentic we can say!
This one is a New Year’s eve Satsang given by Swamiji at Satyananda Tapovanam, near Banglore, after he’d founded Mandala Yoga Ashram in Wales. Covering a wide range of subjects, including some insight into what it is to be head of an Ashram (Acharya), and the importance of ‘spaciousness’ in the role, i.e. being supportive of other people but without being too close to their emotional baggage.