Question and Answer with Swamiji Videos
Top TEN Misconceptions about HINDUISM – believed by Hindus & non-Hindus.
Is COVID-19 God’s Will? Evil? Karma? Eastern and Western Views on GOOD & EVIL.
Why does God—all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good—allow us to be afflicted by natural evils like the corona virus and moral evils like the 9/11 terror attacks?
A message from Swami Tadatmananda on the coronavirus pandemic.
The fear and anxiety that naturally arise at times of crisis can be managed through prayer, meditation, and spiritual study, especially study of the Bhagavad Gita.
Why do BAD things happen to GOOD people? The Doctrine of Karma.
Q&A with Swamiji #1: According to the doctrine of karma, God neither rewards us for good deeds nor punishes us for bad deeds. God gives us the results we ourselves have earned through deeds in this or prior lives.
Why are there so few FEMALE Rishis and Gurus?
Q&A with Swamiji #2: Ancient India was a highly patriarchal society, yet, this wonderful story from the Yoga Vasishta shows the spiritual superiority of Queen Chudala over her husband, King Shikhidvaja.
Does FREE WILL Really Exist? Scientific and Vedantic Views
Q&A with Swamiji #3: Scientists have identified specific neurological activities associated with decision making, yet they remain unable to explain the nature and origin of consciousness, which is fundamental to all experience.
What Makes Karma Good or Bad? Ahimsa—the Principle of Least Harm.
Q&A with Swamiji #4: Rather than specifying a list of rigid commandments, the sages of ancient India prescribed ahimsa as the basis for dharma, righteousness.
COPING with DEATH – Vedantic Wisdom for Overcoming Sadness, Grief, and Painful Memories.
Q&A with Swamiji #5: Swamiji explains emotional healing from a Vedanta point a view and shows how sadness is not your enemy – because you can find contentment even in the midst of sadness.
What’s the PROOF that Vedanta is Correct? Science vs. Religion vs. Spirituality
Q&A with Swamiji #6: How can we determine the validity of scientific knowledge, religious doctrines, and spiritual teachings? How can we reconcile their differences?
Spiritual vs. Worldly Life — How to Reconcile? — Karma Yoga
Q&A with Swamiji #7: Any time you devote to spiritual practice is stolen from worldly activities, and vice versa. This conflict is resolved through karma yoga. Life itself becomes your spiritual practice.
If Reality is NON-DUAL, Why are there so many GODS in Hinduism?
Q&A with Swamiji #8: Hindu scriptures offer different teachings to meet the individual needs of different people – according to the crucial principle of adhikari-bheda (individualism).
Is a GURU Really Necessary? Who is a TRUE Guru?
Q&A with Swamiji #9: Can you gain enlightenment on your own and avoid all the so-called gurus? Or do you need guidance from someone who has already discovered what you seek?Related video: ESCAPING the Forest of Samsara – Role of Guru
The Purpose of Life is…WHAT? A Vedic Perspective.
Q&A with Swamiji #10: Vedic scriptures don’t specify a single goal of life, they specify four – kama, pleasure, artha, wealth, dharma, righteousness, and moksha, enlightenment – four purusharthas.
COVID-19 Fear and Anxiety—A Spiritual Solution
Q&A with Swamiji #11: Are you afraid of contracting the deadly coronavirus accidentally? Many people are. The sages of ancient India provide a unique and powerful solution to the problem of fear and anxiety in the teachings of Vedanta.
Buddhism vs Advaita Vedanta—What’s the Difference?
Q&A with Swamiji #12: Both traditions address and solve the fundamental problem of human suffering, but they differ on the existence or non-existence of a true, inner self, atma.
When will I FINALLY get Enlightened?
Q&A with Swamiji #13: Does gradual spiritual growth or instantaneous transformation lead to enlightenment? Neither, according to Advaita Vedanta: it’s a non-linear process.
What is the Role of INTUITION in Gaining Enlightenment?
Q&A with Swamiji #14: Intuition is the mind’s power to gain knowledge without using rational thought. But, can intuition give you knowledge of atma, the true self? That knowledge, according to Advaita Vedanta, is the primary means for enlightenment.
Is Formal Initiation Required? Or Can You Just Watch Various Gurus on YouTube?
Q&A with Swamiji #15: Some spiritual organizations, like ISKCON and TM, require their followers to undergo certain rituals of initiation. Many others do not. So, is it OK just to follow gurus on YouTube without being initiated?
In some religious and spiritual traditions, sacred mantras are imparted only through a process of formal initiation (diksha). Young Hindus receive the Gayatri mantra in an ancient ritual of initiation (samskara) called upanayanam. Such rituals are said to endow mantras with a special power – mantra shakti. Many believe that, without formal initiation, mantras are deprived of that power, so their recitation will be useless.
What Happens at DEATH? The Subtle Body According to Advaita Vedanta
Q&A with Swamiji #16: What survives death of the physical body? Does it travel? How? And what happens at death for an enlightened person who has broken free from the cycle of rebirth?
The ancient rishis discovered that your true, essential nature is awareness, pure consciousness, consciousness that’s eternal, never-ending. They called it atma, the true self, the inner divinity that exists independently of your body and mind.
But then, what about reincarnation? What is it that leaves the body at death and travels on to be reborn? According to doctrine of karma, it’s the sukshma sharira or subtle body that leaves the physical body at death and acquires a new one.
OM vs AUM – Which is Correct?
Q&A with Swamiji #17: The division of OM into A-U-M originated in the ancient Mandukya Upanishad where the three letters represent three states of experience – waking, dream, and sleep. But rules of Sanskrit grammar require the letters A and U to combine into the letter O. So, which is correct?
According to the rules of sandhi (euphonic combination), the letter a followed by u must combine to form o. They can never remain side by side. For this reason, to say that om has three letters, aum, is incorrect.
Sanskrit vowels are generally short (hasra) or long (dirgha). But the o of om is prolated, that means it’s extra long, it is three units (matra) in duration. So, om is properly pronounced with an extra long o, om.
How NOT to Study Vedanta – Self-Inquiry vs Acquiring Information
Q&A with Swamiji #18: Vedanta texts are more like a road map than a textbook – both are filled with information, but their ultimate purpose is to guide you to a destination. Video includes recommended program of study.
Swami Tadatmananda’s syllabus available here: https://arshabodha.org/teachings/
In the study of Vedanta, the subject matter is not Vedanta – it’s your own true nature, atma, pure consciousness, the so-called inner divinity that the ancient rishis discovered to be identical with brahman.
Why Did God Create the World in the First Place? WRONG!! The Beginningless CYCLE of Creation
Q&A with Swamiji #18: The sages of ancient India (rishis) intuited that the universe has no beginning or end because it continually undergoes cycles of manifestation and dissolution. The same is true for living beings who undergo cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.
The rishis understood that the natural word is cyclic: seed – sprout – plant – more seeds. To assume “In the beginning was a single, primordial seed from which all plants arose” is naive. The evolution of plants is much more complicated. Yet, the Bible declares, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.” If nature is truly cyclical, then this statement also seems naive.
According to the rishis, the universe undergoes cycles of manifestation and dissolution. The unmanifest universe exists in a subtle or non-physical form, known as bija avastha or seed state.