Lesson 1: The Eternal Way – Sanatana Dharma
What brings us to the spiritual path?
Four reasons people look for a spiritual path
- Sorrow / Happiness
Our search for a happy, successful life is really our search for our true Self, our relationship with the Infinite. Paramahansa Yogananda said, everyone is seeking happiness—that search is for God. When we find our Self, we find God.
What we really want:
- Life / Existence: Sat
- Knowledge / Awareness: Chit
- Happiness / Bliss: Ananda
The Kingdom of God is within you / That Thou Art
- What we are seeking is within us.
- We can know/realize the spiritual Truth of our being. We can learn to live consciously, wisely, well, find freedom from sorrow, and experience unconditional happiness.
Overview of Vedic philosophy which is the source of the teachings of Kriya Yoga — nature of reality, the Self, our path of realization.
- It is
- We are It
- We forget
- We remember
The Self is one, though It appears to be many. Those who meditate upon the Self and realize the Self go beyond loss and death, beyond separateness and sorrow. They see the Self in everyone and obtain fulfillment. —Chandogya Upanishad
For additional information, refer to:
Living the Eternal Way, p 9-16
I love this course, thank you!
I have some questions about the Remembrance Sutras:
We are It
If ‘We are It’, then is everything in this universe a part of me? Would it be correct to say ‘my neighbor is a part of me’? Or ‘the sun is a part of me’?
Is there anything that is not ‘It’?
Thanks for the question, Nina, I am wondering the same. I am confused as to whether the furniture, ect. is part of It too. Everything is made of molecules. I haven’t wanted to ask this question because it almost sounds irreverent. I don’t love the table, chair, etc., but I’m not sure if All is It? I, too, love this class! Thank you so much for your teachings, Yogacharya; I have learned so much!
Dear dclefevre, I also wondered, am I this chair that I am sitting on, the floor that I am walking on, the air that I am breathing?
Wow, It is so interesting……
Is ‘It’ also what is referred to as ‘Self’?
Are ‘We’ what is referred to as ‘self’?
Does ‘We are It’ also mean ‘self is Self’?
Regarding ‘We forget’, is this supposed to happen? Meaning, it ‘s not a mistake to forget, it is part of who we are?
Looking at cycles in nature, such as day/night, summer/winter, is our forgetting/remembering as natural as that? Forgetting (day)/remembering (night)?
Namaste dear Cheri and Nina,
Yes, everything in this universe and beyond it is one Reality expressing as all that is. With regard to how we see and experience it, there are different levels of expression. It is true from the absolute level that it is all God–all of it, and from the relative level of awareness it is individualized–different expressions. From the perspective of ego, the individual small self, it is separate. From the highest perspective of Absolute Reality, It (Consciousness) is only One and we are That. To say our neighbor is part of Me, or the sun is part of Me, would depend on what you mean by Me. If that Me you refer to is the ego, individualized self, then no. If the Me is the ultimate absolute Reality, then Yes — everyone and everything is connected in that. But there is also no actual “Me”, no individual in That.
Forgetting that we are spiritual beings is a natural process that occurs from identifying with the body and mind. Incarnation allows for the process of liberation, so in that case, it is also natural.
Is there a translation of the Upanishads that you recommend?
Two versions I like to refer to are:
The Principal Upanishads trans. S. Radhakrishnan, Indus, Harper Collins, India, 1994
The Upanishads, trans. Eknath Easwaran, Nilgiri Press, 2007 (more accessible, inspirational)
Great question, Frances. I have a similar one, Yogacharya. What translations of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras do you recommend?
Thanks for your question. There are 3 sources for Patanjali’s sutras that I frequently consult:
1. The Science of Self-Realization: A Guide to Spiritual Practice in the Kriya Yoga Tradition by Roy Eugene Davis, CSA Press
2. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali–A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary with Insights from the Traditional Commentators By Edwin F. Bryant, North Point Press
3. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: A Study Guide for (Books 1 -4, a four volume set) by Baba Hari Dass, Sri Rama Publishing
Yogacharya, thank you for the information on the Yoga Sutra translations. FYI, we met in 2006 when you gave a class on the Yoga Sutras at CSA. I’m grateful to reconnect with you now in these times of “online everything.”
I am so happy to join this course:) I am happy to join with everybody else, as well.
Welcome to the course. I’m delighted you have join in and wish you every success with your practice.
I am glad that this form of LTEW is available during the Corona Virus shelter in place. I have so many things to do as Board Chair of SiVIC and starting my D.Min. dissertation interviews, that I am happy to be able to take some time to enjoy LTEW once again.
Peace be with you, dearest Teacher.
Namaste dear Lakshmi,
Wonderful to be sharing the course with you again, and in this new incarnation! Blessings on your continued inspired ministry work in the world.
Thank for so much for having these teachings online and accessible anytime anywhere. I am so grateful. I also appreciate the book recommendations. Thank you, Claire
Hi Claire, Thanks so much for your note. I’m delighted you are taking the course and wish you continued inspiration on your spiritual journey.
I’m so happy to be here and taking this course along with the Saturday group. My intention for beginning the course again now with the group is to fill the void that exists within me that yearns to be fulfilled with Bliss.
HI Audrey! Thanks for posting your awesome intention. There’s so much you said that is ripe for deep contemplation. Here’s a thought for contemplation: Consider that you are already filled with Bliss. Since bliss is inherent to our being, it is always of the nature of fullness itself. What is the void and how will it be filled? Wishing you many blessings on this journey!
Once again immersing myself in these teachings….maybe for the tenth time ? Every time is a blessing with new insights that maybe I wasn’t ready for before. Thank you for keeping this available for us to learn, relearn, and spiritually grow. It is wonderful to have this support on an ever changing path of life. Deepest bows of gratitude.
Here’s an amazing affirmation that the principals of the “four sutras” are quite true. “It is. We are it”. This speaks to the totality of our experience, yes? So. I am immersed in a four-year program of astrological studies through a university. The section I am studying now asks us to look at phases we go through and how we can work with what occurs to make the most of potentials. For me, this phase is now suggesting that this moment in time is a very fertile moment for being aware that I am yearning for something I don’t even recognize, that I “don’t know what I don’t know”, or as the wise and humourous astrologer, Rob Brezsny of “Free Will Astrology”, puts it, “What do I need to become aware of that I wouldn’t even know to ask about?” In listening to Yogacharya’s teaching for the first lesson, she essentially stated that this is the exact experience of yearning about which this course hopes to enlighten us. Here then is synchronicity: A magic moment where inner (my yearning) and outer (my astrology course and this Eternal Way course), converge. So, I breathe a deep, happy sigh that I am in the right place, taking this course.