Arsha Vidya Pitham, Saylorsburg, PA

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Daily Abhisheka and Aarati to Lord Dakshinamurti

DAILY In-Person and Online:

5:40 – 7:00 am ET Abhisheka
5:45 – 6:15 pm ET Arati

More Temple info HERE

1st and 3rd Sunday Classes with Swami Viditatmananda

Sunday, July 21, 2024

In-Person and Online

9:00-10:00 am ET

TOPIC: Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.8.9

More details HERE

2024 Guru Purnima Puja and Talk by Swami Viditatmananda

Sunday, July 21
10:30am-12:30pm ET

In-Person and Online

2024 Two-Week Bhashyam Vedanta Course

July 10 at 8:00 pm ET (UTC-4)
to

July 24 at 12:30 pm

In-Person and Online

TOPICS and TEACHERS

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad with Swami Viditatmananda
3.6.1, 3.7.3, 3.7.23, 3.8.1-12

Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad, 6-12, with Swami Muktatmananda

More info HERE

Ongoing Classes

Arsha Vidya Balagurukulam's Parents Vedic Chanting Class with Sri Suddhatma ONLINE

Every Sunday
9:00-10:00 am ET (UTC-4)

Shrimad Bhagavatam Study Classes with Brhm. Pratyagaatma Chaitanya ONLINE ONLY

Every Wednesday, 8:00 pm ET (UTC-4)

Bhagavatam is a Mahapurana written by Sage Veda Vyasa. In these classes, the text is studied verse by verse based on Shridhari tikka.

Meditation Workshop with Swamini Agamananda ONLINE

1st and 3rd Saturday every month 11:00am-12:00pm ET (UTC-4)

Teacher: Swamini Agamananda

Meditation plays an integral part in a seeker’s spiritual journey, in that it steers the wavering mind into a state of quietude, wherein the tumult of distracting desires loosen their grip. With practice, the mind will be ushered to a deeper realm of stillness. Such a mind gains the capability for a lofty vision and cannot be influenced by anything. As the practice of meditation deepens, one can resolutely face the problems in life and gradually become a yukta, one who abides in one’s real nature.

Nirvana Shatkam Text

Nirvana Shatkam Classes with Pujya Swami Dayananda

PRAYERS

Panchadashi with Swami Muktatmananda ONLINE STUDY

Resuming September 2, 2024

Online Only

The Panchadaśī of Śri Vidyaranya is a comprehensive manual of Advaita Vedanta, enjoying great popularity with those who want to have a clear vision of Self, Ātmā.


Donations Appreciated

Recent Events

1st and 3rd Sunday Classes with Swami Viditatmananda

Sunday, July 7, 2024

In-Person and Online

10:00 – 11:00 am ET Class 1

11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET Class 2

TOPIC: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9

More details HERE

2024 Summer Weekend Vedanta Course with Swamini Paraprajnananda

June 13 at 8:00 pm ET (UTC-4)
to

June 16 at 12:30 pm

TEACHER:
 Swamini Paraprajnananda

TOPIC:
Dṛg-Dṛśya-Viveka

More info HERE

2024 Vedanta Course with Sri Vijay Kapoor

June 1 at 8:00 pm ET (UTC-4)
to

June 7 at 12:00 pm

TOPIC:
Kaivalya Upanishad

TEACHER:
Sri Vijay Kapoor

For more info, click HERE

1st and 3rd Sunday Classes with Swami Viditatmananda

Sunday, June 2, 2024

In-Person and Online

10:00 – 11:00 am ET Class 1

11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET Class 2

TOPIC: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9

More details HERE

2024 Memorial Day Weekend Vedanta Course

May 24 at 8:00 pm ET (UTC-4)
to

May 27 at 12:00 pm

TOPICS and TEACHERS:
Uttiṣṭhata jāgrata (Kaṭha Upaniṣad, 1.3.14) with Swami Viditatmananda
Dve vidye veditavye (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, 1.1.4) with Swamini Paraprajnananda

More info HERE

 

2024 10-Day Vedanta Course with Swamini Svatmavidyananda

May 12 at 8:00 pm ET
to
May 21 at 12:30 pm ET

TOPIC:
Upadeśa-Sāhasrī

More info HERE

2024 Kumbhabhishekam

Friday, May 17
to
Sunday, May 19

Kumbhabhishekam:

 “Only by consecration does even a traditionally sculpted idol become an altar of worship. This procedure of consecration is a series of steps of highly meaningful rituals and prayers. After the consecration, the daily worship keeps an altar alive with the presence of the Devata. Human omissions and commissions call for re-consecration every twelve years, the period that Jupiter (Guru) takes to complete a full round of the Zodiac. Sometimes re-consecration is needed earlier if specific omissions and commissions have occurred, as is the case in the present consecration.”

For program details, click HERE

2024 Gurupeyarchi Puja

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

5:30 – 7:00 pm ET Homa (rituals)

For more information about Gurupeyarchi, in-person attendance and sponsorship, click HERE.

1st and 3rd Sunday Classes with Swami Muktatmananda

Sunday, April 21, 2024

In-Person and Online

10:00 – 11:00 am ET Class 1

11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET Class 2

TOPIC: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8

More details HERE

2024 Shri Ramanavami Puja

Wednesday, April 17
11:30 am – 12:30 pm

In-Person and Online

Program Details:
Shodasa-upachar puja
Ram Ashtottara
Diparadhanam
Afternoon Arati
Prasadam (Lunch)

1st and 3rd Sunday Classes with Swami Muktatmananda

Sunday, April 7, 2024

In-Person and Online

10:00 – 11:00 am ET Class 1

11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET Class 2

TOPIC: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8

More details HERE

2024 Spring Weekend Vedanta Course 1 with Swami Sachidananda

April 4 – April 7, 2024

In-Person and Online

Ashtavakra Gita – Assimilation of the Vision (selected verses)
The Astavakra Gita, a dialogue between Sage Astavakra and King Janaka, is a text meant for contemplation to strengthen abidance in the vision of Vedanta. As such, it contains very powerful statements that negate all of our wrong notions and identifications with the things of the world and the body-mind itself. Swamiji will show how this profound text can be assimilated to achieve lasting happiness and peace.

TEACHER:
Swami Sachidananda

 

More Details HERE

2024 Four-Week Vedanta Course with Swami Muktatmananda

March 4 – April 4, 2024

In-Person and Online

Swamiji will discuss and give guidance to students in the traditional Vedantic form of meditation, the purpose of which is to contemplate upon the nature of the very meditator. He will also be teaching the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gītā, in which Lord Krishna reveals the truth of the self to Arjuna, defines the discipline of karma-yoga, and describes the characteristics of a wise person.

Course Program and Text:
Click here for Devanagari Text
Click here for Transliteration Text

More Details HERE

2024 Easter Weekend Vedanta Course with Swami Muktatmananda

March 29 at 8 pm ET
to
March 31 at 12 pm ET

In-Person and Online

TOPIC:
Aparokṣānubhūti 68-75

Aparokṣānubhūti by Ācārya Śri Ādiśaṅkara is a complete text of Vedānta, detailing all that is involved in gaining self-knowledge. The selected verses describe the different ways in which the self is taken to be the body.

TEACHERS:
Swami Muktatmananda
Suddhatma Chaitanya (Vedic Chanting)

COURSE PROGRAM BOOKLET PDF

More Details HERE

1st and 3rd Sunday Classes with Swami Muktatmananda

Sunday, March 17, 2024

In-Person and Online

10:00 – 11:00 am ET Class 1

11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET Class 2

TOPIC: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8

More details HERE

Lord Daksinamurti

In the vision of the Veda, this creation is a manifestation of the Lord. Being the cause, he is all knowledge, especially spiritual knowledge. We have a name for that Lord Daksinamurti.

The Lord presented in this form as Dakṣiṇāmūrti is the one who has eight aspects. The first five aspects are thefive elements. In the Veda the world is presented in the form of five elements—ākāśa, space,which includes time; vāyu, air; agni, fire; āpa, water; and pṛthivī, earth.

In this Vedic model of the universe, the five elements are non-separate from the Lord. In fact, these five elements constitute the Lord’s form, which is this universe.

The next two aspects are represented by the sun and the moon.

When, as an individual, I look at this world, what stands out in the sky are the sun and moon.

The moon represents all planets other than earth, and the sun represents allluminous bodies.

The eighth aspect is me, the jīva—the one who is looking at the world.

These eight aspects are to be understood as one whole. This is the Lord.

When we look at the form of Dakṣiṇāmūrti, we can see representations of the five elements. Space, ākāśa, is represented by a ḍamaru, a drum, in his right hand. In order to show space in a sculpture, it needs to be enclosed.

Empty space is enclosed in the ḍamaru, enabling it to issue sound, or śabda.

Next, vāyu, air, is represented by Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s hair with the bandana, the band, holding his hair in place against the wind. Bandana is a Sanskrit word which comes from the root band, to bind.

In his left hand, you will see a torch, which represents agni, fire.

Āpa, water, is shown by the Gaṅga, in the form of a Goddess, which you can see on Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s head.

Pṛthivī, the earth, is represented by the whole idol.

Then there are people, the jīvas, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanātana and Sanatsujāta, who are the disciples of Dakṣiṇāmūrti, sitting at the base of sculpture.

The sun and moon are also shown in this form of the Lord.

On the left side of Dakṣiṇāmūrti you will find a crescent moon, and on his right side there is a circle, representing the sun—a whole circle.

So we see five elements, two planets and the jīva constituting the aṣṭa-mūrti-bhṛt, the Lord of these eight factors that are the whole.

You can worship Dakṣiṇāmūrti as the Lord, the one who is aṣṭa-mūrti-bhṛt, or you can invoke him as a teacher, because he also is in the form of a teacher.

His very sitting posture, āsana, is the teacher’s āsana. What does he teach? Look at his hand gesture. That shows wha the teaches. His index finger, the one we use to point at others, represents the ahaṅkāra, the ego.

The other three fingers represent your body, deha, mind, antaḥkaraņa and sense organs, prāņa.

They also may be seen as the three bodies, śarīras, the gross, subtle, and causal. This is what the jīva mistakes himself to be. The aṅguṣṭha, the thumb, represents the Lord, the puruṣa. It is away from the rest of the fingers of the hand, yet at the same time, the fingers have no strength without it.

In this gesture, mūdra, in Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s right hand, the thumb joins the other fingers to form a circle, teaching that the jīva, who takes himself to be the body, mind and senses, is the whole. The circular hand gesture visually states the entire upadeśa, teaching: tat tvam asi, “You are That.” Just as a circle has no beginning or end, you are the whole. That is the final word about you. Nobody can improve upon that vision; no culture can improve upon it.

Even in heaven, it cannot be improved upon, for the whole includes heaven. Therefore, you have the final word here, because you are everything. It is better that you know it. That teaching is contained in the Veda, represented by the palm leaves in the left hand of Dakṣiṇāmūrti. And to understand this, you require a mind that has assimilated certain values and attitudes and has developed a capacity to think in a proper and sustained way.

This can be acquired by various spiritual disciplines represented here by a japa-māla, The fact that the Lord himself is a teacher, a guru, means that any teacher is looked upon as a source of knowledge. And the teacher himself should look upon Īśvara, the Lord, as the source of knowledge. Since the Lord himself is a teacher, the first guru, there is a tradition of teaching, so there is no individual ego involved in teaching.

Dakṣiṇāmūrti is seated upon a bull, which stands for tamas, the quality of māyā that accounts for ignorance. This is the entire creative power of the world and Dakṣiṇāmūrti controls this māyā; Then, there are bound to be obstacles in your pursuit of this knowledge. Dakṣiṇāmūrti controls all possible obstacles.

Underneath his foot, under his control, is a fellow called Apasmara—the one who throws obstacles in your life. This tells us that although there will be obstacles, with the grace of the Lord, you can keep them under check and not allow them to overpower you. There is no obstacle-free life, but obstacles need not really throw you off course; you keep them under control.

Thus, the whole form of Dakṣiṇāmūrti invokes the Lord who is the source of all knowledge, the source of everything, the one who is the whole, and who teaches you that you are the whole. He is Dakṣiṇāmūrti, the one who is in the form of a teacher, guru-mūrti.

We invoke his blessing so that all of you discover that source in yourself. If this self-discovery is your pursuit, your whole life becomes worthwhile. This project of self-discovery should be the project of everyone. That is the Vedic vision of human destiny

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam was founded in 1986 by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati. In Swamiji’s own words,

“When I accepted the request of many people I know to start a gurukulam, I had a vision of how it should be. I visualized the gurukulam as a place where spiritual seekers can reside and learn through Vedanta courses. . . And I wanted the gurukulam to offer educational programs for children in values, attitudes, and forms of prayer and worship. When I look back now, I see all these aspects of my vision taking shape or already accomplished. With the facility now fully functional, . . . I envision its further unfoldment to serve more and more people.”

Ārṣa (arsha) means belonging to the ṛṣis or seers; vidyā means knowledge. Guru means teacher and kulam is a family.  In traditional Indian studies, even today, a student resides in the home of this teacher for the period of study. Thus, gurukulam has come to mean a place of learning. Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is a place of learning the knowledge of the ṛṣis.

The traditional study of Vedanta and auxiliary disciplines are offered at the Gurukulam. Vedanta mean end (anta) of the Veda, the sourcebook for spiritual knowledge.  Though preserved in the Veda, this wisdom is relevant to people in all cultures, at all times. The vision that Vedanta unfolds is that the reality of the self, the world, and God is one non-dual consciousness that both transcends and is the essence of everything. Knowing this, one is free from all struggle based on a sense of inadequacy.

The vision and method of its unfoldment has been carefully preserved through the ages, so that what is taught today at the Gurukulam is identical to what was revealed by the ṛṣis in the Vedas.