A somewhat different take for you today... As with the post on the lotus flower, there has been a confluence of things which prompt the insertion of another post from the spiritual blog. What contributed?
- The media is so very very full of all that is going wrong in Europe at the moment. It is being presented so negatively, feeding the need for folk to feel the glass got half empty instead of encouraging them to find the other half and share it. Like fellow blogger Mara, I am almost avoiding the news at the moment - not because I don't care what's happening in the world, but because I DO care and I detest how it is being presented.
- The double standards of governments and the growing insularity. No country is immune from this in the current global situation. Rather than the global village opening its doors and generosity, it is bedding down, reinforcing territory and permitting prejudices to harden.
- There are people in my circle who are hurting. Some will talk, others draw into themselves and push the world away. I can only hold them in my heart and prayers, for inner hurts in the end can only be resolved inwardly.
- Then I had shown a photo on my wall of Gurudev (Swami Chinmayananda). His place in my development will become known eventually, if I last long enough to write that bit of the MacHistory! (Of course, the legacy is all there on Aatmaavrajanam - when you're ready...) I noted, however, that for majority of my readers here, the idea of a bearded man all swathed in orange is something very exotic and - possibly - a bit scary. I remembered this video - (which I play regularly for I love the reminder that nothing we are reading, hearing, seeing now in the news is any different from any other part of history) - and could not think of any better introduction to Advaita Vedanta and it's place in the philosophical spectrum, as well as a fantastic introduction to Gurudev, who knocks spots off the questioners here! It is a very general talk - nothing too technical - but the vid quality is not best; 8mm film converted to digital and not in 'super' condition. I do hope you will find something here to surprise and intrigue you.
NB; it is a film of its time; reference to only males is because it is males who predominantly attended Sandeepany at that time. However Gurudev was always a man of 'equality' and many women have also passed through the course - yours truly included!
Sounds-day is for listening/viewing a variety of devotional items from and for all ages and traditions.
Today, a full length video from Australia. Gurudev first visited Australia in the 1980s and on this visit, the first CM centre was being opened in Melbourne. An opportunity arose to take a discussion at the Deakin University on generalities of Vedanta and relevance to those who are other than Indian - or indeed whether still relevant in 'modern' India. In this 45min film, questions are asked and Gurudev, in his usual erudite and engaging manner, pulls no punches and makes clear the basics. What is very striking is how, even after more than three decades, the same issues and arguments are present. The condition of 'mankind' is the same now as it has always been since society began and will remain so until the end of society. No amount of scientific or technological advancement can change our basic nature, wishes, needs etc.
For some who are not accustomed, Gurudev's accent may prove a challenge, but he is really quite clear and you should by all means rerun the parts you feel you missed. You will not regret investing time in watching and listening to this. It is an absolute favourite item here at Aatmaavrajanam, and is watched at least twice yearly - for each time something more is firmed up in understanding and clarity. Please both enjoy and learn.