The ancient Rishis or seers, having delved into the depths of their being, and closely analyzed all of the layers of the human existence. In this process of self-inquiry, they discovered that in essence we are but pure consciousness, and various factors and conditionings cloud our vision and hide this truth. They laid out practices for clarifying our vision so we too can have this first-hand knowledge. Yogic disciplines have been prescribed as preparatory practices, for purifying the heart and balancing the mind. For unveiling the deeper truths, Vedanta has been prescribed.
The original and most authoritative teachings of Vedanta are in the Upanishads, which are the latter part of the Vedas, the most ancient spiritual texts known to humanity. The Upanishads reveal the unity of the individual being and the universal presence, declaring that in essence we are but the one universal consciousness. Due to lack of inner clarity and the unsteady nature of the mind, we aren't aware of this basic fact and identify ourselves with situations and various notions. These in turn sow the seed for ups and downs, pain, suffering and disappointment, and according to yogis, the continuous cycle of births and deaths.
In addition to the Upanishads, there are texts called prakaranas, which are detailed analyses of certain key aspects of Vedanta. Vedanta claims that one of our main issues is a misunderstanding of the word “I”. We take its meaning for granted without any inquiry. Many other phenomenon are thoroughly analyzed by us, such as atoms, stars, politics, etc., but we don’t analyze the inquirer itself. The text Drig Drishya Viveka focuses on this special type of inquiry, known as Atma-Vichara (Self-inquiry). It is attributed to one of the greatest Vedantic masters and scholars, Swami Vidyaranya, who lived in the 14th century. His is best known as the author of the treatise Panchadashi.
Traditionally, Vedanta is studied by listening to the teachings from an experienced teacher, reflecting on them to help clarify our doubts, and meditating on these truths.
This weekend intensive will help clarify the roles of Yoga and Vedanta in our spiritual journey, and deepen our understanding of the Vedantic vision.
6-7:30 am.........Satsang: Silent meditation, chanting and lecture on Yoga Vedanta Intensive
12-3pm..........Yoga Vedanta Intensive Workshop
8-10pm.............Satsang: Silent meditation, chanting and lecture
Arrival and Departure
Arrival - on the first date in time for the Orientation at 7pm and the Satsang at 8pm.
Departure - on the last date after the workshop
What to bring
Slip on shoes, loose comfortable clothing, writing materials, meditation shawl or blanket, yoga mat, flashlight.
Accommodation Prices and Photos
- Dorm: $65/night per person
- Double: $85/night per person
- Single: $130/night
- Double: $120/night per person
- Single: $170/night
Deluxe Shanti Cabins
- Triple: $120/night per person
- Double: $160/night per person
- Single: $240/night
- Family of two: $280/night per family
- Family of three: $320/night per family
Accommodation Discounts: Seniors (60+) 10% & Students 10%
Gajananam is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnu-devananda and is the founder/director of the Vishnu-devananda Yoga Vedanta Center in Fremont, CA. He delved into various yogic disciplines while serving and studying at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in the mid-1980's and 1990's. In the 1990's he served as the director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in New York and has taught at many Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses and retreats.
To deepen his understanding of the ancient scriptures and mantras, he studied Sanskrit under the tutelage of the Sanskrit Scholar Dr. Sarasvati Mohan in the 2000's. Over the past decade, he has been spending time each year in personal retreat in Uttarakashi, Himalayas, where he attends Satsang with senior sadhus and monks. Since 2013, he has had the opportunity to the study Vedantic scriptures in a traditional fashion. With close to 3 decades of practice, study and teaching experience, he offers yoga and Vedanta courses and retreats in Fremont and at various centers and ashrams.