Book Sale: Himalayan Hermit-Life of Swami Tapovan

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I’m getting ready to move yet again and I have a massive book collection I’m tired of carting around.  It’s time to lighten the load so I’m getting rid of some great books I’ve already read.  

Next up is “Himalayan Hermit: The Lofty Life of Swami Tapovanam.”  This is an excellent biography that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  It’s the story of a man who was completely dedicated to the pursuit of self-knowledge.  And when he gained self-knowledge he was completely dedicated to dwelling in that knowledge.  He lived in the Himalayas with few creature comforts and avoided money and attention.  He never sought students unless they came to him.  Were it not for his most famous disiciple, the Vedantic giant known around the world as Swami Chinmayanda, Swami Tapovanam would be completely unknown. He once famously told Swami Chinamayananda not to bother spreading Vedanta to the masses (a practice that was virtually unheard of at the time) because it would not be appreciated.  Notwithstanding the countless number of people who in fact did not appreciate Swami C’s message, I am glad he ignored his guru’s advice! 

To today’s current crop of fame and money seeking “sprititual” teachers with their endless amounts of books, seminars and fancy retreats, take note. This man knew he was fullness itself and he lived accordingly i.e. like he didn’t need anything from anyone.   

This book is available on Amazon for 18 dollars.  You can buy it from me on Ebay for 15.99. This books is in Like New condition with completely clean pages and no significant marks on the cover or spine.   

Currently, I’m not shipping outside of the U.S. because of the shipping costs.  But if you’re willing to pay extra, Contact Me directly and we’ll work out the details. 

Book Sale: Sankara Digvijaya

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I’m getting ready to move yet again and I have a massive book collection I’m tired of carting around.  It’s time to lighten the load so I’m getting rid of some great books I’ve already read.  

Next up is Sankara Digvijaya.  This is the life and times of Shankara, a man who on this website needs no introduction.  Originally written by Vidyaranya Swami, author of Panchadasi.  Edited and translated by Swami Tapasyananda of Ramakrishna Math. 

Book is like new.  There is a two-inch vertical ridge on the upper part of the spine from the printing process.   

This book is available for 36 bucks on Amazon.  You can buy it from me on Ebay for 19.99.  

Currently, I’m not shipping outside of the U.S. because of the shipping costs.  But if you’re willing to pay extra, Contact Me directly and we’ll work out the details.           

Book Sale: Ted Schmidt Self-Knowledge

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I’m getting ready to move yet again and I have a massive book collection I’m tired of carting around.  It’s time to lighten the load so I’m getting rid of some great books I’ve already read.  

First up is “Self-Knowledge: The King of Secrets” by my friend, Ted Schmidt.  This is an excellent, easy-to-read and comprehensive overview of Advaita Vedanta.  Basically, it is a better-written, more informed version of James Swartz’s “How to Attain Enlightenment” crossed with a less technical, easier-to-understand version of D. Venugopal’s “Vedanta: The Solution to Our Fundamental Problem.”  Just about everything you need to know about Vedanta is in this book.  Pages are completely clean and the cover and spine are unmarked.  There’s an inscription from Ted on the inside cover.    

Currently, this book is out-of-print and only available on Amazon for 500-900 dollars (seriously).  You can get it from me on Ebay for 49.99.  Right now, I’m not shipping outside of the U.S. because of the shipping costs.  But if you’re willing to pay extra, Contact Me directly and we’ll work out the details.           

Object Happiness Theory

J: I am still searching for freedom in the world.  I can’t stay dedicated to inquiry and I get wrapped up in my daily life and pursuits.  I am finding it very hard to appreciate the value of knowledge and really what it can do for me.

Vishnudeva: Honestly, I don’t want to pitch you the value of Vedanta because it makes it seem like I’m selling a product (and since Vedanta is just about yourself, I can’t sell you what you already have).  But if I must, the value of knowledge is moksha, permanent freedom from all forms of limitation and suffering. Personally, that always motivated me to seek it.

J: I feel like happiness really is having things go my way and getting what I want.  

Vishnudeva: Then I’m sorry but you aren’t ready for self-inquiry, plain and simple.  Because in order to undertake self-inquiry you have to see that all pursuits in the world are impermanent and therefore fraught with fear and anxiety.  When you know that, you give up trying to seek them and go directly for understanding the truth of who you really are (brahman).       

J: I don’t know what to do.  I am fearful and all I can do is seek pleasure.  Could you please help me on this? What is an inquirer supposed to do?  

Vishnudeva: An inquirer is supposed make self-knowledge their number one goal and then inquire non-stop. At all times, an inquirer should discriminate the atma (self) from the anatma (not-self), until they directly realize that they are the self.  Then no more inquiry is required. 

J: How can I make the mind see that it wants freedom and not a particular result in the world?

Vishnudeva: You use the mind to investigate whether or not pursuing objects in the world gives you what you really want (Hint: It doesn’t).  But this is something you either see or you don’t see. If you can’t see that pursuing objects doesn’t give happiness, fulfillment etc., you have the following two options.

Option One: Take the scripture’s word for the fact that what you really want when you pursue objects is actually freedom and not the objects themselves.  Then continue your sadhana until you see for yourself that what the scripture says is true.  

Option Two: Put the Object Happiness Theory to the test by trying to gain freedom through objects. Put all of your time and effort into getting everything you want and avoiding what you don’t want. Get as much money and pleasure as you can. Get a great job, a spouse, a house, a nice car, kids etc. Try to accomplish all of your worldly goals.

You might think I’m kidding but I’m not. If you can’t see that objects won’t give you freedom and you can’t take the scripture’s word for it, then you have to go find out for yourself. As long as you follow dharma, there is no shame in this approach. This is what most people have to do anyway.  Trust me, the world is a much better teacher on this matter than I will ever be: It will mercilessly chew you up and spit you out. Then you will be good and ready to seek freedom through knowledge.

Or maybe you won’t. It’s always possible that you’ll be satisfied with the amount of temporary happiness you gain through your dharmic efforts. Then the question of gaining permanent freedom becomes irrelevant. So the problem is solved by either gaining permanent freedom through knowledge or by getting enough temporary happiness that you no longer care about seeking permanent freedom (for the time being). I know many relatively happy, well-adjusted people that fall into the latter category. Again, there is no shame in being this kind of person. When you are good and ready, you’ll pick up your search for knowledge once more.

-Vishnudeva

Steady Wisdom: Day 108

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 108

There is no need to meditate or hold any thought in my mind.  I am the ever-free self.  How could meditation change that? 
-Ashtavakra Samhita 15:20
Meditation

The act of meditation cannot merge me with the self or transform me into the self because I already am the self.  Concentration of the mind (or lack thereof) can never change that. 

Doing nididhyasana, therefore, can only concentrate the mind on the truth of who I already am.  If this mental process succeeds, I am the ever-free self.  If this mental process fails, I am the ever-free self.  This is the true nididhyasana.  OM. 

But…

O great one, spend your time seeing yourself in all situations everywhere, recognizing yourself as the non-dual self and enjoying the ananada that is your very nature. 
-Vivekachudamani

All things considered equal, as long as the body is alive, the mind will dwell on one thing or another.  Why not let it dwell on its true nature as the self, which is ever-present and full, rather than the illusory objects of the world, which are transient and empty of inherent value?