AUM (sometimes misspelled “om”) is neither a New Age invention, nor an incomprehensible mystery, but rather represents the very sound representation of the omnipresence of God Himself. In this livestream discourse, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya provides an exhaustive and conclusive explanation of the meaning of the mantra AUM as revealed in the Vedic scriptures.
“By virtue of a little understanding of Aum a person returns to earth after death. By virtue of a greater understanding he attains to the celestial sphere. By virtue of a complete understanding he learns what is known only to the seers (rishis). The sage, with the help of Aum, reaches Brahman, the fearless, the undecaying, the immortal!” (Prashna Upanishad, 5.6-7)
“Affix to the Upanishad, which is the incomparable bow, the sharp arrow of devotional worship. Then, with mind absorbed and heart melted in love, draw the arrow and hit the mark – the imperishable Brahman (God). Aum is the bow, the arrow is the individual being, and Brahman is the target. With a tranquil heart, take aim. Lose the arrow of your self in Him, even as the arrow is lost in the target.” (Mundaka Upanishad, 2:2:3-4)
“Within the lotus of the heart he dwells, where, like the spokes of a wheel in its hub, the nerves meet. Meditate on him as Aum. Easily may you cross the sea of darkness.” (Mundaka Upanishad, 2:2:6)
This very unique video is the recording of a private satsangha talk that was given on July 9, 2016 by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya to a select group of his top students. In it, Sri Acharya reveals his prescient insights into the social-political-spiritual crisis that humanity is currently undergoing; the events that we are to expect in the near future; as well as his very practical advice on how we can not only survive the current crisis, but how we can positively help lead others into the light of the coming Golden Age. Five years after its original delivery, the information revealed in this talk has perfectly stood the test of time! It was decided that right now is the time to finally release this talk to the general public. We are, right now, at the Turning Point.
The Eternal, God, can be gained and known by the sincere spiritual seeker. In this special livestream event, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya explores the teachings of the Mundaka Upanishad with us, and reveals precisely how we can know the Eternal! “Let a man devoted to spiritual life examine carefully the ephemeral nature of such enjoyment, whether here or hereafter, as may be won by good works, and so realize that it is not by works that one gains the Eternal. Let him give no thought to transient things, but, absorbed in meditation, let him renounce the world. If he would know the Eternal, let him humbly approach a guru devoted to Brahman and well-versed in the scriptures.” (Mundaka Upanishad, 1.2.12)
“Dharma, globally, is in trouble. It needs to be saved. We need to save Dharma. Otherwise it will indeed disappear from our sight. Oh, Dharma itself doesn’t disappear, of course, we know that. But it will disappear from our sight. To the point where we will not be able to reach up and reach it anymore. We cannot allow this to happen. In order for Dharma not to disappear we need a place where Dharma is alive.” -Sri Acharyaji
We live in a world seemingly rotten almost to its very core. One that seems to decay further and further with each passing day.
Our cities are hives of decadence and debauchery. Almost any perverse desire can be satiated, for a time, if one knows the right place to look. Children are groomed and pushed into sexual deviancy at every younger ages. Our schools teach them not how to think, but what to think. Our politicians and so-called “leaders” serve anyone else but the people they govern, and use the positions of public office to line their own pockets, or to further another’s agenda.
Massive corporations work their employees to the bone for a relative pittance, in unfulfilling and soul destroying ways, and pollute the world around them in order to create items we dont need, solely to make a profit. Forests are felled, fields farmed beyond recovery, and the very earth is strip-mined with increasing greed. The oceans have been over-fished and over-polluted, and animals are slaughtered on an industrial-scale in their tens of billions every year, often in inhumane and unconscionable circumstances. Root and stem has been paved over to make room for a sprawling world of concrete and steel.
Tradition, culture and faith are often viewed as relics of a bygone era, and discouraged as ‘oppressive’ or ‘superstitious’. The gods of the modern world change on a daily basis. One day its a celebrity or sports star, the next its a doctor or so-called scientist. At the end of the day. The true gods of the modern world are lust and greed. Morality is viewed as subjective, thus almost anything is permissible as long as its packaged in the right fashion.
One can be forgiven for seeing the world in an irredeemable light.
Man has lost touch with Nature. As a result, man has also lost touch with Dharma.
Anyone who has lived close to nature in any reasonable capacity will be conscious of the fact that life (and thus our human reality) is composed of cycles – the seasons being the most obvious example of that. Other examples include reproductive cycle of animals, the phases of the moon and its effects on crops, the cycle of aging in humans, rotations of crops and depletion of soils, and so on.
A brief observation of nature shows us the cyclical nature of our world. Therefore a linear view of reality is but the symptom of a “diseased” mind. The mind of a man cut off from the true reality of nature.
Understanding this does not make witnessing the current state of the world any easier. But understanding it should offer one some context, and some certainty in knowing that just like every other thing in this world, the nature of nation and human civilization is also cyclical. No country, kingdom or empire in history has been untouched by the decline of civilization and the ravages of time. In the end, each and every one of them has reached its inevitable expiry date, often characterized by periods of natural disaster, pestilence, civil conflict, war, social decadence and the decline of morality. The unsustainable existence of a nation in decline always catches up to it, leading to its inevitable downfall. Likewise from that downfall likewise comes a form renewal or rebirth from the ashes of old.
In realizing this, we can look upon the state of the world in a different line. The end is not an end. The end is simply a new beginning, and that beginning can be whatever we as a people are willing to make of it.
How are we, as individuals, to have any meaningful impact on the renewal of civilization itself?
To a single person alone, the mere idea of it must seem almost insurmountable. Like trying to divert a flooding dam with a bucket. Such thoughts, however, are also not entirely unreasonable. Very few men in history have had the power required to be able to reshape the entire fabric of a nation or world in one fell swoop.
However, that does not render individual actions pointless. One man with a bucket cannot stop a flood. but a thousand men with shovels and buckets can divert an entire river with enough will and dedication to their task.
The river is civilization, and its redirection is our task.
To find a place for Dharma to thrive in our world, first we must allow it to truly take root and flourish in ourselves.
As a result of this world of decadence and decay, it is all but inevitable that a generation of highly virtuous men and women will undoubtedly arise, resolute in their rejection of the “old” corrupt world, and motivated by their desire to see the world renewed more in line with Dharma.
Like a sword forged in the heat of fire, so too will the dharmis of this generation forge the world that is soon to come. That is the Golden Age – an age within the Kali Yuga, where human quality is at it’s highest, and where the best of the best will once again stand at the top. As that age progresses, those men of virtue will progressively build the civilization anew, forging something more healthy, more holy and more pure than the society we know and live under today.
In fact, we already see this coming into shape today. With increasing regularity, the teachings of Dharma, and view points more in line with its philosophy, continue to become evermore prevalent in the public sphere of thought and discourse. A burgeoning renaissance of traditional thought is beginning to show signs of its arrival, if one looks around. A renaissance that we can all be a part of.
For this to occur, each and every one of us must first allow Dharma to take root in ourselves.
We must become the embodiment of the world which we desire to see manifest. We must become reflections of Dharma. Before the Golden Age is manifest externally, it must first be manifest internally.
Then, moving up from the mere individual, comes the time of action. From engaging in grassroots political activism in your own community, to organizing a group of devotees, or even participating in the Vedic Heartland Initiative, there are countless actions an individual can take in order to bring the world one step closer to Dharma. The world we all seek comes first in ourselves, then through our healthy and thriving communities, and finally will take root within the scope of our very nations themselves.
This all starts with cultivating an unassuming attachment to God. By doing that, we can live a life that is untethered by the constant entanglements of the modern world. By giving everything in your life to Him, and expecting little in terms of material boon or sense gratification, we can raise ourselves to be more worthy vessels of Dharma within the material world. In doing this, we open ourselves to being empowered in our pursuits to right the wrongs of this world. So take shelter of the lotus feet of the lord, for he is the source and sustainer of all things, and when the time is right, the world as we know it will be radically different to the one into which we were all born.
The world many of us find ourselves living in today is a radically different one that the one we all knew just a few years ago.
Despite having witnessed over recent decades the ever increasing trend towards state intrusion into our lives, and the seemingly endless downward spiral of morality within wider society. The sudden and impactful nature of events over the last two years left many of us reeling. The events that have unfolded may have been inevitable, and it is no surprise that many politicians and ‘social leaders’ alike took advantage of a perceived global catastrophe to pursue their own perverse agendas.
The experiences of recent months and years have impacted everyone differently. Some dharmis may have been impacted greatly on a daily basis, and lost much in the past few years. Others may have felt little to no impact at all, or even inadvertently benefited in some way. Regardless, in the face of such turbulence and uncertainty, it is very easy for one to fall into the trap of negative thinking, or to adopt a defeatist mentality. After all, even the great warrior-prince Arjuna found himself overwhelmed upon the eve of battle.
na ca śaknomy avasthātuṁ bhramatīva ca me manaḥ nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava
na—nor; ca—also; śaknomi—am I able; avasthātum—to stay; bhramati—forgetting; iva—as; ca—and; me—my; manaḥ—mind; nimittāni—causes; ca—also; paśyāmi—I foresee; viparītāni—just the opposite; keśava—O killer of the demon Keśī (Kṛṣṇa).
I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O killer of the Keśī demon.
As His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explained in the purport to this verse, fearfulness and loss of mental equilibrium take place in persons who are too affected by material conditions. Arjuna envisioned only unhappiness in the battlefield-he would not be happy even by gaining victory over the foe. When a man sees only frustration in his expectations, he thinks, “Why am I here?” Everyone is interested in himself and his own welfare. No one is interested in the Supreme Self. Arjuna is supposed to show disregard for self-interest by submission to the will of Kṛṣṇa, who is everyone’s real self-interest. The conditioned soul forgets this, and therefore suffers material pains. Arjuna thought that his victory in the battle would only be a cause of lamentation for him.
None of us may compare to the great Arjuna, and we may not have found ourselves upon the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Nonetheless, there are many important lessons we can draw from such verses that can be applied to the state of the world at this very moment, and how we conduct ourselves in the face of such turbulence.
Much like Arjuna, we are faced with great uncertainty in outcome, and it often can seem like that no matter what we do, all possible futures are doomed to be bitter-sweet at best, outright tragic at worst. Despite this, it is important for us to remember that it is because of the excessive attachment to our societies and this world around us that we experience such fearfulness and anxiety. A good man experiences suffering in the presence of un-righted wrongs. Like Arjuna, we are passionately attached to aspects of the world around us, and because of that we are invested in the outcomes and possibilities that are yet to come. As a result, we are caused great anxiety.
In the face of such calamity and chaos, it is increasingly important for every devotee to take time to reconnect with God and turn their attention to their sadhana. By cultivating detachment from material world, the dharmic activist is able to view the world with increasingly greater clarity, and to see things through a wider lens. By minimizing attachment, and therefore reducing the degree in which one invests themselves in outcomes well beyond our individual control, the dharmi can live a life of purpose and understanding, even as the world burns down around him.
This does not mean the dharmi should not care, nor does it mean he should not act. To the contrary, each and everyone one of us, now more than ever, must live with integrity and be sure to do whatever is within our power to bring about a positive change within this world. A change more in line with Dharma. However, the dharmi must act with detachment. The dharmi must act in understanding that all things are in the hands of the Divine, and that whenever God has deemed the time to have come, the demons that rule our world, who at times appear to have us out-numbered in every way, will be washed aside to make room for the Golden Age that is to come. All injustice and evil is temporary, but the divine is eternal.
Thus the dharmi should ultimately take shelter of the divine, and in turn Kṛṣṇa will protect the devotee who comes to him submissively and with affection.
“We live in a world that we know is infinitely complex, overpoweringly beautiful, and often times deeply mysterious. From time immemorial, human beings have peered into the heavens and contemplated the meaning of the world around them, and the meaning of their own lives within this world. When we human beings do begin to contemplate the meaning of our reality, there are really only two mutually exclusive conclusions that we can possible come to. And we must choose between one of these two possible explanations. The first way of viewing reality tries to convince us that the world we see around us is ultimately devoid of any real and lasting meaning. That everything happens in a thoroughly random manner. That the world is an inherently chaotic place, without an ultimate purpose, or any higher principle governing what happens in our cosmos or what happens to us. We are alone. This uninspired response to the mysteries of the world around us is the typical secular materialist response. It is the depressing conclusion that the atheist comes to. This atheistic way of viewing reality is now the dominant worldview, purposefully and systematically foisted upon us for over two centuries by those who control public discourse and culture.
The second way in which we can choose to see our world tells us just the very opposite of the above pessimistic and ultimately hopeless scenario. This second way envisions the universe around us as being full of deep meaning and alive with exciting possibility. Our cosmos is understood to be a reality in which, while oftentimes seemingly chaotic or confusing at a cursory glance, is in actuality governed by a higher and benevolent intelligence. It is a reality in which a nuanced order, balance, harmony and purpose lay hidden behind every important occurrence. Ours is a cosmos that is ruled by Natural Law. Though each and every one of these eternal principles of this Natural Law are not necessarily all known to us at all times, they are nonetheless discernible by those among us who are wise, patient and sensitive enough to listen to the quiet whispers of nature and to humbly open ourselves to the many lessons to be learned from Her.
When we fully realize the nature and power of this Natural Law, and live according to its wise guidance, then we are living in harmony with the cosmos, and we open ourselves to experiencing the peace, health, joy, sense of oneness with all of creation and with every being in creation, and deep sense of meaning that each of us, in our own way, yearns for. This second response to the mystery of our cosmos represents the optimistic and hopeful world-view of Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Natural Way. The spiritual path of Sanatana Dharma, or “The Eternal Natural Way”, is the most ancient spiritual culture and tradition on the earth. Indeed, it is “sanatana”, or eternal. To one degree or another, it forms the archetypal antecedent of every other later religion, denomination, and spiritually-minded culture known to humanity.” ― Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way
The integral path of Yoga is both a profoundly coherent philosophical world-view, as well as the most practical system for achieving self-realization and God-consciousness available in the world. In this livestream discourse, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya shares with us the most immediate benefits to be derived from practicing the full Yoga system with daily dedication.
“Only when manas (mind) with thoughts and the five senses stand still, and when buddhi (intellect, power to reason, wisdom faculty) does not waver, that they call the highest path. That is what one calls Yoga, the stillness of the senses, concentration of the mind. It is not thoughtless, heedless sluggishness. Yoga is creation and dissolution.” (Katha Upanishad, 2.6.10-11)
“Pleasure and pain results from contact of soul, sense, mind and object. Non-origination of that follows when the mind becomes steady in the soul. After this, there is non-existence of pain in the embodied soul. This is that Yoga.” (Vaiśeṣika Sūtra, 5.2.15-5.2.16)