The Speaker's Introduction:
Swami Tattwamayananda, currently the Minister of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, (originally founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1900) served in various centers of the Ramakrishna Order in India as editor, publisher, and teacher of Sanskrit, Advaitic texts such as Sri Shankaracharya's commentaries on the 'Prasthanatraya' (the fundamental Sanskrit texts of Vedanta philosophy), Buddhism and Indian philosophy. He underwent traditional training in Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit, Vedic and Vedantic literature for many years, from his early days. Before coming to the United States in January 2012 he was teaching Sanskrit, Vedantic scriptures and Indian philosophy at the Training center in Belur Math, the institution that trains the monks of the Ramakrishna Order at the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, Kolkata, India. Apart from his traditional education, the Swami has also received modern University education in English literature, psychology, European history, and Western philosophy. He is frequently invited for lectures on Yoga, Vedanta, and traditional Hindu scriptures and for participating in interfaith dialogues.
Swami Tattwamayananda’s exposition of the ISHAVASYA UPANISHAD was given in the Old Temple at the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco (founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1900) from February 3, 2012, to April 6, 2012, in a series of 9 lectures.
All Original Content © Vedanta Society of Northern California
1 - Shrutis (Vedas), Smritis and Puranas: The Central Canonical Works of Hinduism | Swami Tattwamayananda
Ishavasya Upanishad Mantras 1 – 2. This lecture was given by Swami Tattwamayananda on February 3, 2012.
-The central foundational canons of Hinduism are the Shrutis (Vedas), Smritis (religious manuals, texts of Vedic rules and laws on social conduct, etc.) and Puranas (semi-historical and mythological works).
-The world is pervaded by ईश ('Isha'), the divine spirit of God, the Inner Essence and Controller of the universe. It is everywhere in this changing universe.
-The 1st mantra expounds the Upanishadic vision of the spiritual oneness of existence.
-The 2nd mantra is the essence of Karma-yoga taught in the Bhagavad Gita. It reconciles action and contemplation, realism and idealism, Jnana and Karma. It harmonizes spiritual and secular values, renunciation and enjoyment: the ideal of spiritual pragmatism.
2 – Those Who Deny Their Own Divine Nature/Spiritual Identity Commit Spiritual Suicide. | Swami Tattwamayananda
Ishavasya Upanishad Mantras 3 – 4. This lecture was given by Swami Tattwamayananda on February 10, 2012.
-The third mantra tells us that those who deny their own spiritual essence are spiritually destroying themselves. They reduce everything to the physical and are addicted to trivial sensual pleasures. They live in a world of perpetual spiritual darkness and sorrow.
-The five mantras beginning with the fourth expound the nature of the Atman as the infinite, eternal, unchanging and all-pervading Self of all.
3 - Our Understanding of God Depends Upon Our Mind and Spiritual Growth. | Swami Tattwamayananda
Ishavasya Upanishad Mantras 3 – 5. This lecture was given by Swami Tattwamayananda on February 17, 2012.
-Tyranny of the senses
-Three levels of our spiritual evolution are explained in the light of 'Nimi-Navayogi-Samvaada (dialogue between nine sages and the philosopher-king 'Nimi') from the Bhagavata Purana: evolution from 'God within the temple/place of worship' to 'God present everywhere'.
-The Atman is beyond definition and explanation. It is infinite transcendental and immanent - beyond time and space.
4 - Indian Philosophy: 12 Schools (Orthodox- आस्तिक & Heterodox- नास्तिक) - Creationism and Vedanta | Swami Tattwamayananda
Ishavasya Upanishad Mantras 6 - 8. This lecture was given by Swami Tattwamayananda on March 2, 2012.
- सत्कर्यवाद (Satkaryavada) and असत्कर्यवाद (Asatkaryavada) and their sub-divisions are explained with examples.
-The mystical experience of the Unity and Oneness of creation helps us to look upon everyone with respect and compassion.
-These mantras proclaim the spiritual unity and oneness of not only humanity, but all existence.
-'Purusha' is explained in the light of पुरुशसुक्तम् (Purusha-suktam).
5 - Nature of the Reality and the Quest for Experience | Swami Tattwamayananda
Ishavasya Upanishad Mantras 8 - 11. This lecture was given by Swami Tattwamayananda on March 9, 2012.
The quest for enlightenment in Vedanta through Philosophy, Reason and Experience.
6 - Vidya: Going Beyond Death - Path to Immortality | Swami Tattwamayananda
Ishavasya Upanishad Mantras 9 - 12. This lecture was given by Swami Tattwamayananda on March 16, 2012.
-The fate of those who follow the path of the not-self will be continuous rotation in the wheel of samsara (constant movement from birth to death and from death to birth).
-They miss their path to the Vedantic experience of Unity of experience and ultimate spiritual fulfillment.