Swami Nishchalananda Online Satsang 22/04/23
Swamiji started with a guided meditation to draw our attention to the primacy of Awareness, so
that we can experience and realise it for ourselves as That which is behind and beyond thought.
Then he continued his presentation of the Bhagavad Gita, starting from verse 3 chapter 9. He
emphasised that the Mystery of Being cannot be conceptualised. Furthermore, we can’t go
deeper in spiritual understanding unless we follow dharma. Though the word dharma has different
connotations, its fundamental meaning is to dedicate oneself to the practice of yoga and to
orientate our lives accordingly. Verses 4-6 indicate the ineffable mystery that though Reality
produces all the forms of creation, It (Reality) is not embedded in form nor bound by form. He
emphasised that we can get a glimmer and a taste of this Reality by looking within through
meditation. He quoted verse 11 which indicates that Reality is beyond appearances, but because
of our materialistic conditioning, we don’t understand this Reality. This keeps us in spiritual
ignorance. Matter and solidity, fundamentally, are an illusion; science has also discovered this as a
In the question-and-answer session, he referred to the paths of duality (dvaita), which is
essentially the path of bhakti yoga (having the attitude of a devotee of God) and non-duality
(advaita), essentially the path of gyana yoga (investigation and reflection). Both are valid. In fact,
they can be followed separately, or combined; there is no contradiction. Follow any path which
motivates us and inspires. And, at different stages of our spiritual path, we may try different
paths. They all have their place. The important thing is not to get too lost in intellectual
speculation, but to deepen through meditation. In answer to a question, he quoted the Shanti Path
(Invocation of Peace) of the Ishavasya Upanishad which reinforces the teachings of the Bhagavad
Gita by the mysterious statement that the One Reality comes from the One, yet the One Reality
is unchanged. We need to put thinking to one side if we are to go deeper in realisation. Thinking,
though useful in daily life, does not lead us to spiritual realisation.
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