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Singapore Festival of Hinduism (SFH 2020)

Hindu Centre Singapore organized the first-ever Singapore Festival of Hinduism (SFH)  from 20 – 29 November 2020.

Packed with 23 events over 10 days, the online Festival aimed to inform, educate and entertain all to learn more about Hinduism. The events covered everything from the main tenets of Hinduism to important scriptures, explanations on Hindu iconography & Deities, prayers, yoga, health and fitness, the science and art of home layout, holy places in the world for Hindus, Temples in Singapore and Temple etiquette, music & dance and much more.

All 23 enriching sessions are available online now below!


SFH 2020 – Events 1, 2: Inauguration & Hinduism – World View & Key Tenets

  • Inauguration of first-ever Singapore Festival of Hinduism by Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY) Minister Edwin Tong & in-attendance, Mr R. Jayachandran, Chairman, Hindu Endowments Board (HEB).
  • This will be followed by a talk titled “Hinduism – World View & Key Tenets” by Mr. S Ravenderan.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH2020 – Hindu Astrology & Planetary Effects

  • The checking of astrology in one’s life, particularly at birth and prior to marriage, is still widely practised in Singapore among Hindus. Indian Astrology, also known as Jyothisha, is the traditional Hindu System of Astrology, where Planets/Grahas and their influences on human lives are analysed. Basics on what Karma is and how it manifests itself into the system of Indian Astrology will be explained. The purpose of this science and its relevance in today’s world will also be discussed.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH2020 – Exploring the Significance of Hindu Deities & A Virtual Tour of Singapore Temples

  • A sharing by Hindu Youth Network & HEB Contrary to prevailing misconceptions that Hinduism has many Gods, Hindus believe that there is an ultimate Higher Being with many forms and names. Given that the Hindu diaspora community speak different languages and cultures, they have understood the ultimate Higher Being in their own distinct way. In this program, we look forward to sharing with you the concept of God, the significance of deities, and their iconographies. We will also take you on a short virtual tour around Temples and Deities that are commonly revered in Singapore.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH2020 – A Glimpse Into The Sacred Heart Of The Ramayana

  • Dr Chitra Sankaran (NUS) in conversation with Mr V Prabhakar Rao, Ms Vandana Aggarwal and Dr Uma Natarajan. The talk is followed by a book launch entitled “Ramayana 108”- Questions & Answers on the Great Epic & Story of Lord Rama & Sita.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 6: The Beauty of Music and Dance in Hinduism

  • SIFAS (Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society) will present a panel talk on the interlinked connections between traditional and ancient Indian Art forms and Hinduism by exploring the origins of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance forms and tracing its growth and evolution. Indian classical music, Sangeetha is one such ancient art practised in India, that finds its roots in the Vedas and has been an integral part of Bharatiya cultural history, while dance was considered the highest form of worship through veneration and the invoking of divinity through performance. Drawing on references to literary, historic and religious texts, the panel of speakers will address nodes of creative expressions that have been developed and fostered by Hinduism.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 7: Empowering the Body and Mind through Yoga

  • Presented by Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir
  • Join us to explore the potential of Hathayoga on your wellbeing. Explore the philosophical foundations of Hathayoga, its approach to refine our very existence and its strategies to attain a joyful life. Watch Hathayoga demonstrations from the skillful instructors of Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir that cover Cleansing techniques, Asanas, Surya namaskars, Meditation and more.Understand the various dimensions of human existence as laid down by Yoga, the inter connection of those dimensions and ways to purify them.

    Get inspired and take ownership of your wellbeing.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 8: God and Life in Hinduism

  • Presented by Ms B Thavalamar of Hindu Centre.
  • How many Gods are there in Hinduism? Why are there Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava denominations? Is there a truly superior God at all? This talk will answer these questions and dispel popular mis-information surrounding God in Hinduism. It shall also elucidate the form and attributes of God as revealed in the Hindu scriptures and the different forms of worship revealed therein. Finally, strategies on how we can deepen our connection with the creator and lead a more God-centered life will be shared.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 9: Ayurveda: Secrets to Health & Healing

  • A sharing by Dr CT Ratheesh Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It aims to promote good health, rather than fight disease. Dr Ratheesh’s presentation will provide knowledge and information on how to use “food as medicine” for a disease free life. Food builds, Food kills & Food heals. It is very important to understand what you eat, when you eat and how you eat. This knowledge will help change your life, charge and rejuvenate your body mind and spirit completely. We can mitigate our health issues by learning the art of “food as medicine”.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 10: Virtual Pilgrimage Journey to the World’s Holiest Hindu Temples

  • Hindu Temples are centres of positive energy, syntheses of arts & dharma and abodes of God. They also serve as places of pilgrimage for thousands who journey there to lap up the powerful spiritual energy built up over centuries. During this pandemic, as we are unable to travel to many wondrous temples, join us on a virtual tour of temples across the world to enjoy and experience some wonderful sights. We shall also share some knowledge pertaining to some of these famous Hindu temples. Pack your bags and be ready to feel the vibes! By Mr S Saravanan, Hindu Centre.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 11: Vaastu Shastra: Science of creating an Auspicious Living Space

  • A sharing by Mr HD Gupta This Session will help us to know that how Vaastu can help us to be happier in life and enhance our prosperity and health. At the end of session, one will have clarity about valuable hidden secrets of Vaastu. The presentation will cover the fundamentals of Vaastu Shastra, and how it can be applied to business, health, wealth, education and career, and some tips to take away for home improvement.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 12: Insights into the Significance of Hindu Rituals

  • The fundamental scripture of Hinduism is Vedas and the life of an Hindu is governed and guided by Vedic principles and knowledge. Thus the rituals are prescribed in Vedas and or other texts like Smritis derived from them, both for the betterment of community and individuals. The rituals for the individual human beings that are better known as Samskaras commence in Hinduism even before the birth and go beyond death also. This presentation will attempt to describe the basis and the details for some of the important major Samskaras from a long list prescribed by our scriptures. Along with the explanation of the core purpose, the procedure and variations in the observations based on regional and family customs will also be brought out to some extent. Presented by Singapore Dakshina Bharatha Brahmana Sabha (SDBBS).
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 13: Vegetarianism: A Healthy Lifestyle Choice

  • The old adage “We Are What we EAT” rings as true now as ever before. Join Sonal and Renu, two women who are passionate about healthy eating habits, as they have a foodie conversation. They will share tips on a whole range of topics encompassing vegetarianism including the importance of raw food in our diet, the invaluable benefits of fermented food, and their take on ingredients that are transformational for our health and well-being. The session will also include a complimentary cooking demonstration with dishes that are wholesome, easy to make, and taste delicious, reinforcing the fact that vegetarian fare can be both healthy and tasty. Highlights of the Discussion are: – Healthy eating habits – Sources of Protein in a vegetarian diet – Vegetarian options in Superfoods A Q&A session to answer any queries will round off this culinary session.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 14: The Power of Hindu Chants & Worship

  • Chants are a mainstay of Hinduism; often vocalised during worship. What are these chants, mantras and shlokas? This talk will give a description of different categories of chants, how they originated and how we can use them to better our worship and thereby strengthen our relationship with God. The presenter will also cover some common, yet powerful chants for daily prayer, describing their efficacy for a happy life. The latter part of the talk will focus on pooja or worship and how one can perform it daily in a simple manner at home.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 15: Significance & Spirituality of Temple Architecture

  • This fully illustrated talk will cover the origin and development of Hindu religious structures using archaeological remains. It will explain the symbolism and meaning of Vastupurusha Mandala and how the ground plan and elevation of a Temple is related to the human body. The physical experience of visiting a Temple is akin to the spiritual experience of Kundalini rising through meditation over the seven Chakras in the Hindu tradition.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 16: The Power of Women in Hinduism

  • Gender equality is no new concept to Hinduism. Women in Vedic times were accorded with equal opportunities and responsibilities, and there are renowned female sages, literature characters and Vedic scholars revered by the Hindu community worldwide. In this program, Losheini, Vinodhinee Thyagarajan and R Karthik will share with you the role & intelligence of women in Vedic times using mythologies and historical narratives as case studies.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 17: The Sacred Science of Numerology & our Hindu Calendar

  • The Hindu calendar is an integral part of the life of a practising Hindu. Naming a child, birth star, time, day. Fixing the marriage date and related attributes are very important- but quite often the lay person does not understand these details. This presentation will take the audience through the basic fundamentals of the Panchangam (Hindu almanac)- right from historical aspects to current principles of applications. There will also be a short coverage of Indian numerological principles.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 18: Life Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita

  • Supporting download (PDF) for this talk: https://sfh.sg/wp-content/uploads/202… The Bhagavad Gita is like a mirror to reflect on one’s own imperfections and provides guidelines for us to courageously overcome these shortcomings. In this talk, the important lessons one could learn from the Bhagavad Gita would be highlighted. Further, the profound impact of these lessons on an individual’s life is elaborated, as well as the potential that could have to transform and enrich one’s life within and without.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 19: Meditation & Mindfulness: A Sacred Path to Self-Awareness

  • The ancient wisdom of the Hindu scriptures has comprehensively laid out all aspects of a sacred life. Over the ages, we have been practicing the ‘dharma’ along with certain ‘rituals’ to achieve a fulfilling and wholesome life. In the modern era, we need to remind and revisit our purpose and meaning of life. We also need practical ways to achieve ‘awareness’ of self in the context of ‘oneness’ with the universe and the immense power we have – ‘Aham Bramhasmi’ (I am part of the Ocean of Consciousness).

    Practicing conscious Mindfulness and meditative practices can help us to cut down the ‘noise’ and create a distance from the ‘chaos’ of the modern world while developing an attitude of ‘observance’- Sakshi bhav. In this session, we will discuss more about how these practices have become more important than ever and how we can include them in our daily life without getting overwhelmed, and become more self-aware, achieve a calm, non-judgemental attitude, filled with unconditional love, kindness, gratitude, and patience.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 20: Hinduism – Building a Foundation for Children

  • “My child has just converted to another faith?”. “He does not pray these days”. “He doesn’t believe in God”. “He is an atheist”. We have heard the above phrases on innumerable occasions in the Hindu community. Are parents of the children responsible in some way for this outcome? This talk shall address the role of Hindu parents in instilling Hindu values in children from young. It shall also discuss how a foundation of trust and belief in God can be cultivated in children from young, which will stand them in good stead to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 21: Children’s Quiz Time

  • A virtual quiz will be conducted for all children up to the age of 16 years. The quiz will use YouTube and the Kahoot app and children can respond to the questions online with their parents’ assistance. The topic for the quiz will be Srimath Valmiki Ramayanam.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 22: Story-telling Competition for Children

  • A storytelling competition on Bhakta Charitram for children. The storytelling is open to all participants up to 16 years old. The participants are free to recite stories of any great Bhaktas from history.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Event 23: Hindu Festivals – Bouquet of Devotion & Fun!

  • Hindu Festivals are colourful, joyous and offer a bewildering diversity of food, activities and celebrations. Sometimes the religious significance of a festival may be lost amidst the pomp and pageantry. This presentation will focus on the underlying values and objectives of some of the major Hindu festivals. It will also illustrate how such festivals can be celebrated joyfully and at the same time be used to strengthen one’s relationship with God to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


SFH 2020 – Events 24, 25: Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Hinduism, Closing Address

  • This Ask Me Anything! session is a grand finale to this Singapore Festival of Hinduism 2020. It is meant to be an open forum for any kind of questions you may have on the religion, its tenets, its practices, its festivals, and whatever you can think of.
  • This session is followed by the Closing Ceremony with an address by Swami Samachittananda (Head of Sri Ramakrishna Mission Singapore) and in-attendance, H.E. Mr. P Kumaran (High Commissioner of India in Singapore)
  • For more information, please visit https://sfh.sg


Vedanta in Daily Living Series

  •  Covers “Tattva Bodha” & “Durvaasanaa Pratikaara Dashakam” texts


Vedanta in Daily Living- Tattva Bodha (e-Session 1 | 3rd Apr ’20)

In this session:

  • 2:00 Ravi revises the concepts taught over the past 8 sessions
  • 29:50 before continuing the sharing on Tattva Bodha
  • 47:52 Questions from participants and answers in a simple manner


Vedanta in Daily Living- Tattva Bodha (e-Session 2 | 10th Apr ’20)

In this session:

  • Till 3:33, Ravi revises on the student’s question to the Guru on “What is Atma?”
  • 4:00 Ravi talks about the 3 states of existence (waking, dream, deep-sleep states
  • 10:55 Explanation on the dream state & vasanas
  • 15:10 Waking state vs Dream state, the Vedantic view
  • 20:55 Q & A on waking state, dream state, vasanas, karma fructification during dreams
  • 42:35 Power of positive thinking
  • 45:53 Explanation on deep-sleep state
  • 49:42 Q & A on vasanas, developing right thinking, importance of samskaras, rituals, great saints being able to manifest what they want
  • 1:13:55 Karma yoga (arpana buddhi, prasada buddhi) and covid-19 situation


Vedanta in Daily Living- Tattva Bodha (e-Session 3 | 17th Apr ’20)

In this session:

  • 2:20 Ravi starts explanation on the ‘Panchakosha’- 5 layers of personality
  • 5:00 Relationship between the Panchakosha and 3 the bodies (gross, subtle, causal)
  • 14:53 Manomaya vs Pranamaya koshas
  • 21:34 Q & A on the Panchakosha (Can a jeeva exist as just Anandamaya kosha?)
  • 23:43 Explanation on 3 levels of happiness (priya, moda, pramoda)
  • 27:12 Q & A: Buddhi, Intellect, Mind, Manas. How are they similar or different?
  • 29:07 Q & A: What is ‘Ahankara’ and where does it exist?
  • 34:33 Q & A: How error is made in identifying us as the koshas
  • 36:25 Q & A: Deep sleep, is it nothingness?
  • 38:03 Explanation of the ‘This’ and ‘I’
  • 49:00 Q & A on ‘This’ and ‘I’
  • 50:51 Q & A: How to carry out actions without identifying with it?
  • 52:57 Responding vs Reacting
  • 55:18 Q & A: Karma, moksha and a realized person
  • 59:25 Realized people staying in a subtle form
  • 1:00:12 Q & A: Happiness in Anandamaya kosha vs Moksha
  • 1:01:35 Methodology to understand the Atma
  • 1:07:00 This week’s Sadhana for all of us
  • 1:07:45 Q & A: Shunya and Atma
  • 1:12:45 Q & A: What is the Nethi-Nethi exercise?
  • 1:14:30 Using the mitya to understand and realize Satyam (which is the Atma)
  • 1:17:25 Sections in Tattva Bodha (and where are we now)
  • 1:18:20 Q & A: Why are offerings done to Pranas in rituals (using ‘svaha’)?
  • 1:20:17 UPDATED answer to the question


Vedanta in Daily Living- Tattva Bodha (e-Session 4 | 24th Apr ’20)

In this session:

  • 2:00 Revision on “Aham (I) – Idam (This)” and “Aham (I) – Mama (Mine)”
  • 5:05 Revision on Panchakosha (Annamaya kosha – food sheath)
  • 6:15 Revision on Panchakosha (Pranamaya kosha – vital energy sheath)
  • 6:45 Revision on Panchakosha (Manomaya kosha – mind sheath)
  • 7:18 Revision on Panchakosha (Vijnanamaya kosha – intellect sheath)
  • 7:32 Revision on Panchakosha (Anandamaya kosha – bliss sheath)
  • 7:43 Relationship between Panchakosha, 3 bodies, 3 states of existence and Me
  • 9:04 What is the nature of Atma (Sat-Cit-Ananda)?
  • 13:26 What is ‘Cit’ (Consciousness)?
  • 14:21 5 Principles of Consciousness
  • 20:45 What is ‘Sat’?
  • 22:09 What is ‘Ananda’?
  • 24:00 Nature of Atma as Sat-Cit-Ananda (revision)
  • 26:15 Q & A: Attribute VS Nature of Atma
  • 28:51 Get to know your real nature as Sat-Cit-Ananda
  • 29:58 Cognitions and Consciousness
  • 38:13 Q & A: Is consciousness the sum total or superset of all the cognitions?
  • 42:21 Q & A: Is there consciousness in non-living things?
  • 44:10 Ahankara (ego) and I
  • 45:21 Solution to error (mis-identification with body-mind-intellect complex) is a cognitive shift (gives peace, moksha)
  • 46:49 Q & A: Is another word for Consciousness, Awareness?
  • 48:20 Q & A: I can see possibly see myself as Atma (Consciousness), how do I see it in others?
  • 52:27 Bringing about the cognitive shift with the help of our Shastras (Shravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhyasana)
  • 55:34 Living a Divine life (life aligned to teachings)
  • 59:45 Unconditioning the mind
  • 1:01:56 Using God’s Grace as a wildcard/ fast-track
  • 1:07:00 This week’s Sadhana
  • 1:10:13 Q & A: How would a realized person engage in day-to-day activities & problems?
  • 1:13:46 Divine Grace is stronger when your goal is a spiritual goal
  • 1:15:57 Q & A: Is detaching myself from my body one way of working towards being a witness?
  • 1:19:00 Q & A: How to pursue Vedanta and yet handle obstacles and difficult situations in life?
  • 1:24:31 Using God’s grace to handle difficult situations
  • 1:26:12 Seeing Divinity in others (next session)


Vedanta in Daily Living- Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam (e-Session 5 | 1st May ’20)

In this session:

    • 3:50 Start of Introduction to “Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam”
    • 4:20 Steps to have Vedanta teachings take deep root in us
    • 6:10 Vaasana being obstacles to assimilation of a life of Dharma, karma yoga & assimilation of Vedantic knowledge


  • Verse #1
    • 10:41 Importance of daily prayers and study of scriptures & text recommendations
    • 20:57 Remedies to handle durvaasana
  • Verse #2
    • 21:10 Remedy #1 (Getting rid of ignorance of our true nature)
    • 23:57 Remedy #2 (Giving up thoughts of the past & future- practicing mindfulness)
    • 31:33 Benefits of practicing mindfulness, being in the present
    • 36:40 Remedy #3 (Having a ceiling on desires)
    • 40:21 Remedy #4 (Handling krodha (anger & frustrations))
    • 47:56 Remedy #5 (Handling lobha (greed and comparing with others))
    • 56:07 Summary of remedies covered
    • 56:26 Q & A: Is it possible to not get angry at all?
    • 57:45 Gratitude & Positive thinking
    • 1:00:45 Q & A: Invoking positivity in you and also transmitting it to others


Vedanta in Daily Living- Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam (e-Session 6 | 8th May ’20)

In this session:

  • Verse #3
    • 6:53 Remedy #6 (Managing the tongue (desire for food) and sexual organs)
    • 10:22 Remedy #7 (Speaking well and avoiding unnecessary talk)
    • 13:36 Guideline on how to speak right (from Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 17)
    • 15:23 Remedy #8 (Giving up bad company and reaching out to the good)
    • 18:10 Remedy #9 (Dealing with known and unknown pride in us)
    • 21:55 Remedy #10 (Handling criticisms)
  • Verse #4
    • 28:13 Remedy #11 (Spending free time to grow internally)
    • 32:32 Remedy #12 (Taking care of yourself)
    • 33:04 Remedy #13 (Overcoming mental weakness)
    • 33:28 Remedy #14 (True purpose of wealth)
    • 34:26 Remedy #15 (Dealing with unnecessary interactions & transactions)
    • 38:04 Remedy #16 (Outgrowing fascination for the opposite gender)
    • 39:01 Remedy #17 (Handling sorrow)
  • Verse #5
    • 41:13 Remedy #18 (Not leaning too much (not give-up) on spouse, children & wealth for security & happiness)
    • 46:05 Leaning on God for happiness
    • 46:59 9 ways of relating with God
    • 48:32 Remedy #19 (Handling delusion (over-attachment to things))
    • 50:12 Remedy #20 (Developing compassion for all)
    • 58:23 Remedy #21 (Handling tendency to judge people)
    • 1:01:15 Remedy #22 (Regularly retiring into solitude)
    • 1:02:50 Summary of remedies covered in this session
    • 1:03:09 Perfection in these is not needed
    • 1:06:38 A higher standard of dharma: Post-Conventional dharma
    • 1:09:55 Comment: Youth views on Vedanta teachings


Vedanta in Daily Living- Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam (e-Session 7 | 15th May ’20)

In this session:

    • 1:32 Recap on why we are studying the Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam
    • 2:58 Treating our habitual tendencies using remedies mentioned in the text
    • 5:16 Self-growth checklist
    • 6:01 Why you are not progressing/ not seeing the results of the remedies


  • Verse #6
    • 7:30 Remedy #23 (Giving-up laziness)
    • 9:56 Remedy #24 (Taking a break when overcome by excessive activities)
    • 10:54 Remedy #25 (When overcome by lethargy, be alert)
    • 11:49 Remedy #26 (Removing the perception of plurality by remembering that the perceived world is mitya and by recalling what is Satyam)
    • 13:32 Remedy #27 (Avoiding judgement of people and look within)
    • 15:48 Remedy #28 (Giving-up anger)
    • 16:06 Remedies being prescribed are gold standards meant to raise ourselves to a higher level of spirituality
    • 17:03 Remedy #29 (Giving-up shouting and scolding of people. Speak pleasantly and beneficially)
    • 18:13 Examples from Ramayana of remedy #29 being applied
    • 19:29 Inspite of being right, don’t lose self-control
    • 20:14 Remedy #30 (Giving-up fear)
    • 21:37 Abhayamudra displayed by Deities
  • Verse #7
    • 22:03 Remedy #32 (Don’t think about the past, Live in the present)
    • 26:18 The more you live in the present, the stronger you become
    • 26:58 Remedy #32 (Don’t worry too much about the future, Live in the present)
    • 28:13 Remedy #33 (Practicing karma yoga)
    • 30:28 Remedy #34 (Avoiding ill feelings & hatred (unconditional love))
    • 32:07 2 Strategies to practice unconditional love with someone you don’t like
    • 35:51 Purer person is a more spiritual person, with better vibrations
    • 37:29 Remedy #35 (Avoiding attachment to the body)
    • 42:33 Q & A: What can I do to sit longer in meditation?
  • Verse #8
    • 49:26 Remedy #36 (3 Sources of sufferings and knowing the nature of these sources)
    • 52:38 Difficulties are part of our karmic blueprint and are there for our evolution)
    • 54:50 Story from Mahabharatha illustrating how suffering can be viewed positively)
    • 58:35 Preparing for calamities and problems in life
    • 1:00:35 Remedy #37 (Practicing equanimity when there is a difference of views)
    • 1:01:20 Remedy #38 (Overcoming unhappiness caused by others)
    • 1:02:01 Remedy #39 (Forgiving with compassion)
    • 1:02:47 Remedy #40 (Responding to harm done to you)
    • 1:03:08 Responding vs Reacting
    • 1:04:56 Societal norms vs Spiritual norms
    • 1:05:34 Every elimination of dirt from our minds, brings you closer to God
    • 1:07:13 Q & A: Should a Vedantic student not believe in Astrology?
    • 1:09:03 Why do horoscope predictions become more inaccurate as you grow older or if you engage in many spiritual activities
    • 1:12:34 The 9 ways of relating to God from Srimad Bhagavatam
    • 1:21:51 Q & A: Does agami karma only manifest after the prarabdha karma?
    • 1:22:04 3 types of karma (sanchita, prarabdha, agami)


Vedanta in Daily Living- Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam & Tattva Bodha (e-Session 8 | 22nd May ’20)

In this session:

    • Verse #9
      • 2:45 Remedy #41 (Relying on Atma (God) and always remembering our lifespan is limited & our abilities will age)
      • 6:27 When times are good, we should strive to take up spiritual disciplines
    • Verse #10
      • 8:34 9 Fruits of studying Vedanta & a life cured of durvaasanaas
      • 16:22 End of text prayer
      • 18:28 Q & A: What is meant by the 3 sources of sufferings and what does it mean their nature is to create such sufferings?
      • 21:30 Importance of the lifestyle prescribed by the text
      • 21:50 Summary of Durvaasana Pratikaara Dashakam’s remedies


  • Tattva Bodha continues..
  • 24:25 Recap of Tattva Bodha so far (till Session 13). Highlight of important points covered.
  • 33:34 Introduction to Macro-cosmic analysis
  • 34:06 Origin of 24 essential principles (explanation of Creation)
  • 35:42 God –> Subtle –> Gross creation
  • 36:20 Introduction to Maya & Nature of Maya
  • 37:38 “Satyam – Mitya” vs “Brahman – Maya” vs “Shiva-Shakthi” principle
  • 40:23 Using dreams as an example to illustrate Creation
  • 44:40 Brahman is both the Intelligent & Material cause of Creation
  • 47:25 Divinity is in You! Divinity is in Everyone! Divinity is Everywhere!
  • 51:13 How far is your mind from God? How far is God from you?
  • 52:12 Satva, Rajas & Tamas gunas in the context of Creation
  • 54:29 Preamble of the 24 subtle principles
  • 57:03 Q & A: Why is the Maya the power to create? Shouldn’t Maya be pure consciousness?
  • 1:00:40 Creation explained using water & waves as opposed to milk & curd
  • 1:02:18 Q & A: What is nimitta & upadhaana kaarana?
  • 1:07:18 Q & A: Time & space are not absolutes?
  • 1:08:24 Q & A: Is this Creator & Created model a postulation presented by Shastra?
  • 1:12:05 Vedanta vichara, cultivation of pure & steady mind is required to see the Truth
  • 1:14:10 Q & A: Is a reverse journey possible, based on having a sense of the endpoint?


Vedanta in Daily Living- Tattva Bodha: Maya, Creation, 5 Elements,Vritti (e-Session 9 | 29th May’20)

In this session:

  • 1:58 Relationship between Brahman & Maya
  • 3:23 How Maya projects Creation and Creation of the 5 elements
  • 5:40 5 elements (panchabhutha) are mitya
  • 7:00 How the subtle senses (not physical organs) were created from subtle panchabhutha
  • 11:05 Q & A: How is sound/hearing connected to space? What is meant by subtle elements?
  • 12:18 Creation from the sound of ‘Aum’
  • 14:09 Creation of manas, buddhi, ahankara and chitta (inner instruments of Man)
  • 16:22 Introduction to ‘Vritti’ (loosely translated as ‘cognition’)
  • 20:45 How a vritti is formed
  • 21:55 Recollected vritti is called ‘chitta’ (recollection)
  • 22:10 When a vritti is formed in your mind, it is called ‘manas’ (mind)
  • 22:26 Deterministic vrittis is called ‘buddhi’ (intellect)
  • 22:39 Ahankara (I-thought) is the thought that defines you as an individual
  • 22:59 Further elaborations on manas, buddhi, chitta, ahankara
  • 23:55 Life is all about vrittis (any vrittis comes under 1 of the 4)
  • 24:38 There is no such thing, or an organ, called the mind (manas)
  • 25:35 Q & A: What about the thinking of the future (imagination), is that a vritti as well?
  • 27:01 Q & A: What is the difference between vritti and vasana?
  • 29:53 Key learning point is to know that vritti can come both from an external or internal source and that ahankara is a special kind of vritti
  • 31:26 Q & A: This definition of mind is different from the conventional (English) definition of mind as an organ?
  • 32:30 Q & A: What is 6th sense/ ‘third-eye’ and is it connected to the mind?
  • 34:40 Q & A: I understand there is only 1 consciousness. What is the purpose of individual jivas?
  • 38:47 Q & A: What happens when you meditate? Why do we peaceful when you meditate?
  • 39:40 Minimizing, eliminating vritti makes you feel peaceful & refreshed
  • 42:18 Q & A: Why does Tattva Bodha call manas (mind) as doubt & emotions?
  • 44:36 Jnana as a solution, even for the path of Bhakthi (Devotion)
  • 47:18 Q & A: Can I call vritti as an image in my head?
  • 47:58 Q & A: Is there a logical relationship between the 3 gunas and the senses?
  • 50:27 Q & A: Are intuitions also vritti?
  • 51:55 Ahankara is a vritti that owns up every other vritti.
  • 52:10 What is a pure mind, in the perspective of vrittis?
  • 56:39 Q & A: What vritti should I focus on (say while meditating) to develop a steady mind?
  • 58:57 Q & A: What do you mean by there is ONLY God?
  • 1:00:21 The different Deities and the different mental functions
  • 1:00:38 Creations from Maya’s rajasic guna
  • 1:02:40 Creations from Maya’s tamasic guna – Creation of the 5 elements we see in the gross state today
  • 1:05:57 Q & A: Why is there such a complicated process to show Creation? What is the point of this? Why didn’t the subtle just grossify immediately?
  • 1:07:55 Q & A: Why are the gross elements (panchabhuta) linked to tamasic guna?
  • 1:14:08 Consciousness vs Intelligence and Natural laws
  • 1:15:58 Q & A: Is gravity a vritti? Is gravity Satyam?
  • 1:19:29 Q & A: Can we just take the Creation illustration presented just as a model? Are the details important?
  • 1:20:35 The model is presented to understand Creation around us for us to see the Satyam-Mithya relationship in them
  • 1:23:30 Correction to be done in notes


Vedanta in Daily Living- Vritti, Ahamkaara, 3 bodies, Jiva = Ishwara (e-Session 10 | 5th Jun’20)

In this session:

  • 1:48 Vritti & Ahamkara revision
  • 15:52 Satyam – Mithya revision
  • 23:58 Jiva vs Brahman (explained using a diagram)
  • 27:20 Q & A: What are the 24 components of subtle body (to better understand it)?
  • 27:39 Q & A: Where is the causal body (kaarana sarira)? Is it inside the gross or subtle body? Can causal body exist on its own?
  • 31:27 Q & A: What happens to causal body for a realized person?
  • 33:03 The wave has merged back into the water analogy to explain realization
  • 33:32 Q & A: What happens when a person passes away (what happens to the gross, subtle, causal bodies)?
  • 37:24 Q & A: Are there different layers/levels of mithyas?
  • 38:46 Q & A: Does time really exist? Are time & space really absolutes?
  • 40:48 Q & A: When the Subject no longer attaches itself to the Object, there is no reason for the causal body to exist? Is there a subject/object divide when someone reaches enlightenment?
  • 45:54 Q & A: Why is the subtle body drawn bigger than the gross body (in the diagram)? Does it exist beyond the physical body?
  • 49:00 Q & A: How is the next birth decided based on karma?
  • 50:50 Q & A: Are the 7 upper & lower lokas (Worlds) just temporary places of being?
  • 52:03 Q & A: The relationship between us and our ancestors, is it a gross or subtle body relationship? What are karmic debts?
  • 55:14 Comment: Time & Space is different in different Worlds (lokas)
  • 57:20 Q & A: Does the buddhi or ahamkara perceive the subtle body?
  • 58:05 What happens to our karma and our causal bodies (seeds) when the Universe undergoes pralaya (dissolution)?
  • 1:01:52 Comment: Understanding causal body as the seed for subtle & gross bodies
  • 1:06:47 Definition of Jiva
  • 1:09:40 Definition of Brahman/ Ishwara
  • 1:12:04 The Jiva = Ishwara Equation
  • 1:14:24 Introduction to Maha Vakya
  • 1:18:02 Q & A: How can a Jiva be equated to an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Brahman?
  • 1:19:07 Brahman’s Oneness as opposed to Ishwara’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence
  • 1:19:17 Objective of Vedanta is to raise an individual from his/her limitedness to the limitlessness of Brahman. Objective is Oneness
  • 1:21:45 Q & A: What is the significance of the lotus emerging out of Lord Vishnu’s naval?
  • 1:22:48 Comment: Importance of self-inquiry from Ramana Maha Rishi
  • 1:23:59 Conclusion of Macro-cosmic analysis
  • 1:24:35 Unlearning deep rooted assumptions so as to manifest Vedanta teachings in our lives
  • 1:25:25 Vedanta vichara & sadhana
  • 1:25:43 Comment: A regular, continuous learning journey is important


Vedanta in Daily Living- Upadhi, Pramaana, Tat Tvam Asi,Vedanta Sadhana (e-Session 11 | 12th Jun’20)

In this session:

  • 1:25 Satyam vs Mithya (Water – Wave analogy) (revision)
  • 2:50 Jiva vs Brahman (revision)
  • 3:39 Introduction to Upadhi (anything that limit/qualify an entity- gives rise to name & forms)
  • 7:09 Q & A: Clarification on whether Ishwara is a dependent reality (dependent on Brahman- formless)
  • 13:35 Where we are currently in the “Tattva Bodha” text
  • 14:24 Student’s question to the Guru: How can a Jiva with limited knowledge & ego be equal to Ishwara has limitless knowledge and no ego?
  • 16:50 Pramaana (means of knowledge to remove our ignorance of the Self) (revision)
  • 20:16 Maha Vakyas as anchor points in the operation of the Upanishads
  • 23:19 Operation of Maha Vakya (through the story of Shwetaketu & his father)
  • 26:09 Vacyartha vs Lakshyartha
  • 27:58 Analyzing the popular Maha Vakya: “Tat Tvam Asi” from the Chandogya Upanishad to answer the student’s question above
  • 31:54 Resolving the Upadhi (destroying the name & form is NOT needed)
  • 44:36 Q & A: Does Jiva have an identity of Itself?
  • 45:20 Q & A: Is there a way (an indicator) to know you have successfully resolved the upadhis?
  • 47:31 Q & A: Is belief system only needed till you resolve the upadhis?
  • 49:43 Q & A: How to transact in the real-world as pure consciousness (as a realized person) while living in the gross body?
  • 52:49 Q & A: How can we, as an upadhi, resolve upadhi through knowledge
  • 55:20 Q & A: Importance of re-visiting Vedanta teachings and having God as a partner
  • 57:38 Q & A: Do we experience upadhi in the dream and deep-sleep states?
  • 59:45 Q & A: Is causal body (kaarana sarira) part of the Jiva? What is the causal body?
  • 1:01:16 Q & A: Why not call the causal body ‘Jiva’? What is meant by the popular term ‘soul’?
  • 1:02:40 Q & A: Is the Upadesa-saaram the same as the Upadesa-sahasri?
  • 1:03:28 Summary of Vedanta Sadhana- to achieve happiness & liberation
  • 1:10:53 The Great benefits of such a life & How do you measure where you are in your Vedanta-driven life/ sadhana (KPI)
  • 1:14:25 Q & A: How to achieve, make a difference and live an effective dharmic life in a Vedanta-driven life? Are we supposed to let things just happen, go with the flow?
  • 1:17:02 Q & A: Difference between Brahman- formless God & Ishwara- God forms re-visited


Vedanta in Daily Living- Aparoksha jnana, Jivan Muktah & Mukthi, Karma (e-Session 12 | 19th Jun’20)

In this session:

  • 1:25 Key perform indicators of Vedanta vichara & importance of doing an introspection
  • 4:00 Jivan Muktah
  • 6:25 Firm,abiding, immediate knowledge that I am Sat-Cit-Ananda
  • 9:31 Pratyaksha Jnana vs Paroksha Jnana vs Aparoksha Jnana
  • 11:03 Aparoksha jnana as an Experiential knowledge (NOT the conventional meaning of experience) (NOT an intellectual knowledge)
  • 18:48 Q & A: Is there a way to get the experience without Vedanta vichara?
  • 22:53 Adi Shankara’s experience of Enlightenment
  • 23:57 Why is a Jivan Muktah not born again? **Karma**
  • 24:23 Karma and how punya/papa unfold
  • 30:47 Q & A: Where is our punya/papa tagged to in us?
  • 31:25 Q & A: Can agami karma have an effect on prarabdha karma?
  • 32:30 Best form of agami karma!
  • 35:26 Q & A: Is aparoksha jnana (experience of enlightenment) experienced in the mind?
  • 39:14 Comment: Dilution of papa karma
  • 41:02 Q & A: What is the purpose of life?
  • 41:34 4 goals of life (purusharta)
  • 42:20 The paramapurusha: Moksha
  • 44:23 Agami, Sanchita & Prarabdha karma as explained by Tattva Bodha
  • 49:08 Karma and Jivan mukthi
  • 49:45 Q & A: Is our sanchita karma in our kaarana sarira (causal body)?
  • 54:19 Q & A: Don’t I need a tool like my mind to achieve and experience realization (aparoksha jnana)?
  • 56:28 Using a thorn to pick a thorn
  • 58:10 A salt doll exploring the bottom of Ocean analogy (to explain Vedanta vichara)
  • 59:38 Q & A: If prarabdha is part of sanchita, how can prarabdha still in motion for a jnani?
  • 1:01:18 Q & A: What are spirits/ ghosts experiencing in the samsara cycle (cycle of birth & death)?
  • 1:07:27 Q & A: Can a person who has done lots of papa (sins) achieve enightenment having sanchita karma all cleared up?
  • 1:10:09 Q & A: Rupa vs Svarupa


Vedanta in Daily Living- Revision, Atmavid, Questions & Answers (e-Session 13 (FINAL) | 26th Jun’20)

In this session:

  • 1:39 Revision on the Agami, Prarabdha, Sanchita karma of a realized person
  • 4:09 How should we relate to a self-realized person?
  • 9:07 Jnani does not have a sense of doership of actions- like the water on a lotus
  • 9:49 Knower of Atma (Atmavid) crosses samsara and attains Brahmananda (bliss, absolute happiness), here itself (while living)!
  • 11:55 Atmavid does not have any sorrow (Chandogya Upanishad)
  • 13:16 Narada & Sanatkumara story to illustrate the benefits of being an Atmavid (Chandogya Upanishad)
  • 15:27 Vedanta’s objective revisited
  • 15:57 Death of a self-realized person
  • 20:09 Q & A: Why must a realized person continue to live?
  • 21:30 Q & A: When a person has an Experience, can it be without Consciousness?
  • 22:51 Recap on vritti
  • 23:10 Q & A: What stays constant with the jiva after death and continues into every birth?
  • 27:10 Q & A: Does knowledge acquired, remain in every birth?
  • 27:30 Q & A: Doesn’t the level of ignorance reduce in every birth?
  • 28:42 Comment: Ignorance of aparokshna jnana is constant
  • 31:20 Q & A: Does our punya increase and papa decrease in every birth?
  • 34:02 Q & A: Do jivas merge or do they maintain their individuality?
  • 34:22 Comment: Pursuit of suka and duka nivrtti is also constant in every birth
  • 35:13 Q & A: Can the karma acrued in many, many births be dissolved in just really 1 birth?
  • 38:20 There is no law to tell you can’t get it here and in this birth
  • 39:23 Comment: Since you are already born as a human being, you are somewhere in the spiritual path
  • 40:05 To have been able to be in this this Advaita path, you already have great Ishwara anugraha!
  • 41:02 Clarification on aparoksha jnana- is it instaneous?
  • 43:32 Q & A: Please explain Maya as individual vs Total
  • 47:03 Q & A: Result-oriented life leads to frustration & stress normally. Isn’t the pursuit of moksha also a result oriented pursuit? Should I just let it come to me naturally? Are there other life goals that one can pursue other than moksha?
  • 50:30 Comment: There are different levels in the pursuit for moksha
  • 51:02 Vedanta journey must also be pleasant. If not, something is wrong.
  • 51:40 Q & A: Is somebody commiting suicide also the result of sanchita (past) karma?
  • 52:30 Q & A: People who do tapas, they may be doing it joyously. We may be incorrect to perceive their tapas as tough/ unpleasant right?
  • 54:12 Q & A: What is a trigger to cross from a good intellectual understanding to really seeing the reality?
  • 57:52 When I remove what I am not, What I am Shines! (Using an example from ThiruManthiram)
  • 1:00:46 Q & A: Is Aparokshna jnana like a switch?
  • 1:03:33 Q & A: Can jivas be created? Are new jivas being constantly created? Is there a sequence?
  • 1:05:53 Q & A: What do you recommend me to do when misinformation is spread about Hinduism?
  • 1:08:34 Q & A: Other than Vedanta vichara, are there other ways to attain moksha? Dying in Kasi can give moksha?
  • 1:12:49 Perfect love VS Unconditional love VS Knowledge (2 sides of the same coin?)
  • 1:16:51 Q & A: How different is Lord Krishna from a Jivan Muktah?
  • 1:18:16 Q & A: If a Jivan Muktah sees Oneness with Ishwara, can’t He dissolve His prarabdha karma if He wants?
  • 1:20:10 Q & A: Great souls like Shirdi Sai Baba, are They Mumukshus choosing to show some Ishwaratvam?
  • 1:21:13 Q & A: Did Rama know He is God?
  • 1:24:26 Q & A: In Hinduism, there is no concept of absolute evil who instigates you to do bad things?
  • 1:26:31 Q & A: What about demons who come in our stories?

Unearthing the Gem within You!

  •  3 days of talks by Swamini Pramananda based on Adi Shankara’s Hastamalaka

Day 1 of "Unearthing the Gem within You!"- based on Adi Shankara’s Hastamalaka

Day 2 of "Unearthing the Gem within You!"- based on Adi Shankara’s Hastamalaka

Day 3 of "Unearthing the Gem within You!"- based on Adi Shankara’s Hastamalaka