Sath Sangh Class Hand Outs

Prayer Songs with Meaning:


Academic Year 2021 – 2022:

Gnana Yoga: Vedic Philosophy and its use in daily life

Weekly facilitated discussion sessions.

Academic Year 21 – 22.    Program details:

Schedule:   Fridays 7 to 8 PM EST.; Duration: 1 hour ; Frequency: Once a week

Session Details:  Prayer Songs – Chanting: 2  Min.; Meditation: 10  Min.;  Text reading and discussion: 45 Min.

Coordinator: Logachandar Natarajan (Lok)    ;

Moderator: Krishnamoorthy Subramanian (Subbu)

Where: Google Meet: 

 Starting Date: Sep. 24, 2021.


Regular attendees (each week); Participants, but not every week (Unable to commit to regular attendance);   Attendees as and when their interest permits or need requires. Everyone should join the sessions on time. Meditation period must be respected by all and should not be disturbed by logging in and the sounds they create.

Regular attendees will participate in Prayer songs chanting, and active discussions.   ALL attendees can post online questions for discussion during the sessions.  Every effort will be made to address all questions and inputs.

Effort will be made that everyone gets at least one sip (thought or point to reflect upon) in each session, in their personal quest for Spirituality in Practice! Hence regular attendance as much as possible will be far more useful to everyone.

Sep. 24, 2021

Why? — Benefits gained from these Discussion Sessions:

These Discussion Sessions have been carried out for the past five years (since 2016 ). We have systematically covered various texts and scriptures including:

  • Bhagwat Geetha – Chapters 1, 2, 12 and 14
  • Sri Shankaracharya authored Bhaja Govindam, Athma Bodha and Nirvana Shatakam 
  • Upanishads – Katha Upanishad
  • Several other poems and scriptures.

These weekly discussions with a core group of committed attendees/volunteers has been found to be of immense benefit and value. Following are some of their observations:

  • Vedic Philosophy is a logical framework to use here and now – in our daily life.
  • Being able to see ourselves as part and parcel of everyone else and indeed part and parcel of everything we know of as the Universe – is Spirituality.
  • Such opening of the mind and a broader perspective helps us to cope with everything in life – all activities, ups and downs, emotional upheavals, relationships, satisfaction/ disappointment, workplace stress, etc. – with an even minded approach.
  • We can experience and live a life of inner peace and harmony with equilibrium in any situation or world around us. We don’t have to become monastic, saint or renounce our daily way of life, seeking inner peace and harmony!
  • Such self-reflection and awareness of who we are and how we engage in life and its activities can be for a few moments, which through practice and experience extends into more activities and longer duration. 
  • There are several personal benefits to be gained from participating in these discussion sessions:
    • Overcome  uncertainty and fear.
    • Improve mental fitness.
    • Improve heart-fullness (emotional comfort) and sense of well being. 
    • Increase one’s tenacity and ability to withdraw from some  misgivings and cauldrons.
    • Relieve trauma and loneliness.
  • These benefits help everyone to heal, make lifestyle changes, thrive and provide wonderful personal benefits that medicine alone sometimes lacks.
  • These weekly sessions are like a fitness program for our intellect or thinking, just as “Yoga” is practiced for physical fitness and “meditation” is used to calm our mind and emotions.
    • The best results seem to come from regular attendance, participation, constant practice, application and self reflection on the teachings.
  •  We received the following message from one person in our community:

Your summary resonated with my thoughts. Yet, putting this into practice requires a lot of introspection, letting go of attachments and functioning at the true “I”. All one can do is to try. This Gnana Yoga discussions are indeed a sincere effort as a means to that end!

Reference: Course materials from previous sessions available at: 

Gnana Yoga: Discussion on Vedic Philosophy and its Application in Daily Life.

Topics for Discussion:

Essence of Vedanta (Vedic Philosophy):

  • Sath Sangh: Association with Truth
  • Vocabulary or Common Language:
    • Truth about what? – “I”, “We”. “Life”, “Work”, Family, Universe, ……?
    • Reflection preceding response (Yoga)
    • Subjective Vs. Objective (Gunathvam Vs. Sagunathvam)
    • Non-attachment (Sanyasam)
    • Universal enabler of everything (Nirgunathvam = Brahman).

Understanding Vedic Philosophy:

  • Bicycle as an analogy
  • Boat as an analogy
  • Two sides of a coin
  • Subjectivity Vs. Objectivity
  • Non-attachment – a stepping stone for objectivity
  • Everything is Brahman: What does it really mean?
  • Waves and the Deep Ocean: Perturbations of life and the Universality of nature
  • “Aum” and its meaning.
  • Lamp or Candle and its analogy.

Application of Vedic Philosophy:

  • How to distinguish Subjectivity from Objectivity?
  • Can we ever be non-attached?
    • Perfection Vs. Good
  • How can we relate to the Universality of nature?
    • Five “Upadhi” or Conditions 
      • in which we exist
      • As seen through our mind.

Specific examples for the Applications for Vedic Philosophy:

  • Why is the teacher a God?
  • Why should parents be treated as God?
  • Who is your boss?
  • How does a guest transform into God?
  • What can we learn from nature?
    • Seed and a tree?
    • Bird in an open cage?
    • Rope and a snake?
    • Lamp?
    • Big trees are difficult to transplant, seedlings are easily transplanted?
  • What is your duty? Responsibility?
  • Does a parent owe anything to a child?
  • Does a child owe anything to the parent?
  • ?????

Essence of Vedanta

Summary of Vedic Philosophy — Detailed Study Section.

October 1, 2021

Sath Sangh:   Satsangatve nissangatvam nitsangatve nirmohatvam nirmohatve nishchalatathvam nishcalatathve jiivanmukthi    Bhaja Govindam Verse 9.    Through association with the good (people) and on learning about the true nature of the Self – Who am I? – one develops non-attachment,  which in turns leads to a dispassionate outlook on life;  that in turn leads to a calm and contemplative mind; which results in eternal peace and harmony within (or liberation in this life: Jeevan Mukthi).  

Anna Poorne’ Sadha Poorne’       Sankara Prana Vallabhe’        Gnana Vairaghya Sidhyartham   Bikshaam Dehicha Parvathi!

Sath also means truth. Sath Sangam – could also be seen as association with the “truth” (i.e.) deep and sustained analytical understanding of the subject matter  Such an in depth study is Philosophy (Love for “truth”).

What is life?  How should it be lived? Why is life the way it is? etc.  

Such analysis, reflection and contemplation and internalizing is Gnana Yoga.


Om  Saha Naav[au]-Avatu | Together (the Teacher and the Student) may we progress.

Saha Nau Bhunaktu | Together may we enjoy our Studies and the process of learning.

Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai | Together may we display sincerere commitment in our Studies.

Tejasvi Naav[au]-Adhiitam-Astu I May our studies be filled with the glory (of Understanding, leading to Knowledge)

Maa Vidvissaavahai | May our education Not give rise to Hostility (due to lack of Understanding)

Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || Om Peace, Peace, Peace

‘Satsanga means not merely good company, for men however good may not wholly agree with one another; and they are liable to separation by misunderstanding, various events, accidents, disease, etc. The real Satsanga is companionship with the truth (Sat), the Absolute Existence, the Athman or the Soul. This is a changeless companionship when it is rightly formed. It is above all accidents and it is inseparable. The best friend is Athman!”       — Rambles in Vedanta (1905), B. R. Rajam Iyer.


October 8, 2021

October 22, 2021

What is Truth? Is there anything that is universally true? (i.e.) UNIVERSAL TRUTH?

Gnana Yoga:

Gnana: Knowledge and Understanding ;         Yoga: Internal or Self Reflection and Self-control.


BG Chapter 4:

Read the following with DISCUSSION as needed

October 29, 2021

4.16. What is the Knowledge we are seeking to learn? What is action appropriate for the moment  (Karma)?  What are the activities not to be performed at that moment (Akarma)?   Even the wisest are puzzled by these questions. 

By learning the answers you will be liberated from the effects of your actions.


  1. 17.One should understand what is the proper action for the moment (Karma), what actions are wrong and should be avoided (Vikarma) and also what is inaction (Akarma)? The course of action (Karma Gathi) is truly obscure and hence confusing.

    18..      One who seeks inaction in all activities and seeks inactivity as the course of action is the wisest as he/she carries out all appropriate activities (Karma) and yet is in control (or unaffected) all the time.

    19. Any person who’s every action is devoid of desires and motive and where every action is refined by the “fire of knowledge”, such a person is called as the master of learning (Panditha) by the wise.

    20. Even though an enlightened person engages in all activities he/she does so with total abandonment to the effects (or motives) of all actions and always self-content and without any dependence on all such activities. Such a person does not truly participate in any actions.

21. Anyone who carries out his/her physical activities (Shareeram Karma), with a mind held in restraint from desire, with total abandonment (of attachments to all possessions) does not acquire any effect of all his/her actions (including guilt).

  1. Such a person is contented whatever the result (as if it were by chance) and hence is above the “pairs” of pleasure and pain, free from envy and equal in composure with accomplishment or not. Such a person even though participates in all activities is yet unattached to any of them.
  2. With such liberation from attachments of every kind and of mind firmly rooted in this knowledge if any person performs all activities (Karma) like penance (Yagna) then all these activities are consumed in such penance, leaving no effect.
  1. To such a person, Brahman is the sacrificial butter of the penance, Brahman is the butter as offering or oblation, Brahman is also the fire thus created. Also the burnt ashes (offerings or Prasadham) is Brahman and to Brahman he/she unites through meditation of Brahman on all the activities.

Note: In the above theology and philosophy are intertwined. In a theological sense, the concept of Brahman is an all-encompassing entity into which one ultimately reaches -unites with – after performing sacrifice (Yagna) using butter as offering to the God with total abandonment of the self. In a philosophic sense, active engagment in all activities (Karma) with total self-control and non-attachment leads to the transformation of a person into the state of Brahman. This is described as being analogous to the participation and transformation of the butter in a spiritual rite (Brahma Yagna) .

This dual explanation is elaborated  in the next four stanzas.

  1.   Some ascetics (Yogin) perform offerings (Yagna)  to the Gods in the heaven. Others consider the pursuit of Brahman (state of total self-control and nonattached  active participation) as the penance itself.
  2. Some offer penance through restraint in hearing and other senses. Others offer the sense of sound as the sacrifice while hearing.
  1. Some offer penance through activities such as control of breathing (Prana Karma) and other body functions. Others offer the sacrifice (Juvhathi) of self-control (Athma Samyama Yoga) in the fire kindled by knowledge (Jyana Deepam).
  2. Some offer penance through material objects (Dravya Yagna), through meditation (Thapo Yagna) and others through sustained participation in the activities of their choice or yoga (Yoga Yagna). Others perform the penance (dedicated participation) of knowledge (Jyana Yagna) through reading and learning.

29,30.  Some practice the control of the breathing process (Pranayama) as  a means to gain control of their body functions. Others exercise control in their food habits as a penance.  All these are various versions of self-control. Through such penance they remain unaffected by their actions (described as not acquiring sin).

  1. Those who consume the output or essence of penance (Amrutha) reach unification with Brahman. If this world is not for those who perform penance, then who is it for Arjuna?

            Note: The above could imply: The result of sustained practice of self control – in any one of the many forms described above – is the process, the end result of which is the attainment of the state of non-attached existence (Brahman). The paths to relate to Brahman may be many. But understanding and internalizing the knowledge (Jnana) of Brahman is perhaps the only path for living with eternal peace and harmony in this world.

  1. Thus, in this process for attainment of enlightenment, there are many facets (Brahma Mukha). All of them are reached through the activities of the world (Karma). Being aware of this, you will be freed from the bondage or effects of your actions.
  2. Arjuna! The pursuit of self-control through knowledge (Jyana Yagna) is better than the penance based on material offerings. In the end all activities reach their fulfillment only through our knowledge and understanding.

            Note: The above implies that mere pursuit of ritual rites in and of themselves do not serve the ultimate goal; knowledge of their purpose and focus on such understanding will be necessary means to gain the benefit of self-control through rituals.

  1. Through faithful pursuit or reverence, by questioning and through the sacrifice of service, learn the above concepts. You can also learn them through the wise that have seen the path of enlightenment through their own reasoning (Jyani).

35..      After learning the above concepts you will be free of confusion in your thoughts. At that time you will see in yourself all the objects of nature. Then you will see you are part of me, the Lord.

  1. Even the most sinful will be liberated of their sins, sailing across as it were using knowledge as the bark to float on.

Note: The above could also imply that the process of unattached existence refined by knowledge is available for any one no matter what their attachments have been thus far.

  1. As the flames of sacrificial fire render the wood into ashes, the fire of knowledge – of total self-control and unattached active participation (described as the Lord) – reduces to ashes all the effects of our activities.
  1. Indeed nothing exists on earth in purity equal to knowledge of enlightenment or Brahman. One who is in perfect control through practice of this knowledge (Yoga Sum Siddha) finds that purity or unaffected nature (or the Lord) within one self.
  1. With true commitment (Sraddha) to self-control, one acquires the knowledge of self-control. After acquiring such knowledge of self-control one attains eternal peace (Santhi) in due course.
  2. For those without the knowledge or belief – in the process of self-control and unattached existence (to be understood as Brahman or the Lord) – there is no happiness or peace on this earth or anywhere else.

 41.Arjuna! Having cut through their doubts through the process of reasoning, those who perform their activities without attachment, through their knowledge or reasoning have become the master of their own self (Atmavan). For them there is no connection with their actions.

42. Therefore cleave your doubt born of ignorance, with your sword of knowledge, present in your mind. Stand up and resort to your duty of the moment (Karma), Arjuna!

Read exhortations like this as a guide. Given the pathway to success in Olympics, not everyone becomes a Olympic Champion. But every Olympian has perseverance, strive and motivation equal to none else! Do not reduce such statements to discourage you by making “Seeking Perfection and not getting there as the enemy of the good”! It is true that each of us are perfection in our own way. It is failing to see that perfection that is the failure in itself!

ōṃ tatsaditi śrīmadbhagavadgītāsūpaniṣatsu brahmavidyāyāṃ yōgaśāstrē śrīkṛṣṇārjunasaṃvādē jñānakarmasannyāsayōgō nāma chaturthō’dhyāyaḥ ॥4 ॥

Om. End of Chapter 4 of Bhagawath Geetha – the conversation on the Knowledge of Brahman – the chapter titled as: Self-control for renunciation or non-attachment with Physical Action through Knowledge and Understanding!

Vocabulary or Common Language:

  • Sath Sangh: Association with truth.
  • Truth about what? 
    •  “I”, “We”. “Life”, “Work”, Family, Universe, ……?
  • Reflection preceding response (Yoga)
    • Answers are not instantaneous and spontaneous; Instead they come as a result of reflection and reasoning (Gnana Yoga).
  1. 18.   One who seeks inaction (Akarma) in all activities and seeks inactivity as the course of action is the wisest as he/she carries out all appropriate activities (Karma) and yet is in control (or unaffected) all the time.
  • Subjective Vs. Objective (Gunathvam Vs. Sagunathvam)
    • My point of view Vs. point of view appropriate to everyone!
    • Difference between “appropriate” Vs. “agreeable” to all?


  • Non-attachment (Sanyasam)
    • The “view point” is for a larger universal goal; not connected to immediate and personal needs. (Samyaha Nyasathi ithi Sanyasam).

(E.G.): Sarve Jhana Sukino Bhavanthu: May everyone and indeed everything exist is peace and harmony!

  • Universal enabler of everything (Nirgunathvam = Brahman).

When all desires which nestle within the heart fall away, then a mortal becomes immortal and attains Brahman here and now! Kathopanishad.


Brahman – Definition:

Following are excerpts from Kenopanishad:

Read the following with DISCUSSION as needed.

Who enables the mind to fly around with all its  thoughts? Who enables the first breath? Who enables the speech? Who is the Deva (deity, God) that harnesses the ears and eyes? 

1.1. Willed or impelled by “What” does the mind get directed,  to seek or go after an object?  . “What” is the primal force that is behind all activities? Through the will or intention of “What” are these words being spoken? “What” enables our vision and our hearing?

1.2. It (Brahman) is the enabler of the hearing by the ears, the thinking by the mind, the speech through what is spoken, the life in the living, vision in the eye. By giving up identification with the organs and their actions (me or “I”) and becoming united with the enabler of all their functions, the wise men become immortal.

1.3. We cannot teach or instruct about this primal force, because we can not reach it through the eyes, the speech, through knowledge or reasoning.

1.4. It is different from all that is “Known”. It is above the known. This is the knowledge handed down to us by the ancient teachers, who have explained It to us.

1.5. That which is not explained by speech, but that which enables the speech, recognize that as Brahman, not the objects that are worshipped.

1.6. It is not that which is comprehensible to the mind, but which enables “comprehension” by the mind; recognize that as Brahman, not the objects that are worshipped.

1.7. It is not that which is seen by the eye, but which enables the vision through the eye: recognize that as Brahman, not the objects that are worshipped.

1.8. It is not that which is heard through the ears, but which enables the hearing through the ears: recognize that as Brahman, not the objects that are worshipped.

1.9. It is not that which is smelled, but which enables the smelling by the nose: recognize that as Brahman, not the objects that are worshipped.

Kenopanishad – Sections 3 and 4:

Brahman is invisible. Yet can be visualized through the ever present laws of nature: That which enables the fire to burn, wnd to move objects, water to wet, etc. 

4.1.Brahman is the flash or illumination in the lightning; It is the winking of the eye.

Note: Gravity, magnetism, buoyancy, electric field, all the laws of nature in every field of study can be collectively recognized as Brahman. They merely exist. They are eternal, objective, invariant of time, place, people, situation and circumstances. Isn’t this also the description of “God”?


Brahman in practical terms. Athma Bodha: 54 to 57, 60, 61. 

Read the following with DISCUSSION as needed.

Realize that Brahman – the state of limitless union of the Self into the Universal Consciousness – implies that: 

  1. There is no other attainment, blessing or knowledge to be sought after that. 
  2. When perceived it leaves nothing more to be seen, leads to a state of existence, where the constantly changing mortal world ceases to exist (immortality is achieved) and leaves nothing more to be learned. 
  3. Brahman is the only real, knowledge, bliss and absolute, which has no duality; integral across the Self (individual Consciousness) and the Universal Consciousness, and with out perceptions of love/hate, like/dislike, etc., infinite, eternal and the only existence that fills all quarters as well as in all directions (above, below and all the space in between, etc.). 
  4. Brahman is recognized through the process of negation – Na Ithi Bhavam – of all that is comprehensible, as described in the Vedantic philosophy. Such Brahman is non-dual, eternal, indivisible and blissful; has no other equals (unique). 
  5. Brahman is without attributes: neither short nor long; neither subtle nor incognitive; without birth or with changes caused through life cycles; without qualities, color or name. 
  6. Brahman illumines the planets that orbit like sun and the moon, but it is not illuminated by any light source other than itself

Subjective Vs. Objective:

Read the following with DISCUSSION as needed.

  • Do you want to describe the “I” as a seed, as a branch, as a tree, as part of the forest, ….    
  • Do you want to describe “I” as personal or part of nature, part of everything?
    • In this process we are shifting away from “Subjective” and closer to being “Objective”.
    • One is immediate, intimate and personal. It starts as – Gunathvam — Subjective.
  • Subjective is also associated with the Connectors (Guna) of Knowledge, Bias and Ignorance.
  • Indeed our subjective point of view (Perception, experience, etc.) is the result of the dominance of one connector over the other two leading to one of three equilibrium states (Gunathvam) 

(i.e.) Tranquility (Sathvikam), Turbulence (Rajasam) or Inertia (Thamasam).

  • We can slowly move towards Objective — Sagunathvam — when we explore the connectors and identify the true nature of equilibrium
    • The other is beyond personal. We can also accept all that exists as it is and move towards identification with the Universal, Omnipresent Brahman – Nirgunathvam. Everything is Brahman (Brahmam Okate’)

Gunathvam / Sagunathvam AND Nirgunathvam are like two sides of a coin. The first is like the unending waves on the surface of the ocean and the second is like the deep ocean on which the waves exist!

Writings in Scriptures and Philosophy may extol one side of the above coin or the other side. While it is important to study and understand each side we should always be mindful of both sides. There is no one-sided coin. Similarly there is no existence without Subjective / Objective (Gunathvam/Sagunathvam) or tangible physical life and Nirgunathvam (intangible enabler of all that happens known and unknown to us).

Practical example to understand Subjective Vs. Objective:     (Gunathvam/Sagunathvam) as tangible and related to our physical life: 

To climb to a higher level, we have:

  • Elevator
  • Escalator
  • Steps with handrail
  • Ladder
  • Rope

Which one do you prefer?

Instinctive and arbitrary choice would be subjective.

Reflective assessment and choice based on all that we know and for a larger common goal would be Objective.


Practical example to understand Brahman:

In the above example, what are tangible and related to our physical life? What are intangibles?

  • Places where we need to climb — Airport, House, multi story Condo, Jungle Gym, Climbing out of a ditch, ………
  • Things that are moved — Old people, young person, monkey,Table,  — Animate and inanimate objects and their enablers (life processes,…)
  • Why do we need any of the above means (Elevator, etc.) ? — Height, Altitude —- Gravity
  • How does each one of these operate? — Vertical lift, Inclined plane, Stiff ladder, flexible rope, …. Materials, their properties, Mechanics, ….
  • …. 

Brahman: All that which enables each of them and the invisible laws behind their existence: Gravity, Properties of Materials, Mechanics, ……….


Previous Year Class Materials:

Bagawath Geetha – Chapter 14:


Bhagawath Geetha – Chapter 14

Thriguna Vibagha Yoga : 

Understanding and Management of the three Connectors (Guna)

      Everything in the Universe exists through engagement in some activity (Karma). Activities governed by laws of nature can be seen everywhere. All animate objects have evolved to pursue activities for their survival (Body functions) ; Human are endowed with ability to pursue activities, that go beyond mere existence or survival. (mind and intellect)


How do we engage in all these activities? How do we make these choices? How are we impacted by the choices we make? Can we make these choices to be in harmony within our self as well as without? Questions, such as these are addressed, analyzed and explained in the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in Bhagawath Geetha.

14.1,2. Arjuna: I shall teach you that knowledge, the secret that is learned by Saints. On learning that knowledge, these saints have reached a higher plane ( a mode of enlightened living).


“Experience” is acquired or comes into being, when the consciousness inside each one of us gets connected to something external to it.


These connections are made through the body, mind, intellect (all aspects identifiable with an individual) with anything external to the “self”.


These connections, called Gunas (ropes) incessantly (always) bind the consciousness (one who lives in the body – Dehinam) to the body and its functions (Deham) or everything external to it.


Guna are of three kind:


             Sathvikam = Tranquility, Knowledge and Understanding; Light or white color

Rajasam  = Turbulence, partial Knowledge (bias) and relentless series of emotions; shades of colors

Thamasam = Inertia or Ignorance; lack of direction; stale mate; darkness or black.

    Sathvikam Rajasam Thamasam

14.6, 7 and 8

Features or key characteristics of the three Connectors (Guna).

Sathvikam adds illumination (Prakasam) and knows of no ill effects (described as absence of sickness). Rooted in excessive desires or passion (Raga), Rajasam arises out of association and attachments with needs and wants. Thamasam is the outcome of ignorance and it attracts (Mohaha) all persons.
    Sathvikam binds a person through happiness and knowledge. Rajasam binds a person to endless chain of activities (Karma Sangam) Thamasam binds one through lack of directions.
    Sathvikam can be recognized, being affiliated with happiness and contentment Rajasam can be recognized when a person is associated with endless chain or recurrence of additional activities, without a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment. Ignorance shrouds the knowledge and leads to lack of direction.


All three Guna co-exist all the time and can be recognized as the link between the body (Dheham) and the soul (the person inside the body (Dehinam)).
14.10 All our perceived experiences are the outcome of the dominance of one Guna over the other two.
14. 11,


12 and


How can one perceive the dominance of each Guna ? When knowledge, illumination or comprehension is perceived in every avenue of the body and its functions, one can recognize that tranquility  (Sathvikam) has prevailed. When Turbulence (Rajasam) prevails, a person is drawn into greed or desires of endless nature, driven by intense needs (Lobhaha), initiation of innumerable activities due to a lack of satisfaction or contentment, unease and longing. When stagnation or inactivity prevails, the result is darkness (lack of illumination or knowledge), ineptness, lack of direction or sense of purpose and attraction born out of ignorance or illusion (Mohanam).

14. 14,


At a time of crisis (Pralayaha) or when a decision needs to be made,  the dominant Guna leads to: Increased tranquility – Sathvikam – transforms a person to a higher plane of existence (of total self-control and unattached active participation). leads a person to more activities, merely as a means to satisfy growing personal wants and desires which continue to remain as unfulfilled. leads one to be shrouded by ignorance (described as being born in the womb of the ignorant

14. 16.

 The result or fruit of dominance of each Guna: Proper or virtuous acts (Susukham) and purity or clarity (Nirmalam)  Sorrow. Ignorance

14. 17.

Each Guna Leads to:  knowledge  greed lack of direction and illusion as well as ignorance

14. 18.

Accomplishment of the intended purpose by the persons under the influence of each Guna Rise to the higher level (through greater levels of engagement of self-control and the reasoning and logic that occurs as a result) Stay in the middle (due to the self and its reasoning being constantly over ruled by attachments and its insatiable needs and wants) Sink to the lower level (since the reasoning and logic of the self never occurs, like the fire being shrouded by the ashes eventually gets quenched).
14.19, 20 Self-control (Yoga = union with the self) begins with the inquiry of the Guna and the dominant one over the other two in any activity.
  Total self-control – with highest level of objectivity – is demonstrated when one rises above all three Guna. As a result one observes any activity from a distance – detached – as the result of the three Guna (Connectors) and their inter-play. Hence one becomes Tranquil in nature due to the comprehension of the cause (inputs) and effects (experiences) as determined by the connectors. At this stage tranquility becomes a natural outcome and not merely something sought after. This comprehension and manner of living with the engagement of the self and its connection to the external, merely as the inter-play of the three Guna is called “Saguna Yoga”.
  In the ideal state, being clear of the nature of all the connections between the self and the external,  such a person is liberated (and freed of all “experiences”).This state or manner of existence is called “Nirguna Yoga”. It is like a breeze that merely exists governed by the laws of nature. By its mere presence the breeze spreads the fragrance of the flowers for everyone to enjoy. The breeze itself does not recognize the fragrance, its spreading or the enjoyment it has created as a result.

14. 21.



Lord Krishna!  What are the indications (Lingaihi) by which a person who has transformed beyond the three Guna can be identified? How does such a person conduct himself/herself ? How does one travel past the three Guna?

14. 22.

Such a person (who has transformed beyond the three Guna) does not dislike the effect of the three Guna:  illumination or knowledge (Prakasam), endless chain of activity, desires or illusions (Moham) when they occur.


Nor does He/she seek them out when they do not occur or when they cease to exist.

14. 23.

Such a person remains unconcerned and unaffected by these three Guna, recognizing that all the effects around him/her arise out of these Guna.


Thus he/she can focus within oneself and remain steady or unshaken.

14. 24

Such a person relies on his/her own self.  He/she has a firm and balanced frame of mind, where opposites such as happiness and sorrow, dear and not so dear, praise and blame are equal in effect.  He/she has a value system, where a piece of clay, a stone and a piece of gold are of equal significance.

14. 25

Such a person (who has transformed past the three Guna) perceives honor and dishonor, friendship and enmity as equal.  Such a person does not initiate any actions based solely on personal or self-driven needs.

The link below contains additional materials covered during the classes in the

academic year 2016 – 17

Sath Sangh 16 – 17 Reading materials Compilation

The link below contains Bagawath Geetha Chapter 12

and additional materials covered during the classes in the academic year 2017 – 18

Calss notes 2017 – 18 HTNH Sath Sangh (1)

Class notes 2018 – 19

Bhaja Govindham by Saint Adi Sankara Acharya

Bhaja Govindam Table (2)

A collection of poems to understand the meaning of “Brahman” or “Brahmam

Prayer to Hanuman – 8 Key skills

Hanuman Prayer 8 key skills

Nirvana Shatakam and other poems (2)

Bagawath Geetha Chapters 1 and 2

śrīmadbhagavadgītā. Chapter 1docx

_$īmadbhagavadgītā. Chapter 2docx

Class notes 2019 – 2020

Review session 1:

Questions for self-assessment on “Spirituality”

  1. What is spirituality?
    1. A way of living
    2. Something to do with spirits
    3. Something related to religion
    4. I don’t know
  2. Spiritual person is:
    1. Reflective and contemplative
    2. A recluse
    3. One who has no wants
    4. I don’t know
  3. Spirituality is
    1. A state of mind
    2. Controlling the mind
    3. Thinking of God
    4. I don’t know
  4. Spiritual person:
    1. Strives to be objective
    2. Prays all the time
    3. Wears minimum clothes
    4. I don’t know
  5. Spiritual person:
    1. Highly educated
    2. Tries to remain non-judgmental
    3. Very knowledgeable
    4. I don’t know
  6. Spiritual person
    1. Has lots of friends
    2. Has no friends
    3. Is at ease in friendly as well as difficult situations
    4. I don’t know
  7. One can be
    1. Spiritual all the time
    2. Try to be spiritual as much as possible
    3. Never spiritual
    4. I don’t know
  8. Spiritual person
    1. Is truthful all the time
    2. Seeks truth as much as possible
    3. Does not know the difference between truth and lie
    4. I don’t know
  9. Spiritual person thinks:
    1. Life is a collection of experiences
    2. Every experience can be explored
    3. Our past experiences define our life in the future
    4. I don’t know
  10. Spiritual person:
    1. Is fearful of death
    2. Prays to God for long life
    3. Understands that life and death are part of nature
    4. I don’t know.
  1. Spiritual person is:
    1. Forgiving all the time
    2. Loving and considerate all the time
    3. Of relentless faith in the goodness of all
    4. I don’t know
  2. Spiritual person:
    1. Speaks no evil, sees no evil and hears no evil
    2. Seeks the truth through observations and objective analysis
    3. Believes that everything happens at the will of the God
    4. I don’t know
  3. Spiritual person:
    1. Is God fearing
    2. Looks up to God as a reference to emulate
    3. Is agnostic
    4. I don’t know
  4. For a Spiritual person:
    1. Life is a journey
    2. Life is a process
    3. Life is one of many cycles
    4. I don’t know
  5. Spirituality is:
    1. What others see in me
    2. Intensely personal and self-governing
    3. Something that is taught and learned
    4. I don’t know.

Ten questions on understanding “Spirituality”

  1. Describe the concept of “Thath Thwam Asi” : You and the Universe are one and the same (integral in each other)
  2. Describe the five layers (Sheaths) in which everything exists?
  3. What is to be understood as “Brahman” or “Brahmam”?
  4. Describe the “Connector Science” or the Connection between the Conscience and everything external to it?
  5. Describe “Objectivity” and how it is distinguished from “Subjectivity”.
  6. All religions suggest: ”Control your mind” – Do you agree? If yes, for what purpose? Explain that as you understand (from any religion you are familiar with)?
  7. Describe the symbolism of “Om”, the “lamp” or candle as it is applicable to spirituality in daily life.
  8. What do you understand through the word “Yoga”? Are there many Yoga or it is the same principle for practice and for the same outcome? Elaborate?
  9. What is the single most essential to be gained, the most impact of any Yoga?
  10. Is “Spirituality” something to be acquired or something to become aware of?

Review Sessions 2 to 6:

BG Chapter 14 — The three connectors, their role and how to engage them for our spiritual enforcement   (Sep. 21)

BG Chapter 12 — Pathways for internal reflections and evidences of its impact (as seen in the divinity in our way of living)    (Sep. 28)

Bhaja Govindam — Non-attachment as a way of life: What is it and why?   (Nov. 16)

Nirvana Sathakam  and Brahmam Okate’ — On understanding Brahman (Nov. 23)

BG Chapters 1 and 2 — The identification of the inner person (Dehinam) as distinguished from the external (Deham)    (Nov. 30)

Basics of Hindu Philosophy – PPT.  pictorial presentation  Dec. 29, 2019.


Three schools of thought in Hindu Philosophy (Adhwaitham, Dhwaitham and Vishitadhwaitham)

Then we can plan to start Athma Bodha — Knowledge of the Self — from Jan. 11th, 2020.

Athma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self) – English only with illustrations:  Athma Bodha 1 03 22 20

Athma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self) with Sanskrit verses and without illustrations:   Athma Bodh 12 25

Upanishad Introduction

Kathopanishad; Kaothopanishad Sanskrit Verses; Kenopanishad;

Follow up items for discussion: Vedanta and Free Will;  Sath Chith Ananda