Presented by Embodied Philosophy
The Vedas are the oldest yogic texts and the source of profound wisdom. "Vedānta" means "end of the Vedas" and refers to the Upaniṣads, which are the culminating texts of the Vedas and the most philosophical.
In this three-course training, you will study the Vedic texts with Katy Jane, discover one of the most profound teachings from the Vedānta with Neil Dalal and explore how these ancient teachings connect to modern views on "virtual reality" with Kenneth Rose.
Scroll down to read more about each of these illuminating courses. You can enroll in the entire 3-course training or just in one course. You may enroll at any time and get access to recordings of previous sessions.
with Katy Jane
If you practice yoga, it’s because of the Vedas. The Vedas are at the heart of Indian traditions of enlightened practice. Classical yoga, tantrika and bhakti lineages can trace their origin to the Vedas. The paths of self-inquiry that emerge from the Vedas all aim to awaken higher intelligence within your nervous system—by attuning it to the universal intelligence. This is enlightenment. To know the Vedas is to unlock the secrets of the universe within your own body-mind. Yet what the Vedas are and how best to approach learning about them often elude us. Are they “books?” Do they describe a philosophy or a science? And what do they have to do with your yoga practice? This 4-part course in the Vedas offers an experiential immersion in its enlightened principles, its contributions to the history of Sanskrit texts and traditions, and its ongoing relationship to authentic yoga practice. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the Vedic worldview, its core “texts” and teachings, as well as practical and traditional methods to relate the Vedas to your yoga and meditation practice.
with Neil Dalal
The goal of oneness or nonduality is common to many spiritual traditions, but what is it, where is
it, and who is it for? How can we even experience nonduality if it transcends subject-object
relationships? This course unfolds the nature of nonduality through the traditional teaching
methods of Advaita Vedānta. Advaita Vedānta inherited the wisdom of the Bhagavadgītā and the Upaniṣads—the world’s most ancient source of nonduality. The tradition provides a phenomenal
methodology of self-inquiry to recognize that the immediate foundation of your self-experience is in fact nondual, unlimited, and the very source of happiness you seek.
with Dr. Kenneth Rose
Everyday life is rapidly going virtual, and we are experiencing the vaporization of physical reality as technology rapidly evolves. Apps are displacing shopping malls, and crude single-player video games have morphed into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). May we actually be living in an MMORPG without knowing it? If we are living in a hypnotic simulation controlled by beings greater than us but unknown by us, can we develop a powerful video game to break through to reality? Humanity’s mystical traditions teach that —with or without machinery— we are master simulators of our own experience. To realize the mystical depth in human life, this course unfolds the classic Panchakosha, or Five-Bodies Teaching, from the Upaniṣads, which shows us how to perceive the multiple subtle or virtual bodies that cover up our ordinary consciousness. As we enter more deeply into this teaching over the four weeks of this course, we will learn how to dismantle these virtual bodies and return to our inborn standpoint of natural enlightenment.
with Swami Sarvapriyananda
Vedanta is the core philosophy of Hinduism. It is based on the texts known as the Upanishads, which themselves form the hightest teachings of the Vedas, the very ancient scriptures of the Hindus. There are many schools of Vedanta , the most well known of them being Advaita Vedanta (Nondual Vedanta). In this talk Swami Sarvapriyananda discusses: What is the central teaching of Advaita Vedanta? What is the Advaita view of the world, individual, bondage and liberation? What are its methods and how can we make Advaita practical in our daily lives?
The Vedas begin with the breath of God. “That One” (tad ekam) breathed and on the exhale released the creation. That breath can be heard within the pulse of creation as distinguishable “strings of sounds” or Sanskrit mantras. The Vedas are composed of these mantras as “that which is heard,” (śruti) or the vibrational code that makes up creation. In this first class, you’ll experience the Vedas not only as texts, but as the vibrational structure of creation. You’ll be introduced to the seven “authors” of the Vedas, the “seers” (ṛṣis) who “cognized” these underlying sounds of creation and organized them into four groups (saṁhitā) that they passed down orally through family lineages. We’ll discuss the relationship of Sanskrit to the Veda, as the sonic structure of the universe, and how it’s traditionally invoked by “those who breathe,” brahmanas. And finally we’ll explore the key concepts at the heart of the Vedas that form the basis of later traditions of yoga.
The Vedas are said to express the totality of knowledge mirrored within your nervous system. When recited as they were heard by the seers, they have the power to unlock an all-knowing intelligence within your own body-mind. In the second class, we’ll explore the relationship between Sanskrit mantras, the mind and the Vedic definition of intelligence. You’ll learn about the Vedic system of guru-disciple education (adhyāyanam) and the “mind-to-mind” oral transmission of “texts.” You’ll discover the six rules of Vedic chanting and later theories of the subtle body in yoga. And finally, you’ll receive a map of the 14 core Vedic “texts,” which provide a layout of the structure and application of Vedic knowledge.
The Vedas are said to embody an exact replica of the universal body in sound form. When you recite the Vedic mantras, you become one with it. You attain a unified wholeness wherein the macrocosm and the microcosm are identical. Here we’ll investigate the fire sacrifice (yajñā) as the key Vedic method of reconstructing the original body of creation. We’ll relate the prakṛti and vikṛti styles of Vedic chanting to the human/universal pulse. Finally we’ll explore the “limbs” (vedāṅgās), and the “branches” (śakhās) of Vedic knowledge that compose the universal body and how to enliven its connection with the human physiology.
While the Vedas are said to be eternal, omnipresent and unending, they ultimately lead to Vedānta—the “end” of knowledge. By the “end,” what is meant is the goal. The Vedas lead to the goal of self-realization—“I am that” (tat tvam asi)—the total identification of human and divine. In the final class, we’ll dive into the philosophical content of the Vedas. We’ll explore the pantheon of the Vedic “gods” and “goddesses” and their relationship to the core Vedic concept of “unity in diversity.” We’ll read translations of key Vedic passages like Mantrapushpam, “The Teachings of the Flowers,” that describe the “indweller” in all things. We’ll trace the historical development of Vedic philosophy in the Āraṇyakās, Brāhmaṇas and Upaniṣads and receive the final teachings given to a departing Vedic student in the Taittiriya Upaniṣad that summarize the philosophical and cultural Vedic worldview.
This module provides an overview of nonduality, explains the importance of Advaita Vedānta in the history of Indian spirituality/philosophy, and orients students to the proper way of engaging the Upaniṣads. The Upaniṣads are not “scriptures” in the common sense of that term, nor texts dealing with theory and practice; but are rather a direct means of knowledge to see one’s intrinsic nature as nondual. We will also explore our means and ends towards happiness, and why what we actually seek is freedom (mokṣa) from limitation.
Unlike some systems of nonduality, traditional Advaita Vedānta does not dismiss the importance of yoga, meditation, devotion, and ethical practices. This module explains their importance and limitations, and then explores the Bhagavadgītā’s yoga of making life a prayerful offering in order to cultivate equanimity, acceptance, and compassion.
Understanding consciousness is the heart of Vedānta’s nonduality. This module explores how the Upaniṣads map our minds and bodies through metaphysical models, and then employ this embodied metaphysics to discover pure consciousness—the intrinsic presence witnessing all experience. These methods comprise the core of Advaita’s contemplative practices. We will further explore why this consciousness is the basis of wholeness and love.
Can the world of multiplicity be real if reality is ultimately nondual? Our final module analyzes the nature of the world and how it exists dependently on nondual existence. We will then learn how this existence is numerically identical to consciousness through the “great sentences” of the Upaniṣads like “you are that” (tat tvam asi). With this knowledge one can then abide in the fullness of nonduality and gradually integrate nondual wisdom into their emotional and intersubjective lives.
In module 1, we will explore that as everyday life is rapidly going virtual, we are experiencing the vaporization of physical reality. Some philosophers and computer scientists now think that are living in a computer simulation without knowing it.
The possibility that the universe is a simulation is an ancient insight, which in module 2 we will probe in light of mystical or yogic experience and ancient and modern philosophy.
In module 3, we will discuss that we might soon be able to simulate the enlightened state of illumined mystics and yogis, but as forms of artificial enlightenment (AE), they would keep us dependent upon machinery and corporations to awaken. It’s a bit like always needing a meditation app to meditate, with the result that artificial enlightenment turns out to be just another form of bondage.
The world’s ancient wisdom traditions teach that we already contain multiple virtual worlds and that we can travel through them and transcend with meditatively attuned consciousness. The visionary practice known as the Five-Bodies Teaching in the Hindu Upaniṣads suggests that our true liberated Self is enveloped in five bodies of increasingly subtle consciousness. In module 4, we will use this teaching to collapse these bodies back into our deepest Self.
Kenneth Rose, Ph.D., has been a professor of philosophy and religion for three decades. His degrees include an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University. He developed and lead the online course, “Wisdom from World Religions,” which is funded by a Templeton World Charity Foundation grant (https://
Neil Dalal is Associate Professor of South Asian Philosophy and Religious Thought at the University of Alberta, where he teaches in both the Philosophy Department and Religious Studies Program. He received his PhD in Asian Cultures and Languages from the University of Texas at Austin where he specialized in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy, and an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dalal’s interests explore philosophy of mind, contemplative psychologies, and meditation practices found in classical South Asian Yoga systems. He grounds this research in classical Sanskrit texts and commentaries as well as their living traditions. Dalal’s current research focuses on the intersections of contemplative practices, textual study, and embodiment in Advaita Vedānta. He is the co-director of Gurukulam (The Orchard/Sony Pictures), a sensory-ethnographic study of a contemporary Advaita Vedānta community, co-editor of Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics (Routledge Press), and has published articles in venues such as the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Journal of Indian Philosophy, and Journal of Hindu Studies. Dalal is also a teacher within the traditional lineage of Śaṅkarācārya’s Advaita Vedānta. He spent several years living a monastic lifestyle in India while studying under the direct guidance of the renowned Advaita Vedāntin, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who gave him permission to teach in 2002.
Katy Jane first discovered yoga and meditation after a near-death experience in high school which led her to live with a Brahmin family in Nepal where she was first exposed to Vedic Sanskrit. She then went on to study South Indian Carnatic music at Amherst College and classical yoga with many masters in India and the USA. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Vedic Sanskrit & classical yoga) from the University of California (Santa Barbara). An American Institute of Indian Studies scholar for Hindi and Bengali, she was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship for her master’s degree research in West Bengal and Bangladesh on the indigenous and Sanskritic cults of the goddess Kālī. During her two-year tenure in Calcutta, she was sponsored by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture for Vedic Sanskrit studies and Vedānta. There she immersed herself in traditional adhyāyanam with her Vedic Sanskrit paṇḍita and a rigorous daily Vedic study. For her doctoral research on “enlightenment” within Vedic, classical yoga and Śrī Vidyā traditions (and embodied in place), she was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship. After serving as an assistant professor of world religions and Sanskrit at California Polytechnical University, Simpson College, the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Naropa University, she left academia to apply her knowledge of the Vedas, classical Yoga, Sanskrit and Śrī Vidyā to the yoga community. Katy is the author of Awakening with Sanskrit, Feeling the Shakti of Sanskrit, and Sanskrit for Yogis: An Introduction to Nāda, the Yoga of Sacred Sound. Presently, she serves as the director of yoga studies at the Dunagiri Retreat in Uttarakhand, India where she resides with her fiancé, teaches online Sanskrit classes and maintains a busy jyotisha (Vedic Astrology) consultancy. Learn more at drkatyjane.com.
Swami Sarvapriyananda has been Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Vedanta Society of New York since January, 2017. Prior to that, he was Assistant Minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 13 months. He joined the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1994 and received Sannyas in 2004. Before coming to America, he served as an acharya (teacher) of the monastic probationers’ training center at Belur Math (the order’s headquarters in India); Vice Principal of the Deoghar Vidyapith Higher Secondary School; Principal of the Shikshana Mandira Teacher Education College; and first Registrar of the Vivekananda University. His presentations have become quite popular on YouTube. We spoke about Vedanta philosophy and his work as a representative of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda lineage.
ONE TIME FEE
4 Live Zoom Sessions
4 Q&As with Ken
4 Videos & MP3s
10 YA Credits
10 EP Credits
Pop-Up Facebook Group
ONE TIME FEE
4 Live Zoom Sessions
4 Q&As with Neil Dalal
4 Videos & MP3s
10 YA Credits
10 EP Credits
Pop-Up Facebook Group
ONE TIME FEE
4 on Demand Sessions
10 YA Credits
10 EP Credits
NOTE: If you cannot make the live session, it will be recorded and made available to you the following day.