From Transcendentalism to Vedanta: America's Quest for Truth | Swami Tattwamayananda

From Transcendentalism to Vedanta: America's Quest for Truth | Swami Tattwamayananda
6 de jun. de 2019 · 59m 6s

This lecture was given on June 2, 2019 by Swami Tattwamayananda at the Vedanta Society of Northern California. -Transcendentalism’s universal spirit paved the road for the 1893 Parliament of World's...

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This lecture was given on June 2, 2019 by Swami Tattwamayananda at the Vedanta Society of Northern California.
-Transcendentalism’s universal spirit paved the road for the 1893 Parliament of World's Religions and other spiritual/reform movements of the 19th century.
-A contrast is drawn between obsessive love of the new and the rejection of all new things. The Sanskrit poet Kalidasa wrote that we should examine everything and accept what should be accepted, whether it is old or new.
-Political, social, and economic freedom was not enough. America’s quest for freedom turned to a higher spiritual freedom, which naturally was universal in spirit.
-Comparison is made between Emerson’s statement that “nature is the greatest manifestation of the transcendental divine,” Thoreau’s statements, and mantras and dialogues from the Yajur Veda.

-Tapas means looking for a higher meaning by withdrawing the senses from external objects and doing introspection.
-From Thoreau’s Walden: "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Bramin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges."
-Thoreau is doing tapas here. He connects with “Ritam,” the harmony of the whole existence.
-America responded to Oriental wisdom at the emotional level. Europe responded at the intellectual level.
-When the mind becomes pure, it is able to catch the true meaning of spiritual texts.
-An example is given of Emerson’s understanding of the idea of renouncing the fruits of action, not the action itself found in the Bhagavad Gita. He was able to connect with the ideas of karma, and svadharma. These interpretations even influenced Gandhi later.
-Transcendentalists felt that the tools of science and technology are a distraction from our true nature.
-Vedanta is the universal natural instinct of a spiritual mind. Look in your own mind, look in nature. You will find Ritam, the harmonizing link.
-America’s quest for freedom naturally leads to a quest for higher spiritual freedom.
-The transcendentalists and Vedanta both show that by connecting with the divine and sublime in nature, we are able connect with the divine spark within all of us.
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Autor Vedanta Society, San Francisco
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