The 2013 subscription to SwamiVeda.com lectures is now available! The subscription includes 52 lectures that will certainly inspire and move any aspirant on the path of The Himalayan Tradition. Please go to http://www.swamiveda.com to subscribe! [Courtesy of Tom Prideaux]
Below is a commentary from Michael Smith on this year's subscription:
"When we think of the great spiritual texts of the world, we think of the Bible and the Qur'an, the Tao Te Ching, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.
"The Bhagavad Gita, many people in India have memorized. Others read the entire text every day. Swami Veda just gave a lecture series on the Bhagavad Gita using three commentaries: Swami Rama's Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita, the Commentary by Shankara, and the text of Madusudana Sarasvati, a former incarnation of Swami Rama.
"I heard Swami Rama say once, 'There are only two spiritual texts you need to study: the Sermon on the Mount and the Bhagavad Gita.'
"One time I asked Swami Veda if I should learn Sanskrit, and he said, 'You should learn Sanskrit if only for one thing: to read the Yoga Vasistha. The poetic language of the Yoga Vasistha is exquisite.'
"Of the Upanishads, the Kathopanishad is one of the most famous, and Swami Rama wrote a commentary on it called Life Here and Hereafter. It is a story of Nachiketas, who is cursed by his father and sent to Yama, the god of death. The dialogue between Nachiketas and Yama about the Nature of the Atman and of life and death has a number of passages which are memorable.
"'This universe is a tree eternally existing, its root aloft, its branches spread below. The pure root of the tree is Brahman, the immortal, in which the three worlds have their being, whom none can transcend, who is verily the Self.'
"'That which is the source of the sun and of every power in the cosmos, beyond which there is neither going or coming, is the Self indeed. For this Self is supreme!'
"'As air, though one, takes the shape of every object which it enters, so the Self, though one, takes the shape of every object in which it dwells.'
"'The immortal Self is the sun shining in the sky, the wind blowing in space; he is the fire at the altar; he is the guest dwelling in the house, he dwells in all human beings, in gods, in truth, and in the vast firmament; he is the fish born in water, the plant growing in the earth, the river flowing down from the mountain, He the changeless Reality, the illimitable!'"