Two New Beginning Chanting & Sanskrit Classes Starting March 22 & 26

Overview

A painless introduction to the Sanskrit language and chanting.  Classes will cover the alphabet, proper pronunciation, Devanāgarī script, grammar, vocabulary, translation and reading.  This class will lay the groundwork for you to begin reading and learning to chant the Bhagavad Gītā, as well as various stotras, mantras, etc.

Each class begins with one half hour of Sanskrit chanting instruction followed by one hour of Sanskrit language instruction. The intention is to progress at a comfortable pace to lay a solid foundation upon which to build.  There will be some small amount of homework required to stay on top of the material.

The same material will be presented in both the Tuesday and Saturday classes. You are welcome to attend either one. It is fine if you would like to attend both at anytime to review the lesson again, though there is no guarantee the two classes will stay exactly in sync over time.

No prior experience is needed. All classes are free of charge.  Donations accepted.

Days & Times

  • Weekly Class begin March 22 & 26
  • Tuesdays 5:30 PM
  • Saturdays 11:00 AM

Check your local time.

Location

Please test your ability to connect to zoom prior to the day of class.  You can ensure your microphone, and preferably video as well, are working properly by clicking on Zoom Settings.  There are also call-in options.  Contact Swamiji if you run into difficulties

Text

Introduction to Sanskrit Part 1 by Thomas Egenes

निर्भयो भव !  Nirbhayo Bhava ! Have No Fear ! This text is a gentle introduction to the Sanskrit language.  It is well paced and introduces aspects of the language in parallel over several chapters so as not to overwhelm with too much information while keeping the lessons interesting.

The text is available in paperback on Amazon, though it might be less expensive elsewhere.  Contact Swamiji for more information or if you have trouble obtaining the text or can not afford it.  It will not be needed for the first few sessions.

Supplementary material we will be using in class for the first few classes is available for download HERE.  Swamiji will be sharing his computer screen with the class materials in both locations during the classes as well.

Class Format

The first two or three sessions will include a brief introduction to the language followed by presentation of the alphabet and proper pronunciation. Please attend these sessions even if you already know Hindi, the Sanskrit alphabet, Devanāgarī, etc as critical foundational information will be presented necessary for both the chanting and Sanskrit grammar study.

After these introductory sessions each class will begin with 30 minutes of chanting instruction class followed by 1 hour of Sanskrit instruction.

Chanting

The first three chants we will cover will be used at the beginning and end of each class.  The high-level explanation of the meaning and grammar will also help introduce facets of the language:

  • Sarasvatī-Śloka – Prayer to the Goddess of learning, knowledge, and arts
  • Sahanāvavatu – Peace mantra invoking clarity in learning and teaching
  • Pūrṇamadaḥ – The entire vision of non-duality in one mantra
  • Svasti-Mantra – Universal Peace Prayer
  • Tryambaka-Mantra – Prayer for mokṣa (liberation) and relief of suffering

There are many options available to us after this. Please let Swamiji know if you have any special interests.

Additional Sanskrit Classes

For those of you with some background in Sanskrit you may wish to drop in on the Intermediate Sanskrit class or the Bhagavad Gītā Śāṅkara Bhāṣya reading class to see if it meets your level of experience and needs.

 

 

Swami Viditatmananda to Visit San Diego an LA Area June 26 – 29, 2016

SwamiV 2016 Save Date Slider v1.1

Spiritual seekers in San Diego and the Los Angelis area had the honor of listening to the profound teaching of Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati in both 2014 and 2015.  We will again be blessed by a visit by Swamiji during the last week of June, 2016.  Event details will be sent once they are finalized.

Please mark your calendars and save the dates:

  • San Diego : June 26 & 27

  • LA Area : June 28 & 29

We are looking for volunteers – If you would like to help with organizing Swamiji’s visit or lend a hand on the day of the event please contact Swami Advayatmananda: Swamiji@ArshaDrishti.org.

Please contact Swami Advayatmananda as well if you are interested in hosting a bhiksha or satsang with Swami Viditatmananda at your home.

Mahāśivarātri Celebration at Arsha Drishti March 7, 2016

Mahashivaratri 2016 Slider

 

Please join us at Arsha Drishti in San Diego or Online  for our first annual Mahashivaratri Celebration 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM March 7, 2016.

The evening will begin with group chanting of the Pañcākṣara Mantra “Om Namaḥ Śivāya” in bhajan format.  This will be followed by the Śivaliṇga-Abhiśekaham, chanting of Śrī Rudram and Pūjā.  Celebrants are asked to come and leave in silence, and maintain silence while not chanting.  All are invited to stay as long as they wish afterwards for silent meditation.

For more information or directions to Arsha Drishti please contact Swami Advayatmananda:  Swamiji@ArshaDrishti.org

Mahāśivarātri is a yearly new-moon celebration in honor of Lord Śiva, the Auspicious Lord from whom all creation comes and into whom all resolves.  Traditional observances includes a 24-hour vigil and fast, continuous chanting of Om Namaḥ Śivāya, alternatively maintaining maunam (silence), silent japa or meditation.  Prayers, austerities, and meditation are considered to be particularly efficacious on this day.

Awakening to Non-Dual Reality – A Morning Hymn

PratahSmanaram 1.2

Prātas-Smaraṇa-Stotram

Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

A Morning Hymn

Listen to Class Audio

Listen to Class Meditations

Download Text


The Prātas-Smaraṇa-Stotram is an invitation to our own awakening.  This hymn of just three verses unfolds the entire vision of Advaita Vedanta in the form of a morning meditation on the the truth of oneself.  Begin the day by recognizing the essential silent presence which you are, empowering yourself to greet the day with compassion and fearlessness.

Classes include the unfoldment of the meaning  as well as learning to recite the chant.

These classes were given December 3 – December 17, 2015 at Arsha Drishti in San Diego, California by Swami Advayatmananda Saraswati

Swami Viditatmananda’s 2015 San Diego & LA Talks – Watch & Listen

 

Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Watch Video
Vedic Message to an American Society Watch Video
Morning Meditation – Accepting Oneself Download Audio

San Diego and Los Angeles were honored with a 3 day visit from from  Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati late June of 2015.  He spoke in San Diego, Diamond Bar, and Mission Viejo, California, and also gave a morning meditation and several satsangs.  Over 200 spiritual seekers were blessed with his words of wisdom and loving attention.

Swami V Chinmudra

Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati

Swamis San Diego Temple 2015

Sw Viditatmananda and Sw Advayatmananda

Sw V Satsang Diamond Bar 2015

Swamiji with Long Time Devotees

 

 

AIM for Seva San Diego 2015 Benefit Program Report

Educating Rural India Through

Free Student Homes

 

Aim For Seva SD 2015

A Dance Ballet for a Worthy Cause

Sundara Kandam –  a Signet of Hope

San Diego Event Report

by Devika Ashok

 

An Indian classical dance performance was held for the first time in support of the AIM for Seva organization in San Diego on 22nd August 2015. It was part of the ongoing 19-city USA tour to raise funds for the more than a 100 free student homes (FSHs) across India.  Started by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati in the year 2000, AIM for Seva addresses the fundamental issue of the lack of access to high quality education for children from rural areas in India. By building chatralayas free residential student homes, AIM for Seva gives every child the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and lack of education. With an impressive turnout for a first time event, San Diego raised over $50,000 dollars for this worthy charitable organization due in large part to the tireless work of Kavita Rajaratnam and her team of volunteers.

The program brought together about 200 individuals from varied walks of life – Bharatanatyam enthusiasts, AIM for Seva supporters, as well as those just curious about the performance and its beneficiary. A spectacular show was presented, brimming with creativity, beauty, and yet adhering to the traditions of the classical dance method of story telling.

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The choreography by Smt. Anita Guha was flawless and the bhāvas (emotions) were beautifully expressed by each of the 11 artists. Rama and Lakshmana entered as the curtain opened, and the anguish of the warrior princes was heart wrenching.  A beautiful varṇam ensued, explaining to Hanuman their journey thus far. A confluence of brilliant music and dance by energetic Hanuman soon followed  – the audience was in for a treat every second. Each vānara’s (monkey’s) mannerism was lauded in an energetic tillana following Sughreevas victory over Vaali. The highlight was the immaculately executed fight sequence between the brother Vaali and Sughreeva choreographed by Shri. Thiruchelvan. It was heartening to note each participant had enacted two different characters, each better than the other.

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The acclaimed composer Shri Neyveli Santhanagopalan set music and lyrics in Tamil that went hand in hand with the choreography. Tunes to the famous Thirada Villayatu Pillai or creatively using S M M swaras to ask if there is anyone who can parallel Vaali’s strength were some of the gems among the compositions. The performers were greeted to a standing ovation at the end for their outstanding performance and heartfelt to support for such noble cause.

Additional AIM for Seva performances events such as this are planned for the future here in San Diego.  We ask on behalf of the hundreds of children benefitting by the tireless work of the volunteers of AIM for Seva to please consider donating generously to continue this invaluable work.  Donations can be made year-round at the San Diego AIM for Seva website.

We also welcome new volunteers who can help us organize future events. Please contact Kavita Rajaratnam at kvraj64@gmail.com to volunteer.  Also, join us on the San Diego Aim For Seva Facebook page. Our goal is to create a strong San Diego base to support AIM for Seva, thereby giving every child in rural India their right to free education against all odds.

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Srini Raman, AIM for Seva US National Coordinator; Ravi Rajaratnam, Event MC; Kavita Rajaratnam,AIM for Seva San Diego Coordinator

For more information and to see inspiring videos of the good work AIM for Seva is doing see the original AIM for Seva San Diego announcement, or visit the  AIM for Seva national website.

logo-aim-for-seva

DONATE at the San Diego AIM for Seva website.

LIKE San Diego Aim For Seva Facebook page

LEARN How You Can Help

AIM for Seva National Website

Pujya Swami Dayananda Attains Videhamukti

।। श्रीगुरुभ्यो नमः ।।

Śrīgurubhyo namaḥ

Salutations to our honored teachers

Friends,

Our beloved guru Pujya Swami Dayananda attained Videhamukti (Mahasamadhi) at his Ashram in Rishikesh today, September 23, 10:20 PM IST (Indian Standard Time.)

A brief biography of Pujya Swamiji can be found HERE

Some of us will gather tonight to chant and celebrate his life.

Date: Today, Sept 23, 2015
Time: 7:30 PM, Pacific Time
Location: Online

Or

Arsha Drishti Ashrama
4950 Santa Cruz Ave
San Diego, CA 92107

Texts for chanting this evening:

Swami Advayatmananda in Chicago: Who Is Rudra?

Yagna: Expression of Our Infinite Love for the Limitless Lord

 

Watch Video

Download Audio

(Audio improves after the first minute; Clearer audio than the in the video; )

 

Swami Advayatmananda Saraswati spoke at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago on June 7, 2015 as part of the temple’s Mahādruda Yajña celebrations.

Welcom

Swami Advayatmananda and Dr Yegnasubramanian greeted by temple priests and officials of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

Program speakers

Dr. Yegnasubramanian, Swami Advayatmananda, and Congressman Danny Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The theme of the events preceding the yajña  is “Rudra: Who really is He?”  Swamiji’s topic was “Yagna: Expression of Our Infinite Love for the Limitless Lord“.   Dharmatma Dr. Yegnasubranaian gave an informative discourse on Sanatana Dharma, and the fusion musical group Sands Around Infinity performed beautiful bhajans as well as part of the day’s festivities.

Read more in the Chicago Tribune about this prelude event and the Maharudra Yagna event itself.

Swamiji speaking

Swami Advayatmananda addressing temple audience

Swami Advayatmananda addressing temple audience

Swami Advayatmananda addressing temple audience

 

 

 

 

 

 


Swamiji honored after discourse

Swamiji is honored after discourse by Maharudra committee co-chair Dr Vijaya Sarma and temple president Sri Bhima Reddy.

Swamiji honored after discourse

Swamiji is honored after discourse by Gopalakrishnan Kari, Co-Chair of Maharudram committee and Sri Lakshman Agadi, Maharudra Committee Chair

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

June 28-30 2015 – Swami Viditatmananda in LA & San Diego

  

Southern California Visit

Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati, a senior disciple of Pujya Swami Dayananda will be returning to Southern California June 28 – 30, 2015.  This year he will be giving discourses in both San Diego and in the Los Angeles areas. Talks are in English. Admission is free and open to all.

 


San Diego

Essence of the Bhagavad Gita” 

Sunday June 28, 7:30 PM

Shiva-Vishnu Temple

9252 Miramar Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

SwamiV flyer SD 2015 v1.3 Color

 


Mission Viejo

Vedic Message to an American Society”

Monday June 29, 7:00 PM

Tapestry, Unitarian Universalist Congregation

23436 Madero Suite #140, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Detailed Directions

Diamond Bar

Living Intelligently”

Tuesday June 30, 7:00 PM

Diamond Bar Center, Pine Room

1600 Grand Avenue, Diamond Bar, CA 91765

 

 


 

Please join the Arsha Drishti mailing list for details and updates.  Or follow Arsha Drishti on Facebook or Twitter. Contact Swami Advayatmananda (San Diego) or Ruchika Raval (Los Angeles) if you would like to help with these events.

See pictures from Swami V’s 2014 visit and download audio or view the video of his talks HERE :

  • Intelligent Living : Dharma in the 21st Century
  • Freedom From Sadness

About Swami Viditatmananda

Sri Swami Viditatmananda, a senior disciple of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, expounds Vedanta with a simplicity and directness that make it easy to assimilate. Having lived and worked in the United States prior to becoming a renunciate, Swami Viditatmananda is familiar with the lifestyles in India and the West. With his insight into both cultures, he reaches out to everyone with equal ease.

Swami Viditatmananda graduated in 1978 from the course taught by Pujya Swamiji in Bombay, India. Since then he has been extremely active, teaching, writing books and preparing Pujya Swamiji’s words for publication. He visits the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Saylorsburg PA every year during spring/summer and conducts classes.

Under the banner of Adhyatma Vidya Mandir, Swami Viditatmananda conducts various programs to disseminate the knowledge of the scriptures. He gives talks on the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita all over Gujarat, India. He also conducts management seminars with a view of showing the relevance of Vedanta in management.

Swami Viditatmananda’s Tatvatirtha Ashrama is situated in the western outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. As its name suggests, it is a center for learning the Tattva, i.e. the truth.

Dakshaji Becomes Swami Advayatmananda: Saṃnyāsa Initiation March 22, 2015

 

2015 - Swami Advayatmananda after initiation into saṃnyāsa by Pujya Swami Dayananda

2015 – Swami Advayatmananda after initiation into saṃnyāsa by Pujya Swami Dayananda

Daksha Chaitanya was given Saṃnyāsa-Dīkṣā – initiation into the Daśanāmī monastic order – on March 22, 2015 in Rishikesh, India by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati.  Pujya Swamiji blessed him with the name  Swami Advayatmananda Saraswati (स्वामी अद्वयात्मानन्द सरस्वती) – “One who finds his joy and completeness in the truth of the non-dual self from which nothing is separate.”

The vows taken by a saṃnyāsī, a Hindu monk, reflect his commitment to lead a simple life of non-injury, study, teaching, and contemplation.  These vows of renunciation spring from the depths of one’s own vision of inherent inner freedom and fullness, and reveal the intention to fully express the wisdom and joy of the teachings of the ancient sages in one’s life .

The Initiation

The initiation activities span over two days, beginning the day before the main vows are taken with a shave and a purifying Gaṇgā-snānam (dip in the Ganges river).  Another trip to the Gaṇgā for changing the yajñopavīta (sacred thread) is followed by tarpanā – offering libations of water to the sages, gods, and ancestors, said to bless seven generations back.

At the yajñaśāla, the building wherein most of the rituals will take place, pūjās to Ganesha (remover of obstacles), Navagraha (the universe), and Devī (Goddess) are performed – rituals to invoke the Lord’s grace to bless our coming lives as saṃnyāsīs.  The elaborate aṣṭaśrāddha ritual was next – a ritual of final offerings of food to the departed forefathers, mothers, gods, rṣis (ancient sages), and elements.  This includes the final funeral ceremony even for oneself, since the initiate will die to his old life to be transformed anew.

Mid-morning begins the chanting of Gāyatrī mantra, followed several hours later by Gāyatrī Homa, a prayer for brilliance in one’s knowledge and teaching.  Chanting of Gāyatrī mantra and offerings into the sacred fire continue until sunrise the following day.  Morning brings the performance of the powerful Viraja Homa, a ritual to purify all aspects of one’s being in preparation for saṃnyāsa.

Finally the formal Saṃnyāsa-dīkṣā (initiation) commences in which, with sun and moon, sky and earth, sunrise and sunset,  the gods and sadhus as witnesses, all aspects of one’s previous life –  one’s ego, personal history, possessions, all small pursuits and identifications, everything in this world and the next – are renounced.  Then with an offering of water, the vow of ahiṃsā, to cause no harm to any living being is taken: Abhayaṃ sarvabhūtebhyo mattaḥ svāhā – For all living beings may there be no fear from me.

Then standing in the Gaṇgā, discarding his sacred thread and even his white clothing into the river, having abandoned all worldly aspirations, and in the spirit of total renunciation and freedom, the freshly-minted saṃnyāsī begins walking north, the north being a symbol of mokṣa, liberation.  He is ceremonially called back by fellow sādhus who offer him the traditional orange robes of a monk.  Pujya Swamiji then gives a new name which reflects one’s true nature, and the saṃnyāsa mantra.  This is followed by the performance of a pādapūjā for Pujya Swamiji to honor the guru and the lineage.

Finally the new saṃnyāsīs journey to Kalikamaliwale Annakṣetra (a Rishikesh establishment that freely feeds hundreds of sādhus a day) for bhikṣā (taking alms), dal and roti, in the same manner as Pujya Swamiji did some 50 years ago.

Sannyasa Diksha March 22, 2015

Sannyasa Diksha March 22, 2015

 

Read about Swami Dayananda

Read about Swami Advayatmananda