We belong to the unbroken teaching tradition of Advaita Vedanta tracing back to the Lord himself
and preserved through eternity by an illustrious line of teachers including Bhagawan Vyasa and
Adi Sankaracharya. As it is brought out in the following verses -

नारायणं पद्मभुवं वसिष्ठं शक्तिं च तत्पुत्रपराशरं च
व्यासं शुकं गौडपदं महान्तं गोविन्दयोगीन्द्रम् अथास्य शिष्यम् ।
श्री शङ्कराचार्यम् अथास्य पद्मपादं च हस्तामलकं च शिष्यम्
तम् तोटकम् वार्त्तिककारमन्यान् अस्मद् गुरून् सन्ततमानतोस्मि ॥

nārāyaṇaṁ padmabhuvaṁ vasiṣṭhaṁ śaktiṁ ca tatputraparāśaraṁ ca
vyāsaṁ śukaṁ gauḍapadaṁ mahāntaṁ govindayogīndram athāsya śiṣyam ।
śrī śaṅkarācāryam athāsya padmapādaṁ ca hastāmalakaṁ ca śiṣyam।
tam toṭakam vārttikakāramanyān asmad gurūn santatamānatosmi ॥

सदाशिवसमारम्भाम् शङ्कराचार्यमध्यमाम्।
अस्मद् आचार्यपर्यन्ताम् वन्दे गुरुपरम्पराम्॥

sadāśivasamārambhām śaṅkarācārya-madhyamām।
asmad ācāryaparyantām vande guruparamparām। ॥

These 2 verses salute the prominent teachers of advaita, starting from the Almighty through Lord Brahma,
vasiṣṭhaṁ, his son śaktiṁ, parāśara, vyāsa, śuka, gauḍapāda, govinda bhagavatpāda, śaṅkara and
his disciples padmapāda, hastāmalaka, sureśvara upto the teachers of today. We salute them all because
if not for their efforts this knowledge which is eternally relevant would not be available today. Hence we
remain ever grateful to each and everyone who has contributed to preserving this knowledge.

The Pursuit

Pursuit of Self Knowledge in ancient India

People were introduced to Self knowledge either during the course of the Study of Vedas, in one's childhood or through listening to the stories of Mahabharata, Ramayana or the Puranas. In adult life even though the majority may not have been pursuing Self Knowledge actively the various religious activities, culture and lifestyle in general, was designed to drive one towards a search for the truth at some point. For example, the third stage in a person's life, which is vanaprastha or living in a forest, was meant to devote most of the time at one's life, along with the spouse, towards this quest and finally commit oneself fully in the fourth stage or sannyasa, the stage of renunciation. And if the person wants to study the Upanishads then go to the Himalayas or Kasi, where the environment was ideal for gaining spiritual knowledge.

Pursuit of Self Knowledge today

In contemporary society, even in India, due to the change in the education system to a predominantly English based western model there is hardly any exposure to spirituality, traditional values and Self enquiry. If at all there is, it is an outcome of the inherent cultural strength of the society and in spite of the education system. In one's adult life too most of the time is spent in running after various material pursuits and travel. Even if there is some teaching going on in the city you live in, the distance makes it very difficult to attend the classes. But the possibilities thrown up by technology has made access to this knowledge easier. That is why we are using Video conferencing to conduct these classes and bring them directly to your location, either your home or whereever you are travelling. So that spirituality can become a part of your routine. Only requirement is that you should make the commitment to make yourself available at a specific time..

The human predicament and the solution

Beginning from childhood, happiness is taught as a measure of how successful we are. And success is primarily defined in terms of material prosperity viz. money, wealth, power, status, career achievemets etc. At some point in the journey of life even if we manage to be reasonably successful happiness and peace of mind remain elusive. And even if we have achieved a good number of our goals we find that the goals are only being continuously replaced by newer ones! This is when question arises as to whether this mundane existence, this endless running around and the rat race is all worth it. We then start seeking spiritual solutions and begin looking towards Hatha Yoga, meditation techniques, visiting temples, trying to understand God, going to different spiritual organisations etc for help. Even though all of it may be somewhat helpful and even give a temporary peace of mind, the fundamental problem remains.

The fundamental problem of a human being is one of endless wanting/inadequacy. Inadequacy is not being completely satisfied with whatever I have or accomplish and craving for more. Inadequacy leads to stress, tension, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear and other psychological issues. We seek to overcome this inadequacy by endlessly seeking various external accomplishments like money, status, power, career, marriage, children etc. But none of it can really help to solve the problem of inadequacy, because it arises primarily from a wrong understanding of "Who I am". This problem can be resolved only by a clear understanding of myself, or in other words my true nature. This understanding is called Self knowledge and it is obtained through a systematic study of the eternally relevant scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads and other related texts. Self knowledge alone can provide the permanent solution because the problem is one of Self ignorance. These texts give answers to various fundamental existential questions like What is the meaning of all this?, Where did I come from (into this world)? What is the purpose of this birth? Why do I have to go through all these various experiences? etc and many more. But because of the nature of the subject matter, these texts have to be studied systematically under a competent person for a length of time. Classes are all in English but preferably a study of these texts is accompanied with a study of Sanskrit.

Texts used for the classes

  • Bhagavad Gita

  • Upanishads (in a specific order)

  • Explanatory texts like tattva-bodha, atma-bodha, viveka-cudamani, Upadesha Saram etc.

  • Yoga Sutra (as and when necessary)

  • Sanskrit

  • Brahma sutra

The Teaching

I am the whole. I am, in essence, what I am seeking to become. Even the highest accomplishment in this world cannot give me permanent happiness because even that will be limited in time and will pass.

There is nothing more worthwhile than devoting oneself to the pursuit of knowledge of oneself. All material pursuits are temporary and at best give short lived happiness. Once one understands this fact and begins the pursuit of Self knowledge, life becomes meaningful and purposeful. The key requirement of assimilating this knowledge is purification of mind or in other words emotional maturity. This is accomplished by Karma Yoga which is right attitude towards action. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that if the attitude with which action is performed is modified, it goes a long way in helping us grow and gain emotional maturity. This makes us a better human being and helps look at all our experiences as a blessing from the Lord. This attitude is only possible by a proper understanding of the Lord, not as someone located somewhere like heaven etc, but as having manifested in the form of Universal Order or intelligence pervading the creation. And I am non-separate from the order. My body, mind, sense organs etc are only incidental and do not have a reality separate from the universal order. That is, my understanding of myself as an individual distinct from the rest of universe may not really have a valid basis. This, in a nutshell, is what the Teaching is all about and over the course of the study one gains a growing clarity.