I wanted to write a brief note about an amazing book that I recently completed studying. It is the Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course, a set of 4 volumes with commentary by Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati (Pujya Swamiji) of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam. Pujya Swamiji’s lectures during one of the 3-year residential Vedanta courses conducted by the Gurukulam were transcribed and published in the form of this Home Study course. The lectures are also available in audio format.
Pujya Swamiji’s presentation was an eye-opener to me and brought about a profound improvement in clarity of understanding the Gita and life on the whole, according to Vedic vision. That moksha is the one goal of human life is Purushartha-nischaya and there are two lifestyles leading to that goal – Karma Yoga and Sanyasa. The moksha sastra dealing with the nature of Self is explained following the teaching methodology of Vedanta as a pramana. Developing virtues in oneself through clear understanding rather than setting ideals as distant goals seemed a practical way to improve oneself without disappointment.
Based on Sri Sankara’s bhashya, Pujya Swamiji’s home study course is elaborate and leaves no stone unturned in delivering the sublime and profound raja vidya. It is truly a blessing that in modern times we have written, audio and video media that give one sitting at home access to the secrets of Upanishadic wisdom taught by teachers of Vedanta. A century ago this would not have been possible. Of course sitting at the feet of the Guru to acquire this knowledge is the best. But if one cannot do that, Bhagavad Gita Home Study course published by Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in book and audio formats is a wonderful resource to acquire and quench one’s thirst for knowledge.
Some useful links:
1) Arsha Vidya Gurukulam bookstore: http://books.arshavidya.org
2) Arsha Vidya Satsangs, a collection of free downloadable audio lectures of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam teachers (Swami Tattvavidanandaji, Swami Pratyagbodhanandaji, Swami Viditatmanandaji and Pujya Swamiji): http://www.avgsatsang.org
3) Arsha Bodha Center website containing many audio lectures of Swami Tadatmanandaji: http://www.arshabodha.org/teachings.html
4) Downloadable audio lectures by Swami Paramarthanandaji: http://www.vedantavidyarthisangha.org
Om Tat Sat