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A living tradition of teaching

There have been continuous successions of teachers who have kept this tradition alive until today. They have themselves received the teaching and its methodology from their own teachers and transmitted it to their students. There are many teachers whose names we don't know since it is essentially an oral tradition. But the names of those that are known to the tradition and who have written texts or commentaries on the Upanishads include 35 : Vyasa who is the author of the Brahma Sutras and is also said to have compiled the Veda by writing them. Gaudapada who was the teacher of the teacher of Sankara (early in the sixth century CE) and wrote a independent work in form of verses to comment upon Mandukya Upanishad called Mandukya Karika. Sankara of course, along with his four disciples, Suresvara who wrote Naiskarmya Siddhi, Padmapada, Totaka and Hastamalaka.

As we have seen in the section about the texts of Vedanta, Sankara (earlier part of 8th century CE) occupies a central position in this lineage 36 because of the monumental work he left for us on palm leaves written in the form of commentaries on ten Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and many texts written directly by him like Upadesasahasri. These written commentaries expose explicitly the tradition of teaching.

We have to note that several scholars over the past centuries have attributed different meanings to texts of Vedanta. The most prominent among them are Vishsitha Advaita of Ramanuja, (qualified non duality),
Dvaita Vedanta
of Madhvacarya (dualist Vedanta). Some contemporary figures in Vedanta have also come up with their own interpretations, by borrowing concepts from Sankara, Yoga, Tantras, Yoga Vasishta and modern science.

According to us, Sankara's commentaries capture the true intention of Vedanta text and present them in a most cogent and consistent manner. Hence, the presentation in this website is based on Sankara's work.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati is a contemporary teacher of Vedanta and a scholar in Sanskrit in the tradition of Sankara. We owe to him all that we have learnt. Swamiji has been teaching Vedanta in India for more than five decades and around the world since 1976. His deep scholarship and assimilation of Vedanta combined with a subtle appreciation of contemporary problems make him that rare teacher who can reach both traditional and modern students.

A teacher of teachers, Swami Dayananda taught six resident in-depth Vedanta courses, each spanning 30 to 36 months. Four of them were conducted in India and two in the United States. Each course graduated about 60 qualified teachers, who are now teaching throughout India and abroad. Under his guidance, various centers for teaching of Vedanta have been founded around the world; among these, there are three primary centers in India at Rishikesh, Coimbatore, Nagpur and one in the U.S. at Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. There are more than one hundred centers in India and abroad that carry on the same tradition of Vedantic teaching.

In addition to teaching, Swami Dayananda has initiated and supported various humanitarian efforts for the last forty-five years. The most far-reaching of these is the establishment of All India Movement for Seva in 2000. Awarded consultative status with ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) by the United Nations in 2005, this organization is devoted to serving people in the remote areas of India, mainly in the field of Education and Health Care.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati has also promoted several international events and participated as a speaker in several global forums, among which are: the United Nations gathering of NGO's, the UNESCO Seoul Global Convention, the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Millennium World Peace Summit, the International Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity, the Conference on the Preservation of Sacred Sites, the World Council for Preservation of Religious Diversity, the Youth Peace Summit, the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, a Hindu-Christian dialogue with the World Council of Churches, and the Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit.


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Vedanta, the Yoga of Objectivity
In this interview done in Bangkok, Neema explains why we have chosen to call this website, Vedanta, the Yoga
of Objectivity. What is the relationship between objectivity and seeing the reality as it is? What are the different
levels of objectivity we are speaking about?
Listen to audio (3:46 minutes)

Introduction to Vedanta, a timeless wisdom
A series of 4 videos which unfolds in a methodical,
short and powerful way the whole vision of Vedanta by looking into what we are really
searching in life and by inquiring into each side of the equation you are that (tat tvam asi).

The timeless teaching of the Bhagavad Gita
Watch this series of 20+ videos which unfolds the
essential verses of the Bhagvad Gita in a modern, accessible and yet profound manner. These talks
highlight how its vision is relevant to our contemporary world. It also shows how its teaching can help us to
live a meaningful and objective life.


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