Self-knowledge | ISHTA VIDYA इष्ट विद्या |

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Absolute Knowledge. The Power of ‘I’  Atma आत्मा 

 K n o w l e d g e  f o r  l i f e


 

The Teaching Yoga Forgot

Atma Vidya आत्मा विद्या (Self-knowledge) are the little known quintessential teaching of the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta.

Questioning ourselves as human beings, wanting to know the absolute truth, we have always had to go to the upanishads.Throughout history the timeless teachings of Vedanta and in particular Atma Vidya have successfully answered all our questions. Called pramana the means of knowledge, the teachings are anadhigata abadhita jnana janakam sastram”.  not available from any other source and being the truth, once known, are never subject to cancelation. 

Since time immemorial the teachings of  Atma Vidya have been responsible for uplifting humanity. By curing our ignorance of what it means to be human, Self-knowledge resolves the problem of human suffering.

Traditionally only ever taught by priests in Sanskrit, the survival of the teaching was so important to Sri Adi Shankara 2500 years ago, that the great sage spent his whole life dedicated to its revival. Known as the end of all knowledge, (Vedanta) since Shankara revived the teaching, Atma Vidya became lost again. Shrouded in orthodoxy, today religious taboo forbids priests from sharing Self-knowledge with women or the ‘so-called’ common man. As a result, to find a teacher of Atma Vidya fluent in its methodology even in India is rare. Were it not for the modern revivalists movement breaking with tradition, Atma Vidya and its method of teaching would have all but disappeared. Translating the teachings into English modernists have brought Atma Vidya back to life, making the teaching available to the general public for the very first time.


 

As timeless as the Self Atman so are the Upanishadic teachings of Self-knowledge – Atma Vidya आत्मा विद्या 

As the wave of modern yoga and spirituality pushes higher and higher due to popular demand, Self-Knowledge comes to show us the true path to happiness and liberation – moksha – has always been knowledge.

Upanishadic Wisdom

The vedas are said to be the oldest books of mankind. Superior to the Vedas yet part of the vedas and much older than the vedas are the upanishads. Like all relative systems of knowledge though including mathematics, science, physics, chemistry etc. the vedas only deal with the relative world we see around us. Incapable of answering questions of a non-relative nature, throughout history this has always been left up to the upanishads.
Absolutely rational,
upanishadic wisdom takes away the responsibility of unraveling the mysteries of creation from mathematics, physics and chemistry etc.  

The revolution in modern thinking. Yoga’s next wave

As long as creation remains a secret and we remain a secret to ourselves we suffer. Modern education and upbringing trains us to look for happiness in the world. Religion and spirituality take this one step further telling eternal happiness lies within or in the hereafter.  Both these ideas are false. Happiness already being the true nature of every human being (only hidden by a cloak of ignorance) means searching anywhere for happiness is a mistake. Spending our whole lives searching, as long as we keep searching, looking in all the wrong places, the result can only be pain, suffering and more misery.  

Fortunately just like the sun destroys the darkness, Self-Knowledge destroys our ignorance.
What the sages and prophets have been pointing out through the ages, moksha, liberation
 and bliss already being our true nature is already gained. All we need is knowledge. Understanding the truth of who we are instantly sets us freeAs long as the dark clouds of ignorance remain, that long our suffering continues.’

Knowledge for the i generation

For the wave to even appear separate from ocean, the whole ocean has to come into existence first. For us to appear separate from the creation, the whole Creation has to be brought into existence first! 

As much as the little wave in the ocean doesn’t have to learn how to be ocean, already married to ocean, so we don’t have to learn to be ourselves. All thats needed is our true nature needs to be pointed out. This has always been the job of the teacher. Like the little wave in the ocean, overwhelmed by the cyclone thinks its all alone drowning in the ocean. (It doesn’t realise, already being water; part of ocean, it can’t drown!) So getting lost, isolated in our own exclusivity, our ignorance of our true nature is all that separates us from the truth.
Making myself exclusive, thinking my exclusivity saves me, my need for exclusivity keeps drowning me and ignorance is all that stands in my way.  

How to deal with the appearance of separation and how to get rid of ignorance is what Self-Knowledge is here to teach us. 

Just like the little wave, already perfect, whole and complete in itself needs nothing to complete itself and be ocean, so nothing can make us more our best whole and complete Self than we are already.