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One might study the mysteries of the universe and gain knowledge about the sun, the moon and the stars, one might observe the laws of nature and explore the geographical wonders of the earth, but what about the knowledge of the self? Atmabodha — the knowledge of self — is what Swami Parthsarthy, the founder of the Vedanta Academy, Malavli, will be talking about in a series of lectures starting on December 3 at Nehru Memorial Hall at 7.30 am. "What I am about to teach is something that will appeal to any layman who does not understand the deep philosophies of the Bhagwat Gita. The philosophy that I will be teaching is the same, but in a very simplified manner," says Swami, who has been spreading the knowledge of Vendanta from since the '60s.
Vedanta is made up of two words — "ved" and "ant" which mean "knowledge" and "end" respectively, thus implying that Vedanta means the "end of knowledge". The subject matter is aimed at providing the know-how to enable a person to maintain balance in his life. "When you take a closer look at people around you, you find happy people and successful people. But hardly will you find someone who is happy and successful at the same time. Vedanta teaches you how to do just that, to be happy and successful. It shows you truths about how one can live a meaningful and complete life, and allows you to chose to implement that knowledge for your own benefit," says Swami. He talks about the importance of the consistency of earning in the western countries to resist the problem of recession and the knack of avoiding depression to solve the issues that bring about a high divorce rate and suicides. Being in the field and preaching his to all age-groups the world over, he says the present youth is more dynamic than ever before. "The people nowadays are more open to accept and learn and also to work. I am 85 and I'm still working," says Swami with a smile.
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