In this “blossoming time” on earth, when many of us are increasingly hungry for authentic living, and are finally learning to experience and express our deepest being (deepest cowboy, deepest cowgirl,) our basically prosperous nature, is it any surprise that many of us have found great help and wisdom in doing this from those who have been at it for 5,000 years?

The basic scriptures of the Hindu religion, The Vedas, are among the oldest scriptures on earth, many parts predating the Old Testament. Both directly and in story form, the Vedas have helped countless people over many centuries experience and express the very highest of high consciousness– what in Sanskrit is termed satchitananda –which translates as consciousness, being, bliss. The aim is to experience satchitananda  while shopping at WalMart or mowing the lawn or doing the monthly bills.

In 1893, at the Parliament of World Religions, the Indian Sage Vivikenanda began what was to become a hundred year introduction of the “Wisdom of the East” into the West, and what many consider the true beginning of global interfaith understanding and tolerance. Many of us in the 1960’s were introduced to the methods, wonders and magic of Eastern philosophy through the classic book, “Autobiography of a Yogi, ” by Paramahansa  Yogananda.

And then of course, our Favorite Quirky Guru Uncle, Dr. Richard Alpert,  better known as Ram Dass, the LSD cohort of Timothy Leary, introduced us all to the Indian Magical Saint, Neem Karola, in his mind-busting book, Be Here Now.  From there, it was Katy-Bar-The-Door for a flood of gurus, great and small.

Most recently, I have personally found most help from a subset of the Vedas, (and more specifically from various contemporary teachers of this subset,) called Advaita Vedanta,  A few of my favorite teachers of Advaita Vedanta are Nisargadatta Maharaj (“I Am That,” ), Rupert Spira, Jean Klein, and all the wise guys and wise women being published by Non-Duality Press.

This, at least for this particular Elder, is a particularly fruitful branch of the Great Tradition for our time. What began at the turn of 1900’s is still only beginning to inform our culture. Soon, may we discover Satchitananda via the McDonald’s drive-through!

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