Citta Chats™ 2013

Citta: pronounced ˈchitta for a sanskrit word for ‘consciousness.’
Serving Svadyaya: self study.
Traditional Spirit in Contemporary Relevant Forms.

You show me ONE thing, and SAY TWO NAMES.
Is that not two? NAY … Meet Pot and uh Clay.


What are Citta Chats?

Class Format | FREE 6o minute class audio & Meditation.
Citta Chats are ongoing teachings from the Upanisads, Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras on the essence of your own being, and in turn the essence of our world and creation. Citta in Sanskrit means “consciousness,” and has double meaning in that it contains aspects of mind like memory, imagination, intellect, emotive and sensory; and Citta also means the very aspect of conscious that simply is and is self-aware.We work from specific texts and unfold the teachings drawing on the methods and materials of Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam and the community of teachers he has trained.

The Sampradaya:

The Sampradaya, or tradition of interaction in personal study and dialog between teacher and student is the foundation of enabling the Upaniśad, the teachings, to function as a pramana, or means of knowledge revealing something about the self, about me, not available through any other pramana or means of knowledge available to us through which we know the world. The sampradaya is the continuing stream of teachers,who matured in the same stream, who also experienced the teachings as a pramana, a means to reveal something about the subject that can never be know in the world of objects. Through certain teaching methods, prakriyas, the teachers are the means unfold the meaning in the text such that the student is seeing something about their current direct experience, meaning not speculative, as the topic is always nearest.
And dearest.
It is me.
And do we not love to be?
The teachers hold the practices, the sadhana, the tapah, he means for the end, the self-study, svadyaya and self-knowledge brahma vidya:
1. The Nididhyasana, Meditation,
2. Sravana, listening to the teachings of the text unfolded as pramana by the teacher.
3.and Manana or assimilation of the teachings in a personal meaningful and relevant way;
and other guidance that is formed from the student’s progression over time.

These challenges of svadya are is explored in a good introductory fashion in the East Bay Citta Chat#1, which explores the challenges in studying me, cuz who is going to do that if not me? See below for full 60 minute FREE audio class.

But if “I” am looking at “me,” who is that?

Kinda feels like a Dr. Seuss book.

Adi Śankaracharya:

Sankara was a unique teacher of the Upaniśad in both the scope, lucidity and pervasive longevity of his influence.
His methods, his bhasya, or commentary on the source texts, or śastra, go into the method of stating the premise, exploring the objections and then further unfolding that has been passed down orally for generations following him. Swami Dayananda Saraswati is in this sampradaya stream, and will usually refer to Sankara’s premises or views, or how he stated objections in most talks.

Food for thought for our ongoing weekly Citta Chats and intention, what we can reach for in ongoing study in comparison to programs in parts. Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s message closing a three year course:

Swami Dayananada Saraswati:

“The course has really not come to an end in my mind, because it never started. For me it has always been a life of teaching…

This study is not something that you start and end. The start of your life on this earth is a start. During the course of life varieties of events lead you to this kind of pursuit. And therefore no one particular thing can be said to be the prime cause of this, and hence no particular starting point in your life is a starting point for this pursuit. As a seeker you have been a seeker long before this course started. (And in this three years) that seeking has become a place where you stopped for a brief period, where the seeking continued without you moving.

There is no teacher or student only a topic which one understands and the other is able to understand. When that kind of attitude is there, then there is communication. In the process of sharing, the tradition also continues to flow.

Teaching this course has been an enjoyable time for me. It is always nice to see the same person in the same seat class after class, to know the level of your audience, and to be able to expect gradually a higher understanding. In public talks this is not possible. You require a team in this.”

End Swami Dayananda Saraswati quote.

Citta Chats LIVE: FREE | Drop in anytime | donations welcome.

Citta Chats Class format:

1.Dhyana, Nididhyasana:guided meditation. 20 minute, approximately.
Usually Nididhyasana, which we will talk about, though also possibly japa and other forms.

2. Sravana: Being present and focused for listening and contemplation.
40-50 minutes, approximately. Sravana comes from the root “to hear,” pointing to the sampradaya, the act of interaction and listening, not reading alone. Listening to the teachings of the texts unfolded as a pramana, a means of knowledge applied to yourself, your direct experience.

3. Manana: Assimilation of teachings, Q&A, Discussion
20 minutes approximately.


Recommended Context, preparation:

While the general format is you need not prepare; I will teach directly from the verses of selected texts and the oral methods, not a book… generally. So do come as you are, no prep or experience necessary. Even if we are using a book, the pace is about the oral unfolding and your participation, you need not have read.

Source Text: The Bhagavad Gita:


contemporary Book: The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita
By Swami Dayanada Sarwaswati

I recommend you get acquainted on how Swami Dayananda handles the topic and get this book:

This is not a translation only, but a unique method, and it will tell you a lot about my primary influence since 1997 in these studies. I refer to this book in many classes as it sets up principles we will continue to talk about whatever text we are reading.

Coming up we will use Swamiji’s books on the 13th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, the Value of Values,

contemporaryBook on source verses, The Value of Values: 13th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita
By Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Secondary Source: the Tattva Bodha

by Sankaracharya a book that describes the essential qualities in a student, in me, for optimal opportunity to receive the teachings. Swamiji uses this book to begin his three year courses, and it will set you up with understanding and foundation in key principles and vocabulary for years to come.

so we will still be grounded in verses, and you will benefit by directly reading his talks to inform our discussions.

We start Tattva Bodha August 14.
The Titles and the order will not change.
The timing might.
Anytime in this window is fine beginning place.

East Bay Citta Chat #1: An introduction to Svadyaya, self-study, the means and the desired end.

This class and meditation are good introductions.

Required Reading:
“The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita” by Swami Dayananda available at

Swami Dayananda Saraswati


Amazon . com and Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.
This is not a translation and commentary but a unique book that unfolds key concepts and teachings in the Bhagavad Gita, so no other edition will serve the same purpose. We will use this book to illuminate various teachings as they come up in discussion on OM from the Mandukya Upanisad.

Various Handouts: I will also offer various handouts of chants, verses and glossary terms that come up. I will post any handouts used here in PDF for the virtual participants.

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