The Sanskrit term Hansavedas bears a specific meaning that embodies the journey to enlightenment through accelerated learning techniques, introspective self-study and meditative insight. The Hansavedas holistic curriculum, which utilizes a whole-brain learning approach, is primarily offered to the public through direct teachings at our ongoing fellowship services and training classes, workshops, retreats and high-quality educational publications. Fellowships invoke the traditional Vedic method of learning known as shruti or intent listening.
Ancient Sanskrit philosophies live on as a universal heritage for humankind, especially as a bridge between science and spirituality. Seekers can study spiritual philosophy through public fellowships and annual retreats where wisdom teachings and their conceptual framework are disseminated. These teachings and adhering affirmations purify the mind when practised, and allow the seeker to grasp the subtler concepts and develop a vision of a spiritual life. The Sanskrit verses and aphorisms selected as the tenets of wisdom are primarily from the cardinal texts of Sāṅkhya, Yoga and Vedānta philosophies.
The ability to meditate or concentrate is inherently connected with a seeker’s lifestyle through wellness routines. Once the concepts and ideas of spiritual philosophy mature to clarity of purpose, one can implement wellness routines to support the goal of enlightened living. Principles of wellness, based on Ayurveda and Atharvaveda, are taught through dedicated workshops and as part of retreats. Hands-on lessons develop an understanding of the following principles: lifeforce energy (prāna) and its relationship with biorhythms; wholesome organic soli-lunar diet; the role of co-evolution and natural living in mending the mind and body; a lifestyle based on a holistic model of wellbeing.
Once daily wellness routines are in place, a disciplined practice of breathwork and yoga-vinyāsa-krama can be implemented. The foundation of this curriculum is the correct practice of ujjāyi breathing (breath of victory), including how to experience the subtle movement sensation of prāna (vital energy). The second stage of this curriculum is the practice of yoga-vinyāsa-krama, whereby postures are superimposed on the ujjāyi breath. The final stage inspires participants to practise prānāyāma breathing techniques in order to enhance their personal wellbeing and improve concentration.
The Mountain Path teachings derive from the living tradition of siddhas, yogis, mystics and monks who have been practising sutra meditation and higher yoga during their silent retreats in caves and remote mountainous sanctuaries. As part of this curriculum, esoteric texts and scrolls are taught as living wisdom for a modern seeker, and physically fit aspirants are encouraged to embark on a trekking journey. Those who are not able to visit mountainous terrain are urged to practice mindful walks and contemplative reflection in serene nature. The idea is to integrate mindful walking, balancing and trekking as part of the meditative ethos. The personal inquiry takes on a deeper meaning in an ambience bereft of worldliness and its distractions.
Clarity of perception through mindfulness is the goal. Concepts of compassion, kindness, dispassion, non-injury and mindfulness are introduced to bring about clarity of purpose. All salient wisdom teachings on the nature of the mind, memory, moment and mindfulness are taught to establish how mind, ego, and intellect function distinctively, albeit seamlessly in tandem. This is the stage when an aspirant has transformed even healthy skepticism to an understanding of the true nature of things. The aspirant understands how a doubt-free state of mind rooted in a state of compassion enables one to walk with tenderness and exude nonviolence.
Initiated meditation offers serious seekers a structured daily meditation practice (sādhanā) directly taught by our unbroken lineages of adepts. His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda directly initiates spiritual aspirants into an individualized meditation practice that is most relevant and appropriate for the practitioner. Initiation blessings overcome certain shortcomings and nurture deeper yearning. Four meditation paths of the Himalayan Kriya system are offered through initiation, namely KriyāYoga, KriyāVinyāsa, KriyāLaya and KriyāMantra. While these four paths are independent within the overall Kriya system they all lead to the same ultimate goal of realization.