Devotion is key | Do we need to make an effort? | Yoga Vasistha | Sadhanai Saram

We need to make an effort, but the primary effort we make is to let go and surrender ourselves to Him, and then it’s done by God’s Grace. You’ll find all the answers come, synchronicities happen, or a great difficulty will come your way and it will give rise to a Jewel.

Here is a link to the piece about Sadhanai Saram mentioned in this video.
https://tomdas.com/2020/11/05/sadhanai-saram-the-essence-of-spiritual-practice-devotion-and-self-enqiry-ramana-maharshi-advaita-vedanta/

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

To attend satsang, see here: https://tomdas.com/events.

For guided meditations see the ‘guided meditation’ playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TomDasNonduality/playlist

For recommended reading for liberation see here: https://tomdas.com/2020/10/19/recommended-reading-books-for-enlightenment-liberation-and-self-realisation/

To book a 1 to 1 session with Tom see here: https://tomdas.com/nondual-spiritual-counsellor/

God’s grace vs the importance of effort in attaining liberation | Yoga Vasistha | Advaita

“In the scriptures, the importance of effort is really driven home as being very important. This is because, what they don’t want is people to say you are Brahman, you are the absolute so you can do what you like”

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

See https://tomdas.com/events for further information.

Teachings from Yoga Vasistha

Shankara – If I am Brahman already, why the need for effort? Advaita Vedanta

If You are That, if all is already Brahman, why the need for effort? Here is what Shankara has to say about this in his masterpiece Vivekachudamani. What do you think these verses from Shankara’s Vivekachudamani are trying to convey?

If you are interested in my view, I explain more about this teaching here.


62. A disease does not leave off if one simply utter the name of the medicine, without taking it; (similarly) without direct realisation one cannot be liberated by the mere utterance of the word Brahman.

63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman?- It would result merely in an effort of speech.

64. Without killing one’s enemies, and possessing oneself of the splendour of the entire surrounding region, one cannot claim to be an emperor by merely saying, ‘I am an emperor’ merely in an effort of speech.

65. As a treasure hidden underground requires (for its extraction) competent instruction, excavation, the removal of stones and other such things lying above it and (finally) grasping, but never comes out by being (merely) called out by name, so the transparent Truth of the self, which is hidden by Maya and its effects, is to be attained through the instructions of a knower of Brahman, followed by reflection, meditation and so forth, but not through perverted arguments.

66. Therefore the wise should, as in the case of disease and the like, personally strive by all the means in their power to be free from the bondage of repeated births and deaths.

Also see:

Ramana Maharshi on Jiddu Krishanmurti’s Choiceless Awareness

Advaita Bodha Deepika – vital teachings for Self-Realisation that are often missing in modern non-dual and Advaita Vedanta teachings

Turn Within? Really? Isn’t this dualistic and doesn’t this just strengthen the ego?

Ramana Maharshi on Jiddu Krishanmurti’s Choiceless Awareness

Ramana jiddu Krishnamurti.png

A young man from Colombo, Ceylon, said to Bhagavan:

J. Krishnamurti teaches the method of effortless and choiceless awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration. Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?

Ramana Maharshi: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain that state and abide in it, that is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation.

All the age-old vasanas (inherent tendencies) turn the mind outwards to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inwards and that, for most people, requires effort. Of course, every teacher and every book tells the aspirant to keep quiet, but it is not easy to do so. That is why all this effort is necessary.

Even if we find somebody who has achieved this supreme state of stillness, you may take it that the necessary effort had already been made in a previous life. So effortless and choiceless awareness is attained only after deliberate meditation.

That meditation can take whatever form most appeals to you. See what helps you to keep out all other thoughts and adopt that for your meditation.

Every effort takes you further away

I have often become repeatedly frustrated with spiritual seeking, wondering which spiritual teaching is best, which practice to do, and what is the absolute truth. There are so many flavours of spirituality and non-duality on offer that I have often found myself confused. And at the end of so many years of seeking, what do I really know? Despite having read some of the most profound texts from many of the great ancient traditions and contemporary teachers, I often feel that I still have no clue. And in many ways I don’t really have a clue. But what I keep on remembering is that there is no-self. And with that remembering of that phrase can come a clear seeing that there is no person here. Continue reading