We all need some inspiration at times to keep us going. I participate in various challenges to acquire a particular skill or to develop a habit. These challenges can be doodling daily for 30 days, clicking a photograph daily for 365 days, walking daily for 30 days, and so on.
On April 7th, 2020, I joined the global community on Instagram to participate in #The100DayProject. Coincidentally, on the same day, I started coordinating a study group based on the book Self-Unfoldment by Swami Chinmayananda. I resolved to create 108 flashcards with some Sanskrit Vedantic terms from the Glossary section of Self-Unfoldment. The purpose was to reflect on one word daily to deepen the understanding of these words. This sādhanā (practice) was very helpful to me while studying and trying to understand the content of the Self-Unfoldment book.
After two years, this has manifested into the 108 Vedantic Terms book. We need to surround ourselves with whatever inspires us to reach any goal, spiritual or material. The 108 Vedantic Terms book is a book of inspiration for every seeker who is a student of Vedantic philosophy to reflect on these terms for gaining wisdom and to live an inspired and fulfilled life.
Four years ago, Vedanta was as foreign to me as Chinmaya Mission was. Many life-changing incidents happened over the last few years for me. Today I want to mention the two most significant ones. The first was deciding to join the Foundation Vedanta Course from Chinmaya International Foundation in November of 2018, and the second was meeting Swami Dheerananda a year later. Both these happened unexpectedly, thanks to a couple of friends.
The Foundation Vedanta course started answering so many questions I had in my mind. I felt like it was the most gripping and relevant subject. It lit the fire in me to continue studying Vedanta. When I first met Swami Dheerananda, Swamiji gifted me the Self-Unfoldment book. At the time, I had already started doing the Advanced Vedanta Course, and I remember thinking – why is Swamiji giving me an elementary school book when I’m ready to study a high school book 🙂 I laugh at my ignorance when I think back on that passing thought.
Out of respect for Swamiji, I wanted to read Self-Unfoldment. And to motivate myself, I started a study group to reflect on it, made flash cards with 108 Vedantic Terms from the book, and shared reflections on the podcast. I am so thankful for immersing myself in reflecting on the ideas presented in Self-Unfoldment through various practices.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to offer the first copies of the 108 Vedantic Terms book to Swami Swaroopananda and Swami Dheerananda. I feel blessed to express gratitude to my Guru by donating all proceeds from the sale of this book to Chinmaya Mission© Washington Regional Center.