How Do I Recognize an Authentic Teacher?

Swami Chetanananda talks about how authentic teachers must have received their transmission from a living person.  In his experience, those who claim to have  received a lineage transmission from a teacher who has passed on are likely to be misguided.  To find an authentic teacher, a student has to trust their heart and the process, and they will find their way to a teacher that can serve them.

Reflections on the Bhagavad Gita, Part 3

In this episode, Swami Chetanananda addresses:

  • the nature of the connection between teacher and student
  • the role of mistakes
  • how we deal with the understanding that we have no control
  • rising above pain and transforming it into joy
  • expressing contact, alignment and flow

Surrender, self-cultivation and devotion are  the steps to the completion of our worldly life process and the ultimate union with the Divine Reality. We need to practice for a long enough time to have the maturity to be able to see that we really have no control. Our experience of no control can either bring us severe disappointment or it can bring us to a state of peace and happiness.

We have to be big enough to encompass everything that happens, whatever it is, in the flow of our own self-cultivation. Rising above the whole notion of I and me and mine and who did what to whom, we come to understand that everything is the play of the creative energy of Life itself.

Reflections on the Bhagavad Gita, Part 2

We need to acknowledge that we lack any real control over the course of our lives and let go of the struggle for it, so that we  can become attuned to our own vitality. Instead of struggling for control, we cultivate our self-awareness. After establishing our awareness in ourselves, we follow the flow of energy and do our best to serve it.


As we move through our lives, we must digest and absorb the energy of painful experiences and negative feedback. In this way, we can transform our energetic mechanism. We learn to respond positively, by dissolving, rather than building, boundaries.

Reflections on the Bhagavad Gita, Part 1

Swami Chetanananda discusses the core message of the Bhagavad Gita: that there is only one thing. In the face of the chaos that is life on earth, this recognition enables us to focus on the love that is our essence as we move through our days and the activities that we are engaged in.

In our spiritual practice, we must hold ourselves in a state of complete surrender and allow the divine to do its work in the field of our experience through service. Otherwise, the ego becomes inflated and misleads us into thinking that we have power that we don’t. Ego is accumulation; serving is flow with devotion.