For true understanding of the subjective science of Vedanta and inner growth on the spiritual quest, shravanam (listening) should be followed by mananam (reflection) and nididhyasanam (meditation). Adult Study Groups are conducted for those who want to dwell into deeper realms of their own Self through intensive scriptural studies.
Listening to spiritual discourses or reading scriptural texts may leave you with questions that remain unanswered. You may be skeptical about the relevance of scriptural study, or you may attend lectures and attempt rituals with religious fervor. Whatever your state of mind may be, being part of an Adult Study Group can help you become more peaceful, happy, and integrated in your life. Study groups are designed to bring intellectual knowledge to the earnest student, and explore the various paths to enlightenment as recommended to us by the teachings of the Gita.
A study group is a group of five to fifteen people who meet regularly (at least once a week) to discuss one of the textbooks of Vedanta. Each study group has a sevak (male) or sevika (female) who will guide the discussion among members of the group. Members are expected to participate fully in group discussions. Each study group starts on time and lasts one and a half hours.
CONDUCTING A STUDY GROUP
The location of the study group is usually at the home of one of the members of the study group. It is always at the same venue and in a location within the home, which is clean and orderly. Generally the study group is conducted near an altar with images or symbols of the divine, plus a lamp or a candle to enhance the atmosphere and spiritual study. Arrangements are to be made with sevak or sevika if the members of the house have to be for some reason not available on the study group day. There is no distribution of food at any time during the duration of the study group and none is encouraged either before or after the study group is over. The group leader usually sits near the altar and is responsible for the choice of text to study and all other administrative details such as punctuality, regularity of attendance and the need to come prepared by studying the scripture.
The Study group starts with a prayer led by the leader of the group. An individual in the group will be asked to read the commentary of the verse that is being discussed and each one of the members participate in the discussion about the meaning of the verse. The group leader moderates the discussion, and clarifies any doubts that may arise. The session ends with a peace invocation