Arsha Bodha Center Somerset
Arsha Bodha Center Somerset is an ashram dedicated to the traditional teaching of Vedanta, Sanskrit, Bhagavad Gita, meditation, Vedic chanting, and related spiritual practices.
The ashram was founded in 2000 by Swami Tadatmananda, a disciple of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati (founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Saylorsburg PA).Arsha Bodha Center Somerset was established to give residents of Central New Jersey ready access to the wisdom (bodha) of the sages of ancient India (arsha).Every week, a variety of classes and programs are conducted which are free of charge and open to all. The ashram is a nonprofit organization, supported by tax-deductible donations.The ashram’s facilities include a beautiful lecture hall and temple in an easily accessible location surrounded by several thousand acres of forested state lands.
Swami Tadatmananda is the founder and resident teacher of Arsha Bodha Center Somerset. From 1981 onwards, he studied in the U.S. and India under Pujya Swami Dayananda, who initiated him into a traditional Hindu monastic order on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh in 1993.Swami Tadatmananda is also a Sanskrit scholar and former computer engineer. His background allows him to draw upon contemporary scientific and psychological insights while unfolding sacred Sanskrit scriptures. He thus endows the spiritual teachings of ancient India with a new relevance.His teachings are full of warmth and humor; his style is informal and personal. He relates easily to all, including teens and children who love to sing bhajans to his guitar accompaniment.
Programs at Arsha Bodha Center
9:30 AM Puja & Chanting
10:00 AM Guided Meditation
11:00 AM Tea & Coffee Break
11:30 AM Bhagavad Gita Class
1:00 PM Arati
1st & 3rd Sundays
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Children’s Class
Begins, Sunday September 21
2nd & 4th Sundays
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Teenagers’ Class
Begins, Sunday September 28
On all Sundays
5:00 PM – 6:10 PM – Mindful Awareness Meditation led by Vasanthi
Begins, Sunday September 21
6:15 PM – 7:30 PM Satsang with Swami Tadatmananda
On second Sunday of each month
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM GitaAtWork Study Group
7:30 – 9:00 PM – Vedanta Class – Brhihadaranyaka Upanishad
Bigins, Tuesday September 16
7:30 – 9:00 PM – Beginning Sanskrit Class
Bigins, Wednesday September 17
7:30 – 9:00 PM – Gita Bhashya Class
Bigins, Thursday September 18
Tuesday Brihadäranyaka Upanishad
One of the oldest and most-quoted of all the Upanishads, the Brihadäryanyaka records the profound teachings on brahma vidyä – knowledge of absolute reality – given by the rishi Yäjnavalkya to his wife, Maitreyï, as well as to others including King Janaka and the female rishi, Gärgï. The famous Jyotir Brähmana occurs in this text as does the great declaration, aham brahmäsmi, “I am brahman.”
Swami Tadatmananda will teach selected chapters of this text in the Vedanta class on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9 pm, beginning September 16. All are welcome to attend.
Wednesday Beginning Sanskrit Class
Every few years, Swami Tadatmananda launches a new introductory level Sanskrit class, followed in succeeding years by intermediate level classes. These classes provide the opportunity to learn Sanskrit grammar (sandhi, vibhakti, etc), syntax and vocabulary to a degree sufficient for full comprehension of basic texts like the Bhagavad Gïtä.
This new class will meet on Wednesday evenings, 7:30 – 9 pm, beginning September 17. All are welcome to attend. The availability of time outside of class will be necessary for the required homework assignments. All study materials used in class will be posted on our website for download.
Thursday Shankara’s Gïtä Bhäshya
Shri Shankarächarya composed commentaries (known as bhäshya) to unfold the intricacies of the Bhagavad Gïtä, ten major Upanishads, and the Brahma Sütras. His commentaries are considered essential for all who seek to understand the lofty teachings propounded by these revered texts which comprise the foundation for the tradition of Vedanta.
Swami Tadatmananda will teach students how to read Shankara’s Gïtä Bhäshya, beginning with easy passages that simply explain the meanings of each word in a Gïtä verse. After students have become familiar with Shankara’s style, the class will gradually proceed to more complex passages of commentary. This new class will meet on Thursday evenings, 7:30 – 9 pm, beginning September 18. A moderately good knowledge of Sanskrit language is necessary for this class.
Sunday Mindful Awareness Meditation
These guided meditation sessions employ an experiential, Vedantic approach to reduce worry about the future & obsession with the past, to manage anxiety, chronic pain and illness, and to develop a healthy relationship with your body and mind.
These sessions are led by Vasanthi and will resume on Sunday evenings, 5 – 6:10 pm, beginning September 21. All are welcome to attend.
Sunday Children’s Class
Our classes for children will resume on the first and third Sunday of each month beginning September 21. Each session begins with prayers chanted in Sanskrit and English, followed by religion class (children divided into two age groups), and concludes with lively bhajans and arati led by Swamiji.
These classes are held from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Consistent, on-time attendance is expected. All children 5 to 11 years of age are invited. Those 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult. No registration or fees are required.
Sunday Teeneger’s Class
Swami Tadatmananda’s popular classes for teens will resume on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, beginning September 28. Each class includes Vedic chanting, lecture, and group discussion. This year’s topic is “The History of Hinduism.”
These classes meet from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Timely, consistent attendance is expected. All teens and mature 12-year-olds are welcome. Parents are also invited to attend. No registration or fees are required.