Sunday Service: The Five Kinds of Poverty

Typhoon Haiyan

Week of Nov 17 – Nov 23, 2013

We at American Vedanta have started a relief effort to provide food to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Roughly 11.4 million Filipinos have been affected by the storm, which ripped through the Philippines last weekend. There are currently about 670,000 displaced people and 300,000 who have no shelter at all. Then there’s the lack of food…

We are delivering food to the hard-hit areas of northern Cebu, areas hit almost as hard as the spots mentioned on the news but a lot less supported by relief work. We have locals already on the ground and supporting those in need, and we encourage you to donate to the effort. Every dollar is a mouth fed.

People from all over the world, including swamis, have donated to our relief effort. Join us in helping those who are in crisis right now.

You can learn more about the typhoon and how to help by visiting our disaster relief site,

Peter Kowalke


PoorThis Week’s Spiritual Talk

The Five Kinds of Poverty

by Meister Eckhart

The really virtuous man does not need God. What I have I don’t lack. He makes no plans, he sets no store by things. As God is higher than man, so is he readier to give than man is to receive.

Not by his fasts and vigils and his many outward works does a man prove his progress in the spiritual life, but it is a sure sign of his growth if he finds eternal things more and more attractive than the things that pass. The man who has a thousand marks of God and gives it all away for love of God is doing a fine thing, yet I say it is far finer and far better for him to despise it, regarding it as nothing on God’s account.

A man should orient his will and all his works to God. Having only God in view, he should go forward unafraid, not thinking, “am I right or am I wrong?” One who worked out all the chances before starting his first fight would never fight at all. If going to some place we must think how to set the front foot down, we shall never get there.

It is our duty to do the next thing: go straight on. That is the right way.

There are five kinds of poverty: the first is devilish poverty; the second, golden poverty; the third is willing poverty; the fourth is spiritual poverty; the fifth, divine poverty.

(read more)


Jnana-YogaBook of the Month


by Swami Vivekananda

Jnana-Yoga, the Path of Knowledge, describes the essence of Vedanta philosophy – the wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita in a modern scientific manner. Jnana-Yoga, along with Swami Vivekananda’s Karma-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, and Raja-Yoga, are considered classics and outstanding treatises on Hindu philosophy. The Swami’s deep spiritual insight, fervid eloquence, and broad human sympathy shine forth in these works and offer inspiration to all spiritual seekers.

(download the book for free)

Other books we recommend can be found in our Books section. We also recommend audio lectures and web sites, among other resources.


Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

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