Friday, December 12, 2008

Bhagavad Gita (part 3 of 3)

In this third part of the Bhagavad Gita, we move into Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion or identifying with the Divinity. The final chapters bounce around a little, but the common theme continues to be focusing on the importance of devotion and faith in spiritual development.

Chapter 11: The Cosmic Vision. Krishna reveals to Arjuna his full nature as God of the Universe. This is both terrifying and illuminating at the same time. In the end Arjuna asks for Krishna's forgiveness for past transgressions.

Chapter 12: The Way of Love. God can be loved as merciful father, divine mother, wise friend, passionate beloved or mischievous child. I really liked how this embodies seeing God in All.

Chapter 13: The Field and the Knower. This was a bit more complicated chapter as we returned to the concepts of Prakriti (matter) and Parusha (spirit). Again we are reminded to remain free from selfish attachment.

Chapter 14: Forces of Evolution. This chapter looked at the nature of prakriti (the basis of the world of mind and matter) through the gunas: tapas, rajas, and sattva. All three gunas are present in any given personality and it is a mix of all three that colors our experience.

Chapter 15: The Supreme Self. The Self does not become God when liberated from it's mortal journey - we become a part of God. We are drop of water returning to the ocean, but we are not the ocean itself.

The last three chapters are titled: Two Paths, The Power of Earth and Freedom and Renunciation. We are encouraged to be fearless and pure, to be pure in our faith and to continue to renounce the fruits of our work or labor.

Now I am still greatly summarizing this amazing piece of literature, but I wanted to give you a feel for the essence of the book. What I really liked about this work was it didn't come across as preachy - a soldier is faced with the mortality of the battlefield and he is seeking guidance. His charioteer, who reveals himself to be Krishna, tell him/us what we need to do to reach the Divine. Simply put, harder in practice.

If you are interested, Yoga North Studio will be offering this workshop series again starting in January:
Sunday, Jan 11th, 6:30-8:30pm
Sunday, Feb 15th, 6:30-8:30pm
Sunday, March 15th, 6:30-8:30pm

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