Updated: Mar 30, 2022
|| Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum ||
Hari Om !!
This is a summary of our session held on September 19, 2021.
It was so nice to see many of you join today, with their videos on :-). Sincere gratitude to all of you.
We briefly brushed upon some pointers from last week:
We chanted the first prayer verse (Dhyaana Shloka), composed by Sri Madhusudan Saraswati, which pays our respects to the Gita. These shlokas should ideally be chanted before doing any study of the Gita.
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We also discussed a VERY IMPORTANT distinction between True Essence and Commentary of the Gita:
The direct meaning and context-based explanation of the verses conveys the true essence of the script. This is different from a commentary provided by a worldly expert (Politician, Social Worker, Industrialist, etc)
The true essence of the text is provided by someone who has dedicated his/her life towards the study of this field. This is just like a Math teacher who will explain the concepts of say Algebra the way it is to be conveyed and understood. The teaching will not come out as their opinions or observations.
A commentary is something given by someone who is deeply involved in a field, taking into consideration their individual observations or experiences.
Finally, it is important to go thru the true essence of a concept BEFORE going thru a commentary of the same subject.
So, what we are doing in this class is - going thru the true essence, meaning and context of the Gita, as dissected, extracted and translated by Spiritual Masters like Swami Chinmayananda, etc. These are not subjective opinions or observations and there are no dilutions of the original purport and message.
Vedanta is Practical and is Everywhere - Find it !!!
Be it Amir Khusro's poetry or Aristotle's philosophical theories - Vedanta can be found everywhere.
Some examples we looked at were - Hindi Movie Deewar, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Kung Fu Panda, etc.
Here is a quick context and background of the Gita:
Security-Happiness-Peace (SPH) are the 3 fundamental things everyone craves for.
Scriptures say that SPH can be found within us and ONLY within us.
Although SPH is within us, we are not able to find it or experience it, because of the 3-fold layer of obstacles/dirt/hurdles that stand between us and the SPH we so desire.
These 3 layers are: a) Malam (Impurities) - The 6-fold Mental impurities/enemies. b) Vikshepa (Mental Turbulence/Agitation or Extrovertedness) c) Ignorance (of our true identity)
Just as we use different tools to dig thru different types or textures of obstacles, there are different sets of disciplines for dealing with each of these obstacles. A single discipline is called Sadhana and a set of disciplines is called a Yoga.
Scriptures recommend KARMA YOGA for dealing with the grossest of obstacles - MALAM.
Scriptures recommend UPASANA YOGA for dealing with the subtler of obstacles - VIKSHEPA.
The recommendation for the subtlest obstacle of AGNYANA is GNYANA YOGA.
All of the above information can be found in the Visual Vedanta section of our website. Here is a direct link to the flow-PDF.
Please refer to the summary flow that we saw today using this link for a summary of Chapters 1 & 2.
Refer to the Visual Vedanta - Gita Report here to go thru some verse details and other information.
Chapter 1 Review:
Chapter 1 can be classified into 5 parts. The key thing in this chapter is when Arjuna discovers the problem of Samsara, which is nothing but someone who is afflicted with the three-fold problems of Raaga (Attachment), Shoka (Grief) and Moha (Delusion).
Due to a negative attachment to ABCs (Articles, Beings and Circumstances), our intellect makes us choose unethical, baser, unhealthy decisions.
A Samsari is someone who has this disease of Samsara and it is not necessary that a Gruhustha only has to be a Samsari. A Swami or Guru who is increasingly worried about the future of his Ashrama is a certified Samsari and a Family man completely at ease with the challenges of family life is a Gnyani.
These were some interesting numbers that we discussed today:
An army unit was referred to as an Akshauhini. It consists of chariots, elephants, horses and foot soldiers.
The Kauravas had 11 Akshauhinis and there were 7 Akshauhinis on the Pandavas side.
The Kauravas had 240,570 Chariots, 240,570 Elephants, 721,710 horses & 1,202,850 foot soldiers.
The Pandavas had 153,090 Chariots, 153,090 Elephants, 459,270 horses & 765,450 foot soldiers.
A Maharathi is someone who can handle 60,000 warriors simultaneously. Warriors such as Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, Duryodhana, Ashwatthama, Abhimanyu were all Maharathis.
An Ati-Maharathi could handle a dozen Maharathis simultaneously. There were 4 Ati-Maharathis in the Mahabharata War - Bheeshma, Drona, Arjuna and Karna.
Superior to the Ati-Maharathi is a Maha-Maharathi who could handle 24 Ati-Maharathis simultaneously. Bhagwaan Rama, Bhagwaan Shiva and Shri Krishna were all said to be Maha-Maharathis.
Chapter 2 Review:
Chapter 2 is titled 'Sankhya Yoga' or 'The Yoga of Knowledge'.
Chapter 2 is a concise and distilled look at the entire essence of the Upanishads and is unsurprisingly many people's favorite chapter (Mahatma Gandhi, Rajaji, etc.). Shri Krishna shows us how awesome a teacher He is. In a matter of a few verses, Shri Krishna gives us the essence and crux of the Upanishads, especially the verses 11 to 25.
Shri Krishna also refers to Arjuna’s conduct here as ‘Un-Aryan’. Aryan refers to someone who ‘does what has to be done no matter how unpleasant the act is’ and ‘avoids what should not be done, no matter how pleasant the act may be.’
Please go thru the summary flow link given above to get a clearer understanding.
There are several masterpiece verses in this chapter, which are absolute gems given by Shri Krishna. Verses 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 31, 38, 47, 48, 55, 56, 62, 63, 72.
Please go thru Pujya Gurudev's commentary on the entire chapter, and especially on these key verses.
Here is a link to an audio clip by Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar from the album 'Garbha Sanskar'. The initial couple of minutes are just verses from Chapter 2, starting with Verse 11. Give it a listen.
We will reconvene next Sunday to continue our review into the next chapters.
Kindly let us know if you have any questions.
Our anthem for this week (and further) should be the 4th quarter of Bhagwaan's 11th verse - "na anushochanti panditAH" (The Wise do not grieve) !!
Have a great week !!
Hari Om !!
Praveen, Visveish, Ganesh
(firstname.lastname@example.org | 412-916-8780)