Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Hari Om Dear Friends !
In our 11/7/2021 session, we entered into the Glorious Chapter 12, titled Bhakti Yoga.
Gynana from a Ghazal
Before we went into the details of Chapter 12, we explored Vedanta and its teachings in a different realm - The World of Ghazals. As we often talk about in our sessions, Vedanta and its teachings are everywhere.
One of the foremost exponents of Ghazals in modern times is Shri Jagjit Singh, who used to sing with his wife, Smt. Chitra Singh. We dissected one of their very popular ghazals, titled 'Us Mod Se Shuru Karen, Phir yeh Zindagi' (Let us start our life again from that phase). This poem highlights how people who love each other are willing to go beyond the limitations of the body, mind and intellect to make the other person happy. However, years of togetherness and innumerable material possessions & luxuries cannot get them the same happiness and joy they used to feel before. Here is a blogpost where this Ghazal has been detailed.
Who Wants to be a Jeevan Mukta ?
To review our journey with the first 11 Chapters of the Gita that we have reviewed these past couple of months, we played a fun-filled 'Who wants to be a Jeevanmukta' quiz. We are all One Team and everyone was the winner. :-) The questions and answers have been sent to you, so please review them.
Enter Chapter 12 - BHAKTI YOGA - The Yoga of Devotion
The following are some of the pointers that we discussed:
DEFINE: Firstly, we tried to define the word Bhakti. In normal terms, it can be translated as Devotion. For a more clearer meaning, we can use the words 'Reverential Love' for Bhakti. If we have Reverence/Respect/Regard AND Love/Compassion towards someone or something, that is called BHAKTI.
JUST 20 VERSES ?: This chapter is one of the shortest chapters with only 20 verses. Chapter 15 also has only 20 verses.
A PERSPECTIVE: Based on where we are at this moment with the Gita, this chapter offers a beautiful perspective of things. If we want to get close to something, we need to get emotionally connected to that entity. In a similar way, Bhakti Yoga offers us a way to emotionally get connected to Bhagwaan, in order to make our journey easier.
VEDIC ESSENCE: The most important aspect of this chapter is, it represents the entire Vedic teaching - Not just Veda-Antha, but the entire Vedic essence.
THIS OR THAT: This chapter starts with a question from Arjuna. He refers to Saguna Ishwara Devotion (God with form and attributes) and Nirguna Ishwara Devotion (Supreme Brahman) and asks which one is better. The subsequent verses in this chapter by Bhagwaan Krishna are in response to this question.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that Bhakti Yoga is *NOT* a separate Sadhana/Discipline. Usually people list out disciplines such as Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Dhyaana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, etc. as if they are different routes towards a destination.
Two Sides of the same coin:
As we briefly discussed, we should keep the following picture in mind, which nicely relates Bhakti Yoga and the 3-fold Phase of Karma Yoga, Upasana Yoga.
Here is an example to help think about this - An appetizer, snack, main course are different phases/facets in a meal, but the common thing among them all is Salt. Without salt, none of these would be tasty or even palatable. Similarly, without the element of Bhakti, Karma Yoga will not remain Karma Yoga, Upasana Yoga cannot be called Upasana Yoga and Jnana Yoga will no way be Jnana Yoga.
We will attempt to complete Chapter 12 in our next session.
Gita Reference Material:
Here is the link to some Gita reference material that you can access.
Quote for the Day:
"Contentment is the highest gain; Good company is the highest goal.
Enquiry is the highest wisdom and Peace is the highest enjoyment."
Have a great week, friends !!
Hari Om !!
Praveen, Visveish, Ganesh
(email@example.com | 412-916-8780)