Visala and Satish Muluk are excited to facilitate this study group. It's the first time that CMP sevaks will analyze one of the Upanishads. The Kathopanishad (also called Katha Upanishad) is one of the primary Upanishads. Almost 3000 years old, this widely studied Upanishad tells of a conversation between the young Nachiketa and Yamaraju, god of Death. It contains profound insights about the nature of man and the means of achieving liberation. Several verses from Kathopanishad were used, sometimes verbatim, in Srimad Bhagvad Gita.
We began the study group with an "ice-breaker" session on September 12, 2021. We discussed 4 questions about religion such as "Why should I believe in God?" and "Why do religion and science appear to be in conflict?".
During the 2nd session on September 19, 2021, we started a two-part summary of Chapter 18 of Srimad Bhagvad Gita. This summary represents a closure of last year's study group, which examined chapters 13-18 of Gita. We focused on the nature and importance of Sanyasa, or renunciation. With help from the amusing story of the Yogi's cloth, we learned that sanyasa is primarily a mental activity, not physical. The seeker must reduce dependence on the ABCs (articles, beings, and circumstances) of the world. The devoted seeker achieves purity of mind by renouncing adharma, non-participation, and self-centeredness. The pure-minded seeker can then renounce extroversion and seek knowledge of the true Self. Eventually, the seeker must renounce doership and ego with the help of Guru and Grace.