Thursday, May 20, 2010

my outline of chapters 1-12 of The Bhagavad Gita

Okay...So in the immersion #2 Adam asked us to write an outline of the first 12 chapters of The bhagavad Gita. I did this and I summarized the chapters, inserted some of my favorite qoutes, or qoutes I wanted to talk about, and also added some of my own comments and feels. Heads up this is long, but I thought I would post it and put it out there.

The Bhagavad Gita (My favorite translation is by Eknath Easwaran)
The main message of the Gita is to see the Lord/ the divine in every creature and to act accordingly. This reminds me of Anusara yoga because we try to see the divine in all things and then we try to align our bodies/minds/hearts with Grace.

Chapter 1: The War Within
(Krishna teaches about karma yoga, the yoga of selfless action)
Yudhishthira is the right full king should have taken over when his father, Pandu died. But he was so young so his father’s younger, blind brother, Dhritarashtral took over the throne until Yudhishthira was older. But over the years Dhritarashtral liked the power and wanted to pass the throne on to his son Duryodhana. SO the battle is over the claim to the throne. Krishna consoles Arjuna as he goes into battle against family and friends to claim his brothers claim to the throne. Krishna is only Arjuna’s advisor and cannot help fight, he has sworn to be noncombatant.
2)Arjuna talks to Krishna and says “I do not see that any good can come from killing our relations in battle. O Krishna I have no desire for victory, or for kingdom or pleasures…..Even if they were to kill me, I would not want to kill them, not even to become ruler of the three worlds?...How can we gain happiness by killing members of our own family” (81). After Arjuna finished speaking he throws his bow and arrow down and sat down in his chariot in the middle of the battle field.
3)I don’t like when it says “where there is no sense of unity, the women of the family become corrupt” (81)
Sri Krishna: Bhagava “the lord”, the incarnation of lord Vishnu
b)Arjuna & his brothers(Yudhishthira, Bhima, Sahadeva,Nakula): Pandavas “the sons of pandu”
c)Kauravas: the sons of Kuru
d)Dhritarshtra: Pandus younger brother who is King
e)Drona- born a brahmen, became a warrior, taught either side their skill in war
f)Bhishma: “the grandsire” the respected elder
g)Sanjaya: who narorates the entire Gita to the blind king Dhritarshtra. Sanjaya has divine sight

Chapter 2: Self-Realization
Karma Yoga
Arjuna is asking Krishna: Does he have a soul? Does it survive death? Is there a deeper reality than we perceive in the world around us? If so, is it possible to know it directly, and what effect does such knowing have in everyday life? Krishna touches on all the main themes and concepts of the Gita, so this chapter is like an overview of the sixteen chapters. Arjuna asks Krishna to be his guru.
2)Krishna answers and urges Arjuna to fight:
a)You have an immortal nature: the real Self, the Atman, never dies, for it is never born; it is eternal.
i)“The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. There has never been a time when you and I, and the kings gathered here have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist. As the same person inhabits the body through childhood, youth, and old age, so too at the time of death he attains another body. The wise are not deluded by these changes.”2:11-13
ii)“You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies”2:20
iii)After Krishna tells Arjuna he is immortal he tells him to fight in this battle: “the body is mortal, but that which dwells in the body is immortal and immeasurable. Therefore, Arjuna, fight in this battle.”2:18
b)5 acts of Shiva (creation, sustenance, dissolution concealment, and revelation):
i)“Death is inevitable for the living (dissolution/concealment); birth is inevitable for the dead (revelation/ creation). Since these are unavoidable you should not sorrow. Every creature is unmanifested at first and then attains manifestations. When its end has come it once again becomes unmanifested.”2:27-28
c)Non-attachment: Krishna tells Arjuna that his basic nature is not subject to time and death; but that this truth cannot be realized if he can’t see beyond the dualities of life: please and pain, success and failure, even heat and cold. If you can’t see past duality you can’t identify with the Atman, the immortal self.
i)“Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment and you will amass the wealth of spiritual awareness. Those who are motivated by only desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do. When consciousness is unifies however, all vain anxiety is left behind there is no cause for worry, whether things go well or ill. Therefore, devote yourself to the disciplines of yoga, for yoga is skill in action.”2:49
d)Krishna talks about yoga (karma yoga) he says if you establish yourself in yoga you will be more effective in the realm of action. His judgment will be better and his vision clear if he is not emotionally entangled in the outcome of what he does.
i)“Now listen to the principles of yoga. By practicing these you can break through the bonds of karma. On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear”2:39-40
(1)What is the greatest fear? To think that you are separate from the divine.
(2)I like this because practicing yoga off the matt can be hard and when I feel like I keep making mistakes it is comforting to remember that effort never goes to waste.
3)Arjuna is interested in how people conduct themselves in life. If a person establishes an ever-present awareness of the core of divinity within himself, how does it affect the way he lives? Talk? Sit? 2:54
a)Those established in wisdom see past the physical body and see the Atman; they see the same Self in everyone, for the Atman is universally present in all (divine oneness).
b)They don’t identify with personal desires for karma, for personal satisfaction. They don’t act on the ego or the senses that entangles us in the world of samsara which draws us away from the core of our being, the Self.
c)They control their senses rather than letting their sense control them. If the senses are not controlled the mind, will, iccha will follow wherever they lead. If you keep following the senses you will lose the strength of will and intuition? of purpose, and your choices will be dictated by your desires:
i)“When you keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes. Attachment breeds desire, the lust of possession that burns to anger. Anger clouds the judgment; you can no longer learn from past mistakes. Lost is the power to choose between what is wise and what is unwise, and you life is an utter waste” (2:62-63)
d)The supreme goal: knowing their real nature, they know their own immortality and realize their union with eternal being.
4)Krishna 2:55-2:72!!
a)See the divine in all….established in meditation, non-attachment/ appropriate attachment….
5)Vocabulary used in chapter: samsara, jiva

Chapter 3: Selfless Service, Karma Yoga “The Way of Action”
Karma Yoga

1)Tantra= Life of active engagement
2)Arjuna is confused “O Krishna, you said that knowledge is greater than action; why then do you ask me to wage this terrible war? Your advice seems inconsistent. Give me one path to follow to the supreme good.”3:1
3)Krishna tells Arjuna to act. He says don’t avoid work, especially the duties required by his station in life, but to perform those duties without selfish attachment to their “fruit”, or outcome.
4)Question: Krishna keeps telling Arjuna to fight this war because Arjuna is a warrior, it is his dharma (just like it is the dharma of a scorpion to always sting a monk who keeps trying to save it from drowning). But when he fights to make his actions an offering to the divine, and not be attached to the fruits of his actions. Could you says that we living in this modern world are also born into this dharma of living in the modern world (paying taxes, working, having relations) and so even if we think it is wrong or we don’t want to do it (just like how Arjuna doesn’t want to kill) we still need to because it is our dharma, but if we make our actions in our modern world and offering to the divine and if we don’t get attached to the fruits of our actions, that is the way to live and create a union with Krishna?
5)Obstacles to path:
a)“Those who violate these laws, criticizing and complaining, are utterly deluded, and are the cause of their own suffering”3:31
b)“The senses have been conditioned by attraction to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant. Do not be ruled by them; they are obstacles in your path”3:34
6)Arjuna then asks: What binds us to selfish actions? What power moves use then against our will, as if forcing us?3:36
7)Krishna answers:
a)“It is selfish desire and anger, arising from the guna of raja; these are the appetites and evils which threaten a person in this life”3:37
b)“The senses are higher than the body, the mind higher than the senses; above the mind is the intellect, and above the intellect is the Atman. Thus, knowing that which is supreme let the Atman rule the ego. Use your mighty arms to slay the fierce enemy that is selfish desire” 3:42-43
8)Vocabulary used in chapter: jnana yoga, karma yoga, gunas

Chapter 4: Wisdom in Action
Karma Yoga

1)Krishna tells Arjuna that he has taught these “secret teachings” to other sages and Arjuna gets confused saying how could you have taught these teaching to the old sages, they died a long time ago. Krishna then reminds Arjuna about rebirth saying that Arjuna has forgotten his many births but that Krishna remembers all of his.
2)Krishna explains himself more:
a)that he has taken on human birth many times to help the world:
i)“Whenever dharma declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy evil, and to reestablish dharma.” 4:7
b)“All paths, Arjuna, lead to me.” 4:11
“The distinctions for caste, guna, and karma have come from me. I am their cause, but I myself am changeless and beyond all action. Actions do not cling to me because I am because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it living in freedom.”4:13-14
i)Actions do not cling to our real Self. The Self is untouched by action; whatever we do it remains unsullied.
3)Krishna talks about action, work and things that should be done and should not be done. It is essential, he reminds Arjuna to act wisely, with detachment. The wise never act with selfish attachment to the fruit of their labor; they give their best in fortune and misfortune alike. Such people act in freedom.
a)“The wise see there is action in the midst of inaction and inaction in the midst of action. Their consciousness is unified and every act is done with complete awareness.” 4:18
b)“The awakened sages call a person wise when all undertakings are free from anxiety about results; all selfish desires have been consumed in the fire of knowledge.”4:14
i)I think it is interesting how Krishna talks about fire (raja) here but in a positive way to use it. And in chapter 3 Krishna said desire comes from raja.
c)“They live in freedom who have gone beyond the dualities of life. Competing with no one, they are alike in success and failure and content with whatever comes to them. They are free, without selfish attachments; their minds are fixed in knowledge. They perform all work in the spirit of service, and their karma is dissolved.”4:22-23
4)Krishna tells Arjuna about the different offerings (Yajna).
a)“Some renounce all enjoyment of the senses, sacrificing them in the fire of sense restraint. Others partake (delight?) of sense objects but offer them in service through the fire of the senses (asana?). Some offer the workings of the senses and the vital forces through the fire of self-control, kindled in the path of knowledge” 4:26-27
5)Krishna talks about spiritual wisdom as an alternative to the path of karma yoga. Now he reveals that wisdom is the goal of selfless action knowing is the fruit of doing. The goal of all karma yoga or Yajna (offering) is liberation and spiritual wisdom.
a)“Even if you were the most sinful of sinners, Arjuna you could cross beyond all sin by the raft of spiritual wisdom. As the heat of a fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all karma. Nothing in this world purifies like spiritual wisdom. It is the perfection achieved in time through the path of yoga, the path which leads to the Self within.” 4:36-38
6)Krishna tells Arjuna to cut through the doubts that stifle him.
a)“Those established in the Self have renounced selfish attachments to their actions and cut through doubts with spiritual wisdom. They act in freedom. Arjuna, cut through this doubt in your own heart with the sword of spiritual wisdom. Arise; take up the path of yoga!” 4:41-42
7)Vocabulary used in chapter: Yajna

Chapter 5: Renounce & Rejoice
Karma Yoga

1)Arjuna asks: “Krishna you have recommended both the path of selfless action and sannyasa, the path of renunciation of action. Tell me definitely which is better?” 5:1 Krishna then answers that “both renunciation of action and the selfless performance of action lead to the supreme goal. But the path of action is better than renunciation” 5:2
a)Traditionally sannyasa means renouncing all worldly ties and attachments.
i)Example: the Buddha (Siddhartha)
ii)Krishna acknowledges that sannyasa (renunciation) can lead to the goal; he recommends the path of selfless action.
2)The true goal of action is knowledge of the Self.
3)Karma yoga:
a)The selfish ego should not expect gratification from the work.
b)When there is no selfish involvement in work, the worker does not come to spiritual harm.
c)Be detached from the outcome or fruits of action.
i)The example is the lotus: it spends its life floating in water, yet the drops of water roll off its leaves without ever wetting them. Similarly, as long as the karma yogis do not expect reward or recognition, any evil that might stain them has nowhere to cling.
4)Krishna uses the term “equal vision” when one sees the divine Self in all, regardless of the outer aspect.
a)“Those who possess this wisdom have equal regard for all. They see the same Self in a spiritual aspirant and an outcast, in an elephant, a cow, and a dog. Such people have mastered life. With even mind they rest in Brahman, who is perfect and everywhere the same. They are not elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. With mind established in Brahman, they are free from delusion. Not dependent on any external support, they realize the joy of spiritual awareness. With consciousness unified through meditation, they live in abiding joy.”5:18-20
b)“Pleasures conceived in the world of senses have a beginning and an end and give birth to misery, Arjuna. The wise do not look for happiness in them. But those who overcome the impulses of lust and anger which arise in the body are made whole and line in joy. They find their joy, their rest, and their light (inner body bright, Nishprapanchaya Shantaya-Niralambaya Tejase) completely within themselves. United with the Lord, they attain nirvana in Brahman.”5:22-24
5)Krishna talks about Samadhi.
a)In deep meditation, breath slow/steady/even, mind quiets down, emotions subside, the spirit is free
6)How would tantra interpret 5:8
a)“Those who know this truth, whose consciousness is unified, think always “I am not the doer”. While seeing or hearing, touching or smelling; eating, moving about, or sleeping; breathing or speaking, letting go or holding on even opening and closing the eyes, they understand that these are only the movements of the senses among sense objects”5:8-9
i)Would it just be aligning with spirit?
7)Vocabulary in this chapter: sannyasa, mukta, sada, moksha

Chapter 6: The Practice of Meditation
Karma Yoga

1)Krishna gives an explanation of meditation for the average person. Similar to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, but more simple without any unnecessary mystery or complexity.
2)“Who is the true Yogi?”
a)A person who does his or her job with detachment from the reward 6:1
b)One who has attained the goal of meditation
c)They are samabudhhi “equal mind”
3)The mind must be made one-pointed through the practice of meditation.
a)Find a place and a seat for meditation.
b)Sit with good alignment.
4)Practice of meditation and yoga.
a)Moderation is the path.
b)Krishna says “Those who eat too much or too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, working and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow though meditation. Through constant effort they learn to withdraw the mind from selfish craving and absorb it in the Self. Thus they attain the state of union (yoga)” 6:16-18 (This is also what the Buddha taught)
c)Compares the mind to a steady flame “when meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a limp in a windless place” 6:19
i)The mind must learn to rest in the Self. “The still mind touches Brahman and enjoys bliss.”
ii)Arjuna says “My mind is so restless and unsteady that I cannot even comprehend anything about this state of mystic peace you are talking about” The mind is so powerful, so turbulent, that trying to bring it under control is like trying to catch the wind.
(1)Krishna again tells Arjuna that the mind can be trained through regular practice of meditation.
d)“The practice of meditation frees one from all afflictions. This is the path of yoga. Follow it with determination and sustained enthusiasm. Renouncing wholeheartedly all selfish desires and expectations, use your will to control the senses. Little by little, through patience and repeated effort, the mind will become stilled in the self” 6:23-25
i)I really like this quote. It is just a reminder to stick with the practice with enthusiasm, and patience.
5)Arjuna asks “what happens to one who has faith but who lacks self-control and wanders from the path, not attaining success in yoga? If he becomes deluded on the spiritual path, will he lose the support of both worlds, like a could scattered in the sky? “ 6:37-38
a)Krishna says that no attempt to improve his spiritual condition could be a wasted effort. You will even be reborn into a better home where spirituality is practiced “into a home which is pure and prosperous. Or they may be born into a family where meditation is practiced; to be born into such a family is extremely rare. The wisdom they have acquired in previous lives will be reawakened, Arjuna, and they will strive even harder for self-realization.”6: 42-43
6)Krishna says Karma yoga is the path for those who wish to climb the mountain of self-realization. At the beginning of the spiritual life, great exertion is required; as the summit is approached, though the climb gets no easier, the dimension of contemplation or stillness is added.
a)“For aspirants, who want to climb the mountain of spiritual awareness, the path is selfless work; for those who have ascended to yoga the path is stillness and peace. When you have freed yourself from attachment to the results of work, and from desires for the enjoyment of sense objects, you will ascend to the unitive state. Reshape yourself through the power of your will (will= attitude (iccha/heart)); never let yourself be degraded by self will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self”6:3-5
i)3 A’s of Anusara yoga. The will has to do with our attitude our intention our heart. So Krishna is kind of saying (in Anusara words) the heart/the intention is the only friend of the Self and the heart/intention is the only enemy of the Self. (This makes sense!)
b)This is like our asana practice. When we start out our practice has a lot of tapas, but as we keep practicing although the poses don’t get any easier we use alignment and breath to allow the prana to flow more fully through us and are experience is that the poses feel easier.
7)Vocabulary used in this chapter: yogi, samabudhhi

Chapter 7: Wisdom for Realization
(Krishna starts talking about the jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge)

1)Krishna explains himself to Arjuna. He has “two natures”:
a)He has created out of himself the elements of all things that make up the phenomenal world.
b)Beyond this Krishna’s spiritual nature is the transcendent Lord of the universe.
i)Krishna is behind both prakriti and Purusha.
ii)Krishna is the creator of the world.
(1)“There is nothing that exists separate from me, Arjuna. The entire universe is suspended from me as my necklace of jewels.” 7:7
(2)“Arjuna, I am the taste of pure water and the radiance of the sun and moon. I am the sacred world and the sound heard in air, and the courage of human beings. I am the sweet fragrance in the earth and the radiance of fire; I am the life in every creature and the striving of the spiritual aspirant” 7:8-9
iii)Krishna’s true nature is hidden by maya. “Few see through the veil of maya. The world, deluded, does not know that I am without birth and changeless” 7:25
(1)Maya is the capacity to create form and illusion, conceals immortal being. Maya can be both delightful and dangerous. The three gunas are immerged in maya.
2)Sankhya recognized two fundamental principles underlying all things: prakriti, the principle of mind and matter, and Purusha, the principle of pure spirit. The union of these two forces set in motion the creation of the world. In Sankhya, the goal of Self realization is freeing the spirit (Purusha) from mind and matter (prakriti)
3)Krishna is said to have created the world in play (Lila) just as a child might desire to have companions to play with, Krishna desired companions, and made the world. Krishna participates in the game of life; his divine qualities shine through in the world wherever there is excellence of any kind.
4)Krishna does start to mention the importance of love and devotion (but that is mainly expressed in the last six chapters)
5)“Delusion arises from the duality of attraction and aversion, Arjuna; every creature is deluded by these from birth. But those who have freed themselves from all wrongdoing are firmly established in worship of me. Their actions are pure, and they are free from the delusion caused by the pairs of opposites” 7:27-28
a)The self centered attachments which cause confusion and delusion, is similar to dreaming while awake “living in a dream”. The duality of attachment and aversions ties the mind into moha right at birth.
i)Being devoted to Krishna is a way beyond this delusion.
6)Vocabulary used in this chapter: jnana, vijnana, jna, Sankhya, prakriti, purusha, lila, maya, moha

Chapter 8: The Eternal Godhead
Jnana Yoga

1)Arjuna asks “Krishna, what is Brahman, and what is the nature of action? What is the adhyatma, the adhibhuta, the adhidaiva? What is the adhiyajna, the supreme sacrifice, and how is it to be offered? How are the self-controlled united with you at the time of death?” 8:1-2
a)Krishna answers 8:3:
i)Brahman: is Krishna’s highest nature
ii)Adhyatma: Brahman lives in every creature as adhyatma.
iii)My action is creation and bringing forth of creatures
iv)Adhibhuta: is the perishable body
v)Adhidaiva: Purusha, eternal spirit
vi)Adhiyajna: the supreme sacrifice
b)Krishna continues to answer Arjuna’s question and talks about death, and the soul’s journey after death.
i)(these ideas did not originate in the Gita and are even more ancient than the Upanishads)
ii)“Whatever occupies the mind at the time of death determines the destination of the dying; always they will tend toward that state of being. Therefore, remember me at all times and fight on. With your heart and mind intent on me, you will surely come to me. When you make your mind one-pointed through regular practice of meditation, you will find the supreme glory of the Lord” 8:6-8
(1)Whatever a person thinks about in life (the deepest motivations) are likely to be the last thoughts at the time of death. So there is continuity between this life and the next, and all the baggage of desire and motivation goes right along with the soul. (choose your thoughts wisely)
iii)Krishna describes what happens to consciousness at the moment of death.
(1)“Remembering me at the time of death, close down the doors of the senses and place the mind in the heart. Then, while absorbed in meditation focus all energy upwards to the head. Repeating in this state the divine name, the syllable Om that represents the changeless Brahman, you will go forth from the body and attain the supreme goal.” 8:12-13
(2)“Every creature in the universe is subject to rebirth, Arjuna except the one who is united with me” 8:16
iv)There is a state talked about that is higher than the cosmos, which is not born and does not die, avyakta.
(1)“But beyond this formless state there is another, unmanifested reality, which is eternal and is not dissolved when the cosmos is destroyed; those who realize life’s supreme goal know that I am unmanifested and unchanging. Having come home to me they never return to separate existence”8:20-22
c)The Days and Nights of Brahma are mentioned. As the Day of Brahma dawns the cosmos comes into being; as the day comes to an end, the entire creation dies and ceases to exist. Then for a night the universe rests. (5 acts of Shiva (creation, sustenance, dissolution concealment, and revelation):
d)Each day lasts for a thousand yugas, which = 4,320,000,000 years
2)Krishna again tells Arjuna that he is God immanent in all things as well as God transcendent.
3)Vocabulary used in chapter: adhyatma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva, adhiyajna

Chapter 9: The Royal Path
Jnana Yoga

1)This chapter Krishna speaks the whole time about being the Supreme Being who has created the world and dwells immanent in his creation. Krishna’s exalted nature is stressed, and a warning is given to those who think that God is limited to his creation.
a)Krishna is in human form, but those who just see his limited human form and show him disrespect will come to spiritual harm.
b)“I am the goal of life, the Lord and support of all, the inner witness, the abode of all. I am the only refuge, the one true friend; I am the beginning, the staying, and the end of creation; I am the womb and the eternal seat” 9:18 (5 acts of Shiva (creation, sustenance, dissolution concealment, and revelation)):
c)Krishna’s compassionate nature: whatever a person deeply desires (whatever he/she worships) will eventually be attained, in some life or other.
d)Krishna is impartial to all creatures; he doesn’t favor or reject anyone.
i)Love is what is important. Even a sinner who takes wholehearted refuge in him becomes good, sadhu. A good person but has come to signify one who leads the spiritual life, giving up all selfish desires to achieve the final goal.
2)Bhakti: to have real, selfless love, regardless of the object, is to love Krishna, The ultimate good.
a)Having devotion without understanding Krishna’s nature is not enough. Arjuna must have devotion and understand it is Krishna’s universal aspect that he loves.
3)Krishna tells Arjuna to make everything- every act, every meal, every sacrifice, every gift, even his suffering and offering to god. This will release Arjuna from the bondage of karma
a)“Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart- a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water- I accept with joy. Whatever you do, make it an offering to me- the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering. In this way you will be freed from the bondage of karma, and from its results both pleasant and painful. Then, firm in renunciation and yoga, with your heart free, you will come to me.” 9:26-28
b)The Royal secret that Krishna promised to reveal: Anyone who has real love, love for the Lord of Love who is in all creatures, will in the end attain the goal.
c)“Fill your mind with me; love me; serve me; worship me always. Seeking me in your heart, you will at last be united with me.” 9:34
4)Vocabulary used in this chapter: bhakti, sadhu, sudurachara

Chapter 10: Divine Splendor
Jnana Yoga

1)Krishna continues to explain himself, revealing himself as the source from which all things come, the One who is the reality behind the many. He is beyond duality.
a)“Out of compassion I destroy the darkness of their ignorance. From within them I light the lamp of wisdom and dispel all darkness from their lives”10:11
2)Arjuna says “Krishna you are a supreme master of yoga. Tell me how I should meditate and in what ways should I meditate on you? O Krishna, you who stir up people’s hearts, tell me in detail your attributes and your powers; I can never tire of hearing your immortal words” 10:16-17
a)He reveals some divine powers and attributes.
i)Krishna is Arjuna’s innermost Self, Krishna is Vishnu, the sun, Shankara, Indra, Rama, the Gayatri, Arjuna…all the seasons, all the flowers, the symbol Om….
b)5 acts of Shiva (creation, sustenance, dissolution concealment, and revelation):
i)“I am the beginning , middle, and end of creation.” 10:32
ii)“But there is no end to my divine attributes, Arjuna; these I have mentioned are only a few. Wherever you find strength, or beauty, or spiritual power, you may be sure that these have sprung from a spark of my essence.” 10:40-41
3)Krishna asks “But what use is it to know all of these details, Arjuna? Just remember I am, and that I support the entire cosmos with only a fragment of my being” 10:42
4)Purushottama reminds me of Paramshiva
5)Vocabulary used in this chapter: Purushottama

Chapter 11: The Cosmic Vision
Jnana Yoga

1)The chapter starts by Arjuna asking to see Krishna “as the supreme ruler of creation” Krishna shows Arjuna his full nature as God himself, the Lord of the Universe. However you can’t see this with physical eyes so Krishna gives Arjuna spiritual vision.
2)Sanjaya then narrates what is happening to Krishna as he shows Arjuna is full Supreme Being.
a)“You are the supreme, changeless Reality, the one thing to be known you are the refuge of all creation, the immortal spirit, the eternal guardian of eternal dharma.” 11:17
b)Arjuna starts getting afraid when the light of God becomes a fire that burns and consumes all things, he sees people being killed and burning in this universal fire. Gods radiance is both a great light and a burning fire.
c)Arjuna asks “Who are you?”
d)Krishna answers “I am time, the destroyer of all; I have come to consume the world. Even without your participation all the warriors gathered here will die.” 11:32
i)I think Krishna said this to help him fight. By reminding him that he is a warrior, his dharma is to fight and that all the warriors will die anyways. And no matter how they die it is Krishna who is destroying them.
e)Arjuna asks for forgiveness if he ever said or did anything to offend Krishna by identifying him as only a human being.
i)“You are behind me and in front of me; I bow to you on every side. Your power is immeasurable. You pervade everything; you are everything.”11:40
f)Arjuna asks to see Krishna’s more human face.
i)Krishna explains how only pure devotion can allow you to attain the vision of seeing the full state of God.
3)The theme begins to switch to bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion that is important on a spiritual quest.
a)“Through unfailing devotion, Arjuna, you can know me, see me, and attain union with me. Those who make me the supreme goal of all their work and act without selfish attachment who devote themselves to me completely and are free from ill will for any creature, enter into me.”11:54-55
4)Vocabulary used in this chapter: samadhi

Chapter 12: The Way of Love
(Krishna teaches about Bhakti yoga, the path of love and devotion)

1)This chapter focuses on the importance of devotion and faith (Shraddha) in spiritual development. Love is the most powerful motivation in spiritual life.
2)Krishna says seeking an eternal Godhead is really hard for the average person. And that it may be beyond reach for all “embodied beings”. This path of wisdom may be to spiritual for earths children because those who identify a lot with their physical nature find the way of knowledge too step to climb. That is why Krishna offers Bhakti yoga. The path of love.
“Those who set their hearts on me and worship me with unfailing devotion and faith are more established in yoga.” 12:2
3)Krishna says that if Arjuna is not able to focus his devotion, he should learn to do so through regular practice of mediation. Love and devotion can be cultivated through regular practice. (I like how Krishna isn’t just saying practice meditation but he is saying you must have a regular practice)
a)“still your mind in me, still your intellect in me, and without doubt you will be united with me forever.” 12:8
4)Genuine characteristics of a lover of God 13-20
a)“That one I love who is incapable of ill will, who is friendly and compassionate. Living beyond the reach of “I” and “mine” and of pleasure and pain, patient, contented,s elf-controlled, firm in faith, with all their heart and all their mind given to me – with such as these I am in love”12:13-14
5)Vocabulary used in this chapter: Shraddha, dehavat

1)Advaita: having no dualit; the supreme Reality, which is the “one without a second”.
2)Ahamkara: Self-will, separateness.
3)Akasha: space, sky, the most subtle of the five elements.
4)Atman: “Self”, the innermost soul in every creature, which is divine.
5)Avidya: Ignorance, lack of wisdom, want of knowledge
6)Dehavat: those who have bodies
7)Purushottama: the supreme purusha, the supreme person.
8)Sudurachara: sinner
9)Sadhu: A good person but has come to signify one who leads the spiritual life, giving up all selfish desires to achieve the final goal.
10)Brahman: Krishna’s highest nature
11)Adhyatma: Brahman lives in every creature as adhyatma.
12)Adhibhuta: is the perishable body
13)Adhidaiva: Purusha, eternal spirit
14)Adhiyajna: the supreme sacrifice
15)Moha: delusions
16)Lila: play
17)Purusha: the principle of pure spirit.
18)Prakriti: the principle of mind and matter
19)Sankhya: school of Hindu philosophy (prakriti, and purusha)
20)Jnana: highest kind of knowledge, direct knowledge from God, spiritual wisdom.
21)Vijnana: to know intensely or to a greater degree.
22)Jna: to know
23)Samabudhhi: “equable mind”
24)Shama: the peace of contemplation.
25)Yoga: integration of the spirit, wholeness or the process of becoming whole at the deepest spiritual level.
26)Yogi: one who is accomplished in yoga
27)Moksha: spiritual freedom
28)Sada: always
29)Samnyasi: a lonely austere monk
30)Sannyasa: renunciation
31)Mukta: liberation, Samadhi
32)Yajna: worship or offering- that may be performed by spiritual aspirants
33)Jnana yoga: yoga of knowledge, the contemplative path of spiritual wisdom.
34)Karma yoga: the active path of selfless service.
35)“Law of karma”: Actions determine destiny. If anything happens to us that is truly good we must have done something in the past to deserve it, if something ill befalls us, then at sometime in the past we did something that was not so meritorious.
36)Brahmavidya: Supreme science, seeking knowledge of an underlying reality would inform all other studies and activities.
37)Rishis: “seers” of ancient India
38)Brhamn: the god head, in Hindu mythology there are three Shiva, bhraman, Vishnu
39)Atman: the divine core of personality, atman is Brahman the self in each person is not different from the Godhead
40)Dharma:that which supports, the law that expresses and maintains the unity in creation, the path. (remember the metaphor about the monk and the stinging scorpion)
41)Dukkha: pain, suffering
42)Gita: “the song”
43)Gunas: the three qualities which make up the phenomenal world: sattva, law, harmony, purity, goodness; rajas, energy, passion; tamas, inertia, ignorance.
44)Karma: the web of cause and effect, everything that happens to us good and bad originated once in something we did or thought
45)Samsara: the self wears the body as a garment; when the garment is old, it is cast aside and a new one is put on. And the should travels from life to life. the cycle, might refer to the cycle of birth and death
46)Moksha: the spiritual liberation that is life’s supreme goal
47)Advaita: not two
48)Jiva: soul
49)Tat tvam asi: “thou art that” (chandogya Upanishad)
50)Nishkama karma: selfless action
51)Original goodness: since the self is the core of every personality, no one needs to acquire goodness or compassion, they are already there
52)Shraddha: faith “that which is placed in our hearts”
53)Right shraddha: is faith in spiritual laws. In the unity of life, the presence of divinity in every person. The essential spiritual nature of every human being
54)Wrong shraddha: isn’t necessarily morally wrong, just ignorant.

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