Samvad “The Bhagavad Gita”: Timeless Wisdom

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Samvad

hellomyyoga hosts the Bhagavad Gita Samvad every year with three yoga scholars from three different generations: Dr. N Ganesh Rao, Prasad Rangnekar, and Harshvardhan Jhaveri. As an exciting addition to this enlightening event, we have created a blog where you can gain a profound glimpse into the wisdom and insights shared by these remarkable teachers. 

Join us for an enchanting discussion as we dive into the everlasting wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita at this year’s Samvad “The Bhagavad Gita: Timeless Wisdom.Mark your calendars for December 24th, 2023, from 08:30-11:00 PM IST, and be a part of this captivating conversation.

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Life & Bhagavad Gita

Life is a complex tapestry of emotions and characteristics, ranging from the depths of sadness to the heights of happiness. It is a delicate balance of success and failure, kindness and hard work, and so much more. In our quest to seek wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita, we have chosen a select number of attributes and assigned two to each teacher. Through their unique perspectives and personal experiences, this blog aims to discover what this ancient text teaches about these attributes and uncover how these teachers incorporate these lessons into their own lives and how can we apply them in modern times.

Read on as we explore the depths of the Bhagavad Gita’s teachings together!

Dr. N Ganesh Rao

Lifestyle considerations

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु |

युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा || 17||

yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-cheṣhṭasya karmasu

yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

Translation

But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yog.

Concentration

योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थित: |

एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रह: || 10||

yogī yuñjīta satatam ātmānaṁ rahasi sthitaḥ

ekākī yata-chittātmā nirāśhīr aparigrahaḥ

Translation

BG 6.10: Those who seek the state of Yog should reside in seclusion, constantly engaged in meditation with a controlled mind and body, getting rid of desires and possessions for enjoyment.

(Translation source: https://bhagavad-gita.org

Prasad Rangnekar’s Commentary

Kindness

In the Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna mentions two kinds of traits that lead us in opposite directions, Daivi & Asuri Sampad. He asks us to cultivate the Daivi Sampad, the divine traits, that lead to liberation. One of the divine (liberating) traits is Daya, kindness (Bhagavad Gita 16:2). 

ahimsā satyamakrodhastyāgaḥ śāntirapaisunam 

daya bhūteṣvaloluptvam mārdavam hrīracāpalam

Adi Shankaracharya in his commentary on the Gita states that Daya, kindness, is being empathetic towards other’s suffering. With so many of us suffering due to physical and mental issues these days, kindness is a virtue we all need to consciously develop, is what I think.

Life-long Learning

Bhagavad Gita is a yogic text that starts off with Arjuna’s confusion and ends with Arjuna’s clarity. This arc of mental transformation is what spiritual seeker goes through when they apply the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. The teachings of the Bhagavad Gita help us navigate life with faith, resilience, and clarity, and emerge victorious in our inner battles. This journey of fighting our own inner demons is a life-long project, and this is why steady faith (Shraddha) is crucial. As Shri Krishna says, only the one with faith derives knowledge (Bhagavad Gita 4:39)

śhraddhāvānllabhate jñānaṁ tat-paraḥ sanyatendriyaḥ

jñānaṁ labdhvā parāṁ śhāntim achireṇādhigachchhati

Harshvardhan Jhaveri’s Commentary

Hard work and Success

BG 17.14 

deva-dwija-guru-prājña- pūjanaṁ śhaucham ārjavam

brahmacharyam ahinsā cha śhārīraṁ tapa uchyate

To achieve success in life, it is certain that one must put in the hard work. Be it spiritual pursuits or the realization of any project or work, one must put in the appropriate efforts and take the necessary steps towards it. This is termed tapas in yogic parlance. In the BG, Śrī Kṛṣṇa describes tapas on the level of the body, speech, and mind which can be sāttvika, rājasika or tāmasika. Amongst them, the sāttvika kind is best suited for progress while the rājasika occasionally brings results but is uncertain and the tāmasika type is destructive in nature. Hard work is considered sāttvika in nature when it is performed with śraddhā and is niśkāma in nature i.e. it is free from the desire for rewards of the action. As Swami Chinmayananda says – “Do your best and leave the rest”. Applying oneself completely to the goal and then surrendering to the result (praṇidhāna) is the best way as in this way whether one succeeds or not, one remains equanimous in the outcome that plays out. 

Good listener

BG 17.19

mūḍha-grāheṇātmano yat pīḍayā kriyate tapaḥ

parasyotsādanārthaṁ vā tat tāmasam udāhṛitam

The manner of dialogue itself throughout the Gītā between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna speaks greatly on how to be a good listener. Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna both are exemplary examples of it. Whenever Arjuna is perplexed or raises a doubt or question, Bhagavān is patiently listening. Sometimes the question is short, sometimes longer in nature. And when He responds, which sometimes is very lengthy and continues for several verses, Arjuna is also patiently listening to His reply to understand and integrate the teaching into his being. One of the essential teachings of the Gītā is to be a good listener – and if we can listen to their dialogue with complete awareness, we too can learn the value of listening. Śravana i.e. listening with awareness is the first of the three steps to assimilate the teachings of Vedānta (the other two being Manana – reflection and Nidhidhyāsana – contemplation) and it is well known that śravana itself has the potential to deliver the highest teaching and realization as well.

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Conclusion

It’s a beautiful blog, isn’t it? Imagine this: if reading this blog is already so captivating, just imagine how much more beautiful it will be to listen to all these remarkable yoga scholars LIVE! This blog only offers you a glimpse, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to join us for the live session. During this session, these incredible teachers will share two meticulously selected shlokas each, providing their unique perspectives and profound insights. Prepare to be captivated by their wisdom and join us for an unforgettable experience!

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