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emalpaiz

Gita Jayanti 2010

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Today is the Gita Jayanti, the celebration of the birth or revelation of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita (the Song of the Lord). The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is an allegorical dialogue between God (Sri Bhagavan Krishna) and Man (Prince Arjuna). The Gita was revealed to mankind in the conversation between Prince Arjuna and Sri Krishna held at the beginning of the great war of the epic poem Mahabharata.

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita, or simply the Gita, is not the oldest nor the most authoritative sacred book of Hinduism, but it is the probably the most popular and the most influential book of the Hindu faith. It played an important part in the nineteenth century renaissance of Hinduism in India, and Mahatma Gandhi found inspiration in its pages during his battle for India's independence. In its 700 verses divided into 18 chapters, the Gita expresses the essence of the Hindu religion.

The Gita teaches the following:

1. The oneness and universality of God. (The different deities of the Hindu pantheon are nothing but reflection of the One True God beyond all Names and Forms.)

2. The life that flows through us (Atman) is the Life of God.

3. The Law of Karma.

4. Reincarnation or Transmigration of the soul.

5. The Law of Dharma or Duty.

6. Moksha or Spiritual Liberation.

The Gita has played an important part in my life. I do not believe that it is superior to any other sacred book, but I consider it to be a very dear friend. For some fifty years it has been a faithful companion and spiritual guide. During moments of great crisis I have turned to the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and I have found spiritual guidance. Among the many things that the Gita has taught me is that God is not the property of any particular religion and that everyone -- no matter what their religion might be -- can establish a personal relationship with God.

Today I bow before the Gita. I offer my respect to the Book that has led be to the Beloved One, and that has taught me that God is One and Universal.

"The Lord dwells in the hearts of all creatures" (Srimad Bhagavad Gita 18:61).

May all be happy!

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Thank you for your kind words and wishes. Your posts in this forum have always been inspiring, compassionate, and without malice.

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I read the Bhagavad Gita many years ago as a very young man when I was quite clueless about spirituality.

Emalpaiz could you recommend a version that contains a commentary that would help me better see into the imagery and mystery of the work. To be honest I have shunned rereading it all these years because of the war imagery. The same reason I have not read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

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I read the Bhagavad Gita many years ago as a very young man when I was quite clueless about spirituality.

Emalpaiz could you recommend a version that contains a commentary that would help me better see into the imagery and mystery of the work. To be honest I have shunned rereading it all these years because of the war imagery. The same reason I have not read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

The war image has created among some Hindus and students of spiritual literature an obstacle, and it is understandable. One has to read beyond the first chapter in order to understand that the Gita is not a book about war. We could call it a book about "Dharma" (social or spiritual duties). I strongly recommend the Gita as translated by Eknath Easwaran; it is a good translation of the Gita with a general introduction and an introduction to each of the 18 chapters. At the end of the book it also has a series of notes about concepts in the Gita.

Eknath Easwaran has something to say about the Gita and war in his general introduction to the translation of the Gita:

"To those who take this dramatic setting as part of the spiritual instruction and get entangled in the question of the Gita justifying war, Gandhi had a practical answer: just base your life on the Gita sincerely and systematically and see if you find killing or even hurtin others compatible with its teachings."

One last thing, I have read the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu, and there is no relatioship between it and the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.

Hermano Luis

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The war image has created among some Hindus and students of spiritual literature an obstacle, and it is understandable. One has to read beyond the first chapter in order to understand that the Gita is not a book about war. We could call it a book about "Dharma" (social or spiritual duties). I strongly recommend the Gita as translated by Eknath Easwaran; it is a good translation of the Gita with a general introduction and an introduction to each of the 18 chapters. At the end of the book it also has a series of notes about concepts in the Gita.

Eknath Easwaran has something to say about the Gita and war in his general introduction to the translation of the Gita:

"To those who take this dramatic setting as part of the spiritual instruction and get entangled in the question of the Gita justifying war, Gandhi had a practical answer: just base your life on the Gita sincerely and systematically and see if you find killing or even hurtin others compatible with its teachings."

One last thing, I have read the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu, and there is no relatioship between it and the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.

Hermano Luis

Thanks Luis!! Darn my library doesn't have a copy but they do have Essence of the Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran which sounds fascinating and I will try to get that tomorrow.

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Thanks Luis!! Darn my library doesn't have a copy but they do have Essence of the Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran which sounds fascinating and I will try to get that tomorrow.

Good choice! The author of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita takes his metaphysial inspiration from the Vedic Upanishads. My English version of the Upanishads is by Eknath Easwaran.

Hermano Luis

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Good choice! The author of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita takes his metaphysial inspiration from the Vedic Upanishads. My English version of the Upanishads is by Eknath Easwaran.

Hermano Luis

I wound up with a Copy of the Gita explained by Paramhansa Yogananda and ordered the Upanishads one.

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I wound up with a Copy of the Gita explained by Paramhansa Yogananda and ordered the Upanishads one.

I have a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda's two volune explanations of the Gita. It is an interesting interpretation written before his death in 1952. Self Ralization Fellowship -- the organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda -- has also produced an abridged version of the commentaries which I have not seen yet.

There are numeral commentaries on the Gita by different teachers. Each teacher comments from the perspective of their particular school of thought. I have enjoyed the Gita by letting it speak to me; sometimes I write commentaries that have personal meaning.

Hermano Luis

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I have a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda's two volune explanations of the Gita. It is an interesting interpretation written before his death in 1952. Self Ralization Fellowship -- the organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda -- has also produced an abridged version of the commentaries which I have not seen yet.

There are numeral commentaries on the Gita by different teachers. Each teacher comments from the perspective of their particular school of thought. I have enjoyed the Gita by letting it speak to me; sometimes I write commentaries that have personal meaning.

Hermano Luis

Thanks for the additional info Luis. I plan on diving into it next week when I'm on vacation. This week too much preholiday stuff going on.

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I do hope all is well on the Gita book study....I made a huge mistake in telling my neighbor I could council with him any night but Saturdays due to the "book club"...I must regain my sense of "control" over this situation as every Saturday night, since telling him that, there has been "crisis" over at his place which needs my full attention.

I feel for the man being in his 6th year of fatally diagnosed bladder/intestinal cancer, which the doc gave him 1-2 years. He drinks booze way over the limit, over takes his meds and then screams for "help"...and has been particularly pesky on Saturdays for 3 weeks in a row now...even last night was 2:30pm to 9 pm "helping him with depression/suicidal thoughts...this morning all apologetic and "feeling better".

We take care of his cat "Bucky" most of the time as well as the strays he has made accustomed to feeding every evening. I can appreciate his delicate sense of issue with his situation, but I also believe a good part is, in a polite, non-demanding way, "forcing" me there instead of here on Saturday nights. I know I am in control of this situation but I have a soft spot for those with terminal dis-eases...mostly due to how quickly good people "go" from them. He's always polite and charming, but we are 100% convinced that one evening, it's not going to be a pretty sight. I did manage to get his brother to come get his two pistols as too many "jokes" about suicide have gone on since Christmas.

Hopefully next week I'll be able to get back in with the swing as I find the Gita very interesting and would really like to discuss a few points.

Blessings of Peace,

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