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Cornelius

The Bhagavad Gita

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Having just begun this topic, I'm not sure what protocol is, but I'll jump first....

I would have to think that the confusion and heavy heart held by Arjuna....

Gita Chap. 1 "Arjuna, the mighty warrior, sees his intimate relatives, teachers and friends in both armies ready to fight and sacrifice their lives. Overcome by grief and pity, Arjuna fails in strength, his mind becomes bewildered, and he gives up his determination to fight"

...is very human. Having been on battlefields in Viet Nam, it is certainly one thing to be opposing faceless, total strangers, but had I seen cousins and past acquaintances on the opposing side, I don't think I would have the gumption to fight either. Seeing people close to you, aligned with an opposing viewpoint is one thing, but so aligned that one is willing to die for that belief, now that puts quite a different spin on things, for sure.

This opens the Gita, perhaps, with a formal wisdom concerning war and why it should be a very last resort. If we humans could see every conflict as Arjuna, as possibly being against someone you care about deeply, it would indeed make war an obsolete. It seems to me that this drastic opener brings insight more clearly into our conscious thinking about how we use conflict in our lives.

If we make peace our dharma, or personal "law", conflict whether between family or strangers becomes impossible.

Blessings of :Peace:

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Having just begun this topic, I'm not sure what protocol is, but I'll jump first....

I would have to think that the confusion and heavy heart held by Arjuna....

Gita Chap. 1 "Arjuna, the mighty warrior, sees his intimate relatives, teachers and friends in both armies ready to fight and sacrifice their lives. Overcome by grief and pity, Arjuna fails in strength, his mind becomes bewildered, and he gives up his determination to fight"

...is very human. Having been on battlefields in Viet Nam, it is certainly one thing to be opposing faceless, total strangers, but had I seen cousins and past acquaintances on the opposing side, I don't think I would have the gumption to fight either. Seeing people close to you, aligned with an opposing viewpoint is one thing, but so aligned that one is willing to die for that belief, now that puts quite a different spin on things, for sure.

This opens the Gita, perhaps, with a formal wisdom concerning war and why it should be a very last resort. If we humans could see every conflict as Arjuna, as possibly being against someone you care about deeply, it would indeed make war an obsolete. It seems to me that this drastic opener brings insight more clearly into our conscious thinking about how we use conflict in our lives.

If we make peace our dharma, or personal "law", conflict whether between family or strangers becomes impossible.

Blessings of :Peace:

From the commentaries I've read so far the war is an allegorical explanantion of the war within ourselves. The explanation of and meaning of the indivuiduals named on each side show on one side negative connotations and the other side positive. One represents the rising kundalini force and the other side the forces which cause the kundalini to descend.

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From the commentaries I've read so far the war is an allegorical explanantion of the war within ourselves. The explanation of and meaning of the indivuiduals named on each side show on one side negative connotations and the other side positive. One represents the rising kundalini force and the other side the forces which cause the kundalini to descend.

What do you think of the war Fawzo?

Thanks for the first post al.

The war against his family and his distress over it comes into play in the text and sets the stage for Krishna to reveal truths to him.

I found your insights to be revealing and I thank you for sharing your experience. As I continue reading tonight I will post my thoughts. Thanks for being brave enough to be the first :D

Edited by Blackthorn

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What do you think of the war Fawzo?

I like the allegorical aspect thinking that yea the war is family but that family is closer than we think, it is our emotions and the battle the self does everyday against the ego. I need to get further in the book before Sunday.

The cmomentary I'm reading explains that each of the Pandavas stands for one of the five chakras. Pretty darn cool and I missed all the symbolism and was clueless when I read this as a young man.

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I moved the chat to the following sunday. To give everyone time to read it during the holidays. I know I'll be doing 8 hours or more of driving in the next 2 days. The day and time is posted in Chat room stuff :)

Edited by Blackthorn

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Before we start to go in depth on the Gita I thought I would post a little background on the characters and the book.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on Hinduism. I am aware there there are many variations and traditions in Hinduism that have differing beliefs. I am just trying to give a basic idea for the foundation of the beliefs behind the characters for this discussion.

The Bhagavad Gītā (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, IPA: [ˈbʱəɡəʋəd̪ ɡiːˈtɑː], Song of God), also more simply known as Gita, is a sacred Hindu scripture, though its philosophies and insights are intended to reach beyond the scope of religion and to humanity as a whole. It is at times referred to as the "manual for mankind" and has been highly praised by not only prominent Indians such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but also Aldous Huxley, Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung and Herman Hesse. [1][2] It is considered among the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy.[3] The Bhagavad Gita comprises exactly 700 verses, and is a part of the Mahabharata. The teacher of the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna, who is revered by Hindus as a manifestation of God (Parabrahman) itself,[3] and is referred to within as Bhagavan, the Divine One.[4]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita

For more info on the Gita I recommend this thread.

The tale is comprised of two main characters. Krishna and Arjuna.

Krishna is usually regarded as the eight incarnation of lord Vishnu and was born in the Dvarpara Yuga as the "dark one". Lord Krishna is the embodiment of love and divine joy, that destroys all pain and sin. He is the protector of sacred utterances and cows. Krishna is an instigator of all forms of knowledge and born to establish the religion of love.

Krishna and Bhakti

After Krishna killed Kansa, he became king. In the great Mahabaratha epic, Krishna spoke memorable words on the essence of Bhakti Yoga or the yoga of pure spiritual devotion. During the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna the essence of Bhakti Yoga, of love for God which is love. This revelation is found in the famous Hindu scripture called the Bhagavad Gita. The Deity is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. When the Bhakta is blessed by divine grace he feels undivided union and non-dual consciousness.

http://www.sanatansociety.org/hindu_gods_and_goddesses/krishna.htm

Krishna is called the killer of Madhu. By saying this Krishna is being spoken of as the avatar of the God Vishnu.

"Arjuna said: O killer of enemies, O killer of Madhu, how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship?"

Madhu and Kaitabha are considered demons, designed to annihilate Brahma. However, Brahma spotted them, and invoked the goddess Mahamaya. At this point, Vishnu awoke, and the two conspiring demons were killed. This led to Vishnu being called Madhusudanah - the killer of Madhu.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhu-Kaitabh

In the basic Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu god Vishnu is the preserver and protector of creation. Vishnu is the embodiment of mercy and goodness, the self-existent, all-pervading power that preserves the universe and maintains the cosmic order Dharma.

Vishnu is often represented resting on the coiled serpent Shesha, with Vishnu's consort Lakshmi massaging his feet. Vishnu never sleeps and is the deity of Shanti, the peaceful mood. Vishnu does not however tolerate Ego.

Click for a larger image of this Vishnu paintingMost often, the Hindu god Vishnu is shown with four attributes or weapons. In one hand Vishnu holds the conch or Sankha. The second hand of Vishnu holds the disc or Vaijra. The third hand of Vishnu holds the club and in the fourth hand Vishnu holds the lotus or Padma. Vishnu also has a bow called Sarnga and a sword called Nandaka.

Most of the time, good and evil forces are evenly matched in the world. But at times, the balance is destroyed and evil demons get the upper hand. Often in response to a request by the other gods, Vishnu then incarnates in a human form to set the balance right again. 10 Vishnu incarnations are generally recognized as the most important Vishnu avatars, even though opinions differ naturally and some sources may also see other important figures of the indian heritage as incarnations of Vishnu.

http://www.sanatansociety.org/hindu_gods_and_goddesses/vishnu.htm
Vishnu is best known through his ten avatars (incarnations), which appear on earth when there is disorder in the world. Rama and Krishna, whose stories are told in the Epics and the Puranas, are the most popular incarnations of Vishnu by far. {3} The ten incarnations of Vishnu are:

Kalki, the Tenth Incarnation of Vishnu (painting)

1. Matsya (fish)

2. Kurma (turtle)

3. Varaha (boar)

4. Narasimha (man-lion)

5. Vamana (dwarf)

6. Parashurama (warrior-priest)

7. Rama (prince)

8. Krishna (cow-herd)

9. Buddha (sage)

10. Kalki (horseman, who has not yet appeared)

http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/deities/vishnu.htm

Vishnu is a part of the Trimurti or Great Trinity.

Brahma the creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.

Considered by some the cosmic creation aspects of the Brahman.

In the Hindu religion, Brahman (Devanāgarī: ब्रह्मन् bráhman) is the eternal, unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe.[1] The nature of Brahman is described as transpersonal, personal and impersonal by different philosophical schools. In the Rig Veda, Brahman gives rise to the primordial being Hiranyagarbha that is equated with the creator god Brahmā. The trimurti can thus be considered a personification of Brahman as the active principle behind the phenomena of the universe.

The word "Brahman" is traditionally derived from the verb ((brh)) (Sanskrit: to grow), and connotes greatness and infinity. The Mundaka Upanishad says:

Auṃ- That supreme Brahman is infinite, and this conditioned Brahman is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. Then through knowledge, realizing the infinitude of the infinite, it remains as infinite alone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman

Arjuna

Arjuna (Devanagari: अर्जुन, Thai: Archun, Tamil: Archunan; pronounced [ɐrˈɟunɐ] in classical Sanskrit) is one of the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. Arjuna, whose name, according to linguists, means 'bright', 'shining', 'white' or 'silver' (cf. Latin argentum),[1] but actually seems to be the origin of the word "archer", was such a peerless archer that he is often referred to as Jishnu - the undefeatable (though, also because in the epic Mahābhārata he is said to be a reincarnation of sage Nara, who was the eternal companion of sage Narayana, otherwise known as Vishnu, the latter being previous incarnation of lord Krishna, the companion and charioteer of Arjuna). The third of the five Pandava brothers, Arjuna was one of the children borne by Kunti, the first wife of Pandu. Arjuna is considered to have an "Amsha" of Nara. Nara is one of the forms of Lord Narayana.[2][3] He is sometimes referred to as the 'fourth Krishna' of the Mahabharata.[4] One of his most important roles was as the dear friend and brother-in-law of Lord Krishna, from whom he heard the Bhagavad Gita before the battle of Kurukshetra.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arjuna

Hermano Luis if you would like to correct anything or share your particular beliefs on the matter it is much welcome, appreciated, and wanted. :)

Edited by Blackthorn

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Having done a little more reading, I found " So one must be intelligent enough to understand the purpose of the Vedas, without being attached to the rituals only, and must not desire to be elevated to the heavenly kingdoms for a better quality of sense gratification. " and I can see that this could apply to any religious text or religion itself.

This is one aspect that simply chokes me when, on occasion, I attend services at my Mother's church. Everyone does the rituals with such fervent glee, then proceeds home and seemingly forgets they were even in a place of worship. I think this could be said about many people and many different "religions", the show put on during worship, the complete lack of anything qualitative afterward or even remotely putting it into practice after we have impressed the congregation with our perfect performance of ritual.

I can say the same about the rituals of my Pagan beliefs as well. I know a few folk who are even more adept at quoting Edda or Troth than I and one even knows the Hávamál, some 165 verses by "heart". When I lived in Willow Creek, the man who could recite nearly 600 lines of text, allowed little of it into his mind and heart. He was a constant source of counseling and arrests for domestic battery etc, yet knew one of the "most sacred" of old Nordic passages word for word. A prime example of what I think the passage from the Gita to mean.

Whether we beseech Lord Vishnu, "God" or Odhinn to reach into our hearts and show us example, we must be willing to give up our material world...all material including the physical in order to attained our full purpose and spiritual glory.

I recently had a major breakthrough in my meditations which has given me just a glimpse of what that is like, to completely "give up" the physical. It is amazing to say the least. Breaking from our ingrained, ritualized patterns, and allowing our Higher Self to come to terms with not being attached to the material world is something our Humanism is always at odds with. When we can't feel, smell, hear or see something, we are instantly wanting to discount or summarize things according to our physical being.

When we can completely detach our Self from ritual, material, physical...then we can truly seek the Spiritual.

Blessings of :Peace:

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