Bhagavad Gita Reading Group/1

Bhagavad Gita
Chapter 1
Monday 25 February 2013
6312 W. Park Avenue

6:30 p.m.

Meditation
Downstairs
20 m.

Paired Sharing
Upstairs
20 m.

Consider any of the following:

  • What is your reaction to the chapter as a whole?
  • Were there specific verses that particularly caught your attention?
  • What experiences can you bring to yur reading of this chapter?
  • What, if anything, did you find useful in Easwaran’s introduction to “The War Within”?

Group Sharing
30 m.

Announcements
5 m.

Commentary
The following passages are taken from Eknath Easwaran’s The End of All Sorrow: The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, v. 1.

There is no significant problem in life which cannot be referred to the Bhagavad Gita for a perfect solution. 11

When we fight others, whether physically or in the mind, we harm them and ourselves, but when we fight all that is base and self-willed in us, we bring lasting joy to everyone.  27

Arjuna suffers from paralysis of the will. So many of our problems, we lack the will to change them.  35

It is the deeper will and wisdom which come through meditation that enable us to tap the creative resources and untiring energy lying latent in our consciousness. 35

Living in the midst of our extended circle of family and friends provides the perfect context for learning to see the Lord in everyone, everywhere, every minute, for in these deep personal relationships we can easily forget ourselves, our comforts, and our conveniences in ensuring the joy of others. 37

We must learn to be vigilant constantly; we cannot lapse back into lack of watchfulness for one minute.  46

Sanskrit Terms
Preya, the passing pleasure that seems pleasing to the senses but soon faces into its opposite, is what we choose when we indulge in injurious physical habits or retaliate against others.

Shreya, the good that leads to the lasting welfare for the whole, is what we choose by cultivating healthy habits.

Consider Trying These Ways of Working with the Gita (Over the Next 18 months)
From Ram Dass, Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita
#1
Read the Gita in 4 hours for the story.
Read it again, identifying with Arjuna.
Read it a third time identifying with Krishna.

#2
Keep a journal, and start right away: record your reflections about lines in the Gita, or examples of the ways you personalize the teachings of the Gita through your own experience. You can add quotes or pictures. Some of the journals I’ve seen over the years are incredibly beautiful, filled with artwork, with wonderful poetry, with all the stuff of our ruminating minds.

The first entry should concern the personalizing for you of Arjuna’s predicament as defined in chapter 1.  His despair, confusion, inner struggle, depression, loss of savour of experiences, desire to cling to old habits, etc., are to be recognized as part of the journey. What specific anecdotes or immediate states from your own “personal history” can you bring to mind which are a foundation for your empathy with Arjuna’s situation?

Next Meeting
Monday 11 March, 6:30 p.m.
We will discuss chapter 2.

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