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             01 March, 2024

Category:  Articles » Health & Fitness » Yoga


The Bhagavad Gita

         Views: 2401
2008-12-03 19:17:02     
Article by Marianne Wells

The Bhagavad-Gita, the most famous of all yoga texts, is a passage of 701 verses in the Mahabharata, one of the three major ancient Sanskrit epics of India and is said to be one of the three longest epic poems in the world. The Gita, as it is commonly referred, recounts the conversation between Arjuna, the reluctant warrior, and Krishna, his spiritual advisor, just prior to the climactic war on the battlefield of Kurukshetra where Krishna reveals that he is God Himself. Essentially, the dialogue between these two men, accounted over the eighteen chapters of the text, explains the meaning and purpose of life and existence.

Much like Christian teachings, the Bhagavad-Gita tells us that death is merely the shedding of the body and that the human soul is immortal. It is the difference between focusing on that which is temporary and that which is permanent. According to Krishna, the origin of human suffering is the disturbance of the mind by the desire of that in the material world. Therefore, one must rid themselves of this desire by stilling the mind through discipline of both the senses and the intellect. But to completely withdraw from action is just as harmful as over indulgence. One must find a medium or a balance. It is the goal of life to liberate the mind and intellect from their involvedness with the natural world and to focus on the glory of the Self by devoting every action to that of the divine. This goal can be achieved through the YOGA'S of meditation, action, devotion, and knowledge.

The eighteen chapters of the Gita teach four of the five schools of Yoga thought. They are Raja Yoga or the path of psychophysical meditation, Jnana Yoga or the path of self transcending knowledge, Karma Yoga or the path of selfless action, and Bhakti Yoga or the path of devotion. Though each path assumes a different approach, essentially their goals are the same, to guide each person past the cycle of reincarnation through the realization of oneness with the ultimate reality. At its core, the Bhagavad-Gita is a tale about devotion. A devotion that is so great one achieves control of passions enabling discipline. This guide to the science of self-realization reveals the nature of consciousness, the self, the universe, and the Supreme. The body changes, but the soul remains the same. Although there are many movie frames in a given film, when seen consecutively they appear as one picture. The same can be said of one's body. It changes every second but appears unchanged.

Copyrighted 2008, Marianne Wells LLC, All rights reserved
Marianne Wells, International Yoga Presenter
Specializing in the Yoga Alliance 200 Hour RYT Teacher Training

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