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Simple Living, High Thinking

Nov 30, 2020

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Bhagavad Gita, Ch 6, Text 4-47

Time stamps and topics:

2:16 - Chapter six is part of the first major section (out of three) of the Bhagavad Gita. The first six chapters deal with the concept of the self and what it means to do our duty. Krishna encourages us to do our duty, to be in this world, but to detach from the results of our actions. In this chapter, titled Dhyāna-yoga, Krishna talks about one particular path of meditation one might take.

10:17 - Krishna's description of meditation here was not referring to merely meditating 1-2 hours a day. The practice Krishna was describing was a full-time endeavor. Arjuna's severe reaction to this lifestyle also indicates that Krishna was suggesting more than just a small daily meditation practice.

16:46 - Ch 6, Texts 6: The function of the mind from a Vedic perspective. How the mind can become your best friend.

22:29 - Ch 6, Text 7: The difference between the soul and the Supersoul.

26:09 - Controlling the mind is not easy, whether it is through dhyāna-yoga or bhakti-yoga. The definition of a swami (e.g. Radhanath Swami) is one who has controlled the mind. The main thing that stands between us and God is our mind. Being able to control the mind means living in equanimity, where we are not on an emotional roller coaster in life. The ultimate reward of controlling our minds is being able to experience an intimate relationship with a loving God.

31:14 - Ch 6, Text 10-17: Krishna speaks to the importance of our lifestyle and how it contributes to controlling the mind. Choosing to abstain from alcohol or casual sex is not for the purpose of punishing oneself, but rather to set yourself up for success in spiritual pursuits. There is a science behind lifestyle choices and how it contributes to a loving relationship with an all-good God.

34:59 - Ch 6, Texts 20-23: Where do we get our enjoyment from? We can get enjoyment from things that degrade us or things that uplift us. We develop a dependence upon things that degrade us. The same hormones and good feelings our brain emits during addiction can also be experienced through spiritual experiences and higher pursuits. Any pleasures associated with this world have a beginning and an end. But with transcendental happiness, our pleasures are boundless and eternal.

42:32 - By experiencing love of Krishna, we will think that there is no greater gain. This is boundless transcendental happiness. This is true freedom from all miseries. If you're focused on something greater, you will be less encumbered by the distresses around you.

44:47 - Ch 6, Text 30: "For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me." Krishna will never fail us. He is always there waiting for us. We are the X-factor, deciding whether or not we want to know Krishna.

48:22 - Ch 6, Text 33-34: Arjuna's strong reaction to this type of yoga (i.e. full-time meditation through dhyāna-yoga). Arjuna feels like this is not practical or possible.

49:27 - Ch 6, Text 35: Krishna's response to Arjuna's strong reaction. Krishna is now motivating us--yes, it's difficult, but it is also possible by suitable practice. This implies that you can practice in a suitable way or a way that is not suitable. This is where association with sincere spiritualists is very important.

51:49 - What is considered "suitable practice?" There are so many ways spiritualists say you can control the mind. Should I spend all my time opening my third eye? Should I spend all of my meditation emptying my mind or focusing on the tip of my nose? How do we know what is a bonafide suitable practice? Is the end result to manifest a better job, house, or relationship (i.e. material pursuits masquerading as spirituality) or are we focused on an intimate relationship with God?

55:57 - Summary of Ch 6, Texts 36-44: Arjuna, having heard Krishna's response to Arjuna's objection, then expresses two doubts: 1) What if I try this for a number of years and then give up? Or 2) What if I dedicate my life to this but don't attain the highest goal of transcending this world (i.e. going to heaven)?

Tukaram Prabhu's 11/27/2020 Gita class:

Tukaram Prabhu's Instagram: @tukaram.das


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