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Simple Living, High Thinking

Dec 7, 2020

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Bhagavad Gita, Ch 7, Texts 1-13

Time stamps and topics:

Intro: Chapter 7 kicks off the second (of three) major sections of the Gita. Krishna spent the first six chapters focused on the soul, doing your duty, and how we should act in the world. In the 7th chapter, Krishna starts to bring the focus on him as the Supersoul. It is the beginning of theism and the importance of cultivating knowledge. Krishna will be focusing on who God is.

8:54 - The special nature of the first 13 texts of Chapter 7. Krishna packs an entire theology in these opening texts.

14:51 - Ch 7, Text 1: The idea that we can know God in full, free from doubt. This tradition never avoids doubt and tough questions - it is not about blind faith. God would never create us with logic and reason if he didn't want us to use logic and reason to understand him. Any good philosophy should be able to address all doubts and questions when it comes to understanding its core tenets.

16:25 - Ch 7, Text 2: The explanation of "phenomenal and numinous." Krishna gives knowledge and realized knowledge to those who seek to know him, through his grace. Grace is the only way we can begin to understand and grow to love Krishna.

19:35 - Krishna is about to disclose information about himself in these texts. He tells us that, once we know Him there is no other type of knowledge for us to strive for.

22:27 - Ch 7, Text 3: This knowledge is extremely hard to know, after which there is nothing else to know. Krishna is giving us this precious rare knowledge through his grace and all we need to do is be open to this grace.

24:20 - Ch 7, Text 4: Another example of Sankhya (a way of dividing and categorizing the world). In Ch 2, Krishna contrasted the difference between body and soul. Now Krishna is going a step further, dividing matter into earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego. These constitute Krishna's material energies.

26:30 - In the Western world, some prominent philosophers describe the mind as being beyond matter and non-material. However, Krishna is including mind as part of matter and his material energies. The mind, intelligence and false ego would be considered subtle matter.

28:30 - Expanding on Text 3: This truth and this path is very difficult, and few people make it. Out of the few people who stick to the path, even fewer know Krishna. This shows when you desire something that matters, it's not cheap. According to Devamrita Swami, "Life is an opportunity for us to build habits." Because we're spirit souls, spirituality is the most important thing for us. It's ridiculous for us to think that we'll become successful at it with little effort. It's never too late (or too early) to start on this path.

33:34 - What is the easiest way to differentiate between the mind, intelligence and false ego? How do we spot them and separate them, so as not to get so enmeshed in them? What are the functions of each?

40:04 - How the order of the elements listed in Text 4 is significant.

45:06 - Ch 7, Text 5: The superior energy to the inferior material energies. Krishna is expanding on the Sankhya philosophy by giving hierarchical importance to these energies. The distinction between the false ego and the true ego.

50:01 - In Western culture, the idea of being a servant is generally looked down upon. In reality, we are all a servant of something. A servant to our job, social media, new endeavors, etc. It is beneficial for one to surrender to a teacher or professional who has expertise in their field. We do not need to reinvent the wheel, and it shortens the amount of time it takes us to get to their point.

52:37 - Krishna is starting to fill in the puzzle pieces. He is now referring to another superior energy and how it fits into the big picture. Everything is connected to God, and Krishna keeps giving us more information on how everything fits together. Some religious sects are quick to divorce the world from God or view the world as wholly evil. However, Krishna makes a point of emphasizing how everything is connected to him. By being able to connect everything to Krishna, we can find our way back to God.

56:07 - Ch 7, Text 6: Ontology is the study of what exists. In Text 4, Krishna talked about earth, air, fire, etc, which are examples of what exists in this world.

58:14 - Cosmology is the science of the origin of the universe. Modern science is dominated by the Big Bang Theory. In Text 6, Krishna describes himself as the origin and the dissolution of the universe.

1:00:34 - Ch 7, Text 12: The definitions of Pantheism and Panentheism. In this text, Krishna clarifies that he is both immanent and transcendent (i.e. Panentheistic).

Tukaram Prabhu's 12/04/2020 Gita class:

Tukaram Prabhu's Instagram: @tukaram.das