Gita Comes Alive - Season 2

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The Gita Comes Alive - Season 2


Welcome to The Bhavagad Gita Comes Alive Weekly Class. Recordings are accessed in this section whether you missed a live class or want to watch one again.

  • Each week contains the discussion from Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi, a Q&A section with questions from participants, and detailed 'Chat' class notes with key concepts, mantras, and critical Sanskrit words and definitions to help your learning journey.
  • The Gita on the Go App in the green menu buttons above will allow you to follow along with the text, and take notes private to your account. 
  • The most recent class recording is posted about 48 hrs after the live class, when editing and processing are completed.
  • These classes are also connected to our Searchie© Streaming Video Service with full transcripts and searchability of the entire class. Click on the Search icon (magnifying glass) in the top right corner of the streaming video window. Type a keyword, for example "atma" and then click the 'blue' time markers to jump to that part of the live video each time the word "atma" was spoken in the class. Have fun learning! 



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 1

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 1: The Agony of Arjuna


This class was the first in the second season of the Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive Learning Community. We are starting over again at Chapter 1, diving into the deeper meanings and layers of the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedic wisdom held within.


Kavindra explained the larger context of the Mahabharata and the Vedic teachings. The Mahabharata and the earlier epic, the Ramayana, are epic poems of “iti hasa” – accounts not only of “history” (i.e., from the viewpoint of the victor), but detailed “as it is” descriptions of exactly who did and said what, where, and when. These epics describe the descent of the avatar and a cast of characters that come to an earth planet to leave us – transcendental atmas – a “user’s manual” for living in the material world of prakriti.


Arjuna’s reaction to facing a battle with all his family and kinsmen is to sit down on the battlefield and quit. Shri Krishna reminds him that he must not abandon his dharma as a kshatriya – a warrior – and that no one is ever killed anyway. Kavindra explained that this highlights the difference between the buddha dharma and the veda dharma. Frustrated at the struggle of the material world, the Buddhist path is to throw it all down, claiming “nirvana” – none of this is me or mine.


In contrast, the veda dharma claims “Brahman nirvana” – there is an entire transcendental realm of Brahman beyond the nirvana of material renunciation which the buddha dharma does not discuss. The Vedas discuss in great detail the definition and persistence of the self, and the cosmology of what happens when you leave the body, where you go, what you can do and with whom – an entire transcendental realm of Brahman filled with divine persons and activities that we as individuals get to go back to and experience once we have finished our long, existential journey within matter.






Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 2

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 2: A Concise Summary of the Bhagavad Gita


Chapter 2 is the summary of the Bhagavad Gita, which is in turn a summary of the Mahabharata, the largest epic not only in Vedic history but global culture. As such, Chapter 2 is the concise compendium of the vedic knowledge of yoga, the essentials of what we need to know; a user's manual for life as an atma in the material world.

The key takeaway from Chapter 1 was that you cannot quit. Arjuna tries, but Krishna won't let him get away with it - he must stand up and do his dharma as a kshatriya. The key vedic teaching introduced early on in Chapter 2 is that "never was there a time when you did not exist." You cannot die, you cannot kill, and you cannot be killed. You are an immortal dehi or atma.

You can however, collect karma in the form of both good and bad reactions to your actions. Karma burns off after some lifetimes, however there is a form of (positive) karma called sukriti that is never lost. Once you stop acting for the outcome, which garners you punya and sukha or papa and dukha, you start doing jnana or buddhi yoga - acting in the consciousness of the atma, aware of what you are not, without attachment to the outcome, surrendering all action to Bhagavan. You create sukriti which collects and increases life after life; these results are never lost until you attain moksha.





Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 3

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 3: Karma Yoga as the correct action in the world 


Previously, in Chapter 2, we learned that we are the dehi, the immortal being, and that sankhya yoga trains us to see the atma, Brahman, and prakriti as distinct from one another. This week, in Chapter 3, we are taught that our yoga is imperfect when we resist our svadharma, our nature that determines what we are best meant for in this lifetime. As such, this chapter asserts that practicing jnana yoga while trying to fully renounce action is not the correct practice of yoga.

Kavindra explains karma yoga by defining yajna, actions dedicated to universal cooperation, and how it leads to loka samgraha, the act of "holding the world together for the well being of all." Yajna is not a ritual sacrifice, but a process of remaining connected to the purposefulness of the laws of nature who are personified as the devas and devis. 

Shri Krishna expresses that selfish people exploit nature as they conduct actions that are compelled by the gunas. They are unsatisfied and covered by ahamkara, their false identities, while focused on their sensual desires as they forget to give back to the world. We should not exploit nature's resources. Yoga removes the vrittis, the twisted attitudes that cause us to forget our accumulated wisdom. An acharya, one who leads through example, always thinks of the bigger picture as they caringly educate others who have lost their discernment.




Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 4

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 4: Creation, Yugas and the Descent of Vedic Wisdom 


In Chapter 4, Bhagavan introduces the immense cosmology of creation and the wisdom of yoga which was originally transmitted eons ago to the deva of the Sun. Bhagavan explains His periodic appearance on earth as an avatar to re-establish dharma when it gets too far out of balance. He explains the intricacies of karma and the secret to not generating any more karma. He explains what it means to be a “Buddha” and what “nirvana” is. It is not an understanding that you come from nothing and are going back to nothing. Rather, nirvana means one owns nothing, is not attached to anything material, and is not attached to the outcome of one’s actions.

The key secret of this chapter is the “mad bhava” – the mood or emotion of love. Krishna tells Arjuna He is sharing these secrets of yoga with Arjuna because he is “His very dear friend.” Krishna wants nothing more than to be in a loving relationship with us, however He is waiting for us to approach Him in this loving relationship so that the power differential is removed from the equation. The Bhagavad Gita is an introduction or a portal into this understanding of “prema” – supreme love. The key is when we approach Bhagavan in this mood, we become irresistible and He cannot help but reciprocate.



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 5

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 5: The Atma and the City of Nine Gates 


Where Chapter 4 explained the grand context and cosmology of the Universe(s) and Vedic wisdom, now we move into Chapter 5 which helps us understand our own true nature as the atma, the practical details of being an atma living in a body and being the ruler of the ‘city of nine gates.’


The key to living as karma yogi – which Bhagavan explains is preferable to being a jnana yogi only – is to act in the world while not being attached to the outcome of your actions. Shri Krishna explains that the body is like a metropolis and the atma is the ruler of this metropolis, the city of nine gates – but does not have control beyond that. The outcome of your actions is governed by the laws of material nature. According to your actions, you will receive either sukha or dukha, punya or papa – pleasure or pain – in this or future lifetimes.


Jeffrey also shared the metaphor of the lotus: The image of the lotus helps us remember this stance of the atma. The lotus stands above the water, unfolding from and untouched by the mud below it. There is no apparent relationship between the petals and leaves and the mud that the lotus is rooted in. The metaphor is that we live inside a material body but we rise up above it; we do not define our self by matter at all.


The technology of sound vibration (mantras) helps us to clear the negative imprints of living within matter and come back to this remembrance of the self as the atma and sourcing our pleasure from the transcendental rather than from the material. The divine couple Hari and Shri are sitting right there on the couch of our heart, waiting for us to turn within, turn around and enter into eternal, loving relationship with them. Om shanti.



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 6

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 6: The Secrets of Ashtanga Yoga 


In Chapter 6, Shri Krishna lays out the parameters of ashtanga yoga, the eight-limbed physical practice of yoga. The key to yoga is not to give up action, but rather to give up attachment to the results of action even while continuing to act.

There is a strong emphasis on the atma in this chapter and the need for the yogi to discipline their atma to be the atma. We must stop looking for pleasure and satisfaction outside of ourself in the material world. Rather, we should turn within and be self-satisfied within ourself as the atma and connect with Paramatma seated within our heart.

All the practices of ashtanga yoga are intended to focus and discipline the manas and buddhi so that we stop grasping at matter and the satisfaction we think it will provide us. Arjuna counters that this seems impossible to attain; the manas faculty is simply too chanchala – inherently unstable, fickle, and wavering. He is concerned that then one becomes not only a failed yogi, but a failure at material life as well!

Shri Krishna reassures Arjuna that the progress of a yogi is never lost. They may spend some lifetimes as devas, and then come back as humans to continue their yoga journey. Kavindra explained that this may be the reason behind the inexplicable popularity of yoga, especially in the west, where so many millions of people have been born into beneficial or affluent families and have the material luxury of continuing their yogic journey, but with enough dissatisfaction to keep searching beyond material fulfillment only. They rediscover yoga and the teachings about the atma, which they have forgotten because they have been covered over in matter for so many lifetimes.

Kavindra says, “If everyone just gets that they are the atma in this lifetime, I will be ecstatic.” The committed yogi’s motto is: "Always Remember and Never Forget” [that you are an atma]! Take back your knowledge that you are an atma and never give it up again.



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 7

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 7: The Perpetual Quest for Ultimate Knowing 


In Chapter 6, we developed a certain posture, not one of the karana, the physical body, or the antakarana, the subtle body – both still material identifications – but as our true self – the atma. In Chapter 7, we realize that after living many births in the pursuit of jnana, we finally come to the conclusion ‘vasudeva sarvam iti’ — Vasudeva (Shri Bhagavan) is the vast source of all and is everything.

Shri Krishna reveals that we are under the influence of His gunamayi, His illusory divine energy. We are told that the ahamkara – the faculty that misidentifies the consciousness of the atma with the minute particles of matter – binds to rajas, tamas, and sattva gunas.

Kavindra explains that what we call our 5-element body is particles of matter or prakriti being held together by the central attraction of the atma, a small particle of Shri Bhagavan or Krishna, the most attractive Being. This is similar to the way in which the planets orbit the Sun, where each one of us is the center of a solar system. The material energy constantly distracts the atma, while those who surrender to Bhagavan can see past this temporary wall of matter. We begin to realize that the most amazing things and people we witness and experience in matter are, in fact, Bhagavan. That “flow” state people talk about, that top athletes and artists get into – it’s Bhagavan.

Bhagavan tells Arjuna that his favorite yogi is the one who acts for jnana, dedicated to acquiring knowledge about Him through eka bhakti – single-minded devotion – and friendship. They are priya – the most dear – to Shri Krishna. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Be best friends with Bhagavan and know that it is all Vasudeva.



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 8

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 8: The Process of Attaining Knowledge of Brahman 

Chapter 8 really goes into the nuts and bolts of the Vedic wisdom. Shri Krishna gives Arjuna explicit definitions of key yogic concepts such as Brahman, the atma, and karma. We get detailed instructions on what a yogi is supposed to do at the time of the death of their body in order to leave samsara and achieve moksha – i.e., to go straight to Brahman and Bhagavan, the three-quarters of reality that is transcendental – rather than reincarnate in a body and in prakriti again – the one-quarter of reality that is material. Krishna also explains to Arjuna the vast cosmological context of the creation and destruction of universes within the lifetime(s) of Brahma, the “creator.”

Kavindra explained that the Vedas are unique among the “religions” and other cultural systems (note the Vedic Sanatana Dharma is not a “religion”) in providing this level of detail and scientific explanation about who we are, where we are going next, and how to get there, not to mention the VAST time scale of this universe, measured in TRILLIONS of years (“gazillions”). Another key difference is that the Vedas emphasize that we are chooser and decider of what we will do or where we will go in our next lifetime(s), by choosing the karmas (actions and reactions) that we put into play in this lifetime.

One of the concepts emphasized in Chapter 8 is ‘smaranam’ – the importance of remembering that you are an atma – an invisible, indivisible, indestructible individual – with our manas and buddhi completely focused upon Bhagavan, while also acting dharmically in the world. The point of yoga is to hold on to this remembrance at the time of the death of the body, a moment that is likely to be turbulent and chaotic.



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 9

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 9: The Secrets of Dharma and Devotion 


In Chapter 9, we are halfway through the Bhagavad Gita, and Krishna takes it to the next level!

Shri Bhagavan explains to Arjuna that because he is never jealous of Him, He will share these supreme secrets of the vedas with him. This will make Arjuna immune to anything that could cause him harm.

Kavindra points out that this knowledge is another kind of immunization. What is the disease? Forgetfulness of who I am. The one-lifetime cultures are missing this essential vitamin, this supreme secret – understanding who we are – the atma – and our relationship with the source of our existence.

Shri Krishna explains that this supreme knowledge is primarily for the rajas – the leaders in power. They require this information most, to ensure that they rule dharmically; as a “dharmocracy,” as Kavindra likes to say. Otherwise their position and their rajasic gunas may lead them to become corrupt and abuse their power. Their disease? That of unlimited power without restraint which leads to taking away people's individuality.

This chapter is so full of Vedic treasures and jewels, it is hard to summarize… one must read it and listen to the class! But the essence is that Bhagavan is so easy to approach, despite the apparent differences in scale and power between ourselves and Him. Just approach him with love and devotion, with a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or some water, and He cannot resist.



Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 10

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 10: The Heart and Majesty of Bhagavan 


Jeffrey Armstrong started the class with a detailed introduction to explain the mood one needs to be in to understand Chapter 10.

Shri Krishna, the Supreme Being and Creator of Everything, has come to Earth as an avatar to demonstrate all the different flavors and possibilities of prema (usually mis-translated as ‘love,’ but love comes from the Sanskrit ‘lobha’ which really means ‘greedy’). Not only is it possible to have a direct, intimate, ecstatic relationship with the Being who is the source of your existence, but that Supreme Being – the possessor of all things desirable and the most attractive being – wants to have that relationship with us! This possibility of all the flavors and lilas of ‘love’ with the Supreme Person has never been described by any Abrahamic religion or by any other culture with a literate history. It landed in India 7582 years ago to remind us of it today as we stand on the battlefield of our own lives, just like Arjuna did in his own time. Similarly, our human relationships are a training ground for this ultimate relationship with Shri Bhagavan.

Chapter 10 is considered the heart and core of the Bhagavad Gita. It is known for the four core verses (#380-383, v. 8-11) which are a summary of the Bhagavad Gita and the whole Vedic library. The rest of the chapter also contains many definitions and examples of who Krishna is, and references and allusions to other metaphors, characters, and knowledge that are described in more detail elsewhere in the Vedic Shastra. The new translation presents them in list form so that the uninitiated reader doesn’t just skip over them, but will reserve this knowledge for future studies.





Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 11

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 11: Cosmic Time and the Universal Form 

For tonight’s class, we were joined by special guest Nilesh Nilkanth Oak. Nilesh wrote the book When did the Mahabharata War Happen?:The Mystery of Arundhati and wrote the forward to our Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation.

In Chapter 10, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explained that he is the Supreme Source of Everything and Creator of All Universes. This allows Arjuna to ask the key question of Chapter 11: If You are the Source of Everything, please show me how You bring this Universe into being, pervade, support and sustain it all, then destroy it all again.

Kavindra points out that throughout this exchange, it is clear as day to whom Arjuna is talking – the literal Source of Everything. He wonders why the world religions (including modern science) and the colonizers of India have had such a hard time understanding that India/Bharat was not a “pagan” culture, but indeed recognized and honored the Supreme Being. They either couldn’t read what was so plainly written in the Bhagavad Gita and other Vedic sources, or they purposely chose to ignore and distort it.

Krishna gives Arjuna special divine eyes with which to see His universal form (Vishva rupa). Arjuna sees not only the beauty, wonders and marvels of Bhagavan, but His terrifying, destructive, all-consuming form as well. Kavindra points out that the Abrahamics seem to have settled on the later -- the terrifying form of Bhagavan to revere, even calling him by the name “God,” an etymological derivative of the Sanskrit word hutam, meaning the smoke of a sacred fire offering, or the mouth of the Divine who eats it. BVG verse Ch.4 v.24, Ch.9 v.16

Yes, the Vedic culture has a destructive, terrifying form of Bhagavan, but the chapter goes on to demonstrate that this form of the Supreme Being is only one of many. Not only is it possible to go beyond this one form and discover the sweet, loving, friendly form of the divine, it is indeed possible to have a direct, personal, intimate relationship with Bhagavan Shri Krishna, who wants it with us too!




Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 12

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 12: The Yoga of Love and the Secrets of Divine Seva

For tonight's class, we were again joined by special guest Nilesh Nilkanth Oak. Nilesh wrote When Did the Mahabharata War Happen? The Mystery of Arundhati and wrote the forward to our Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation.

In Chapter 12, Arjuna asks what the best path or method is to come to Bhagavan. Kavindra explains that this is not a question about material reality. It is setting the mood for the experience of bhakti, thousands of times beyond what we can experience here in matter. It is about seeking pleasure in the transcendental, not in prakriti (matter).

The discussion focuses on the gradient of vedantic understanding and whether it is preferable to do bhakti yoga - loving, devoted seva (service) to the divine persons - or to merge into the formless Brahman effulgence with no distinctions or individuality. There is not one single answer to that question. The Vedic teachings say it is up to the individual where they can go after they achieve moksha and leave the body for the final time. If the individual wants to merge into Brahman and the formless oneness/white light (or emptiness/nothing), they can do that, or if they want to return to a personal relationship with Bhagavan, they can do that.

Kavindra explains that the underlying question here really is: where does beauty come from? Is there something specific beyond prakriti? Can I go back there when I'm done with matter and the temporary beauty, pleasure, and ecstasy I can get from matter? Do they exist permanently in the transcendental realm? Kavindra emphasizes that the answer to these questions is Yes! And in the last few verses of the chapter, Krishna describes what behaviors qualify us to become priya - very dear and beloved - to Bhagavan and thereby return to an intimate relationship with Him. The secret is, while embodied, to do everything you do for Krishna, and he will go mad for you as well.




Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 13

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 13: Discernment of the Quantum Field and Its Knower

We were joined again tonight by Nilesh Nilkanth Oak, author of When Did the Mahabharata War Happen? The Mystery of Arundhati and of the forward to our Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation.
Kavindra explained that Chapter 13 is the basis of samkhya – the science of the Vedas – that was the origin of all Western science. He calls it the missing vitamin in our culture that exclusively separates science and “religion” or understanding of higher truths and what is beyond the material. Material science does not acknowledge transcendental reality, and the Abrahamic religions do not acknowledge that there is a logic and a systematic understanding both of what is material and of what is beyond the material. Chapter 13 bridges the discussion, reintegrating the two apparently opposed perspectives – and could help halt the wanton destruction that the modern scientific paradigm is wreaking on the planet and on humanity because of this missing truth.


Krishna tells us: that it is this understanding of samkyha/buddhi yoga that will open our third eye of knowledge. Explaining that there are two basic distinctions of samkhya/buddhi yoga: knowing the difference between the atma and prakriti (distinguishing self from matter), and between the atma and Paramatma – the Ultimate Atma who is also present in everyone’s heart.


It was a densely packed chapter, and not everyone has the capacity/inclination for this jnana (knowledge). If that is the case, practicing bhakti yoga – devotion to Bhagavan – will certainly help you reach moksha – but for those who are capable of jnana, it is a must.





Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 14

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 14: The Gunas: The Three Dynamic States of Matter


Chapter 14 teaches the core of the Bhagavad Gita. We learn that because we are covered by matter, we become lost in darkness. In response, Shri Bhagavan enlightens us by sharing that He has come down to Earth in a human form to become our best friend.

Kavindra explains the ultimate creation story: we are from Brahman, the eternal realm, but Bhagavan injects us into prakriti, a cosmic womb where we are seedlings who develop into living beings. As atmas on a journey back to our blissful source, we forget that we are not directing the outcome of our actions.

In prakriti, the three gunas, rajas, sattva, and tamas, control us because they bind the dehi, the immortal atma, to the deha, the temporary 5-element body. Being bound to matter through rajas and tamas creates selfish attachments and makes us miserable, whereas cultivating sattva brings correct knowledge and bestows joy.

Shri Bhagavan expresses that atmas have an intrinsic nature that hungers for a type of beauty that we can only imagine. Fortunately, we can achieve a divine state of being similar to Bhagavan’s, and go back to Him. The secret to gaining moksha, the ultimate freedom, is to know that “only the gunas are changing.” Finally, once we become steady and balanced, we realize that to go beyond the gunas, we should practice Bhakti with unwavering affection.




Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 15

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 15: The Supreme Being and the Tree of Life

Chapter 15 is a summary chapter that brings into focus everything that we have learned so far. Shri Bhagavan presents an image of the banyan tree as a metaphor for reality where the roots of the tree extend upward, and the branches go downward. We learn that we are trapped in this entanglement until we are freed with the ax of Vedic wisdom.

Kavindra teaches us that existence grows down into prakriti as it is rooted in Brahman from up above. We live in a temporary upside down reflection where everything is slowed down by the unconscious matter of the gunas which creates an entangling confusion of cause and effect that leads one to karmic bondage.
Human life is a graduation ceremony, where we can escape entanglement in prakriti, the tamasic roots of the tree. A sadhu is disentangled from the roots because they have opened the jnana chakshusha (third eye) of transcendental discernment, yogic vision that allows them to see the atma enjoying the body under the control of the gunas. Therefore, sadhus are able to extract others from the metaphorical banyan tree’s dark bottom root structure, also known as the underworld.
Shri Bhagavan explains that when we are finally freed from all material desires, we gain moksha and enter into His param dhama, supreme immortal abode. Once we are with Shri Krishna, we never return to the dark and temporary realms of matter.




Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 16

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 16: The Devas and the Asuras: The Enlightened and the Endarkened Beings

Chapter 15 is a summary chapter that brings into focus everything that we have learned so far. Shri Bhagavan presents an image of the banyan tree as a metaphor for reality where the roots of the tree extend upward, and the branches go downward. We learn that we are trapped in this entanglement until we are freed with the ax of Vedic wisdom.

In Chapter 16, we learn about the interaction of dark and light. Each one of us comes from Brahman, the light realm, and chose to plunge into prakriti, the dark realm where matter covers us like “gu.” While in prakriti, the atma is on a journey, and it occupies 8,400,000 distinct classrooms. Shri Bhagavan gives details on how the atma experiences the back and forth of having both devic and asuric qualities.

Kavindra explains that the word deva is of the light, whereas the word asura means to be covered in darkness. As humans, we shed this darkness as we are restored through yoga. Instead of equating these qualities to the subjective terms “good or bad,” we should observe the gradient of our psychological growth and become awakened yogis.

Sri Bhagavan explains that we are enlightened or that we are endarkened as a product of our actions. We can either cooperate with the laws of nature and develop devic qualities which grants vimoksha, “freedom from bondage,” or we can develop the asuric qualities which leads to nibandha or “bondage within matter.” Unless the atma is elevated by its personal actions (tapasya) so that it ascends into Brahman, it will enter into the darkened wombs of asuric beings from birth to birth just by entropy.




Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 17

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 17: How the Gunas Modify Our Most Essential Actions Shraddha, Yajna, Tapasya, Dana

In Chapter 17, Arjuna asks about shraddha, the level of certainty that a person has achieved after different lifetimes. Shri Bhagavan explains that shraddha differs according to a person’s stage of evolution— that there is a gradient in the gunas. Ultimately, tamas, rajas, and sattva can color our perception like a lens which influences what we visualize in our hearts affecting how we behave.

The Sanskrit term shraddha is often translated into the English word faith even though it is incorrect. In addition, the concept of yajna, acting correctly in a reciprocal process with the devas, has been forgotten in Abrahamic civilizations creating a polarized yes or no—a black or white, this or that society.

Kavindra emphasizes that our cooperation with the devas leads to danam, the circulation of beneficial energies throughout the social body. Understanding these concepts is a Vedic science, especially how the devas create everything including our food. We should use whatever they give us with sattvic intention as a form of dedication.

We do tapasya, actions that develop our abilities, to mold ourselves as we maintain balance and gentleness. Lastly, while chanting aum tat sat, we become brahmavadins, expounders of the teachings of Brahman. In spite of all of the tamasic things in this world, at a certain point we realize that we will be done here. That is called moksha.





Gita Comes Alive: Season 2 - Episode 18

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 18: Secrets of Moksha and the Final Goal of Yoga

Chapter 18, Secrets of Yoga and the Final Goals of Yoga, the conclusion of the Gita, explains the “sarva guhyatama, the most secret and confidential teachings of all.” In this chapter, Arjuna asks Shri Bhagavan to explain the distinction between sannyasa and tyaga, and by the end of their conversation, we are invited to share these intimate teachings with others who are ready to hear them.

Kavindra teaches us that tyaga is the detachment from both the intention and the outcome from acting on the intention, whereas sannyasa means to withdraw from the world. In spite of this detachment, it is still necessary to perform yajna, dana, and tapasya which means that we do the practices that sustain us as we share and give back to the social body and achieve personal perfection. Furthermore, Shri Bhagavan tests our knowledge of the gunas, emphasizing that “only the gunas are changing,” as he describes the fundamentals of the sankhya teachings.

We learn that understanding these distinctions (gunas) awakens our discernment of buddhi. Once we are established firmly in these qualities, that show we are not in prakriti, the atma’s natural affection for Shri Bhagavan is awakened too.



--- END OF SEASON 2 ---______________________________________________________



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