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April 16, 2007

Test Ch. 7-9

Below is the test for chapters 7-9. It is not required but it is recommended for those who want to go on and take the Bhakti-Sastri exam at the end of the course. It should be done on the honor system. Completed tests should be sent to bhaktisastri108@yahoo.com for grading. Thank you. ys-Ekacakra dasa

Bhakti-Sastri Exam – Chapters 7-9

Verses (30 pts.)

Write the Sanskrit (minus the diacritics) and the English translation for the following verses:

1. 7.14

2. 8.5

3. 9.14

4. 9.26

Short Answer (30 pts.)

Answer the following questions in one or two sentences.

1. Explain the significance of the transition between the end of chapter 6 and the beginning of chapter 7. What is different about the way chapter 7 starts in comparison to many of the previous chapters in the Bhagavad-gita?

2. Who are the four impious people who do not surrender to Krsna, and who are the four pious who do? (only English is necessary but if you know the Sanskrit that would be great)

3. In the beginning of chapter 9 Krsna describes the qualifications and disqualifications for obtaining raja-vidyam—“the supreme knowledge”. What is Arjuna’s qualification, and, furthermore, what is the disqualification of those who cannot attain this knowledge?

4. In glorifying Krsna as the supreme object of worship in chapter 9 the BG mentions three kinds of people who surrender to Krsna albeit indirectly. Who are these people?

Essay (40 pts.)

Please choose two topics to develop into an essay. As much as possible please use examples that you remember from the text.

1. After describing the pious and the impious in the 7th chapter, Krsna describes others, i.e. demigod worshipers and impersonalists, whose worship is indirect and imperfect. In what ways do these two classes worship Krsna “imperfectly” and “indirectly”?

2. Chapter 8 compares two separate means of attaining the spiritual world: yoga-misra-bhakti and pure devotional service. Why does Krsna suggest devotional service as the most efficacious means? In your answer refer to some of the practices of yoga-misra-bhakti and how they are “trumped” by the practices of pure bhakti.

3. In verses 9.4-10 Krsna explains His relationship with the material world. In what ways does His relationship conform to the acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva principle? Also, in what ways does this section explain how Krsna is everywhere but without fault? While formulating your answer think of the different faults that would seem to be inherent in “being everywhere”.

4. One of the most important points in the 9th chapter—indeed, in the entire BG—is the idea presented in 9.29 that Krsna personally reciprocates with His devotees, overlooking material considerations. What are some of the material considerations that Krsna “overlooks” in the case of His devotees (think of verses 9.26-28 and 9.30-33), and, furthermore, how does this act of reciprocation make Krsna the Supreme object of worship in comparison to other objects of worship described in chapters 7-9 (e.g universal form and demigods)?