October 05, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 18


Acting with detachment is true renunciation and brings freedom from reaction

This first section of the Eighteenth Chapter summarizes the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita, the karma- yoga section. The discussion begins by analyzing the respective positions of sannyasa (the giving up of work), and tyaga (the giving tip of the fruits of work). One does not have to give up activity, but must give up fruitive mentality.

Main theme:
Acting with detachment is true renunciation and brings freedom from reaction.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 18" »

September 08, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 17

Chapter 17
The Divisions of Faith

One’s modes determine one’s activities: Faith and worship in the modes (17.1-7)

Main Theme:
When one does not base his faith in sastric inunctions, his faith becomes based upon his mentality, which is a product of his particular conditioning by the modes.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 17" »

August 17, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 16

Transcendental and demoniac qualities (16.1-6)
The Demoniac nature (16.7-20)

Main theme:
According to one's level of general detachment and selflessness, he is an eligible candidate for liberation.

Sub points:
The Sixteenth Chapter will describe and contrast the types of mentalities that are conducive for both bondage and for liberation from the banyan tree of material existence. These are the divine and demoniac

One interesting point is that this chapter appears in the jnana-yoga section of Bhagavad-gita. At first look it does not present itself in the same way as other jnana-yoga chapters. It is not so much an analysis of
philosophical themes as it is a description of certain modes of being. But it is designed to give one the
proper discrimination. By hearing in depth about the qualities that liberate and the qualities that bind, one can detach himself from activities based upon false ego. He can thus establish himself in the true conception of the self.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 16" »

July 26, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 15


Becoming detached from the material world - the reflection of the spiritual work

Chapter 15 presents the example of the inverted Banyan tree. Srila Prabhupada explains that inverted trees can be seen only when they are reflected in water. Just as the refection of a tree can be situated in the water of a river, the spiritual world reflected on the "water" of self-centered desire becomes the illusory material world.
The existence of this world implies the existence of the spiritual world, as the existence of a reflected tree implies the existence of a real tree.

Main theme:
One can be free from entanglement within the material world by cultivating a transcendental desire to enter into the spiritual world.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 15" »

June 21, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 14


Chapter Thirteen explained why the living entity (purusa) is entangled in the external energy (prakriti)due to his desire for enjoyment. Chapter Fourteen explains how material energy binds the soul through the modes of nature.

The liberation and conditioning of the living entity (1-4)
Krsna glorifies the knowledge he is about to speak by explaining that it will liberate the spirit soul. He then explains how the living entity first comes into contact with material nature.

Main theme:
Understanding the conditioning of the three modes is a powerful tool to assist on the path of self-realization.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 14" »

May 18, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 13


In Chapters Six through Twelve, Lord Krsna concluded His description of bhakti-yoga. In chapters 13-18, He describes jnana- yoga.

One may ask, "If bhakti is the culmination of the yoga ladder, why is jnana presented after the section on bhakti?"

Understanding the connection between the bhakti section and the jnana section will help reveal the reason. In Text 12.7, Lord Krsna promised to save His devotees from the path of birth and death. Chapters 13-18 fulfill this promise by supplying the philosophical knowledge necessary to extricate oneself from material entanglement.

We call this section the "jnana section," but in truth the entire Bhagavad-gita is bhakti. The first six chapters discuss how to achieve bhakti through one's works (karma yoga). The last six chapters discuss how to achieve bhakti through knowledge. The middle six chapters discuss bhakti itself.

Jnana has its use in assisting our detachment from maya and our subsequent attachment to Krsna. When we utilize knowledge as a means to attain devotion, it becomes a part of bhakti.

Without the touch of bhakti, both karma and jnana are useless. This is another reason why the discussion of bhakti comes in the middle of Bhagavad-gita, where it can remain in contact with both karma and jnana and thus lend them value.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 13" »

April 16, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 12


Lord Krsna ended the previous chapter by explaining that His two-handed form as Syamasundara is the
most confidential realization of Godhead. He then gave Arjuna an imperative to perform pure devotional
service (11.55), and promised to reciprocate with such service by bringing Arjuna back to Him.
Some persons might mistake the awe-inspiring Universal Form shown in Chapter Eleven to be more
significant than Krsna's two-armed form. Foreseeing this, Arjuna opens Chapter Twelve by asking Krsna to
state once and for all which type of worship is best: personal worship of Krsna, or impersonal worship of the
Universal Form.

Bhakti over impersonalism (12.1-7)

Main Theme:
Pure devotional service is superior to impersonal meditation.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 12" »

March 28, 2007

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 11


Arjuna's request and Krsna's description of His universal form (11. 1-9)
Lord Krsna ended the previous chapter by describing how, as the Supersoul, He creates, maintains and destroys the cosmic manifestation. He concluded by saying, "what need is there for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe."

In the Eleventh Chapter, Arjuna asks to see how that fragment pervades the universe.

Main theme:
One can understand the nature of the Lord's form through the Lord's mercy.

Download file

Continue reading "Bhagavad-gita Chapter 11" »