Gita Study: Class 3

2017-Oct-14

Topics for today:

  1. Opening prayers and Gita Dhyanam
  2. Pages 19 – 30 of “Introduction” chapter of the Study material

Highlights of today’s class:

More on Veda, which is the pramana for self-knowledge:

  • Vedas were revealed to rishis, not authored by anybody. Hence they are called apaurusheya.
  • This pramana or means of knowledge cannot be disproved and it requires no proof other than self-validation.
  • Knowledge gained from Vedanta is subject to personal validation. The teaching of Vedanta being that we are ever-secure and ever-happy, one who gains this vision finds oneself free from all limitations imposed upon oneself due to ignorance and error.
  • Vedic vision prescribes two committed lifestyles, also known as the two-fold dharma
    • pravritti-marga or life of activity. Activities include both religious and secular, which are duties or dharma. This is further two-fold:
      • pravritti for achieving security (artha) and pleasures (kama) here or hereafter
      • pravritti for one’s own maturity, antahkarana-shuddhi for moksha.
    • nivritti-marga or life of renunciation or sannyasa.
  • An aastika is one who accepts Veda as pramana and a naastika is one who does not accept Veda as pramana.

Gita as a means of knowledge

  • The message of Gita is in keeping with the message of Vedas. It upholds and unfolds what the Veda says, therefore Gita is also looked upon as pramana.
  • Gita can also be looked upon as pramana because it was authored by Vyasa who was a master in the Vedas as he was the one who compiled Vedas into groups.
  • Another argument for Gita to be looked upon as pramana is that it was taught by Lord Krishna himself, who is considered to be an avatara and a Bhagavan.
  • Bhagavan is one who has six-fold virtues – jnana (knowledge), vairagya (dispassion), virya (capacity to create, sustain and resolve), yasas (fame), sri (wealth) and aisvarya (overlordship) – in absolute measure.
  • The subject matter of Gita is two-fold –
    • Brahma-vidya, knowledge of Brahman.
    • Yoga-shastra, also known as karma-yoga.
  • Brahma-vidya is the knowledge of what is. It reveals the nature of Isvara (Lord, who is the creator, sustainer, resolver of the universe), jagat (world), jiva (individual), and the relationship between them.
  • Karma-yoga alone can provide the qualifications necessary to gain brahma-vidya.

Need for a teacher

  • In addition to having the Gita text, a teacher is necessary who can reveal the meanings of the words of Gita and unfold the vision properly.
  • A Guru is one who is a srotriya – one who is well-informed in this knowledge and a brahma-nishta – one who is well-rooted in this knowledge.

 

om tat sat

 

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