Topics for today:
- Opening prayers and Gita Dhyanam
- Concluding part of “Introduction” chapter of the Study material
- First verse of Gita Dhyanam
Highlights of today’s class:
Teaching in the form of a dialogue:
- In the Gita as also in the Upanishads, the teaching is in the form of a dialogue between the teacher and student.
- The goal of teaching is for the student to understand the subject; therefore, it is normal for the student to ask questions to get a clear understanding. Hence the teaching is in the form of a dialogue.
Four types of dialogues:
- Vaada: A discussion among equals who are all interested in understanding the subject matter.
- Jalpa: A dialogue between two people who are already committed to different beliefs; each person tries to win over the other.
- Vitanda: A dialogue where one person always tries to prove the other wrong.
- Samvaada: A discussion between a teacher and a student. The dialogue in Gita and Upanishads fall into this category.
Saadhya vs Siddha vishayas:
- Saadhya vishaya is a subject matter which is yet to be accomplished by doing something. The focus of understanding a saadhya vishaya is to understand how to do that something. Examples are learning how to cook a food item or how to perform a Vedic ritual, etc.
- Siddha vishaya is a subject matter which is already accomplished. Here the focus of understanding is to know the subject matter. For example, knowing that there is an apple on my palm by engaging a pramana, means of knowledge, namely my eyes.
- The teaching of Gita and Vedanta is that I am already secure and happy. This is a siddha vishaya, an already accomplished subject matter. The focus of our studying then is to know this for ourselves by employing the shabda pramana, namely the Vedas.
om tat sat