The Bhagavad-Gita

Overview

The search for happiness
 

All activities are performed in hope of happiness Many anxieties:
    

College education Job Family Retirement DEATH (the biggest anxiety)! Vacation --- a break!

 

Always looking for relief

As humans, we can question the cause of our unhappiness – is there permanent happiness?

Humans vs. Animals

Four (4) things in common:
1. 2. 3. 4.

Eating Sleeping Mating Defending

Humans do these activities in more sophisticated manner – but activity is same Finer/more refined intelligence – allows us to question & search for true happiness Use human intelligence to solve the real problems of life, otherwise how are we different from animals?

Real Problems of Life

Their nature (not relative – applicable to ALL):
  

Common to all No one wants it No one can avoid it

Birth – Disease – Old age – Death!

For example, child born crying

Other reasons which prevent happiness…

Threefold miseries
 Adhydaivika

(material nature)  Adhybhautika (other living entities)  Adhyatmika (body & mind)

We look towards science for solutions…

Scientific Solutions

Most scientific solutions are not permanent solutions:
  

Cosmetic industry (old age) Cryogenics (death – looking for eternal life) Prozac (mind/ depression) even teenagers are using it

While generally helpful, some scientific solutions are worse than the actual problem:
  

Cars – pollution Industries – oceans flooded with wastes Cell phones – make lives busier / can cause cancer

Happiness from the Senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin)

 Temporary

and Disappointing (i. e., piece of

gum)

Spiritual books of India tell us that we cannot achieve real happiness from the senses or from scientific advancement -real happiness comes from within -- and these spiritual texts implore us to seek out that source of inner happiness…

Two basic divisions of spiritual knowledge of India
SRUTI (heard)  4 Vedas:
   

Rg Sama Yajur Atharva

SMRTI (remembered)  Puranas  Itihasas

Ramayana & Mahabharata (includes the BhagavadGita)

  

Brahmanas Aranyakas Upanisads (108)

We want to focus on the Bhagavad-Gita, the essence of all spiritual literature…

 “Song

of God”  Put into written form – 5,000 years ago – previously remembered

Bhagavad-Gita – India’s timeless classic on all facets of spiritual knowledge

Topics of the Bhagavad-Gita
 Describes:
 atma

(the Soul)  yogas and their purposes  karma (duty or action)  reincarnation (life after death)  sanatana dharma (eternal duty of the living entity)  prakrti (material nature)  isvara (the Supreme Lord)
Universal teachings – not only for Indians/Hindus…

Extraordinary personalities reflect on the Gita
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
The Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind and soul to pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses.

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
When I read the BhagavadGita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous.

Extraordinary Personalities reflect on the Gita (cont.)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
The Bhagavad Gita is an empire of thought and in its philosophical teachings Krishna has all the attributes of the full-fledged monotheistic deity and at the same time the attributes of the Upanisadic absolute

Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)
The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions

Setting the scene / Why the Gita was spoken?
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Mahabharata leading up to the Gita Pandu’s death – Dhrtarastra in charge of Pandavas, but favored own children Pandavas poisoned/house burned/ wife insulted/cheated/exiled for 13 years Kingdom refused/attempted peace failed Battlefield of Kuruksetra Arjuna refuses to fight and turns to Krishna for instructions. Thus a conversation ensues between Krishna & Arjuna…

En d Of Pa rt On e

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