Drawing on his more than 40 years of in-depth study of Indian philosophy under the tutelage of his guru, Nitya Chaitanya Yati, author Scott Teitsworth explores the scientific approach to self transformation and spiritual enlightenment encoded in Krishna, advice to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Providing a verse-by-verse examination of the first two chapters, he reveals the Gita's lessons to prepare the seeker to meet and successfully work with a guru-whether an outside teacher or the intuitive knowledge that arises from overcoming the psyche's limitations.
The author shows that the Gita does not advocate blind devotion to a guru or god but rather personal development, victory over fears, and liberation of the psyche. He demonstrates how Krishna, advice provides tools to guide us out of our fear-based experiences to reconnect with the suppressed parts of our inner being. He explains how Arjuna, doubts and confusions represent the plight of every person we are born free but gradually become bogged down by the demands of our society, continuously dependent on outside authority for answers and disconnected from our true inner nature. He reveals how Krishna, advice offers guidance for dealing with life, conflicts, which societal limitations to reject, and how to see through the polarizing notion of good versus evil to form a balanced state of mind superior to both.
Restoring the fearless vision of the ancient rishis, who, like today, scientists, prized skepticism as an important technique for accessing truth, Teitsworth reveals the Gita as a guide to an authentic guru-disciple relationship as well as to construct-ing a life of significance, freedom, and true sovereign adulthood.
Scott teitsworth is a lifelong student of Indian philosophy and modern science under the guidance of Nitya Chaitanya Yati, himself a disciple of Nataraja Guru. Teitsworth hosts the Portland branch of the Narayana Gurukula along with his wife, where they have taught classes on the Bhagavad Gita and Indian philosophy since the 1970s. The author of Krishna in the Sky with Diamonds, he lives in Portland, Oregon.
Once upon a time, the world's longest and arguably its greatest epic, the mahabharata, was written down. It contains a compendium of myriad types of human beings, from the sublime to the grotesque, the wise to the ridiculous, almost as if it were a summary of all life on earth intended for the cosmic library at the center of the universe.
Nestled right on the verge of the titanic war that forms a major climax of the epic is a jewel of wisdom that puts the entire panoply in perspective. Lifted out of its context it has come to be known as the bhagavad gita, the song of the guru. A guru is that which removes the darkness of ignorance, and the dawning of the light of understanding is the sweetest song of all. The bhagavad gita-fondly referred to simply as the gita-is nothing more or less than a textbook of enlightenment applicable to all humanity, bestowed by the great teachers of old, who were called rishis.
Nothing is known for certain about the origins of the bhagavad gita. Linguistic analysis points to the written version appearing some-where around the first century ce, but it is obviously taken from a far older oral tradition. An astounding amount of philosophical ferment peaked around 500 bce, with buddha and mahavira's jainism, and the gita speaks to it as a contemporary. After hundreds of years as spo-ken wisdom it was gathered together in written form by an anonymous author, more or less as we know it today. The author is traditionally referred to as Vyasa, a word meaning simply compiler or editor.
While few scriptures have enjoyed-or suffered from-as many explications and commentaries as the Gita has, the work is perhaps more mysterious today than it was when it first appeared. This is partly due to the subject matter itself and not to any limitation of the minds that have lent themselves to the task. The meaning of life, epitomized in terms like God or the Absolute, is an eternal mystery, not a fact, and as such will defy description for all eternity. But the attempt to pin meaning down does throw light on it, light which can improve and illuminate our lives. At the same time, the wildly misleading ideas that have sprung up have obscured the intended meaning like a jungle engulfing an ancient temple. Periodically it is essential to hack away the undergrowth.
Most Gita commentaries pursue a religious tack or deal in abstruse and outdated philosophies. Some even assume that the Gita was originally written to present the very detritus of orthodox beliefs that have grown up around it. Not at all! The material itself rejects orthodoxy in no uncertain terms, defining itself clearly as an absolutist mystical text. Unearthing its buried wisdom is the goal of the present commentary. The intention is to present the work stripped of all excess, so that it can touch those who wish to benefit from the application of its very practical wisdom.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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