Bhagavad Gita classes

Chapter 8


The chapter 8 study classes will cover:
  • The seven questions that Arjuna asks ShreeKrushna, which form the basis for this chapter and of spirituality: what is Brahman (the Absolute)? What is adhyātma (the Self)? What is karma (action)? What is adhibhūta (the material aspects)? What is adhidaiva (the divine aspects)? What are adhiyagnya (all sacrifices)? How God can be known at the time of departure by the self-controlled?
  • Why in life there are many questions but the answer is one. The answer to the questions about why there is pollution, poverty, war and genocide and stress: a lack of love towards people, nature and ourselves.
  • The definition of Brahman as the Imperishable Supreme who is higher than all else. 
  • A study of the two forms of Brahman as described in the Bradhananyak Upanishad. The explanation by scientists about the transformation of a block of ice to water and then into steam.
  • The three means through which we can get wisdom: the senses, the mind and the intellect.
  • The definition of the Self as the essence of being. The difference between the jivatma (individual Self), the pratyakatma (subtle Self) and the paramatma (Supreme Self). What happens when Purush (consciousness) and prakruti (matter) meet? What happens when the pratyakatma (subtle Self) forms an ego? The formula: pratyakātmā (subtle Self) PLUS the ego PLUS the lingadeh (the physical body) equals the jivātmā (individual soul). 
  • A study of the antakaran (inner being) and what it comprises of.
  • The question of "who am I"? Why the great Saints of the Zen tradition say "find out your original face". How the entire Zen way of thinking has been created based on this one sentence from the Gita: Svabhāv Adhyātma (the Self is the essence of Being). A study of the Zen tea ceremony meditation. 
  • The definition of karma as the creative force that brings beings into existence.
  • How we should perform karmas. A study of Ravi Shankar Maharaj’s definition of the word visarga (to make efforts and to give up) in the Gita Bodhiwani. 
  • Showing the path of light for the development of all creatures. A study of the Navras mantra in the Brhadanyaka Upanishad. 
  • A study about the meaning of Yagnya in the Taittriya Sahitya, the Chandogya Upanishad and the Shruti Sahitya. 
  • The six phases of Brahman explained using the description of the water cycle. 
  • The importance of contemplation about death, preparing for death and what we should remember at the time of death. The example of answering a 20 mark question in an exam. 
  • How can we welcome and decorate death and make it beautiful by remembering God at the time of death? When is the time of death? Do we not die every second as our bodies are always dying? 
  • How much do we remember in this life? Vinoba Bhave’s explanation of how we collect Sanskar (imprints) throughout our lives. 
  • The two scientific instruments that have the biggest effect on our lives: a watch and an compass. How, in life, science gives us a watch whereas Dharma gives us a compass. 
  • The processes of rebirth and reincarnation scientifically explained. 
  • The power of vibrations and the power of signals from the human brain. 
  • Tukuram’s explanation of the battle we constantly face in life: what we think should be and what is. The battles in life between: satya (Truth) and asatya (untruth), sārā (right) and narsārā (wrong), gun (good qualities) and dosh (faults). 
  • An explanation of the conscious mind and the subsconscious mind, and why we have mantras. Why it is important what we think about before going to sleep. 
  • Remembering your true nature: the story in the Upanishads about a lion cub raised amongst sheep. 
  • The 22 definitions of the word tam (darkness) and how the Supreme Soul is beyond all of these. 
  • A description of the Supreme Truth: the Seer, the ancient, the ruler, subtler than the subtle, the supporter of all, whose form is beyond conception, who is suncoloured beyond the darkness. 
  • The three things needed for bhakti (devotion): humility, feeling and love. 
  • The meaning of yogbal (the power of Yoga) according to the Bhakti Rasayan Granth of Madhusudan Saraswati. How this frees human beings from the prison of their thoughts. 
  • A study of the seven chakras (energy centres) and how to set will the life force at the centre of the eyebrows. An explanation of the Brahmaranda (plane of Brahman), going to which one attains liberation. 
  • A complete guide of the Aumkar in the Upanishads and in particular the Katho Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad and the Isho Upanishad. 
  • A study of the history, science and mathematics of the Aumkar. Why mantras begin and end with Aum. How chanting the Aum taps into the apparatus of consciousness and reveals the secrets to life and to existence. How if you go and stand near a wise person then he is able to understand who you are and what you are; you do not even have to say anything. 
  • The four bodies of shruti (scriptures to be heard) in Indian culture: the Vedas, the Brahmin scriptures, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. 
  • A study of the Vedas. A study of the mantras chanted in the Vedas for various gods: Usha (dedicated to the Sun), the Nadhi sukta (dedicated to the Sindhu river), the Indra sukta (dedicated to Indra, the king of the gods), Varun sukta (dedicated to the god of wind), Prajāpati sukta (dedicated to the lord of creatures) etc. 
  • A study of Yagnas in the Brahmin scriptures. 
  • A study of the Aranyakas (scriptures written in the jungles). 
  • A study of the Upanishads and Vedanta. 
  • A detailed study of the Gayatri mantra. 
  • The meaning of the Aumkar and its syllables according to the Mandukya Upanishad and an explanation of turi avastha (the fourth state). 
  • 23 effects amongst many of chanting the Aumkar as stated in our scriptures. 
  • A study of the life of King Shivaji’s Guru, Samarth Swami Ramdas, and why He put the word Samarth (mighty) before His name. 
You can watch all of the chapter 8 videos by clicking on the below links next to the verse numbers.

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