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Yoga Embraces All Gods & All Paths. (Gita Talk 11)

October 31, 2011

The Bhagavad Gita is full of startling ideas, especially for a 2500 year old text.  For our last three sessions, let’s discuss three of these big themes of Chapters 1-12.  (There is no additional reading assignment for the next three weeks.)

For this week let’s look at this one:  Yoga is universal truth. The Gita embraces all Gods, and even all non-Gods, and all paths. The Gita is the voice of the unfathomable reality that precedes all other spiritual seeking, and is the source of it all.

The Gita is so crystal clear about this that we need to just let it speak for itself.

(As we have seen throughout the Gita, the voice speaking here is the infinitely wondrous universe itself, what some refer to as the “Unfathomable Life Force of the Universe” and others choose to call “God”. In the Gita these are one and the same. See GN #2.)

Read these passages slowly and thoughtfully as though they were one single cohesive poem, and then write your thoughts in a comment.

However men try to reach me,
I return their love with my love;
whatever path they may travel,
it leads to me in the end.
(BG 4.11)

Thus, many forms of worship
may lead to freedom Arjuna.
All these are born of action.
When you know this, you will be free. (BG 4.32)

But whatever form of reverence,
whatever god a sincere
devotee chooses to worship,
I grant him unswerving faith. (BG 7.21)

Others on the path of knowledge,
know me as the many, the One;
behind the faces of a million
gods, they can see my face. (BG 9.15)

Arjuna, all those who worship
other gods, with deep faith,
are really worshiping me,
even if they don’t know it.
(BG 9.23)

~

I am the same to all beings;
I favor none and reject none.
But those who worship me live
with me and I live in them.

Even the heartless criminal,
if he loves me with all his heart,
will certainly grow into sainthood
as he moves toward me on this path.

Quickly that man become pure,
his heart finds eternal peace.
Arjuna, no one who truly
loves me will ever be lost.

All those who love and trust me,
even the lowest of the low-
prostitutes, beggars, slaves-
will attain the ultimate goal. (BG 9.29-32)

~

Neither the myriad gods
nor any of the sages know
my origin; I am the source
from which gods and sages emerge
. (BG 10.2)

 Please give us your thoughts.

All Blogs in the Series:

Welcome to Gita Talk:
Online Discussion of the Bhagavad Gita. (Round 2)

Ongoing Resources:

Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas & Best Quotations

Yoga Demystified

The Original Sixteen Session Gita Talk

Join Gita Talk Facebook Group for weekly notices
and to meet fellow participants.

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13 Comments
  1. this is one of my favorite parts of yoga in general…it's what brought me back to god after years of atheism and agnosticism…finally remembering that god is within and everywhere and no religion has claim on the concept.

  2. Justina permalink

    Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! That’s a promise! Christ reigns in the BG and it’s so clear when you see with Heavenly eyes. Seek and you shall find…that’s another promise! Our Almighty God is the creator of promises and He do not fail! Many were lost and now are found because of our love for Him and because He first loved us!

  3. Rhonda Culler permalink

    It is when you stop looking outside yourself… that is when you find the light of (God).. your own light!… Namaste!

  4. Victoria permalink

    “and if we just all could drop the ‘my god is better than yours’ attitude”

    Twue. Life is so much richer that way! Embracing rather than proselytizing is more satisfying, I do believe.

  5. Tanya Lee Markul permalink

    Love these – great discussions.

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  6. Others on the path of knowledge,
    know me as the many, the One;
    behind the faces of a million
    gods, they can see my face.

    growing up southern baptist, there was only "one way, truth & the light" of Christ…life, rather than the Bible is my primary teacher now, and I see that there is not one single road but many roads to god that reside in all of us.

    there is a picture of an unattractive woman (not ugly, just not inherently beauty) wearing pearls…. and the caption under is "if you don't see god in me, you don't see God at all". I saw that when I was 17…. and I can still remember and relive the sensation i felt in my body… like a prick in my soul…it dented my world view…. and made room for it break open wide, many years later.

    there is something beyond myself- that everyone is same. We all have the same doubts, fears, struggles, odd family members and life road bumps. Hardships do not discriminate. However, there is the Divine (God) in everyone- and that if I don't see it in them and act as though I do, then, I am not seeing God at all.

    "When we inhale, the air comes into the inner world.
    When we exhale, the air goes out to the outer world.
    The inner world is limitless, and the outer world is also limitless.
    We say "inner world" or "outer world" but actually,
    There is just one whole world." – Shunryu Suzuki

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