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This is the Supreme Wisdom, Experienced Directly, In a Flash. (Gita Talk 13)

November 14, 2011

(There is no additional reading assignment for the next week.  We are discussing some of the major themes of Chapters 1-12.)

The Bhagavad Gita calls for direct experience & straight-forward wisdom (over scripture, dogma, and ritual). In this sense, it is the most modern of spiritual systems, completely at home with today’s emphasis on the individual experience of spirituality, as opposed to the spirituality of rules, regulations, and required procedures.

This is, no doubt, one of the reasons for the Gita’s endless popularity. It places the direct experience of the individual, in all its varieties, at the core of its philosophy.

As usual, let’s let the Gita speak for itself. These words really don’t need any explanation from me.

Please give us your thoughts.  How do you personally relate to the Bhagavad Gita?

On this path no effort is wasted,
no gain is ever reversed;
even a little of this practice
will shelter you from great sorrow.
(BG 2.40)

~

The scriptures dwell in duality.
Be beyond all opposites, Arjuna:
anchored in the real, and free
from all thoughts of wealth and comfort.

As unnecessary as a well is
to a village on the banks of a river,
so unnecessary are all scriptures
for someone who has seen the truth. (BG 2.44-46)

~

When your understanding has passed
beyond the thicket of delusions,
there is nothing you need to learn
from even the most sacred scripture.

Indifferent to scriptures, your mind
stands by itself, unmoving,
absorbed in deep meditation.
This is the essence of yoga.
(BG 2.52-53)

~

Better than any ritual
is the worship achieved through wisdom;
wisdom is the final goal
of every action, Arjuna. (BG 4.33)

Nothing in the world can purify
as powerfully as wisdom;
practiced in yoga, you will find
this wisdom within yourself. (BG 4.38)

The man of yoga is greater
than ascetics, or the learned, or those
who perform the rituals; therefore
be a man of yoga, my son. (BG 6.46)

I will teach you the essence of this wisdom
and its realization; when you come
to master this, there is nothing
further that needs to be known. (BG 7.2)

For men whose minds are forever
focused on me, whose love
has grown deep through meditation,
I am easy to reach, Arjuna. (BG 8.14)

This is the supreme wisdom,
the knowing beyond all knowing,
experienced directly, in a flash,
eternal, and a joy to practice.
(BG 9.2)

Not by study or rites
or alms or ascetic practice
can I be seen in this cosmic
form, as you have just seen me. (BG 11.53)

By devotion he comes to realize
the meaning of my infinite vastness;
when he knows who I truly am,
he instantly enters my being.
(BG 18.55)

~

How do you feel when you read these words?

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.

From → Uncategorized

24 Comments
  1. As unnecessary as a well is
    to a village on the banks of a river,
    so unnecessary are all scriptures
    for someone who has seen the truth.
    I adore this…simply adore. This is a good reminder when you get wrapped up in the practice and the achievement of meditaiton or asana goals — that in the end it's about living life not studying it…experience always has been the best teacher.

  2. Sunil Sharma permalink

    Hi Bob, I could not understand how you grasp the meaning of Geeta. Geeta is so deep, so beautiful, so calm everyone can't understand it easily, even most of people don't hesitate to open a single page. In such environment you are giving a new meaning to Geeta beyond the religious limits. Your words are perfect, your languages is beautiful and inspiring for all. Thanks for such great job.

  3. Victoria permalink

    Words encourage me to meditate every day.

  4. chiara_ghiron permalink

    I like the fact that the Gita tells us that we can come independently to realisation of the One. Although it may seem contradictory with other parts, where Krshna says that devotion is the path, or learning, or acting, these verses where we are told that we can come to the correct knowledge by ourselves, the trust it reposites in all of us, to be able to come to understanding, is extremely encouraging and gives strength and courage. So beyond jnani, beyond bhakti, and through a balanced approach to life, we can find the right path

    • I feel the same way, Chiara. Amazing how the Gita embraces all paths and even no path–just waking up to wondrous reality.

      Bob W. Editor

  5. Tanya Lee Markul permalink

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  6. You ask how do I feel when I read these words? Awakening, like a bud turning towards the sun and trusting in its nature to open.

  7. Julia Anne Tawyea permalink

    As Todd Rundgren sang in his album "Healing" in the song/meditation "Healing Part 3" :
    "You could not be closer to your maker
    never more or less alone
    If you know thyself
    there's nothing else to know
    You are home
    Welcome home"

  8. "When your understanding has passed
    beyond the thicket of delusions,
    there is nothing you need to learn
    from even the most sacred scripture.

    Indifferent to scriptures, your mind
    stands by itself, unmoving,
    absorbed in deep meditation.
    This is the essence of yoga. (BG 2.52-53)"

    This, to me, sums up why the Gita is so timeless. The acknowledgment that understanding is the goal regardless of the vehicle that gets you there feels so important to me. I was having a discussion last night about books that affect us spiritually. Some of the ones that affect me deeply and have been my greatest teachers (Leave of Grass, Le Petit Prince, Walden) are not necessarily considered spiritual books. And then others (Shambhala, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Start Where You Are) are very new dharma teachings in the big scheme of things.

    What ever strikes that note in your heart that resonates with the essence of divinity inside you — that is truth. I'm happy to find so much of it in the Gita!

    • Yes, Kate. One of the reason I personally love the Gita is because it unifies all the disparate aspect of my life. Love your book list here, too!

      Bob W. Editor

  9. Joyful. I feel joyful when I read them. Thanks again, Bob!

  10. Valerie Carruthers permalink

    Nothing in the world can purify
    as powerfully as wisdom;
    practiced in yoga, you will find
    this wisdom within yourself. (BG 4.38)

    This what I love about Yoga and the Gita's teachings: going deep within myself for answers that I used to look outside for. As in Buddhism's 4 Noble Truths, there lies the end to suffering.

    This is the supreme wisdom,
    the knowing beyond all knowing,
    experienced directly, in a flash,
    eternal, and a joy to practice. (BG 9.2)

    "Experienced directly, in a flash…" I love how the wisdom spoken of here isn't something you have to wait until you're old with a long white beard to receive. It's there "in a FLASH!" Plus it's eternal. Always was, always will be ."And a joy to practice." How delightful to experience wisdom and be joyful. Makes my heart very light.

  11. Perfect words,

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