The Bhagavad Gita is more than a holy scripture. The divine knowledge has the potential to destroy ignorance that has enveloped souls since endless lifetimes. It is the means to teach us ways to solve life’s problems by inculcating the deep philosophy as an integral part of daily living. Of particular relevance is the need to train the mind to be tranquil through Yog Sadhana or the spiritual practice to unite the mind with God. Swami Mukundananda will address the most significant topic on Dhyan Yog (Chapter 6 of Bhagavad Gita) at the 2022 Spiritual Retreat and Family Camp at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen, TX).
In this 21st century, the general populace is torn between competing life demands. People lack knowledge of how to balance one’s dharma toward the family, profession, and God. It is at such times that the Bhagavad Gita’s teachings have the potential to inspire and illumine the heart and soul.
People familiar with this Holy Scripture, frequently refer to it when searching for solutions to life’s problems. However, it is imperative to accurately understand and interpret the divine knowledge which presents numerous seemingly contradictory concepts. For example, spiritual aspirants frequently ask their Guru about why Yudhishtara got trapped into a game of dice even though he was Dharmaraja. They wonder why none of the Pandavas, who were kshatriyas, fought with Duryodhan in the court of the Kauravas to protect Draupadi’s honor. People are even more perplexed about why none of the dharmacharyas intervened to protect Draupadi, or even why Lord Krishna allowed things get to the point where Draupadi, His devotee, could have been humiliated.
Swamiji has beautifully explained the discernible and imperceptible aspects of such contradictions in his discourses to help people understand the juxtaposition of outcomes of one’s karmas, ingredients needed for God’s protection, and the meaning of exclusive dependence on God's support alone. Similarly, Swamiji has enabled the understanding of devotees by responding directly to their questions related to complex concepts in the Bhagavad Gita. Here are some glimpses of Q/A sessions with Swamiji. A devotee asked, “What constitutes the process of detachment?” Another devotee asked, “Those who do not remember Shree Krishna all the time, will they perish?” Listen to Swamiji’s enlightening responses to both questions.
The gist of Swamiji’s beautiful response to the first question is: We are tiny parts of the supreme Lord who is the ocean of divine bliss. Thus, we are drawn toward Him because of the natural gravitational pull toward the bliss that our soul has been searching for since endless lifetimes. The natural consequence of attachment to God is detachment from worldly things. Detachment results from true knowledge of the scriptures regarding sources of true and ever-lasting happiness, which is in serving the Lord.
In response to the second question, Swamiji explains that God notes the extent of devotion in our hearts and takes care of His devotees. In a specific verse from the Bhagavad Gita (6.38), Shree Krishna tells Arjun that He resides in the devotee and vice versa (as per the Law of Grace). In the case of non-devotees, they reside in Him but He does not reside in them, meaning that He does not manifest grace in their heart (as per the Law of Karma). Under the Law of Grace, Gods eliminates all the karmas of endless lifetimes and bestows Divine Knowledge, Bliss and Love in the heart of the true devotee.
The Bhagavad Gita is filled with words and phrases that comprise different meanings based on the context, which too can be accurately interpreted only by a true Guru. For example, the word “dharma” appears in the Bhagavad Gita in numerous chapters (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18) and multiple times within the same chapter (at least 13 references in Chapter 18). However, the same word is interpreted differently based on the context, for example, in verses 18.8 and 18.66.
In Verse 18.8, Shree Krishna says that “to give up prescribed duties [dharmas] because they are troublesome or cause bodily discomfort is renunciation in the mode of passion. Such renunciation is never beneficial or elevating.” Swamiji beautifully explains that novice spiritual seekers, taking an escapist attitude in the mode of passion, use this teaching as a pretext to relinquish their unpleasant worldly obligations.
However, in Verse 18.66, Lord Krishna asks Arjun to abandon all varieties of dharmas and surrender to Him alone. Many are confused about how it would be possible to abandon one’s obligations to practice spirituality full time. Swamiji beautifully differentiates material vs. spiritual dharma and explains that we need to fulfill the bodily or material responsibilities according to our prescribed role. However, in fulfilling our spiritual dharma, we should perform the worldly duties with detachment, but attach the mind to God, in His loving devotional service.
What an inspirational explanation to eliminate confusion about one’s dharma!
The primary purpose behind every word spoken by Shree Krishna was compassion and welfare for all the souls. The same is true when a true saint disseminates this knowledge for the benefit of souls, especially with opportunities to directly clarify doubts and enhance comprehension. The knowledge of Vedic scriptures, including the Bhagavad Gita, is best transmitted through the descending process under the guidance of a true spiritual master. A true Guru is the source of divine knowledge that is infallible, trustworthy, and not subject to defects of the material intellect. Devotees will benefit immensely if they seek the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita with a sincere desire to implement the teachings for self-improvement.
Participate in the Spiritual Retreat and Family Camp, 2022 to absorb the divine knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita from Swamiji. Register now to partake of the bliss of knowledge, faith, devotion, and desire for Karma seva. This is one of the rarest of all opportunities to directly hear Swamiji’s divine lectures in person, at the most exquisitely beautiful Radha Krishna Temple and relish the bliss that our soul has been seeking for endless lifetimes.