What is Evolution? What is Faith?
Introduction and Review:
The more we engage with brahmavidya, such as the Bhagavad Gita, the deeper our connection with the knowledge and with Prince Arjuna becomes. In Chapter 13, Prince Arjuna’s questions center on the differences between the lower and the higher (prakriti and purusha, kshetra and kshetrajna, jnana and Jneya). In chapter 14, Prince Arjuna is asking specifically about the lower, so as to avoid succumbing to such environments
o The one who does not succumb to the lower is the one who is transcendental, neither engaging with the lower or the higher but beyond such dimensions. They live in a balanced way
– What is Temperament? Transcendence
– What is Transcendence? Foundational
Learn to use our equipments, rather than be used by the equipments.. And when we realize that the finite is ever changing, we will learn to adapt and accept change and focus on that which is foundational/essential
Question 39 (Chapter 14, Verse 21):
How does one go beyond the three gunas?
Answer 39 (Chapter 14, Verse 26):
The one who lives for Me (Bhagavan) with unshakeable, unswerving and unconditional devotion is free from the lower, and will be Brahman.
Where there is Brahman, there is no Maya.
The implication of this is to learn to live for the infinite/long-term, not the short-term.
Bhakti is framed by 9 steps, the last 3 of which are:
– Feel as though one is dasa (servant) to God
– Feel as though one is sakha (friend) to God
– Feel a oneness with God
Practical Question: What is Evolution?
Practical Answer: Absorption- be absorbed in the Divine.
Reflection: In Evolving to purity (sattva), how can you use tamas and rajas in your personality constructively?
We cannot automatically grow out of tamas and rajas, but we can use the existence of the two to motivate us to strive for sattva.
The focus of Chapter 14 is LIMITS, focusing on the gunas
The focus of Chapter 15 is LIMITLESSNESS, focusing on the purusha uttama
The focus of Chapter 16 is LIFESTYLE, focusing on characteristics of devas and asuras
The focus of Chapter i17 is LIKENESS, focusing on the vasanas
Question.40 (Chapter 17, Verse 1):
What if one is ignorant of the details of the scriptures, but has knowledge of the essence? Can they evolve?
Answer.40 (Chapter 17, Verse 3):
The differences in our nature is derived from one’s shraddha (faith in God), and our personality type determines what is important to one. In essence, you are your faith.
Faith determines how we engage in pujas, yajna, tapa, dhana, etc. If your faith is in that which is divine, you will become divine too- Have Faith.
Practical Question: What is Faith?
Practical Answer: You
Reflection: What will you do daily to strengthen your commitment to self-development?
Accept that the external (ABCs) will never be perfect, so I can instead focus on my own self-development
1. How does one “deal” with a family member who is evil/cruel?
Nothing is more valuable than your own quietude of mind. First, try to engage in peaceful dialogue with this individual. If that doesn’t work, then let it be- it is not worth compromising your quietude of mind.
We often think that our makeup is this body, mind and ego, holding on to a feeling of identification with external states. There comes a point of exhaustion when the constant change becomes a burden- that is when we realize our true infinite, free nature. Our makeup is in fact no makeup at all.