Bhagavad Gita Chapter Notes

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Erin Wheeler
Bhagavad Gita Notes

Hinduism Terms
* Moksha – liberation from samsara (life and death sequence) through spiritual wisdom * Buddhist term – Nervana
* Atman – core of self, consciousness
* Goal, to gain spiritual wisdom/consciousness within atman, to become one with Brahman (God), and escape samsara through moksha * Karmic energy that doesn’t get purifies = another life/ journey/ chance * Path

* Detachment
* Selfless actions
* Introspection
* Yoga – term in Hinduism for the path
* 4 types:
* Karma – action
* Bhakti – love or devotion (worship of gods)
* Jnana – knowledge
* Raja – spiritual exercises like meditation,yoga * Path purifies Karma and enables us to follow are Dharma * Two Qualities of God
* Nirguna Brahmin – God without form or attributes, source of all gods, ground of being, Being itself, sense of mystery and wonder * Saguna Brahmin – Brahmin (God) with form, attributes, qualities, God is both transcendent and immanent * Axial Age

* 600 BC – 0 AD
* Religious roots began

Ch.1 – The War Within
* Summary Points
* Prince Arjuna is about to go to battle against family and friends to defend his older brothers claim to the ancient throne of the Kurus against Dritarashtra’s eldest son Duryodhana * Sri Krishna is bahgavan – the lord (incarnation of Vishnu) poses as a mere prince and chareteer/mentor of Arjuna * Drona – a Brahmin that taught both sides the art of war – best pupil was arjuna * Questions

* What is the difference between the mystics and orthodox Hindus views of what the Gita says about war? * How had Ghandi taken the message of the Gita in his daily life? * Insight
* Bhagavad Gita translates into “song of the lord”

Ch.2 – Self-Realization
* Summary Points
* Arjuna is a man of action and now looks to Sri Krishna to be his guru. * Arjuna explains that his real self, the Ataman, never dies. Krishna is a symbol of the Ataman and Arjunas deepest self * Rebirth – samsara, soul (jiva) travels from life to life * Questions

* Yoga is defined as disciplining the mind and detachment from personal desires, how can one do that in today’s self-centered culture? * How does a mystic reach his supreme goal of knowing their real nature, knowing their own mortality, and realizing their union with eternal being? * Insight

* “Those who are established in wisdom live in continuous, unbroken awareness that they are not the perishable body but the Atman. Further, they see the same Self in everyone, for the Atman is universally present in all.”

Ch.3 – Selfless Service (the way of action)
* Summary Points
* Basic law underlying all creation – Arjuna must act selflessly out of a sense of duty for the welfare of all * Karma- the law of cause and effect, actions determine destiny. People get trapped in web of karma; to the responsibilities and opportunities of the worldly life, forgetting their spiritual dimension * Krishna tells Arjuna that to get out of this maze is to release his anger and selfish desire * Questions

* What power binds us to are selfish ways? What power moves us? * What is the danger of leading a life of active engagement? * Insight
* Sankhya – one of the six traditional schools of Indian philosophy teaches the world of mind and matter as having 3 basic qualities or gunas – sattva, goodness/light/purity , rajas, passion/activity/energy, and tamas, darkness/ignorance/inertia (passes through 3 stages “beware of pitfalls of rajas”)

Ch.4 – Wisdom in Action
* Summary Points
* Arjuna is caught up in the present and struggles to understand Krishna’s teachings * Arjuna does not remember his past lives because he has no access to this kind of knowledge, Krishna remembers his former births and reveals...
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