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Living the Bhagavad Gita Way - (eBook for print and reader in progress)

This series is a study of a better way of living, based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

I am grateful to The Divine Life Society for their permission to use ‘Gita Meditations’ by Swami Sivananda – whose translation and flow we will follow.

Since this offering is in the week before Guru Purnima, it is worth looking into it a little to understand how things were in days gone. Earlier, there was a sense of naturalness in everything, including spiritual pursuit.

Let us take our minds back in time a little to understand what we have lost as we will have to restore naturalness that is missing outside – within our hearts and minds.

Guru Purnima is the day when the guru is venerated. It is not so much the personality of the guru but what ‘guru’ represents. It is said that on this day, all perfected ones, masters and sages shower their blessings unreservedly on those who sincerely tread the path they have trodden themselves.

Historically, this day also heralded the start of the monsoon season in India. Living natural lives, seekers reduced all unnecessary activity to use this period for deep study. This was not an academic type of learning but of turning to the teachers, scriptures or both to have all their doubts cleared for their immersive practice. Thus, study became the primary sadhana or practice while the other practices were still continued but with lesser emphasis. When it rains, the air is charged with a lot of energy which raises one’s alertness and concentration becomes easier. Just think, when you are driving far and you feel fatigued, you roll down the windows, sit upright and feel refreshed and alert.

Later, when it became cooler – the climate was best suited to deep meditation and for this, seekers either reduced their other activities further or took to a period of isolation for deep meditation. During this period, local villagers often provided what they could to help seekers in the form of food so they could continue their practice with full focus.

Spring brought fair weather and the fields were ready for a good harvest. There was an air of thanksgiving all about and seekers often visited the villages and gave talks from their direct experience – reminding people of the goal of life and its path. So now, the seekers gave back to the local villagers from their spiritual harvest.

Thus, spiritual living and normal living too flowed along with the seasons – each one doing his own duty and helping each other without any dictates to do so. Regulation and mandates numb the spirit and make effort mechanical at best.

Gurudev Swami Sivananda

Recommended Reading

We will follow the flow of ‘Gita Meditations’ by Gurudev Swami Sivananda. This book is published by The Divine Life Society, and can be ordered from their online bookstore.

Credit

I am most grateful to The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India for their kind permission to use the translation and verse arrangement of, ‘Gita Meditations’ by Sri Swami Sivananda in this offering.

Dedicated to Gurudev Swami Sivananda

Prayers before Study

Prayer is the foundation and pivot of spiritual life. When you pray, you must feel your relationship with God. It is from there that you will relate or commune. For most, the relationship will evolve as you evolve spiritually. Let us start our daily sessions some prayers.

Let us begin…

I. God and Jiva (webpage / YouTube / download video / download audiopdf summary / pdf extended)

1. Prayer to the Lord
2. Nature of Brahman
3. Immanence of God
4. Immortality of the Soul

II. The Mahatma or Saint (webpage / YouTube / download video / download audio / pdf summary / pdf extended)

1. Bhāgavatā
2. State of Sthitaprajña
3. Yoga-Bhraśta
4. Gunātīta
5. Nature of Equal Vision

III. Spiritual Life & Sadhana - I (webpage / YouTube / download video / download audio / pdf summary / pdf extended)

1. Three Kinds of Sukha
2. Great Enemies of Man
3. Yogic Discipline
4. Three Kinds of Tapas
5. Control of Mind
6. Virtues to be Cultivated

III. Spiritual Life & Sadhana - II (webpage / YouTube / download video / download audio / pdf summary / pdf extended)

7. Vairāgya
8. Real Renunciation
9. Rules of Right Activity
10. Self-surrender and Grace

V. Way to Blessedness (webpage / YouTube / download video / download audio / pdf summary / pdf extended)

1. Body and World are Evanescent
2. Aspire for the Supreme Alone
3. Thought at Death
4. Jñāña or Supreme Wisdom
5. Way to Peace

Inspiring Songs of Sri Swami Sivananda

Song of Eighteen ‘Ities’
Song of Divine Life
Divine Life Medley
Song of Little
Song of Joy