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The Essence of Bhagavad Gita by Devarshi Steven Hartman

10/16/2022 5:30 AM | Anonymous

The ancient scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, contains the wisdom of the ages. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that in all his studies there was "nothing that compared to the Bhagavad Gita,” that "even Shakespeare seemed adolescent in comparison.” Explore why this ageless poem has been a guide for much of the world in how to attain true happiness and live a life in accordance with a loving, all-powerful God by your side. 

The main concepts set forth in the Gita are guiding principles to live by. The Bhagavad Gita is the quintessential text on yoga—not Hatha yoga, the yoga of postures—but Bhakti yoga, the yoga of love. All yoga practices rest on the foundation of this fearless love and how to attain it, set forth in this scripture. All interested yogis and yoga teachers should be familiar with its origins and essential teachings. 

In India, there are vast amounts of ancient texts containing the wisdom of the sages. The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and more are thousands and thousands of years old and expansive in their volume. It would take lifetimes to study all of these scriptures in total, but it is said that all the wisdom of all of these ancient yogic texts are contained in this one short epic poem. The Bhagavad Gita is a provocative discussion between Krishna (God) and Arjuna (the spiritual warrior), and we are fortunate enough to have the contents of this poignant moment put into writing for our study and practice. 

The principles set forth in the Gita hit the core of our belief systems and challenge us about what we imagine the nature of reality is. In this discussion, Arjuna asks Krishna/God all the same questions you or I would ask if we had the opportunity to be in God's Presence: What is the purpose of living? How do I find my dharma/purpose? How do I live a “Godly“ life? How can I find happiness and contentment in this crazy world? Where do I go when I die? How do I guide myself every day through difficulty? All good questions that make for a very rabble-rousing, and possibly life-altering, conversation.

For me, the Gita is pure joy and delight. Easy to read and dripping with devotion, the words have been a soothing balm for my soul since reading it in my high school English class many decades ago. It was the catalyst for my decision to spend much of my adult life in a yoga ashram (spiritual community) dedicated to the art and practice of yoga. I delight in sharing it with others. Over 20 years ago, I authored an audio series on the Bhagavad Gita for Nightingale-Conant that continues to be a best-selling product around the world. Curiously, it sells well in India, Germany, England, and Australia, but very little in the United States! 

I would love to share my passion for this scripture and its wisdom with you.  I guarantee it will cause you to reevaluate at deep levels and create shifts toward more freedom and joy!  

Join Devarshi Steven Hartman at his YTA workshop on November 12.

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