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Bhagavad Gita Study: Book 1, Chapter 2, Verse 20

Integral Yoga Teachings   |   July 24, 2015  |   by  asokananda

“The Conscious One is neither born nor does It ever die.
Never born yet ever existing, our true and permanent “I” does not die when the body dies.”

Unlike the physical body, the Self is not born. Waves are “born” and they “die” in the ocean, but the ocean is not born with the waves, nor does it die away when the wave disappears. The ocean is unaffected. Because we believe ourselves to be the wave, when the wave dissolves back into the ocean it looks like our demise. Sri Krishna is indicating here that when something is not born (ahah), it cannot die (nitya); things that have a beginning alone can come to an end. The manifested world comes and goes, but not the underlying Awareness.

Krishna is talking to Arjuna of that state where we are aware that Consciousness alone exists. Even if everyone and everything in the universe were to suddenly disappear, the Consciousness that pervades everywhere would be untouched. Krishna, in asking Arjuna to fight this battle, is guiding us on how to use the highest non-dual understanding (advaita) to face the challenges of our lives. A weak ego feels “I can’t do it.” A strong ego feels, “I can do it. I must do it.” A surrendered ego feels, “The Power behind the universe can do it through me.” A dissolved ego is simply aware, “The One Self is doing it.”

Swami Venkatesananda: “Krishna is teaching Arjuna the extremely delicate art of living: to play our part in this world as though it were a reality and yet never to forget the Ultimate Reality which appears, through mistaken perception, as the world.”

The Bhagavad Gita is a 2,500 year old Sanskrit text that offers profound insight into the deeper practices of yoga. As the seeker in the Gita metaphorically prepares for the battle of spiritual transformation, he asks his teacher a series of questions. In his answers the teacher explains the many challenges and stages of the yogic spiritual path.

IYTA members receive a 45% discount on the Bhagavad Gita at Integral Yoga Distribution.

Upcoming Related Programs in 2015:

  • “Understanding the Bhagavad Gita” from August 21-23, 2015 with Yoganand Michael Carroll

*Use this Sanskrit dictionary to look up words.

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