To give the Bhagavad Gita context, in week 2 we talk about the Mahabharata and the backstory of events leading up to the Bhagavad Gita. Additional topics include:
- Summary of last week’s class
- The first teaching of Bhagavad Gita – you are not the body
- Perspectives on the nature of the self
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Abbreviations used in these notes: BG for Bhagavad Gita
Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.
And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.
- Atma The non-material self, the source of consciousness in the body
- Brahman 1) the individual soul; 2) the impersonal, all-pervading energy of God
- Dharma 1) religious principles, 2) righteous behavior
- Kshatriya The ruling and military elite, protectors and governors of their society
- Sat-chit-ananda The inviolable qualities of all souls: eternity, self-awareness, bliss
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.