This is a compilation of all of the quiz questions from the Gita Wisdom Long Island Podcast Series.
#1 What type of guru is authorized to give formal initiation to a disciple?
We’ll talk about three types of gurus here. The vartma-pradarsaka guru is the person who first introduces you to devotional practices.
A shiksha guru is an instructing teacher, someone who offers guidance and is there to answer questions. One can have more than one shiksha guru.
A diksha guru is authorized to officially initiate disciples into their lineage. When one accepts initiation from a diksha guru, they are agreeing to follow vows and seriously pursue spiritual life. The guru agrees to guide the disciple through as many lifetimes as is needed for the disciple to become liberated.
It’s possible that these roles may all be filled by the same person, though this is generally not the case.
#2 The Gita offers advice on how to give up material attachments with the phrase “param dristva navartate”, which can be interpreted to mean
#3 Krishna insisted the inhabitants of Vrindavan should honor Govardhan Hill instead of a demigod. Out of anger, this demigod caused a torrential downpour. In response, Krishna lifted the Hill, sheltering the inhabitants from the rainfall. Which demigod caused the devastation?
#4 Jada Bharata, in his previous life as King Bharata, was thinking about what at the time of his death?
#5 The path of devotional yoga is known as
#6 The Vedic histories are known as the
#7 Caitanya Mahaprabhu is credited with what?
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wrote no books: that was done by his scholar-disciples known as the Six Goswamis. Nor did he open temples. He is remembered for, among other achievements, popularizing the Hare Krishna mantra as a form of public spiritual practice.
#8 The cycle of birth and death is known as
#9 There are nine progressive stages of bhakti. The final stage, transcendental love for God, is known as:
#10 The crevice at the crown of the head, by which a great mystic yogi can exit his body at will, is known as
#11 Who is depicted on the flag atop Arjuna’s chariot?
#12 The aspect of God seated in the hearts of all living beings is known as
Krishna is realized in three ways: Brahman, the impersonal realization that everything is God, is the origin of all energies. Everything is pervaded by and made up of Brahman energy. Paramatma is experienced as God within the heart. This is not an abstract idea. Krishna says in the Gita he is situated in everyone’s heart — hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam [BG 13.18] and again in BG 15.15 sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto. The highest realization is Bhagavan, Krishna in personal form. Understanding Krishna in this form, we are able to engage in loving exchange with Krishna.
#13 When a disciple is initiated into a Vaishnava lineage they are given a new name ending in das or dasi. What does the word das mean?
Upon initiation, disciples are given a name of Krishna, Radha or some place or activity associated with them, followed by das for men or dasi for women. The word das means “servant of”. For example, Krishna das means “servant of Krishna” and Yogesvara das means “servant of Krishna, who is the master of mystic yoga”.
#14 Realization of Brahman or Paramatma is incomplete. Which quality can be experienced only through realization of the Supreme Being?
#15 panditah sama-darsinah roughly translates to what?
#16 What does the word janma mean?
#17 Which is not a category of avatar?
Most avatars fall into the Vishnu-tattva category — those directly descended from Vishnu, the Supreme Being. Rama and Parashurama are examples of Vishnu-tattva avatars. The other category of avatar is jiva-tattva. Jiva souls are like us: individual sparks from the fire that is the Supreme Being. An example of jiva-tattva avatars is the shaktyavesha avatar: beings empowered by Vishnu to carry out a mission. Jesus, Buddha, and the guru are examples of shaktyavesha avatars. Maha-tattva refers to the cosmic material manifestation—the total energy of the material world—and is not a category of avatars.
#18 What type of karma is antithetical to one’s spiritual progress? One might call it “negative karma”.
Vikarma. Vikarma actions are contrary to the wisdom teachings: harm to others, harm to yourself, harm to the environment, harm to animals, etc. Anything that is not spiritually progressive, which is retrograde in our return back to a holy life, is vikarma.
#19 Which is not one of the varnas?
Brahmacharya is the celibate, student stage of life and not one of the varnas. The fourth varna is vaishya.
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