Knowledge of the Gita

Knowledge means humility,
Sincerity, nonviolence, patience,
Honesty, reverence for one’s teacher,
Purity, stability, self-restraint;

Dispassionate towards sense objects
And absence of false ego,
Seeing the ill in birth, death,
Old age, sickness, and suffering;

Detachment, uninvolvement
With children, spouse, and home,
Constant equanimity
In fulfillment and frustration

Persistence in knowing the self,
Seeing what knowledge of reality means –
All this is called knowledge,
The opposite of ignorance.

– The Bhagavad Gita

The constant challenge. The aspiration. The ideal.
It is so easy to catch yourself at any moment failing in any one of these – and start to loose hope that you’ll ever get there – that you’ll never find that fully realised, enlightened self. But the Gita offers several options that do offer hope; it says that if you are not keen for the path of knowledge you can take the paths of devotion, action or renounciation.

In our modern world the path of renounciation is not particularly realistic. Most of us are householders or students and have responsibilities for the loved ones around us. Maybe as we get older the option of retiring to a less busy lifestyle becomes more available. Otherwise the path of action, working without attaching to the outomes of those actions, and devotion, acting at all times in reverence of the higher consciousness, are deinitely options. Don’t get me wrong, both are still enormous challenges, they’re just options if you don’t fancy the knowledge or renouncing paths!

The path of action involves dedicating your time to good work, without needing that work to either be successful or a failure. Not easy huh? It’s about accepting that your actions will only have a transient effect on this planet and not allowing yourself to become overly upset if they don’t work out, and similarly, not overly happy if they do. Either way, the success or the failure will pass and peace of mind comes in observing the up and downs, not riding them.

The path of devotion is very similar in a way. Every action you partake in is to be devoted to the divine, the universe, the cosmic power, or however you like to term it. This means that you constanstly keep in mind the wonder and AWEsomeness of that power and have a sense of detachment from your actions, or at least their affects in the material world. Again not easy.

Thankfully the Gita releases the pressure by allowing us to know that we don’t have to achieve all of this in one lifetime. It suggests that whatever stage of enlightenment you reach in this life, will carry over into the next. Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation (which I don’t) this is a heartening idea as it suggests that all our efforts are not lost. Even if we don’t make it to enlightenment all our work in the right direction gets absorbed into the universal energy, raising humanity as a whole just that little bit higher.

Whichever path you choose (if you choose one) – have fun with it. πŸ™‚ Now I best be off to continue on with my day in the path of knowledge. Xox

About karen2202

I am writing my PhD on children's yoga and it's place within mainstream education. I am also a yoga teacher in Sydney, Australia.

Posted on September 27, 2011, in Meditation, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Knowledge of the Gita.

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