Tuesday, April 23, 2013

how to read the gita

Verse 2.65: For one thus satisfied [in Kṛṣṇa consciousness], the threefold miseries of material existence exist no longer; in such satisfied consciousness, one's intelligence is soon well established.

In this one verse, Krsna is recapping everything he has presented thus far. This begs the question...what exactly has Krsna said? I invite all of you to list any and all things you remember in the comments below!

Today, however, I would like to focus on the mood in which we approach the Gita. As we're nearing the end of Chapter 2, this is a good time to ask ourselves what we hope to get out of reading this incredible yoga text. There could be numerous answers to this question. If you would permit me, however, I would like to suggest imbibing the mood offered by the great bhakti yogi, Srila Prabhupada.

For anyone who joining us for the first time today, the Gita is presenting the path of bhakti yoga. Practically speaking, it is giving us, the readers, the tools to understand who we really are, the environment we have to work with and how we can break free of the limitations we all face. Limitations such as the pain of birth, death, disease and old age.

Pretty impressive, no? To be able to solve these challenges, a spirit of discovery and enthusiasm is required. In fact, Srila Prabhupada states very aptly that the bhakti path is scientific, meaning one can apply the scientific method: test a hypothesis, perform experiments, make observations and thereby draw conclusions.

One potential hypothesis one could make is that the Gita has the ability to solve all our material problems. Based on that, the natural question arises as to how to test that hypothesis. For that, I refer to the Introduction of the Gita where Prabhupada writes: "The spirit of Bhagavad-gītā is mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā itself. It is just like this: If we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the directions written on the label. We cannot take the medicine according to our own whim or the direction of a friend. It must be taken according to the directions on the label or the directions given by a physician."

How awesome is that? Having done my Masters in Biochemistry, let me tell you from personal experience - coming up with the experiments to test your hypothesis is the hardest part! We're so lucky that the Gita provides us with all the experiments and the background as to how to perform them. Literally, all we need to do is follow what the Gita says and observe what happens. Numerous persons all around the world have and are practicing the teachings of the Gita and are observing tangible results. I guess the question is - do you want to solve all your material problems or not? If so, we invite you to join us in our experiment and and try it out for yourself.


  1. In simple words,Krishna,prior to speaking this verse has given Arjuna knowledge of the Real self based on its original constitution and some guidelines on how to apply that knowledge,also he has described knowledge based on the material sphere of things and the pitfalls of it,so truly speaking Krishna has described Transcendental Science along with nescience. Most importantly,Krishna is giving Arjuna a Choice.