- Paths to god : living the Bhagavad Gita / | Wake County
- Paths To God: Living The Bhagavad Gita
- Paths to god : living the Bhagavad Gita / Ram Dass.
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Paths to god : living the Bhagavad Gita / | Wake County
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Paths To God: Living The Bhagavad Gita
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Compassion in Action. Conversations with Ram Dass. Living Yoga. Swami Satchidananda. Through being around Maharajji and spending so much time at his temples, I felt I had absorbed at least some understanding of the Ramayana. Teaching this course at Naropa seemed like an opportunity to plumb more deeply into the other book, the Gita. Ram Dass had a second motive for focusing on the Gita, as the course description suggests, and that was his appreciation for its unique appropriateness to our own cultural circumstances.
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The philosophy of the Gita is one that turns out to be especially suitable for us in the West, because instead of encouraging us to turn away from the world, it turns our lives in the world into our spiritual work. Ram Dass prepared intensively for the seminar. He spent his time reading the Gita, meditating on the Gita, studying commentaries on the Gita. He had with him some half dozen or so different translations of the Gita, and he read and reread them all. He typed out the text of the Gita, with big spaces between each of the verses, where he wrote comments about the slokas.
Although Ram Dass and Rinpoche deeply respected one another, their teachings were widely divergent in style and approach.
The students felt like they were at a tennis match! There were no ill feelings between the two teachers; in fact, at the end of the summer Trungpa offered Ram Dass a place on the Naropa faculty. Trungpa said that that kind of diversity was good for the students. Trungpa and Ram Dass teasing each other on stage provided great humor and lightness, and the contrast between Buddhist clarity of intellect and the Bhakti heart has never been better illumined.
In teaching about the Gita, Ram Dass was exploring one of the most significant and influential books in Indian culture. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meaning from it every day. The influence of the Gita has not been limited to India; it has touched the West as well. It is believed that the Bhagavad Gita was written sometime during the first millennium B. The Mahabharata is not, strictly speaking, Hindu scripture as are the Vedas and the Upanishads , but one of some twenty Indian epics, called the Puranas.
The Puranas contain the stories of the lives of the various incarnations or living manifestations of God: there is the Brahma Purana, and the Garuda Purana, and the Linga Purana, and so on. And among those are the two so-called Maha puranas, or Great Puranas: they are the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The Gita specifically addressed the Buddhist emphasis on disengagement from the world as the primary path to God.