Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bhagavad Gita.

Via on Jun 2, 2010

Just discovered this very funny blog by Erica from the early Yoga Journal Community!  It takes on new relevance now that we have a thriving place to talk about it at Gita Talk.

10 Reasons to Read the Bhagavad Gita

1. You were supposed to during teacher training, but only got through 20 pages. And you’ve felt guilty ever since.

2. You need a fresh, new bedtime story to tell your kid, neice, nephew, dog, cat, or goldfish.

3. “I find a solace in the Bhagavad Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies – and my life has been full of external tragedies – and if they have left no visible, no indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavad Gita.” — Mahatma Gandhi

4. You think “Bhagavad Gita” sounds like an exotic disease that could have been prevented with a simple mosquito net. (I hear it gives you a horrendous rash!)

5. You were trying to follow your dharma, or life’s purpose, but got distracted by something shiny.

6. Learn about bhakti yoga (devotion), jnana yoga (knowledge), and karma yoga (service) and apply all of these things to your own practice.

7. It will give you something intelligent to talk about at cocktail parties. You’ll be the life of the party!

8. Shouldn’t you know more about the practice you’ve devoted so much time, effort, energy, and thought to?

9. It’s available for free online! And you’ve never been one to pass up a bargain … www.bhagabad-gita.us

10. Now you have a supportive community to share your comments and questions with.

Let’s motivate each other to get through this all-important yogic text.

–Erica

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About Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg: Editor, Best of Yoga Philosophy / Former Assoc. Publisher, elephant journal / Author: Yoga Demystified * Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell * Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology / Co-editor: Yoga in America (free eBook) / Creator: Gita Talk: Self-paced Online Seminar / Flamenco guitarist: "Live at Don Quijote" & "American Gypsy" (Free CD's) / Follow Bob on facebook, Twitter, or his main site: Wordpress.

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Comments

47 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bhagavad Gita.”

  1. Lyricfan says:

    15. Read the book to learn more about yourself.
    This book is a present to everyone who reads it. Not only because of what it teaches us, but because of the way it was translated by S.M. Once I started reading it out loud, I understood the meaning of the text even better. Thank you for suggesting it to us.

  2. 16. Because Bob Weisenberg told ya to.

  3. In my 40 some years of studying the Bhagavad Gita and attempting to bring its teachings in my life and yoga practice, and after publishing an introduction, translation, and textual illumination of the work, and after teaching from the work in Yoga and the university setting for many years, here's one very compelling reason why one might read this writing, a reason found within the work itself:

    The narrator of the text, Sanjaya, describes it in the following words: "the supreme secret of yoga" in the concluding verses of the Gita.

    One of the most compelling reasons for studying the Bhagavad Gita is, then, perhaps to penetrate what that supreme secret of yoga is!

    Graham
    The Secret Yoga

  4. In my 40 some years of studying the Bhagavad Gita and attempting to bring its teachings in my life and yoga practice, and after publishing an introduction, translation, and textual illumination of the work, and after teaching from the work in Yoga and the university setting for many years, here's one very compelling reason why one might read this writing, a reason found within the work itself:

  5. QUESTION FOR YOU, INVITATION FOR YOU!

    Question: What has been the most difficult thing for you in understanding the teachings or narrative of the Bhagavad Gita? What philosophical or theological or existential questions do any of you have regarding any aspect of the Gita?

    Invitation: I would truly love to hear these challenges and invite you to post them on this blog. If you do, I would offer a response to any and every question. I would like to learn from you!

    Graham
    The Secret Yoga

  6. A long P.S. By the way, I am certainly open to discussing any of the challenges that I had in translating the Sanskrit of this text. Steven Mitchell, as many of you know, does not know Sanskrit, and thus produced a popularized rendition of the text, utilizing other translations, mixing and matching, and he has achieved, in his own way, a Mitchellized rendition of the work that can be very approachable and appealing. What I sought to do was to bring to the non-Sanskrit reader a very accurate translation that respects even the sequencing of ideas while also conveying the poetic sense of the text the way a Sanskrit reader hears it and feels it. Additionally, I attempted to bring out the philosophical power embedded in the Sanskrit words themselves by reincarnating the effect and experience of the Gita's ideas. Each verse is meant to be a meditation, something to be pondered over and over, the same way asanas are practiced over and over, in order that they sink in more deeply. I spent many years at Harvard University and in India learning Sanskrit, and along with a deep meditation practice, these verses, after pondering them for decades, finally came alive. Hope it comes through to you!

    Graham
    The Secret Yoga

  7. AMY CHAMP says:

    Peter Brook's Mahabharata has a Gita segment and makes use of the narrator. It's quite eloquent. Here is the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B4Z1PB97KY

  8. A long P.S. By the way, I am certainly open to discussing any of the challenges that I had in translating the Sanskrit of this text. Steven Mitchell, as many of you know, does not know Sanskrit, and thus produced a popularized rendition of the text, utilizing other translations, mixing and matching, and he has achieved, in his own way, a Mitchellized rendition of the work that can be very approachable and appealing. What I sought to do was to bring to the non-Sanskrit reader a very accurate translation that respects even the sequencing of ideas while also conveying the poetic sense of the text the way a Sanskrit reader hears it and feels it. Additionally, I attempted to bring out the philosophical power embedded in the Sanskrit words themselves by reincarnating the effect and experience of the Gita's ideas. Each verse is meant to be a meditation, something to be pondered over and over, the same way asanas are practiced over and over, in order that they sink in more deeply. I spent many years at Harvard University and in India learning Sanskrit, and along with a deep meditation practice, these verses, after pondering them for decades, finally came alive. Hope it comes through to you!

  9. I've transferred the conversation with Graham over to Gita Talk #8: Very Special Guest Graham Schweig

  10. YogaSweetie says:

    What a fantastic idea to encourage people to read the Gita & have a forum for discussion & questions while doing so! I'm sorry I've not been able to read along due to being swamped with YTT work, but thought I'd make a quick comment anyway…

    Like Erica's blog, I fall into the 'had to read Gita for YTT and only managed 20 pages' camp. Although in my case I probably read about 50 pages. And had a very strong reaction. I thought I would absolutely love the Gita – I love story telling, and after all its one of the key yogic texts… I didn't quite hate it but really struggled with it, and felt very conflicted by a lot of its themes, notably war and non-attachment.

    Then a kindly soul on Twitter (a.k.a. Bob Weisenberg) helped me to think of the Gita as a metaphor for life's struggle, and it got a bit easier. Still haven't finished it mind you. The commentary in the version we were studying on my YTT was very detailed & I think it got in the way a bit.

    So I'm looking forward to my summer holiday in Provence, as I'm planning to take the Stephen Mitchell version with me! I do hope the discussion boards will still be accessible in a few months time cos I'd love to come back & read everyone's views.

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  17. prem verms says:

    I am so thankful to you to give me such an important knowledge

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