May 24, 2010

Gita Talk #6: And Now for Something Completely Different

This week let’s try something different.  Let’s go through Chapter 6 stanza by stanza.

For this to work, you have to be willing to jump right in.  Write a comment.  Ask a question. Reply to what someone else has written.  If you’re thinking about it, but are on the fence, JUST DO IT!  I  hope you can see we’re a pretty friendly bunch here, and we’re very receptive to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

Let’s begin by talking about the first six stanzas of Chapter 6:

He who performs his duty
with no concern for results
is the true man of yoga–not
he who refrains from action.

Knowing that right action itself
is renunciation, Arjuna;
in the yoga of action, you first
renounce your own selfish will.

For the man who wishes to mature,
the yoga of action is the path;
for the man already mature,
serenity is the path.

When a man has become unattached
to sense objects or to actions,
renouncing his own selfish will,
then he is mature in yoga.

He should lift up the self by the Self
and not sink into the selfish;
for the self is the only friend
of the Self, and its only foe.

The self is a friend for him
who masters himself by the Self;
but for him who is not self-mastered,
the self is the cruelest foe.

If we were sitting around a room together, I would ask you these questions to get the discussion going:

1) How would you summarize these stanzas in your own words?
2) Give us an example of how you might apply these words to your own life.
3) Which lines of the text are difficult to understand?
4) Tell us anything else that comes to mind when you read these words.

Let’s see what happens.  If this works, then we’ll run through Chapter 6 this way.  If it doesn’t work, then we’ll try something else!

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