November 17, 2010

Gita in a Nutshell #2: Experience Infinite Wonder in All Things

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Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations.
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It’s a great revelation to read the Gita by major theme instead of in the order it’s written. Today let’s talk about the second major theme:


As with our previous blog, the Gita contains many powerful passages on this theme, but they are scattered throughout the text. When you read them all together, as below, the main ideas jump off the page with crystalline clarity.

Read though these stanzas slowly and thoughtfully, jotting down your reactions as you go. Share your comments and questions, and we’ll get some conversation going:

(For those new to Gita in a Nutshell, the main voice speaking here is the infinitely wondrous universe itself, what some refer to as the “Unfathomable Life Force of the Universe” and others choose to call “God”. In the Gita these are one and the same.)

Mature in yoga, impartial
everywhere that he looks,
he sees himself in all beings
and all beings in himself.

The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.

He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being, wherever
he goes, he remains in me.

When he sees all beings as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.
   (BG 6.29-32)


I permeate all the universe
in my unmanifest form.
All beings exist within me,
yet I am so inconceivably

vast, so beyond existence,
that though they are brought forth
and sustained by my limitless power,
I am not confined within them.

Just as the all-moving wind,
wherever it goes, always
remains in the vastness of space,
all beings remain within me.   (BG 9.4-6)


He who can understand
the glory of my manifestations
is forever united with me
by his unwavering love.

I am the source of all things,
and all things emerge from me;
knowing this, wise men worship
by entering my state of being.
   (BG 10.7-8)


Whatever in this world is excellent
and glows with intelligence or beauty—
be sure that it has its source
in a fragment of my divine splendor.

But what need is there for all these
details?  Just know that I am,
and that I support the whole universe
with a single fragment of myself.   (BG 10.41-42)


Look, Arjuna: thousands,
millions of my divine forms,
beings of all kinds and sizes,
of every color and shape.

Look: the sun gods, the gods
of fire, dawn, sky, wind, storm,
wonders that no mortal has every
beheld.  Look! Look. Arjuna!

The whole universe, all things
animate or inanimate,
are gathered here—look!—enfolded
inside my infinite body. 
  (BG 11.5-7)


crowned with fire, wrapped
in pure light, with celestial fragrance,
he stood forth as the infinite
God, composed of all wonders.

If a thousand suns were to rise
and stand in the noon sky, blazing,
such brilliance would be like the fierce
brilliance of that mighty Self.

Arjuna saw the whole universe
enfolded, with its countless billions
of life forms, gathered together
in the body of the God of gods.
   (BG 11.11-13)


I see you everywhere, with billions
of arms, eyes, bellies, faces,
without end, middle, or beginning,
your body the whole universe, Lord.   (BG 11.16)


Why should they not bow, eternal
Creator, infinite Lord?
You are both being and nonbeing,
and what is beyond them both,

the primal God, the primordial
Person, the ultimate place
of the universe, the knower and the known,
the presence that fills all things.

You are wind, death, fire, the moon,
the Lord of life, the great ancestor
of all things. A thousand times
I bow in front of you, Lord.

Again and again I bow to you,
from all sides, in every direction.
Majesty infinite in power,
you pervade—no, you are—all things. 
  (BG 11.37-40)


And as often as I remember
the Lord’s vast, wondrous form,
each time I am astonished:
each time I shudder with joy.

Where Krishna is—Lord of Yoga—
and Arjuna the Archer: there,
surely, I think, is splendor
and virtue and spiritual wealth.
   (BG 18.77-78)

[These last two stanzas are the concluding words of the Gita]

#3: Focus the Mind

#1: Live and Act with Love and Purpose

(Complete contents at
Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations
To receive notice of each weekly blog,
please join our Facebook group.)


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