Friday, February 6, 2009

Darkness, Delusion and the Bhagavad Gita

Arjuna and Krishna as depicted on the 1980s co...Image via Wikipedia

One of my favorite morning reads is my battered old copy of the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of God.) I purchased it in high school at Peace of Mind Bookstore, and my copy was old and used when I got it. Now it looks to be almost as old as the 3,000 year old Vedic scripture contained within; but the message is ever shiny and new, and as deeply relevant now as it was when it was first told. Whenever I read it my heart fills up with love, peace and a deep sense of purpose for my life.

The Gita is nestled within a larger poem The Mahabharata, the longest epic poem ever written, which tells many wonderful stories of "Great India" (another fascinating and illuminating read.)

In the Bhagavad Gita, the great warrior Arjuna is on the battlefield, faced with the horrible dilemma of impending war. He is soul sick about how he should proceed and calls on Lord Krishna for help. The poem is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, and is a deep metaphor for the struggles facing all of humanity on the "battlefield" of Life.

There are many lines from this poem that come back to me again and again, but none more than these:

The Atman* is light:
The light is covered by darkness:
This darkness is delusion:
That is why we dream.

* One's true Self.

This is the primary meditation for my own journey with yoga. To constantly return to where I truly am; to lay down the cloak of darkness that swallows me in delusion and makes me think that I am something other than a being of light in union with all things. I repeat the mantra to my self: Sat Nam. I am That, I am.

As you move through your day with yoga, or head to the mat for your sadhana, I encourage you to write these words from the Gita on a peace of paper and make them a part of your contemplation and meditation into your own true nature.

The lines above are taken from The Bhagavad Gita translated by Swami Prabhavananda, and Christopher Isherwood.

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1 comment:

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