The Bhagavad Gita as a Living Experience
Retreat and Training in the Bhagavad Gita
But no matter how much stuff, money or anything else you get, it will never satisfy you. You will continue be disturbed. But that is the opposite of truth. The Bhagavad-Gita is probably the best known of all the Hindu or Vedic scriptures and is used as a reference or a guide for any serious practitioner of yoga. It is quite different, in many ways, from other scriptures and it contains profound knowledge about the nature and purpose of life.
It examines the basic question of identity: who am I?
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One who is not connected with the Supreme can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
If we reflect upon this verse, it is saying that material life, chasing all these material things and experiences, instead of providing peace, leads to more agitation, more painful experiences. And this results in a dimming of whatever intelligence we have. Therefore, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one whose senses are restrained from their objects is certainly of steady intelligence. If we want to be able to achieve happiness, fulfilment, and peace, having steady intelligence is necessary.
A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires. If we are going to dedicate our life to simply following our minds and our senses, focusing our minds on all the different desires of the senses, we will not be able to come to the position of experiencing peace, to be free from disturbance.
Bhagavad Gita as a living experience
The chasing of desire is the same as putting gasoline on a fire. It makes the fire burn brighter.
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So, if my life is spent trying to fulfil the desires that manifest in my senses and mind, without any consideration of whether this will actually bring me happiness, and whether this is a wise choice, then I will simply be experiencing an ever-increasing agitation instead of going the other way. In order to experience happiness, one must cultivate spiritual intelligence.
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A faithful man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having achieved it he quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace. A number of factors come into play in determining the results—our efforts, destiny our past karmas , the will of God, the efforts of others, the cumulative karmas of the people involved, the place and situation a matter of luck , etc. Now if we become anxious for results, we will experience anxiety whenever they are not according to our expectations. So Shree Krishna advises Arjun to give up concern for the results and instead focus solely on doing a good job.
The fact is that when we are unconcerned about the results, we are able to focus entirely on our efforts, and the result is even better than before. Consider its application to a simple everyday activity such as playing golf.
When people play golf, they are engrossed in the fruits—whether their score is under par, over par, etc. Now if they could merely focus on playing the shots to the best of their ability, they would find it the most enjoyable game of golf they have ever played. Additionally, with their complete focus on the shot being played, their game would be raised to a higher level.
The fruits of your actions are not for your enjoyment. To perform actions is an integral part of human nature. Having come into this world, we all have various duties determined by our family situation, social position, occupation, etc.
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While performing these actions, we must remember that we are not the enjoyers of the results—the results are meant for the pleasure of God. The individual soul is a tiny part of God verse In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna the Divine is teaching and caring for his devotee Arjuna and giving him darshan personal appearance. He removes all veils of delusion by explaining different paths of God realization.
The love from God and reassurance of the Divine will help you to stop your anxious mind and discover a place of rest in your center as you read through the verses. During the retreat you will enjoy the beauty and serenity at Ananda Center at Laurelwood and get much deserved time for your body and mind to relax.