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Join the Gita Talk: Bhagavad Gita Discussion Series Starts Monday May 3rd

in YD News, Yoga Origins

bhagavad-gita-mitchellHave you felt baffled by the Bhagavad Gita? Perplexed by the ancient texts? Join the club! Or as it so happens, a book group led by the virtual yoga community’s own demystifier, Mr. Bob Weisenberg. You may recognize his name as a frequenter commenter here on YD and across many other yoga blogs offering thoughtful commentary on all things yoga-ly. Bob has recently teamed up with YD pal Elephant Journal to host a series of discussions on the Bhagavad Gita, the first of which is this coming Monday, May 3. Don’t worry, you’ve still got time to catch up on the introduction (thru page 35), of Stephen Mitchell’s translation, the group’s first assignment. Newbies and experienced BG-ers are welcome! So grab your Gita’s and margaritas (? it’s Friday) and join the discussion.

Check out the group on facebook and follow along on twitter with hashtag #gitatalk

2 comments… add one

  • Thanks for letting everyone know about this, YogaDork. I’m really looking forward to the discussion. I’m already getting some great questions, even before we formally begin on Monday. Here’s a sample question and my response:

    Margann wrote:

    I’ve read the Gita before, and am disappointed in my own reaction. To me it feels like a “guy book” based on a belief in the caste system and reincarnation. As a 72 year old female, I find I have to dig for the inspiration. But I do love the concept of work without thought of reward. I will work hard on this reading, because I know millions have been inspired by it.

    I responded:

    Hi, Margann. I’m so glad you voiced this concern, as I’m sure it is common and will certainly come up in our “Gita Talk” discussions. Let me just make a couple of quick comments here.

    In the case of the caste system, I believe in any ancient text, be it the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible, there are going to be archaic, outmoded ideas that simply have to be disregarded if one is to make the text relevant for today. In fact, Stephen Mitchell says exactly this in the notes (p. 199-210) to his introduction. He even goes so far as to list the specific verses that should be disregarded.

    As for reincarnation, that one is a little trickier, because there are many people who still believe in literal reincarnation today, even though I do not myself. My own approach to reincarnation is to turn it into a powerful metaphor about how our actions affect future generations. Other readers might choose to just disregard it as they would the caste system.

    Let’s see how the discussion goes. Please make it a point to raise these same concerns when the discussion starts in earnest next week with “Gita Talk #3″. I’m sure your views are shared by many readers who will be hoping for a discussion about it.

    One other suggestion. I wrote my eBook YogaDemystified.com to see if I could describe the concepts of the ancient texts, including the Gita, in plain English. If you go there you can see exactly why I find the Gita so inspiring and exciting, in spite of its sometimes troublesome cultural references.

    Thanks for writing.

  • curt

    well as for women and the caste system the gita speaks to mankind meaning all who can comprehend u must never disregard thers meaning in the caste not as an order for people in the flesh but for the purpose of knowing your vedic duties. remember one can only attain godhead through prescribed duties.how will one know his duties without a system.so disregarding is arrogant when it comes to gods words we must find diffrent ways to percieve the caste and apply it to wher u are in life when u start ur jou rney

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