26 February 2008

Aaahhh...the Gita, my true love

During my yoga teacher training, the Bhagavad-Gita was a required text. I read it. I liked it, found some inspiration, got a little "wisdom." But I didn't really read it. The first time around, I was reading it as a pupil who was told to read it. I guess I was approaching the book like I would a homework assignment. Now that I have completed my training program I can't put the book down! It's by my bedside. I take it with me when I teach yoga class. I read passages from it to my students. There are all these tabbies sticking out of it. I know part of it has to do with the fact that I recently purchased a newer translation of it. The one by Stephen Mitchell, which Sati, my yoga teacher recommended. It is a much better edition than the previous one I read. I think the bigger part of it is that I am reading it with new eyes, a new identity, a little bit more "educated" intellect perhaps.

Now, I honestly feel like I am reading it for the first time. Everyday I continue to find new messages within it. When I read passages from the Gita, I seem to receive more clarity, more understanding and more peace. When I am looking for answers about God, life, death, friendships, my yoga practice, the future, anything, really, I pick it up and amazingly enough, the solutions are right there in front me. There is no need to search any further.

The passages that have stuck with me this week, and which I also read to my yoga class this morning, are in chapter 2. Krishna is talking to Arjuna about the practice of yoga and is beginning to enlighten Arjuna about "the Self "and how his mind is filled with delusion:

"This is philosophy's wisdom;
now hear the wisdom of yoga.
Armed with this understanding,
you will shatter your karmic bonds.

On this path no effort is wasted,
no gain is ever reversed;
even a little of this practice
will shelter you from great sorrow."

[2:39-40]

Mahatma Gandhi referred to the Gita as his Bible. I am definitely no Gandhi but I feel like the Gita is kind of my "Bible" too. I think...if I ever have a baby girl, her name will be Gita....even if I have a boy, maybe I'll still name him Gita. When I die, I want to be cremated and I want those crematory-people, or whatever you call them, to throw in a copy of the Gita with my body, so I can forever rest with it...in hard-copy that is....

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