This contemporary companion to the Bhagavad
Gita addresses the heart of human yearning. It offers the possibility
of transforming the battle of life into a path to Trutha living
process. Each of the eighteen chapters presents a road toward our inner,
universal Self, bringing a deeper and wider perspective along the way.
A psychological orientation invites the reader to move from abstract idea
to individual insight. As the book proceeds, the relationship between
the personal and the eternal gradually unfolds in an ever-expanding process
of self discovery.
| —with Bibliography, Glossary,
Addendum, Notes, Index|
Naina Lepes has been receiving inspiration and wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita since 1970, and studied Vedanta with Swami Chinmayananda. Her longtime Guru has been Sai Baba, while other early influences in her life include the work of G. I.Gurdjieff and C. G. Jung.
She is the author of The Bhagavad
Gita and Inner Transformation,
From Maya to Oneness (available in the U.S. at firstname.lastname@example.org,
tel 714 6690522, India- email@example.com,
tel 08555 287375, 125 rupees plus mailing) and The Cat Guru (available
at www.amazon.com). Formerly the
author worked as a Jungian trained psychotherapist in New York. Her formal
education includes degrees in Music, Psychology and a Ph.D. in Counseling.
Naina was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and now lives in India where she writes poems and travel stories.
For one who looks beyond surfaces
the path is highly individual
nothing is grafted on
we can meet the one anywhere
this sacred spot where
so in this era of greedy globalization
that our inner subjectivity
| Without any conscious intention
on my part, the Gita has become a secret driving force behind the
unfoldment of my life. In the days of doubt, this wonderful book appeared
and supported my spiritual search. Then for many years, I carried the tiny
Juan Mascaro edition around with me, and read a bit here and there. Before
long, I began turning to her wisdom in times of need. And she has remained
a faithful guide ever since.
For eighteen years I neither read a commentary nor heard a teacher. The Gita alone was my sole guide. Then, while living in India in 1988, some unusual events led me to Swami Chinmayananda, and I began receiving the Gita wisdom from this great realized teacher. Upon returning to the U.S., I read commentaries of other Gita lovers and mahatmas, great souls. Soon I felt the urge to try to express in words something of the essence and meaning of each chapter in a flowing way, which would help strengthen my inner connection and integrate the spiritual, the psychological and the somewhat scholarly.
My wish is that this book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one's inner process. Then life in the world can become a real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey!
a golden thread
In this eternal moment of intense dramatic necessity, we are shown how to live in the world and not be of the world; how to utilize living itself as a means of spiritual growth, no matter what the external circumstance; how to experience all our joys and sorrows and shortcomings as a means of spiritual upliftment. The Gita helps us integrate our separate personality into harmony with the whole. It teaches an alchemy of transforming our raw material as well as transcending it. Spirit and matter are equal partners. The individual and the divine are part of one unity.
This knowledge is revealed through a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Krishna is the loving teacher; Arjuna is the questioning disciple. Krishna is a king; a married man with many duties. And he's also an avatar—one who descends to earth with the express purpose of uplifting humanity. Krishna is the inner Self—eternal, omniscient, present within each of us. Arjuna is the insecure individuality making its way in the world subject to confusion and doubt. An aim of the Gita is to help us forge a link with this inner Self as we dance through life, so we can come to know who we really are. Then genuine self confidence emerges.
Gradually throughout each chapter, Krishna teaches Arjuna the nature of Truth or Reality. This helps him come closer and closer to his inner Self until at the very end, Arjuna's memory of his true nature returns. The knowledge of our true identity cannot occur without a battle. This battle takes place on the field of dharma. Dharma means justice, righteousness or the inner essence of a thing. Although the location of the battle is called Kurukshetra, it is really placeless and timeless. It is a battle each of us will be compelled to fight if we yearn for liberation. Liberation from suffering, liberation from ignorance cannot occur without yearning for freedom. Like Arjuna we must know we do not know. And to gain freedom, we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.
What makes the Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence. Only when the connection becomes ongoing does suffering cease. In order to be able to forge this inner link, much baggage must be discarded along the way. All the external conditioning which is not a reflection of our essence must gradually go. Our anger, fear, greed, jealousy, confusion, worry, attachment, selfishness, pride, expectations and desire to control must be given the means to melt down as the beginning process of the work. This occurs not only through technique, but also through ever heightening yearning, spiritual practice and consequent insight that proceeds from deep within each person. First we must recognize the tools and then learn how to use them.
The process consists of many small steps along the way of practice and understanding. As each fresh insight brings new joy and a different obstacle, a flow is established between inner knowing and outer happening. Events are no longer seen as separate and segmented but part of a giant continuity of great nature of which we are all a part. We are each students at the university of prakriti learning lessons from nature tailored to our individual level and inner needs. And eventually we might come to see that what constitutes liberation is the qualitative depth and breadth of our experiential vision.
There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field(jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal(bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge(karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom.
Each of the eighteen chapters presents a yoga or graduated means of linking the separate individuality with the selfless Self. Yoga derives from the Sanskrit "yuj", which means to join. The various philosophies and methods of joining the mind to eternal Truth find expression within each chapter. When the different aspects of oneself become connected to the One center, the goal of yoga is near.
Then all our seemingly individual thoughts
and actions become linked to the higher Intelligence. If each individual
who experiences an inner calling could work in accordance with his or
her capacity to forge this connection, there would be peace and contentment
within the individual, the family, the society and the world.
Poem, Gita Synopsis
1. Yoga of Arjuna's Sorrow (Arjuna Vishada Yoga)
2. Yoga of the Eternal (Sankhya Yoga)
3. Yoga of Action (Karma Yoga)
4. Yoga of Knowledge in Action (Jnana Yoga)
5. Renunciation Through Action (Karmasannyasa Yoga)
6. Yoga of Meditation (Dhyana Yoga)
7. Yoga of Wisdom (Vijnana Yoga)
8. Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman (Aksharaparabrahma Yoga)
9. The Secret Kingly Yoga (Rajavidya Rajaguhya Yoga)
10. Yoga of Divine Splendor (Vibhuti Yoga)
11. Yoga of the Cosmic Form (Visvarupa Sandarshana Yoga)
12. Yoga of Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
13. Yoga of the Knower and the Known (Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaga
14. Yoga of the Three Qualities (Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga)
15. Yoga of the Supreme Self (Purushottama Prapti Yoga)
16. Yoga of the Light and Dark Paths (Daivasurasampad Vibhaga
17. Yoga of the Threefold Faith (Shraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga)
18. Liberation and Renunciation (Moksha Sannyasa Yoga)
Poem Eternal Dharma
Verses from the Bhagavad Gita
Addendum One: Background Story and Characters
Addendum Two: Psychotherapy and Spirituality
and revel in the game of life!
| The Bhagavad Gita and Inner Transformation,
by Naina Lepes.