– May the force be with you!
It was 20 years ago, when I first came into contact with the Bhagavad-gita. At the same time, I also studied other books on Eastern wisdom and started practicing yoga and meditation. I have no words to describe my fascination and joy about the new world that was opening to me at that time. These experiences were just life changing. But in the center of this encounter were the awesome and miraculous words of the Gita.
What kind of yoga does the Gita teach?
The Bhagavad-gita is a yoga book. But not the kind of yoga book you may expect. Yoga in the Gita isn’t about how to keep your body fit and flexible, not even about how to relax deeply. This book teaches us how to look deep into ourselves, how to tap into our real potential and master our lives. It is a yoga off the mat.
The Gita is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna, a master and a disciple, who at the same time were very confidential friends.
Arjuna was facing the crisis of his life. But life was challenging Arjuna just to help him discover his real potential. And that is something that applies to all of us. Life puts us into difficulties just to wake us up.
We don’t discover our potential automatically, we have to search and endeavor for it. We need to learn to walk and to speak. We need to go to school to learn algebra, geography and history. And we need to practice yoga to discover our inner potential and learn how to use it.
In the Gita Krishna explains how yoga can give us the power to accept the challenges in our life and raise up to a higher level, a level we are actually born for to achieve.
May you awaken the force in you!
Conflicts and confusion of this world
“I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O Keshava.” (Bhagavad-gita 1.30)
Arjuna, a prince and great warrior, found himself on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, where a big family dispute was to be fought out. But before the battle started, Arjuna suddenly experienced strong emotional conflicts and thus became utterly confused. He put down his bow and refused to fight.
Our world is full of conflicts. What could be a better setting to depict this than a battlefield? But is fleeing the battlefield the right solution? Or is becoming inactive the right solution?
Accepting the challenge
The Bhagavad-gita advises us to take up the practice of yoga and accept the challenge. According to the Gita, yoga means to leave the platform of our little ego and connect with something greater.
Conflicts and confusion are normal on the level of our little ego, but they disappear more and more when we come closer to the essence of our being. By way of conflict and confusion, life urges us to give up all superficiality and elevate ourselves to a higher level.
This is the potential that lies in you. To discover it is the most important task in your life. With the help of yoga you can get the strength to tap into this potential.
Get ready for a new dimension of your yoga practice
This is only the first part of a series of articles about the yoga practices and tools we find in the Bhagavad-gita. And I am going to explain in detail how you can apply these tools in your practical life, in your personal situation. Remember: Yoga in the Gita is not about postures and breathing exercises; it is about life skills and self realization.
You may want to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on our articles.
What does the Bhagavad-gita mean to you? How do you put these great teachings into practice?
Please write your comments in the section below.