This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 1 and consists of 91 lectures, available on:

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, September 2010-April 2011

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Brahman understanding is seeing how the Lord's potencies are making the material world run.
  • Paramatma is the person, the controller of the material world, the Lord without His associates, His associates are there, but the worshipers of Paramatma do not acknowledge them.

  • Bhagavan is the Lord with His associates, devotees, that interaction in pastimes
  • Instrument means, it should cooperate. Anything we can do is the Lord's potency anyway, because we on our own are 1/10,000 the tip of the hair and can't do anything. Jiva can choose to cooperate or not, but we are never working on our own anyway.
  • We don't have to be the controller to enjoy. If we are involved in the Lord's pastimes, we don't control them, but we will enjoy unlimitedly.
  • The variety in the spiritual world is within a particular relationship, which is stable (sthayi-bhava). But in material world the situation and relationship with the Lord is always changing.
  • Surrender just means, the perspective changes. Instead of using activity for our own purpose, we use it for Krishna's purpose. Living entity is neither enjoyer, nor renouncer.
  • The common culture and rules enable the proper functioning of relationships and tasting of all the 12 rasas.
  • We are Hindu by culture, but Vaishnava by philosophy.
  • 34:00 On the spiritual platform both happiness and pain, meeting and separation bring ecstasy
  • For karmis, involvement in activity is happiness, for jnanis, refraining from activity and thus avoiding distress is happiness. For karmis it's more temporary, for jnanis, a little more permanent.
  • The world is not ours to renounce. Sannyasa means understanding that everything is Krishna's.
  • In the spiritual world, by serving Krishna, we create situations to serve more. If Krishna liked our service, He will create situations where that can be manifest again. Krishna's enjoyment is always increasing, so situations are always changing. Material world everything is decreasing, therefore changing.
  • Jiva takes part both in enjoyment and being enjoyed.
  • Accepting our actual position is the only means to attain peace.
  • Distresses come in the material world due to changes in our identity. We have to constantly change our identity in pursuit of enjoyment.
  • 55:00 Only devotee can have actual liberation, because he gives up the Purusha-bhava. The liberation of the impersonalists is temporary. Getting to liberated platform it's a goal for jnanis, but for us it's just something we go through.
  • Whatever we want, we should go to the Lord for it, but approaching the Lord, He will remove that desire. If we worshiped the Lord to get something, and after we get we drop the worship, then we are back on the material platform. But if we keep up the worship, we will loose attraction for that thing, but the thing itself may remain if it is useful in the service of the Lord.
  • We have a situation, that's static. By contemplation we develop a need, now it's dynamic. But at some point it still has to turn into a proper activity to get a result. Modern systems don't deal with the full picture of Lord, living entity and material energy.
  • People who act on the platform of economics and politics do not have clear identity and deep relationships, and they are not actually moving towards liberation.
  • 76:30 The spirit [of Bhagavad-gita] is Pradyumna, the purpose, prayojana is Aniruddha, the subject, sambandha would be Sankarshana, and the process of understanding, abhideya, would be Vasudeva
  • Sambandha - understanding behind all 3. But behind the field there is a mood, spirit, that's Pradyumna, we start with that. If the spirit is right, we approach the field properly. Without devotion to Krishna, one cannot understand anything else, because that means the spirit is not right. But even theoretically accepting Krishna will work.
  • In Ch.2 Krishna gave preliminary knowledge of the soul. Since it did not awaken Arjuna's innate knowledge, Krishna recommended detached work, buddhi-yoga, by which the eternal spirit nature of the self is realized. Krishna gave knowledge, but knowledge isn't enough, because Arjuna was kshatriya, an active person, so he needed something to inspire him, because body, mind and words have to be involved. Inspiration comes, when we see how to be involved.
  • One could say, Arjuna was not on such a high level, because he heard, but did not realize at once. But solution was even nicer - activity in Krishna consciousness.
  • For somebody who is so unqualified, the only thing that will work for them is the best. If you are qualified, you can use something that is less than best.
  • Brahman realization, we see everything as one, but advancing further we start seeing differences within Brahman.
  • In first 6 chapters all the fundamental principles are given, 2nd group of 6 chapters is important details, last 6 chapters are technical details.
  • The most important self-help book that's there it's Bhagavad-gita, because other self-help books don't explain the whole picture. Therefore readers cannot actually apply the advices in their life.
  • The first thing to do when explaining a subject matter is to give overall overview in relationship to Krishna. Only then give more details, otherwise they will make no sense.
  • All Vedic literatures start with explaining the creation. Dharma shastras define correct and incorrect as the Lord sees it.
  • Only the last 2 stages of Ashtanga-yoga are useful for devotees as part of naishkarmya. Naishkarmya includes karma, jnana and yoga.
  • Ch.6 is called Dhyana-yoga, because it describes meditation on the Lord, and that's what devotees try for. Hatha-yoga, for example means only the 1st three stages of ashtanga yoga.
  • We are taking knowledge from jnana-yoga, lifestyle from karma-yoga and meditation of dhyana-yoga, that constitutes buddhi-yoga.
  • Yoga is one ladder, one piece, one entity.
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