Take away from Bhagvad Gita classes

I always thought about karma, why some people are happy, why some have struggled in life. My mom used to tell me whatever you sow, you reap. And for this I always used to argue, saying the person who is doing all wrong things in life is still happy has everything and in life (of course happy as per my perspective) and one is doing right has nothing.

My myths were cleared about many things after attending this classes (and not so pravachan on Gita). I got an insight on many topics which earlier was only some words meant only for sadhus and religious people.

In these sessions, we learned about Karmyoga, Paapa, Punya, Dharma, Raaga, Dhwesha, Artha, Kaama, Sanskara, Prasada and many such words.

As humans we will have desires in life, what we want to have and what we don’t want to have which as per Gita is called Raaga & Dhweesha. These desires lead us to the path of action. How happy or content we are, depending on the desires fulfilled.

It does not mean that we follow our desires to get what we want but does not follow the right path. It is within you to make the decision and follow what is right. Sometimes we are also so caught up in our desire to achieve everything that we forget ourselves and we don’t have time to stop and think.

Life is a series of learning experiences.

But one thing is sure that your happiness should not be time bound nor should it depend on someone else. Whatever we are looking for is there for you without having to do it. How can I make myself happy as I want to be?

As per Gita, it is simple and straightforward but somehow either we ignore or don’t want to understand. Do your dharma (action) and don’t care about results. If you have done your actions well or as per dharma, laws will take care of the results as desired. Don’t determine the results. You are only responsible for your action don’t take burden of your results

Dharma does not mean only doing big things in life. Normal or ordinary action can also be part of your growth. Simple things like watering a plant, doing right acts can also be a part of your punya. Coming back home safely or achieving something is also part of your punya or paapa. If you have done something good it will automatically come to you whether in this life or next.

Mr. Gupta (facilitator) also shared his example of doing right things like following traffic rules and not taking a shortcut, paying his taxes even if he had a way out. This ordinary actions in daily life make you feel good about yourself and also add to your list of punya. 

Live life for yourself and live life intelligently without the fear of what I am gaining or losing. One thing is for sure if you are happy you will make others around you happy. You are your own friend and your own enemy. Be your friend and everything will fall in place.

So the crux of the matter is, do the right things (as a part of your dharma) it will eventually add to your pappa and punya whether visible or not, in this life or maybe next.  You will have desires, emotions but what path you take is your choice. Finally, it all comes to you and your right choice of actions.

The AHA moment for me was Gita has answers to all your problem, it is a blueprint, a foolproof plan for us to lead our lives and be happy (only if you understand it in right context).




Bhagwat Gita-True meaning of Life…

My understanding for Bhagwat Gita..

Bhagwat Gita” is a motivational book if we understand it from the depth. There are many things I came to understand which I was not clear even after reading Bhagwat Gita. I came to know that our anger is our pain, and when we are in pain we show anger to  people around us which is painful to others as well as to us. Some of our pain can make us or break us. Our pain, our anger we ourselves are responsible for the action. It is we who chose to get upset or in pain for our action.

As human being we are free to think but we cannot judge other….yet we do, we keep on judging others even if our judgement is wrong. We can give advice but we can’t force one to work on it.

I brought to my knowledge that it is good to have desire and there is no problem in it but when desires get disappointment, things does not go the way expected than problem is there…..result is less than our expectation. Situations can be up and down we need to be balanced. Take the results as PRASADA. We can act and the results will be taken care by the Great God.

God is in the form of 5 elements: Aakash, Vayu, Agni, Aapha, Pruthavi.


Dharma is Ishwara‘ to be done is our dharma and walking on dharma is worshiping Ishwara. Prayer is a action that produces a result, it could be bad or good.

Here I want to share that very often I join my hands and stand in front of God, my mother always say me that you should spend at list 10 min. in front of God and pray to keep your family safe and healthy, I started doing it but somewhere I was filling emptiness and not satisfied. My mother started staying unhealthy, my elder brothers went jobless and I was in pain for the same, later on I started taking care of my paternal family, financially and others ways too without letting them know into their knowledge. Trust me that feeling of  satisfaction was much brighter than standing in front of God.. Yes I do believe in God and I pray but the real Ishwara is my Dharma which I came to know now.

Many more learning is left to bring into my knowledge from Bhagawat Gita.

Thank you so much to have such classes in school.

Bhagwad Gita

To begin with, When I joined the class, the first thing came in my mind was, “what is the purpose of Bhagvad Gita?, What does Gita teach us?”.Also, I have been hearing about the things like good karma/ bad karma and how it works in our lives.I also wondered about how our good karma pay back with good things and bad karma leads to unfavourable things? Is it all about moksa??  But I can say that the purpose of learning about Gita is to help us discover the fact that we are truly limitless.


In the first class of Geeta, Gagan Gupta Sir began the class with an interesting story of the Gita which was about the battle led up between Krishna and Arjuna to take back his kingdom.In the story, Arjuna did not want to fight.He did not understand why he had to shed his family’s blood for a kingdom that he didn’t even necessarily want.In his eyes, killing his evil and killing his family was the greatest sin of all. He casts down his weapons and tells Krishna he will not fight. Krishna, then, begins the systematic process of explaining why it is Arjuna’s dharmic duty to fight and how he must fight in order to restore his karma.The purpose of this story was to allow a person to work off their karma, accumulated through lifetimes of action.


The main concepts I have learned in the Geeta till now was about dharma, karma, raga, dvesha……. What I understood about dharma is all about ‘law’ or ‘duty.'( knowledge of the right thing) Every being is subject to a cycle of birth and death in which one has to come to Earth to work off their karma by fulfilling their dharma — or duty — in a given lifetime. It was explained by an example of crossing the road to reach “ POOJA ABHISHEK” building. To reach to the building, we have two options: taking a shortcut and cross the road on wrong side or we can follow dharma to go all way till Ambika Niketan circle, take a U-turn and reach at the destination point.So, all about dharma is to follow your knowledge about what needs to be done…


Moving on to Karma, what I have learnt about this concept is : people have a debt of karma to work off in their lifetime, and do so either by fulfilling or avoiding their dharma. Every action has a karmic consequence and so karma either accumulates or dissolves until the cycle of birth and rebirth ends.It was explained by an example of a  journey from home to the desired destination.If we ride a bike from our home and reached to the desired destination safely that means your good karma ( Punya) is reverting to you.and if you met with an accident that means your bad karma (papa) and others papa connected with each other and it is reverting to you in a negative result.


Last but not the least, talking about raga and dvesha, Raga means desire and dvesha means what we don’t desire to happen.Raga and Dvesha are the two Doshas or faults in the mind that have brought us to this world.All the emotions come under the category of Raga-Dvesha.Pleasure and pain, Harsha and Soka are due to Raga-Dvesha. If Raga and Dvesha vanish from the mind, Harsha-Soka also will disappear.It was explained by an example: If an object gives pleasure, you get Raga for the object. But when there is Viyoga (separation) from the object, as in the case of death of your dear wife or son, you get immense pain which is indescribable. Suppose you are in the habit of taking fruits after food. Fruits give you pleasure. You get Raga (liking) for fruits. But if you cannot get fruits in a place, you get pain.


Moreover, during the session, it was an amazing experience of listening to the past experiences of Gagan sir that he faced in America in order to connect all the sanskrit chanting of the Geeta.Some of them I could relate myself with him about keeping a “ Big goal” in life so that other small pain will not be a reason to bother oneself.


To sum up with, the biggest takeaway from the session for me is the power of meditation.The highest form of meditation comes when a person not only can free themselves from selfish action, but also focus entirely on the divine in their actions. In other words, Krishna says that he who achieves divine union with him in meditation will ultimately find freedom from the endless cycle of rebirth and death.


‘Dharma is not religion, it is a moral order’

“Take care of yourself and invest in your growth, take steps towards your growth by converting normal ordinary actions into actions of growth”. This is my biggest learning from the Essence of the Gita classes. I never was and am still not a religious person but the Shlokas of the Gita always intrigued me. I acknowledge that my limited knowledge of it was from the Mahabharata serial I watched on television. The chanting of the verses mesmerized me and whatever little I understood from the serial struck a chord and I wanted to know more.

The most profound question I had though was, how could I undertake an action without worrying about its consequences? Every action that I initiate is with the intention that it will cede me desired fruition and hence the advice of ‘karm kar phal ki chinta mat kar’ did not cut much ice. I wanted to understand this better and I did get a rationale behind this. What I understood from the classes ( and I consciously use the word classes and not discourse) is that my actions have to be in alignment with the results that I want. If my actions are in alignment, the results are bound to follow because every result that I get is in direct proportion to what I deserve. The natural laws determined by my past actions take care of it. This I can swallow, not only swallow but I can gulp it down because it makes sense. It is so simple, yet so profound!It is the choices that we make that determines our success.

The discussion about guilt is another concept  I identify with. ‘I know that I do not want to be hurt, I also know that the other person does not want to be hurt, yet if my actions hurt the other person it causes guilt, regret, sorrow in me’. This is because the knowledge is inherent in me, irrespective of whether I want to bring it to the fore or not and it is this knowledge that causes the guilt and the regret. This is what makes me human, so this leads to the previous learning of choosing my actions to go with my ‘to be done’. Life is a series of small situations and in these small situations we can dictate our actions. In big situations emotions take over. If we follow the path of growth we can follow ‘dharma’ (moral order) even in big situations and we will be in a position to decouple our happiness from situations.

Raagas and dhweshas (binding desires) artha and kama, have them sub serve dharma instead of the other way round because when one goes against dharma, one goes against oneself. Shift commitments from ends to managing the means to these ends. When I do this I grow. I become someone whom I can respect and hence it is essential that I become kind to myself, only then can I be kind to the world around me.

Ayman Shaikhmahmud



Learning from Bhagwad Gita classess

Respected Guruji and Dear members,

I would like to thank to avail this wonderful opportunity to explore Shri Bhagvad Gita. I read Gita so many times, and i came with new meanings, even i read the same book in Hindi translation. Guruji told that if we know the language in which it is written then easier to understand. I fully agree on that. I learnt Sanskrit till grade 8 but forgot as i never used it. I enjoyed the chanting of verses and rituals followed by guruji in giving credit to great teachers.

In these classes i found so many  interesting moments like  guruji told that nothing comes esse he ( ऐसे ही ) or i learnt myself or mujhe pata hai ( मुझे पता है ). You should follow some one so that they could guide you. These learning are in depth and needs lots of Manan chantan ( मनन चिंतन ), to dig in depth meaning.

Another one was guruji told that don’t swallow whatever i say. You just logically or rationally define that so that it will be easy to apply in life. I think any knowledge which is not fit to apply in our life is waste. So these classes gave me new horizon to think or compare and contrast my previous learning.

I am follower of Brahmakumaris since past 8 years and get the in depth meanings of Gita through Shiv Baba from the mouth of Brahma baba. I learnt the simple rules and followed in my life and they worked so i believed in that.

I want to praise guruji for his knowledge and the way they gave us. He clarified the typical terms  of GEETA in simpler form so that first time learner could understand. Raga dwesha, paap punya, creator and material, conscious and human beings, dharma and moksha, the terms which we use in life without understanding the meaning and application.

I have only one concern —-

All the religions and even Geeta says that God is one. every one looks to sky by default whenever they want to thank God ( cricketer example). Can we explore that? I know that GOD is one and he has the place too. Guruji gave the example of shirt and cotton and proved that creator and creation is one. My question is what about tailor, who stitched that. 2  who gave us that conscious to make shirt. Who framed all that knowledge?

I will give one example, internet is everywhere in school and you have access to that but there is one server room, persons are responsible, agreed. But if broad band connection is not taken or someone is not supplying the facility then you will not able to access internet.

My another concern is Who said Gita. Krishna, Big no, he was body figure. In Geeta it is written that god is point of light, nirakar, avtarit hote hain, janam nahee lete, to geeta ka bhagwan kaun hai?Kissne ye gyan kab or kyon diya. Ess gyan ke prapti kya hai? Yadi hum dekhe to iss gyan ke baad bhee duniya ke log girte ( matlab life mushkil hue) he aaye hain jabkee bhagwan ne kaha kee mein dharm sthapan ke liye aata hon to wo kaun sa dharm hai? ( भगवान ज्योतिर्बिंदु है, निराकार है,अवतरित होते हैं, जनम नहीं लेते तो गीता का भगवान कौन है ? किसने ये ज्ञान दिया, इस ज्ञान की प्राप्ति क्या है? यदि हम देखे तो इस गीता ज्ञान के बाद भी दुनिया के लोग गिरते हे आये है जबकी भगवान ने कहा कि में धर्म स्थापना के लिए आता तो वो कौन सा धर्म स्थापन किया)?

Geeta kis samay hue ( गीता किस समय सुनाये गयी ) and Vyasa ji just went in smadhi and narrated what he saw in samadhi awastha. Bhagwan told that mein kripa karke apna gyan prakat karta hon to wo bhagwan koun hain? Vyasa ji ko wo diwya drishti kisne de( मैं कृपा करके अपना ज्ञान प्रकट करता हूं तो वो भगवन कृपा करने वाला कौन है, सिर्फ व्यास जी पर ही  कृपा क्यों हुई, यदि वो manifest है तो सब पर क्यों नहीं हुई )?

My sankalp for myself is that i am a powerful, peaceful, pure, loving, knowledgeable and blissful soul or being. In fact we all are. I sankalp that is dharti par ramrajya jaldee he aaye jiska sapna Gandhiji ne bhee dhekha tha ( इस धरती पर रामराज्य जल्दी हे आये जिसका सपना गांधीजी ने भी देखा)|

Om Shanti………..




My Gita: Takeaways from the EBG Class

After attending the Gita classes every Sunday, I was keen to bring the classes to the FS community. Thus, took the birth of “Essence of Bhagvad Gita” (EBG)  as a life classes offering for the academic year 2017-18. The response to these classes was highly encouraging, around 50 people signed up for the workshop. This tells me that we all are looking for answers to our problems: these problems need not be big. But there is a sense of “Everything is not OK, I am not OK” that one carries deep inside. Maybe, Gita has the answers is what Guruji says. So we were all on board.


The subject matter of the Gita is in fact self growth and self discovery. In that sense, the Bhagvad Gita is probably the most ancient “self help” book out there. This revelation itself is dramatic for one who previously thought that the Gita is a Hindu text. Our class has devout Hindus, devout Muslims, atheists, agnostics, skeptics and everyone else who falls in this spectrum and since we all hang on to every word on the class, its clear that the Gita has very little to do with religion or Hinduism.


Coming back to the EBG, one of the first things that was discussed was about who is a person who has made it. The answer : A person who is at home being herself. I then definitely don’t seem to have made it. In fact, I am a classic “insecure overachiever” , I sometimes completely identify with the “imposter syndrome” . Guruji then explained how self esteem was closely related to this feeling of having made it. Self esteem in turns stems from how many desires of mine are accomplished. Thus, as long as my sense of self esteem/ worth/ success is directly proportional  to my never-ending list of desires, I would never really “make it”. Hence, there is a need to redefine “success”. How exactly?  


Turns out that the most well known shloka of the Gita has this answer. “Karmanye va adhikar te, ma faleshu kadachan”: I have full control over my actions (only). I can choose to do , not do or do differently. At no point do I determine the results of the action. The results are “taken care of”. By whom/ what? The laws. My success then depends on how well I handle the results. If I can be more or less the same person, or in other words, take whatever situations that life throws at me with equanimity and sangfroid (Hello, Grade 12 :)) , then as per the Gita, I qualify as a “success”. Good enough. But hey, I am a person given to  worry, anxiety and panic. I dont think I can take results with stability and composure. This is where the concept of “Prasada Buddhi” comes in. Prasada buddhi is the contribution of Swami Dayanand Saraswati to the teaching tradition or “Sampradaya” . If I take the results in my life as “prasada”, then there is some acceptance of the “phala” just like a diabetic also accepts a laddoo as  prasad.Rather, I am happy to take this “prasada”. Probably, this “acceptance of results as they are” concept of the Gita  is spoken colloquially as “everything happens for a reason”, “this is all part of the plan”


My second AHA moment was my acceptance of “ishwar” as the way the Shastras have defined it. I have been an agnostic since I understood this term. Our “western” education does have a lot to do with this. As a “modern, 21st century” woman, I  was naturally skeptical about God and the role that He/ she plays in my life. The idea that “all that is here is intelligently put together, is one conscious being” which one can call “ishwar” , that this “ishwar” is not partial towards anyone in particular, that by doing my duty with dharma is a sort of worship or reverence to this “Ishwar”, that when I mentally weigh the pros and cons/ rights and wrongs of an action in my head is a manifestation of “ishwar” : all these are extremely powerful and  liberating thoughts. By this definition of Ishwar, science, order, evolution all fit in well. To my understanding so far, there is no conflict between science and the idea of “god” as defined by Shastras. Prayer, yoga and meditation also then find their due place in this definition. The idea of “prayer/ pooja” and “meditation” as a physical / mental act of connecting with this “Ishvar” is also powerful.  This is what is the difference between “preaching” and “teaching”. In the spirit of inquiry, when I know the “why” of things, I find it more palatable and real.  I would like this definition of “ishvar” to be more accessible to my generation and also future generations. Acceptance of this vision of “ishvar” and hence “prasadabuddhi” and hence “accepting success and failure with composure” and achieving emotional growth this way: This knowledge/ belief system is surely a way that needs to be handed down further and not lost.  


Something that I assimilated in one of the earlier EBG classes was about the 2 dreaded emotions: anger and fear.  That anger happens, it is not a product of one’s will and happens because of a certain background established that anger is an emotion that cannot necessarily be controlled. It demands expression. My responsibility and “sankalp” as a mature adult is to release this anger in a safe way and not victimize anyone in my anger. I have been working on this for some months now with some level of success. Anger still comes but Gita class learning also comes to the surface soon after that and I am able to process the emotion of anger in a better way.  Fear is the other emotion. Saying “I welcome fear. I am not afraid of fear” is a “sankalp” i wish to take on to live, love and lead fearlessly.


I am sure Krishna has many more things to tell me over the shoulders of Arjuna over the next few chapters and I look forward to continuing my commitment of lifelong learning with Vedanta/ Gita.


Shree Gurubhyo Namah!

Bhagwad Gita

I joined Gita classes as I would like to know about Hindu manuscript. The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between  Arjuna and his guide and  Lord Krishna, in which Arjuna was counselled by Lord Krishna and dialogues between them was narrated in Sanskrit ” that was the first thing in my mind but I was completely wrong day by day attending the classes.

On the first day of our classes, Mr. Gagan Gupta our facilitator has started with the small story about Arjuna and Krishna in which Arjuna doesn’t want to fight. He doesn’t understand why he has to shed his family’s blood for a kingdom that he doesn’t even necessarily want.He thought, killing his evil and killing his family is the greatest sin of all. He casts down his weapons and tells Krishna he will not fight. Krishna, then, explained why it is Arjuna’s dharmic duty to fight and how he must fight in order to restore his karma. We received shlokas to chant and in between sir taught us how to chant considering vowel in Sanskrit. First session was a bit interactive as one hour for ‘queries’ and ‘que- ans’ was there so I was happy to join the classes that I get to know about so many stories and incident which is mentioned in Gita. Now coming to second day it was totally one way process like listening..listening.. all time. After two days somewhere I felt to move on to Art and craft workshop but I don’t want to quit classes and that was the best decision I took.

Now coming to the session it’s all about life experiences and recap of 7 habits and other life classes. Sir is explaining meaning of each and every Sanskrit word with his life experiences and his life’s journey that how he came from USA and settled in India to fulfil his big goal “Learn about Gita and Sanskrit”. This really inspires me that we should always think about our big goal in life and stick to that by neglecting small obstacles in between. Each shlok connect me with some or other life’s lesson like we have to take care of our two emotions ‘anger’ and ‘fear’..all other emotions will be followed by it. He explained that all emotions are necessary for oneself , no one can live without it. We learnt different techniques to control our anger. Not only that in between he told the incident and story about blue cheese, List A and B, catch 22 which was completely new for me. He always emphasized that this classes are not “Pravachan” , it’s all about lecture and we have to think logically and then believe it.


The key points from the Gita classes are:

  • You are your own friend and your own enemy
  • You need to take care of yourself and look for the growth
  • Your rights is only with your action and you have the control of your action, not for outcome.
  • Dream is manifestation of your knowledge and image which you create in your mind.
  • You are only responsible for your behaviour , you can put your self up and destroy even yourself.
  • Material and maker is only one and same that means the whole word is God.

In these last two days specially I learnt about ‘raga’ , ‘Dvesha’ , ‘sanskar’, ‘Karma Yoga’ and ‘Dharma’. The thing which we want to have is called ‘Raga’ and which we don’t want to have is called ‘Dvesha’…Sir explained that all our good or bad things depends on these two. The main is we have to follow ‘Dharma’ , we should know what is right or wrong for us and choose appropriate action according to it rather than selecting short cut. There is good ‘karma’ and bad ‘Karma’…good karma is ‘Punya’ and bad Karma is ‘Paap’.

The best part I have taken from the classes is ‘Meditation’ , today we had our fourth session of mediastation in the class and after second session , I have started meditation at home too with the techniques which sir has taught. I am really thankful to him for that to make us understood true method of doing it. It actually helps me to relax and rejuvenate after hectic routine. Simply enjoying and waiting for these two days of workshop.


Bhagwat Gita- Lessons for life

Bhagwad Gita is believed to contain the essence of life and happiness. It helps us become oneself with our soul or our inner being. But this would happen not just by learning Gita verses or participating in Gita classes. It will happen when we start imbibing and assimilating these learnings in our own lives and our own scenario. Life is actually a series of small situations and what we need in our pursuit of happiness is an alignment between our thoughts, words, and actions. All these things are easier said than done.

The first step in working out a solution to any problem is to identify the problem. The problem that we face is a conflict between emotions and Dharma(my to be done/duty). The recurring problem is the constant thought that I am not okay, things around me are not fine, which ultimately results in momentary happiness and our life is a bag full of miseries.

Now that the problem is identified, next step is self-growth and self-discovery. This self-growth or inner growth has to be deliberately initiated by oneself and it will help us become emotionally mature. We will learn to manage ourselves in the light of our emotions. We have to have self-worth and understand that self-esteem is what counts.

We are our own friend and our own enemy and hence find it difficult to avoid self-judgment. The key to having self-esteem is being your own friend, take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place.

Every human being is endowed with 3 things- Ichchashakti(desires), Kriyashakti(action) and Gyanshakti.

We have desires in all realms of life and unfulfilled desires outweigh the fulfilled ones, and the irony is that our happiness is dependent on the fulfillment of these desires. It is important to understand here that this does not mean that we should not have desires, in fact having desires is our privilege. Because of our unfulfilled desires, we fail to give credit to ourselves for our small achievements. We need to redefine success.

We have to act on desires otherwise we will end up being frustrated. Human beings have freewill – that is, we can choose to act or not to act or to act differently in any given situation. This will decide our course of action and the results will be taken care of by the laws. This does not mean ‘karm kar, phal ki ichcha mat kar’.

We need to acknowledge our limitations and success lies in our ability to handle results.

What matters most is our attitude to the action we choose and also to the result. ‘Dharma’ should be the main goal and everything should be in accordance with it. Knowing dharma is something that comes naturally, it cannot be taught and when followed gives a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

Talking about my key takeaways or what I have applied or will try to apply in my life, I would first like to mention that often during the Gita classes, I find myself retrospecting the situations in my life and the choices I made. However, that’s a different story. The point which has made a profound impact on me is that be your own friend. You are perfect the way you are. This sense of well being will ensure that my composure, my happiness is not disturbed by situations around me. The second thing that I already believe in and practice is doing the right thing(Dharma) and being apart of the Gita Classes further strengthened my belief.

One question that I still have is about the cycle of the ‘drishta(visible) and adrishta(invisible) or my paap and punya’. I understand that everything that is happening is because of this past karma, however, what I fail to understand is when, because of my previous paap, something bad happens, how do I control my actions then and ensure that I don’t end up adding to my ‘paaps’. However, I am also sure that by the 9th session I‘ll get some clarity about this.

I really hope that I am able to discover my inner self and am able to handle the smaller situations in my life, I am able to objectify myself and those around me(it will happen only with a lot of conscious efforts).

Before I end my reflection I would also like to mention that apart from learning Gita, it’s connection with our lives, I look forward to the wonderful vocabulary and phrases like- ‘when rubber hits the road’, ‘catch 22 situation’, ‘fortify yourself with breakfast’, let’s go on a detour and then we will pick up the thread again’; Guruji keeps using these and many more which makes me want to listen to him.

From Critical Thinking lessons to lessons from The Gita!

My recent transgression from theism to almost agnosticism (and definite ‘anti-ritualistic’ attitude) made me want to take up the Gita classes as a challenge – having avoided ‘such things’ all my adult life, and not for lack of opportunities, mind you. Perhaps the tag of a “well-read Tamil Mami (aunty)”, somehow didn’t seem as appealing as the notion of a “happening facilitator of Literature”.

But, as it happens, our beliefs are often turned on their heads in life. My perception of The Gita classes turned out to be one such case. What I presumed would actually be antithetical to all I could possibly grasp from other life classes, especially the Critical Thinking classes (and would, therefore, mangle the inner recesses of my brain) turned out was not as asymmetrical in nature – especially since it was delivered with a reasonable dose of logic and a sort of ‘take it or leave it’ mantra. What I believed would be lectures and explanations turned out to be as emphatically related to life as were the Critical thinking classes.

Of course, there was teething trouble. How does a grown person who has never been taught Sanskrit in her life adopt with open arms the embarrassing task of chanting out verses – and end up with the humiliation of being unable to pronounce words? But I guess that got covered because everyone else was also mumbling the words wrong! So with some attempts at trying to decipher words and still others to make a connect with what I had heard during pujas in my growing days, I started my Gita journey – significant or not, is a post for another day.

The lessons brought me to terms with a few interesting ideas – one of them being that the Gita is a blueprint, a sort of plan, to help one lead their life. Now how can an incredible sounding book, allegedly written by the Elephant-God, dictated by an Omniscient Narrative perspective of a Sage, with one character being the Divine image and the other his cousin, make any sense in the current world? What kind of a blueprint was it going to give me? Of course, those questions still persist. But that does not negate the internal debate and discussions that have begun in my head (in addition to those that we had around the table).

From learning about cognitive biases (CT) to moving on to recognizing more basic things about my existence (BG), the transition seemed almost seamless. From something spiritual and therefore unreachable, the Gita and its lessons seemed to turn into something tangible. With resounding clarity, a few facts that I learnt during Life/Love/Integrity and CT classes were brought back to fore.

Penned here are a few interesting things that I have learnt from these lessons:

  1. Emotional maturity – my happiness or dissatisfaction is dependent on my own mind.
  2. Success or lack of it depends on our attitude to it – if we think of it as ‘Prasada’, coming from the altar of ‘Eeshwara’ our attitude to success and failure may change.
  3. A truth happens to be two orders of reality – what is the truth and what is our projection of it.
  4. We all play various roles in life – problems that occur in those roles are not problems of the Basic person (who is different from/more than each of these roles that one plays).
  5. One is already innately composed – what one needs to find is cause for ‘Ashanti’.
  6. Projection is always on a person, not a thing – when we hit our foot against the table we don’t get angry at the table, but when someone stamps our feet we are angry at the person. This was a significant learning for me – because I learnt how to take a pause to avoid projecting anger at people.
  7. When you manage your ‘to be done’, you adhere to Dharma. The knower-doer dichotomy results when you digress from Dharma, which would imply that your mind innately knows what is the right thing to do.
  8. And finally, what all of the life classes have taught me – Advice is an insult to people’s intelligence.

So Tamil Mami or not, whether I will remember these verses or not, and even if I am unable to pronounce the words correctly – at least there is no ‘pravachan’. I am free to decide what to take and what to discard. So, I guess, that works well for me.


Love class reflection

My perception about life is all about struggles then my perception is changed once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult.Life is easy.Why to think that life is difficult and live a life accordingly when things can be handled easily.

My first perception about love is feeling but then my perception towards love is changed Love is not a feeling, love is in action.The willingness to extend. Love is an act of will – namely, both an intention and an action.Love is not dependency.

Wonderful book- The road less travelled by Scott Peck.Thank you mentors for taking up love classes with so many examples it help us to make personal connections and understand deeply.

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