BHAGAVAD GITA IN THE NEW AGE
Online Book Study Group
We have finished studying the Bhagavad Gita... this time around! You can view archived sessions at these two links:
Let us take a voyage through the sacred texts together—not to go back in time, but rather to discover how this universal ancient wisdom can spark the answers we need to live more fully today. Explore how these teachings can help in every area of life: work, family, relationships, emotions, spirituality… We will start by studying the book The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, which shares the interpretation of this scripture by Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the bestselling classic Autobiography of a Yogi. We will start each session with a fifteen-minute meditation and then review the text from that week’s reading. I will share some thoughts and encourage group discussion and introspection. I look forward to embarking on this voyage with you!
Please purchase a copy of The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita to participate in this group.
For a print version, click here.
For the Kindle version, click here.
What is the Bhagavad Gita?
The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient scripture based on the conversation between the God-like being Krishna and the leader of the Pandava army, Arjuna, as they begin the war of Kurukshetra in the longest epic in the world, the Mahabharata. This battle is an allegory of the spiritual path with the five Pandava brothers trying to overcome the bad habits represented by their cousins, the 100 Kaurava brothers. The Pandava brothers each stand for one of the first five chakras and represent the more positive qualities of man like divine calmness and self-control. Krishna imparts his wisdom upon Arjuna as if he is a devotee seeking the true path towards enlightenment. Their conversation reveals a greater universal understanding of meditation and life. It leaves the space for us to choose how to apply that knowledge to our own lives and discover our fullest potential.
Why I study the Bhagavad Gita:
This book has made it easier for me to relate to the spiritual path because it does not define exactly what to do. It shares the consciousness that we wish to uphold, and then it is up to us to figure out how to apply that understanding in our own unique way in each of our lives. It has also transformed my life by giving me a deeper grasp of truth, of other people, of myself, and of how to relate most smoothly and calmly to this world. It has guided me to create a life with less tension where I feel grace flowing more smoothly and effortlessly. It has helped me understand how my meditation practice relates to daily life. It engenders the understanding that empowers me to forgive others and get less caught up in their problems. It helps me feel and share more love. It has layers of depth so it can be read over and over with something new to learn and comprehend each time. I wish all could share the potential ease in life gained from the wisdom in this book.
Is the Bhagavad Gita Timeless?
With over 23 million people watching Game of Thrones, it should not be a question if people would be interested in reading about outdated battle scenes or ways of living. Of course, the ancient scripture, Bhagavad Gita, is not meant for entertainment, but to find a match that awakens people to their highest possibilities in an entertaining way.
Five Claims That Dispel Myths About the Bhagavad Gita
I believe the intention behind the Bhagavad Gita is to lay a supportive foundation that can be applied to any path and any life. Yet sometimes it felt to me as if it was getting too detailed with too much definition on how life “should” be. As I kept reading I would hit a statement that presented the underlying message I was feeling thus wiping away what was previously stated and taking things up a notch in understanding. These five statements are what I find helpful to focus on for today’s awakened consciousness.
"Studying the Bhagavad Gita under the guidance of Avital is such a great experience! She is very intuitive and leads us where we each personally need to be led. I am growing through this study, learning more about who I am, why I am here and how to live the life I was created to live. The Gita is filled with so many treasures and it is such of an inclusive writing. So many times wisdom study groups become exclusive, defining their reality as the best or correct one. This is an inclusive group that has shown me a very big God and Creator of all that is, who guides us to live the lives we were meant to live.
We are able to really dig into the gems of wisdom offered us in the Bhagavad Gita. The group has a calm, yet exciting energy that leads us all forward in our journey and deeper on our path. What a blessing this has been for me.
Avital works with technology as if it were her own little orchestra, she has YouTube, Google+ and telephone callers all orchestrated as seamlessly as possible. She is also working with folks from across different time zones, and with God's guidance she has been successful at finding times that work for us. I, for one, could not be in this group if Avital weren't such a masterful and creative conductor of technology. I love this study!"
—JL, Fresno, CA
"Avital...Your expertise in drawing out the deeper meanings of each stanza was very helpful in providing added insight to my current understanding of them. I think what I liked most about your comments and explanations of these stanzas, was how your interpretations of them can be applied to our modern views and experiences with life, death, and our search for meaning and purpose in life, spiritually and otherwise. And I also very much enjoyed the views of the other students. It is easy to see that they are applying what they are learning from this study of the Gita to their own spiritual search, and finding greater meaning to their lives because of this. Such a fun and enjoyable class!"
—Cyn W., Traverse City, MI
"It has been nearly 25 years since I was last in a group setting studying spiritual literature, but I must say that since I joined Avital's online Bhagavad Gita study group two weeks ago, I am definitely back, and fully in!
Due to her excellent preparation and facilitation skills, I feel as though I've been a part of this group for 2 years rather than just 2 weeks. I really enjoy how she is so willing to open up and share, and how she does it with such enjoyment and enthusiasm. And she has a masterful way of making everyone feel very much at ease.
I highly recommend any of her groups that she facilitates!"
—Jim Williams, Springfield, Ohio
"I just love Avital’s Bagavad Gita Bookstudy Group! She leads it with a lovely balance of playfulness and gravity and Yogananda’s book provides so many valuable insights that are useful for everyday life. I have gained so much from this class and it has become the central pillar of my personal spiritual work."
—Jas Dziewanowski, Grass Valley, CA