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Practical Bhagavad Gita

Practical Bhagavad Gita

A teaching-learning and discussion based group to understand core concepts and grasp the high-level map of the terrain of Bhagavad Gita. A handful of slokas are introduced to give the scriptural anchoring to these concepts.

Starts May, 2023

12-24 sessions | Conducted every Wednesday 6 PM

Small group, upto 10 people

75-minute online video conversations

Led by Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy

Program Fee - 12 sessions - INR 4000 for India-based participants | INR 7000 for participants outside India

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Why this group?

Bhagavad Gita is a storehouse of wisdom from the Hindu tradition. It is a non-sectarian, non-dogmatic book with a rational worldview and Universal values based on that. It has been the inspiration for several great philosophers, saints, scientists, artists, and social workers throughout the world for centuries.

Several translations and commentaries are available on the Bhagavad Gita in several languages written over the years. Still, there is a need for a systematic presentation of the message and text of the Bhagavad Gita in a way that is relevant and relatable to the youth and professionals of today. The presentation needs to be based on modern scientifically accepted theories, use modern idioms, and help the student to relate to everyday situations in modern life.

What will we cover?

A top-down approach is utilized in this course. First some core concepts and categories are introduced. This would help the participants grasp the high-level map of the terrain of Bhagavad Gita. Then a handful of slokas are introduced to give the scriptural anchoring to these concepts. The group is taught how to understand the literal and implied meanings of slokas. Then, we do a deep dive into chapters 15 and 12. Chapter 15 gives the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita. Chapter 12 gives the instructions on how to put the philosophy into practice. Overall, the group would become familiar with about 70 slokas and we will discuss how to redesign life and create a personalized daily routine to form habits inline with the new knowledge gained.

Who is the group for?

Bhagavad Gita was told by a successful king to another successful king, when the latter faced a moral dilemma in life and sought the former’s wise counsel. Today, many of us face situations in life where we need some guidance to decide. Often, after having attained a certain degree of success in life, we seek a new meaning to life and a new purpose to work. We cannot dig a well when the house is on fire. We need to equip ourselves with a worldview and a framework of concepts that can help us to make good decisions when needed. This course is designed to present Bhagavad Gita as a framework to rediscover oneself, reinvent oneself, find a higher purpose to life, work towards it and guide making decisions in every-day life.

The Experience

100% Online Meetings

Attend 75-minute sessions each week from the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Top-down Approach

This group has top-down approach. First some core concepts and categories are introduced. This would help the student grasp the high-level map of the terrain of Bhagavad Gita. Then a handful of slokas are introduced to give the scriptural anchoring to these concepts. There would be a gradual build-up of understanding in a well-designed sequence with curated sets of slokas. Familiarity with the previous sessions would be the only requirement to fully benefit from a subsequent session.

Reference

Group will be conducted in English. The required slokas will be presented in the slides. The participants will be given a PDF file with all the selected slokas. This can be used for regular chanting and deeper study.

In addition, the students can use any Bhagavad Gita book which gives word-by-word meaning. Suggested book is the Bhagavad Gita book by Swami Swarupananda (disciple of Swami Vivekananda), published by Advaita Ashrama. Kolkata (part of Ramakrishna Math and Mission).

Extensible by Design

12 weeks will give participants an introduction to the core concepts. There will be an option to continue your learning by signing up for 12 additional weeks and cover the next set of slokas and concepts.

  • Biggest benefit has been listening and learning about what other people are thinking.

    Ketki

    On a spiritual journey

  • This [group] is so impactful, because I'm seeing it translate into the real world.

    Mukti

    Physician

  • I connected with like-minded individuals. There was an environment of mutual trust and respect that allowed us to shepherd each other through discussions.

    Jinal

    Product Manager

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Meet your Facilitator

Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy

Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy holds a B.Tech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from IIT Madras, M.Sc (Engg) in Computer Science from IISc Bangalore and M.A in Philosophy, Religion and Culture from Annamalai University. He is currently pursuing Ph.D in Yoga, Biopsychology and Biomedical Instrumentation at IIT Kharagpur. He is a Software Engineer by profession with more than 25 years of working experience. He is currently working as Director of Product Development at Itron, Bangalore.
He is associated with Ramakrishna Mission. He is one of the founders of Vivekananda Study Circle at IIT Madras. He is the mentor of Vivekananda Study Circle at IISc Bangalore. He is a member and mentor of Vivekananda Yuvak Sangha at Ramakrishna Math, Ulsoor, Bangalore. He is a trustee and trainer of Vivekananda Janoththana Trust, which conducts Life Skills Workshops for college students and other youth. He regularly addresses youth and children on Hinduism, Vedanta, Bhagavad Gita and Swami Vivekananda. He is a regular contributor of book reviews and articles to Vedanta Kesari, the monthly magazine of Sri Ramakrishna Math, published from Chennai. He has published a few books, including a practical guide to conduct Life Skills Workshop in 2019. You can find his articles and books on his website www.practicalphilosophy.in

FAQs

What will the syllabus cover?

  • Introduction to Bhagavad Gita
  • Core concepts
  • Purpose of life
  • Nature of the individual
  • Nature of the Universal
  • Path to the goal
  • Essential slokas
  • Chapter 15 and Chapter 12
  • Practice of the Bhagavad Gita

What am I going to get out of this?

Bhagavad Gita as a framework to rediscover oneself, reinvent oneself, find a higher purpose to life, work towards it and guide making decisions in every-day life. This could be a very first step to start on a spiritual journey.

What kind of commitment do I need?

Consistent attendance is an important ingredient in benefiting from the group. Familiarity with the previous sessions would be required to fully benefit from a subsequent session.

Will the sessions be recorded?

100% attendance is expected, but we know life happens and you may need to miss a session or two. All sessions will be recorded and recordings made available to the participants.

This space could be your first step on a life long spiritual journey!

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