The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are probably the most well-known base for the philosophy of yoga. However, there are other books that yogis turn to for guidance and understanding of the 8-limbs of yoga and how they might influence and be approached more practically in life. One of these is the Bhagavad Gita.
I have heard it said that the Sutras are for the Jnana Yogi – those on the path of knowledge and mental concentration, whereas the Gita is for the Karma Yogi – those on the path of action for guidance in practical life. And this seems to make sense in that the Sutras truly lay out the workings of our mind and consciousness and is the guidebook on how to go about stilling their fluctuations, and the Gita follows the journey of a warrior and his very literal and worldly difficulty with following his dharma of going into battle with his family.
There is also a way to view the Gita as an allegory of every one of our single paths on the journey of life and yoga. When we begin the practice we face our own “Self”, with all our habits and thoughts that make the “idea” of that “self” real. We stand on a field with these well known friends and family members and in some instances need to go to battle to change them, to eradicate them, to utterly transform the meaning of them within our life. This transformation can be terrifying and exhilarating and we can’t do it alone.
In Arjuna’s case (the warrior in the Gita), he faces this battle and comes to be in conversation with Krishna (the God incarnate) looking for guidance and understanding of why he must fight, how he must fight, the context of the fight, etc…The Gita calls for us to have faith and courage in our practice and in our life! To fight out our own battles and know that no effort on this spiritual path is wasted!
I LOVE the Gita and just got a new translation in preparation for my Junior III assessment. So, let’s go on this journey together this time…if you have read it too, feel free to share insight and thoughts along the way…
Let the Battle Begin !!!!