February 24 – March 31, 2021
The Yoga of Devotion: Teachings from chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita
6 WEEKLY SESSIONS, Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm EST
What you'll learn:
The Bhagavad Gita is a message of divine wisdom addressed to mankind for all times, in order to help human beings face and solve the ever-present problems of birth and death, of pain, suffering, fear, bondage, love, and hate. It enables man to liberate himself from all limiting factors and reach a state of perfect balance, inner stability, and mental peace, complete freedom from grief, fear, and anxiety. Human drama is revealed within the Bhagavad Gita’s eighteen chapters. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of hopelessness, utter dejection, sorrow, and total breakdown, to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength, and triumph.
The twelfth discourse indicates that the path of devotion is easier than the path of knowledge. In this path the aspirant worships God in His Cosmic Form of the Supreme Personality. He develops a loving relationship with Him, adores Him, remembers Him and chants His glories and Name. He thus effects union with the Lord and attains not only His formless aspect but also the Lord as the manifest universe. The path of knowledge, whereby the aspirant meditates on the formless Brahman, is more difficult as he has to give up his attachment to the body from the very beginning. He has to have dispassion for the things of the world.
How to practise devotion? Krishna asks Arjuna to fix his entire mind on Him. As often as the mind wanders it should be brought back to the Lord. If this process of concentration is difficult he should dedicate all his actions to Him, feeling that it is His power that activates everything. If this also is beyond his ability, he should offer all his actions to the Lord, abandoning the desire for their fruits. He should take complete refuge in Him. The devotee who surrenders himself to the Lord attains perfect peace.
The Lord goes on to describe the qualities that a true devotee possesses. He neither attaches himself to anything nor does he have any aversion to things. He has a balanced mind under all circumstances. He is not agitated by the happenings of the world, nor does he himself cause any agitation in others. He is perfectly desireless and rejoices in the Lord within. He sees equality everywhere, being untouched by sorrow, fear, honour as also dishonour. He is perfectly content as he has surrendered his entire being to the Lord.
Offered as 6 weekly sessions on Wednesday, Feb 24, Mar 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 6:30-8:30pm EST
This program is offered live through Zoom webinar with the availability for students to interact through Q&A with the presenter.
For enrolled students, a video recording will be available after each class in the event you miss a class or would like to review the content.
It is possible to register and take the course at any time. You can catch up on any classes you miss with the recordings.
Requirements and Recommendations:
Swami Brahmananda is Manager of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and senior staff of the Sivananda organization. A long-time practitioner of yoga, he regularly teaches yoga philosophy and meditation for the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses as well as meditation immersion courses. He is a much-loved, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher.