The Bhagavad Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata, contains 18 chapters and over seven hundred verses. In this course, we will concentrate on the main themes put forth in each chapter, primarily around Krishna's discourse and his principal ideas.
For each of the sessions, you'll be provided with English translations of the chapter under consideration. Sanskrit terms that are utilized in the text will be a focal point, as well as the traditional commentaries on the Gita. The course will work towards understanding how these teaching can be relevant in our modern life.
The sessions will cover the following:
- Session One: You'll consider the position of the Bhagavad Gita within the Mahabharata and its status within Hindu tradition. We will read through the first chapter and consider Arjuna's lamentation, which prompts Krishna to begin his teaching.
- Session Two: In Chapters 2 and 3, Krishna begins to address Arjuna's refusal to fight. We will concentrate on the idea of Karma Yoga, how a person fulfills his social obligations whilst still striving for spiritual goals.
- Session Three: Chapter 4 also addresses Karma and Dhyana yoga, and we'll review the progression of teachings during this session, while delving into Chapter 5 and 6 as well.
- Session Four: We will read through Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of the Bhagavad Gita and consider the text's emphasis on monotheism and devotion to God as a spiritual path. We'll be exploring significant ideas central to Hindu Dharma as a whole, and as such, we'll find one of its clearest expositions in this study.
- Session Five: In this session, you'll explore nothing less than the revelation of the divine. Not bad for an online course, hmm? Krishna teaches Arjuna about the nature of the Supreme Deity, but he also reveals that he himself is that Deity. We'll read through Chapters 10, 11 and 12, and conclude teachings on the way of bhakti.
- Session Six: After reading through Chapters 13, 14, 15 and 16, we'll discuss the teachings that they provide. A common theme in these later chapters is an emphasis on Samkhya ideas and we'll consider the ways in which Krishna employs these concepts.
- Session Seven: You'll conclude reading the Bhagavad Gita by finishing Chapters 17 and 18. The text ends its teachings by revisiting the main ideas and concluding with a powerful emphasis on the importance of devotion and divine grace.
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