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Wisdom Words ~ Tantraloka + Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita
October 6 2020

Tuesday, Oct 6, 2020


Live Venue

Live Streams

Join us for Wisdom Words where we read spiritual teaching texts and talk about them while drinking tea and laughing a lot. Wisdom Words discussions are bold, personal, irreverent, reverent, hilarious, moving, revelatory, and immediately applicable to our lives.

2020-21 First Session: Chapter 1 of Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka.

EVERY 2ND and 4th Tuesday • Starts September 8

It’s a thing. In direct realization traditions such as Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen, the first words or first chapter of a text contains the possibility of realizing the essence of the whole. So we’ll dive into a couple of great translations of the first chapter of the Tantraloka – one of the most definitive works of the siddhas of Trika Shaivism.

Who knows if you’ll need to read the whole thing. Maybe. Maybe not. As usual, we’ll go until we’re done.


Starts Whenever we finish the previous session

The Bhagavad Gita is the world’s greatest exposition on human doubt and the getting of wisdom. Its subjects are pride, self-realization, and the cyclical rise and fall of ignorance and wisdom in human lives and history.

Join Shambhavi Sarasvati and the Jaya Kula community for an exploration of this timeless story.

“No story, no teaching is more appropriate for the current situation of our world as we confront the ravages of human ignorance and the necessity of opening to the greater wisdom of our continuity with life.”
~ Shambhavi Sarasvati

about the Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita forms the centerpiece of the longer epic, The Mahabharata. It comprises a conversation about doubt, dharma, sacrifice, and liberation (moksha) between the warrior Arjuna and his Guru, Lord Krishna.

The conversation takes place in the middle of the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the great war that heralds the end of the Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of our time, the Kali Yuga.

In his introduction, Abhinavagupta acknowledges that many commentaries have already been written, but he means to reveal the essence of the Gita, which he feels has been missed by those who came before him.

About the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is tale of a single extended family, split into two: ignorance and wisdom. Yet neither side is purely one thing or another. It details the loss of a kingdom, exile, a great war, and the slow, back and forth journey toward our true home and the understanding of the nature of the Self.

More than anything else, the Mahabharata is a tale of dharma and moksha. It teaches us persistance, courage, and respect for time. It schools us in the myriad ways in which human life inevitably leads to wisdom, no matter how many times ignorance seems to prevail.

About Wisdom Words

Jaya Kula’s reading group, Wisdom Words, is a twice-monthly gathering for deep diving into texts from the Trika tradition, works of epic literature, spiritual poetry, and puranas (teaching stories).

Wisdom Words has been going strong for three years. From mid-2017 to mid-2019, we read Ramesh Menon’s two-volume Mahabharata. This was a life-changing experience for everyone. From fall 2019 to April 2020, we read Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra: Essence of the Highest Reality.

Who can attend and how can I Attend?

We meet every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 6:30pm Pacific. All Wisdom Words gatherings are via Zoom livestream until the Shelter in Place ends.

Join in any time!

There are no prerequisites. All are welcome. You may come and go as you please, although you are encouraged to attend regularly and keep up with readings.

Unedited recordings of this teaching will be available for a week after the live teaching for MGO and Dashamamsha donors, and for those who register for the series.


If you don’t see a registration module at the bottom of this page, click here to register and scroll to the bottom of the page.

You will receive the Zoom login link and password once you register.


Electronic copies of the Tantraloka texts will be distributed at the first session.

You may purchase the following text in preparation for the second session of Wisdom Words.

Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita Gitartha Samgraha, translated by Boris Marjanovic 

About the teacher


Shambhavi Sarasvati is the spiritual director of Jaya Kula. Her principle training is in the View and practices of Trika Shaivism, the Tantrik tradition of Kashmir, and the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet.

Spiritual practice is a way to find out who you really are and to live in the fullness of Reality. This is Self-realization. Nothing more or less.” —Shambhavi

You can read more about Shambhavi’s background, training and publications here.


Tuesday, Oct 6
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
- America/Los_Angeles PDT
$15 – $80
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