Wisdom Words ~ The Bhagavad Gita
Friday, Dec 8, 2023
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4160 SE Division St.
with Commentary by Abhinavagupta
Encountering the Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita, or Song of God, is a conversation between Krishna and his disciple, the warrior-archer Arjuna. The conversation takes place on the field of Kurukshetra, just before the start of the great battle that will usher in the Kali Yuga. The Bhagavad Gita is the spiritual centerpiece of a longer epic, the Mahabharata.
Arjuna begins the conversation by refusing to participate in the battle. Krishna, posing as Arjuna’s charioteer, answers Arjuna with a series of teachings on dharma, moksha (realization), the nature of the self, and yoga. If we follow Krishna’s advice, as he says, we can know God, our own selves, “completely and without a doubt.”
The Bhagavad Gita is in fact a treatise on human doubt and how we can travel the path of doubt to direct knowledge and certainty.
The Kashmiri text with commentary by Abhinavagupta
The Bhagavad Gita is most likely a synthetic text with more than one contributing author. Authorship dating ranges from the 5th to the 2nd centuries BCE. The Kashmiri version differs in many places from other versions and contains 45 additional verses.
Many have written commentaries to accompany the Gita. Our version contains extensive commentary by Abhinavagupta, a siddha and teacher of Trika Shaivism who lived on the cusp of the 10th and 11th centuries. As he writes: “Though a good number of commentators interpreted the Bhagavad Gita extensively, yet my effort is proper to bring into light the hidden meanings contained herein.”
Versions of the text
You may also wish to consult Bhagavad Gita: In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism translated with commentary by Swami Lakshmanjoo.
About Wisdom Words
Wisdom Words gathers monthly to explore texts from the Hindu tradition. Over many years, we have come together to read the Mahabharata, the Kashmiri version of the Bhagavad Gita, texts by Abhinavagupta and Utpaladeva, poetry, and the teachings of Anandamayi Mā.
We aim to learn and embody what we learn in our everyday lives. Wisdom Words gatherings are both sincere and entertaining. We go deep, boldly ask the hard questions, and laugh a lot along the way.
$15 donation. Included in MGO.
Every 2nd Friday from 6:30-8:00pm Pacific.
How to Attend Wisdom Words
You can join this teaching via two-way Zoom livestream or in person in Portland, Oregon. For livestream attendance, you’ll receive the zoom link via email after you complete your registration.
For in person attendance, please click on the link below for details about any COVID safety regulations currently in effect.
ABOUT THE TEACHER
Shambhavi emphasizes the more explicitly devotional teachings and practices of Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen and direct knowing through encounters with the wisdom of the heart. She is also known for making complex teachings about the nature of the self and reality understandable, practical, and always relatable to everyday experience. Her teachings are grounded in her more than thirty-five years of daily personal practice and personal retreats.
“Generosity is a fountain of living light at the heart of creation. Having opened your heart and recognized its identity with the heart of the divine, you want to be here giving and giving throughout your natural lifetime. This is the essence of realization.” ~Shambhavi
You can read more about Shambhavi’s background, training and publications here.