8 steps on how you can unravel the mysteries of Bhagavad Gita.
1. SACRED SPACE
Find a quiet spot where you can be alone and be able to read for an uninterrupted amount of time.
We are reading Bhagavad Gita for two main reasons:
a) As service to Lord Krishna by remembering (‘smaran‘) and
b) For our purification.
Many times, we get doubt and we search online or message/ call someone to clear it immediately. However, we should be patient. The doubts will be answered in the next few purports.
Therefore, the key is to maintain a discipline of minimum reading time. This will ensure we get a daily quota of necessary purification.
2. HUMBLE ATTITUDE
Approach the books with a need to acquire knowledge and a need to receive guidance.
It is stated in the concluding verse of Śvetāśvatara Upanishad. 6.23:
yasya deve parā bhaktir, yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthā, prakāśante mahātmanaḥ [ŚU 6.23]
“The real import of the scriptures is revealed to one who has unflinching faith in both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the spiritual master.”
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura also advises in this regard,
sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, hṛdaye kariyā aikya.
The meaning of this instruction is that one must consider the instructions of the sādhu, the revealed scriptures and the spiritual master in order to understand the real purpose of spiritual life.
3. OFFER PRAYERS
You may offer a personal prayer to those who you will associate with before you start to read.
This will help to make meaning out of what you read and to see the relevance of it in your life. For example, if you are reading the Bhagavad Gita, offer a prayer to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna.
An example of prayer could be:
“Dear Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, I feel anxious about the rapid spread of the materialistic way of life and how much I am entangled in it. How much I am affected by repeated concerns of enjoyment and security . Please help me understand that this world is a place of miseries and what the true purpose of my life is”.
4. READ SLOWLY
The purpose of your reading is not quantity – it is quality with meaningful association. Therefore, it is important to read slowly and not skim through the pages.
5. FIND INTERESTING WORDS
Read until a word or a phrase or a key point catches your attention. Stop there and underline/highlight it.
Later, once the reading is over, you can repeat it to yourself a few times and thus meditate upon it for a sufficient amount of time.
6. FIND AGAIN
Start reading again until another phrase or point strikes you. You can repeat the process as many times. Each verse can reveal more and more layers of understanding.
When you are reading, discover what is nourishing you. It is important to find an optimal pace for yourself.
7. OFFER OBEISANCES
After reading, offer words of appreciation either aloud or mentally for any realizations that may have been offered to you whilst you were reading.
Try your best to discuss your realizations from the scriptures with someone else as devotees relish Krishna in different ways.
Without the association of devotees, one cannot advance in the understanding of Bhagavad Gita or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, we have established online reading groups and residency programs. Factually, whoever lives in this society automatically develops Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Intrigued? Get a copy of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
One may cleanse himself daily by taking a bath in water, but if one takes a bath even once in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-gita, for him the dirt of material life is altogether vanquished.Bhagavad Gita Mahatmaya — Glorification of Bhagavad Gita
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