Madhu Bazaz Wangu | Blog
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Writings and Readings Blog

Madhu Bazaz Wangu

The Seventh Teaching

The Yoga of Wisdom & Realization 1-2 Krishna: Arjuna, you can know me without doubt by practicing nonattachment and surrendering to me. I will teach you the essence of this wisdom and its realization; when you master this there is nothing else in the world that needs to be known. 3-7 One man out of ten thousand strives for perfection, and of the ten thousand who strive, perhaps one man knows me in truth. My physical nature has eight aspects: Earth, water, fire, wind, space, mind, understanding and I-sense. This is my lower nature. But I have a higher nature too that sustains this universe. Know that this is the womb from which all beings arise; I am the source of the entire universe, and within me is also its dissolution. Nothing is more fundamental...

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Thinkers and Scholars on the Bhagavad Gita

American thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) and Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), and Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) had one thing in common; they were impressed by the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. The Hindu scripture provided them with a new set of religious concepts that express spiritual energy. With the teachings of the Gita they were able to critique rationalism and materialism of the earlier centuries that so many of their contemporaries believed in. Emerson wanted individuals to become "Man thinking" rather than "Mere thinkers, or still worse the parrot of other men's thinking." He wanted his fellow countrymen to investigate their minds and to study the mind of the past through literature. By 1845 he had read Gita. In his Journal he writes, I owed-my friend and I owed-a...

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The Sixth Teaching

The Practice of Meditation 1-10 Krishna: The man who does what must be done without concern for the fruit is a true man of yoga, not the man who shuns action. Know that right action itself, Arjuna, is renunciation; a true man of yoga renounces his selfish intent. For the man who desires to mature karma yoga (the way of action) is the path; for the man already mature raja yoga (the way of meditation) is the path. The man who is detached from sense objects and actions, who renounces his own selfish will, he is mature in yoga. Such a man should lift up his ordinary self with his Self and not be selfish; the self is the only friend of the Self, and its only enemy. The self is a friend of him who...

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The Fifth Teaching

The Fifth Teaching Renounce and Celebrate 1 Arjuna: Krishna you praise renunciation of action and action; tell me with certainty which is the better of these two. 2-13 Krishna: Renunciation and action both affect the good beyond measure; but of the two, action surpasses renunciation of action. The man of eternal renunciation is one who neither hates nor desires; beyond dualities, he is easily freed from bondage. Simpletons separate philosophy and action, but the learned do not; applying one correctly, a man finds the fruit of both. Men of action reach the same place that philosophers attain; he really sees who sees philosophy and action to be one. Renunciation is difficult to attain without action; a sage armed with action soon reaches the infinite spirit. Armed with discipline of action, he purifies and subdues the self, masters his senses,...

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The Fourth Teaching

Knowledge in Action 1-3 Krishna I taught this undying discipline to the shining sun, first of mortals, who told it to Manu, the progenitor to man; Manu told it to the solar kings. Royal sages knew this discipline, which the tradition handed down; but over the course of time it has decayed, Arjuna. This is the ancient discipline that I have taught to you today; you are my devotee and my friend, and this is the deepest mystery. 4 Arjuna But you were born countless years later than the birth of the sun god; how is it possible that you taught this doctrine to him? 5-42 Krishna I have passed through many births and so have you; I recall all those lives, but you recall only this one, Arjuna. I am unborn, deathless, the infinite lord of all beings,...

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Writing as a Spiritual Journey

Writing as a Spiritual Journey: A Workshop The Northland Public Library is sponsoring my twelve-session workshop "Writing as a Spiritual Journey." Through personal experience I know that the process of turning traumatic events and intense emotions into words and sentences has healing power. In this workshop you will turn your thoughts and feelings into words that would have beneficial affects. For the first few sessions you will write down your experiences. You'll jot and you'll scribble and you will dig deeper within yourselves. From your heart-minds you will drag onto a notebook emotions that are difficult to talk about or too painful to discuss and are dormant in the basement of your mind. This technique will lighten your heart and clarify you mind. For the next six sessions or so during the...

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The Day my Heart Blossomed into a Nani Heart

It took me a while before I got used to my new appellation "Nani"-maternal grandmother. Nani was just a respectful title my grandson, Mokhta, was going to address me with. I began to think myself to be a Nani but it was very slowly but surely that I began to feel like one. Another new term of endearment that took me a while to get used to was my daughter as Mokhta's "Mommy." My baby was now herself a mother. At the hospital, the day she gave birth to our grandson, I was not quite sure how the young couple was going to ease into routine after a major transition in their lives. Before we had left their home she had said not to worry and assured us that they...

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Sanskrit Terms in the Gita

Sanskrit Terms in the Bhagavad Gita Atman lies at the core of every human personality. The purpose of life is to experience this inner reality. Hindus believe that each human being feels this reality. It is same from person to person. In the climax of meditation, when consciousness is focused and withdrawn from the body and mind, the sense of a separate ego disappears. During these moments one may discover a core of consciousness that is atman. Brahman is the utterly transcendent God. It is changeless, infinite, indivisible reality. In humans it resides as Atman. The Self within each human being is not different from Brahman. It is a changeless reality beneath the world of "name and form." Dharma is that law or duty that maintains the cosmic unity and...

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The Third Teaching

Selfless Action 1-2 Arjuna: If you think understanding is superior to action, Why, Krishna, do you urge me to engage in this horrific action? You confuse me with inconsistent words. Tell me, what I must do to achieve the highest good? 3-35 Krishna: In this world there are two main paths to do good: for philosophers, the yoga of understanding (jnana); for active people, the yoga of action (karma). A man cannot avoid action by abstaining from action; Neither does he attain success by renunciation. No one exists for even an instant without acting; However unwilling, every being is compelled to act by the three qualities of nature, gunas. He who controls his actions but cannot control sense-objects is deluded. His search for the deepest truth is bound to be unsuccessful. But the superior man is he whose mind can control the senses....

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A Few Words of Counsel

The venue of the Bhagavad Gita jolts its reader into wakefulness by making its site the field of blood, devastation and death. The horrific setting demonstrates that even under the most horrible circumstances the one with sharp mind, pure intentions and willingness to understand can cross to the other shore. One of the "hidden" teachings of the Gita that has affected me deeply is that the "Great Man" (God) without is, what Carl G. Jung calls, the Self within-the organizing source of our psychic system. And I realize that with pure intention I too would be able to make link with my "inner companion" and ultimately with the God within, (Atman). In the beginning chapters of the Gita, Arjuna is a virtuous man and an intellectual. He is well versed...

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