This easy to understand class will discuss three fundamental motives that human beings carry throughout their lives, and explore the results of each through descriptions of the cosmos found in yoga texts such as the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Brahma Samhita.
The world can be seen as…
- the only reality / an object of personal enjoyment
- an illusory place of suffering / meant to be transcended
- both real and unreal / intrinsically connected with the Divine
Sacred yoga texts refer to these world views as karma, jnana, and bhakti. Many of us hold a mixed sense of how we see and relate to this world, including two, or all three of these ideas.
One way to understand the path of yoga, or spirituality in general, is as a practice of purifying how we see the world and what motivates us, from the level of exploitation, to renunciation, to dedication. In other words, the progression from selfishness, to escapism, to selfless love.
The Bhagavad-gita compares the world we live in to a reflected, upside-down Banyan tree in which we are trapped. This class will discuss the reflection, the spiritual source of the reflection, and what lies in-between.
We will be using a map of the Vedic cosmos showing…
- the material world – the lower realm (the reflection) wherein the motive of karma dominates
- the Brahmajoti – the middle realm (the divine light) where the motive of jnana dominates
- Vaikuntha – the higher, spiritual realm (the original source) where the motive of bhakti dominates
Topics covered include…
- The nature of the material world and the laws that govern it such as karma (atcion & reaction), kala (the force of time), and the gunas (goodness, passion and ignorance – the three energies that predominate the world and shape our consciousness).
- The role of the Devas such as Shiva, Ganesha, Durga, etc.
- The nature of the divine light that exists as a middle realm in the cosmos.
- The divine sense of selfless love that governs the spiritual realm, exemplified in Radha and Krishna.
- The practices of purifying our spiritual intentions.
The Bhakti Centers Donation Policy
The principle of bhakti is to do for others without motive. In yoga’s spiritual culture a teacher shares the wisdom of the sacred texts as an act of devotion rather than for profit. This is especially important in the Bhakti tradition where teaching and learning are essential ways bhakti is exchanged in daily life. It also keeps affordable for all this most important activity, sharing knowledge for upliftment.
At The Bhakti Center we honor these important principles of education: that teaching is done purely out of love, and that it is kept affordable. Therefore, for all of our classes on the sacred texts we don’t charge a set price.
So how do teachers survive? The answer is that pure teachers depend on God and good students honor that by sharing a donation from the heart and according to their means. Gratitude and generosity from student to teacher is also part of the yoga tradition.
For the class “The Purity of our Spiritual Intentions with Kaustubha Das” we suggest a donation between $20 and $30, although all donations will be welcomed.
All students must be registered online for this class.