Raw, adjective: 6. ignorant, inexperienced, or untrained: a raw recruit.

If you've studied any kind of yoga or Hindu philosophy at all, you've heard of the Bhagavad Gita.  You probably, like me at one point, had no idea what the hell it was about, just that it was important and maybe kind of central to some philosophy or other and oh yeah, wouldn't it be great if you actually read it?  And then you'd turn on the TV or head outside and promptly forget that millionth addition to your "should've read" list.

Turns out the Bhagavad Gita - or "Song of God" - isn't so scary after all.  In fact, it's quite beautiful.  And this ancient text, along with being the very root of most yogic philosophy, has also influenced everyone from Henry David Thoreau to Ralph Waldo Emerson to Robert Oppenheimer, creator of the atomic bomb himself.

Do yourselves a favor and read this quick article.  It's an easy introduction to "the first fully realized yogic scripture."  Writer Stefanie Syman summarizes that
While no single thread has been picked up and woven into Western culture by the various thinkers, poets, songwriters, yoga teachers, and philosophers who have been drawn to the Gita, three main themes seem to have intrigued its readers: the nature of divinity; yoga, or the various ways of making contact with this divinity; and finally, the resolution of the perennial conflict between a renunciation of the world—often considered the quickest path to spiritual enlightenment—and action.
Read it and find a rumination on praxis, work, and an Emerson's "inclusive" notion of divinity.  I've always been a sucker for the Transcendentalists, and while I knew their work was often inspired by mysticism, particularly Christian mystics, I didn't realize Hindu philosophy played such an illuminative role in shaping their ideas.  And there's a nice discussion toward the end of the use of the mind and the body as "tools for awakening," via the 4 main branches of yoga: bhakti (love), jnana (study), karma (service), and raja (meditation).  

File this one away in your "good to know" category.  And then please go do some yoga.


Popular Posts