For centuries, readers have turned to the Bhagavad Gita for inspiration and guidance as they chart their own spiritual paths. As profound and powerful as this classic text has been for generations of seekers, integrating its lessons into the ordinary patterns of our lives can ultimately seem beyond our reach. Now, in a fascinating series of reflections, anecdotes, stories, and exercises, Ram Dass gives us a unique and accessible road map for experiencing divinity in everyday life. In the engaging, conversational style that has made his teachings so popular for decades, Ram Dass traces our journey of consciousness as it is reflected in one of Hinduism’s most sacred texts. The Gita teaches a system of yogas, or “paths for coming to union with God.”
In Paths to God , Ram Dass brings the heart of that system to light for a Western audience and translates the Gita’s principles into the manual for living the yoga of contemporary life.
While being a guide to the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, Paths to God is also a template for expanding our definition of ourselves and allowing us to appreciate a new level of meaning in our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Paths to God|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Paths to God|
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Paths to God
Context and Conflict
Before we approach the Bhagavad Gita, we need to have a contextual framework for the way it fits into the Mahabharata, of which it's a part. The Mahabharata is one of the two great Indian epics (the Ramayana being the other). The Mahabharata is a huge book-a typical edition runs to nearly six thousand pages. It is said to be the longest literary work in the world; it is seven times the length of The Iliad and The Odyssey combined, and the only unabridged English edition runs to twelve volumes. It's thought to have been written somewhere between 500 and 200 b.c., and it covers a distant period of Indian history: tradition places the battle of Kurukshetra in 3102 b.c., although historians say it was probably more like 1400 b.c. when the events that inspired the Mahabharata took place.
At one level, the Mahabharata is an historical study of a kingdom; but at another level, it is an extraordinary symbological study of all human interactions, of all human emotions and motivations. It's like an incredible psychology book cast in the form of a drama, and it's written from a very conscious point of view, which means that although it can be read just for its romantic, melodramatic story line, it can also be read to uncover its deeper symbolism. And right in the middle of the Mahabharata, on the eve of the climactic battle between the kingdom's two warring families, comes the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna that's called the Bhagavad Gita, or "the Song of God."
The story of the Mahabharata concerns the kingdom of Bharat, in northern India. The king of Bharat had two sons, Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Dhri