Bhagavad Gita, Mystic Handbook
I first read the beautiful
world scripture known as the "Song of God" while a senior in High School.
I had just completed "Daybreak", Joan Baez's first autobiography, and was overwhelmed with her writings about Gandhi and nonviolence -- of course, this was during the height of the Vietnam War, and like many other youth, I found myself increasingly "on the outside looking in" in terms of issues such as war and peace. Following the lead of Joan, I read Gandhi -- and my life plan was totally erased and re-written. Then came Gandhi's guide-book -- his "working man's manual of personal and political revolution" --
and my choice of following that path as my essential life purpose... 30 years of intentional community, work with the homeless, presence with migrant farmworkers, from among other projects and a multitude of life experiences, and I'm still reading the Bhagavad Gita...
Of course, the Gita is one among many books -- but it is very dear to me, for it maps the mystic journey within the context of a life of action. It is written in dialogue form between the Beloved Krishna, and his disciple Arjuna... or put another way, it is the conversation between one's "higher, soulful essence", and one's "smaller, fearful and limited self as a player in the world". Page by page, the reader is directed to the path of mystic union, up to and including, the final revelation of identification with the Beloved and the final transfiguration of the cosmos. Key themes include devotion, wisdom, service, meditation, non-attachment, and the complete surrender of the fruits of one's actions to the Sublime Lord. These same themes are likewise found in all of the great World Scriptures -- and these same themes more often than not, find themselves buried under avalanches of ritual and dogma that are designed to control and dominate the faithful -- so that the "guardians of the faith" can live lives of privilege and power... 'tis a great racket...
But as we are now in the 21st century, and the liberation of the Divine Feminine is well under way, we are also witnessing the liberation of the world scriptures from the theological confines and control of power-elites, all of whom are in service to the dominator paradigm... just take a good, honest, look at all of them! The Holy One, the Only One - One Love, is not under the control of either the power-elites or the printed words on pages! She is Alive and freely roaming wherever She wills! Pick up any of the world scriptures and learn the subtle art of identification with the Beloved... try to outdo the Holy One in Compassion, Mercy, Kindness, Justice, Equality, and Beauty! Let this Holy Competition become your religion, your faith, and your daily practice! Love More than Love Itself! Kiss More than the One who started all the Kissing to begin with! Let your radiance come to define you!
This is why I love the Bhagavad Gita so! Oh, it is there in the other world scriptures -- like in the Song of Songs -- but I am not ignorant of all the abuse, manipulations, distortions, justifications, and violence that has come to identify who or what each of the major religions have become. Let every Christian, Muslim, and Jew give the world a few seasons of nonviolence and justice and then maybe they will be worth listening to again -- stripped though of their worship of the dominator paradigm! Look at the picture that opens this page: it is the core "theological" statement of the Gita: we have been created by Love, for Love, to become Love! And this Love is a merging of essential identities into the perfect Union of Only One. Krishna represents the Source, Radha represents us (and all of creation and every creature). Only One is an existent Paradise of Infinite Possibilities in loving, relationship, service, and bliss.
Here are a few selected passages from the Gita... I hope that they will serve as both an "introduction" and a "seduction" into the Beauty of Only One...
At the beginning, mankind and the obligation of selfless service were created together.
Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.
Perform all work carefully, guided by compassion.
My true being is unborn and changeless. I am the Lord who dwells in every creature.
True sustenance is in service, and through it a man or woman reaches the eternal One.
In the still mind, in the depths of meditation, the Self reveals itself.
See the Self in every creature and all creation in the Self.
I am ever present to those who have realized me in every creature. Seeing all life as my manifestation, they are never separated from me.
When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.
There is nothing that exists separate from me. The entire universe is suspended from me as my necklace of jewels.
The wise seek refuge in me, seeing me everywhere and in everything.
My highest nature gives every creature its existence and lives in every creature.
The Lord is the supreme poet.
This supreme Lord who pervades all existence, the true Self of all creatures, may be realized through undivided love.
There is One, that One is me; where there are many, all are me...
I am the womb and the eternal seed.
Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart -- a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water -- I partake of that love offering.
I am the true Self in the heart of every creature.
Behold the entire cosmos turning within my body.
I enter breathing creatures and dwell within as life-giving breath.
Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.
Always repeat the word OM...
Be aware of me always, adore me, make every act an offering to me, and you shall come to me; this I promise, for you are dear to me...
Bhagavad Gita, Translated by Eknath Easwaran
Paths To God, Ram Dass
Be Love Now, Ram Dass
Be Here Now, Ram Dass
Living The Eternal Way, Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian
Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda
Welcome to the Garden of the Beloved!