Krishna Sistla & Usha Ramchandar
In the 11th grade we continued exploring Bhagavad gita, a journey the students began in the 10th grade. This class focuses on two broad subjects, nature of Ishvara and the journey to realize one trues nature.
We started with a recap of chapter2 to chapter8 to set the context for chapter9.
We found the analogy of a quilt representing all that exists to be particularly useful. In this analogy, cotton represents Brahman and the thread represents Saguna Brahman (Ishvara). The universe (quilt) is then constructed out of the all pervading thread. Individual flower patterns on the quilt represent Jivatmas. Collection of patterns represent creation (Samsara). This is a dynamic quilt with patterns coming into existence and going out of existence. On the quilt the patterns are in constant flux, but the thread (ishvara) is beyond time and stays ever the same.
As the lord started revealing his cosmic form and vibhuti’s in chapters 9, 10 and 11 we kept going back to this analogy. The foundation of bhakti is laid once one truly understands that there nothing other than him (Mattah para taram nan yad kinchid asti). In bhakti yoga chapter, we learned that the true characteristics of a bhakta are Adwesta, Maitra, Karuna. Bhakti when expressed as universal love for all of the creation paves path to the creator.
The class cooked and served in shadras. This brought us together in the collective act of serving the haridwar community.
As we approached the end of the academic year, we completed a relatively quick flyby of the gita garden. We stopped by a few chosen flowers in each chapter and discussed them in some details.
Usha and i feel privileged to teach and interact with such young and dynamic minds. May the blessings of Hari be forever on them.
Krishna & Usha