An oddly spiritual Christmas – By @Joebee731
By Joe Colquhoun
An oddly spiritual Christmas
Why not read the Bhagavad Gita? That seems simple enough, the book isn’t even that big. I sat down and began the forty five page introduction, shortly proceeded by a list of acknowledgements.
I’ll admit that I haven’t actually finished the book, it’s not an easy read. Although, I think I’ve learnt some valuable info about Hinduism and spirituality worth mentioning here. Plus I’ll tell you what to look out for if you ever plan on doing the same.
- I never thought it’d be so… poetic? It’s spiritual storytelling through conversations mainly had between Krishna (Vishnu) and Arjuna (son of Pandu). It makes you feel like you’re dreaming when you read it. I think that’s the point, no analytical approach will ever reveal its meaning. It’s a metaphysical maze of abstract story telling that at first seems impenetrable but occasionally offers deep and introspective insights into the nature of being, consciousness and joy. If you want to do it right, you’ll need a dimly lit living room and a bag of mushrooms.
“Even as all water flows into the ocean, but the ocean never overflows, even the sage feels desires, but he is ever one in his infinite peace.” — “Man can only ever find peace in the infinite, not the finite. If we desire anything for its finite pleasure, we shall miss its infinite joy.”
- Unlike in other religions *Christianity the Bhagavad Gita shows Hinduism as being pretty chill on worshipping other gods. It’s refreshing to see scripture that doesn’t condemn those who pick the ‘wrong’ one. In other religions, unless we repent for our sins and transfer our holy allegiance, then we’re pretty much screwed on that front. On the other hand, Krishna says;
“ Even those who in other faith worship other gods, because of their love, they worship me.”
- First bad point, you’ll pretty much notice it right away too. There are so many names to remember; Sanjaya, Krishna, Arjuna, Janardana, Pandu, Madhava to mention a few. If you’re anything like me you’ll skip them all together. Don’t do this, they’re important. In some cases they refer to mental tendencies or formations. Understanding the differences makes the endless list meaningful rather than seemingly pointless, as it did for me.
- The Gita explains that when all of mans worldly desires have been surrendered, by the grace of God he will find the joy of God and his soul will find peace in serene wisdom. Metaphorically this is linked to the behaviour of a Tortoise retracting its limbs into its shell. I really like Tortoises so this is definitely a positive in point in my opinion. Mother Teresa was equally into her marine biology;
“I think I read somewhere that the soul is then like a Tortoise or Sea Urchin, which retreats into itself”
All in all I’m actually enjoying the book and it’s overall message of mindfulness and meditation. As I said it’s certainly not a light read, it often seems to get quite confusing and I’ll have to start from the top. I’m not expecting spiritual enlightenment anytime soon but I’ll write another Scab if I make it.