Each December I’ll be starting another detailed online study of the Bhagavad Gita in English, using my commentary based on the spectacular groundbreaking work of Nataraja Guru and Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati. The course is free, of course. Please share this notice with any friends who might be interested. The plan is to examine a small group of verses every two weeks, in a leisurely fashion. Participants will send in their thoughts, which I will collect and pass back to the group, along with my comments. It is okay to audit without writing, but the sharing is very valuable and mutually beneficial. The focus will be on personal transformation. The Gita is an eminently practical guide to a healthy psychology—what I like to call therapy for the sane. Rather than argue points of contention, we will explore how it is universally inclusive and speaks to each person regardless of background. No advanced knowledge is required, though some familiarity with psychology and spiritual insight will be helpful.
Here’s a word about it from Sarah, a psychotherapist, at about halfway through the course:
I’d read the Gita once before taking this class and quickly realized that I hadn't actually read the Gita! I had no idea how much could be gleaned from this magical text. Scott's verse-by-verse commentary is astounding in its thoroughness (not to mention beautifully written), and his questions/exercises for each lesson take me even deeper into my experience of the Gita. I've really appreciated having some external accountability to help me consistently explore my spirituality, and I've loved reading my peers' musings on the text and how it applies to their unique spiritual journeys. Given its length, breadth, and depth, this class requires dedication and discipline. Sticking with it is a gratifying experience in and of itself.
How about this, from Shakira, a Jamaican now in UK, a yoga teacher:
Perhaps now is a good time to properly say what impact these studies have had on me and my reality... I can say with conviction that I think these Gita studies have saved me life, in the studies I've found a way to restart my heart and a way to resuscitate my quest for and belief in truth and reinvigorated my drive. I would invite anyone and everyone to join these studies at least once in their lives. I did my first aid training a year ago and for me these studies are the box in which my self first aid tools are kept. I feel that these studies are themselves an example of a 'chance gain.' I didn't know when I signed up how much I needed this and how much I would be nourished.
And this from Viz, a hip Indian living in England, nearing the end of the course:
I have forwarded the Gita invite to a few folks who have asked me about Gita, Indian philosophy, etc. I sincerely hope few of them sign up as the impact your classes had on me is something beyond words.
It's hard to believe our class has been going on for almost 2 years. Thanks to universe I felt I am at a right place in the last few years, but there are occasions when I felt bit down due to political situations or other negative things that sometimes creep into our minds. Whenever I had those mood swings I have used your classes to change my focus and 9/10 times, it sorted me right out one way or other! Some sort of magic pill that pharmaceutical companies advertise in your country but difference is this one works :) Since you mentioned our classes are nearing the end I had that feeling drug addicts go through when their stocks are running low :)
Funny thing is I always hated assignment, home works and exams, as I was never a fan of authority, structure and discipline. This is the first time I ever felt guilty about not doing exercises or not submitting in time :)
Thanks again Scott, it was a wonderful journey and no doubt I will miss it!
To enroll, go to the Contact page (under More above).
Recommended optional reading for preparation:
Nitya’s Therapy and Realization in the Bhagavad Gita is a tantalizing introduction to the work, available here: http://aranya.me/uploads/3/4/8/6/34868315/therapy_and_realization.pdf Nitya and Nataraja Guru’s commentaries on the Gita. My book The Path to the Guru includes an introduction to the Gita as a whole and treats the first two chapters in depth. Krishna in the Sky with Diamonds addresses chapter 11. Electronic copies are available quite inexpensively.
Another word from another student, Deepanjali: May Scott’s Gita commentary reach many fellow beings as a wakeup call!