Illuminating the Physical Body and the Path to Spiritual Realization
Many years ago, when I was in my late 20’s I was searching for help, spiritually as many of us do, and I came upon the Bhagavad Gita, or better said IT came upon me.
By the second chapter, I was crying and knew that it would forever change my life. It continues to do so to this day.
I wanted to introduce it to you here and explain to you the meaning behind some of its words…. It has been said that the Gita was written in seven layers of understanding, this is one of them. I will round back to explain many more of them in the near future.
The Bhagavad Gita, a revered scripture of ancient India, is a profound dialogue that transcends time and offers timeless wisdom. While it addresses various aspects of life and spirituality, it provides unique insights into the relationship between the physical body and the spiritual journey. Within its verses, the Gita illuminates the body as a sacred vessel on the path to self-realization.
The Body as a Temple:
In the Bhagavad Gita, the body is described as a sacred temple, a dwelling place of the divine. In Chapter 5, Verse 29, Lord Krishna imparts the wisdom that those who see the divine presence in all beings and treat every being with equal respect honor the divinity dwelling within their own bodies.
This concept underscores the notion that the physical body is not just a mere collection of flesh and bones but a divine manifestation deserving of reverence and care. Treating the body with respect and maintaining its health is seen as a means to honor the sacredness of life.
Self-Mastery and Control:
The Gita emphasizes the importance of self-mastery, which extends to the mastery of the physical body. In Chapter 6, Verse 5, Lord Krishna instructs that one should elevate the self through the self and should not degrade the self, for the self can be a friend or an enemy. This verse underscores the idea that the body can be a tool for self-elevation or self-degradation, depending on how it is utilized.
Self-control and discipline, in both actions and thoughts, are key to maintaining the body's purity and vitality. By mastering the physical body and its desires, an individual can progress along the path of spiritual growth.
Yoga: Union of Body and Spirit:
The Bhagavad Gita introduces the concept of yoga as a means to unite the individual self (Atman) with the universal consciousness (Brahman). The practice of yoga encompasses various paths, including Karma Yoga (the yoga of selfless action), Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion), Jnana Yoga (the yoga of knowledge), and Hatha Yoga (the yoga of physical postures).
Hatha Yoga, in particular, focuses on the physical body through the practice of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath control). The Gita suggests that Hatha Yoga can be a means to prepare the body and mind for deeper spiritual practices, as it helps to purify and harmonize the body's energies.
Detachment from the Physical:
While the Gita acknowledges the importance of the physical body on the spiritual path, it also emphasizes the need for detachment. In Chapter 2, Verse 14, Lord Krishna instructs that sensations like pleasure and pain, heat and cold, and honor and dishonor are fleeting and temporary. By understanding the transitory nature of physical experiences, individuals can develop detachment from the physical and focus on the eternal self.
Conclusion: The Bhagavad Gita's Wisdom for the Physical Body
The Bhagavad Gita offers a comprehensive guide to the relationship between the physical body and the journey to spiritual realization. It underscores the sacredness of the body, the need for self-mastery and control, the practice of yoga, and the importance of detachment from the physical world.
The teachings of the Gita serve as a timeless source of inspiration and guidance, offering a holistic approach to nurturing the body while seeking the divine. By embracing the wisdom of this sacred scripture, individuals can find harmony in the union of the physical and spiritual aspects of their lives, ultimately leading to self-realization and inner peace.
Hari Om Tat Sat
If you are interested in a deeper understanding of the Bhagavad Gita please consider my online course! You can find it here…(link)