PRABHA DUNEJA, founder and president of the Geeta Society, is also an active member of the Women's Federation for World Peace and the United Nations Association USA. Mrs. Duneja is a recipient of the Global Citizen award, given by UNA-USA for her tireless efforts on behalf of schools and orphanages in India and Africa. She travels extensively and is a frequent speaker at the Commonwealth Club San Francisco, the Parliament of World's Religions, schools, universities, temples, churches, mosques, yoga retreats, and religious conferences.
Mrs. Duneja, a graduate from the Sanskrit University of Kurukshetra, is a noted Vedic scholar and a devotee of Lord Krishna. She is the author of numerous books and has also recorded several series of lectures on The Bhagawad Geeta, the secret powers of mantra, and the science of yoga and meditation. Her monumental books, The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta and Hinduism: Scriptures and Practices have made a powerful impact with readers in the western literary world and are used in college and university classrooms. She is recognized for her ability to shed light into the time-honored ancient philosophies of Hinduism.
Prabha Duneja is the uncrowned ambassador of Lord Krsna's Geeta. Brought up in Vedic lore since childhood, she chose Geeta as her guide early in life. She has established a Geeta Society in California where she is settled, prepared several sets of audio CDs on the Geeta and has been tirelessly giving lectures on the sublime philosophy of the Holy book. Herself soaked in the teachings of Lord Krsna, her writings have a ring of sincerity.
The essence of Geeta is that man is Divine. To attain the state of Divinity, Lord Krsna suggests several ways to suit different temperaments. Emotional people may opt for the path of love or devotion. Men of action may engage themselves in the unselfish service of God's creatures. The intellectuals may go in for Adria Marg. The author feels that all paths finally lead to ardent love for God and complete surrender to Him.
At one point in Chapter III, Lord Krsna explains the hierarchy of human faculties. He says that senses are more powerful than the body; higher than senses is the mind; superior to mind is the intellect and higher than intellect is the Atma. Lord Yama, the God of Death, in Kathopanisad, extending the chain says that beyond the Atma is Mahat, Hiranyagarbha. Higher than that is avyakta, the unmanifest, the seed of all creation; and beyond this final cause, is the causeless Cause, the unmoved Mover, the Purusha-The same has been confirmed later in chapter XV by Lord Krsna.
The bane of mankind is that it is stuck at `intellect', and thinks that there is no faculty higher than that. Little do we realize that intellect is not a very reliable faculty. What is transient, the intellect sees as permanent; what will lead to unhappiness we regard as the fountain of happiness; what is unreal, we think as real, satya. We have to rise above 'intellect' to the level of Cosmic Intelligence and, through meditation, acquaint ourselves with still higher faculties, finally getting absorbed in Purusha.
Prabha advocates that one can awaken all the latent human faculties through deep devotion to God. She has explained this philosophy in several publications and repeated her emphasis on devotion and practical experience. In 1998, she published her magnum opus-The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta. In over 600 pages, it carries complete text of Geeta in Roman transliteration, with its faithful translation, and elaborate commentary in lucid English.
A selection of her lectures is now being brought out as Bhagawad Geeta : The Gospel of Timeless Wisdom. When there are already many commentaries on the Geeta, and she herself has written one critique-one may ask why yet another book on the same subject. In The Legacy of Yoga, the author was circumscript by the text of the shlokas and had little space to step out. This book enjoys a sense of abandon. There is a free flow of ideas. The author does cover the basic philosophy contained in the eighteen chapters of the Geeta but the expression is not cramped by the text of the verse.
Moreover, this book contains a lot of additional material. For example, the observations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, that the nine parts of DNA have their counterparts in the nine planets, is very interesting. He also adds that the twenty-seven groups of nucleic acid found in the cell, correspond to constellations. The author has explained here exhaustively the psychic centres rising from Kundalini-The Serpent Power-at the base of spine to the crown of the head. The awakening of Kundalini, however, should be taken up only under the guidance of a Guru.
Whereas The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta is to be treated as a book of reference, the present handy volume may well be prescribed in schools and colleges for the students of philosophy. The general public will also find this concise book very informative and immensely readable.
The perennial philosophy of Bhagawad Geeta has been a rich source of guidance, enlightenment and inspiration to the entire mankind for centuries. It is one of the few scriptures of the world which clearly explains the cherished principles and practices of the gospel of inspired action. It is a compendium of timeless wisdom which combines the understanding of mind, body and spirit; sets forth in straightforward language the essential steps towards self-transformation. The philosophical concepts contained in the Vedas, Upanishads and in later works like Patanjali Yogasutra are beautifully blended in Srimad Bhagawad Geeta. The holy dialogue presents a complete vision of both the theoretical knowledge of the Supreme Divinity (Brahma Vidya) and also that of the Yoga Sastra-the techniques to perceive and experience the transcendental reality which is the substratum of the universe. The philosophical message of Geeta guides the individual to enter the higher path of living where he can improve the quality of life and be introduced to his inherent potential.
Sri Krsna enlightens Arjuna with the mysteries of yogic unity and how a person becomes wise just by learning to live in the awareness of the Higher-Self. He repeats several times during the dialogue "tasmat sarvesu kalesu yogayukto bhava Arjuna",-O' Arjuna, remain aware of the yogic unity with the Self and do all your work with the guidance of the Self. Right alignment of mind, body and spirit under all circumstances is indeed a necessity of life. Yoga is perpetual anchorage with the source of life and Karmayoga is the manifestation of anchorage in the activities of day-to-day life. Karmayoga is definitely an extraordinary spiritual practice. He tells Arjuna that everything in our day-to-day life evolves around the games of mind and unless the mind is anchored to the indwelling Supreme-Self, an individual will continue to err. It is necessary, therefore, to learn to live in the consciousness of the soul, perceive pure intelligence within the range of conscious mind and infuse purity of Divine nature into the activities of daily life. Accelerate awareness, rise above the field of conditioned thinking and experience the influence of the Superconscious even in the ordinary functions of day-to-day life. With alignment to the source of life, clarity of vision improves rapidly and retrieval of memory becomes more pronounced. Ordinary work is performed with extraordinary efficiency and enthusiasm. Exceptional functional skills and extraordinary abilities become more evident. Peaceful, spiritualized and integrated living becomes a way of life and mind remains alert and attentive to the call of Divine.
This series of lectures is compiled from many discourses on Bhagawad Geeta, I have shared with the admirers of Geeta and Vedic philosophy at temples, universities, churches, conferences and religious gatherings. Designed especially for the modern generation, this elegant volume features a simple format, crisp summary of each chapter with new titles in modem English for people in today's world. The ancient wisdom of the East has been synthesized with modem approach of the West. This book is ideal for anyone trying to understand the inner meaning of the Holy dialogue and receive guidance, grace and inspiration in daily life. While sharing my understanding of Geeta I have often felt the living presence of Lord Krsna behind His holy words-as God incarnate, the protector of Dharma (righteousness) a compassionate and caring friend of Arjuna and His devotees, the greatest teacher of the universe and the Supreme Purusha.
May the teachings of Bhagawad Geeta bless every one with the power of enlightened love, devotion and true knowledge. May the words of Lord Krsna touch the heart of entire mankind-restoring peace, happiness and harmony on earth.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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