Project Description

  • DATES: 02/01/2023 – 26/02/2023

  • MODE OF DELIVERY: ONLINE

  • COURSE CATEGORY: ISKCON

  • LECTURES: 30 (53 VIDEOS)

  • PRICE: 99 EUR

Arjuna is bewildered by the most basic questions: ‘Who am I?’ ‘What am I meant to do?’ In the karma yoga section of Bhagavad-gita, the first six chapters, Lord Krishna, in response, explains to Arjuna the process of yoga and the basic transcendental knowledge needed to act in spiritual consciousness.

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Course Summary

Bhagavad Gita – Karma Yoga (Chapters 1-6). The time is 5000 years ago; the place: Kurukshetra; the circumstance: the biggest battle the world has ever known. So, the stage is set, and Lord Krishna has arranged a most dramatic build-up so everyone’s attention is on what happens next. And when all eyes and ears are ready, Lord Krishna arranges that His intimate friend, Arjuna, falls under the influence of His internal energy to act as a conditioned soul so He can give him the spiritual knowledge.

Weekly Schedule

This course is made of six weeks of teaching and two additional weeks to prepare for and take the final exam.

Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra

Dhritarashtra asks Sanjaya about the events taking place at Kurukshetra. Sanjaya describes Duryodhana’s diplomacy and signs of victory for the Pandava army. Krishna, as the chariot driver of Arjuna, is ordered to drive the chariot between the armies. Seeing those assembled, Arjuna becomes apprehensive, hesitant, and overwhelmed with compassion. He argues that killing one’s family will lead to the unchastity of women, unwanted children, and the end of Vedic culture. Arjuna, deciding not to fight, casts aside his bow and sits on the chariot.

Contents of the Gita Summarized

The second chapter is a summary of the whole Bhagavad-gita. In this chapter, karma-yoga and jnana-yoga are clearly discussed, and a glimpse of bhakti-yoga is also given. Arjuna surrenders to Krishna, accepts Him as a guru, and thus changes his relationship from that of a friend to one of a disciple. Krishna begins His instructions by describing the individual, eternal nature of the soul, compared with the temporary nature of the body. He eventually changes the topic to buddhi-yoga or working in devotional service with fixed intelligence and detachment from the fruits of action. Krishna also shows how attachment to sense enjoyment and material opulence, as described in the karma-kanda section of the Vedas, is an obstacle to the determination in devotional service. By devotional service one becomes indifferent to Vedic rituals, gains freedom from reactions, attains liberation from the cycle of birth and death, and goes back to Godhead.

Karma-yoga

While Chapter Two explains paths such as sankhya-yoga, buddhi-yoga, sense control with the help of the intelligence, and work without fruitive desire, Krishna now establishes that one should not artificially renounce activities but should perform prescribed duties with detachment. He explains a course of action for those who are not yet detached. By satisfying their desires in a religious way, they will be purified. Krishna concludes His explanation of karma-yoga by warning Arjuna not to give up prescribed duties, though there may be some imperfection in doing them. He says that everyone is forced to act according to his nature. Arjuna asks Krishna what forces us to act sinfully, and Krishna describes our eternal enemy, lust. One can conquer lust by working in Krishna consciousness with steady intelligence, fixed on knowledge of one’s pure identity.

Transcendental Knowledge

Imparting knowledge about Himself that leads to liberation, Krishna explains how He is the ultimate goal of all paths; everyone depends upon His mercy for success. Krishna analyses action and describes how to act transcendentally. To attain this transcendental knowledge, one must control the senses and submissively approach a spiritual master and faithfully render service. Thus one will become free from reactions and understand his relationship with the Supreme. Krishna urges Arjuna to fight, armed with transcendental knowledge.

Karma-yoga – Action in Krishna Consciousness

Chapter Five opens with a question that is similar to a question Arjuna asked in Chapter Three: “Which is better, work in devotion or renunciation of work?” Krishna responds that although the results of renunciation and devotional service are ultimately the same, devotional service is superior because it frees one from reactions, so the devotees can quickly and easily achieve Him. Devotees of Krishna enjoy unlimited pleasure within by fixing the consciousness on Krishna. Always working for the welfare of all beings, they soon achieve liberation. Yogis can also attain this by ashtanga-yoga. Krishna introduces dhyana-yoga and elaborates on it in Chapter Six. Krishna gives the peace formula in the last verse: Lord Krishna is the supreme enjoyer and controller, and thus He is the beneficiary of all human activities.

Dhyana-yoga

Even in ashtanga-yoga, karma-yoga is necessary in the beginning. When one becomes accomplished in meditation, he ceases all disturbing mental activities. After describing the yoga practice of fixing the mind on the self, Krishna explains the yogi’s realization. Srila Prabhupada explains: “A Krishna conscious yogi is the perfect seer because he sees Krishna situated in everyone’s heart as Supersoul. He sees Krishna everywhere and everything in Krishna. Thus he sees all living entities equally.” Krishna concludes by comparing yogis with karmis, jnanis, and tapasvis. The yogi is superior to all, and among yogis, the bhakti-yogi, who always thinks of Krishna and worships Him with faith, is the best.

Assessment

All assessment is done online, at a time convenient for the student.

  • Weekly question(s) – are answered in the course forum where the interaction with the teacher is happening throughout the course.
  • Weekly quizzes – are based on multiple-choice questions.
  • Two essays – topics for essays are available from the beginning of the course so students can immediately start writing.
  • Final exam – at the beginning of the course, students also get access to the question bank – the list of questions from which the questions for the final exam are selected.
Dinadayal dasa
Dinadayal dasa
A colleague of Dinadayal dasa (Dario Knez, BTh, MSc IT, MBA) playfully introduced him as: Alternative – Academic – Artistic – Administrator – not knowing how close this portrayal is to his desired positioning between the world of theory and practice. Dinadayal has been engaged at Bhaktivedanta College since 2004. His IT knowledge and love for sharing bhakti-yoga fructified in 2010 with the Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus. In 2010 he wrote an initial paper on a new degree in business rooted in conscious leadership. The initiative is realised in 2017 with Alfred Ford School of Management’s first intake of MBA students. At Alfred Ford School of Management, Dinadayal serves as Dean of Students.

How To Study Online

The course has a scheduled starting and ending date and it lasts 8 weeks in total. It is made of six weeks of teaching and two additional weeks to prepare for and take the final exam.

Each week, on Monday, students get access to different sets of materials and then have that week to go through the materials and do the assignments. All the lectures are pre-recorded and put on our learning platform along with other learning materials. There are no live lectures so students don’t need to be present online at a specific time but can watch the videos and study at their convenience. Students do need to set the time aside to dedicate to the course but it can be at the time that suits them.

A convenient feature of the lectures is that they are cut into small units dealing with one specific topic. So, whenever there is some free time, a student can use it to go through the topic, then continue with other activities and think about what has been said. This system is very practical for those who have busy lifestyles but it is also proving to be helpful for just anyone, helping to better focus on the most important points from the lectures.

Registration

Bhagavad-gita 1 can be attended without any special requirements as it is a self-standing course. It is also a part of the Bhakti-sastri course made of six self-standing modules/courses. You can enroll only for Bhagavad-gita 1 or for the whole Bhakti-sastri course and get a 15% discount!

Bhakti-sastri course is always going on, with six modules being delivered one after another in one year. It is possible to enroll at any time and continue from the next scheduled module or to just study a module of choice.

  • Price for one module: €99
  • Price for the whole Bhakti-sastri course: €505

By clicking the enrollment button, you will be required to create a profile on BCOC – Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus (if you don’t have one already) and then proceed with the payment.

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