Bhagavad Gita

Gita Conference 2015 Report

- Ashwini Surpur

Gita Conference was organized in Sunnyvale temple by Satya Kalra (Path to Anandam) and group on July 20th, 2015. As Yoga Bharati representatives, Anil Surpur (President and my husband) and I were given VIP seating.  I was positively surprised at the wonderful set of people they had on the dias. Every bit of what was spoken on the stage was bringing thrill to the audience. The hall was packed and people did not move although it was way past lunch time. The speeches were wisdom filled and everyone was great there. 
Anil and I went to give a short 3 hour visit and we ended up staying all day.

  • Tulsi Gabbard gave an awesome talk quoting (in English) verses from different chapters and her own application of them into her life. She inspired everyone with her passion on Gita.
  • UC Berkeley Sanskrit Prof. Robert Goldman's Sanskrit was as if we Indian's spoke with no western accent. The Bhagavad Gita shlokas he quoted with stellar Sanskrit mesmerized the audience.
  • Swami Chidananda Saraswati - what to say? His voice and his shloka and the ending Shantih, Shantih, Shantih put me into samadhi so to say. It was as if time had stopped. Never before was I immersed in such a one-pointedness. His discourse kept people laughing and admiring and also a flow of knowledge of Ganga into the audience.
  • Swami Radhanath of ISCKON sung the song of Gita in a way I had never heard before. It was like Opera with a low pitch. I think he is a Jewish swami who has done enormous seva in India. His knowledge of Gita was amazing - every bit of it was fantastic.
  • Sadhvi Bhagavati Saraswati was also amazing in her tid-bits as MC. Unfortunately she took too long between every speaker that added to the delay. But her words were also very sweet and wisdom filled.
  • Shankaracharya (Bhanpura) also gave a very touching message on Gita. 

The youth! What to talk of them. Three youth - Varija 23 (daughter of Govindaji of Samskrita Bharati), Pushan 21, the college graduate who studied Sanskrit because he wanted to learn Gita in its original language and Keertana, the Monta Vista High school senior were the panelists. I was wondering how these little souls could talk on Gita so profoundly. Every one in the audience were dumbstruck at the way they conducted the youth panel.
Saumitraji of HSS - His down-to-earth style could not hide his wisdom, it was too evident! 

Saumitraji of HSS

On Karma Yoga - What is the motivation to work if we gave up the results of the work? What motivates a Karma Yogi? Saumitraji said, at least for him - Shloka 3:20 - lokasangrahamevapi sampasyankartumarhasi
Everyone should have one thing to revere or worship. What I have (Swami Vivekananda also had this) is Samashti Devata --> The viraat swarupa of Lord where one became many millions. He is a HSS pracharak - a non-saffron Sanyasi who goes from home to home, city to city, country to country for HSS work. He said when he surrendered, he found someone coming and helping him in his worst situations, in unknown countries, and unknown societies also. 
Karma yoga is a journey of Training --> transforming --> transcending

Desh Deshpande - A Philanthropist and Entrepreneur - Keynote speaker
Spoke on Enlightened entrepreneurs 

  • Dharma means - to pick and choose a problem that is bigger than yourself
  • Things that are under control and that which cannot be controlled
  • Leave those that cannot be controlled
  • Such enlightened entrepreneurs  don't get agitated and don't agitate others
  • Moderate the ups and downs in the business.
  • Dilemma - should we be tough negotiator or polite ? always exist in life at all levels
  • BE Naive and optimistic
  • Naive why? Only naive think they can take anything and do it. Only they believe every problem can be solved

MOST IMPORTANT Message of Gita I got - Get up in the morning and get excited about the day - Gita style of living

My experience the very next day with the message 'Get up and get excited was very interesting'. I was extremely tired the next morning and I had to go to yoga class with a 5 hour sleep (in a row for the third day) and I was so miserable and tired that the entire morning was dragging my feet. At one point around 10am, I felt a deep sense of demotivation due to the deep fatigue with a pile of work still ahead of me. Suddenly I remembered Desh's speech and within 5 mins, I was up and about the I don't know how it all melted away and I was good for the entire day.