Our world seems to be getting crazier by the day. But thanks to Babaji’s ashrams, we have beacons of light and hope that everyone can give to and draw sustenance from. Such was my experience of the Gurupurnima celebrations in Holland last year. Once again the daily tribal rituals with people singing their hearts out to the rhythm of the bhajans, created an indescribable vortex of shakti, communal joy and solidarity.
Having had arrived from a Brexit-torn UK with a weary heart, I returned with strength and optimism, plus a precious gift right at the very end: as I was leaving the ashram a young Dutch man called Richard said to me: Do you read the Bhagavad Gita? I said I had done so many years ago. “Try the Swami Chidhbhavananda version,” he said “ It’s the best. Babaji said we should read it”. Back home I nearly ordered it on line before I found the version on my bookshelf. I dived straight in and for the umpteenth time started to read the introduction. There I found that the value of what had just happened in Holland was 108 % confirmed in the first few pages of this holy book. To begin with it says that the Bhagavad Gita is thought of as the manual for the Sanatan Dharma, the Eternal Law. And the Sanatan Dharma, as we all know, is what Babaji asked us to study and live by. In the tiniest of nutshells what’s it about? This is what it says: ‘Self perfection is the goal of life and yoga is the means to it’. There are many yogas in the Gita, of which Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga and Jnana yoga are the three main ones. Even though they are explained in this sequence in the Gita, there is no hierarchical order to them. They all cross- fertilise each other as one interdependent body of Knowledge, Love and Action.
In the Gita, Krishna says that in order to navigate oneself safely through the battlefield of life and the constant flux between creation, preservation and destruction, we need to overcome faintheartedness and become strong and fearless warriors. It is the same message that Babaji kept trying to instil in us over and over again. Imagine a bird: ‘A bird requires two wings and a tail for its flight. The soul is endowed with bhakti and Jnana to serve the two wings. Karma serves as the tail that maintains the balance. Action by itself is neither sacred nor secular. It is the attitude with which it is performed that brings about a magical change. Karma, Bhakti and Jnana are therefore inseparable.’ Intro. p.62
‘To the person endowed with an efficient hand, a loving heart and a clear head, nothing more needs to be added. He becomes a complete personality verging on divinity.’
The Gita with its ancient perennial wisdom seems more relevant today than ever, particularly at this moment in human history, where the global political and economic powers have predominantly become birds with wings of greed and carelessness, at the cost of human, animal and environmental welfare. So I asked myself the question: How am I doing on the divine battlefield of life? What kind of a yogi am I? What kind of yoga do I need to develop? In other words: how well balanced am I between Love, Knowledge and Action? So I designed a little questionnaire to find out. Admittedly I was rather surprised, if not a little shocked about my score. What’s yours? Here is how you can find out, and BE HONEST !
Are you a Bhakti, Jnana or Karma Yogi ?
Check your predominant yoga path by scoring yourself 0 to 5 (where 5 is the highest score). Then add up each column and you’ll find out !
|Score yourself in each category:||Love||Knowledge||Action|
|Relationship to myself|
|Relationship to loved ones|
|Relationship to society as a whole|
|Relationship to my work|
|Relationship to the Divine|