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Rudolf Steiner on the Bhagavad Gita

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Favourable yoga development depends on favourable ways at large, and one "needs" to come to terms with expressions like existence and non-existence to think interesting thoughts too.

LoFormer developments influence artists, and artists influence others in turn - its' often like that

The Western world owes much to Greek developments in ages gone by. We find the Greek influence in works by many artists, including Raphael, Micelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

LoEvolution should be understood in very favourable ways to be made useful

One may read of Steiner's views of Heraclitus in his book, Christianity as Mystical Fact, how entirely he [and Steiner's exegesis] depended upon the mysteries.

Yoga is expressed to suit our own age and is also fit for helping human evolution, Steiner holds:

Our age must in an organised way unite that which radiates across to us in three so sharply-defined spiritual streams from old India in the Veda-philosophy, the Sankhya philosophy, and Yoga. For that reason our age must study the wonderful poem of the Bhagavad Gita . . . Just as Krishna made clear to his pupil that behind all existence is the creative cosmic Word, so also he made clear to him that human knowledge can recognise the separate forms, and therefore can grasp the cosmic.

"In accepting the Veda-Word the best part of the all-mighty "Self" is taken in," he also tells.

Steiner cites that Will is the first seed of Thought, and "the connection between the Existent and the Non-existent . . . this connection was found in the Will." The non-existent refers to old Asiatic modes of expressing what is not yet in time and place, like flowers from not yet sprouted seeds during winter. In spring and summer they tend to appear and gain existence. That's one way of looking at the teachings of non-existence in a favourable way.

Steiner: "Outside us we have the universal, all-embracing, all-pervading Self that lives and moves in all things, and this we breathe in when we yield ourselves to the contemplation of the spiritual Self of the World."

It is thought of by Steiner as a "creative principle which lives and weaves throughout the world".

He also argues, "We see there how blood relations, separate on account of their spiritual tendencies how that which . . . would formerly have given them the same points of view, now takes different paths; and how, therefore, the conflict then arises". Thus the war of the Gita sets in.

In this way and many others Steiner keeps tracking things which may lie even further back than the Greek age.

LoThe appeal behind the stuff is of spiritual life

In those old times, the Vedic Age, many ideas were formed in tight, poetic ways that fairly often can be difficult to interpret. Steiner holds that many insights from the hoary Vedas were no longer able to come down, and that "Yoga had to be made use of" for that reason. It could be the other way round, though, or better: "Yoga meditation helps higher insights, but not just any odd kind of yoga meditation." There are good effects of mantra meditation, according to research.

And as Steiner tells, "Yoga . . . appeals directly to the soul-element itself and seeks ways and means of grasping the human soul in direct spiritual life." His outlook pertains to higher sides of yoga and meditation. People practice for different reasons. Some are content with getting in shape and looking good.


In sum

  1. Former developments influence artists, and artists influence one another and others in turn - it is often like that.
  2. Understand terms like evolution and "developments" in favourable ways to derive benefit too.
  3. The appeal behind Steiner's school of thinking is broad development through methodical focus on one's spiritual life.

In nuce Artists understand the appeal of artists. Also, it takes one to know one.


Rudolf Steiner on Bhagavad Gita, Literature  

Rudolf Steiner: The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of St. Paul. 5 lectures given in Cologne: 28th December 1912 to 1st January, 1913. GA 142. The Rudolf Steiner Archive.

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