It has been said that the Bhagavad-Gita is the summation of the teachings of the Upanishads and that the Gita itself is an Upanishad—“Gitopanishad.” Nearly all the teachings of the Upanishads are also given in the Gita. But the reverse cannot be said. Some teachings in the Gita are not given, or are only hinted at, in the Upanishads.
The following is a condensed rendering of a translation by Swami Amritananda of an ancient Sanskrit text. It is specifically intended for Westerners, modifying the original so the meaning can be easily understood. Published by permission of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai, India, publisher of the original translation.
Raja Yoga, the Royal Road, could as well be called the Hero’s Journey, for who but a hero can take the mind firmly in one hand and with the other, wipe it crystal clear? That is the task Patanjali gives us in his Yoga Sutras, and he explains, step by step, how it can be done.
Both discovered their humanism and became deeply concerned for the poor after travelling extensively in their youth, one across India and the other throughout South America.
Swami Vivekananda’s work in the United States would hardly have been possible without the hospitality of American families and individuals. Among the most important of these were Mr. and Mrs. George Hale of Chicago. It was opposite their house, in September 1893, that Swamiji, disheveled and exhausted, sat on the curb after spending the night in a boxcar.
Swami Vivekananda said, “I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and I hope that in the future the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.” In this the 150th anniversary year celebration of Swamiji, the above quote from his talk, “Why We Disagree,” given at the Parliament of Religions on September 15, 1893, raises the pertinent question: How far have we come in realizing what Swamiji calls “our purpose” as Americans in breaking down the barriers in this little world of ours?