My Theme: Yoga. For those of you who don't know, I've been working on obtaining my yoga teacher's certification for the past year and am just a little over a month from graduating with my RYT200. As such, I figure there's no better way to spend this month than teaching you folks some of what I've learned.
Gita is a Sanskrit word meaning "song" and is colloquially used to refer to the Bhagavad Gita which translates as "song of the lord". It is an epic poem written somewhere in the rage of 500 to 200BC. It tells the story of Prince Arjuna talking to the lord Krishna after a great battle in which Krisha educates the young prince on the meaning of life and how he can best live it. As such it serves as a philosophical guideline on many of the yogic ideals and describes a spiritual lifestyle (kind-of a blue print for living).
It is one of several ancient texts which comprise what we know of the origins of yoga and the basis for the teachings one receives in yogic study. Other titles in this category include the Rig-Veda, Upanishads, yoga sutras and Hatha Pradipika.
As yoga was developed over thousands of years these texts span several thousand years of cultural and spiritual development within India and most of the major religions there (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and several smaller sects) derived from them. As the various religious traditions branched off parts of these various teachings were emphasized and focused on while others were forgotten.
As much as some sects may see this particular text as the authority on some topics most scholars see it as part of the category of texts I mentioned earlier that lay the ground work for the more clear steps outlined in later writings (which we will discuss in later letters).
Head on back tomorrow for the letter H!