For a year there was a buzz among the Chinmaya Mission followers looking forward to Guruji’s visit to Melbourne from April 25th 2012. Guruji was going to summarize the entire Geeta called “Geeta at a Glance” in six days from April 26th to May 1st 2012. This was a fitting finale to the decade long yagna by Swami Swaroopanandji covering the entire Geeta. Preparations for Guruji’s visit had started many months before with young and old pitching in to ensure that this event was a grand success - which it was!
Soon the big day arrived and as was expected, Chinmaya Mission lovers made a beeline to Kel Watson Theatre at Forest Hill Secondary College for Guruji’s evening talks. Inclement weather during the six days failed to keep people away. The available car parking filled early with the school soccer ground coming in handy for all the late comers. Outside there were Chinmaya youth sevaks guiding people to some orderly parking. As has become the custom, devotees were warmly greeted by Chinmaya sewaks at the entrance. Inside the hall, early comers were treated to some melodious bhajans from Nimmi ji and her team. For parents with young children, there were Bal Vihar sevaks to look after and entertain them during the talks. The bookstall in the foyer, managed by Natarajan and his crew, looked much bigger than previous years and was fully decked with all the latest releases from Chinmaya books and publications. With each day inspired by Guruji’s talks, people rushed to the bookstall to buy their favorite CD/ book.
All days, regardless of whether it was a working day or weekend, Kel Watson Theatre was filled to its capacity. By 7.30pm, every seat in the hall was occupied, with the overflow of people having to sit on the aisle steps, and on certain days part of the stage was even taken up. The enthusiasm of the crowd was palpable and only increased as the days went by with Guruji’s magic starting to have its effect. Such was his attraction, many young and old, followed him to the Dham after the talks for informal satsang and to hear his bhajans.
Guruji- an expert orator delivered his talks extempore picking and reciting important shlokas from each chapter of the Geeta. He has a unique ability to explain the highest vedantic philosophy in such simple language that the general public of all ages and maturity level are able to understand and appreciate it. His talks were generously sprinkled with appropriate everyday experiences and jokes that kept the audience enthused and amused at the same time. On conclusion each evening, the audience departed distinctly uplifted, refreshed and reflecting about the changes that they need to bring in to their daily lives.
Guruji initially touched upon the popularity of the Geeta, and compared it to the role of a mother who is always concerned about the welfare of her children. He went on to explain at length, with examples from many chapters, that the central theme flowing through the text is Knowledge of the SELF. Arjuna’s problem of delusion was born out of ignorance and only knowledge could end all his delusions. The first six chapters talks about the individual (Jeeva) and his duties with the latter chapters which explain the nature of the World (Jagat) around and the nature of the Lord of the World (Ishwara). Self knowledge is not complete unless nature of the Jeeva, its role in this Jagat and its relationship with Ishwara is fully understood.
It is very true that we act in this World without fully understanding our own nature, in any of our roles as a husband, a wife, a family member and a member of the larger community, thereby causing stress to ourselves and others. Our salvation lies only in us to be able to take in the teachings of this ancient text and to act in accordance with our dharma and attune ourselves to the silent rhythm of the World.