I recently read a book called The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita by Eaknath Easwaran. To those like me who have the curiosity of reading Indian’s best-known scripture but feel overwhelmed by the magnificence and density of the original text, I fully recommend this book. Easwaran deciphers and distills the teachings of the Gita in a clear and intelligible way that allows the reader to understand and be ready to read the text in its original form.
One of the main teachings of Krishna to Prince Arjuna is the explanation of the three different paths on which one can attain the higher state of yoga. These three paths are jnana yoga, karma yoga and bhakti yoga.
While reading about it, my mind couldn’t help but connecting with the BYC. I realized that one can find all three ways of practicing during the time of the conference.
On one hand, the essence of jnana yoga, the practice of knowledge and wisdom, is offered by the dozens of teachers who willingly share their wise experiences with all of us. If yogic wisdom and philosophy are your preferences, I recommend that you attend the pre and post-conference sessions. The classes are longer and there is more time for the teachers to go deeper with things rather than only focusing on the physical practice of yoga. You can find Ashtanga Yoga, dynamic Thai Massage, raw food workshops or even a workshop on exploring the polarities energies of Shiva and Shakti.
The practice of karma yoga, selfless action, is found in the volunteers that help organizing, keeping the space in order and providing any kind of help for the rest of us to enjoy the conference. However, we can all practice karma yoga by offering our actions to the space and the people, sharing each other’s abilities and knowledge without expecting any reward. In fact, karma yoga can be practiced everywhere at anytime and the satisfaction of the rewardless action is priceless.
And last, but not least, if one wants to discover the practice of bhakti yoga, devotion, there are numerous opportunities to do it during the different kirtans, meditations or opening/closing ceremonies. Bhakti yoga is to forget ourselves for those we love. Furthermore, it means extending these moments to your every-day life. Dedicating your acts to Love, or to God, is (the Gita says) the quickest way to enlightenment!
The three yogas merge into one at the BYC and they are there for you to explore, practice and enjoy. Whatever is your choice, one thing is true – this world needs more love, wisdom and selfless action.