Gita Study Group

The meetings have been suspended due to lack of attendance and we will resume if there is a quorum.

Objective: to read and meditate upon Paramahansa Yogananda’s spiritual interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita, “God Talks with Arjuna” as a group.

Contents: all verses in English and the spiritual interpretation that follows each verse; footnotes are to be excluded.

Days and Time: On Sundays every week, from 
12:15pm to 1:30pm; 1 hour is dedicated to actual readings and 15 minutes are dedicated to a closing meditation.

Location: CJMG Center Main Chapel

General Format & Guidelines (see sample program below): 
  • Open with announcement by leader
  • 8-12 pages are read in one meeting (1-hour). Same pages are read twice in two consecutive meetings to help improve the assimilation of the deep concepts.
  • Readers will rotate reading the sub-sections of the scheduled pages. Reading may either begin from the left half or the right half of the congregation and will alternate so readers from both sides get chance to read.
  • Each reader will read about 1-2 page which will be followed by 2-3 minutes of meditation. The reader who has just read before the meditation period is responsible for keeping time of the mediation period and will chant a short AUM to indicate the time is up and the next reader may begin reading the next set of paragraphs. 
  • First reader starts with an opening prayer (Standard SRF prayer format - invocation of God and Gurus followed by prayer appropriate to the occasion). Opening prayer is followed by a silent period of about 1 minute and the same reader starts reading after that.
  • Last reader keeps time for the 15-minutes meditation period and will conclude with a closing prayer (Standard SRF prayer format - invocation of God and Gurus followed by prayer appropriate to the occasion). If the last reader is not going to stay till the end then that person will pass reading to next person who will stay till the end in order to prompt and time-keep the 15 min meditation and lead the closing prayer.
Restrictions and Attendance: there will be no discussions or interpretations of the readings, as per SRF guidelines. Participation is open to everyone who accepts the previous restriction. Meetings will begin promptly at the scheduled time with the opening announcement.

  • The leader is basically the facilitator who will just do initial opening announcement and/or any other announcement after the conclusion of the meeting. 
  • A leader starts by announcing the guidelines and the general structure of the meeting.
  • The leader also announces the details about the page/section/paragraph from where the reading will start.
  • Leader will also announce if the reading will begin from the left-half or the right-half of the congregation. The reading is then self-regulated as per the guidelines/format mentioned here.

  • Anyone in attendance who has good command of the English language is welcome to read. Participation as readers is entirely voluntary. Attendees may silently follow the readings. 
  • Everyone is encouraged to practice English reading at home to better serve the fellow devotees.
  • All are requested to avoid prompting the corrections if any reader mispronounces or struggles with any English or Sanskrit word.
  • If you would like to improve your service, please consider seeking feedback from fellow devotees after the meeting is concluded or later.
  • If the attendance is high (over 10 people), please consider giving chance to other attendees in case you had the opportunity to serve as a reader during the last meeting.
Personal copies: Attendees are encouraged to bring their own copies or to purchase a set from the bookstore. Chapel copy may not be marked or underlined.

Duration of the Group: group will meet until volumes I and II of God Talks with Arjuna are completed, beginning with the introduction. Upon completion, the group may vote to start a new round of Gita sessions or to begin with a different scriptural interpretation by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Sample Program

7:30 – 7:33 pm:           Brief instructions and call for volunteers to read (Leader)

7:33 – 7:35 pm:           Opening Prayer (led by first reader)

7:35 – 7:45 pm:           Readings

7:45 – 7:48 pm:           Meditation (2-3 minutes)

7:48 – 7:58 pm:           Readings

7:58 – 8:00 pm:           Meditation (2-3 minutes)

8:00 – 8:10 pm:           Readings

8:10 – 8:13 pm:           Meditation (2-3 minutes)

8:13 – 8:20 pm:           Readings

8:20 – 8:22 pm:           Meditation (2-3 minutes)

8:22 – 8:30 pm:           Readings

8:30 – 8:45 pm:           Meditation (15 minutes time-keeping by last reader)

8:45 pm:                      Closing Prayer (led by last reader)