So I just finished reading the Bhagavad Gita which, if I understand correctly, alongside the yoga sutra forms the cornerstone of yogi philosophy. Has anyone else read the Gita? What do you folks think? I definitely connected to the idea of non-attachment and finding inner peace by mindful, purposeful action. However, I felt there was a very negative undercurrent--like the physical world is inherently bad and that this living business is just a mess we should aspire to escape. The whole maya is evil/deceptive theme clashed with my spiritual grounding in paganism, because in paganism and wicca the earthly/natural world is celebrated as a manifestation of the divine, rather than its poor substitute.
Hope that makes sense. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic, as well as the Gita as a whole.
i am currently reading the gita as of now. im sure bhakti can give you some really great insights on interpreting the book. i can understand how you feel about some of the negativity in it. have you ever read the yoga sutras? patanjali's book is also one that a lot of people who study yoga look to. its less of a story and more of a set of guidelines. maybe that may be more your style. i, too, once considered myself pagan and still feel the same as you do regarding the world as something to be celebrated. also, if you are looking to study yoga philosophy, maybe tantra would be something that would interest you more. tantrics believe that our body, the world, and the afterlife are all connected in a sense. they believe that, unlike most yogic traditions, that we are NOT seperated from our bodies, nor the earth and celebrate life in the form of being and doing all we love. it is a very interesting sect of yoga. coming from a pagan background, you may find that tantra and paganism have a lot in common.