Prabha Duneja is the uncrowned ambassador of Lord Krsna's Geeta. Brought up in Vedic lore since childhood, she chose Geeta as her guide early in life. She has established a Geeta Society in California where she is settled, prepared a set of audio-cassettes on the Geeta and has been tirelessly giving lectures on the sublime philosophy of the Holy book. Herself soaked in the teachings of Lord Krsna, her writings have a ring of sincerity.
The essence of Geeta is that man is Divine. To attain the state of Divinity, Lord Krsna suggests several ways to suit different temperaments. Emotional people may opt for the path of love or devotion. Men of action may engage themselves in the unselfish service of God's creatures. The intellectuals may go in for Jnana Marg. The author feels that all paths finally lead to ardent love for God and complete surrender to Him.
At one point in Chapter III, Lord Krsna explains the hierarchy of human faculties. He says that senses are more powerful than the body; higher than senses is the mind; superior to mind is the intellect and higher than intellect is the Atma. Lord Yama, the God of Death, in Kathopanisad, extending the chain says that beyond the Atma is Mahat, Hiranyagarbha. Higher than that is avyakta, the unmanifest, the seed of all creation; and beyond this final cause, is the causeless Cause, the unmoved Mover, the Purusha - The same has been confirmed later in chapter XV by Lord Krsna.
The bane of mankind is that it is stuck at "intellect", and this that there is no faculty higher than that. Little do we realize that intellect is not a very reliable faculty. What is transient, the intellect sees as pemanent; what will lead to unhappiness we regard as the fountain of happiness; what is unreal, we think as real, satya. We have to rise above "intellect" to the level of Cosmic Intelligence and, through meditation, acquaint ourselves with still higher faculties, finally getting absorbed in Purusha.
Prabha advocates that one can awaken all the latent human faculties through deep devotion to God. She has explained this philosophy in several publications and repeated her emphasis on devotion and practical experience. In 1998, she published her magnum opus - The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta. In over 600 pages, it carries complete text of Geeta in Roman transliteration, with its faithful translation, and elaborate commentary in lucid English.
A selection of her lectures is now being brought out as Bhagawad Geeta: The Gospel of Timeless Wisdom. Where there are already many commentaries on the Geeta - and she herself has written one critique. In The Legacy of Yoga the author was circumscript by the text of the shlokas and had little space to step out. This book enjoys a sense of freedom. There is a free flow of ideas. The author does not cover the basic philosophy contained in the eighteen chapters of the Geeta but the expression is not cramped by the text of the verse.
Moreover, this book contains a lot of additional material. For example, the observations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, that the nine parts of DNA have their counerparts in the nine planets, is very interesting. He also adds that the twenty-seven groups of nucleic acid found in the cell, correspond to constellations. The author has explained here exhaustively the psychic centres rising from Kundalini - The Serpent Power - at the base of spine to the crown of the head. The awakening of Kundalini, however, should be taken up only under the guidance of a Guru.
Whereas The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta is to be treated as a book of reference, the present handy volume may well be prescribed in schools and colleges for the students of philosophy. The general public will also find this concise book very informative and immensely readable.
- Dr. Baldeo Sahai
Fellow, Indian National Science Academy,
Founder, President, Upanisad Society,
New Delhi, September 2004
. Excerpts from the book:
Yogic discipline is a systematic practice of exploring the inner dimensions of our personality and ultimately being introduced to our own selves and others. It helps us to develop a special ability of maintaining the presence of mind under all circumstances in life.
With alignment to the source of life, clarity of vision improves rapidly and retreival of memory becomes more pronounced. Ordinary work is performed with extraordinary efficiency and enthusiasm.
It is definitely in the silence of meditative unity we become enlightened, intuitive and can improve the quality of life. Transcendental unity in meditation is indeed a necessity of life - just in order to live in peace and harmony with our own inner-self and with others.
The goal of human life is to experience closeness of the Divine and to live a life which is consciously aligned to the Supreme-soul. Any misalignment from the indwelling-Self results in conscious separation from the source of life and slavery to Xeroxed behaviour dictated by the conditioned self.
Yogic unity and social service should move together. It is the unification of personal spiritualized, enlightened, efficiency in performance of work for global welfare.