The Theosophical Society in America

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The Bhagavad Gita: Four Essential Studies for Self-Realization
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with Janani Cleary

Mondays, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Central time [UTC-05]  

September 10 - October 1 (4 classes) 

Jane ClearyThe Bhagavad Gita serves as a self-reflecting medium that reveals the true nature of the viewer. For those on the spiritual path, it provides many areas of focus. Because of this, it can be quite challenging to decide which topic is most critical and beneficial to focus on. Join Janani Cleary for a four-week series on the essential topics that contain fundamental and crucial teachings for any seeker: 

    1. Self-Realization – How Do You Get It?
    2. Karma Yoga Plus – It’s All About Attitude
    3. Being Steady and Abiding No Matter What
    4. Seeing the Bigger Picture         

Janani Cleary began her pursuit in Vedanta as a yoga teacher in New York City. She then completed an intensive course in India to obtain her teaching certification and has shared this knowledge and insights with students for several decades. She has been engaged with various Vedic cultural centers and other venues across the country, including participation in a White House conference. She also served as an advisor to the movie Gurukulam (2016), a documentary on what it is like to be a student in an ashram. For more information visit

Registration includes access to recordings of all the classes.

$50 nonmembers $40 members

Register here


Course Outline

  1. Self-Realization – How Do You Get It?: The most obvious topic is Self-Realization, as this is the crux of any and all spiritual endeavors.  It is also the most miscommunicated, misunderstood and mistaken aspect of this whole process. Therefore, since any descriptions of it must utilize words to deliver clear and accurate information about it, the verses that do exactly that will be front and center in this presentation. The dexterity to handle these words is also essential since the descriptions given are often at a minimum, paradoxical and at other times, seemingly contradictory. Consider:  Words are used to say that the Self is indescribable, yet it requires words to point out what indescribable looks like! Like this, there are many instances in which the very topic defies definition yet somehow still must be defined, and thereafter when it is understood and embraced, the words that delivered the Vision fall away.

  2. Karma Yoga Plus – It’s All About Attitude: Acting with the right intent not only brings about the right result but is also rewarding. The current motivational market is awash in how-to books about having the right attitude to get the right results. Karma Yoga is also about having the right attitude with reference to the actions performed. The words “karma” and “yoga” both have very distinctive meanings in their own right. Combined, their meanings take on an entirely different intent. When the term “Karma Yoga” is understood, the impact that it has regarding the right attitude leaves all motivationally-oriented effects in the dust. Why? Because, unlike motivationally-based pursuits that keep a person caught within the limited yet endless set up of loss and gain, its end view is to undertake actions with a certain attitude that shifts the participant’s mind towards liberation from the ups and downs of all losses and gains. This attitude dovetails with the next topic.

  3. Being Steady and Abiding No Matter What: It is one thing to advocate for – and even work at – living life on an even keel, but it is another to sustain that attitude on a daily and ongoing basis. Again, in the motivational world, it is advised to do daily affirmations and orient one’s mind towards positive thinking. There certainly is merit to this approach as it does work, but it only works up to a point since no one can stay in that mind set all the time. Yet, everyone does seek to have some sort of equanimity in the midst of pursuits so as not to feel buffeted about by the endless waves that change often brings. Hence, if there is a solution, then what part does it play in the pursuit of Self-Realization? The Gita is replete with verses that speak to why equanimity matters in terms of the ultimate pursuit and how this is accomplished.  

  4. Seeing the Bigger Picture:  Self-Realization is not an ordinary or even popular pursuit. In fact, if given a choice, most people would choose to stay unrealized as the process of inquiry appears to the uninformed to be quite overwhelming. The mental effort that it “seems” to take scares them even further. Perhaps this is where the term “blissfully ignorant” originated! But ultimately, no one really wants to be left in the dark when it comes to discovering how they can be free from all binding limitations. Put simply, if I identify with what is limited I will be caught up in the limited set up, but if I deliberately focus on what is limitless I can then move past all limit-based thoughts and the world that is reflected by them. The problem is, how can I identify with what is limitless if I do not know what it looks like? It is not available for procuring on Amazon or through any other medium, merchandizing or otherwise.  Thus, in order to embrace it, I must first know its appearance and substance. This presentation will unfold just that.