Bhagavad Gita, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda

Mission of Pedro Nonell in relation to the Bhagavad Gita

Eliminate Ignorance with the Sword of Knowledge to the West. Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda

Help restore Knowledge to the West by eliminating ignorance with the wisdom emanating from the Bhagavad Gita and the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.

Pedro Nonell: facilitate access to knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita

By Pedro Nonell (Founder of Gita Institute).

Pedro Nonell. Author of the Book: The Yoga of Wisdom (Bhagavad Gita)

Perhaps you are wondering: why this Spaniard has translated the Gita?

To answer this question, I would like to share my mission in relation to the Gita, but I need a few minutes of your time.

Sisters and Brothers of Bharat and the West!

With similar words Swami Vivekananda in 1893, began his famous speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. Since then the deep wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta and Yoga began to form part of Western culture.

Swamiji travelled for years across India to uplift the masses, teach them the freedom of Atman (Atma-Jnana) and seek funding for his travels to the United States and England.

But he also perceived that the West needed the wisdom of the ancient Rishis, that the original Yoga that the Blessed Lord transmitted at the beginning of time. Quoting the first shloka of chapter IV, the Jnana Yoga, the Gita:

«This imperishable Yoga I taught to Vivasvan at the beginning of creation» Bhagavad Gita IV.

Swami Vivekananda's Vision:

  1. Liberating humanity from ignorance (through the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta)
  2. Sri Ramakrishna's Principle of Harmony between Religions
  3. Western science plus Eastern spirituality

Swami Vivekananda Vision: Liberating humanity from ignorance (Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta)

In 1995 I created EENI-Global Business School of which I am its president. In these years I have travelled mainly through Europe, Latin America and my beloved Africa. And I have been able to witness the slow decline of the West.

I am convinced that Western civilization has forgotten its Dharma, and that many Westerners don’t know his own Dharma. They born, grow up, work, marry, retire and die, perhaps without having even thought about their life mission.

But what should be the Dharma of the West? The Gita teaches us that:

सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् |
सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृता
: || 48||

“O Arjun! One should not abandon the duty to which he is born, though it is attended with evil; all undertakings are indeed enveloped by evil, like fire by smoke” Bhagavad Gita XVIII-48

Swami Vivekananda: Western science, plus Hindu spirituality
 Western science plus Eastern spirituality

In 1492, after a seven-century reconquest before Islam, the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand, managed to create the first global empire; outlining the current world map. We were able to incorporate an entire continent, America, into the known world.

Inspired by Christianity, the first declaration of human rights was promulgated, the Law of the Indies, by which all American Indians were protected, and it was done long before the French Revolution. It was not a colonizing model, but based on viceroyalties equaling the rights of Americans and Spaniards, replicating the Roman Empire.

I know that this reflection will not please many since it is not politically correct, but when one commits to the values of the Gita, truthfulness must prevail above all.

Of course, no one has the moral right to invade anyone, but it is true that the “Pax Hispana” lasted for almost 300 years.

In the second shloka of chapter IV, the Blessed Lord explained to Arjuna as that ancient Yoga, “the supreme mystery”, which He taught:

«.. by long lapse of time, this Yoga was lost to the world» Bhagavad Gita IV 2

Bharat never colonized any country; never send missionaries to convert anyone.

The “sole fide” of Protestantism, the “anything goes, as long as you believe” led the West, displacing Roman Catholicism. The European wars of religion arrived, the transatlantic slave trade, which for four centuries “stole the African blood” to take it to America, supporting the Western industrial revolution.

The “Goddess of Reason” supplanted the Christ of the Sermon on the Mount. Later, France and England colonized almost the entire world, including India. We saw two bloody world wars and also civil wars in many developing countries promoted by the West.

The following shlokas from the Gita define it perfectly:

“Men of demoniac nature know not what to do and what to refrain from doing. Purity is not in them, nor good conduct, nor truth.
The world is devoid of truth, without a moral basis, and without a God..
These lost souls of little understanding and fierce deeds, rise as the enemies of the world for its destruction.
Giving themselves up to insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance, they hold false views through delusion and act with impure resolve” Bhagavad Gita XVI 7-10

Pedro Nonell: One of the shlokas that I am most passionate is Bhagavad Gita IV 7-8

“O Arjun! Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of evil, I manifest Myself For the protection of the good, For the destruction of the wicked, And for establishing the Dharma, I take birth in every age” Bhagavad Gita IV 7-8

It is true that the West has contributed great things to mankind, in areas such as science and technology, healthcare and music. Swami Vivekananda explained it very well when he spoke of “Western Science plus Hindu Spirituality”. But the West has lost the moral capacity to lead the world and also has lost the global political, financial and economic leadership.

The Gita perfectly shows us this was of darkness where the Dharma has been lost:

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत | अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || 7|| परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् | धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे || 8||

And that is why when evil increases, in any time or place, the Lord incarnates as Jesus, Buddha, Sri Krishna or Muhammad to reestablish the path of good, the Dharma.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. As many faiths, so many paths. Bhagavad Gita
Yato mat, tato path

«God himself was revealed to me, already incarnated in Christ, now speaking through the prophet Muhammad, now as Vishnu the Preserver or Shiva the Destroyer.» Sri Ramakrishna.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the illiterate monk who saw God; For many, like Gandhi or Sri Aurobindo, an incarnation of divinity, he came to this time of darkness in 1836, in the midst of British domination, to “destroy ignorance with the sword of knowledge.” He basically taught us two things:

  1. Religion is realisation, and it is not just going to temples, reading books or participating in ceremonies
  2. The principle of Harmony between Religions: “Yato mat, tato path” (As many faiths, so many paths)

Swami Vivekananda met Sri Ramakrishna in 1881, and asked him:

«Have you seen God, Sir.»

Sri Ramakrishna's response was:

«Yes, I see Him just as I see you here, only in a much in tenser sense.

God can be realized, one can see and talk to Him as I am doing with you. But who cares to do so?

People shed torrents of tears for their wife and children, for wealth or property, but who does so for the sake of God?

If one weeps sincerely for Him, He surely manifests Himself" Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna Who sheds tears for God? Swami Vivekananda

Without his disciple, Swami Vivekananda, we would surely not have understood his deep message of love for all humanity and Ahimsa, and without his efforts to explain his teachings to us in terms of Western philosophy; his light would not have reached the West. Swamiji was agnostic when he was young, then he followed the Path of Jnana, Karma and finally the Bhakti Yoga. The West can learn from this yogic evolution of Swamiji and adapt it, as far as possible, to its own reality.

I discovered the Gita when I was very young, through my grandfather, who at 80 years old was studying Sanskrit. About 20 years ago I began the study of several sacred books.

I was fascinated by the concept of social justice of Islam, the compassion and empathy of the Buddha, the respect for every living being of the Jains, the 3H of Zoroastrianism "Good thoughts, words and deeds" or of moral rectitude and equality between men and women of Sikh people.. but I fell in love with the Gita.

I understood that Vedanta can contain all religions.

And through him, I understood Christianity better. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

“.. There is only Christianity where one accepts an unlimited love for mankind. As long as there is only one hungry person in the world, Christ has not yet been born” Gandhi

Knowledge leads to Unity, but ignorance to Diversity (Sri Ramakrishna)

“Knowledge leads to Unity, but ignorance to Diversity” Sri Ramakrishna

Based on the following reflection by British historian Arnold Toynbee:

“.. Gandhi's principle of non-violence and Sri Ramakrishna's testimony on harmony between religions: here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together in one family” Arnold J Toynbee

I implemented a Global Ethics model in my Business School based on Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Sri Ramakrishna's Principle of Harmony between Religions. We developed a Doctorate in Global Ethics, Religions, and International Business where the Gita and the teachings of Ramakrishna are the cornerstone.

Even the EENI motto is a phrase of Ramakrishna:

EENI Global Business School

Islam and the British Empire ruled India from 1206 to 1947, seven centuries, the same time that Spain was Muslim.

But today Bharat emerges as a political, economic, military, demographic and spiritual power.

Swamiji already predicted it when he stated that “India should be the spiritual power of the world.”

India has surpassed China in population and Russia in reaching the southern face of the Moon.

Faced with the French flight and the threat of totalitarian states like Russia and China, Bharat should be the main actor in Africa.

And Bharat is the largest democracy in the world and one of the founders of the BRICS.

Bharat will be, if it is not already, the spiritual lighthouse that illuminates humanity.

And largely thanks to the Sattwa light of Ramakrishna and the inexhaustible Rajasic work of Vivekananda.

Interview by journalist Alexandra Di Stefano with Pedro Nonell about the Gita (in Spanish)
Interview by journalist Alexandra Di Stefano with Pedro Nonell about the Gita (in Spanish)

In this phase of my life, I want to dedicate my efforts, my love and my little knowledge, through the Gita Institute, to collaborating with the dissemination of the teachings of the Gita, Vedanta, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda to the West, mainly in Latin countries, but also in Africa (especially the principle of Harmony between Religions to avoid the clash between Islam and Christianity), through information and education.

Quoting the Gita:

“He who with supreme devotion in Me will teach this profound philosophy to my devotees shall doubtless come to me alone.
There is none among men who can do anything more pleasing to Me than he; nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.
And he who shall study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall have been worshipped by Jnana Yajna; this is My conviction” Bhagavad Gita XVIII 68-70

My commitment is absolute.

Parts of the book “The Yoga of Wisdom (Bhagavad Gita)” by Pedro Nonell
Parts of the book “The Yoga of Wisdom (Bhagavad Gita)” by Pedro Nonell

Telugu recognition Pedro Nonell translation Bhagavad Gita

I have already translated two versions of the Gita into Spanish:

  1. The Gita According to Gandhi, with comments by Swami Sivananda
  2. The Gita Makaranadam of Swami Vidya Prakashananda

Bhagavad Gita Book (Yoga of Wisdom, Gandhi, Sivananda) Pedro Nonell
Buy the Book

Video: My commitment to the Gita (Spanish)

Vedanta, the essence of Jnana Yoga, an alternative to the deep spiritual crisis of the West
Vedanta, the essence of Jnana Yoga, an alternative to the deep spiritual crisis of the West

In addition to much of Vivekananda's books and papers: Jnana Yoga and Vedanta, Jnana Yoga (Unity in Diversity), Karma Yoga, Sankhya Philosophy, Raja Yoga or Bhakti Yoga (links in Spanish)

  1. Jnana Yoga and Vedanta
  2. Jnana Yoga (unity in diversity)
  3. Karma Yoga
  4. The Sankhya Philosophy
  5. Raja Yoga
  6. Yoga Sutras - Patanjali
  7. Bhakti Yoga
  8. Para-Bhakti or Supreme Devotion

Master in Bhagavad Gita and science of Yoga (Online)
Master in Bhagavad Gita and science of Yoga

The training I provide is done through the Gita Ramakrishna Institute (links in Spanish):

  1. Course Bhagavad Gita
  2. Bhakti Yoga Course (Devotion)
  3. Jnana Yoga Course
  4. Course Dhyana Yoga (Meditation)
  5. Course Karma Yoga (Action)
  6. Realization of the Bhagavad Gita Course
  7. Master in Bhagavad Gita

Training philosophy Bhagavad Git, Vivekananda

Our model of training and transmission of knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita, that is, our educational philosophy, is based on the principles enunciationted in the Bhagavad Gita and on the guidelines that Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, established in his Philosophy of the Ramakrishna Mission regarding to education that they apply in all their educational centers.

Swami Sarvapriyananda (monk Ramakrishna Order) Gita and Vedanta
Swami Sarvapriyananda

“The unreal has no being, the real has no non-being” Bhagavad Gita II-16.

This time of darkness and ignorance, with the threat of totalitarian states, of a global digital monopoly on information, where Wikipedia, fake news or artificial intelligence want to overthrow the wisdom of Swamis and Rishis, was already described decades ago by the poet TS Elliot:

“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” TS Elliot

Adhyatma Vidya (the science of spirituality or knowledge of the Self)
Adhyatma Vidya (the science of spirituality or knowledge of the Self)

Sisters and brothers of Bharat and the West, help me turn this vision into a reality, without your help I will not achieve it; The West can rediscover its Dharma and “remove the veil of ignorance” with your help, and restore peace and harmony in the world.

As the motto of the Ramakrishna Mission, formulated by Vivekananda, says:

Ātmāno mokṣārthaṃ jagata hitāya ca
“For one's own salvation and for the welfare of the world.”

I want to thank you for your attention and I would like to say goodbye by quoting the last shloka of the Gita:

यत्र योगेश्वर: कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धर: |
तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम || 78||
“Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, wherever is Partha, the wielder of the bow, there are prosperity victory, happiness, and righteousness, such is my conviction” Bhagavad Gita XVIII-78

Thanks Barat, Namaste!

Note: Verses from Gita Makaranadam by Swami Vidyaprakashananda

Bhagavad Gita in Spanish Misión de Pedro Nonell Bhagavad Gita in Portuguese Missão de Pedro Nonell.

(c) Gita Institute

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