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Dana Lynne Andersen's Art at Bhagavad Gita Launch, San Francisco: Dana speech

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Listen to Dana's speech (mp3, 7mb)
Thank you so much. I am extremely honored to be here today. I was also very honored to be given the opportunity to paint the cover for this monumental andextraordinary book. This is a Bhagadvad Gita is a commentary like no other—it is born of an energy that's new to our time. It's an energy for a new era. And like that new energy it calls for a vision that is different from Krishna and Arjuna in the chariot. It calls for a glimpse of the Divine Vision, and that is what Swamiji asked to see.
"The Divine Vision" conveys the vastness that is our true nature. We are far more than we Imagine we are. We are infinite and eternal. We are not our limited personalities, our jobs, our interests, our talents and abilities, the roles we play. We are not the narrow confines of this one particular incarnation. We are living sparks of Eternity enshrined in immortal souls. And this commentary that Swami has given us awakens this knowledge in us—awakes the Divine Vision.
The Divine Vision is what Krishna gives to Arjuna in the chariot on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, and it's also what's given from the soul to the personality in the battlefield of life. And in a section of the Gita commentary, Swami quotes from Yogananda’s poem “Samadhi”, and I’d like to read just a few excerpts from that, as I feel it conveys the sense of the painting and the vision and that glimpse of enternity. This is from "Samadhi":

Beyond the limits of the mortal frame
To farthest boundary of eternity
Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in me.
Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard.
The dark Earth, mountains, vales, Lo! Molten Liquid!
Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae!
Aum blows upon vapors- opening wondrously their veils.
Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons
till, at last the sound of the cosmic drum
vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays of all pervading bliss-
From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt!
This "Divine Vision" is a glimpse of the vastness that is our true nature, and this book- “The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita” CALLS US home to that that is OUR TRUE HOME.
The words in this book are very clear and inspiring--they're uplifting. Swamiji distills informatioin and knowledge and understanding and intuition that has formerly been written in ways that are very complex and hard to understand. It's not just simpliifed. It's distilled, and that's very different. It's easy to make things simple and lose the meaning.
But there's a lot more than the words happening here. There's a DIVINE FORCE that's behind this book--I believe a Divine Mandate. I can say that from my own experience and knowing that Swami thought it would take him a decade to write this book—and it took two months. And a similar miracle occurred with me in painting the painting because I had nine paintings on the dock that I was supposed to have finished before I started it. And I painted than I've ever painted. And this painting that would have normally taken me months was done in a matter of weeks.
There was a stream of grace flowing through me. And I tell you that because there's a stream of grace flowing through this book even still, and it's availble to all of us who pick it up and read it. It's not done. There's a living field, there's an energy, a divine power that's charged into every word. And it's streaming forth—it's here for us now.
This book calls us home, and it can take us all the way. There are a lot of books out there that can tell us a little bit about this or a little bit about that. It's a time in which religions are unifying, and there is information available in a lot of different ways. But there are very few that have the thread that take us all the way, all the way back to that vastness that is our home.
So, I say to you, don't leave without that book. Don't miss this opportunity, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. This is the book, that if you take it home, it will take you home.