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Gita Direct

Our verse-by-verse full study of the Gita, where individuals come together to take its inspiration directly into their lives

Gita Direct is a systematic, verse-by-verse, in-depth, and highly personal experience of the Gita.

The main objective is to create a strong spirit of ongoing community where we journey together towards self-discovery. Individuals come together to take the inspiration of the Gita directly into their lives.

We incorporate the Mahabharata into our Gita Direct community for an ongoing discussion of the great Indian epic. We’ll focus on the controversies that underlie our complex lives and learn from the humanity as well as the wisdom of key players who lived in connection with Krsna.

Sessions are conducted in traditional Eastern style with a teacher walking through the meaning of each verse, guiding an application-oriented discussion, leading Sanskrit recitations, and facilitating meditations. Each session invites engagement and contribution from students toward the creation of a dynamic atmosphere for the Gita’s potent wisdom to penetrate our busy lives.


  • SPRING 2018

    Bhagavad Gita

    • Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge


    • Chapter 16: Mighty Jarasandha
    • Chapter 17: The Rajasuya Sacrifice
    • Chapter 18: Duryodhana's Envy
    • Chapter 19: The Dice Game

    *Specific chapters we end up covering during the semester subject to change

    Schedule: Saturdays 12-2pm from Aug. 18th to Dec. 8th, 2018

    Venue: Partly in Queens, partly in Brooklyn

    Fee: $200

Note: You can start your journey at any season and still get the full experience.


  • Upbuild is not some class you take at university and talk about years later as you recall random bits of knowledge. Upbuild is a way of life. It is something you live and breathe and contemplate every day. It is a community to which you will forever be connected regardless of time, distance, or circumstance. An experience with Upbuild can take many forms. For me, it was the Excavating Your Ego Type Enneagram program. The program took place over two consecutive weekends with a group of approximately 40 individuals that largely began as strangers and ended up as lifelong friends. Through a series of short lectures, multimedia, and panels made up of we the students, we learned about ourselves and those around us. We learned about those we know so dear and those we realized we never really knew at all. Upbuild is an adventure and a gift.

    -Michael Sloyer, Equity Derivatives Trader at Goldman Sachs

  • I found the experiences at Upbuild events and workshops, particularly the enneagram workshops, to be MOST enlightening in terms of understanding human behavior and the condition of the modern person. My participation has allowed me to have a whole new language to capture human motivation. It has improved my family relationships dramatically as I developed an understanding of the different lenses we see the world through and the way these differences really make it feel as if we speak different languages. It has also helped me become a better clinician and a better academic educator. It has additionally enriched my research agenda. I have met people that I LOVE and want to spend time with. Do you need more?!

    -Tzipi Weiss, Associate Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Social Work Program at Long Island University

  • The Upbuild Personal Development workshops have been a really strong prompt toward self-discovery for me. It is a community initiative led by the most empathetic, unconditionally accepting people I have met. They combine a series of workshops, teachings, as well as book and movie clubs to discuss the human condition, and our search for happiness and meaning. These programs give me a great framework for examining my personality and emotions and assessing their cause and impact in my life. They’ve also helped me assess the same for others who are intimately tied to my emotional happiness, whether that be a parent, co-worker, significant other or close friend. By having a smart lens through which to see my emotions and my interactions, I'm much better outfitted to engage, not only with others, but even with myself, in a healthy and empathetic way.

    -Joanna Ehrenreich, Marketing Associate at Blue Apron

  • The Upbuild facilitators completely astound me by their compassion, wisdom (that is far beyond their years - after all, they don't have that many more of them under their belt than I do!), and the generosity with which they share that wisdom with people and touch their lives. They create a safe space where complete strangers are able to share intimately with each other as they go through journeys of learning and self-discovery. That means that rather than simply imparting knowledge with the authority bestowed on them by their position behind the teaching desk, the facilitators are able to empower people to look into themselves and uncover truths from within. For the kind of material that they teach, that ability to create trust is so powerful! Upbuild is a place where New Yorkers from all walks of life come together to learn about what it is to be human, without pretension. If you’re open to it, it will change your life and make you a better human being.

    -Geoffroy Bablon, Associate Product Manager at Foursquare

  • I’ve enjoyed attending Upbuild programs at the Bhakti Center and benefited immensely. They bring together a diverse group of curious minds. We’ve listened, questioned, debated and integrated. By judiciously mixing lectures, movie clips, group discussions and guest speakers, the teachers made it really fun. Taking a break from my hectic schedule and attending Upbuild programs was one of the best gifts I’ve given myself.

    -Ravi Kumar, CEO at American Indian Foundation


Thank you for your interest in Upbuild. Please stay tuned for updates and upcoming events. We look forward to having you with us soon!