Bhagavad Gita

Annapurna Saripella

Dec 19 2022

<div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Bhagavad Gita, translated as “What is declared or stated by God”, is one of the most important sacred texts of Sanatana Dharma (also referred to as Hinduism). Because these writings are composed to a specific meter, the verses can be sung or chanted. Hence, Bhagavad Gita is also called “The song of God”.<br><br>The Bhagavad Gita is part of the epic Mahabharata and is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna - His favorite cousin, special friend and closest devotee. When war becomes inevitable between the cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas, Krishna agrees to be the charioteer to Arjuna at his behest. On the day of the battle, as the armies line up on either side of Kurukshetra (the battlefield), Arjuna sinks into despair and confusion. He is overwhelmed with the thought of killing his own uncles, guru, cousins, friends and family.<br>At this moment, Krishna persuades Arjuna to perform his duty as a warrior to uphold Dharma (right action) and thus begins a 45-minute conversation between the God and His devotee. This conversation was documented by Sage Veda Vyasa, the author of the mighty epic Mahabharata, who organized the speech into 18 chapters and 700 verses.<br><br>The Bhagavad Gita is a treatise on the meaning of human birth, the journey of the soul, reasons for suffering and nature of the Divine. Through the questions that Arjuna poses to Lord Krishna, we are given the ultimate knowledge about devotion, right action, right knowledge, self-surrender and detachment. One important lesson imparted to Arjun many times over is that one must perform one’s duty as ordained by his/her qualifications (defined by education, birth, intellect, wisdom) and leave the consequences to the Higher Self.<br><br>Yoga (divine union) is the main philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita emphasizing the fact that one cannot transcend one’s nature unless there is mindfulness and union of body-mind-soul in one’s actions, knowledge, and devotion. Yoga is the most efficient way a human being can navigate through this unstable, impermanent and unreal world.<br>Krishna shows many paths that a believer can take to realize the permanence of the soul, make life stable, peaceful and purposeful. Actions that spring from anxiety, anger, fear and envy are bound to cause suffering and Krishna gives solutions to the removal of desires without giving up right actions.<br><br></p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Krishna uses analogies to explain to Arjuna about complex concepts of soul, birth and death. He compares death with changing of clothes. Giving assurance that birth and death are continuous happenings and nothing to be afraid of.<br>When Arjuna enquires about how to stay unaffected in the world full of desires, lust and distractions, Krishna gives the analogy of a tortoise withdrawing its limbs when it senses danger. The realized man functions in this world like a tortoise. He withdraws his senses when he is in contact with the material world and centers his attention on God.<br>The mindset of a realized man is like the ocean that remains calm even as the rivers pump thousands of gallons of water into it. He may remain in isolation or amidst a crowd, surrounded by myriad objects or situations. But his happiness is stable and not dependent on these external factors.<br><br>At the conclusion of this magnificent discussion, Arjuna’s moral impasse is destroyed. Arjuna is enlightened about his duty as a protector and upholder of peace of justice and the great war of Dharma resumes.<br><br>The relevance of Bhagavad Gita in today’s world can be seen in its application in Management, Psychology, Spirituality and even Science. This sacred book has many followers not only in the East, but also in the Western world.<br><br>Indian sages and saints like Adi Shankara, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Bhaskara Bhatta, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and Ramanujacharya have written excellent commentaries in languages that can easily be understood by common people. Every day, several thousands of discourses on the Bhagavad Gita are rendered throughout the world.<br><br>Western giants like Aldous Huxley (English writer), Robert Oppenheimer (American physicist), Henry David Thoreau (American naturalist, poet and philosopher), Ralph Waldo Emerson (American essayist, anti-slavery activist), Wilhelm Humboldt (German linguist and philosopher), Nikola Tesla (engineer and inventor) and Carl Jung (Swedish psychiatrist) believed and lived by the philosophy extolled in the Gita.<br><br><br></p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Presenting a few quotes from the Bhagavad Gita to illustrate the depth of this great text:<br>“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is!”<br>“Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts”<br>“The wise man lets go of all results, whether good or bad, and is focused on the action alone”<br>“A man’s own self is his friend; a man’s own self is his foe”<br>“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of the work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction”<br>“No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come”<br>“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection”<br>“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal”<br>“No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity is surrounded by defects as fire is surrounded by smoke”<br>“The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it”<br><br><br></p><span></div>

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