Wisdom of the Gita
The wisdom contained in the Bhagavat Gita teaches us the method of leading a balanced life. A life that attaches an equal importance to its spiritual aspect along with attainment of proficiency in worldly affairs. The Gita is a treasure of knowledge which is timeless and relevant forever, teaching us about every aspect of life.
The Gita is set in the great Indian epic Mahabharata which focuses on the war between the two families, Pandavas and Kauravas in their struggle for supremacy to rule the land of Bharat (India). On the eve of the great battle of Kurukshetra, at the last moment, Arjuna, is tormented by doubt and fear at the sight of his venerable preceptors, seers and grand seers, sons and other relatives present in the battlefield. The very thought of the war resulting in patricide, and bloodshed caused Arjuna immense dejection, making him want to give up everything and become a sanyasi or renunciate.
This was surprising because Arjuna, belonging to the warrior clan was known for his valor and expertise in archery. It was at this time the conversation between prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna who was serving as his charioteer in the battle, took place. This dialogue is enumerated in the form of slokas, seven hundred in number, in the Bhagwat Gita. The text elaborates on the necessity of action instead of inaction to attain spiritual upliftment. Krishna advocates leading an active life in this world, with the inner life anchored in the eternal spirit. The Gita teaches that perfection can be attained even while doing one’s duties.
Krishna Convinces Arjuna
Krishna impresses Arjuna on his duty as a warrior. This in fact is the central concept of the Gita and the Hindu belief of an ordered universe where everyone has a duty to perform for which one is born in this world and which one has to accomplish. By detaching one’s self from the consequences of action and focusing on what must be done, no matter how difficult, and play the part one has been given in the eternal order of creation is the purpose of life on this earth. The dialogue sets Arjuna’s mind at ease and convinces him to perform his duty as a warrior and participate in the ‘Dharma Yudh’ or war for righteousness along with his other Pandava brothers.
Essence of the Gita
The Gita has 18 chapters. The essence of the Gita is in chapter 2-Atma Gnana-knowledge of the true self-what we really are-16th verse of chapter 2 is the heart of the Bhagwat Gita. It is highly philosophical yet it forms the basis of all practice to follow after that. Sat-chit-Ananda-existence, consciousness, bliss is the inner reality of man. Sat means pure existence,
There are many other aspects in the Gita apart from Dharma and duty. Krishna emphasizes the nature of the divine, devotion, and the nature of universe. Krishna says suffering is caused by our contact with the world and our reaction to it. We have to bear it with dignity and serenity which will give a meaning to life. Two things to be are important as per verse16, chapter 2. All things in this universe have borrowed existence. They derive existence from the pure being. They come, exist and perish. At one point he reveals his divine form which is at once brilliant and terrifying to Arjuna. The emphasis is on devotion, knowledge and right action in reaching God.
The Gita continues to inspire many great personalities and leaders with its message of universal love, emphasis on personal responsibility and the underlying unity of all living things.
On the occasion of Gita Jayanti, let us gain useful knowledge from some of the quotes from the Gita to inspire and motivate us during these stressful times:
Inspirational Quotes from the Gita
"The true goal of action is knowledge of the Self"
"The wise unify their consciousness and abandon attachment to the fruits of action"
"The cause of the distress of a living entity is the forgetfulness of his relationship with God"
"Whatever happened, happened for the good.
Whatever is happening, is happening for the good.
Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good"
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection”
“Change is the law of the universe. You can be a millionaire or a beggar in an instant”
“There is neither this world nor the world beyond, nor happiness for the one who doubts”
“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work”
“Surrender fully unto the lotus feet of the lord
That is the only business of the perfect human being”
“He who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water”
“The actions of a great man are an inspiration for others. Whatever he does becomes a standard for others to follow”
“Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore, grieve not for what is inevitable”
“He who sees Me everywhere, and sees everything in me, I am not lost to him, nor is he lost to me”
“Let a man lift himself, let him not lower himself; for this self alone is the friend of oneself, and this self alone is the enemy of oneself”
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 VIDYA D SAGAR