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“There is nothing lost or nothing wasted in life. The lord is the creator of everything. It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never experiences grief. As the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of self-knowledge reduces all Karma to ashes. Devotee should serve the supreme divine personality of God. God takes care of everything and leaves nothing. Devotee has nothing to worry about. The mind acts like an enemy for those who cannot control it. Remember! You are entitled to your actions not to your results. Leave the consequences to destiny” —-Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita, is popularly known as the ‘Song of the Blessed Lord’. It is manifested as an insightful dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Not to forget the fact that it is an integral part of the epic- Mahabharata. Digging deep into its nuances, Gita advocates the principles of Upanishads, Vedas and hymns. In addition, it details divinatory teachings to ensure a harmonious relationship with the omnipotent God, the world and the individuals. Bhagavad Gita provides an in-depth contemplative experience that is replete with an interesting blend and astronomical proportion of the call of duty, an unparalleled synergy among human relations, a consciousness of a divinatory obligations that drive the mankind and society. In addition, the interrelatedness and the intricateness of all the things in the world, and the supremacy of Godhead above everything are emphasized. The virtue of humanity as a whole is represented in the personality of Arjuna, and God in the incarnation of Lord Krishna.
The Bhagavad Gita commences with a picture of the human facing a great dilemma and his inability to decide what should be done. The situation in the Kurukshetra war demanded that Arjuna bend the rules according to the wish of destiny. A tug of war between conflicts of duty and envisioned consequences ensued. In a nutshell, the dialogue relied on reasoned arguments, and ethical ideals. Many a time, ideologies were conveyed more directly through innuendos and tautologies. The moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgement rather than knowledge of rules. Hence, the teachings of Krishna need to be put into proper context in order to be comprehended.
Tension at every step and in every walk of life has rendered man restless. An iron willed man’s life has been a tireless endeavoring life of self-adjustment with the changing contours of the world and human society. This dialogue coveys simple, yet eternal verities of life. However mean your life is, meet it and live it. Do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and retain your thoughts. God shall see that you embrace the verities and gospel truths of life. The various phases in human life trigger a train of thoughts – restlessness, helplessness, despondency and desolation.
However, the inner stuff of man inherits the precious little virtues of persistence, perseverance and confidence from the divine incarnations. The multi-faceted nature of human individuality posits the ascetic ideals of metaphysical and theological foundations and sanctions for traditional mortality. The soul of man is immortal. However, his body is perishable. A pervasive sense of purposefulness and insightfulness go hand in hand to define the human personality. Pain and pleasure are the two sovereign masters of man, followed by cause and effect and right or wrong. They govern his every thought and act and never let him free. In other words, a man may attempt to abjure their empire but in reality, he shall remain subject to them all the while.
To all intents and purposes, the world evolves slowly but surely. The conception of divinatory evolution adjudges the birth of an individual as an evolutionary gambit. Hence, it behooves every human to whole-heartedly oblige the duty participation in a selfless manner and dish away ghosts of negativity. The evolutionary process is an umbrella term that includes the whole gamut of transformation of the living forms ranging from the visible formation of matter, life, mind and intellect to the higher realms of the several ways in which God reveals himself in creation.
Bhagavad Gita exhorts all the virtuous humans to take a healthy pride in their evolutionary past – not to get stuck up there in the mire of vain self-glorification- but to be spurred along the path of virtue and spiritual service of mankind. It caveats the dreadful consequences of abandoning the spiritual role and embracing the pursuit of mere materialistic values. A human who deviates from the path of spiritual excellence is bound to lose his character and identity, and share the fate of asuras, namely, consignment into the limbo of oblivion.
Lord Krishna says, “O great Arjuna! Ethics demonstrate what life is all about. They show the character, the power, and the possibilities of radical thinking which counts culture by centuries, and has borne the buffets of a thousand years of hurricane. With an unimpaired youth, ethics stand tall. Shall we drift away from the moral behavior? Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all moral perfection will be extinct, all sweet souled sympathy for the hoi polloi will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct. And in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxurys its male and female deities, with wealth as its priest, fraud, force and competition its ceremonies, and the human soul its sacrifice. Woe-be-tide! Such a thing should never happen. Let us all remember with a caveat that the power of suffering is stronger than the power of doing; the power of love is of infinitely greater potency than the power of hatred. Those who think that the present revival of divinatory evolution is only a manifestation of patriotic impulse are deluded”.
Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna the nature of the atma and also what karma is. If this is not explained to Arjuna as a kind of preamble, then Arjuna will not understand what is to follow. So understanding the role of actions and the nature of atma is necessary. Lord Krishna emphasizes that we should perform actions in the right spirit. This means that we should not think that we are performing any action. It is he who makes us act. The Lord could have stopped with this and proceeded to the next stage of advice to Arjuna. However, he also talks of the consequences that result the moment we think that we are performers of action.
A person takes birth as a conscious, sentient being because of merits he has accumulated over the past births. He must make the best use of his birth to get out of the samsaric life once and for all. Likewise is the position of a man who has taken the birth as a human, but assumes he is the doer of actions and thereby squanders the merits of his birth as a human being. Lord Krishna thus warns Arjuna about the dangers of thinking he is the doer of action.
The concluding verse of the Bhagavad Gita asserts that prosperity, victory, happiness and established polity will reign supreme wherever Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, and Arjuna, the bowman of action, move forward seated in a single chariot, implying thereby that perfection is possible and is attainable when the Universal and the particular commingle in a state of harmony and balance in the world as well as in the individual. Here is a recipe for the blessedness of all. The God of the Bhagavad Gita presented in the eleventh chapter is, verily, the God of universal religion, not of a religion, but religion as such, religion as it is, and as it ought to be. The legacy which Bhagavad Gita has left pertains to both the fields of service and salvation of the soul.