Bhagvad Gita – The Treasure of Knowledge
"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day." by Mahatma Gandhi
The study of Bhagvad Gita is truly a treasure hunt. This article deals with Bhagvad Gita, its concepts, content, wisdom and philosophy. Bhagvad Gita is one of the most sacred holy books of Hinduism. Hindus consider it as a great message of Lord Vishnu in the avatar of Lord Krishna. The Bhagvad Gita consists of a long conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, which was held in the middle of the battlefield of Kurukshetra; where the epic battle Mahabharat was fought. Basically, Bhagvad Gita tells us that, how we could conduct ourselves in our day to day lives, keeping God at the center of our awareness and activities, performing our duties, and accepting God as our facilitator and ourselves engaging in the act of liberation and self-realization. People who read Bhagvad Gita with sincerity are liable to be benefited in many ways – mentally, physically and spiritually. As Bhagvad Gita was relevant centuries ago, it is still relevant today in our modern society. In fact, it is more relevant today than it was before, since our lives have become more complex due to challenges in our modern life.
Suppose, someone says to you that you don’t know about yourself, your immediate reaction would be, Pardon? What are you talking? You’ll say, “Well, I am so and so and who else knows about me better than myself?” Alright, you might be saying true, but the fact is that we don’t know ourselves. Let’s say, someone asks you, “Where you were before death and where you shall go after death?” Your answer could be either, “You don’t know!” or “Neither had I existed before death nor I shall exist after death, whatever I am, I am here at present on earth.” Again, you may be right, you may be wrong. So, how could we decide about the truth about all such matters? In Hinduism, Bhagvad Gita teaches the people about all such matters in detail. It teaches the readers that how one should lead one’s day to day life on earth and know oneself. It contains of abundant paths of knowledge and philosophies. Reading Bhagvad Gita is an interesting journey.
It is rightly stated in Bhagvad Gita, "Whatever happened in the past, it happened for the good; whatever is happening, is happening for the good; whatever shall happen in the future, shall happen for the good only. Do not weep for the past; do not worry for the future, concentrate on your present life."
Now, to understand it properly, let’s read it attentively in order to understand the meaning of these lines. The meaning of these lines is that, a supreme power is controlling this entire universe on a macro scale and is controlling the lives of every single living being on this earth on a micro scale. When we do something good, God Almighty rewards us and when we do something bad, He punishes us, in order to bring us back to the right path. In this way, the God Almighty maintains the “Law of Universe”, in which goodness prevails and evil fails. When something bad happens to us, we think God is doing something bad for us, but we are thinking wrong. The fact is that, He is only doing so for our betterment; He is our well-wisher and knows very well.
The Divine Song of God
The Bhagavad Gita (Song of Lord Krishna) is the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads.
Why do you worry without cause?
Whom do you fear without reason?
Who can kill you?
The soul is neither born, nor does it die.
Whatever happened, happened for the good;
Whatever is happening, is happening for the good;
Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only.
You need not have any regrets for the past.
You need not worry for the future.
The present is happening ...
What did you lose that you cry about?
What did you bring with you,
Which you think you have lost?
What did you produce,
Which you think got destroyed?
You did not bring anything,
whatever you have, you received from here.
Whatever you have given, you have given only here.
Whatever you took, you took from God.
Whatever you gave, you gave to Him.
You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed.
What is yours today,
Belonged to someone else yesterday, and
Will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow.
You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that this is yours.
It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.
Change is the law of the universe.
What you think of as death, is indeed life.
In one instance you can be a millionaire, and
in the other instance you can be steeped in poverty.
Yours and mine, big and small
erase these ideas from your mind.
Then everything is yours and you belong to everyone.
This body is not yours, neither are you of the body.
The body is made of fire, water, air, earth, and
ether, and will disappear into these elements.
But the soul is permanent—so who are you?
Dedicate your being to God.
He is the one to be ultimately relied upon.
Those who know of his support are forever
free from fear, worry and sorrow.
Whatever you do, do it as a dedication to God.
This will bring you the tremendous experience of joy and life-freedom forever.
The Bhagavad Gita has influenced many great personalities, thinkers, philosophers and ideologists over the years. Here are some quotes from famous personalities across the world on the Bhagavad Gita:
"The Bhagavad Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." by Dr. Albert Schweitzer
"The marvel of the Bhagavad Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion." by Herman Hesse
"The Bhagavad Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity." by Aldous Huxley
"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us." by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Bhagvad Gita teaches us that, change is the law of the universe. What you think of as death, is indeed life. In one instance you could be a millionaire and vice versa. That’s mine, that’s yours, it’s big, it’s small – erase these ideas from your mind. Then everything is yours and you belong to everyone. In conclusion, Bhagvad Gita teaches us how to live in this beautiful world, do our prescribed duties and yet remain like lotus leaves amidst water. The world in which we breathe, we live, is said to be a world of illusion. The Bhagvad Gita states out of egoism and ignorance, we become blind in this world through our desires, our deeds, our acts and our actions, not knowing our true purpose. It teaches us how to handle/face difficult situations, how to cross hurdles with a sense of fearless and stability of mind. I believe, the one who is prepared to go through the battles of life, through duty, discipline, decency, devotion, stability of mind, wisdom, truth, knowledge, is absolutely qualified to attain liberation and union with the Supreme.