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Bhagvad Gita; The Universal Message Of Eternity

Posted On: 2 Oct, 2012 Others में

RASHTRA BHAW"प्रेम भी प्रतिशोध भी"

vasudev tripathi

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(I wrote this article to represent my views on Gita in my college, so this article has only cursory commentary on limited aspects in an easy way not in depth explanation of Gita. I hope it would still be adorable to many.)

bhagavadgita2Shrimadbhagvad Gita was very first spiritual philosophical book along with Ramayana which I came across as a child. I never understood my father saying that there was nothing left which was not there in Gita, but I never took it too seriously because I was sure that it was not possible for a book of 700 verses to cover whole universe. Human nature tries to accept the things and ways which are easy to explain and easy to satisfy our curiosity. But it made me anxious as well as curious about Shrimadbhagvad Gita when I came to know a thought of great scientist Albert Einstein, whom I respected from my childhood without a specific reason, on Gita; “When I read Gita only then I could understand that how would the creator have created this whole creation”. This gave me a firm belief that the universe is far much beyond the muses of the materialists, I could realize that the beauty of consciousness is not in refutism, it lies in an open mind.

Bhagvad Gita is a universal scripture not only in its philosophy and utility but also in its acceptance. It has lightened the whole planet and guided the whole humanity with its eternal message. From Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi in India to Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer and Aldous Huxley the list of devotees of Gita is never ending.  The eternal message of Gita provides guidance to a common man by the practicality of love, equality and Karma, and to a scientist like Einstein or Oppenheimer it clears the path towards philosophy of the Universe. Gita has everything for everybody in every era because its core philosophy sprouts from the science of time and from idea of eternity. It can motivate Oppenheimer to extract infinite energy from an atom and encourage Mahatma Gandhi to lead a revolution of freedom. Mahatma Gandhi used to say “When doubt hunts me and I get disappointed I turn to Gita and find a verse to comfort me.” Gita was a soul force behind the Indian freedom movement. The commentary of great freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak on Gita is still a source of inspiration for many.

Philosophy of the Gita:

Gita is the announcer of Indian philosophy which believes in spirituality not in materialism, in knowledge not in darkness and in eternality not in ephemera. The message of Gita is the message of knowledge. When it comes to Knowledge in Gita, it is not just learning but it is the realization of truth and breaking of boundaries of the limited world. According to Gita knowledge is supreme and perfect in nature. Gita states that no other thing in the whole world is more sacred than the knowledge itself-

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशम् पवित्रमिह विद्यते। तत्स्वयम् योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति॥ (4/38)

Gita tells us that the way of peace and tranquility in life can come only from knowledge;

ज्ञानम् लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति॥ (4/39)

So the philosophy of Gita revolves around the essence of true knowledge. One should understand that that his/her existence in the existence is not a useless phenomenon having no purpose. It can also not be true that the purpose of existence is uncertain and transient. So our existence is eternal, नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोsयं सनातनः (2/24), we should know the truth ourselves. Gita assures that you in yourself are proof of eternality, you are the source of eternal energy. Like the ultra-truth of “अहं ब्रम्हास्मि” of Upanishads it goes to a limit to say that you are the God in yourself, you need just to recognize yourself. Gita teaches us to believe in ourselves and to recognize our infinite power. The most importantly Gita gives us freedom to make our own path, to use our own wisdom and to flourish our own knowledge. It’s a religious text but unlike any other religious scripture it doesn’t attribute the Karma to the will of God. In fifth chapter it clearly states that God doesn’t determine the doership or doings of the man, he even doesn’t determine their contact with the fruit of action, but its nature of man alone that functions.

न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः। न कर्मफल संयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते॥ (5/14)

Universal values of Gita:

Gita is a universal scripture, as stated above, in itself. Every verse of the Gita has a unique message sprouting from eternal and constant till eternal. It teaches values like equality, immortal love, duties and Karma to humanity in their supreme form.

Equality: Gita in itself is a message of knowledge, it calls towards perpetual knowledge, it declares the knowledge as supreme. But what is knowledge? Gita accentuates that its equality in our sight for every creature of the universe. It states that the wise look equally and with equanimity on all, whether be a Bramhana (scholar) with learning and modesty, a cow, an elephant and a dog or even a pariah.

विद्याविनय सम्पन्ने ब्राम्हणे गवि हस्तिनि। शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः॥  (5/18)

सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि। ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः॥

Duties and the Law of Karma: Bhagvad Gita starts because of and with the essence of duties. Lord Krishna makes Arjuna remember that he is not going to fight this war for his personal victory or benefits, the war is between truth and lie, between humanity and evil and its duty of Arjuna protect the truth and humanity. Mahabharata is known as dharmyuddha but dharmyuddha doesn’t mean war to establish or spread an ideology, as many try to explain falsely. In Sanskrit Dharma has nothing to do with the concept of ideology, even not with religion.

Gita throughout accentuate on essence of Karma. Even a separate chapter, named as Karma Yoga, is assigned for it. Lord Krishna tells to Arjuna the universal essence of Karma as-

नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मण:। शरीरयात्रापि च ते ण प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मण:॥ (3/8)

Do your duty; for action is superior to inaction. Desisting from Karma, you can’t even maintain your body.

Lord Krishna further states that-

न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यम् पुरुषोsश्नुते। न च सन्न्यसनादेव सिद्धिम् समधिगच्छति॥

Man doesn’t attain freedom from action without entering upon action, nor does he reach perfection merely by ceasing to act.

Nature Worship: In Hinduism we always worshiped nature, be it a tree or a river or any other form of it. This established a practical relationship between humanity and nature which blessed the life in a unique and incomparable way. Every ancient tradition has a science behind it. Worshiping nature simply doesn’t mean we marginalized God to a dead object, it directly alludes to omnipresence of that eternal power. It’s a kind of belief in apparent and realization of invisible. Hindus believe that all that what we see is visible form of God as the mass is a form of energy; यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति। (6/31) and वासुदेवः सर्वम् (7/19)

Lord Krishna says; those who worship Gods in any other form also worship me as one God.

येsप्यन्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयान्विताः। तेsपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम्॥ (9/23)

In 10th chapter of Vibhooti Yoga Gita identifies the world as forms of God and states that a tree of Ashwattha (pipal) (अश्वत्थः सर्व वृक्षाणाम्) and a river of Ganga (स्रोतसामस्मि जान्ह्वी) are forms of God.

Service of Man Is Service of God:

The core philosophy of Hinduism lies in unity of the God and creature and this is the same Gita teaches us. Gita states in various chapters- बहिरन्तश्च भूतनामचरं चरमेव च। (13/15)समं सर्वेषु भूतेषु तिष्ठन्तं परमेश्वरम्। (13/27)

That God is situated inside and outside of every living and nonliving. That’s why Hinduism believes in “नर सेवा नारायण सेवा” means the service of man is the service of God.  Lord Krishna says to Arjuna those who are devoted to welfare of all beings, constantly adore as their very self they also come to me (God)- “ते प्राप्नुवन्ति मामेव सर्वभूत हिते रतः”….. (12/4)

Further in another verse the teaching of love and nonviolence is repeated. Gita says that he who is free from malice towards all beings, friendly and compassionate, and free from feeling of me and mine, balanced in happiness and sorrow is always mine beloved to me.

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च। निर्ममो निरहंकारः समदुःखसुखः क्षमी॥

Management In Gita:

Gita is only religious scripture which is a center of interest and constant source of inspiration for modern management gurus. Many good books based on management of Gita have been written by scholars. Even many foreign universities have included Bhagvad Gita in their curriculum.

Although this is true that Gita is a spiritual text but its verses are equally valuable for worldly use too. Gita teaches us to control our anger, greed, impatience. Gita provides us a way of successful life balanced with spiritualism. Winning over our uncontrolled desires, controlling our anger and management of our stress is all what Bhagvad Gita teaches us under the light of Yoga.

It teaches to be patient in happiness sorrow, to be tolerant against our criticism as well as praise.

तुल्य निन्दा स्तुतिर्मौनी संतुष्टों येन केनचित्। (12/19)

समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकांचनः। (14/24)

Gita warns us about anger and tells essence of its control-

क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोहः सम्मोहात् स्मृति विभ्रमः। स्मृति भ्रंशाद्बुद्धिनाशों बुद्धिनाशात् प्रणश्यति॥

In fact, as a whole, Gita tells us that problems originate from lack of knowledge and any problem can be resolved by the way of knowledge. Knowledge is supreme in universe, knowledge is eternal in nature and knowledge is ultimate goal of life.

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