—- (continued from Blog 2)—-
It needs to be appreciated that the first shloka of Bhagavad Gita starts with the word ‘dharamakshetre’ which implies that all the teachings of Gita are within the parameters of dharma i.e. the righteous way of Iiving.
The message of Gita is not sectarian in nature. The wisdom revealed by the Lord himself applies equally to everyone without any distinction of gender, caste or creed. In this regard, it also needs to be clarified that Gita does not promote caste system. Activities of different varnas (classes) are distinguished not by birth but in accordance with the qualities of their nature.
Though set against the backdrop of a massive war, Gita does not promote violence. Non-violence, in fact, is stated to be one of the qualities of the one who is born with a divine nature.
Bhagavad Gita has given the message of oneness of all existence, which implies brotherhood of mankind. It recommends that one should rejoice in doing good to everyone.
There is no compulsion in Gita. After explaining everything in detail, Krishna asks Arjuna to think about that seriously, and then do as he wished (18.63). In response, Arjuna stated that his delusion has been destroyed, he has gained wisdom ; and all his doubts have been dispelled. He then promised to do as commanded by the Lord (18.73).
But a question is often asked as to whether the teachings of Gita are still relevant. Looking at to-day’s world of cut-throat competition and the complexities of contemporary life, it can safely be said that the essential message of keeping one’s cool under difficult circumstances and performing one’s prescribed duty with full sincerity is even more relevant today, than it might have been thousands of years ago, when it was first propounded.
In fact, latest researches have shown that the teachings of Gita can help in controlling various psycho-somatic and life-style diseases, by instilling calmness of mind.
It is generally believed that it is difficult to understand the real meaning of Gita shlokas. Such apprehension is further accentuated by varied interpretations of the shlokas by different commentators. But, in my view, such a fear is unfounded. Once the essential message of the scripture is internalised, it becomes very easy to understand the real meaning of individual shlokas and also the text as a whole.
The biggest takeaway from Bhagavad Gita, in today’s world of turmoil can be : A tranquil mind can achieve much more than a turbulent one.
Vijay Singal, the author of ‘Bhagavad Gita – Saying it the simple way’