THE BHAGAVAT GITA AND YOGA.
The Gita is a unique and most popular scripture of Hinduism,
which is studied by scholars and priests of all religions. It is a master piece
of human psychology, as it discusses mind and intellect, ego and desires, soul and
body, besides eternal religion, art of self-realization, self- upliftment and relationship
between man and God in a logical manner. The Gita provides a scientific proof of
One Supreme God. Thus Gita is a wonderful holy scripture at all times for all people
at any age.
The Gita and Hindu Upanishads
are written in a symbolic (metaphoric) style. Arjuna symbolizes any confused Mind,
symbolizes unbiased Intellect and all pervading ‘Spirit of Life’. The battlefield
of ‘Kuru-Kshatra’ is not some historic place near
, but it means any wavering mind in dualities. What to do and what not to do, what
is right and what is wrong action is many a times question in a given set of circumstances
with many people of great knowledge, intellect and abilities.
Lord Krishna in The Gita says, "Conquer
first thy inner enemies like desires, angers, greed of money, family attachments
(Ragas), hate, jealousy, sense of revenge, and many false egos (like ego of wealth,
sex, beauty, knowledge, political power, strength etc., etc, Then you can judge
well and do correct actions".
Arjuna, a great warrior and Pandava
prince was in two minds (duality of mind) on the battlefield of Kurukshatra. “To
fight or not to fight” in the war was his dilemma. The war was against his own relatives
and respect worthy Gurus. Arjuna wanted to run away from the battlefield. He had
doubts and questions regarding morality of (Dharma) this war. His trust worthy friend
, (God incarnate in human form), removed his all doubts and showed him the path
of duty (Dharma) and correct actions.
Its first six chapters discuss a practical
philosophy of Karma (Karma Mimansa). The word YOGA in Gita means 'Karma Yoga' and
the word GYANA mean 'Self- Knowledge' or Atma-Gyana in all its chapters. If a student
remembers these two abbreviations then the meaning of many verses will become very
What do you want?
All living beings young or old, want to live and not to die. But only a few know
purpose of life or why they are living. Only such people have clear goals and correct
knowledge of achieving their goals. They live a satisfactory, purposeful, healthy,
benevolent and Divine life.
The Upanishads, Darshans
and the Gita, are spiritual scriptures of Hinduism. This study is called Bhram Vidya,
Yog-Shastra, Adhiatma-Vidya or ‘know your self’- meaning
“Who am I?” They provide a practical plan of living an ideal life
of 100 years with many material successes and wealth (Siddhi
and Riddhi), happiness
(Sukkh) and all joys (Ananda).
The Gita, Hinduism and World Religions.
The Gita and Sanatan Dharma are meant
for Global Humanity and all seekers of God and true religion. The Gita indicates
a path of seeing God and need of religion in daily life. The Gita convinces any
curious seeker about One Omnipresent, Omniscient and Almighty God, and HIS perfect
and impartial justice, limitless mercy and kindness.
The Gita gives proof of One God, the
“King of Kings of visible Universe” (Vishveshver, Jagdish). Anyone can study
Gita without any bondage of age, sex, color and creed. It has inspired many saints
of other countries, and recent great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda,
and good politicians of
like Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Raj Gopalachari, Tilak, Vinoba Bhave and others.
The Gita gives all points about ‘What
is True Religion and One Perfect, Omnipresent Almighty God’. The Sanatan Dharma
or eternal morals for all mankind are beautifully explained in the Gita. Scriptures
of other religions talk about God. But only Gita shows a standard path of knowing
HIM, seeing HIM and uniting with HIM. (Vishva Roop Darshan Yoga, - Gita Ch-XI-54)
When Gita was written? Historic Time of Gita.
According to many scholars the Gita
was written during 5th century B.C. nearly 100 years after Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha
is a historic personality who lived during the 6th century BC. He practiced Yoga
Meditation and reached a mental state of Nirvana, Bhrama-Nirvan or Moksh. He preached
non-violence and indicated that all human beings are equal. Buddha preached that
we must use our highest mental faculty called intellect (Buddhi) in matter of Religion
and God. He became known as Buddha, meaning a man of great wisdom. He removed the
four-class system started by an Aryan king Manu (4000.B.C.).
The first English translation of the
Gita by Sir Charles Wilkins was published during the rule of British Governor General
Warren Hastings (A.D.1768-76). Writing in its introduction,
praises the moral and religious values of Gita like this.
is lost in oblivion, when its sources of wealth and prosperity are not remembered,
this scripture and the lessons it contains will continue to inspire millions of
people in this world.”
Sir Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan has praised another English Translation titled, “Song
Celestial” by Arnold Edwin (AD. 1890) as the best theme (Bhav) translation of the
Gita. Mahatma Gandhiji had read it during his study period of Laws in
Mahatma Gandhi about religions and the Gita .
World famous Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
of Gujarat-India, in his autobiography writes these words for Gita.
“The Gita at all times has provided
me inspirations and guidance during all my difficult moments. I opened any page
and there was an answer to my problems”. He advises all Hindus to study the Gita
and all world religions with open mind.
Gandhiji’s views about Religion.
(1) "I hold that it is the duty of
every cultured and educated man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures
of the world. If we are to respect others' religions, as we would have them to respect
our own, a friendly study of world's religions is a sacred duty of all. My respectful
study of other religions has not abated my reverence for or my own faith in Hindu
They have indeed left their deep mark
upon my understanding of Hindu Scriptures. They have broadened my view of life.
They have enabled me to understand more clearly many obscure passages in Hindu scriptures. I respect all religions".
, (2-9-1926)” *
I believe that a religion which takes no account of day to day problems of life
and does not provide some useful and practical guidelines to an individual (ATMA)
is no religion”.
Mahabharat and the Bhagavat Gita.
Mahabharat, a great Hindu religious
mystic (fictional story) legend, is an ancient Indian epic in poetry format. It
narrates a perceptive record of ancient period in
. It is not the work of one single individual.
Today’s Mahabharat has nearly 100,000
verses, written in ancient Sanskrit language. The Gita is a small section of 700
verses in the middle of Mahabharat. Its great author Vyasa had five pupils who wrote
his original narration of 24000 verses. Mahabharata reflects the dynamic culture
and wonderful heritage of
about 3000 years ago.
Sir Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan writes
about Mahabharat and the Gita in these words. (Our Heritage-page 39-40).
“That what is found here may be
found elsewhere, but what is not found here cannot be found anywhere. The poetic,
imaginative and questing spirit, the deeper thoughts and emotions and uneasy sentiments
find expression in this great epic. We come across characters, varied and many,
who have entered into the blood stream of
’s history. They are known also in
and other places.
The Mahabharat insists on integrity.
It is never right to do wrong. Whatever you
sow, that you will reap. Wrong deeds are punished sooner or later in unhappiness
and failures. Right actions (Karma) are rewarded in well-being and success. Intelligence,
goodness, wisdom and integrity are to be practiced. Ignorance, dishonesty, avarice
and fraud are to be avoided. We should reject the temptation to be dishonest and
To believe that it is necessary on occasions to be less than honest is false. A
life of discipline or Dharma is exalted. A lawless society cannot long survive.
The Ultimate is Immutable Reality and Absolute Love. These lessons are instilled
in our minds by incidents and episodes of Mahabharat”.
Science and Gita.
The Gita has many interesting verses
about Time and Space. A true seeker having basis of science will find answers to
many concepts of modern science like FIELD-QUANTUM theory of Max Plank and the famous
theory of relativity of Albert Einstein in today’s theoretical physics. These principles
of science and the theory of Karma could be correlated and how Laws of One Supreme
God binds all living beings could be understood perfectly. It throws a new light
and explains how every individual (Atma) is ‘maker of his or her own destiny’ (Bhagavan).
The Subjects discussed in the Gita.
The Gita discusses
following main subjects and evaluates all previous scriptures. The Gita provides
practical guidelines of morality (Sanatan Dhram) for all human beings on Globe Earth.
The merits and limitations of Vedas and true
meaning of 4 Class system preached in ManuSmruti.
Symbolic meaning of 3 Mystic and Puranic
Hindu Gods, Bhrama, Vishnu and Shiva.
The scientific proof of One God and cosmic
vision (Darshan) of God. (Ch-XI)
The Essence or Nectar of Religion.
Eternal Laws of Karma working ffor all living
beings in Mother Nature- Prakruti.
Male and female Human Nature.
(Manav Svabhava).(CH-XIII, XIV, XV)
Science of Self-Knowledge (Adhiatma Vidya).
Body, Mind, Intellect, Ego, Desires and Soul. (Most Chapters).
Yoga - Art of living in various situations
in life with cool mind. (CH-VI, Dhyan Yoga)
The Gita is a wonderful book of Human Psychology.
(CH-II- Last 18 verses)
Vedas are also called Shruties (Audio-knowledge
gained by hearing). The scripture of four class system dictated by an Aryan King
Manu is called Manu Smruti. Smruti means memory of things seen and remembered.
The last group of Mythological 18 Hindu Scriptures are called Purana. They narrate
imaginary stories of 3 main Hindu deity Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The
scriptures like Shiva-Puran, Vishnu-Puran, Ramayana, Mahabharat, Shrimad Bhagavatum
etc, are Purana.
Geet means a Song. There are 18 chapters
of different Yoga and about 700 verses written in a beautiful poetry form. It is
easy to memorize and sing in various musical compositions (Ragas). Except for a
few verses in some chapters, all are in format of Anustoop Chand, -a popular
poetry style developed in
At the end of each chapter the following
standard phrase runs which indicates the subjects discussed in that chapter of the
“Om tat sat, Eeti shri Bhagavat Gitashu,
Upnisadshu, Brahm-Vidyaam, Yog Shastre, shri Krishna Arjuna Samvade, (---name of
the chapter ----number of the chapter ----is over.)
OM Tat Sat- is the shortest
description of God.
is at the root of all spoken languages. All Spoken words (Shabda)
arise from OM. Words make short and long sentences which make a dialect or spoken
language (VANI) of local people. VANI is an important Karma Indriya.
Tat means ‘THAT or IT’.
Sat means Truth.
Without referring to God with some
name the poet refers to God as THAT OR IT. You can give God any name, see it in
any sex or form, or any formless non-living object like Air. What ever exists is
God and Truth. Everything is creation of God. Everything is God, and God everywhere
can be understood in this way.
Mahatma Gandhi has said, “God is
Truth, then Truth is God”.
Gita is an extract of all Upanishads.
Its verses come from many Upanishads. They are found word by word in many chapters
of the Gita. The symbolism of Body as a chariot is found in a popular Upanishad-
the Kathopanishad. A student of the Gita must also study a few Upanishads.
Brahm-Vidya. The word Brahm is found in
the Vedas and many Upanishads, in the meaning Spirit, Soul or Spark of Life. The
Latin word BIOS will be the correct scientific translation for Braham. One
who knows Braham is called a Brahmin. Biology would be the correct translation of
Yog-Shastre. Yoga means
to join or unite. Gita teaches how to unite with God. The writer of the Gita- Ved-Vyas
calls Yoga a Shastra or perfect science. Every chapter is given a name of
some Yoga. Sankhya, Vedanta, Nyaya, Yoga etc, are various Darshans
or spiritual scriptures, which are discussed in great details in the Gita.
Arjuna Samvade: The text
of 18 chapters and 700 verses is presented in format of a dialogue of question -
in the Gita is symbolizes the Supreme Intellect and perfect maker of the universe. Arjuna represents mind of any able,
person, You, or “I”. He is a warier, the top most archer and very intellectual but
a confused person. He is in dilemma, what to do and what not to do?
I conclude this Essay with the central
message of the Gita.
“Kill Your Gurus and relatives,
if they fail to perform their duty (Dharma) and become slaves of family attached
Selfish Political rulers”.
Many Gita and Yoga Gurus today have
forgotten this message of the Gita.
May God inspire all Indians to Study
Gita and unite with one and only scripture of true Hinduism as The Bhagvat Gita
and Mahatma Gandhiji as last Incarnation (Avtar, Vibhooti) of God.
Shanti Shanti Shanti.
Let peace prevail, Let peace prevail,
Let peace prevail,
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