What is Gita?
The Bhagavad Gita is a religious classic. This holy scripture guides you to the highest realization one can have. Besides, it offers intense practical values for one and all in life. The Bhagavad Gita is not for obtaining a little peace of mind when overwhelmed with miseries. It offers the highest teachings of life and action. Since ages, the Gita has inspired the common man to go beyond their little dimensions. It has urged them to serve and work for the society and be a responsible citizen.
Above all, the most appealing of it all is the universality of the Gita philosophy. It motivates the common man to push through his limitations and attain to the highest human possibilities.
It was the great sage Adi Shankaracharya who popularized and preached the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. This great teacher extracted the teachings from The Mahabharata in 8th century AD.
How and Where was the Bhagavad Gita delivered?
Sri Krishna delivered the teachings in the battlefield of Kurukshetra in the epic war of Mahabharata. In the literal sense, Bhagavad Gita means the Divine Song. It is a dialogue between the Lord Sri Krishna and his friend Arjuna. The Pandavas and the Kauravas fought the epic war of Mahabharata.
Arjuna was the commander-in-chief of the Pandavas. The warriors from respective sides blew the conches to indicate the commencement of the day’s battle. Arjuna wanted to review the enemy side once before that. It was just then at Arjuna’s request, his charioteer Sri Krishna stationed the chariot in between the two sides. He placed it right in front of Bhishma and Drona.
Arjuna was overwhelmed seeing his kith and kin thus. He could not bear the sight and grief and sorrow took over him. He laid down his arms and refused to engage in the war. The Lord admonished Arjuna and asked him to stand up and fight. But those words failed to have any such effect on him. He was determined to give up.
He expressed his wish and feelings to Krishna and in all humility sought his counsel. The ever graceful Lord realized the depth of his friend’s helplessness and delusion. Finally out of compassion, He delivered to him the ultimate philosophy of life, which we know as the Gita. The Gita has eighteen chapters and contains 700 verses.
How can reading the Gita help you?
- Empowers you to enter the battle of life
The way Sri Krishna admonishes Arjuna and then motivates him is enough for us to remember our true nature and be a warrior. His powerful words serve as a mental tonic for the bereaved or the depressed mind. It empowers us not to give up. It urges us to face the dejections we come across and fight them.
- You can learn about mind control from the Lord himself
An even mind is a treasure. You can learn to cultivate it, the way Arjuna did. Without a composed intellect you cannot earn even great worldly achievements, let alone spiritual progress.
You can begin by raising yourself to a positive frame of thinking and living in the present. You need to let go of the burden of the unnecessary negative futuristic imaginations. Once you are able to befriend your mind that way, you can work towards an even higher state.
By slowly cultivating a little detachment from your desires, you begin to move to a higher plane of spiritual wisdom. Remember detachment and practice is the key. You will gradually feel a little steadiness within you. With more practice, you will go beyond the extremes of pain and pleasure and gain more equanimity.
- You will learn the ultimate secret to work
Sri Krishna counsels us to take our duties with a controlled mind. Do the work uninfluenced by its fruits or gains and offer unto Him. With this attitude, you will imbibe a sense of freedom and your focus will be even higher. You will be fearless. And give your best shot thus.
- You will sense a divine security (Yes, assured by Krishna himself)
When you surrender with all humility, he guides you in every moment of your life. Have one-pointed devotion unto Him and surrender everything unto Him. He will take care of everything you have and provide you what you need.
- You can learn about meditation from the Master of Yoga
You should have a steady asana to sit and cleaner surroundings. Most noteworthy of it is to keep the head, neck and the body erect and steady. Keep the eye-balls fixed. So, thus with a steady posture, Sri Krishna counsels us to try to direct the mind to Him.
The highest goal of meditation is the highest manifestation of the ultimate truth.
Some tips for you on how to read The Gita
P.S. 1. These are some of the tips I follow for reading The Gita. These can be useful for you too.
P.S. 2. This article is not intended to summarise the Gita. It is to encourage you to read the book.
“Persons who, meditating on Me, as non-separate, worship Me through everything they do, to them, who are thus ever zealously established in Yoga, I provide what they lack and preserve what they already have – Bhagavad Gita 9.22”
Thank you 🙂