What Is Bhagavad Gita All About?



01 April 2019

The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient text that became an important work of Hindu tradition in terms of both literature and philosophy. The earliest translations of this work from Sanskrit into English were made around 1795 CE by Sir Charles Wilkins. The name Bhagavad Gita means “the song of the Lord”. It is composed as a poem and it contains many key topics related to the Indian intellectual and spiritual tradition. Although it is normally edited as an independent text, the Bhagavad Gita became a section of a massive Indian epic named “The Mahabharata”, the longest Indian epic. There is a part in the middle of this long text, consisting of 18 brief chapters and about 700 verses: this is the section known as the Bhagavad Gita. It is also referred to as the Gita, for short.

The Bhagavad Gita is known as “the song divine” because the verses came straight from the lips of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Maha Vishnu, the supreme God in Hindu faith. Krishna spoke the words of Truth to guide Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

As sage Ved Vyasa is known for writing Mahabharata, Gita being part of it is also ascribed to him.

Purpose of the Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavd Gita shows path to the lost, answer to the confused and wisdom to all. It is considered to be one of the greatest spritual books the world has ever known. The primary purpose of the Bhagavad- Gita is to illuminate for all of humanity the realization of the true nature of divinity; for the highest spiritual conception and the greatest material perfection is to attain love of God!Some of the most popular and important teachings are listed below.

  • Thoughts about big or small, your or mine should be kept out.

We should not think about how big or small can we really make things. All this is materialistic and engages people in tensions and greedy activities. It makes one profit oriented. Thinking about yours or mine also does the same. All the life we make and collect things for ourselves. This really does n’t make a difference when we leave this world. We all are turned into ashes after death.

  • We did not bring anything to this world, neither are we going to take anything.

We came to this world empty handed. We have made everything over here, be it relations, money, love or respect. We cannot take anything with us when we die. Everything would be left over here. So we should not really do evil things when it comes to the question of our respect. Nor should we be really concerned about making as much money as possible. We should be satisfied with what we have as everything would be left over here in this material world, we won’t be able to take anything with us.

  • Desires come and go.

Desires come and go, but you should remain a dispassionate witness, simply watching and enjoying the show. Everyone experiences, desires but one should not be moved by them. They should not bother a person. People sometimes undertake really evil actions because of their desires. So one should not come under the chains of desires

  • Progress and development are the rules of this universe.

Things may not be the same, the way they used to be. Things and circumstances change. We should neither expect people, nor surroundings, not even society to be same. They all change with time. We move ahead. Universe forgets old things and moves forward, so do we. We should not stick on one point, this will make our existence much more problematic in this world.

  • Whatever happened was good, whatever is happening is good and what all will happen in the future will be good.

We should not repent about our past or worry about the future as the present is going on. We should know that God has planned everything for us. He will not let anything bad happen to us. Whatever happens is for our good only. We should be optimistic and should not stress our self with these baseless worries of past and future. If things are not favorable, they surely would be. Just have faith in the supreme personality of Godhead.

  • Death is the only true

This world is not immortal. One who takes birth dies one day and that is the ultimate truth of this world. Nothing exists permanently. One has to leave this world, even though he wishes not to. No magic can actually help a person to stay forever. Everyone has their set life periods. They vanish after completing them. No matter how great one is or how power one posses, all have to die one day.

  • Soul is immortal and our body is perishable Our soul never dies.

Our soul never dies. Even after our death, it exists. It is immortal. It just changes bodies after the death of a person. Moreover, our body is made up of ‘Agni’ (fire), ‘Jal’ (water) ,’Vayu’ (wind), ‘Prithvi’ (earth) and it combines with them after the death. So we should not pay a lot of attention towards our outer body, but instead should work for the inner soul, it’s satisfaction

  • Result is not our main moto.

When we work for getting fruits or the result from a particular action, we can’t really be our best in it. It also gives us a lot of worries about the result. We may also feel disheartened if our task or action does not yield good outputs. Therefore, just doing our work without really thinking about it’s result should be our motive

  • Give The Pure Gift of Love

A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.

  • Good Work Never Goes To Waste

No one who does good work, will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come.

  • The Gates To Hell

Hell has three gates: lust, anger and greed.

  • Arrogance Only Grows

Today, I got this desire, and tomorrow I will get that one; all these riches are mine, and soon I will have even more. Already, I have killed these enemies, and soon I will kill the rest. I am the Lord, the enjoyer, successful, happy, and strong, noble, and rich, and famous. Who on earth is my equal?

  • Who Is God? (a supreme energy)

He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter  He is knowledge. He is the object of knowledge. He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone’s heart.
Lord said

“I enter into each planet, and by my energy, they stay in orbit. I become the moon, and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables. ”

The bottom line is that The Bhagwat Gita not only teaches about the existence of GOD but also can be taken as a book that gives the ultimate life lessons. Some selective lessons are as follows:

Finding Purpose and Meaning in our Work

The Bhagavad Gita explores three different kinds of lives: one of inaction, no goals and no achievements; one of constant busyness and never-ending action; and one that’s not just about acquiring achievement and status for ourselves, but a life of goodness and connection to others. “The second life,” she writes, “which is how we have been defining success—is obviously a big improvement on the first, but by itself it becomes driven by a hunger for ‘more’ that’s never satisfied, and we become disconnected from who we truly are, and the riches inside us.”

And of course it’s the third life that’s the one filled with purpose and meaning, one in which we take pride in our work, and we would do it even for no reward at all.

Through the words of Krishna to Arjuna, we are told that it’s best to do the work we love, and if this seems impossible, to love what we are doing. We can do this by being detached from the results. This doesn’t mean not doing a good job, but, rather, feeling pride and joy in the process itself: “You have control over doing your respective duty only, but no control or claim over the results. The fruits of work should not be your motive.” But, he also adds, “you should never be inactive.”

So the lesson is that, while you should always have an outcome or result in mind, being detached from it — not defining yourself by its success or failure — will make you all the more effective. In other words, we’re more than our resumes and to-do lists.

Be Self Confident

Self-confidence is a fundamental quality to living an effective, empowered, and fulfilling life. Being conscious of and reliant upon your own powers and abilities is what allows you to think, speak, and act purposefully and believe that you have the inner strength and courage to succeed.

Like everyone, there are times you can lose confidence in yourself and slip into bouts of doubt, insecurity, and uncertainty. Lacking self-confidence, you may fear and suspect that you are weak or incompetent and thereby hesitate to speak or act with assertiveness, missing out on potential opportunities for growth or success. You may sabotage and hold yourself back in your work, relationships, or personal lives. As anyone who has slipped into ruts of self-doubt and insecurity can tell you, this is not a pleasant state to be in. But how do you avoid it? How can you maintain a healthy level of self-confidence in who you are and what you can do? The answers, in part, lie in the Bhagavad Gita (Gita).

The Gita, arguably one of the most revered texts in all the Vedic literature, is a vast storehouse of Yogic knowledge and philosophy. A part of the epic poem, The Mahabharata, it encapsulates the essence of Vedanta in the tale of Arjuna, the finest of warriors who is caught up in an epic battle between the forces of good and evil. Gathered on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the forces of good (Pandavas) and the forces of evil (Kauravas) are preparing for war. The mighty Pandu warrior, Arjuna, asks his divine charioteer, Krishna, to place his chariot between the two armies so he can see who he has to fight. To his dismay, Arjuna sees in both armies friends, family, teachers, and respected elders, all willing to fight and die. Overcome with sorrow, Arjuna sinks into despair at the thought of the inevitable bloodshed. The resulting dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna expounds on the path of yoga as a means of liberation from suffering.

In the second chapter of the Gita, The Yoga of Knowledge, Krishna instructs Arjuna in the ways of yoga, essentially giving him a wakeup call from his despondency and sadness, saying:

This despair and weakness in a time of crisis are mean and unworthy of you, Arjuna. How have you fallen into a state so far from the path to liberation? It does not become you to yield to this weakness. Arise with a brave heart and destroy the enemy. (C2, v2-3)

The lessons that follow are powerful tools for restoring Arjuna’s self-confidence. Like Arjuna, you can also benefit from these timeless teachings in your quest for self-confidence and self-determination. As you read each of these five principles, allow the profound wisdom of these teachings to resonate within you and feel your confidence grow as a result.

Take Action

What comes next is a hint at what will be discussed at length in future chapters of the Gita. Krishna reminds Arjuna that he is here in this world to take action. Self-doubt, worry, and anxiety are the results not of action, but of mental turbulence, compulsive over-thinking, and analysis paralysis. When you fail to act, and get caught up in the endless “what if” loop, nothing is accomplished and you only doubt yourself more. If you act, however, you will either accomplish your goals and find fulfillment, or fail, but learn from the experience. This lesson teaches you to not just sit on the sidelines of life and wonder, but to take action and own the consequences. As Krishna teaches:

You have the right to work, but never to the fruits of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself – without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat. For yoga is perfect evenness of mind. (C2, v47-48)

In other words, take action! Make that phone call; apply for that job; ask that special someone out on a date; and write that book. Don’t worry about the outcome; taking action is the important part. The more you act, the more comfortable it will become. If nothing else, your confidence will grow from being able to say, “I did it!”

Build Experience

Krishna points out that every action leaves an impression, but only through disciplined practice are you able to improve. When you take action, you build up a surplus of experiences. Your skills grow and you become more capable. You develop the know-how, the understanding to navigate your activities with skill and ease. This is a fundamental key to self-confidence—regular, dedicated practice. As Krishna says:

Arjuna, now listen to the principles of yoga. By practicing these, you can break through the bonds of karma. On this path, effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear. (C2, v39-40)

Put another way, keep going. You will always progress. I’m reminded of the answer one of my martial arts instructors gave me when I asked him the secret to become a confident and effective martial artist. His reply was simply, “Mat time,” which was another way to say, just keep training. Repetition is the mother of all skill, no matter what the endeavor. If you want to get better, and therefore more confident, keep practicing!

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Ever feel overwhelmed, like there’s too much to do in too little time? That’s a pretty good description of modern life, with technology ever-accelerating the pace of our lives, both at work and at home. In the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna is filled with doubt on the battlefield. His head is overloaded with information that he finds difficult to digest. His senses are assaulted by the sound and fury of the battle. His mind is unfocused and his emotions are out of control.

We can all relate — we all find ourselves overloaded by information, our exhausted eyes glued to our devices, our attention distracted and bombarded by buzzes and alerts and notifications. The noises are different, but the task of trying to focus and think in the midst of a storm is a challenge we share with Arjuna.

As a practical method for handling information overload, Krishna calls for a reflection-break, counseling Arjuna on the art and practice of meditation so that he can effectively master his own mind. The busy mind, Krishna argues, is a mob of unprocessed thoughts and emotions. The only way to deal effectively with this mob is to create distance between the mob and the observer.

Once we become the observer we can see the mob without being part of it. This observer within us is like the screen on which a filmed drama is projected. There are a lot of sensations, a lot of twists and turns of information and emotion in this drama — a riot of sound and color — yet the drama of the film does not affect the screen.

Krishna’s solution to information overload is the rigorous discipline of observing one’s thoughts and emotions as though they were no more than images on a screen. This isn’t an innate ability we’re born with — it’s a skill we can all nurture. We can gain the serenity and composure of the observer with constant practice and a calm disposition. This is the practice of watching our thoughts, and having a calm, neutral stance toward our emotions, whether they’re of joy or sorrow.

Krishna is urging Arjuna — and us — to acquire the habit of a reflective consciousness rather than a reactive mind. In short, his message for our time is: once in a while, be quiet, and get out of the hurricane by entering the eye of the storm.

Know Your True Self

In Krishna’s first teaching to Arjuna, he explains that the material world you perceive with your five senses is not the true expression of reality. It is an illusion, albeit a convincing one. Your ultimate essence is pure spirit, pure timeless awareness. It is independent of the good or bad opinion of others, feels above no one and beneath no one, and is fearless of all challenges. When you lose sight of this important understanding, you forget your real identity. You take the impermanent roles you play too seriously and feel disconnected from the source of your power. Krishna reminds Arjuna:

The impermanent has no reality; reality lies in the eternal. Those who have seen the boundary between these two have attained the end of all knowledge. Realize that which pervades the universe is indestructible; no power can affect this unchanging, imperishable reality. The body is mortal, but he who dwells in the body is immortal and immeasurable. Therefore, Arjuna, fight in this battle. (C2, v16-18)

When you truly embody this understanding, it becomes impossible to harbor doubt, insecurity, or fear. In living from the level of your soul, your thoughts, speech, and actions embody the essence of pure unbounded spirit—fearless, sure of itself, and courageous in all things.

The Mind of a Leader: Seeing Challenges For What They Are

Focus, calm, decision-making, perspective — these are qualities we’d all agree that any good leader needs. And yet, in our distracted, hyper-connected, always “on” digital age, they’re also qualities that are increasingly hard to come by.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna advises Arjuna that his most persistent problem is his preoccupied mind. And preoccupation is especially perilous in a leader. It narrows their perspective and prevents them from understanding that the most significant part of the problem is not out there in the world, but inside of them, in their anxiety and worry and preoccupation.

It is not that there are no problems in the external world; of course there are problems. But when a leader adds the burden of their own worry and anxiety to these problems, they become even more challenging. Krishna urges Arjuna to observe the very nature and composition of his mind. A mind constantly distracted with worries and preoccupations cannot see the truth of a situation.

So Krishna tells Arjuna that he can’t solve his most persistent problems by simply thinking through them — because it’s the thinking itself that’s the problem! Krishna’s message to Arjuna is very clear: his most persistent problem is a mind that clings to fear and anxiety as a way of justifying its existence. This kind of mind will lose its identity if its most persistent problems are solved, so this mind doesn’t want to let go of its fear and anxiety.

What this means is that no problem exists without the mind’s active participation. So Krishna urges Arjuna to approach his problems with an open and unoccupied mind, one uncluttered by reactions, memories of the past, or anxiety about the future.

This pure mind reflects the light like a mirror, which doesn’t react to or become conditioned by what it reflects. This mirror-like awareness will allow leaders to see the true nature of a challenge, which is the first step to solving it.

 Resolution for the New Year: Kill Off What’s Not Working

New Year’s resolutions are about the future, but they’re also about the past. To see how we want to improve, we have to take stock of what’s working and what’s not working. And to do that well, we need to be ruthless about it.

Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, we see Krishna repeatedly encouraging Arjuna to wage war and kill his enemies. And that gives rise to a question that’s common to many people first reading the Gita: why would a godly incarnation like Krishna encourage killing?

But, as with virtually all sacred texts, there are layers of meaning going on. And in this case, “killing” means more than bloodshed. It’s also being used as a way of actively weeding out our bad habits or distancing ourselves from toxic people. It’s about being willing to sacrifice what is not working in order to better focus on what is working and achieve our purpose.

This is a perfect lesson for the new year — while not a resolution itself, it’s a principle that can undergird your resolutions for how you can thrive in 2018. Let go of what’s not working, kill off habits that are counterproductive or weighing you down. It will speed up your progress through the new year.

Meditate

Finally, Krishna teaches Arjuna the profound knowledge for tapping into the wisdom of yoga: meditation. Through the practice of meditation, the voices of doubt, indecision, fear, and worry soften to distant whispers, ultimately fading away entirely. In addition, meditation allows you to have direct experience of your soul—the infinite, immortal, unbounded, pure spirit. Stepping into this field sets you free from the need to seek the approval of others. Krishna describes those established in this wisdom like this:

Neither agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear and anger. Established in meditation, they are truly wise. Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are neither elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. Such are the seers. (C2, v56-57)

When you make regular contact with your true self, the soul—the field of infinite consciousness—you experience self-confidence as your ground state. From this state of self-referral, you know intuitively that you can accomplish anything.

These five lessons provide you with powerful tools to harness the innate self-confidence that already lives within you. Use Krishna’s teachings as a regular reminder that you don’t serve the world by playing small. Arise with a brave heart and fight for knowledge.

One should also understand that Bhagvad Gita is a scripture for all of universe. It is not bound to any religion and cult. It has nothing to do with temporary ideas and divisions that we humans have created. If Bhagvad Gita will talk of humanity as the ultimate aim then it will neglect the animals and other living beings. Hence, Bhagvad Gita – which is the direct instruction of God – talks in terms of soul, the fundamental principle of all the consciousness.

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