The Bhagawad Gita

Sanjay Zutshi
Any verse out of the 700 verses of the Bhagawad Gita can be one’s Guru”
(Bhagvaan Gopinathji)

The purpose of the Bhagawad Gita is to bring a renaissance and resurgence in man and lit the flame of spirituality. So let us bathe and delve deep in the spirit of the Gita to enlighten ourselves with its knowledge, wisdom and insight. Its knowledge corresponds to the way we should live our life, it is not indicative of earthly life as a temporal vanity, it is also not for moulding the life of a person to suit the limited dogmas, forms and tenets of a particular sect; the wisdom corresponds to the transitoriness of the fruits of actions, we confront in the form of gain or loss, delight or sorrow, cold or heat, victory or defeat, respect or disrespect etc., to the sameness of a clod of earth, a stone and gold. Its wisdom does not lie in preparing humanity for monastery or cavern or mountaintop; and the insight corresponds to the eternity and immortality of the Soul which pervades all through-the ultimate, the original, the changeless and beyond the bounds of transitoriness. The purpose of “krsn-arjuna samvada” is to give an insight into reality, an encounter with the Divine: ‘knowing and realizing thyself’. It is where the Gita leads us in the deepest sense. Devoid of ego, greed, selfishness, intolerance, arrogance, anger, depression, hate, desperation etc.- the causes of war, the practice and absorption of the Gita means living in the divine consciousness. Arjuna is the representative of every refined, reflective and active human being while Sri Krishna is an invigorator of eternality in the evolving nature and not an expounder of any creed or particular sect. God has made to emerge this multiplicity out of the One and the material has emerged out of the spiritual i.e., there is a link between materialism and spiritualism and in the same vein Sri Krishna assures to Arjuna: “Arjuna, whenever there is a decline of righteousness, and unrighteousness is in the ascendant, then I body myself forth…to protect the virtuous, destroy the evildoers” and set the wheel of dharma towards an ascending scale of human evolution.
The Bhagawad Gita liberates us from ignorance, weakness, transience and fear of death. The matter is Soul oriented for it too gives us a glimpse of the Soul which is indestructible and vital to this whole existence: “O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being- moving or unmoving that can exist without me” (10.39). “I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man. I am the original fragrance of the earth and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives…” (7.7). In tune with this, while affirming existence of matter, we cannot separate liquidity from water and heat from fire. If we boil a pot of water, water gets evaporated but it goes nowhere. It still exists. If we drink a glass of water, the glass is free of water but water still exists. If we tear a paper to the pieces, it still exists. We cannot reduce existence to nonexistence though we can change the matter, mould it, burn it, dry it, evaporate it but we cannot destroy it i.e., make it nonexistent. Science has also reached the truth that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Again while deducing truth from the Gita, the material elements remain unmanifested before creation. The unmanifested is the Absolute, the pure and formless state from which creation and manifestation arise comprising fire, air, water, earth, ether, mind, intelligence and ego; and manifestation upon its dissolution again merges with the respective elements. So even in the unmanifested stage things are not lost. The law of conservation of energy remains but in the course of time things are manifested and unmanifested. Both at the beginning and at the end all elements remain unmanifested and only in the middle are they manifested and this should not make any difference. Accordingly, there must be a substratum which survives after dissolution of material existence and by virtue of which this material existence enters into the unmanifested stage and from unmanifested stage to the manifested stage. What is that? The Lord Krishna says: it is the Soul. ‘The matter is Soul oriented and the Soul is yet beyond the properties of matter.’
The Bhagawad Gita is primarily prone to the Ultimate– the changeless, the original, the valid and all pervading Soul– beyond the bounds of any discipline or set of rules or way of life owing to their invalidity and transtoriness. The Gita’s prime concern is originality (related to the origin). What is primeval and original, what is basic, what lies at the root level and what comes prior to the root is the essence of the Gita. “At the coming of day all the manifest spring forth from the unmanifest and at the coming of night they are dissolved in that same unmanifest. This unmanifest, named the imperishable is declared to be the highest goal. For those who reach it there is no return”(8.21). Thus Gita comes prior to our whole being, it is the basis of our psyche and persona for “Neither the gods nor the great seers know my origin; for I am every way, the origin of them both” (10.2). “I am the Atman, seated in the heart of every being; I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings” (10.20). It is unknown to us, yet basis of our existence. The Gita tells us what is indivisible, unadded, undiluted, the Ultimate Remainder as a result of which this whole cosmos has come into existence. So the Gita is never apart from us. If we shun our ego and become selfless, we are bound to penetrate the undulating currents of the Gita. The growth of consciousness slumbering in the arms of inconscience is due to receive the evolutionary impetus (regardless of any notion of success or failure, or gain or loss or an escape of any type in the mind) and take us beyond: to the realm of innocence, calmness, silence, immortality and nothingness– the ultimate wakefulness. Here we are destined to coincide with the Ultimate Remainder-the Absolute, which is always changeless, original, immortal, beyond any simplification, rectification, modification, and that also holding good in the past, the present or in the times to come: “O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows” (7.26).
In order to understand the Gita and rise to Krsna- consciousness, we need to shun ego and selfishness, go beyond all conventional formulas of belief and action, all external rules of conduct. Then only we are capable of taking refuge in the Divine, go beyond our intellect through the power of intellect, become doubtless, think beyond our whole being and yet coming closer to our being- the primal Being from whom has emanated this whole existence. We have to be without pride and delusion. Then only can we be ever in tune with the Supreme. In concord with the Gita, one’s Self should raise oneself and not allow oneself to fall ; for Atman (Self) alone is the friend of self , and self alone is self’s foe. The Bhagavad Gita again puts it in clear terms that the yogi who has seen the truth knows that it is not he that acts whilst seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping or breathing, and talking etc.-the senses are moving in their respective spheres.


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