The essence of the Gita

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AADISHRI ARUN: The Bhagwat Gita is a direct conversation between God and man.  This is why we can trust what the Gita says because it is the word of God.  This book guides us on not only how to live an ideal life but it also acquaints us with the form and nature of God and how to reach Godhead.  Most people of the world are attached to particular objects and specific relationships and all they can do is to indulge in lust, anger, attachment, greed and ego with respect to these objects.  This is how they are trapped constantly in cycles of birth and death and the only way to escape is true guidance. This guidance can only be provided by God and Guru.  The Bhagwat Gita is the word of God as spoken to Arjuna and its advice is relevant to all those who want to escape the cycle of birth and death.

The reality is that whatever can be seen through the senses, or imagined in the brain, is fated to perish.  The reality of these objects is no more real than a dream that mind sees when asleep. This fact when realized is the key that unlocks the hidden inner journey to liberation.

The Teachings of Bhagavat Gita are an invaluable resource in this regard and are timeless.  Society may change but the Gita is applicable, even 5118 years after it was written. These teachings are considered to be ultimate guide on how to live a life as per Dharma and also how to reach towards Moksha-liberation.

The Bhagwat Gita shows the right path to the one who is lost; gives answer to the confused and it provides wisdom to all. It is considered to be one of the greatest spiritual books ever written. The primary purpose of the Bhagwat- Gita is to illuminate for all of humanity the realization of the true nature of divinity.

The essence of the Gita is listed below in simple language.

  1. We have power only to take action and no power over what form the result takes:

The Gita says that we must take action without being unduly concerned by the result. Many people confuse this statement.  They feel that if they can’t expect results then why they should take any actions!  This is a wrong understanding.  What the statement means that once we resolve to achieve any result that we desire, we must fix our mind onto it, gather all resources, gain all knowledge to do the job and then do it to the best of our ability.  Once we have done our efforts, we must not be anxious about the reward we get, whether it is expected or unexpected. The result is bound to come but there are many factors that are not in our control and the result may take a form that is different than what we expected.  Therefore the fruit of our action being different from our expectation should not disturb us or dishearten us.  This is the meaning of working without attachment to the results:

  1. Soul is not perishable but our body is perishable i.e. our soul never dies:

The physical world has been created from the spirit of God and it is also the spirit of God-as the individual soul that comes to reside in it. This spirit is what is real and unchangeable and the physical creation-our body for instance is time bound.  This limited body is used by the eternal soul to live and experience this creation for a short while.  Once a particular experience is over, the body that is designed to provide that experience dies.  The spirit recedes from it and after some time takes another body for a different experience. Thus the soul changes bodies as we change cloths.

  1. World is perishable and whoever comes to this world they would go one day:

The physical world has been created from the spirit of God to create the play of existence.  Therefore this play of existence is always moving, shifting and changing.  Creation and destruction are happening all the time.  Prakriti or nature is in charge of this ever shifting field of creation and it uses the three modes-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas to create various versions of creation.  The eternal spirit of God comes into this play of existence and since the body it takes is time-bound and limited therefore that eternal spirit can only stay for so long in the body it takes.  Therefore no individual soul can stay in one body for long and even this creation will end one day and a new creation will take its place.

  1. Progress and development are the rules of this Universe:

Since Creation is ever changing progress, development, decay destruction are forever happening.  One should not be disturbed when one sees this happening in one’s life.  The expectation that all things around us must always be the same is unreasonable and creates conflict and stress in us.

  1. Every action and deed of ours should be dedicated to God and we should offer everything to God:

Since the only reality is God therefore all that we do should be dedicated to God.  Anything else is futile and temporary. This will always result in giving us peace, satisfaction and stability. Thus one should consider remembering the Lord and dedicating all actions only to him. This is the best way to be free of the effect of karma and to break free from the cycle of birth and death.

  1. One should devote himself or herself to Lord:

Since only God is real and only he is uni-polar we should be devoted only to him.  The rest is the play of light and shade and there is always untruth in Creation.  In fact Creation cannot be constructed without ignorance and untruth being part of it.  We can never find peace and everlasting happiness in any aspect of creation, however high end it may be. Any support that we look for in the world is conditional and we may not believe it but all relationships we form in life are conditional and temporary. The only unchanging truth is the Lord and we should be devoted to first him and only after that live our life in this world. The person who knows this truth is never really troubled by sadness or grief.

  1. Purna Brahm is the supreme:

Purna Brahm is the supreme personality of Godhead.  He is the original cause of all causes. He starts everything and ends everything too. He is there everywhere. He is omnipresent and omnipotent. We are just puppets whom He controls. He is divine and transcendental.  Since he is the highest form of Himself, we must strive to be one only with Him, and not with his intermediately forms.

  1. Desire:

Desire is the causes of re-birth. Rajo gun of Prakriti gives birth to desire. The desire is ultimately anger. (Gita3:37) While a man comes with the attachment of object, lust develops and anger arises from lust. From anger, complete delusion arises and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

  1. Depend upon God:

People confuse the statement of depend on God as a passive behavior.  This is not what it means.  It simply means that God has a divine plan and all of us have a role to play in it.  We have forgotten our divine purpose and we are leading our lives on the basis of our limited intelligence and on our desires for the objects of the world.  That is why we get upset when we take an action and when we don’t get the results that we desired.  The fact is that in our ignorance we may desire things that may be against God’s divine plan for us.  So our duty is to make the effort and then depend on God to do what is right for our ultimate good.

  1. Give your mind and intelligence to God:

Our mind and intelligence are limited entities that become desire driven.  Our individual birth is desire driven.  To fulfill that desire we are given a mind and that mind goes about trying to help us fulfill the objects of our desire.  In this way we go careening from birth to birth. This is a never ending cycle and the only way to get out of this cycle is to realize that the mind can never take us to salvation or Moksha till it rests in the soul and not the senses.  Thus giving our mind and intelligence to God means that we remove its interests from our senses and fix it on God.  Then the very same mind will help us achieve Liberation very soon.

  1. Surrender to God alone:

Surrender to God does not mean passive behavior.  It simply means that we should believe in God and trust his stewardship of his divine plan.  This is like trusting the pilot of an aircraft without understanding how he flies the plane.  We must believe that we are God’s children and that whatever he does for us is done out of love for us and for our ultimate good.  We may not be able to make sense out of it but He can.  We must do the action we feel is right and after that surrender to Him to do the right thing for us.