Nothing has inspired my devotion, love and reverence as much as the sacred Hindu text of Bhagavad Gita. It has filled me with so much love that I feel the need to share it with you.
I hope there is at least one teaching from this book that will touch you and inspire you. You do not have to believe everything in this book. But there is so much wisdom here, that if you take just a little bit of it, you will surely find yourself living a happier life. It is not surprising that this text is also referred to as a “Manual for Life.”
“Bhagavad” means relating to God. “Gita” means song. So the title of this book translated in English is “Song of the God”.
The “Bhagavad Gita” commonly referred to as “Gita”, is a religious scripture of the Hindus and is said to embody the core teachings of Hinduism, the 3rd largest religion in the world.
More than a holy book, this book is a guide on how to be happy. It presents various techniques to achieve this state of contentment.
Originally written in Sanskrit, this 700 verse book has been translated into more than 75 languages, with more than 300 translations being in English language itself. This book is part of the Hindu epic “Mahabharata” which is considered the longest poem ever written with 100,000 verses or 200,000 individual verse lines.
This book has inspired people all over the world, from laymen like me to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Thoreau, Robert Oppenheimer and more.
Mahatma Gandhi, who was a great political and spiritual leader of India, referred to Gita as his “eternal mother”.
“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow.”– Mahatma Gandhi
I hope that “Gita” inspires you, guides you, comforts you, and provides you with immeasurable joy.
In my subsequent blog posts, I will be focussing on, paraphrasing and simplifying the teachings of this book. I am not a Sanskrit or a religious scholar and my interpretation is solely from my perspective. It will not be an exhaustive and a complete study of this holy book. However, I will attempt to stay true to the spirit of each of the 18 chapters. There will be a separate post for each of these chapters.
A few words of import while reading these posts are:
I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, God, Universal Consciousness, Divine, Brahman, Shri Krishna – are all used interchangeably in this book.
The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individual with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga as physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of Yoga, which includes disciplines of meditation and mode of conduct among others. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.
has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.
refers to our duty, as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life.
is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.
is liberation from the cycle of life and death.
Thank you to Devdutt Patnaik and Roopa Pai whose works have inspired me to scratch the surface of my religion of Hinduism. Even as I have read interpretations of Gita by various authors on the internet and in paper format, my writing has been taken mostly from the following 2 sources:
“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada
4 thoughts on “In Reverence of Bhagavad Gita”
Very nicely written Jyotsna… can’t wait to read more!
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Great idea, Jyotsna! I have never read the Gita. Looking forward to your posts!
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