[Advaita-l] On Bhagavat Geeta -Part I

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 7 00:26:19 EST 2018

This is a write-up that I did a few years ago.----------------------------
Bhagavat Geeta, the Song Celestial 

Bhagavat Gita occupies a unique place in the pursuit of truth, the truth that transcends time and space – sanaatana dharma. The student of Gita is a man of action, Nara, who has completely surrendered to his teacher, the Lord of the Universe, Naaraayana, and the teaching takes place in the midst of a battlefield. The dramatization of the set up is unique and symbolizes the relevance of Gita to resolve an eternal conflict – the fundamental human problem - conflict of do-s vs. don’t-s, conflict of duty vs. attachments, conflict of right vs. wrong or conflict of dharma vs. adharma. The setting is the reflection of human life that involves resolution of conflicts. The teaching is not sectarian or parochial – it is addressed to all human beings transcending gender, caste, creed, or nationality- to all those who are struggling to experience their divine nature, the universal oneness of their soul. It is the teaching that synthesizes the unity than exemplifies the diversity, that integrates than differentiates, that invites than imposes; like a mother who steers the child to a greater happiness with love. It evokes bhakti or love for the higher, out of fulfillment than out of emptiness, with love-divine filled with compassion and sacrifice than the love of greed, of demanding or begging. 

There is nothing original or historic in the teaching in Gita since it only echoes the eternal teaching by a universal teacher, who proclaims the teaching from eons that was sung by sages and saints of the yore – RiShibiH bahudA gItaM – says Krishna himself. It is a quintessence of Upanishads milked by Lord Krishna himself for the benefit of humanity - sarvOpaniShadO gaavo dhOgdhA gOpAla nandanaH…. It does not deal with a philosophy of only an academic interest, but deals with Brahma vidya, about the knowledge of eternal reality along with the science of dynamic application to acquire that knowledge, yoga shaastra. The love or devotion that is emphasized is rational and not sentimental, and it is universal with fullness as it is all-inclusive and not narrow-mindedness with exclusions. 

 It proclaims - “yO yO yAM yAM ..”, “whoever, whoever he may be he who, and whatever whatever form he worships me, the universal principle with full devotion, in that and in that form alone I give him faith”. It emphasizes the formless form of the ever existent truth -which includes all forms while excluding none – mayA tatam idam sarvam jagat avyakta mUrthinA … nachamastaani bhUtAni .. – avyakAdIni bhUtAni .. Since He is all-inclusive, any form is as good as any other form. Hence, one can invoke Him in any form that captures ones imagination and takes his mind away from all forms. Bhagavat Gita is applicable for all centuries to come and for all humanities since it deals with eternal reality and the man’s struggles to realize that. It caters to all, recognizing the divergence in the mental and intellectual evolution of humans with varying portions of satva, rajO and tamO guNas. Hence yoga or the path depends on the mental makeup of the student just as prescribed medicine depends on the nature of the disease and patients condition. Thus it deals with the science of yoga. Its approach is catholic taking one beyond the narrow corridors of fanaticism, which involves exclusiveness that is contrary to the oneness of the totality. Hence it is universally applicable for all ages for all centuries to come. One can adopt its exposition to meet changing needs of the students without compromising the essential teaching since it addresses the persistent fundamental human problem, that existed at Arjuna’s time and that exists now and will continue to exist for centuries to come. ------------To be continued

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