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 What I Have Learnt From Gita 

Date of Publish - Tuesday, 18th September 2018
igniting_minds

“Whenever there is decline of righteousness, and rise of unrighteousness, I incarnate myself to protect the virtuous and to destroy the wicked, from age to age.”

                                                                                                                   Bhagavad Gita (IV. 7/8)

These two lines are the essence of immortal teachings in form of Bhgavat Gita by Lord Krishna to his follower Arjuna which is extracted from Bihshma Parva of Mahabharata. Abstract idea of Gita can be applied to answer profound philosophical and complex questions, like -What should prevail and how? , What should be destroyed? , Who is the ultimate destroyer of evil? , What is the reality behind this universe? , What is the time frame in which answers of these questions will remain valid? These multifaceted questions were answered by a single text. Answers themselves came from above said lines which is undoubtedly are soul of the most practical text of the world.

What should prevail?

According to Gita, it is nothing but the truth and righteousness should prevail. However, the definition of truth and righteousness may fluctuate from person to person and time to time. Arjuna was in deep perplexity and threw away the weapons in Mahabharata because for him, to fight with his own brothers for empire was not the right path. But Krishna, his charioteer, said that one should not hesitate in punishing his own kith and kin if they are wrong doers and posing as a danger for the nation. A fighter should be impartial and just. And it’s the duty of a warrior to fight regardless giving excuse of the relations.

What should be destroyed and how?

Unrighteousness and Adharma should be uprooted. This can be done with the help of Karma only. One should not wait for a miracle by God but by virtue of his own Karma and sense of responsibility. No doubt that entire army and Kauravas could be destroyed by Lord Krishna alone but he decided not to do anything but to inspire Arjuna for Karma. This shows that God is not going to fight on your side but it’s you who should instigate through your Karma.

Who is the ultimate destroyer of evil?

It is the God who is destroyer of evil. But, do you think that he will appear by himself to destroy the evil? Actually, no. As in Gita, Lord Krishna says, ‘I will incarnate myself in various forms to punish the evil’. He also mentions that from a small insect to large mountains, animals to human beings, living thing to non living materials, I reside in every bit of this universe and everything is a part of me. This means we all are incarnation of God itself and he has given us all the authority to stand against unrighteousness. So, “don’t wait for God to act, he might be waiting for you to act”.

 

What is the reality behind this universe?

The idea of “Karma and Atma are immortal” is the core of this universe. This is the outcome of one’s Karma that he has to garner and more importantly in this life only because the universe follows the rule of balancing. Fascinatingly, unrighteousness is balanced by righteousness. Apart from that, everything can be destroyed or ended in course of time but Atma is immortal; it neither be created nor be destroyed.

What is the time frame in which answers of these questions will remain valid?

The essence and teaching of Gita, will be valid from age to age. Thousands of years old “words of wisdom” by Lord Krishna through Gita, still validate their existence in hastily changing world and will even deliver the right answer of every question of ultramodern world as well. It is possible that the people with constricted intelligentsia may translate the text in narrow context (as it is done so many times in past) and leave the person with confused idea. So, if rightly conveyed, the very idea of text will be in harmony with the situation of far future.

Importance of Gita in daily life

When one deviates from the righteousness, when one puts the relations fore to justice, when one is overpowered with lust and greed, when one overlooks or underestimates “his” supremacy; then comes the role of Gita in his life. The text is affluent blend of philosophy and realism with science, war techniques and indestructible faith as its ingredients. It not only helps in identifying right or wrong but also makes the person strong enough to stand with truth even at the cost of one’s blood relation. The text guides a person to be self contained by abandoning all worldly things and greed, as a person owns nothing right from his birth so why to be so eager to hold things which don’t belong to us. Lord Krishna tells that it is nothing that goes with you after the death but, your Karma and Atma is perpetual and make an everlasting place in this universe.

 All contentions between different people or religious groups will come to an end when they will realize that the thing for which they are blood shading each other, eventually doesn’t belong to them. All inactivity or passiveness among the citizen of a country will change into productivity, if the meaning of “Karmanaye vadhikarste” is rightly conveyed to them. We will be back to our moral values if “his” supremacy will be accepted and the acts of inhumanity will be stopped because one will be fearful of that “omnipresent”. The consequences of one’s act are obvious and eventual; this concept will lead one towards living a balanced and morally right life.

A difficult life situation where Gita guided me

Everyone in his life definitely faces a taxing time or a situation where one finds all the doors of solutions shut. As a human being I have also find myself in a stalemate over many issues; then I bank upon Gita for a sure shot solution and undoubtedly these “time tested” teachings never let me down.

In spite of being well qualified and hardworking I was facing a difficulty in getting a suitable job. Sometimes that resulted into frustration as well. Then I turned the pages of this astoundingly compiled text (not for getting a job but to keep myself composed and stand strong in difficult situation) which not only kept me motivated but provided ample strength to work even harder. I implicit the concept of “I might be working hard but others may be working even harder”, after all it’s about competition. I relied on Karma only, I have put all ‘attractive but time wasting’ desires to an end for some time, I learnt not to bow down to situation but to fight because Gita indicates that the duty of a warrior is only to fight regardless the identity of enemy. That time, Krishna inspired Arjuna to pick up weapon against his own brothers putting the “moh” of relations aside which led him to be a victor in Mahabharta; in my case, I picked up the best books against my competitors putting aside the “moh” (party, movie, holidays and enjoyment etc.) which led me to be a victor in my war. I won because I have engrossed three things from Gita:

  • Trust your karma only; if they are not paying you the result then increase their intensity.
  • God is nonaligned; he only signals you to act accordingly but never fights in your place, it’s your battle and the only way to win it is through Karma.
  • Desire is the root of all evils; try to lose some of your favorite things, by doing so you will divert yourself towards self-containment.

For some people the teachings of Gita might seems contradictory some times. Let’s take an example when Krishna says about performing the Karma with integrity while minimizing our expectations and desires; but is it really possible in today’s metro life to set our expectations at level zero? The answer may be a big no from many of us which raises a question on validity of Gita in recent times. Contrarily, we all perform our jobs in desire to get something in return. But we should not forget that there is difference between “expectation” and “goal”, we should strive for goal not for petty expectations which are lacking in karma. Another example from Gita where people feel puzzled is the instance where Krishna says that there is an afterlife means this body die not our soul. That doesn’t mean that our “soul” or “atma” has a physical existence after death, instead it means that we may pass away in course of time but the karma or good deeds done by us never die, they attains the “ amarttav” in this universe and coming generations always remember those deeds. So, instead of taking this concept of “afterlife” as physical or tangible concept we should consider it as an abstract idea. Rationale behind the concept of omnipresence and supremacy of God can also be understood in light of this abstract idea. Lord Krishna’s description of the fact that he is the only truth, he is present in every bit of this world (from an atom to a large mountain, from this earth to this universe) should not be considered as “everything is in him” but should be seen as “he is in everything” so, don’t waste your time to find him on a “particular place” he is inside you rather invest your valuable time in betterment of those who are his reflection ( poor, needy and aggrieved people/ animals).

All in all, Gita should not be viewed through a narrow idea but it should be understood through a wide spectrum of thoughts. It was applicable 5152 years back, it has its place in present times and it will guide our coming generations in same ideal manner. It is a valuable heritage and should be explained and preserved aptly to guide people in hard-hitting situations.

Author :
Kandhal Sarita

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