The Holy Gita is the primary religious script of the Hindus as we mostly are aware of. Little do we realise the fact that just like Hinduism is a way of life; similarly, The Gita is a guide which teaches us how to live this life in a practical way; encapsulating ideals & philosophies which are very relevant in day-to-day life.
My introduction to Gita: – Faint memories of a school-goer who went for a vacation in her kindergarten days in her grandparent’s house in Agartala reminds her of SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA perched on top of a rack which was out of her reach. She tried pulling a stool and somehow managed to get hold of it. But the book was quite heavy for her tiny hands & it fell on the floor creating some unwanted commotion which invited her mother & grand-mother to the scene. She was scolded because it was not a book for toddlers as they said & people who read it should hold high esteem for it.
The toddler took the book in her laps, touched it on her forehead as a mark of respect & kept it back at the designated place. She created the 1st image of the book in her mind, “Lord Krishna holding the bridles of 4 white horses & the warrior Arjuna aiming to release a bow from his Gandiva.” After a few days, her grandfather came upto her & asked her how she felt after holding the SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA for the first time in her hands. She was elated at the discussion because at a curious age of 5, she did not understand in the previous episode what had triggered her mom & grand mom to say that it was not for apt for her age to read such books. Her grandfather explained that Gita contains 18 chapters & approximately 700 shlokas and it is an excerpt from the epic Mahabharata.
She said that she does not miss any episode of Mahabharata which was telecasted those days & briefly she described her interpretation of Mahabharata to her granddad. The quest for knowing the essence of Gita was growing every day and while she was in 8th standard, the ISKCON volunteers handed her a copy of the GITA to her. She was almost through the third chapter when her mother again snatched the book from her hands. This time, she did question her mom why is she not entitled to read the book because she had found it quite interesting by then. The mom explained that there is a right age to read the book and get the interpretation from the right people. The little girl wondered when that right age would come & when would the right people arrive to dawn on her with the must needed answers she was seeking for.
Days passed by and the rendezvous with Gita kept recurring sometimes through discourses, whatsapp groups, avid discussions with friends & acquaintances etc. Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana – I have the right to perform my actions i.e. KARMA & I take responsibility of putting in the best of my efforts. The goal of my life is to attain freedom; one can put different synonyms like Moksha, liberation, Nirvana etc. & the paths that lead to the goal may be either Karma(Action), Bhakti( Devotion), Jnana(Knowledge) & Raja(Meditation etc.)
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani – When I perform any action, I am not attached to the fruit or result of it. I cannot guarantee that the fruit of action/karma that I perform will be exactly as the same as I desired for. But I put 100% of my efforts irrespective of the win/loss that awaits as the result. I dedicate myself selflessly for any Karma be it professional or personal aspect in my life. Karma Yoga is the quintessence of Chapter 2 of Gita that plays an integral part of my daily life. I put in efforts to increase my knowledge but what I have imbibed is that mostly knowledge is inherent. We only realise few things which are unveiled by external environment. Our mind is a big database where knowledge is stored. A situation might trigger the query & the output comes out as a realisation. What exists lies in wait to be unveiled & that might be a discovery made by the self, some scientist or some spiritual seeker by accident, by experiment or by consistent efforts.
SANKHYA Yoga is also one of the crux of Gita which I have absorbed and try to incorporate in mundane life. Our intrinsic nature is composed of three forces i.e. Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. These forces can be better understood as equilibrium, activity, and inertness. Ideally Sattva is the equilibrium of the Tamas & Rajas forces. By understanding the nitty-gritty of Sattva, Tamas & Rajas elements & how to employ them, it helps us to do our work passionately but without getting attached.
Na jayate mriyate va kadacin nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah; ajo nityah sasvato yam purano na hanyate hanyamane – The soul that resides in us is eternal in nature; it is immortal, imperishable & timeless; It never takes birth nor does it die when the body is destroyed. Since the soul is eternal, therefore it is not subject to the six modifications of material existence which are: birth, being, growth, transformation, decay and death.
To conclude, I would like to quote the last shloka of Gita, “Yatra yogeshvaraha krishno yatra paartho dhanurdharaha; tatra shreervijayo bhootirdhruvaa neetirmatirmama”. The realization of our inner self is not possible only through self-effort. Selfless devoted service in sync with the blessings of the Almighty will result in the progress and success of any journey.
The shlokas of Gita if properly understood & implemented can make our spiritual existence in this materialistic world very meaningful. In a nutshell, the philosophy of Gita makes oneself strong & helps us in pursuing our goals efficiently.