Monday, March 30, 2015

Introduction to The Bhagavad Gita

Introduction to The Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita literally means “The Song of God". The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Shree Krishna and Arjun on the battlefield at Kurukshetra, where the Pandavas were fighting the righteous war with their cousins, the Kauravas.

The Sage Ved Vyas, who had the gift of seeing things from a distance, wrote down the dialogue that took place between Shree Krishna and Arjun, and included it in the Mahabharat. The Bhagavad Gita is thus a part of the great epic, the Mahabharat. It is written in Sanskrit, the language of the celestial gods.

The Bhagavad Gita is respected as one of the most sacred books of the Hindus. They take oath on it in a court of justice, just as the Christians take oath on the bible or the Muslims on the holy Quran. The Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutra are considered as the three basic scriptures of Indian philosophy.

The Bhagavad Gita is described thus: The Upanishads are the cow, Arjun is the calf, Shree Krishna is the milkman, and the Bhagavad Gita is the milk. In this scripture, Shree Krishna has fed the milk (essence) of the Upanishads to the calf (Arjun). The Bhagavad Gita is important because it is the Divine discourse spoken by the Supreme Lord, Shree Krishna Himself.

Always revered as a true source of spiritual knowledge, it reveals the purpose and goal of human existence. It has a message for every one of us and its teachings are valid at all times and for people of all races. Shree Krishna speaks the Bhagavad Gita in the following context during the Mahabharat war:

On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna was Arjun's charioteer. Arjun had earlier requested Shree Krishna's help and grace to win the battle.

The armies on the both sides prepared themselves for the epic battle. The sacred conch was blown and the swards were drawn.

However, when Arjun saw his revered elders like Bheeshma and his Guru Dronacharya, his relatives and friends against him, he felt sad about having to fight and kill them. He did not want to commit such a sin. So he threw down his bow, as he did not like to win the war at the cost of their lives.

Looking for an answer, he turned to Shree Krishna, his friend, philosopher, teacher and his all, and asked, “Lord Krishna! How can I kill them? Is it not a sin to kill one's own blood relatives? I am unable to decide my further course of action. I surrender myself at Your holy feet. O Lord! Please guide me through this difficult period of uncertainty. I am your disciple and you are my Guru.”

Sensing the state of Arjun's mind, Shree Krishna cleared his doubts and misgivings in a variety of ways. That forms the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita. During the dialogue, Shree Krishna revealed himself as the Lord of the Universe and graced Arjun with Divine eyes so that he could see His universal form.

Arjun was inspired by the Lord's Divine vision, and al his confusions were resolved by the knowledge he received. Picking up his bow, Arjun said, “Lord, I will act according to your instructions.”

An excerpt from "Inspirational Stories For Children" Bal-Mukund Character Building Series