A few thoughts !


Bhagavadgita - A few thoughts!!

Shankaracharya in his commentary on Bhagavadgita starts as follows:
"तत् इदं गीताशास्त्रं समस्त वेदार्थ सार संग्रहम्"
"tat idam gītāśāstram samasta vēdārtha sāra samgraham"

Meaning there by that " The Gita is the summary of essence of Vedas."

In the Vedic lore, the essence of Vedas appears at the end of Vedas in the form of Upanishads and is often termed Vedanta. So following Shankaracharya's dictum the essence of Upanishads is contained in Bhagavadgita.

Most of the introductions to Gita also carry a sloka with a similar refrain

सर्वोपनिषदो गावो
दोग्धा गोपालनन्दनः।
पार्थो वत्सः सुधीर्भोक्ता
दुग्धम् गीतामृतं महत् ॥

Upanishads in the form of cows were milked by Nanda's Gopala to feed the calf by name Arjuna. What was milked is Gita Amrutam. That is available universally.

All this is only to emphasize the primacy of Gita.

That the essence of Vedas is in Upanishads is well known. Everybody wants to understand that essence from Upanishads. Upanishads are a dialog between a Guru and Sishya. Gurus first of all test and make sure that the Sishya is up to it. Then only they offer them the formal teaching. That tradition of teaching only for those who qualify meant that Upanishad teachings are not easily available and in fact not available for common people. The language and style of Upanishads also makes it difficult for a common man to aspire for learning of Upanishads.

In that scenario Vyasa through Lord Krishna made the essence of Upanishads easily available to common people in the form of Bhagavadgita. Bhagavadgita brought Vedanta to common people.

Vedic lore is full of complex processes and rituals. Rituals have been specified to such detail that a failure on detail is deemed to be a failure of the "doer"! Some key words like
Yagnya or Tapas are clearly understood by people as complex processes available only to chosen few. The names themselves create a hype of expectation that common people feel that much threatened or distanced.

In Bhagavadgita these difficult processes have been redefined in a way to make it easily possible for a common man willing to work for it. Krishna defined Nishkama karma and through it he made it possible for others to attain Moksha. In this mode of attaining Liberation there is no distinction between man or woman, rich or poor, or even the caste equations of Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Shudra! No difference for a king or king's soldiers. Removing the restrictions and rules of Vedic rituals, Bhagavadgita makes the meditation and Moksha as available to all.

In Bhagavadgita, at one point Krishna uses the word " - वेद वादरताः - meaning those who believe only in the Veda and Vedic rituals as the ultimate solace. Krishna says such people have no chance of achieving concentration required to achieve higher goals. That is because the -" वेद वादरताः" - they believe in the Vedic rituals which promote fruit-oriented Karma as opposed to Nishkama Karma.

If a religion is able to set aside the thoughts on liberation which were found to be untenable and present new thoughts of liberation through the very lips of God, there by introducing a new vigor in to the spiritual discourse, then that religion is a dynamic and living religion. It is not stuck on a logic of "because it was said, so it is"!!

Bhagavadgita has set aside the dilapidated thoughts on vigorous rituals and provided a new out let for spiritual awakening through Nishkama Karma. And it made Nishkama Karma as a tool which is accessible to all!

At one point Krishna declares " ये मे मतं इदं" referring to Nishkama karma

Truly we can take Bhagavadgita as "ये मे मतं इदं" - this is my religion!

Bhagavadgita has lots of commentaries. When we read Bhagavadgita slokas and understand the meanings, we get our own thoughts and correspondingly our own meanings. In these issues we are presenting the same as we understood. This is a common man's elaboration

Our attachment to Gita or how we fell in love with Gita without knowing anything about Gita is elaborated elsewhere!

We brought up this page in a step-by-step manner. First, we brought up the Slokas. The slokas are available in Devanagari, Telugu, Kannada and Gujarati and English scripts. Then we brought up a summary of every chapter as we understood. We had Gita Parayana on Zoom during the pandemic that started in summer 2020. We felt a need for Sloka meanings. These were added over an eighteen-month period.

Bringing Gita in these pages is our Yagnya!!

||om tat sat ||.