Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bhagavad Geeta : take it or leave it

Book:             The Bhagavad Gita
Author:         Originally written by Rishi Ved Vyasa
Genre:           Mythology/teachings

Publication:    Severals
Pages:            1008 (differs every edition)

X-FACTOR:    Reality of life revealed.

My Rating:      3.95 out of 5


I have not written a single review for weeks now; the reason is that I was reading something which is really hard to finish quickly. The depth and reasoning of this book is almost unexplainable. I am not talking about a book written by some unknown or renowned author. I am talking about a book which is one of the pillars of Hinduism and which was narrated by a god himself while written by one of the wisest brains of his era, Maharishi  Ved Vyasa – I am sure most of the Hindus or people who study about Hinduism could have guessed, The Gita.

THE BACKGROUND:  There is no specific story of ‘The Gita’; the different teachings of Lord Krishna to Arjuna have been assembled into a separate book from the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’.  Krishna, who was considered as the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, acted as the charioteer of his best friend and cousin ‘Arjuna’ (who has been addressed as ‘Partha’). While biggest armies ever stood ready to fight each other, Arjuna was haunted by the guilt of killing his own relatives, teacher and friends. He dropped his bow named ‘Gandiva’ and seemed succumbed to the situation. Krishna, understanding his situation and for the sake of motivating him, narrated very long teachings and told him about the reality of Yoga, soul, life, death and reincarnation.

THE BELIEFS: Before we get into the beliefs of ‘The Gita’, it is essential to know few facts about the narrator. Apart from the fact that he was the incarnation of Vishnu, he was known to be very tactful and mischievous god, someone like ‘Loki’ from Greek mythology. Though unlike ‘Loki’ Krishna used his tact and tricks for goodness but as we all know the victorious is never villain because he supervises the facts and history being written in his era. Who knows if ‘Loki’ could have won the battles against ‘Thor’ then he may have projected himself as the good one and Thor as the villain.

कर्मणयेवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन’ is one of the most famous lines from the book. It says that you should do your duties and not worry about the results. This line has been misinterpreted and has been misunderstand by many people. It seems as the basic principle on which corporate works. They want us to do our work and forget about the incentives. But in book, Krishna suggests Arjuna that you should not associate yourself with the result because whatever which happened, is happening or will happen is due to me (the supreme power), hence you should not accuse yourself for any of the incidents occurring or which is about to take place.

There are numerous teachings in this book which tells us about life and death. Many of the teachings are relevant and many of them seem just literature and unpractical.

THE CONCLUSION: This book has been rewritten and translated in many languages, and every time it happens, new meanings of the ‘Shlokas’ and new facts are unearthed. Actually ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ is like a mirror. You see what you wish to. If you want to run away from your daily routine forever and be a ‘Sanyasi’ you will see ‘Vairagya’ in the book. If you are a warrior then you will see justification of murdering people in it. Even if you are a thief or criminal, you see your actions as that of god’s, you are just medium. So, it works like a mirror and everyone who reads it, derives his own meanings.     

In whole book the narrator talks about ‘Yoga’ and its different forms but even though the teachings are clear, one can manipulate it for his own benefit. The three forms of ‘Yoga’, goodness, passion and ignorance are very confusing because no one other than you can judge your actions. The brain which controls the soul or the soul which supervises the brain will do everything which can make the body’s situation better without worrying about being good or bad and it will be considered as his ‘Karma’, seems strange.

It is confusing for readers as how people rewriting ‘Gita’ differ from the original one (including Swami Prabhupada). For me ‘Gita’ is just a bunch of instructions given to Arjuna to make him fight. If Krishna talks about being ‘Yogi’ and not being materialistic then what was ‘the slaughtering’ of millions of people for just getting a piece of land. Whenever I read about ‘Duryodhna’ I feel bad because he was not an evil like Ravana, Kansa and many others. He was just a spoiled kid who eventually died because of his wrong beliefs.

To conclude, I will suggest you that if you are going to read this, just be neutral and learn whatever you want to. Applying its all teachings in real life is almost impossible. So, try and develop your own outcomes with its guidance.

It teaches you to be happy in whatever you do, small or big and don’t worry about its goodness and badness because the only one, who can judge you, is the soul which has the essence of god. All the Brahmins, judges, police, politicians, parents and teachers are the structures of this society not someone you should must obey to. The supreme power is soul and whatever he does, is eventually right (At least politicians would feel happy if they get such clean-chit).

Disclaimer: If ‘Bhagavad Gita’ had been the base of our lives, there would have been no AC, TV, Cars, different dishes and so on. So, try and follow it partially, until you don’t feel the burden of teachings. And yes, all the views written are my personal opinions and I have no intentions to hurt someone’s emotions. As far as ‘Hinduism’ is concerned, it is far away from being graced or disgraced, nobody has the capacity to do so.        

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