Last month, I completed the lengthiest and probably the most enigmatic books I have read so far: THE BHAGAVAD GITA
I read the ‘Bhagavad- Gītā As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda’.
After a failed attempt of reading it in the first lockdown of 2020; I tried again in the lockdown of 2021, and made it this time. I am immensely happy to have used my time this way.
The lockdown helped maintain a routine of reading the few texts I would assign myself for each day. I loved making notes of my understandings, of the things I found the most intriguing, doubtful, and interesting. This habit of writing ✍️ helped me absorb the daily learnings and hence comprehend them!
The Gita was first narrated by the Supreme to the Sun God, who then passed it on to Manu; the father of mankind. Later when the lord found a decline in the religious practices, he appeared as Krishna and the Gita was respoken to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra around 5000 years ago.
The basic idea herein is to make people realise the presence of the Supreme personality of Godhead, and help them move out of the darkness of ignorance, via the nine processes of devotional engagement, that include hearing (from a spiritual master), chanting ( Hare Krishna,Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama ,Hare, Hare), worshipping and others.
Like any other book, I am sure every time I reread this one, I would find something new, interesting or worthy of giving a thought to. But as of now the following would be my key sharings:
I belong to a Hindu household and often hear a few sentences that I think are common to mostly all of us. The lines are used because of their mention in the Gita and the context that follows. I was able to find the reasons behind a few of them:
- “Prashaad ko mana nhi krte” in Chapter 3 Text 13 it is said “Always offer food to the lord first. The lord keeps us aloof from all contamination in the material world and consuming food, first offered to the lord, immunises our body against any contamination.”
- “Mandir mei maththa teko” As per Chapter 11 Text 54, “For all the beginners in devotional service to the Lord temple worship is essential.”
- “Mandir Mei paise daan dene chahiye” the Lord wants us to contribute towards Krishna consciousness, so that more and more people connect to the divine grace and reach him.
- “Banyan tree ki Pooja” as in Chapter 10 Text 26 the Lord says of all trees I am the Banyan Tree.
It is said;
“Follow the footsteps of the Lord but don’t try to imitate him. You don’t have the same powers as him nor are you the controller of things!”
This is explained by a wonderful example:
We often try to imitate Lord Krishna in his Raslila or dance of love but forget about our inability to lift the Govardhan Hill.
Similarly, people often want to indulge in smoking Marijuana and other drugs but forget that Lord Shiva drank poison to the extent of swallowing an ocean and if such an activity is tried by a common man; he is going to get killed.
After reading the entire book; one thing I can not make peace with is, the idea of women herein. They are referred to as less intelligent, not trustworthy, weak. It is mentioned that a wife should be controlled by a husband. Moreover the constant use of the pronoun ‘HE’ also remains a point of question for me. I fear if this is the reason why our country is still left behind in terms of position of women in society.
Barring the above, there are numerous good qualities that have been spoken of throughout the eighteen chapters.
From humility, tolerance, simplicity, non-violence to cleanliness, eating less and simple food, it flashes light on the karmic theory of life.
The above have been my learnings/ viewpoints post reading the Gita, and would be happy to apply just the iota of what I read.
Having said that, I totally respect the points of view that others may have.
I would love to know your thoughts too, in case you have read it.
Thank you for tuning in!
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox!