s 2021 commences with worrying developments and continuing global situations of controversial and suppressive/censored natures, people become frustrated at the lack of transparency and honest addressing of immensely problematic realities directly consequential to billions around the world. During such times, people look for an anchor or foundation of life principles upon which they can make a semblance of sense of what feels like a world gone even madder than they previously thought was possible.
Many are now turning to spiritual writings for such foundational guidelines and any available exponents of comfort, of which the major religions each have their different, but essentially the same regarding core message, unique versions.
For those familiar with the Bhagavad Gita, may these verses serve as a healthy reminder. For those unfamiliar with the Gita, may a further understanding of its essential messages result in profound personal positive benefit. The Bhagavad Gita is considered one of the gems of Hindu literature, estimated as regards its origin at 200 B.C.
The poem is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Vishnu, the Supreme God, incarnated as Krishna, and wearing the disguise of a charioteer.
Also known as the Gita – “The Song of God” is a practical guide for readers to re-organize their lives, achieve inner peace and approach the Supreme (the Ultimate Reality).
Image courtesy of https://www.bhagavad-gita.us/
The following verses from the Bhagavad Gita are meant to serve as a summary, and as an encouragement for moving forward to read and absorb the full text, – with the hope being the receipt of good answers to unbelievably difficult questions on the minds of billions of people at this time on Earth.
Lord Krishna said: You grieve for those who are not worthy of grief, and yet speak words of wisdom. The wise grieves neither for the living nor for the dead.
Just as the soul acquires a childhood body, a youth body, and an old age body during this life; similarly, the soul acquires another body after death. This should not delude the wise.
The one who thinks that the Spirit is a slayer, and the one who thinks the Spirit is slain, both are ignorant. Because the Spirit neither slays nor is slain.
Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones; similarly, the living entity or the individual soul acquires new bodies after casting away the old bodies.
All beings are unmanifest, or invisible to our physical eyes before birth and after death. They manifest between the birth and the death only. What is there to grieve about?
Treating pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and victory and defeat alike, engage yourself in your duty. By doing your duty this way you will not incur sin.
You have control over doing your respective duty only, but no control or claim over the results. The fruits of work should not be your motive, and you should never be inactive.
Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna, with your mind attached to the Lord, abandoning worry and selfish attachment to the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure. The selfless service is a yogic practice that brings peace and equanimity of mind.
A Karma-yogi or the selfless person becomes free from both vice and virtue in this life itself. Therefore, strive for selfless service. Working to the best of one’s abilities without becoming selfishly attached to the fruits of work is called Karma-yoga or Seva.
A person whose mind is unperturbed by sorrow, who does not crave pleasures, and who is completely free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called an enlightened sage of steady intellect.
Restless senses, O Arjuna, forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise person striving for perfection.
One should fix one’s mind on God with loving contemplation after bringing the senses under control. One’s intellect becomes steady when one’s senses are under complete control.
One develops attachment to sense objects by thinking about sense objects. Desire for sense objects comes from attachment to sense objects, and anger comes from unfulfilled desires.
Because the mind, when controlled by the roving senses, steals away the intellect as a storm takes away a boat on the sea from its destination – the spiritual shore of peace and happiness.
One attains peace, within whose mind all desires dissipate without creating any mental disturbance, as river waters enter the full ocean without creating any disturbance. One who desires material objects is never peaceful.