The term Bhagvad Gita, means 'The Eternal Songs' and companies chapters 25 to 42 of the Bhisma Parva in ' the Mahabharata'. Written some 5000 years ago, it is an unsual text amongst all religious works. It originates in the midst of war, where the almighty Lord Vishnu in His avatar as Lord Krishna, advises a disillusioned Arjuna on the various facets of life and works. This is in contrast to other works, which are predominantly discussed in the peaceful ambience of a discourse, grove or midst the glitter of the royal court or in the exalted forum of scholars and experts. With 700 sloks covered under 18 chapter, this text cover a whole gamut of issues. Presented in the form of a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, the Bhagwad Gita is as unique as it is endearing.
It has a message to people from all walks of life. Philosophere delight in the description of the Karma and the Sankhya Yogas as well as in the Mystic Tree with its roots in the sky, and branches down under, while proponents of the Bhakti Cult extol the several manifestations (vibhutis) of the Lord and His almighty visvarupa. The description of the gunas (satwa, rajas and tamas) can surprise even a hard –core Psychologist. The common man finds solace in the concept of the equipped soul (sthitaprajna), to overcome his ever –increasing anxieties, Managements experts see in it the entire process of Change Management.
Perhaps, the greater (and most modern) idea is the focus on commitment to work, without getting excited about the rewards. This porttait of a karma 'yogi' has made many a scholar –from both the Occident and the Orient –to sit up and take notice of the elegent truth behind all human endeavour. Hence, the Gita has an universal appeal and it transcends the boundries of time and space.
It is not a book teaching you how to worship God. Many other texts do the same. It focuses more on the eternal quest to reach Godhead. It captured the wisdom of the Upanishads and presents them in a more pleasing format, It teaches the three basic paths to reach the Almighty –namely Bhakti, karma and jnana. It also paves the path for householder to lead a more rewarding and meaningful life. It makes a forceful thrust on action and condemns inactivity in no uncertain terms. In fact, it combines the best aspects of both Eastern and the Western thought process. No wonder, it is revered by millions not only as a sacred text, but also as a guide for leading a better and fulfilling life.
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