The Bhagwadgita as a scriptural text is generally available as a compendium of seven hundred verses delivered by Shri Krishna to Arjun at the great battlefield of Kurukshetra. This book is based on seventy core verses which is believed to be the original matter spoken by Krishna to Arjun, while the rest of the verses have been added at later stages. These verses, the author believes, capture the entire philosophy of the Bhagwadgita.
The original scriptural text which was transported by Hindu immigrants to the islands of Java and Bali nearly two thousand years ago comprised only these seventy verses. The discovered historical transcripts indicate that this text was available in those islands in ad 535 and was retrieved by Hindu visitors later.
Each chapter in this book is woven around one Sanskrit verse which is presented along with its meaning, followed by a lucid explanation of the inherent message it contains. Then the author goes on to provide a real-life situation in which the same can be applied, so that we can live a life of peace, harmony and contentment.
This book doesn't confine itself to theory alone; it shows us how to apply the wisdom of the Bhagwadgita in our day-to-day life, teaching us ways to resolve problems and emphasizing what should be our correct attitude when faced with tough choices.
About of the Author
Atul Sehgal is a New Delhi based author of Happiness All the Way. He has a .long association with the Arya Samaj, and is a keen proponent of Vedic ideology. Articles on motivation and spirituality, written by Mr Sehgal, have been published by Hindustan. Times and the New Indian Express.
Shri Atul Sehgal has been writing extensively on the subjects of motivation and spirituality for quite some time. Being intimately affiliated with the Arya Samaj, Shri Sehgal has been an active exponent of the pristine Vedic ideology, and this fact is clearly visible in his writings.
The Hindu scripture Bhagwadgita (or the Gita) is widely read, interpreted and followed as a guide to happy living, as a textual key to spiritual transcendence of man. Its followers have claimed it to be a beacon of light to help man trudge safely through the jungle of life, which is marked by uncertainties, miseries and difficulties of all kinds.
The Essence of Bhagwadgita is a unique effort to bring out the divine message of the scripture through Vedic interpretation and explanation. The author has explained the meaning and import of the core seventy verses of the scripture in a most lucid manner and described how the message of each verse can be applied to contemporary life situations for the betterment of human life. Drawing upon practical situations of modern living, the author has demonstrated very well the perfect applicability of the verses of the Bhagwadgita to today's world.
This work will do a lot to reinforce human faith in the divine Creator and enable today's global citizens to acquire a clearer understanding of the purpose of life and the application of eternal tools of spirituality to enhance human happiness and fulfillment. This will also go a long way in stemming ideological confusion prevalent today. I compliment the author for his efforts and am sure that the book will prove to be a valuable guide for contemporary humans for greater fulfillment in the eternal journey called life. I extend my best wishes to him.
The famed scripture of the yore, Bhagwadgita, is widely read and followed by a large section of human community, not only in India, the land of its origin, but across the world. This ancient text serves as a beacon of light to the ordinary human beings struggling through the course of their mundane existence and to the more distinctive persons seeking the answers to the riddles of life and in quest of the higher truths of existence.
The Bhagwadgita, as a scriptural text, is generally available as a compendium of seven hundred verses which are believed to be delivered by Shri Krishna to Arjun at Kurukshetra, the battlefield of the great war between the armies of Kauravs and Pandavs, more than 5,000 years ago. The entire text is in the form of these verses in which Shri Krishna, the legendary figure of the epic Mahabharat, exhorts Arjun, the key warrior of the Pandavs, to discharge his duty and fight his enemy pitched against him, even if some of the warriors in his enemy camp include his dear cousins, friends or revered preceptor. The Bhagwadgita (the song divine) is a discourse from the enlightened, erudite master of Yoga, Shri Krishna, who is believed to be God incarnate. Hence, the version of Bhagwadgita that we have today is believed to be a collection of verses uttered by the Lord of the universe, and its correctness and completeness is ensured by the Lord for human posterity.
The above statements have to be seen in the light of true knowledge of physical and spiritual entities inhabiting the universe. They need to be checked against the metaphysical realities expounded in the Vedas-the eternal scriptures of humankind-referred to in the Bhagwadgita itself. The four Vedas, viz. Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda, are widely acknowledged as primeval scriptures of mankind and talk of three primordial entities existing in the universe. These are-the inert matter, the countless living souls and one animate infinite spiritual entity called God who creates the material universe from inert matter, controls it and dissolves it, and this sequential process of creation, regulation and dissolution goes on eternally.
God is formless, infinite, omniscient and omnipotent. Hence, as per the Vedas, he cannot, need not and does not incarnate as a human for any purpose whatsoever. Therefore, to regard Shri Krishna as God incarnate is fundamentally incorrect, as it goes against the tenets of the Vedas which even the Bhagwadgita regards as the words of God and eternal, inviolable truths. In the opinion of many proponents of the original Vedic religion, the Bhagwadgita of seven hundred verses that we see today is actually not the original Bhagwadgita but a grossly enlarged version of the original, which contained only seventy verses. They believe that sometime after the battle of Mahabharat, scholars of Sanskrit inserted additional verses into the original Bhagwadgita. If that be true, there could have been many reasons for this. But whatever were the reasons, the originality of the sacred text was surely vitiated.
Some of the Vedic scholars believe that some 2,500 years ago in history, the priestly class wanted to deify Shri Krishna and install his idols in temples. Idol worship had already taken roots and this superstitious practice was attended by the offerings of money and food by human devotees to the idols of their deity installed at the temples. The food and money enriched the temple caretakers and priests. Our scriptures were also in the custody of these priests and scholars who were free to carry out changes in the scriptural texts. The priestly class to which the above scholars belonged had probably grown overly materialistic and this led to the interpolations to our great scriptural book.
Religion is meant for bringing peace, progress and bliss to the human society. And religion is rooted in the scriptures. All scriptures are sourced to the omniscient Creator. The medium of transmission of divine -life-elevating knowledge are scholarly sages and enlightened seers. Ordinary humans, being inherently imperfect of knowledge and understanding, are liable to misinterpret or misrepresent the strands of original divine knowledge. Shri Krishna was an enlightened human who had a complete understanding of the Vedas, and anything that he uttered could not be contradictory to the Vedas. The Vedas clearly describe God as a formless, infinite and spiritual entity who is never born and never incarnates as a human. The Vedas also denounce idol worship as a regressive practice. They categorically pronounce that idol worship never elevates a man spiritually but brings his downfall.
That the Bhagwadgita of seventy verses could actually be the original text is corroborated by the fact that it is the collection of sermons delivered by Shri Krishna to Arjun pitched in the war against the army of Kauravs at Kurukshetra, almost 5,100 years ago in history. Shri Krishna exhorts Arjun not to get overwhelmed by the sight of his kith and kin in the enemy camp and perform his solemn duty to fight against the enemy as a Kshatriya. It seems absolutely improbable and unrealistic that Shri Krishna had delivered sermons to Arjun in the form of as many as seven hundred verses. Warriors in those days assembled at the battleground fifteen minutes before sunrise, the ruled time of commencement of battle. Uttering so many verses would have taken three hours. Where was the time for the huge armies to wait for so long before commencing the battle?
It is with the above logical understanding that this book has been written against the backdrop of the supposedly original Bhagwadgita of seventy verses. This original scriptural text is understood to have been transported by Hindu immigrants to the islands of Java and Bali nearly 2,000 years ago. Historical transcripts, which were found, indicated that this text was available in those islands in AD 535. In AD 1438, the original texts available in Java were transported to Bali. The text was retrieved by a subsequent Hindu visitor to Bali in AD 1912.
It is considered necessary to reiterate that true knowledge is the prime vehicle for human progress, since this knowledge is sourced originally to the creator of man and the preserver of the material universe. This underlines the great importance of sorting out grain from the chaff. Scriptures are the guiding light for humanity, and since human beings are innately of limited knowledge, they need to have original scriptures based on true knowledge by their side to advance further in the tumultuous journey called life. Writing this book is a humble step towards that end purpose.
The seventy verses on which this work is based are a part of the existing Bhagwadgita of seven hundred verses, and these seventy verses cover the entire philosophy of the existing Bhagwadgita. Hence, this book could be considered as the essence of the Bhagwadgita without loss of the above purpose.
In this book, an attempt has been made to explain the import of each important verse of the Bhagwadgita in the context of contemporary human civilization. Examples from modern-life situations, relevant to each verse, have been liberally provided to bring out the application of the verse to human life-to enrich life and make it more worthwhile. It is hoped that the book will provide the much needed direction towards multifaceted progress to modern-day human beings who are grappling with multiple problems, and will enable them to derive far greater fulfillment in their precious lives.
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