The Bhagwad Gita is a philosophy of and for life. Although pre-eminently a Hindu religious text, a part of the great epic, the Mahabharata, in fact, in terms of its teachings and erudition cuts across different religious, sectarian and cultic affiliations. A text for all, a thought for all time and places, comprising words of wisdom, words that are ageless, the Gita guides human actions, teaches compassion towards the living and non-living, energises and motivates us to combat evil and bear calamities and sorrows with fortitude and courage. It provides solace in moments of stress, grief and pain; it celebrates our mundane and spiritual successes and personality; and it teaches us the eternal lesson of maintaining our equanimity in all situations.
Maharishi Ved Vyasa wrote the Bhagwad Gita as part of the Mahabharata. The setting is a war scene at Kurukshetra. The war is to be fought between two dynasties, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The story as we all know is about Dhritrashtra and Pandu. The sons of Pandu lose their kingdom to the Kauravas, who are sons of Dhritrashtra. In order to win back their land and prestige as well as fight injustice, the Pandavas fight the Mahabharata war in Kurukshetra. In the war, Krishna gives advice to Arjuna, one of the Pandavas and it is this advice in the form of a dialogue that is known as the Bhagwad Gita.
The writer discusses the concept of karma or the path of action and goal as indicated in the Vedanta. A little insight regarding gyana marga, the path of knowledge and the bhakti marga, the path of worship help in a correct understanding of these concepts which form the Bhagwad Gita, the practical treatise which advises us on how to improve our thoughts and actions. We must know that each of us gets the result of our own karma. Thus the message of the Gita for us all is that vision and action must combine as also should meditation and work. We have faith within ourselves and all the answers to our questions will come from within. We also must follow the path of truth – Om tat sat, that is, God is Truth.
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