Throughout Gita, Bhagwan gives friendly guidance to achieve real freedom and real bliss; and conveys that real freedom is freedom from desires, attachment, aversion, ego, greed, anger, anxieties and fear. Bhagwan charts the path for liberation from all bondages and limitations to enable us to lead a happier, fuller, contented and successful life. Besides, He guides us to attain an eternal bliss and lasting peace of mind. ONE of the meanings of the word ‘Krishna’ is “that who attracts is Krishna” (“Karshati iti Krishna”).
Though Bhagwan Krishna is hailed as Jagat Guru (Guru of the universe), He proclaims Himself as ‘suhridam sarva bhootanaam’ (the friend of every one) vide shloka number 5.29 of Bhagvad Gita.
In Bhagvad Gita (commonly known as Gita), during His discourse with Arjun, Krishna speaks sometimes as God, sometimes as a teacher and at times as a close friend. But in all capacities, He showers His boundless affection since He is a gracious saviour and friend.
Imagine His boundless affection reflected in shloka 9.22 of Gita,
Ananyash chintyanto maam ye janah paryupaste
Teshaam nityabhiyuktanaam yoga khshemam vahamayaham.
(It is My responsibility to ensure complete welfare and happiness of anyone who thinks of Me and is engrossed in Me).
Yoga khshemam vahamayaham, the motto of Life Insurance Corporation of India, is a part of this shloka.
Hope and fulfillment
Since Bhagvad Gita’s message is timeless and universal, it is relevant for all situations, all times and all places; and cannot be confined to a war-like situation only. Gita contains the Lord’s sublime message in the form of His dialogue with Arjun. This elating mesage is a complete guide to day to day problems, challenges and obligations of life; and is meant for them who want to achieve supreme success and excellence in life. It is an inspiring narrative of hope and fulfillment.
Throughout Gita, Bhagwan gives friendly guidance to achieve real freedom and real bliss; and conveys that real freedom is freedom from desires, attachment, aversion, ego, greed, anger, anxieties and fear. Bhagwan charts the path for liberation from all bondages and limitations to enable us to lead happier, fuller, contented and successful lives. Besides, He guides us to attain eternal bliss and lasting peace of mind.
Friend and saviour
That the Lord is the friend and saviour is also evident from shloka number 18.66,
Sarva dharmaan prityajay mamekam sharanam vraj
Aham tvaa sarv papebhyo mokhshyishyami ma shuchah
(Leave everything else and come to Me. I shall liberate you from all sins; do not worry.)
As a true friend, the Lord acts as an instrument of redemption. In shloka number 9.29, He proclaims His uniform affection for all creatures, and identifies Himself with his devotees thus:
Samo aham sarva bhuteshu na me dveshyo asti na priyaha,
Ye bhajanti tu maam bhaktya mayi te teshu cha api aham
(I have the same affection for all creatures, and those who remember Me with devotion, reside in Me; and I too reside in them).
Friendship can never be more endearing and more divine. And more rewarding.
As per the touching shloka number 9.26, the Lord relishes any offering, including a leaf, a flower, a fruit or mere water, offered with devotion:
Patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayachhati
tad aham bhaktyu pahrutam ashnami prayatatamnah.
Bhagwan will interact with you the same way He interacted with Arjun. He is willing to transform your psyche the way He transformed Arjun’s psyche. He is willing to resolve the conflict in your life the way He resolved it in Arjun’s life; and to remove your delusion the way He removed Arjun’s delusion. He will do anything to protect and establish righteousness, as seen from shlokas 4.7 and 4.8
Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati Bharat
abhyuthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srijami aham.
Paritaranay sadhunam vinashaya cha dushkritam
dharm sansthapnarthay sambhvami yuge yuge.
(Whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness pervades, I manifest myself. To protect the righteous and to destroy the wicked and to establish righteousness, I take birth in every age).
The fact that the Lord is the saviour and friend is the common strain of Gita. As per shlokas 9.30 and 9.31, “Even if the worst sinner worships Me with devotion, he soon becomes righteous and attains eternal peace.” And shloka 9.31 concludes, Kaunteya! Pratijanihi na meya bhaktyah pranashyati
(O Kunti’s son, declare it that My devotee never perishes.)
From despair to elation
With a guide like Krishna, any pupa will become a resplendent butterfly.
Any discussion about Gita must include shloka 2.47 which stipulates,
Karmanya vadhikarate ma phleshu kadaachan,
ma karmphal heturbhurma te sango astav akarmani
(Your right is only to do your duty, and not to its fruit or result. Neither the result of your action should be your motive, nor should you be inactive).
This Shloka glorifies action; and decries inaction. By avoiding thoughts about outcome of action, one can give the best performance by getting liberated from anxieties, frustrations and fears caused by desire driven actions.
And shloka number 2.50 elevates duty to the status of Yoga since Yoga means doing one’s duty with perfection (yogah karmsu kaushalam).
Bhagvad Gita is the journey of a despondent Arjun who has thrown away his weapons in the battle as per shloka 1.47 to a self-assured Arjun ready for the war as described in Shloka 18.73. The Lord kept on exhorting Arjuna to get up and perform his duty as in shloka 2.3,
Klaibyam ma sama gamah Partha naitatava yupapadyate
Khshudram hrudaya dourbalyam tayaktvo uttishtha prantapa.
(O Partha, do not yield to weakness. It does not become you to yield to weakness. O scorcher of foes, shake off faint heartedness, and get up).
Bhagwan inspires Arjun to do his duty without worrying over its outcome. As per shloka number 2.38,
Sukh dukhe same krutava labh alabhou jaya ajayou
tato yudhay yujasva na tvam papam vapasyasi
(Treating pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat as the same, engage in the battle. Thus, you will not incur sin).
Friendly persuasion culminates in Arjuna’s transformation to face any situation as described in Shloka 18.73,
Nashto mohah smruti labdha tavat prasadanmaya achyut,
Sthito asmi gata sandehah karishye vachanam tva”
(O Lord, by Your grace my apprehension is gone; and I have regained my senses. All my doubts are destroyed; and I shall act as per your word).
Freedom from worry
Gita prepares any quitter to face and win the battle of life.
Shlokas 2.54 to 2.72 guide humans to attain equanimity, and to become sthit pragya (an enlightened and equanimous person). Gita can guide any human to transcend all dualities, anxieties, limitations, bondages, attachments, aversions, ego, greed, anger and fears to lead happier, fuller, contented, and successful life.
Gita’s divine message provides divine solutions for mundane problems; and guides the distressed humanity in its temporal and spiritual needs.
Gita stipulates that we ourselves are responsible for our actions which, in turn, shape our destiny. Gita makes it our duty to fight for justice and righteousness. It extolls doing one’s duty with dexterity and self-control; and explains that the individual himself is his greatest friend as also his worst enemy. As per shlokas 6.5 & 6.6, one should lift oneself through the ‘self’ since to him who has conquered his ‘self’, the ‘self’ is his friend; and to him who has not conquered the ‘self’, the ‘self’ is his enemy. Thus, ‘self’ can be the cause for bondage; as also for liberation.
Apart from helping humans in self-liberation and self-discovery, Gita eulogises human endeavour as the instrument of achievement; and vide shloka 5.2, places it far above the renunciation of action (Karma sanyaasaat karmayogo vishishayateh).
And after we have done our best, we should have no worry when the Lord has declared Himself to be our friend (suhridam sarva bhootanaam), and has undertaken the responsibility for our all-round welfare (yoga khshemam vhamayaham).
(Author is former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax. His e-mail address is: [email protected])