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Hindu, Hinduism and Hindustan: Part XL
by Dr. Jaipal Singh Bookmark and Share

Marvels & Gems of Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Continued from Part XXXIX

Having seen one of my earlier pieces summarizing the glory of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, one of my elders, who is a scholarly man with profound knowledge of scriptures, humanities and science, and is like a seer and Guru to me, spoke to me few days back. According to him, it will be a grave error to interpret Gita as a mere religious treaty or making its comparison with the holy books of Abrahamic and other religions of the world. He asked me to endeavor for dispelling this impression among readers with appropriate citations from this book itself. What he said is absolutely right because the Bhagavad Gita not only embodies the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads unraveling the supreme spiritual truth but also encompasses complete philosophy of human life inter alia including the popular tenet that its always desirable to live one’s own destiny, however imperfect, than to imitate someone else’s life with perfection. Heeding to his scholarly advice, I am inclined to revisit the treaty to explore its priceless marvels and gems, some of which was also dealt with earlier in different contexts.

Sages, scholars and philosophers who have imbibed the pith and quintessence of Srimad Bhagavad Gita also acknowledge that the treaty is a compendium and epitome of all Hindu scriptures. Those who are already blessed with the knowledge and wisdom of the gems of Gita need not go through all the Vedas and Upanishads again to explore the truth of universe. It’s more so because while the Vedas and Upanishads are known to have been created and compiled by the ancient rishis and sages, the discourse of the Gita came directly from the lips of Lord Krishna, the Saguna manifestation of Brahman (God) Himself. Bhagavad Gita literally means “the song of God”, containing the eternal message of spiritual truth narrated by Lord Krishna to his dearest friend and disciple Prince Arjuna in Kurushetra thousands of years ago answering all major questions of human lives and existence.

The individual verses of Bhagavad Gita appear rather simple and elegant on face but the meaning and thoughts behind each verse is so deep, abstruse and mystifying that various denomination heads, seers and authorities like Adi Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarka Swami, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and many other scholars of Vedic knowledge have written commentaries and many others are still doing interpretation and annotations work. For those seeking the objective of life and spirituality, it is considered that knowledge of Gita alone is suffice without going into the arduous routine and multitude of ancient scriptures. The narration of Gita in the battlefield has been interpreted by the commentators and interpreters as an allegory of the eternal ethical and moral struggles of the human life with diverse subjects covered, of which some more topical and central ones are proposed to be discussed even at the cost of some repetition from the previous writings.

Delusion and Duty

Pitted against own revered elders, relatives and friends in the imminent great war, when Prince Arjuna is overwhelmed with pity, sorrow and grief and expresses desire to resign, Lord Krishna admonishes the deluded prince as under:

Klaibyam ma sma gamah partha naitattvayyupapaadyate,
Ksudram hrdayadaurbalyam tyaktvottistha parantapa.


(Yield not to unmanliness, Arjuna; this does not befit you. Shaking off this base faint-heartedness, stand up, O scorcher of enemies.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 3)

Traditionally, Indian culture and traditions have opposed any form of greed and violence against the living beings. This has been the main reason why the Indian rulers and warriors have not attacked kingdoms and countries outside Indian borders all along the course of civilizational history. However, such violence was permitted as part of moral duty (righteousness) in self-defence and to guard own people against any tyrannical and oppressive act of enemy. The running away from the aggressor or enemy forces is considered as an act of cowardice and sin as reflected in following verses.

Svadharmamapi caveksya na vikampitumarhasi,
Dharmyaddhi yuddhacchreyo’nyatksatriyasya na vidyate.
Atha cettvamimam dharmyam sangramam na karisyasi,
Tatah svadharmam kirtim ca hitva papamavapsyasi.


(Besides, considering your own duty too you should not waver for there is nothing more welcome for man of the warrior class than a righteous war. Now, if you refuse to fight this righteous war, then, by shirking your duty and losing your reputation, you will incur sin.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 31, 33)

Detached Action and Dealing Evil

When delusional Prince Arjuna expressed his apprehensions about the killing of his enemies in war might incur sin, Lord Krishna asked him to do his righteous duties without any regret, grief or attachment to the outcome of his action. To justify, the aforesaid averment, Lord Krishna said that there are occasions when even God has to indulge in a war against the evil-doers on earth for the welfare and well-being of the mankind. In Bhagavad Gita, the concept has been elaborated as under:

Jatasya hi dhruvomrtyurdhruvam janma mrtasya ca,
Tasmadapariharye’rthe na tvam socitumarhasi.


(For in that case death is certain for the born, and rebirth is inevitable for the dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 27)

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata,
Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham.

Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam,
Dharmasangsthapanarthay sambhabami yuge yuge.


(Whenever there is decay of Dharma (righteousness), O Arjuna, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself manifest on earth for the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers, and for the sake of firmly establishing Dharma (righteousness), I am born from age to age.)  (BG: Chapter 4, Verses 7, 8)

In the aforesaid verses, Lord Krishna reveals to Prince Arjuna that He appears in this world to protect the principles of dharma whenever there is terrible decline in moral and social order due to the sinful influence of the evil forces that commit and proliferate Adharma (evil deeds) in this world. Where the normal worldly order fails, the Lord Himself assumes the responsibility to reestablish Dharma, as a savior of those who follow Dharma and slayer of those who are out to destroy it. Lord Krishna insists that the man must do his righteous duty without worrying about the result.

Tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samacara,
Asakto hy acaran karma param apnoti purusah.


(Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme.)  (BG: Chapter 3, Verse 19)

The Vedas too endorsed that in a warrior’s battle against evil-doers there was no place for tolerance or compromise. The evil should not be allowed to dominate or have an upper hand in a society or nation and all evil doings should be firmly opposed and dealt with a firm action and resolute mind. While Hinduism has always professed tolerance and peace but it is uncompromisingly intolerant against the evil intents and evil doings.

Nature of Human Beings

Lord Krishna describes two types of people in this world as under:

Dvau bhutasargau loke’smindaiva asura eva ca,
Daivo vistarasah prokta asuram partha me srnu.


(Two types of men are in this world; one of divine nature and the other with demonic disposition. Arjuna, type with divine nature has been dealt with, and now listen about the one with demonic disposition.)  (BG: Chapter 16, Verse 6)

The man with the divine nature is non-violent in thought, word and deed; he is truthful and genial in speech; he abstains from anger even on provocation; he never claims reward or gratitude in respect of his actions, quietude or composure of mind; he has compassion towards all living beings; he abstains from malicious gossip; he is not found attached to the objects of senses even when exposed to such senses; he has a sense of shame in transgressing against the scriptures; and abstains from all frivolous pursuits. Some other features of a man with divine nature are his sublimity, forbearance, fearlessness, pure mind, fortitude, internal and external purity, enmity towards none and absence of the false sense of self-esteem.

On the other hand, the man with demonic disposition is characterized with hypocrisy, arrogance, false sense of pride, anger, sternness and ignorance. These people are unable to make distinction in what is right and what is wrong activity; they are neither internally nor externally pure and clean; always engaged in the enjoyment of sensuous pleasures; they are neither truthful nor have good conduct; they are without any foundation and absolutely unreal in conduct; these men are a drag on world clinging with their false view of mankind, vile disposition and terrible deeds, they prove to be enemies of the mankind and become a cause of destruction in world.

Interplay of Gunas

The Samkhya philosophy, also referred to as the Yoga of Knowledge, has been explained by Lord Krishna as compiled in the Gita, Chapter II. It is among the most sound and popular philosophies so far as Gunas are concerned. The philosophy defines the three Gunas as Sattva, Rajas and Tamas which in various concentration and combination define various attributes and qualities of living beings. According to this, Sattva is the quality of balance, harmony, goodness, purity, universalizing, holistic, constructive, creative, building, positive, peaceful and virtuous; Rajas is the quality of passion, activity, neither good nor bad and sometimes either, self-centeredness, egoistic, individualizing, driven, moving, dynamic; and Tamas is the quality of imbalance, disorder, chaos, anxiety, impure, destructive, delusion, negative, dull or inactive, apathy, inertia or lethargy, violent, vicious and ignorant. However, none of the things and beings is purely sattvika, rajasika or tamasika and the nature and behaviour of person is a complex interplay of these gunas in different proportions.

Among the living beings, the three gunas compete among themselves for supremacy and try to outsmart and suppress each other. In some men Sattva predominates by suppressing Rajas and Tamas; in some others Rajas predominates by suppressing Sattva and Tamas, while in all others Tamas dominates by suppressing both Sattva and Rajas.

Rajastamaschaabhibhooya sattvam bhavati bhaarata,
Rajaha sattvam tamaschaiva tamaha sattvam rajastathaa.


(Sattva rises, O Bhaarata, when it overpowers rajas and tamas, so does rajas overpower sattva and tamas, and also tamas overpowers sattva and rajas.)  (BG: Chapter 14, Verse 10)

Lord Krishna also explained how one would know as to which Guna is predominant in a person at a given point of time. When Sattva is predominant, all the gates of the human body radiate the illumination of knowledge and wisdom; when Rajas is predominant, the greed, worldliness and keenness for worldly accomplishments increases as also a penchant for selfish activities scrambles; and with Tamas on increase, the darkness, inactivity, recklessness and delusion within the human being flourishes. Narratives in verses 11, 12 and 13 suggest that when sattva increases in a man, he is full of the luminous knowledge and wisdom; when rajas is predominant, the level of greed, actions, unrest and desire becomes high; and when tamas is predominant in a man, the level of ignorance, inaction, heedlessness and wrong-doings shows a high rise.

According to the Bhagavad Gita, a sattvic person attains higher worlds upon death and when he (or she) enters the cycle of rebirth, he takes birth among pure and pious people or family. A rajasic person after death remains in the middle worlds and on rebirth he joins the family of those who are attached to passion and actions. As against this, a tamasic person sinks to lowest orders of world on dying and is born among the ignorant and deluded.

Yada sattve pravriddhe tu pralayam yaati dehabhrita,
Tadottamavidaan lokaanamalaanpratipadyate.


(When sattva is predominant, and the body dweller reaches his end, then he attains the immaculate worlds of the knowers of the highest.)

Rajasi pralayam gatvaa karmasangishu jaayate,
Tathaa praleenastamasi moodhayonishu jaayate.


(One who has reached his end in rajas is born among those attached to action, and one who is dying in tamas is born in the wombs of the ignorant.)

Karmanaha sukritasyaahuhu saattvikam nirmalam phalam,
Rajasastu phalam duhkhamajnyaanam tamasaha phalam.


(The result of good action is sattvik and pure, it is said, while the result of rajas is sorrow, and the result of tamas is ignorance.) (BG: Chapter 15, Verses 14-16)

The division of human beings into four broad categories i.e. workers, thinkers, scientists and creators, is due to the influence of various Gunas. Besides, Gunas are also known to influence faith, resolve, professional choices and nature of relationships. In essence, they govern almost every aspect of life and the world in general. In the Gita eighteenth chapter, many verses are dedicated to explain how people under the influence of the three gunas act and behave showing diverse pattern and engage themselves in different religious and spiritual activities.

Type of Food and Food Habits

Depending upon the innate disposition of people predominantly with Sattvic, Rajas or Tamas Gunas, the food and eatables too fall under three different categories that people of respective categories prefer to consume in their temporal lives. This distinction can be observed s under:

Ayuhsattvabalarogyasukhapritivivardhanh,
Rasyah snigdhah sthira hrdya aharah sttvikapriyah.


(Foods promoting longevity, intelligence, vigour, health, happiness and cheerfulness are ones that are juicy, succulent, substantial and naturally agreeable, which are taken by men of sattvika nature.) (BG: Chapter 17, Verse 8)

Katvamlalavanatyusnatiksnaruksavidahinah,
Ahara rajasasyesta duhkhasokamayapradah.


(Foods which are bitter, too sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry and chiliful, are dear to passionate men with Rajasic nature. Such foods produce suffering, grief, and sickness.) (BG: Chapter 17, Verse 9)

Yatayamam gatarasam puti paryusitam cay at,
Ucchistamapi camedhyam bhojanam tamasapriyam.


(Foods that are overcooked or illcooked, stale, putrid, polluted, and impure too, are dear to ignorant men of Tamasika nature.) (BG: Chapter 17, Verse 10)

The juicy, naturally tasteful, mild, and beneficial foods are usually grains, pulses, beans, fruits, vegetables, milk, and other vegetarian foods. Human body composition is such that it is best conditioned for the vegetarian diet, which is also suitable for cultivating good qualities and conducive for spiritual life. People with lust and passion towards worldly things are attracted towards the eatables explained under the Rajasic category. Human beings do not have long canine teeth like carnivorous animals or a wide jaw suitable for tearing flesh. Thus the very physical characteristics of the body suggests that humans are not created as carnivorous creatures but to be vegetarian, and in that sense, meat is considered as impure food for them. The purpose of eating is not to relish bliss but to keep the body healthy and strong as an old adage says: “Eat to live; do not live to eat.”

The Varna System

The Bhagavad Gita talks of the Varna System which is not inheritance or birth based as prevalent in the modern Hindu society; instead, it is based on the inherent or inborn qualities of the person. The society has four Varna namely Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. A Brahmin is one who has attained spiritual knowledge and wisdom of high order through sustained learning; he is characterized with truth, austerity and pure conduct working for the benefit of society. The Kshatriyas are rulers, warriors and people associated with administrative functions with a duty to protect and safeguard the interests of the society against the external aggression as well as maintenance of the internal peace and rule of law. The traders, businessmen and farmers are Vaishyas largely responsible for sustaining the society through money transactions, barter and trade, cattle rearing and farming, and so on. The Shudras are the people engaged in labour and services including technical and mechanical jobs such as carpenters, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, cobblers, porters etc.

Brahmanakshatriyavisam sudranam ca paranapa,
Karmani pravibhaktani svabhavaprabhavirgunaih.


(The duties of Brahmanas, Kshariyas, Vaisyas and Sudras have been assigned according to their inborn qualities.) (BG: Chapter 18, Verses 41)

Samo damastapah saucam kshantirarjavameva ca,
Jnanam vijnanamastikyam brahmakarma svabhavjam.

Shauryam tejo dhrtirdaksyam yuddhe capyapalayanam,
Danamisvarabhavasca ksatram karma svabhavajam. 


Krsigauraksyavanijyam vaisyakarma svabhavajam,
Paricaryatmakam karma sudrasyapi svabhavajam.


(Tranquility, restraint, austerity, purity, patience, integrity, knowledge, wisdom and devotion are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins. Valor, strength, fortitude, skill in weaponry, resolve never to retreat from battle, large-heartedness in charity, and leadership abilities, these are the natural qualities of work for Kshatriyas. Agriculture, dairy farming, and commerce are the natural works for those with the qualities of Vaishyas. Serving through work is the natural duty for those with the qualities of Shudras.)  (BG: Chapter 18, Verses 42-44)

In ancient times, men with predominantly sattvic qualities were the Brahmins, who were tolerant, humble spiritually evolved and well versed to perform Vedic rituals for self and other classes. They did not participate in the governance and administration, but due to their wisdom and knowledge of scriptures, social and political matters, their advice was greatly valued. The Kshatriyas were those whose nature was predominantly rajasic, with a fair mix of Sattva Guṇa that made them royal, heroic, daring, commanding, and charitable. These are martial and leadership qualities best suited for the administration and governance of the state. The Vaishyas by nature were predominantly rajasic with a component of Tamas Guṇa that made them inclined toward producing and possessing economic wealth through business and agriculture for self and community. The Shudras were those who possessed tamasic nature without aforesaid merits and best suited to serve society according to their calling. This classification was, however, based on intrinsic nature and inborn qualities of people since Vedic age, which at later age got distorted to become inheritance or birth based.

Dharma or Righteousness
Hindu scriptures attach high significance to Purusartha among men, which literally means the ‘purpose of human being’ or the ‘Object of human pursuit’. In Hinduism, Purushartha incorporates four proper objects or goals of the human existence referred to as Dharma i.e. righteousness or moral values; Artha i.e. prosperity or economic values; Kama i.e. pleasure, love or inherent psychological values; and Moksha i.e. liberation or spiritual attainment. In pursuit of normal living, every householder is permitted to seek Artha and Kama; and in that sense all the four objects of human life are considered important but where there is conflict of objects, Dharma shall be given precedence over both Artha and Kama; Moksha being the ultimate goal of the human life. Hinduism permits pursuit of all the four objects in life but also insists that the renunciation of Artha and Kama i.e. wealth and pleasure is necessary to attain the spiritual freedom (Moksha).

In Hinduism, Dharma is an all-encompassing divine force that protects entire mankind from all kinds of temporal dangers. Many Hindu texts including Gita consider Dharma as an obligatory and pious duty of every individual according to his (or her) Varna. In a wider perspective, Dharma is the binding force that regulates and upholds the entire creation and, at temporal level, it defines human roles and responsibilities, social and moral order, purpose and goals of life including the rewards and punishments commensurate with their actions. It includes social laws, duties, rights, virtues, conduct and way of living as necessary for a stable society taking into account all religious, temporal and moral duties of every human being.

Dharma finds a reference in many verses of different chapters of the Bhagavad Gita in the context of the human roles and responsibilities, social and moral order, purpose and goals of life including the rewards and punishments commensurate with their actions. It begins with Lord Krishna asking Prince Arjuna to act according to his righteous duty as a Kshatriya in chapter II and in the eighteenth (last) chapter; He reaffirms his teaching and significance of the person’s Dharma (righteous duty) as under:

Atha cettvamimam dharmyam sangramam na karisyasi,
Tatah svadharmam kirtim ca hitva papamavapsyasi.


(Now, if you refuse to fight this righteous war, then by shirking your duty and losing your reputation, you will certainly incur sin.)  (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 33)

Shreyan swa-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat sv-anushthitat.
Svabhava-niyatam karma kurvan napnoti kilbisham.


(It is better to do one's own dharma, even though imperfectly, than to do another's dharma, even though perfectly. By doing one's innate duties, a person does not incur sin.)  (BG: Chapter 18, Verse 47)

Jnan (Knowledge) Yoga

Lord Krishna said that Jnan though difficult but is the purest and most divine method to learn and discover Self:

Na hi jnanena sadrisham pavitramiha vidyate,
Tatsvayam yogasansiddhajh kalenatmani vindati.


(In this world, there is nothing as purifying as divine knowledge. One, who has attained purity of mind through prolonged practice of Yoga, receives such knowledge within the heart, in due course of time.)  (BG: Chapter 4, Verse 38)

Yajjnatva na punarmohamevam yasyasi pandava,
Yena bhutanyasesena draksyasyatmanyatho mayi.


(Arjuna, when you achieve enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no more; with knowledge you will see the entire creation first within yourself and then in Me.)  (BG: Chapter 4, Verse 35)

The knowledge alone helps the person to have mastery over his senses and those who indulge in this practice with full faith are able to attain Truth; with the revelation of Truth, he immediately attains supreme peace in the form of God-realization. On the other hand, those lack this wisdom and are devoid of faith, ridden with many doubts they are bound to lose the spiritual path; for them there is no happiness and peace in this world or the world beyond.

The Karma Yoga

Lord Krishna explained two viable lifestyles namely karma-yoga-nistha (social life) and jnana-yoga-nistha (secluded life). Every man has option to choose anyone of these two lifestyles; the former as a householder and a latter as monk, respectively, but there is no choice between Karma and Jnan (knowledge) and there is no conflict between them either. He (or she) needs to follow karmic life with purity and knowledge to discover the freedom that is any living-being’s true nature. Of the two lifestyles, Krishna gave preference to the former (social life) because for a common man it is difficult to renounce world to lead the life of a monk. For the very reason, the Karma-yoga is also the most essential element for the harmony of the universe of which human beings are an important link with a definite role to play.

Karma-yoga is considered to be the simpler and easier means for men to achieve the intended goals. This is applicable not only for the material objectives but also for spiritual accomplishment for aspirants, who seek action as the way of life to deal with all challenges and distractions. Karma-yoga or the path of action as outlined in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita enlightens people how to cope with the pains and pleasures alike without choosing or escaping. It inspires people how to remain dutifully engaged in living despite difficult and distasteful circumstances.

According to the Bhagavad Gita, the selfish or desire-ridden actions bind men to their consequences and subject them to the cycle of birth and death. Also one cannot escape from Karma merely by shunning actions and responsibilities. Besides, involuntary actions such as breathing and digestion, being autonomous, cannot be willfully controlled or regulated. Hence inaction or non-action is not a solution to escape Karma. Bhagavad Gita clearly pronounces the liberation cannot be attained by abstaining from the work or by renouncing the action:

Na karmanam anarambhan naishkarmyam purusho ’shnute,
Na cha sannyasanad eva siddhim samadhigachchhati.


(One cannot achieve freedom from karmic reactions by merely abstaining from action, nor can one attain perfection of knowledge by mere physical renunciation.)  (BG: Chapter 3, Verse 4)

The Chapter 3 of Bhagavad Gita clearly provides that one could engage in the Karma-yoga through selfless actions as a way of sacrifice and service to God. It holds that the desire is an eternal enemy of the wise, which deludes the soul by over-powering the senses, mind and intellect. Therefore, a true karma-yogi endeavours to control his desire and senses through wisdom and discipline. As a person’s right is to his work only and not to the fruits, hence a karma-yogi would perform his duty without attachment by remaining even minded in all situations i.e. success and failure:

Yoga-sthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhananjaya,
Siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva samatvam yoga uchyate.


(Be steadfast in the performance of your duty, O Arjuna, abandoning attachment to success and failure. Such equanimity is called Yoga.)  (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 48)

The equanimity that enables the man to accept things with poise and tranquility is defined as Yoga or union with the Supreme Being. When the realization comes that the effort (action) is in one’s hands, but not the consequence, he then focuses only on his duty. Even if the outcome is not to one’s natural expectation, he accepts it with serenity as the will of almighty. That is how, the man is able to accept glory and ignominy, success and failure, pleasure and pain with equal ease equanimity. The act of accepting things the way it comes after putting in one’s best efforts and leaving the outcome to the will of God is what is true Karma Yoga.

Karma-yoga as Essence of Human Life

As explained in the preceding section, the word Karma-yoga is a combination of two words – Karma and Yoga i.e. seeking Yoga (Union) engaging in Karma which in spiritual sense implies to the union of the Atman (Embodied soul) with Paramatman (Brahman or God). The same union in Hindu philosophy is referred to as Moksha (liberation or salvation). Lord Krishna finds no conflict in the Yoga of action and knowledge and His emphasis is more on Karma-yoga because in essence it is also an essential instrument of the social or common life which gets motion and momentum through Karma only. The real essence of the Karma-yoga is best narrated in the following Verses.

Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,
Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani


(You have the right to do your duty and action, but never to the fruits of your actions. Let the fruits of action be not your motivation, nor let your attachment be to inaction.)  (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 47)

The aforesaid is an extremely popular verse of the Bhagavad Gita, which offers deep insight into the right spirit of work and truly represents the essence of the Karma Yoga. A deep insight into it reveals four essentials: 1) Do your duty without craving for the result; 2) Let the fruits of your actions not be a source of enjoyment; 3) while engaging in the rightful action, give up the pride of doer-ship; and 4) never be attached to inaction.

Tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samacara,
Asakto hy acaran karma param apnoti purusah.


(Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme.)  (BG: Chapter 3, Verse 19)

In this case Lord Krishna practically enlightens Arjuna that he should not be worried at all about outcome of the war. His present call of the duty is to fight, and therefore being a Kshatriya he must fight. He should not stress his mind with the worry, who will win or lose as the same is not the call of the moment. Even if he dies during the war for the righteous cause, he will be entitled to salvation because he has rightly conducted his Karma (duty); he should also not grieve for the dead because those who are born are also pre-destined to die. The right action (Karma) is one that does not lead to bondage. What Lord Krishna said about the doctrine of Karma, is equally applicable to all living-beings.

End Note

As stated in the introductory part, the Bhagavad Gita is not merely a religious treaty; instead, it embodies the complete philosophy of various aspects of human life in addition to unraveling the Supreme Truth of universe and other issues related to spirituality. Some of them like delusion, nature of human beings, interplay of Gunas, types of foods and food habits, Varna system, components of Purushartha and righteousness, Jnan Yoga and Karma Yoga have been briefly touched upon in this piece. Besides, the various verses are dedicated to subjects like origin of world; nature of Brahman (God) and soul; Purusha and Prakriti; Karmic cycle, reincarnation and Moksha; Bhaki-Yoga and Dhyan-Yoga; divine and demonic attributes; attributes of a true yogi; mind-control, meditation and devotion; overcoming infatuation, faint-heartedness and grief; characteristics of man with stable mind and thoughts; significance of different forms of sacrifices, etc. As such it is the part of three Vedic scriptures known as “Prasthan Trayi” i.e. the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, which together present a complete and infallible account of Hindu philosophy. Among the three, the Bhagavad Gita is undoubtedly more convenient and accessible providing a comprehensive and easy-to-understand synopsis of the Vedic philosophy.

Acknowledgement:

1. Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Gita Press
2. https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/

Continued to Part XLI

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05-Jan-2020
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