Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita and Yoga

 – Arpit Kumar Dubey

Śrīmadbhagavadgītā (Bhagavadgītā) is a great Indian philosophical (Sāṁkhya–Yoga and Vedānta) text of Sanskrit language. It is a great manual for human life and a roadmap for personal and professional life management. It is not an independent text, but a small part of the great epic Mahābhārata (6th chapter BhīṣmaParva) written by Vedavyāsa. That’s why the writer of theBhagavadgītā is also Vedavyāsa.The Bhagavadgītā is divided into eighteen chapters and 700 ślokas. It is in theform of a conversation between Dhr̥tarāṣṭra–Sañjaya and Śrīkr̥ṣṇa–Arjuna. Itmajorly discusses the concepts like Ātman, Paramātman, jagat, karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, bhakti-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, sthitaprajña and many more.

The wonderful song called the Bhagavadgītāhas been spoken by the lotus mouth of the Supreme Śrīkr̥ṣṇa himself. What other scriptures do we need to seek then? There is no need to read different books in life, select one and study it thoroughly, in detail. That book can be the Bhagavadgītāas God himself has expressed it word by word from his mouth. Take one text and go to its roots. Explore its depths. Live its philosophy. The Bhagavadgītāhas the essence of life. As you read and understand it, it should start reflecting in your actions, in your behaviour, in your thinking, unconsciously. To become a self-controlled and self-regulated person, that is the essence of the Bhagavadgītā.

Read it (gītā), understand it (sugītā), change your behaviour accordingly (kartavyā).

The Upaniṣads are the cows milked by Gopāla, the son of Nanda, and Arjuna is the calf. Wise and pure men drink the milk, that is in the form of supreme, immortal nectar of the Bhagavadgītā. The Upaniṣads are metaphorically called cows. It is said that the essence of all the Upaniṣads, or all the cows, are milked by Śrīkr̥ṣṇa (son of Nanda). Arjuna, on the other hand, is the calf, that drinks this nectar of knowledge from Śrīkr̥ṣṇa.

When the mind is blinded with affection and selfishness, as with Dhr̥tarāṣṭra, man will never bother about the welfare of others in the nation, which will ruin his own kith and kin as well as the nation.

When the mind is clouded with pride, jealousy, greed, crookedness, ego, desire for fame, name and power as with Duryodhana, man will not hesitate to destroy his own friends and relatives as well as the nation, which in the end will result in his own destruction.

When man fails to do his duty due to attachment and desire, like Arjuna, he cannot utilize his own strength and courage, or feel the presence of God, even when God himself, Śrīkr̥ṣṇa, is seated in his chariot before him to help him.

The Bhagavadgītā shows us the path to become sthitaprajña (an ideal person) by giving us four techniques as the synthesis of yoga and shows us the importance of major types of yoga.

Some try to perceive the Supreme Soul within their hearts through meditation (dhyāna-yoga) and others try to do so through the cultivation of knowledge (āna-yoga), while still others strive to attain that realization by the unconditional devotion (bhakti-yoga) and others strive to attain that realization by the path of action (karma-yoga).

(Author is Assistant Professor in Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Delhi)

(The author wrote a book “The Yoga of the Bhagavadgita”, which give a comprehensive view of Yoga in the Bhagavadgita.)

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