Bhagwad Gita - The Holy Book of Hindus
The Bhagwad Gita (the blessed Lord's song) is a
700-verse section of the Mahabharata and occurs just before the great
battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
It is written as a conversation between Arjuna, the third of the
Pandava brothers, after Yudhishtra and Bhima, and Lord Krishna, the
statesman-god. The path, as laid down by the Bhagwad Gita, is still
considered ideal way of life by Indians.
Bhagwat Gita's Teaching
In the beginning there was turmoil
Arjuna, the brave Pandava warrior and skilled archer, as he faced his
cousins in the great final battle of the Mahabharata said:
we ought not to kill these sons of Dhritrashtra, who are our
relations; for how can we, O Madhava (Krishna), obtain happiness by
destroying our own kinsmen?
O destroyer of enemies and slayer of
Madhu (Krishna), how can I fight with arrows in battle against (those)
who are worthy to be worshipped by me.
Then there was the word
Much moved by Arjuna's distress, the Lord Krishna spoke:
you have been mourning those who should not be mourned for and
yet you speak words of wisdom; but the truly wise do not mourn either
for the living or the dead
These bodies are perishable; but the
dwellers in these bodies are eternal, indestructible and impenetrable
one is ever able to destroy that Immutable.
and then there was light
Explaining himself, Lord Krishna went on:
He who considers this (self) as a slayer or he who thinks that this
(self) is slain, neither of these know the truth. For It does not
slay, nor is It slain
This Self is never born, nor does It die
nor after having been, does It go into non-being... This (self) is
unborn, eternal, changeless, ancient. It is never destroyed even when
the body is destroyed
Sword cannot pierce It (self) nor fire
burn, water cannot wet It nor air dry.
Which illuminates a path
Then the Lord spoke on the path to self-realization that
detachment from deeds which leads to Nirvana:
Listen now, O son of Pritha (Arjuna) regarding Yoga, by knowing which
you shall be freed from the bonds of karma (cause and effect). In this
(yoga) there is neither waste of effort nor possibility of evil
To work you have the right. But never to the fruits
thereof. Be you neither actuated by the fruits of action, nor be you
attached to inaction.
Oh Dhananjyaya (Arjuna), abandoning attachment and regarding success
and failure alike, be steadfast in Yoga and perform your duties.
Even-mindedness is called Yoga.
Oh Dhananjyaya, work (with desire of results) is far inferior to work
with understanding. Therefore seek refuge in the Yoga of
understanding. Wretched indeed are those who work for results. The
wise, possessed with knowledge, abandoning the fruits of their
actions, become freed from the fetters of birth and death, reach that
state which is beyond all evil.
Finally there was the promise
Having revealed the Ultimate Truth about birth and death, Krishna
promised to always watch out for people:
Whenever there is decline of virtue and predominance of vice, I am
For the protection of the good and for the
destruction of evil-doers and for the re-establishment of Dharma I am
born again and again