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Practical Tips from Bhagavad Gita

Posted on September 2, 2011 by pariharadotcom There have been 1 comment(s)

Gita Jayanthi 1 The wonderful conversation between Krishna and Arjuna that took place on the eleventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Margasirsa (which usually falls in Nov-Dec) during the Mahabharata war is known as GITA JAYANTHI.  Incidentally, in the eleventh chapter of the Gita, Sri Krishna describes himself thus: "Among the months, I am Margasirsa." Therefore, this month is very apt to begin a study of the Bhagavad Gita. However, in this article, we will take a quick look at some practical hints the Gita offers for spiritual seekers. A detailed study of this profound scripture will be reserved for a later time.

  1. The importance of self-effort: "One should uplift oneself by one's own efforts and should not degrade oneself. One's own self is one's friend and one's own self is one's enemy. (6.5)" The uncontrolled mind becomes acts like an enemy since it drives us to wrong actions whereas the controlled mind becomes a powerful weapon in gaining knowledge leading to liberation.
  2. The need for a well-regulated lifestyle: "This Yoga which frees one from suffering is accomplished only by one who is regulated in diet & recreation, regulated in performing actions and regulated in sleep and wakefulness. (6.17)" Though this advice appears to be primarily addressed to practitioners of yoga, it is equally important and relevant to students of Vedanta. My friends in the software industry will attest to this fact. They have a first hand experience of the hard impact of software on their lives! All the budding swamijis & spiritual gurus in India are happy with the software industry for this noble service; it is driving youngsters to seek solace in alternative lifestyles and spiritual pursuits! Jokes apart, an unregulated lifestyle weakens the body and mind and a weak mind is unfit for the study of Vedanta.
  3. The importance of practice & detachment: "The mind is restless no doubt, and difficult to subdue, Arjuna; but it can be brought under control by repeated practice (abhyasa) and dispassion or detachment (vairagya). (6.35)" The Gita gives us great hope by telling us that we need not worry looking at the enormity of the problem of life. Even a great warrior like Arjuna, an ace archer with tremendous powers of mental concentration, found it very difficult to control his mind, what to speak of ordinary mortals like us. There is no crash course for instant moksha. The goal has to be attained gradually, step by step with repeated effort and constant practice of detachment.

5. The three temperaments: "Those who abide by the quality of Sattva, rise up; while those in whom Rajas predominates, stay in the middle; and those who are of a Tamasika temperament, sink down. (14.18)" Human nature is classified into three types - Tamas signifies darkness, ignorance and inertia and all the evil qualities born of it; Rajas is of the nature of uncontrolled activity and Sattva is of the nature of light, calmness and joy born of controlled action. We must introspect and find out which quality is predominant in us. If we are tamasik, let us strive to move towards rajas and those who are already very active should move towards controlled action, sattva.

This post was posted in Sanskrit Slokas and Mantras, Rituals & its meaning

1 Response to Practical Tips from Bhagavad Gita

  • Vijay Kumar Jain says:

    The gist of Bhagavad Gita could never be understood literally! The moment mankind succeeded in assimilating pearls of wisdom contained in 700 shlokas verses of Bhagavad Gita... one finally reached stage of enlightenment (kaivalya)... and finally salvation (moksha)!

    The original teachings of Bhagavad Gita with English transliteration is available for mere $.60 (rupees 30/=) at most railway stations of India or directly from Gita press, Gorakhpur, India... still, people wondered what Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism was all about!

    Posted on March 24, 2011 at 12:04 am