I have a passion for reading philosophy. In order to gain deep understanding, I normally try to read the work of different writers. I have been intrigued by the works of Aldous Huxley, J Krishnamurti, Confucius, etc. It was during the last week that I came across perhaps the greatest philosophy ever written, the Bhagavad Gita. It is a 700-verse scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. This scripture contains a conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Lord Krishna on a variety of theological and philosophical issues.
Some of the great philosophers and famous personalities have enjoyed uncovering the intricate details laid out in the words of this book.
Here’s what they had to say:
“When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.” ~ Albert Einstein
“The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.” ~ Aldous Huxley
“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“The secret of karma yoga which is to perform actions without any fruitive desires is taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita.” ~ Vivekananda
There have been numerous comments made by the great personalities. After reading these comments I thought that there must be something unique about this scripture. Gita links religion and philosophy and though I am not a religious person, I thought I should give it a reading considering that so many great philosophers have quoted it as the highest philosophical work. So here I started reading Gita two weeks back. I must say I came across some of the things that made absolute sense. I have developed a liking for this scripture.
My first encounter with Gita goes back to the year 1997, when I was only 7 years old. At that time my school’s director used to stay near our house. I was supposed to attend moral classes at his place on every weekend. These classes involved nothing but recitation of the Sanskrit Slokas written in the Gita. So I was attending a Gita-chanting class. I could never make out the meaning of what was written there since I didn’t know Sanskrit. Needless to say, I was never bothered in asking the meaning from anyone. By the age of 12, I had developed a very good pronunciation in chanting these Sanskrit words and I had memorized half of the book, without understanding a single word! Yes, not even a single word! This continued for two more years and then the 14 year old tried to convince his parents that they had tried to torture a 7 year old by sending him to these classes. Actually I wanted to put it in this way, but then I would have received a tight slap. So I told them that I wanted to focus more on my studies and it sounded very convincing to them. Now I did not have to waste my weekend son Gita-chanting and I could play with my friends whole day long. My contact with Gita was broken and I never missed in the coming years. It was only during two weeks back that I started turning its pages again.
There are numerous interpretations of Gita available in the market. I have chosen a different way to enjoy its philosophy. I have studied Sanskrit in my school for 4 years and I have a decent knowledge about the meanings of Sanskrit words. I have arranged for a Gita book that simply contains the Slokas and below every Sloka the meaning of the appearing words is mentioned. It’s just like a dictionary explaining the meaning of those words and the reader is free to make his own interpretations. I have found some of the Slokas to be very consuming. Sometimes I make my interpretation withing few minutes while some of the Slokas take my whole day.
I believe Gita is to be read as it is.
When you are reading it on your own, you will find yourself making your own philosophies and comprehending the text in a way that is best suitable for you. I shall be sharing the knowledge that I have gained soon with you people. (See, I am asking you to read my interpretation, such a hypocrite I am 😀 ). I want to discuss the underlying meaning behind those texts so that we all can make a progress towards our spiritual journey. Keep checking this space 🙂