History and Story Behind the Bhagavad Gita Part 2

About the religious book the Bhagavad Gita, history of the famous holy book of the Hindu religion.



The Bhagavad Gita was written in Sanskrit, a language whose individual sounds are constructed to resonate in a special way, and whose words and concepts reflect an awareness of the Self and the universe, a system of cosmology. It is written in verse; attempts to translate it sometimes lose the full feeling of the original text, whose impact is on many levels at once, not just in the words. For the Gita itself expounds three ways of being in the world-through the mind, through the emotions, and through action. These are the three yogas, or methods of union with the Higher Self-duty, insight, and devotion-and these three strands braid themselves into the path of doing one's duty as a divine offering. The Gita itself is such an offering, not merely a description of one.

Contents: We begin with the battlefield at Kurukshetra, a holy place of pilgrimage, and the distress of Arjuna when he is told to kill his opponents, who happen to be his relatives. Letting go of attachment, according to Lord Krishna, becomes easier when you realize that your true being never dies. Freedom is won by finding that steady center within where one is not dependent on external conditions, or fearful of them. Krishna tells Arjuna that the way to this perfect understanding is not by removing himself from action but, on the contrary, by engaging in action without concern for the fruits of one's actions. Then the fire of knowledge can lead to complete freedom even while performing action. It is such self-mastery which leads to the ultimate peace. For Arjuna is gradually shown that he is not who he thought he was, not limited to his physical form, for human consciousness fills all forms of creation as it becomes aware of its own divinity. The hindrances to realizing this are the three "gunas." or qualities, which are man's nature in an imbalanced proportion: "Sattva," the trap of being attached to purity, happiness, and righteousness; "Rajas," the attachment to passion and activity; and "Tamas," the attachment to indifference, laziness, and ignorance. When one goes beyond these qualities, through detachment, he comes to know his own "dharma," or duty, and by doing it with perfect devotion, he will know the Higher Self, the true fulfillment. Only this can satisfy the lust for life and raise the dejected into a state of completion. When the offering into the fire is total, the offering becomes the fire. There is no separation. In the end Arjuna recognizes that he has been given nothing other than what he truly was all along, for he speaks of having gained "remembrance" and is freed from doubt and delusion.

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