Bhagwat Geeta – Preface


bhagavad-Gita-and-krishna-arjuna

 

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, narrated in the
Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. It comprises eighteen discourses of a total of 701 Sanskrit
verses. A considerable volume of material has been compressed within these verses. On the
battlefield of Kurukshetra, Sri Krishna, during the course of His most instructive and interesting
talk with Arjuna, revealed profound, sublime and soul-stirring spiritual truths, and expounded the
rare secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma.
All the teachings of Lord Krishna were subsequently recorded as the Song Celestial or
Srimad Bhagavad Gita by Bhagavan Vyasa for the benefit of humanity at large. The world is under
a great debt of gratitude to Bhagavan Vyasa who presented this Song Celestial to humanity for the
guidance of their daily conduct of life, spiritual upliftment and Self-realisation. Those who are
self-controlled and who are endowed with faith can reap the full benefit of the Gita, which is the
science of the Soul.
The Gita Jayanti (birthdate of the Gita) is celebrated throughout India by the admirers and
lovers of this unique book on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the bright half of the month of Margasirsha
according to the Hindu almanac. It was the day on which the scripture was revealed to the world by
Sanjaya.
In all the spiritual literature of the world there is no book so elevating and inspiring as the
Gita. It expounds very lucidly the cardinal principles or the fundamentals of the Hindu religion and
Hindu Dharma. It is the source of all wisdom. It is your great guide. It is your supreme teacher. It is
an inexhaustible spiritual treasure. It is a fountain of bliss. It is an ocean of knowledge. It is full of
divine splendour and grandeur.
The Gita is the cream of the Vedas. It is the essence of the soul-elevating Upanishads. It is a
universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a wonderful book
with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, devotion, Vedanta and action. It is a
marvellous book, profound in thought and sublime in heights of vision. It brings peace and solace to
souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one’s
own body, those caused by beings around one, and those caused by the gods.
The Gita contains the divine nectar. It is the wish-fulfilling gem, tree and cow. You can milk
anything from it. It is a book for eternity. It is not a catch-penny book, with life like that of a
mushroom. It can be one’s constant companion of life. It is a vade-mecum for all. Peace, bliss,
wisdom, Brahman, Nirvana, Param Padam and Gita are all synonymous terms.
The Gita is a boundless ocean of nectar. It is the immortal celestial fruit of the Upanishadic
tree. In this unique book you will find an unbiased exposition of the philosophy of action, devotion
and knowledge, together with a wonderfully woven synthesis of these three. The Gita is a rare and
splendid flower that wafts its sweet aroma throughout the world.
viiIf all the Upanishads should represent cows, Sri Krishna is their milker. Arjuna is the calf
who first tasted that milk of wisdom of the Self, milked by the divine Cowherd for the benefit of all
humanity. This milk is the Bhagavad Gita. It solves not only Arjuna’s problems and doubts, but
also the world’s problems and those of every individual. Glory to Krishna, the friend of the
cowherds of Gokula, the joy of Devaki! He who drinks the nectar of the Gita through purification of
the heart and regular meditation, attains immortality, eternal bliss, everlasting peace and perennial
joy. There is nothing more to be attained beyond this.
Just as the dark unfathomed depths of the ocean contain most precious pearls, so also the
Bhagavad Gita contains spiritual gems of incalculable value. You will have to dive deep into its
depths with a sincere attitude of reverence and faith. Only then will you be able to collect its
spiritual pearls and comprehend its infinitely profound and subtle teachings.
The Bhagavad Gita is a unique book for all ages. It is one of the most authoritative books of
the Hindu religion. It is the immortal song of the Soul, which bespeaks of the glory of life. The
instructions given by Sri Krishna are for the whole world. It is a standard book on Yoga for all
mankind. The language is as simple as could be. Even a man who has an elementary knowledge of
Sanskrit can go through the book.
There are numerous commentaries on the Gita at the present time. A volume can be written
on each verse. A busy man with an active temperament will be greatly benefited by the commentary
of Sri Gangadhar Lokamanya Tilak, entitled Gita Rahasya. A man of devotional temperament will
be attracted by Sri Sridhara’s commentary, and a man of reason by that of Sri Shankara.
The Gita is like an ocean. Sri Shankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhava dived into it and
gave accounts of their interpretation and established their own philosophy. Anyone can do the same
and bring out the most precious pearls of divine knowledge and give their own interpretation. Glory
to the Gita! Glory to the Lord of the Gita!
The teachings of the Gita are broad, universal and sublime. They do not belong to any cult,
sect, creed, age or country. They are meant for the people of the whole world. Based on the
soul-elevating Upanishads—the ancient wisdom of seers and saints—the Gita prescribes methods
which are within the reach of all. It has a message of solace, freedom, salvation, perfection and
peace for all human beings.
This sacred scripture is like the great Manasarovar lake for monks, renunciates and thirsting
aspirants to sport in. It is the ocean of bliss in which seekers of Truth swim with joy and ecstasy. If
the philosopher’s stone touches a piece of iron even at one point, the whole of it is transformed into
gold. Even so, if you live in the spirit of even one verse of the Gita, you will doubtless be transmuted
into divinity. All your miseries will come to an end and you will attain the highest goal of
life—immortality and eternal peace.
The study of the Gita alone is sufficient for daily Swadhyaya (scriptural study). You will
find here a solution for all your doubts. The more you study it with devotion and faith, the more you
will acquire deeper knowledge, penetrative insight and clear, right thinking.
viiiThe Bhagavad Gita is a gospel for the whole world. It is meant for the generality of
mankind. It was given over five thousand years ago by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.
None but the Lord Himself can bring out such a marvellous and unprecedented book which
gives peace to its readers, which helps and guides them in the attainment of supreme bliss, and
which has survived up to the present time. This itself proves clearly that God exists, that He is an
embodiment of knowledge, and that one can attain perfection or liberation only by realising God.
The world is one huge battlefield. The real Kurukshetra is within you. The battle of the
Mahabharata is still raging within. Ignorance is Dhritarashtra; the individual soul is Arjuna; the
indweller of your heart is Lord Krishna, the charioteer; the body is the chariot; the senses are the
five horses; mind, egoism, mental impressions, senses, cravings, likes and dislikes, lust, jealousy,
greed, pride and hypocrisy are your dire enemies.

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