Teaching of bhagavadgita

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Teachings of Gita
Universality of the Gita

The teachings embodied in the Bhagavad Gita possess eternal value and are universal in their applicability. This is the only philosophical work that enjoys the widest currency. It has been translated and annotated into several Indian and Western languages Its message continues to be as fresh and inspiring today, as it was when the Lord delivered it to Arjuna Though there are other equally elevating teachings, some of which have also the suffix Gita, why is that the Celestial Song, the message of true knowledge delivered to Arjuna by Sri Krishna, has come to occupy a supreme place? The answer is to be found in the setting in which this Divine message was given to the world.


The setting of the Gitopadesa is the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where the two intending armies, the armies of the pandavas and of the Kauravas, are arrayed in the battle formation and poised to go into action at the given signal. Arjuna is the central figure in this interesting drama. He is seated in his chariot and Lord Krishna Himself is the charioteer. Arjuna, who, a little while ago, more or less directed Sri Krishna to spur the horses forward and station his chariot in between the opposing armies, has humbled himself into the position of a pupil at the feet of the Divine Charioteer, whom he has raised to the pedestral of the teacher. Arjuna surrenders himself unreservedly to the mercy of Krishna and implores him to guide him. The situation is so tense that Arjuna is not sure whether the next moment his head will be standing intact on his shoulders, or will be rolling in the dust soaked with the blood of the fighting men. In actual life, we see that a passing shower is enough to melt an audience listening to a discourse on Truth. People are more concerned with saving their clothes than hearing advice, however ennobling it may be. But here is a case where a man in the jaws of death is wanting to learn and Lord is willing to teach. It is this setting that has endowed the Bhagavad Gita with eternal value and supremacy over all other teachings.


There is also another aspect to the situation. Arjuna has proved himself fit to receive any advice or direction the Lord may choose to give. Hostilities are about to commence and there is no knowing how many and who all will lose their lives. Arjuna is no coward and does not want to run away from the battlefield, though he has expressed his unwillingness to fight. His only objection to fight is that the war will entail his killing those whom he regards as his elders and relations. He does not mind being killed by the opponents, without himself raising even his little finger to harm those arrayed in the opposite camp. In fact, he desires this to happen, so that the slaughter inherent in a war may be avoided. That means, Arjuna has overcome all desires and attachment to life. He has attained the state of mind which is fit to receive true knowledge. There can be no better touchstone to test the complete detachment of a person than the battlefield. Arjuna is desirous to learn the only thing that matters -Jnana or Truth. Seeing that Arjuna has come out successful in the qualifying test and made himself fit to receive knowledge, the Lord teaches him. That is also how the message of the Gita has come to possess eternal and lasting value.

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