Celebrating the Azhwars and the Divya Desams of Lord Sriman Narayana!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ramblings on the Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharatha, which is the longest poetical workin the world and is one of the two classical epics of India. In a nutshell, the Mahabharatais the story of the internecine conflict between two sets of cousins in a royal family.The Mahabharata culminates in a war of epic proportions between the feuding cousinsand the good guys win, ultimately. Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu stands by and guides thegood folks to their justified victory.
Just as the two sides are on the brink of war, Arjuna, one of the good guys and a stalwartin war, gets stricken by guilt and remorse. His conscience begins to work overtime, and he starts wondering what the heck he is doing fighting with his own cousins and uncles. Krishna,who is his guide-cum-charioteer, talks to him about war, life and philosophy. At the end of question and answer session that probably lasted around three hours, Arjuna is raring to goin for the kill. The war begins.
Familiar people will recognize that the preceding two paragraphs represent a very superficial(in fact, bordering on the flippant) summary of the Mahabharatha and the Gita. The Gita is notmerely an incitement to war, not is it the motivational pitch a general would use to get his soldiers going. It is detailed philosophical discussion about how to percieve life and work.And it is much more..
Since the Bhagavad Gita is a discussion about perspectives of life, it is quite natural thatit is subject to subjective interpretation. Indeed, various philosphers and thinkers have interpreted or commented on the Bhagavad Gita from their respective perspectives. And the veryfact that there are so many interpretations means that there is no universal agreement!
The Bhagavad Gita is divided into eighteen chapters. Krishna talks to Arjuna about variouspractices like Karma Yoga, Bhakti, etc etc, which very frankly, I don't understand. In the finalchapter, however, Lord Krishna makes a telling statement -"Surrender everything unto me, and don't worry".
Is this the crux of the message of the Gita - letting go..?

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