What is Bhagavad Gita?
Bhagavad Gita is a song, but not an ordinary song. It is a song of spiritual wisdom — a dialogue between God and Man (the teacher and the taught), giving lasting joy to all. It contains the essence of Vedic and Upanishadic wisdom and considered as both Upanishad and yoga-sastra. Upanishads contains knowledge about absolute truth and our oneness with it. This is known as Brahma-vidya and this Brahma-vidya is the main theme of Bhagavad Gita, that’s why each of its chapters is called Upanishad. And Gita is yoga sastra because like them it also gives practical guidance on how to attain the truth and live fulfilled lives. It is the nectar of Mahabharata and found at the center of the 18 cantos (parvans). It forms chapters 25 to 42 in the sixth canto called Bhisma – parvan. In its full form, Bhagavad Gita had 700 verses, split into 18 chapters, of which 574 are spoken by Krishna, 84 by Arjuna, 41 by Sanjaya and 1 by Dhritarashtra. It is a conversation though it seems like discourse, which takes place over 90 minutes while fully armed soldiers on either side wait impatiently for battle.
Gita demonstrates modern techniques of communication. Frist, Arjuna problem is presented in chapter 1, then Krishna solution offered in chapter 2 to 18. Krishna begins by telling what he will reveal in (chapter 2); he then elaborates on what he promised to tell (chapter 3 to 17); then he repeats what he has told (chapter 18). Krishan solution involves analysis (Sankhya) and synthesis (yoga) – slicing whole into parts and binding parts into a whole.
Gita is Sanjaya narration, we never listen from Krishna or Arjuna directly though he is saying lord said, Arjuna said. That’s why it is a third person perspective. Krishna and Sanjaya may be saying same words, but Krishna is understanding what he is saying and Sanjay is merely a transmitter, Arjuna wants to understand it to get rid his suffering and Dhritarashtra is not interested in it at all. He is even looking at it with an eye of suspicion and judgment. Gita is not objective truth what lord said instead of that it is a subjective truth it’s your understanding of Gita and my understanding of Gita. But always look upon Gita like a student with an urge to learn not like Dhritarashtra with suspicion and judgment.
Usefulness of Bhagavad Gita
Gita talks about you, me and problems that we face. Give answers to our questions like: Who am I? How can I be happy? How do I get rid of anger? How do I remain calm in provocative situations? Why does God create this world? What is the goal of human life and how to attain it?
The human quest for peace and happiness has not changed from ancient time despite radical changes in lifestyle. Gita shows us three main ways to attain it: Bhakti Marg, Karma marg, and Gyan marg. It is a divine song sung by the Lord himself. Whenever we stuck in a situation where our intellect is unable to guide us, Then we surrender our self completely to lord then he appears for help and guides our way. There are no problems in life only situations and Gita teaches us how to handle them not by escaping from them, or by struggling to change them because everything in the world already changing, nor by suffering and struggling in it. But by facing them with a holistic viewpoint so we have better vision and understanding of that situation. And it also teaches us life is not all about facing situations but we also build it in meaningful, successful and joyful manner.