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The Great Teacher Bhagavat Gita

— Maragatham Raghavasimhan


Inspirational stories

The Gita stands as a guiding manual for our day today life, spiritual upliftment and self-realization. Gita formulates the theory of the three paths [margas] namely knowledge [gyana]Devotion [bhakti] and action[ karma] and combines the three philosophies wonderfully; thus teaching us the action, devotion, and knowledge should work in perfect harmony. By abiding by one's duties of life [svadharma] one can attain obsolute [or moksha] and the Gita teaches each of us, what is dharma and how to adhere it. That is the reason why our scriptures prescribe Bhagavat Gita is the one of the great scriptures that should be practised on a daily basis.

The Gita teaches us to lead life without attachment, like a lotus leaf which remains in water, but does not wet its surface. The one who places all actions in the Eternal, abandaning attachment, is unaffected by sin. Attachment arises due to desires and is due to lower qualities of the mind. Non attachment is born out of sattva,which is a divine attribute. Practice of non attachment is rigorous and the only attachment one should aspire to have is towards God or Atman.

Bhagavat Gita is also hailed as Brahmavidya { knowledge of the absolute} which is the highest knowledge that a spiritual aspirant seeks. Bhagavat Gita also hailed as yoga shaastra since it deals with the practice of the highest ideals in all walks of life. { Actually each of the chapters of Gita named as a yoga - bhakti yoga, karma yoga, gyana yoga etc. A true aspirant is expected to possess the qualifications of viveka [ discrimination between good and bad], vairagya [dispassion], sama [control of mind ], dama [control of senses] uprati [not influnced by worldly attractions]. The Bhagavat Gita brings greatest wisdom to human life. Some people think that Gita should not be taught to children and the youngsters read it, then they become sanyasees. Even Arjuna who directly heard it from Krishna, never became a sanyaasi. The purpose of Gita is to teach the truths of vedas to us in such a way that we can practice it.

The Gita aims to teach us lessons so that we can elevate our day to day life and activities when we are born as humans, our aim should not be earn a living and exist in the world. Then we will be no different from animals. This is a total waste of human life. Using the human life for pursuits such as eating, sleeping and chasing sense objects is like bringing a talented painter such as picasso to paint the walls of the house. We should understand that human life is a gift to us. This is the only life form from which we can reach God. Gita teaches us the value of human life and it directs us to ultimate goal of God realization. It teaches us how we must perform actions in such a way as to make them noble.

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When we go to a bazaar and buy some fruits, it might be dirty, covered with mud and dust, it maybe lying on the ground. But we take the same fruits and wash them and then offer in a temple or place them in an alter. When the priest gives it to us after offering to the Lord ,the same fruits are accepted by us as prashad. So what was just an ordinary fruit becomes sacred just by offering it to God. Similarly all our actions will become noble when we offer to God.

Whenever we do anything, if we feel that we are offering it to God then our actions will not be selfish in nature. Even if we are performing the simplest of jobs, we should do it with full concentration and happiness.

We all know that we are here to earn a living. We do not have an option to just leave the job and do nothing. When we know that the work is inevitable, why should we complain and do the work? When we have such a negative attitude then the work will not give any happiness while performing. If we except that when we do the work, somebody is going to praise us and after that nobody says anything, then it causes disappointment and hatred. We become unhappy after doing the work also.

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When a mother takes care of her child, she does not consider it as work. When we do something which is a hobby, even though it might involve lot of efforts, we do not consider it as work and we enjoy doing it. Similarly, we should enjoy each and every action that we do and perform it as an offering to God. When we perform actions without any self interest then it becomes yoga and what we work becomes worship. This is one of the most important messages of the Bhagavat Gita.

Our mind is illed with unwanted thoughts. There are all kinds of desires for various objects hatred, anger, jealousy, greed etc., It you repeat the word gita gita, then it sounds like tagi tagi. Tyaaga means giving up. Gita teaches us to give up all our lower qualities like, desire, anger, hatred, jealousy etc., When a farmer wants to plough his field, he needs to first remove all the weeds and put good soil in the field. Only then the seeds can be planted. Similarly we should remove the weeds of all the bad qualities. We are the best judges of what our negative qualities are. It is not possible to say that we can get rid of all the bad qualities over night. We should make up or our mind that we want to do this weeding process and try and remove these qualities one by one.

Gita can be compared to kalpatharu or a wish-fulfilling tree. What ever we seek to learn, we can get it from Gita. Each person who reads Gita can understand it from different level. It can give lessons to a beginner as well as a pundit. Based on the state of feelings, each person can understand the Gita depending on the stage that they have reached in the spiritual path. There is plenty of water in an ocean,but what you can bring away from it depends on the size of the vessel that you take. Similarly, the messages will be vast but what we get from it depends on our capacity to absorb. The basic message of Gita is the same and its purpose is to transform humanity to divinity. We should therefore not take such a book lightly. We should approach it with devotion and commitment and not only try to learn the teachings but more importantly strive to practice them. Only then we can attain fulfillment in our lives.


About the Author
Maragatham Raghavasimhan [M.A.M.Ed] served as a teacher nearly 36 years and retired as a Headmistress. Currently frequent and popular contributor to leading Tamil Magazines.

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