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Topic 4 - Conclusion of the Bhagavad Gita

posted Dec 31, 2020, 3:57 PM by Sudhir Babu   [ updated Dec 31, 2020, 3:57 PM ]

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Several decades back, one great drama writer, P.L. Raya, wrote a book titled, "Shah Jahan". But the whole book was about the nefarious actions of Aurangzeb - how he killed his brothers, arrested his father and so on so forth. So one friend of Mr. Raya was bewildered and asked him a question “Mr. Raya, Your book Shah Jahan, in terms of the activities, the actual hero is Aurangzeb. Why did you title the book as Shah Jahan?" So Mr. Raya replied that although Shah Jahan was silent, the effect of Aurangazeb’s activities was going to him. When Aurangzeb killed his elder brother, Dara, the effect was suffered by Shah Jahan. So, like this, in all the nefarious activities of Aurangzeb, it was Shah Jahan who was suffering. Therefore he said, "He's the hero of my book."

The point is that the true intent and purpose of a book can only be known by its author. Similarly, the true intent of Bhagavad Gita can be found only when we understand it uncompromisingly from the author Himself, Lord Sri Krishna. For instance, when we are sick, and go to a medical store, and ask for medicine, we cannot make a choice of the medicine based on our preference of color, taste or smell. Although the medical store contains an array of different medicines, we have to take only the medicine prescribed by the physician for our disease. Further, we should consume the medicine according to the directions given on the label. Similarly, Bhagavad Gita should be accepted as it is, directed by the speaker, Lord Krishna, Himself.

The example of such understanding is displayed by Arjuna himself, the direct hearer of this great message from Lord Sri Krishna.

Arjuna mentions in the Bhagavad Gita:
paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān...
"Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person."

sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye
yan māṁ vadasi keśava… 
"Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me.” (BG 10.14)

Arjuna accepted everything the Lord mentions in toto. If we have to get the true import of the Bhagavad Gita, we should also accept the words of Krishna, as it is, without any adulteration.

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna talks about different concepts. karma yoga, jnana yoga, dhyana yoga and bhakti yoga. But when we examine closely at these various instructions in various chapters, Lord Krishna inevitably concludes that each of these yogas will attain perfection only when they lead to bhakti, or Krishna consciousness.

For example, the perfection of karma yoga is mentioned in BG 9.27:

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

"O son of Kuntī, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me."

The perfection of jnana yoga is mentioned in BG 7.19:

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ

"After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare."

The perfection of dhyana yoga is mentioned in BG 6.47:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

"And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all."

And just to re-emphasize this all, towards the end, Lord Krishna concludes the whole message of Bhagavad Gita in two verses. And He calls them ‘the most confidential knowledge’.

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me
"Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.” (BG 18.65)

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” (BG 18.66)

This, in Krishna’s own words, is the conclusion of Bhagavad Gita.

Any other conclusion drawn from Bhagavad Gita is not Lord Krishna’s conclusion.

One should not misunderstand that ‘always thinking of Krishna…’ or ‘surrendering to Krishna…’ is akin to inactivity, or giving up our duties and responsibilities, or think that we can sit idle and Krishna will do everything for us. Krishna consciousness is not inactivity, it is the most pure activity. It is not escaping from duty, it is perfection of duty.

Throughout Bhagavad Gita, we see Krishna urging Arjuna to do his duty with enthusiasm. 

What Arjuna did for living was, fighting. But Krishna certified him, bhakto ‘si me . . . priyo ‘si me: “oh Arjuna, you are My dear devotee.” Did Arjuna do anything extra-ordinary outside of his duty? No, he just simply fought, that’s all. But... he fought for Krsna. That is the secret of the Bhagavad Gita! Arjuna did not change his fighting capacity as a warrior, but he changed his mentality. Similarly, we can continue to engage in all our duties, but we should keep Krishna in the center.  We must do all our duties in order to please Krishna. And this is possible to be accomplished by one and all. If Krishna expects Arjuna to follow his instructions in the middle of the battlefield, then it must definitely be possible for all of us! This is the final conclusion of Bhagavad Gita!

Hare Krishna!

Quiz Link:
To participate in the contest and win prizes, please visit the following link and answer a short quiz: Topic 4 Quiz