4 Important Lessons We Can Learn From The Bhagavad Gita
The storehouse of spiritual lessons
The advices or suggestions prescribed in the Bhagavad Gita are applicable for all men of all times. Bhagavad Gita is the storehouse of all types of spiritual lessons. It is an unprecedented co-ordination of Jnanayoga (means of wisdom), Karmayoga (means
of action) and Bhaktiyoga (means of devotion). Gita is not only a scripture, but also one of
the best philosophical books of poetry. The lessons or teachings of the Bhagavad Gita are very important for both of our earthly life and next world. Here, I would like to describe four most important lessons we can learn from the Bhagavad Gita. These are about four castes, act of doing duty, equality and devotion.
God created us equal. Yet in his creation there are four castes in human society. These are – Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. A person, who has the knowledge of Brahma, is a Brahmin. He is influenced by Sattva Guna (The quality of goodness, positivity, truth, serenity, balance, peacefulness, and virtuousness that is drawn towards Dharma and Jnana). A ruler or warrior is a Kshatriya. He is influenced by Rajah Guna (The quality that drives motion, energy and activity).
The person belonging to the business community is a Vaishya. He is influenced by Rajah and Tamah Guna (the quality of inertia, inactivity, dullness, or lethargy). The person belonging to the working class is a Shudra. He is influenced by the Tamah Guna. This is the caste division in human society. But the caste of a person is determined by his deeds not by his birth. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says-
catur-varnyam maya srstam
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam
“According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable”.[Source:Bhagavad Gita As It Is; Chapter:4, Text:13]
So it is not that the son of a Brahmin must be a Brahmin. A child of a Shudra influenced by Sattva Guna can also be a Brahmin. Again, if the child of a Brahmin is influenced by Tamah Guna, he will be considered as a Shudra. So it can be said that race or caste is not hereditary. It is determined on the basis of quality and action of duties. I would like to write another article on this particular topic next.
Act of doing duty
Whatever is done is action. And all the actions that must be done are duties. And to do one’s duty is one’s true religion. In the Shrimadbhagavad Gita predominace has been given to the act of doing duty.
And this duty should be performed unselfishly, that is, without expecting any kind of fruit. In this context Lord Krishna says-
karmany evadhikaras te
ma phalesu kadacana
ma karma-phala-hetur bhur
ma te sango ‘stv akarmani
Translation: You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. [Source:Bhagavad Gita As It Is; Chapter:2, Text:47]
So doing our duties properly is our true religion.
Equality means treating everyone the same. God exists equally in all living beings. So we should treat all living beings equally. But “equality is not always about treating everyone the same – it is about treating people in such a way that the outcome for each person can be the same. This means putting things in place to support people to achieve similar outcomes.” Lord Krishna says-
sadhusv api ca papesu
Translation: A person is said to be still further advanced when he regards all—the honest well-wisher, friends and enemies, the envious, the pious, the sinner and those who are indifferent and impartial—with an equal mind. [Source:Bhagavad Gita As It Is; Chapter:6, Text:9]
Every living entity is situated in Almighty God in one way or another. So a devotee should treat all living beings equally. This is also another important lesson of the Bhagavad Gita.
In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna also says-
Translation:A true yogi observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.[Source:Bhagavad Gita As It Is; Chapter:6, Text:29]
Deep reverence or love for God is called devotion. A true devotee always surrenders to the Lord and establishes a close relationship with Him. That is why it is said that devotion is the bridge between the devotee and God. Regarding this point Lord Krishna says-
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
Translation: Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.[Source:Bhagavad Gita As It Is; Chapter:18, Text:66]
The gist of all Upanishadas
Bhagavad Gita is the gist of all Upanishadas.
The lessons of the 700 verses of the Bhagagavad Gita which were delivered by Almighty Himself are the lights in the journey of a soul. Among all these lessons four important ones discussed above are considered as provisions for overall human development.
Talker: Krishna Das