Bhagavad Gita Summary
The Bhagavad Gita is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is a part of the Mahabharata. According to the Hindu theologists, this scripture (BG) is an extraordinary articulation of the fundamental truth of Vedanta. Here, I’ve tried to summarize the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita.
- Arjuna Vishad Yoga (Arjuna’s Melancholy)
Army observation on the battlefield of Kurukshetra: Facing the waiting army on the battlefield, the great warrior Arjuna sees all his close relatives, acharyas (teachers) and friends gathered in armor on both sides to prepare for battle and look forward to sacrificing their lives. Grief and sorrow overwhelmed him, and he gave up the fight.
- Samkhya Yoga (Knowledge of the Self)
Arjuna surrendered to Krishna as his disciple and Krishna began to give advice to Arjuna by diagnosing the fundamental difference between the impermanent body and the eternal soul. Krishna also explained the process of transmigration, the nature of selfless service to the Supreme Lord, and the characteristics of an enlightened man.
- Karma Yoga (Action)
In this material world, everyone has to be engaged in some kind of work or action. An action can bind all people to this material world, but the action can also free them from the world. Without self-interest, by working for the purpose of pleasing God, the devotees can be freed from the law of karma in response to their work and they can be able to acquire theology of self-knowledge and Paramatman.
- Jnan Yoga (Knowledge and Wisdom)
Jnan Yoga is also called Buddhi Yoga and its destination is Self-realization. Lord Krishna says that jnana or knowledge is the purest, and a discovery of one’s Atman. The Bhagavad Gita identifies Jnan Yoga as one of the three paths to liberation, the path of knowledge, the path of action and the path of devotion.
- Karma-Sanyas Yoga (Action-Renunciation)
By performing all the duties, but by giving up the fruits of their deeds, the enlightened persons attain purity through the fire of transcendental epistemology, resulting in peace, non-attachment, conscious insight and pure bliss.
- Dhyan Yoga (Practice)
Through systematic meditation, especially by practicing Astanga yoga, the mind and the senses can be suppressed and the mind can be kept absorbed in the thoughts of the inner Paramatman. Through this practice, Samadhi or the full contemplation of the Supreme Lord is attained.
- Jnan-Bijnan Yoga (Knowledge and Realization)
Lord Krishna is the Supreme Being, the Absolute Cause of all causes, and the life force of all matter. Advanced living beings surrender to Him in devotion, while ungodly living beings scatter their minds in worship of other things.
- Akshara-Brahma Yoga (The Eternal Self)
Through lifelong thought of Krishna and especially by remembering Him at the time of death, man can attain the transcendental abode of Lord above the material world.
- Rajvidya-Rajguhya Yoga (The Supreme Science and the Supreme Secret)
Krishna is the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Being. Only through the transcendental devotional service the living soul can be eternally connected with Him. As a result of reviving people’s pure devotion, it is possible to return to the abode of Lord Krishna.
- Vibhuti Yoga (The Divine Glories)
The appearance of the material world is only partial manifestation of the divine power and absolute auspiciousness of Lord Krishna. Krishna is the ultimate cause of all causes and the refuge of all things.
- Vishvarupa Darshan Yoga (The Universal Form of the Self)
Krishna bestowed divine vision on Arjuna and revealed his eternal appearance to him. In this way he unquestionably established his theology. Krishna proved that his own beautiful human form is the original form of Supreme God. Only through pure Bhagavata service a devotee can be able to attain the realization of this form.
- Bhakti Yoga (Devotion)
The best attainment in the world of consciousness is Bhakti Yoga or the pure devotion to Lord Krishna. Those who are engaged in the development of this transcendental path are endowed with divine qualities.
- Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhag Yoga (The Prakriti-Purusha Yoga)
The one who can realize Paramatman above body, soul and both is the one who is able to be liberated from this material world.
- Gunatray-Vibhag Yoga (Three Fold Qualities)
All living beings are under the control of the Three Gunas ( Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). The Supreme Lord Krishna has explained here the nature of the Three Gunas, their effect on us, how man transcends them and the symptoms of a man occupying an transcendental level.
- Purushottam Yoga (The Supreme Person)
The ultimate purpose of Vedic knowledge is to liberate man from material worldly bondage and to realize Krishna as the Purushottama Bhagawan. The man who realizes the transcendental nature of Krishna, surrenders to Him and devotes himself to devotional service.
- Daivasur-Sampad Vibhag Yoga (The Divine and Demoniacal Properties)
Those who acquire demonic qualities and live arbitrarily without following the rules of scriptures attain inferiority and gradual worldly bondage. But those who possess the divine qualities and live a lawful life in obedience to the scriptural rules, gradually attain spiritual attainment.
- Shraddhatraya Vibhag Yoga (The Three Fold Respect)
This chapter deals with the influence of the three gunas or qualities on people. These are- Sattva (purity), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (darkness). People with sattvic natures worship gods, those with rajasic natures worship demigods and demons, and those with tamasic natures worship dark spirits and ghosts.
- Moksha Yoga (Liberation)
Krishna explains the meaning of renunciation and the reactions of nature’s qualities to human thought and activity. He explained the realization of Brahma, the greatness of the Bhagavad Gita and the ultimate conclusion of the Gita – the highest form of religion is unconditional surrender to the Supreme Lord Krishna, which leads to liberation from all sins, attainment of full knowledge and realization and return to the transcendental abode of God.