The Bhagwad Gita is a manual for life and living. The Gita presents the laws and principles on which life works.The Gita was given to the skilled and noble Arjuna when he became despondent(हताश) on the battlefield at Kurukshetra, unable to withstand the challenge of having to fight his own relatives, teachers and friends. The message of the Gita given by Krishna revived him despite the incapacitated state he was in.
Krishna presents three main concepts for achieving dissolution of the soul — renunciation(त्याग), selfless service, and meditation. All three are elements for achieving ‘yoga,’ or skill in action. Krishna says that the truly divine human does not renounce all worldly possessions or simply give up action, but rather finds peace in completing action in the highest service to God. As a result, a person must avoid the respective traps of the three gunas: rajas (anger, ego), tamas (ignorance, darkness), and saatva (harmony, purity).
The highest form of meditation comes when a person not only can free themselves from selfish action, but also focus entirely on the divine in their actions. In other words, Krishna says that he who achieves divine union with him in meditation will ultimately find freedom from the endless cycle of rebirth and death. He who truly finds union with God will find him even at the moment of death.
The Gita can be divided into three parts of six chapters each. These three parts are said to represent the great Upanishads aphorism, Tat Tvam Asi, You Are That.
Doing that is your duty; it is karma yoga, path of action. Karma yoga is working for a higher cause in the spirit of cooperative endeavor. When a person functions thus his worldly desires wane away and he is prepared for meditation. Through meditation he realizes his Self, the purpose of existence. – your right is to action and not to its fruit.
The second part talks of ‘tat’, that, the Supreme Reality, God. Krishna shows how Reality or God is in everything and everything is in God. He demonstrates this both by analyses and syntheses. He names individual things and says they are God and then puts it all together, synthesizes them in the form of Vishwarupa, His cosmic form. In it, Arjuna sees how everything is part of Krishna or Reality, the good, the bad and the ugly. Whatever one sees is a manifestation of the Lord. With this vision one’s mind expands in love and demonstrates the first quality of a bhakta, a devotee of God – advesta sarva bhutanam, maitra, karuna eva cha. That is, no hatred towards any being, and to be friendly, compassionate(दयालु).
God is the root and the world is the tree, the inverted ashvatha tree.
The world is made up of the three gunas – tamas, ignorance; rajas, activity; and sattva, poise. They bind us in different ways and keep us from recognition of Reality. Beings in the world are all different – but different combinations of the three gunas. When one goes beyond the gunas one finds one’s true Self.
The Bhagwad Gita ends with Arjuna overcoming the state of depression he was falling into and he is now ready to do his duty and fight a righteous war, Sanjaya tells us that where there is the skill of Arjuna and the yoga of Krishna – these are values they symbolize – there will be success, prosperity, victory and sound policy.
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