Bhagavad-Gita: The Philosophical Guide

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most well-known scriptures in Hinduism. It is a scripture that extends upon the Vedic teachings. The word ‘Bhagavad Gita’ literally translates to ‘Song of God’ and is a dialogue that took place between the Supreme Lord Shree Krishna and His devotee Arjun, when they were on the battleground of the Mahabharat war. Bhagavad-Gita has been a source of perennial wisdom and has inspired many modern thinkers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Carl Jung & Herman Hesse.

One who comes to know the Absolute Truth attains knowledge of everything.

The science of knowing the Absolute Truth is called “Brahma Vidyā.” The purpose of the Bhagavad Gita, above everything else, is to impart Brahma Vidyā, the science of God-realization.

Philosophical Teachings from Gita

  • Gunas
  • According to Gita Prakriti is made up of 3 Gunas. Sattva (Purity), Rajas (Passion and Activity) and Tamas (Ignorance). The balance of these three Gunas in humans decides the character of that person.

    1. Jnana Yog

    Jnana Yog (Path of Knowledge) emphasises on attaining self-knowledge and meta-physical knowledge. According to Jnana Yog we need to continuously seek to achieve knowledge and the answers for all this knowledge that we need to know lie within us. We do not need to seek them in external sources. The concept of Reality of Body and Soul is also explored in Jnana Yog.  It says that all souls (Atman) are a part of Brahman and all creations come from God. The present world is just 1/4th of God’s realm. Something larger awaits in the 3/4th of the other realm and we can go there only when we achieve liberation.

    2. Karma Yog

    Karma Yog (Path of Action) refers to performing one’s worldly obligations and responsibilities without attachments but involving ourselves in it. It advocates detaching the mind from the fruits of actions and doing tasks without having any expectations but staying true to the task and doing it with complete attention of mind and heart. By not having expectations, even from people we free that individual from any burden of dependency and hence make them free to follow their own path.

    Whatever you do with your body – whether you eat, dance, sing or you just sit and breathe – if you do it with involvement and joy, you become a Karma Yogi. – Sadhguru

    3. Bhakti Yog

    Bhakti refers to Path of Devotion. It means to devote ourself to God by constantly worshipping them and keeping them in our mind. Krishna reveals in Gita that he is the Supreme Being who has taken several avatars such as Brahma, Vishnu, Ram, etc.

    Krishna also distinct between positive and negative worship. If one follows a character of negative influence, they too will inculcate their negative attitude and habits. Similarly, when one worships a character of good virtues they will be positively influences and grow in the right direction. Therefore, since God is known to be perfect and the best positive influence Krishna asks to worship God through Bhakti.

    After a soul achieves knowledge of these 3 Yogs and practices them only then one can realise God, Atman and Brahman can become one and attain blissful liberation.

    Categories: Education, Learning

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