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The Bhagavad-Gita belongs to the most outstanding religious classics for all times. The word Bhagavad means God and the word Gita means song, so the Bhagavad-Gita is often referred to as The Song of God. The Bhagavad-Gita is an episode of the Mahabharata. It consists of 700 verses. Numerous generations throughout the world draw inspiration and valuable advice in its simple but vivid eternal message that sounds as a contemporary one even now. It can be defined as a Gospel of Hinduism, a monument to a great culture of ancient India or a living message that reveals lots of burning social and personal problems.

From the first sight, the Bahagavad-Gita has nothing to do with the XXI century, the era of gadgets, technology and technical advancement. It seems to be an absolutely irrelevant religious text until you open it and start reading. Then it brings you the understanding of yourself and the answers to those questions that have been vexing your mind for a long time. Or at least you start thinking over the issues that you have never had time to consider.

Those interested in searching for ultimate truth and pursuing the answers to the questions about birth and death, liberation, faith, eternity of the soul and even the goal of human life can turn to the book and find the helpful hints. The Song of God is a well-known conversation between the Supreme Being Krishna and the warrior Arjuna before the battle of Kurukshetra in a war-chariot. Krishna gives explanations to all essential things in everybody’s life, the nature of love, time, yoga and purpose of life.

It is not doable to write a comprehensive thorough summary of the great text, but it is possible to stress those issues which are essential not only for Hinduism adherents but to every contemporary person interested in philosophical reflections on the eternal things. The Song of God gives explanations of everything related to life and death in a nutshell. It is supposed to be understood not literally; otherwise the meaning will evade understanding. One should read between the lines to unveil the truths.

The Song of God was a revelation to me. It teaches that nothing belongs to us. We are born with no possessions and will die with empty hands. So, it gives reassurance as there is nothing to cry about. On the other hand, if you do not set a high value at least on something, your life will be less colorful. The Bhagavad-Gita says that fears and worries are absolutely groundless as the soul never dies. The most essential is the present. Neither past nor future matters. So, there should be no regrets or high expectations. It is reasonable but most people cannot stick to that point of view.

One of the ideas of the Bhagavad-Gita is that the most important is not the result but the deed itself. According to the book, a person is primarily a spirit or consciousness in the form of a human. The Song of God elaborates on the problems of renunciation and detachment. It is emphasized that it is the only way to gain wisdom. A person should not think about the consequences of the deeds. Such thoughts will only bind him. It should make no difference whether one will fail or succeed. He is to steer a steady course. To my mind, the validity of this statement can be challenged. Everybody tries to be reasonable and think several moves ahead to be successful in the present-day world. It is not practical to disregard the possible effects and consequences. 

In one of the parts, Krishna justifies the appropriateness of the fight of Arjuna against his relatives. He proves that fulfilling one’s duty is the most honorable thing one cannot neglect. This truth is really time-proof. The Song of God aims at teaching the readers to do two things, to be selfless and act accordingly. Besides, it makes us realize that nobody is separate from the collective race karma. Love to the fellow-men and devotion are the priorities one has to master.

In one of the chapters, Krishna discusses discipline and self-control with Arjuna. They talk mostly about the meditation practice or yoga. According to the Song of God, everything should be balanced, in particular working, eating, sleeping and relaxing. In order to have a quiet mind free from bad thoughts, all the daily regimens are to be properly balanced. Krishna says that a yogi is devoted to God only if his mind is not concerned with minor things like sleep or food. He insists that to steady the mind and fix it on God alone a person should reject all material desires. The main goal of yoga is the union with God; however, it can be practiced to get the self-control of the mind and the body, to maintain the proper balance and manage our lives.

The ultimate goal, according to the Bhagavad-Gita, is being beyond time and space, detached from all desires, emotions or thoughts. A fixed state of a Brahman called Nirvana should be the highest unfailing joy. Light and happiness is to be found within a person whose inner self is always under self-control. It is great if one can be sustainable and all-sufficient. Nevertheless, I am sure that a total state of liberation and abolishment of all attachments will mean the destruction of life as we all know it. The teaching in the Song of God rejects not only negative feelings, evil and immorality, but also any pleasures, gladness or love. However, one needs friendship, love and family relationships; otherwise, one is bounds to be lonely turning into an outlaw in a modern society.

Indifference and passivity are worshiped as the highest virtues. One is expected to have a neutral attitude to one’s enemies, friends and acquaintances. There should be no egoistic preferences. If everybody is approached in the same way, it will be really good that there will be no hatred or animosity. On the other hand, there will be no true friendship or sincere love. To my mind, this Bhagavad-Gita attitude totally contradicts our human nature.

The idea of solitude, desolation and loneliness is the priority one in the Song of God. The Gita says that a decent person should be patient, modest, honest, compassionate and free from anger or greed. Nevertheless, there is nothing about willingness to lend a helping hand or encouraging other people to find their way. There are no attachments, feelings or emotional ties. Even meditations should be done in solitude. The duty is to be fulfilled without any thinking. A person should never think about fruits of his or her work.

According to the Gita, God is not the one to be feared. He will return the love of everybody in the same way they approach him. So, God is not forgiving or loving. He is just fair and gives credit where it is due. The Bhagavad-Gita cannot be perceived as a religious propaganda. Religious beliefs and ideas are interesting only from historical and cultural points of view; they indicate the trend of thinking, outlook and mythology of the time the Song of God was written.  It is a book of liberation, duty and devotion for those who have similar beliefs now. For others it is a collection of wise thoughts which can be accepted or challenged. Deciphering its profound meaning or philosophy is not easy.  There are numerous Sanskrit words and jaw-breaking names. It is possible only to try to approach the ancient book with a contemporary mind and exert some effort to become a better person with the help of the book that is hundreds years old.  

It is the most famous and widely-read text of ancient India. This work is mostly theological, but its teaching is presented in the ethical context. Thus, it is good that the Song of God is easily available to people of all cultures in the world. There are things which are the same for people of every age, nationality or religion. The questions raised in the Bhagavad-Gita apply to everybody without any exception. Reading it, you may feel perplexed or baffled. However, it is a sign that you started thinking over things that have never occurred to you. You start evaluating relations and events from a new point of view, which is one way or another affected by the Bhagavad-Gita.

Mahatma Gandhi once told that he opened the Bhagavad-Gita when he felt disappointed or doubtful. He was capable of deriving fresh joy and new meanings from it every time he started reading. It is considered to be a gem in Hindu literature not for nothing. Without a question, not everything can be accepted and adopted. Some things seem to be too childish or even illogical; however, some passages impress with undeniable wisdom. However, the Song of God can teach one to be content with both failure and success, to respect every single person and clear one’s mind from negative judgments. Thus, it is possible to become happier and to try to get some understanding of the self.

Code: Sample20

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