The Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is treatise on liberation. It is considered as the most Holy Scripture in the world by all the seekers of liberation irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, and nationality. The Gospel of the Bhagavad-Gita is based on the perennial philosophy of embodiment of the Absolute Self, imparted this Gospel to Arjuna in order to dispel delusion.
The goal of holy life is the total elimination of all mental taints and cravings leading to the supreme state of enlightenment. The Bhagavad-Gita gradually unfolds the true nature of the Soul to the sincere aspirants though the progressive higher steps of spiritual practices, viz., performance selfless-action, sense restraint, purification of mind, meditation on the Self, attainment of knowledge, renunciation of all actions and steadfastness in the Self –knowledge resulting in liberation. Thus, liberation is possible only though the unaided knowledge of the Absolute Self and by no other means.
This book deliberates on the precept and practice of holy life in the perspective of the Gospel of the Bhagavad-Gita. It gives in insight into the true doctrine of the Bhagavad-Gita.
The author is an exponent of Vedanta Philosophy for over a decade. Though he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli (T.N.), and Masters Degree in Business Administration from Sri Sathya Sri Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam, and Anantapur District (A. P.) he maintained a deep interest in Indian Spirituality since his childhood.
Presently, he is residing at the Ashram in Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sri Baba, and leading a holy life. He is also the author of the books entitled ‘Eight Minor Upanishads’, and ‘Spiritual Life and Liberation’ and ‘Sandhya Vandanam, Gayatri Vidya and Enlightenment’.
The Gospel of the Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of the teachings of all the Upanishads. This is the most Holy Scripture widely read by the spiritual aspirants all over would in almost all the languages . Bhagawan Veda Vyasa is the seer of this most holy scripture who, encompassing the mind of Lord Krishna imparted this most sacred spiritual knowledge in the form of a dialogue between the omniscient Krishna and Arjuna. Scholars opine that Veda Vyasa was a little conferred upon the one who had knowledge of all the Vedas. There had since been many Veda Vyasas indifferent ages (Yugas). The names of the Veda Vyasa who composed the Bhagavad-Gita was sage Krishna Dwaipayana. He is also known by another name Sage Badarayana. The Bhagavad-Gita is called Moksha Grantha, a treatise on liberation, comprising of 700 verses which are spread over 18 Chapters. It adopts an integrated approach for the liberation of the Soul by bringing about perfection though the disciplines of Karma Yoga, Bhakti yoga, Dhyana Yoga and Jnana Yoga. It forms a part of the Bhisma Parva of Mahabharata from the Chapter 25 to 42of Mahabharata. It is treated as Smriti Grantha and considered one among Prasthama Traya.
The Bhagavad-Gita gradually unfolds the six-fold steps of Sense-Control. All the five senses are to be restrained from pursuing their objects. The second step is inculcation of virtues. Virtues can have basis only when all the five senses are under control. When a person possesses virtues, it is only then that he can practice right meditation. Through right meditation he attains real knowledge and noble vision of things beyond sense perceptions. It is only then that one because aware of the soul personality though intuitions. Right knowledge and noble vision create a dispassion from worldly life. He no longer strives to posses worldly objects for his sense enjoyment. He feels himself as different from the body and mind. When the mind becomes dispassionate, all knowledge about bondage and liberation arises in him. He becomes fully enlightened and attains liberation.
The Gospel of Bhagavad-Gita can be summed in two words by combining the last and first words of the book viz., The Bhagavad-Gita teachers Dharma (righteousness) to entire mankind. He is the greatest teacher who makes everyone perform one’s own Dharma. The Lord imparts the philosophy of Self-restraint for the celibates (Brahmacharis), Karma-Yoga and Karma- Sannyasa for the house –holders (Grihasthis), Dhyana-Yoga for the forest-dwellers (Vanaprasthis) and Sankhya-Yoga for the recusants (Sannyasis). However, this prescription of Dharma (duty) is only for bringing about the purity of the mind. The Ultimate Doctrine of Bhagavad-Gita is not to enjoin any duty on anybody but to enlighten the with Self-knowledge which grants freedom from all duties. The Bhagavad-Gita gradually elevates the soul from ignorance to full enlightenment. Its teachings are very methods, scientific and based on the direct experiences of Yogis. This makes the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita universal, beyond the limited boundaries of religion, caste, creed and nationality.
The purpose of Holy Life is not the attainment of six Lordly Powers. Holy life confers an inner vision which perceives everything’s as Vasudeva. It renders the mind free from all taints. A Holy person realizes thus: ‘this is the liberation’, ‘this is the bondage’, and ‘this is the path leading to Brahman’. There arises enlightenment in him and he comes to know: “Birth and death have ceased, holy life has been lived, whatever has to be done has been done whatever has to be attained has been attained.” There is no state higher than the state of a sage who has merged his Self in Brahman. There is no gain higher than this. This is the ultimate goal of holy life.
That monk who has attained full enlightenment, who has destroyed all taints, who has lived a holy life, who has attained the final goal, who has discarded the fetters of becoming, who is liberated by ultimate knowledge, does not get any such thoughts like “There is none superior to “I’” or “There is none who is equal to “me;” He does not consider himself superior, or equal, or inferior, with birth destroyed, free fetters, he lives a pure and holy life in divine communion.
This book presents the Sanskrit text, English translation, and Notes on the various verses of the Bhagavad-Gita. I have referred to the commentary of Bhagavatpada Sri Adi Shankaracharya while rendering translation. I have also included certain passages from the Upanishads and Vedas for better understanding of the subject. Sanskrit text with English translation and notes been presented here in such a manner so that the true inner significance is not lost.
I am grateful to his Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamji, Sri Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Springier peetham for inspiring me to complete this work. I express sincere Sharada thanks for inspiring me to complete this work. I express sincere thanks to my colleague Sri R. Srinivasan for editing the manuscript and providing valuable suggestions.
Great merits accrue to those who study this holy science of Bhagavad-Gita and practice its teachings. I dedicate this work in the service of the Almighty who is the indweller of all heart. May this work help the sincere seekers in attainment of liberation.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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