Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha, a knower of the Supreme Truth, has guided numerous seekers toward the invaluable goal of Self-realization, transforming their lives into one of joy and contentment. Swamiji’s interpretation of Bhagavadgita, Sreemad Bhagavatam, Upanishads and other spiritual texts, coming from his experiential depth and mastery of Self-realization, inspires seekers with the liberating touch of the transcendental knowledge.
Receiving diksa (spiritual initiation) from Baba Gangadhara Paramahamsa of Dakshinkhanda, West Bengal, Swamiji embraced sannyasa at the age of 23. Dedicating his life for the welfare of mankind, he has been relentlessly disseminating spiritual wisdom of Veanta for over 50 years, with rare clarity, practicality and openness, to seekers all over the world.
During the past four decades, I have been giving discourses on Bhagavadgita, the matchless dialogue that transpired between Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The fact that such a profound spiritual dialogue had to take place between two great rulers in a battlefield just before the discharge of arrows was to begin, speaks volumes even today.
The great spiritual wisdom of the land would not have shone in its full lustre, if it had just remained in hermitages, to be imparted solely by ascetic Sages to the few selected dispassionate seekers. Krishna in a masterly way taught in the battlefield what the ascetics used to impart in seclusion. By this, the great Upanishadic message began to shine with its full relevance and application to the complex human life. Ever since, people in all walks of life have found in this unique gospel endless inspiration and guidance.
It was a long felt desire of our listeners and readers that I should write a commentary on Bhagavadgita, explaining its unique and intricate message. But, because many commentaries, including the modem ones in English, are already there, I did not feel like adding one more. Later on, Swami Nirvisesananda Tirtha, a disciple living with me, suggested that, instead of a full commentary I write on some of the essential concepts presented in Bhagavadgita, clarifying one concept at a time and emphasizing where exactly should the focus of the seekers be.
Thus began the serial “Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita” in the Ashram’s journal “Vicharasetu the Path of Introspection”. The serial, still in progress, will take its own time for completion. Meanwhile it was decided to integrate and publish the articles in the form of a book for the benefit of all. This volume discusses mainly the concepts appearing in Chapter I and JI of the gospel.
To read and recite Bhagavadgita is itself a great sãdhana. Such involvement will inevitably lead the seeker to reflect over the concepts and revelations. This process is bound to take him to deeper and more enduring introspection and enquiry. Intense manana (reflection) cannot then be avoided, which before long will culminate in the much desired meditation and absorption, leading to the sthita-prajña state. The sthita-prajña will necessarily grow into a sthita-dhi (a stable minded person). The distinguished life of abiding harmony, ceaseless integration, lasting peace and ecstasy together with continuing expansion will be the crowning fulfillment to follow.
May the readers be led irresistibly from stage to stage, involving their minds and intelligence in endearing and sustaining sãdhanã.
The present volume deals primarily with the concepts elaborated in chapters five and six of Bhagavadgita. Through the discussions, Poojya Swamiji further enlightens how Sri Krishna’s grand synthesis of karmayoga and Jnana offers a universal path to Supreme Felicity.
Poojya Swamiji points out that Bhagavadgita discusses true sannyãsa as an inner attainment — a state of freedom of the mind and the intelligence, and explains how the right pursuit of karmayoga enfolds the content and sublimity of sannyasa as well.
One significant note common to the chapters in this volume is that, while explaining the lofty concepts of Samatva (equal vision), Sannyasa, and Brahma-nirvana (inner freedom), Swamiji has repeatedly highlighted how the cardinal messages of Bhagavadgita are verily universal, transcending all religious notions and divisions.
Another salient feature of this volume is its intensive treatment of the benefits, subtleties, and hurdles of meditational sãdhana (dhyana), and also how a seeker of Self-realization has finally to transcend meditation.
A sincere sadhaka must read the articles again and again, linking the verses on each concept from the different chapters of the original text, to have a confident and comprehensive understanding of Sri Krishna’s — or Sage author Vyasadeva’s — eternal universal message.
We hope that Poojya Swamiji’s exposition on “Interactional Sãdhana” will inspire people to make their daily life and activities - in any field anywhere in the world — a wholesome spiritual pursuit. The purpose of the book will be served when the society by and large understands that spirituality is not to get away from life, but to live life in a much more elevating and fulfilling manner.
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