The Essence of Bhagwad Gita in the Times of Covid

The Essence of Bhagwad Gita in the Times of Covid

Sharmila Chandra

There is no problem in life that cannot be referred to the Bhagavad Gita for a solution—a solution that is simple yet profound, philosophical yet practical. The scripture explains the art of detaching from externalities even while performing one’s Karma in the material world. It also simplifies the near-impossible technique of maintaining one’s mental balance.

Serving as a practical manual for every-day living, the teachings of Bhagavad Gita work for any and every age. They are universal—relevant across all time and geographical divides; including in today’s Corona virus times. The Gita delivers rather unique answers and solutions to some fundamental questions.

  • Why must we not grieve either for the living or for the dead?
  • Why do we fear without reason?
  • Why do we worry without a cause?
  • What can kill me?
  • What happens to me after death?

The Bhagwat Gita underlines the fleeting character of life in this mortal world and the futility of either worrying about the future or passing judgement about what happened in the past. Lord Krishna’s supreme lesson to Arjuna was to perform one’s Karma without any desire for rewards. Indeed, this was a step towards supreme bliss and Moksha.

Let’s go a little deeper. Krishna represents attainment and Arjuna, with all his dilemmas, self-doubts, and delusion, represents the average human being. The Bhagwad Gita is often referred to as Trimarga as its 18 chapters have been segregated into three main categories. These include Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jyana Yoga.

Karma Yoga (the Yoga of Action) instructs on how to convert routine work into swadharma (individual duties, responsibilities, and righteousness) and completely surrender it to the Divine. There ought to be no attachment with the fruits of action; in fact, the rewards should be offered to Him. Similarly Bhakti Yoga (the Yoga of Devotion) does not prescribe ritualistic prayers. Rather, it talks about constant focus on Him. Jyana Yoga (the Yoga of Knowledge) underscores that to know the “Self” is the only true knowledge.

Lord Krishna proclaims in Chapter 12, Verse 12:

Wisdom is more accomplished than pursuit, meditative contemplation is superior to wisdom, while renunciation of fruits of actions is most superior of all: for, that leads to peace and bliss.

The Bhagwad Gita thus, if perused with faith, has the ability to illuminate the path for humans towards self-realisation, selfless service, and meditation. 

The significant thing to note is that it does not belittle or reject other traditions or beliefs that may use different means to reach the same place. Lord Krishna’s message is as relevant today as it was centuries ago; it is valid for every age, for the religious as well as the irreligious. The essence of Bhagwad Gita can be summarised in a few eternal truths that it reveals:

 

The soul is neither born, nor does it die.


Whatever happened, happened for the good;


Whatever is happening, is happening for the good;


Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only.


 You need not have any regrets for the past.

You need not worry for the future.

The present is happening …

 

To read Krishna’s teachings, own your own copy of a beautiful Bhagavad Gita.