Aarti Natarajan Sharma
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the greatest spiritual books of all time. The literal meaning of Bhagavad Gita is ‘Song of God.’ It occupies chapters 23 to 40 of Book 6 of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata.
The Gita is 700-verse Hindu scripture. It is not just popular in India but is often used as an introduction to the concepts of Hinduism in Western countries.
The Mahabharata describes the lives of the Pandavas and Kauravas and their lifelong rivalry which culminates in the great war of Kurukshetra. Just before the start of the war Arjun, one of the Pandavas is overcome with doubt and despair at having to fight against his brethren. Lord Krishna who is Arjun’s friend and charioteer in the battle, explains to him the concepts of doing the right thing, sticking to one’s duty and the larger meaning of life. This dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjun constitutes the Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita by Devi Chitralekha
Several versions of the Gita have been written. The beauty and power of the text is such that it can be interpreted in a number of ways. The lessons prescribed within it hold true for present times as well. One of the versions of the Gita is by Devi Chitralekha, India’s youngest spiritual figure. Deviji, as she is called, is a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna. Devi Chitralekha has a following of over 1 crore and lakhs of followers on social media. She has devoted her life to spreading the teachings of Radha-Krishna and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
Devi Chitralekha calls the Gita the supreme spiritual text, unparalleled to any other text in India. In her Foreword to the text, she describes the Gita as having two aspects—as a spiritual book, and a historical one, which comes to the aid of the common man at every step and in every situation. One does not have to be of a religious bent of mind to study the Gita; it is of use to even a person who is a non-believer, as much as it is to a believer in God.
Deviji urges everyone to read the Bhagavad Gita and allow it to guide them through life. Around 5,000 years ago Arjun had Lord Krishna with him which enabled him to win the Battle of Kurukshetra and today we have the words of Lord Krishna in the form of the Gita. If we were to surrender ourselves to Lord Krishna and his teachings in the Gita, we will emerge victorious in life and have the strength to overcome all obstacles.
Lord Krishna says in the Gita
ananyāś cintayanto māḿ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
yoga-kṣemaḿ vahāmy aham
(Those devotees who meditate on me and pray to me, and who perform actions without any desire for the fruits therefrom, I appreciate their efforts and protect them always.)
Deviji goes on to say that in today’s world, where humans are only interested in enjoyment and are destroying themselves through indulgence, in such times the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita make us fearless and free from anger, jealousy and anxieties. According to her, there is no greater proof of the truth propounded in the Gita than the fact that even today, in a court of law, the oath to speak the truth is taken on the Gita. Our heritage has various books, Upanishads, Puranas and Shastras, then why is such importance given to the Bhagavad Gita? This is because the Gita is like a huge, ancient tree under which we can all find shade irrespective of our caste, religion or nationality. This is why the Gita is above and beyond the fights among religions.
Devi Chitralekha is a motivational speaker but she says that if we were to follow the teachings of Lord Krishna in the Gita, we would get all the motivation we need and not have to listen to anything else. The Bhagavad Gita serves as a roadmap which if followed will lead us on the right path and enable us to live our lives away from negative thoughts and deeds.
The Bhagavad Gita as a Gift
The Bhagavad Gita by Devi Chitralekha makes for a wonderful gifting option for all occasions and even without an occasion! It comes with a thick hardbound cover, interwoven with a gold and copper foiling, giving it a regal look. The print is in vibrant multicolor and done with a special UV glossy ink on matt velvet paper. Apart from the text, the Gita is filled with gorgeous illustrations and paintings. These are done by a variety of artists and bring to life the words and incidents described in the text.
The Gita is couched in a sturdy wooden box with a classy finish. Inside, the box is lined with plush maroon velvet lining; the encasing worthy of the contents of the box. The magnetic stripe enables the book to be slid in and out of the box with ease. The book handles with ease and the print makes it a pleasure to read.
This luxurious looking gift is something that shall please everyone. It is a wonderful addition to any home.