Why You Should Read The Bhagavad Gita: Answers to Life's Problems

On the surface, the Bhagavad Gita is a story about a great warrior on a battlefield. In truth, it is the story of all of us.

I remember being a kid and sitting in a classroom. I could see the path that was being set out in front of me by my family and teachers: go to school, go to college, choose a career, sit at this desk, do as you’re told, start a family, and attain financial success. I remember thinking, ‘there has to be more than this!’ I was consumed by feelings of anxiety, confusion, and deep dissatisfaction with this path that was presented to me.

‘You can win the rat race but you’re still a rat.’ –Banksy

 

I looked for happiness in many places over the years: television, drugs, money, and romantic relationships, but the depression I experienced was persistent. I didn’t like myself. I was trying to escape suffering by any means possible, and in doing so I was running away from my life. Eventually, I found a path that helped me to overcome this persistent negativity. Reading the Bhagavad Gita was a central part of that transformation.

Turn Confusion Into Clarity

Most of us are confused about our duty. We’re confused about our everyday actions. Should we quit our job? Should we stay? What is the right job for us? Should we stay or leave our relationship? There is so much emotion, misunderstanding, fear, and anxiety. We’re operating from this state of mind which stems from a limited understanding of who we are.

Only when we’re clear do we understand how to make our decisions properly and in a way that is not influenced by our emotions and our limited understanding of reality. With clarity we can make our decisions from the space of the heart. The heart is considered the voice of the eternal soul. For us to operate from this eternal Self, we must first be able to cleanse the mind of its impurities. When we do this, we can truly live and live fully.

'The Self is never born and It never dies. It has always existed and will never cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, everlasting, and most ancient. It is not killed when the body is slain.' - Bhagavad Gita, 2.20

 

The Story of All of Us

When we look at the Bhagavad Gita, we see that the issues we are facing in our own lives are the same issues being faced by Arjuna, the great warrior as he is about to face his enemies who just so happen to be his own family and friends. These were the people who once cared for him, but are now ready to stab him in the back to gain land and power.

As Arjuna looks across the battlefield he is overcome with confusion. He’s overcome with emotion. He does not know if he should fight or not. In that confusion he turns to Krishna and asks for guidance. Then, Krishna begins to give the teachings of the Gita which help us to cleanse the mind and connect with the heart.

Krishna guides Arjuna to clarity, and through the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna finds meaning, purpose, and peace in his duty. This is important in our lives because Arjuna represents us. Each one of us is faced with an army. Each one of us is in the middle of the battlefield of life looking at our obstacles. Should we run away? Should we stay? Should we fight or not? 

Krishna guides us and helps us understand how to walk the path. But we must have that willingness and humility to even ask for that guidance. When we are ready to ask for help, that is when we can pick up the Bhagavad Gita and read. When we are in that state of humility, then we can grasp the true essence of this powerful scripture.

‘Pride wants you to flatter yourself, but how can pride reach divinity? It’s only through humility that one can reach God. It’s only through humility that you will shine the Light that you have inside of yourself. ’ –Paramahamsa Vishwananda

 

A Book For The Time We Live In

There was once a disciple that went to his teacher and asked, ‘Why was the Bhagavad Gita given on the battlefield? Why wasn’t it given in a peaceful setting like an ashram?’

The teacher explained that if you go into a cave and meditate for 20 years, there is nobody to be angry at, nobody to be lustful over, no one to be jealous of, and nothing to become greedy about. So in that cave after 20 years you may think that you have mastered the mind, but what happens when you step out of that cave and onto an Indian bus which is full of people? When people start pushing you and stepping on your toes, then you will see if you are truly a yogi or just another human being.

So the Bhagavad Gita was given on the battlefield because the battlefield represents life. The Gita is more relevant now than at any other time in history because it is for everybody who lives in the world. It is not the time for aspiring yogis to go off into a cave and meditate. Many of us have 9 to 5 jobs and families. We have to put food on the table and make a living. The Bhagavad Gita is for people who are looking to find peace in the world rather than trying to escape the world.

Understanding the Bhagavad Gita

Each page of the Bhagavad Gita shifts us closer to that Divine loving relationship with God. It awakens and inspires us to understand that we have a relationship with God, and to realise that relationship is the highest goal of our life. Receiving the Gita with this in mind allows us to draw on its wisdom in the most powerful way. We learn what it means to be truly loved by God.

Join Mayuran as he dissects the Gita's teachings on how to life fully and without attachment with this free downloadable podcast. It is the perfect companion for spiritual practitioners reading the Bhagavad Gita, who wish to overcome life’s difficulties and learn from Arjuna's challenges on the field.

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