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Kathas : Geeta and Geeta Gyana Yagnas


The Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta is an integral part of Mahabhararta, which is our third important scripture. From Mahabharata, a vital section of 700 verses spread over 18 chapters has been compiled to form Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta. In the battlefield of Kurukshetra when Kauravas and Pandavas came face to face in armed conflict with their relatives, cousins and loved ones in opposite camps, it was natural for Arjuna to get confused and confounded. They were his cousins and relatives, how could he slay them? Although Pandavas had been wronged, betrayed, harassed and insulted, yet Arjuna’s mind witnessed an intense duel. He could not decide the right course of action for himself. He remembered all the wrongs, deceptions and tortures of the Kauravas, yet questions like "How can I fight them?" "What should one do in such a situation?" boggled his mind. These were perplexing questions, which posed a big problem for him. At that time Lord Krishna advised and guided Arjuna. He explained, "You are not fighting relatives; you are fighting intruders and aggressors. If one is fighting for selfish interests one should yield and leave. But if one is fighting for common good – for the entire society, then one must destroy the unrighteous, anti social elements." When a mother kills her unrighteous son, she does it because it is just and righteous." It was natural for Arjuna to grieve the situation he faced. People who are fighting for the cause of righteousness have to adopt the best possible means without taking into consideration their likes and dislikes of them as individuals. It is the most important principle. Hence this was a very significant event. The message and the guidance that Lord Krishna gave to Arjuna, the spiritual wisdom imparted by him, is termed Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta. It comprises the essence of all knowledge and wisdom expounded in the Upanishads.

Bhagwad Geeta consists of the conversations between Dhritarashta and Sanjay, which contain in itself dialogues between Krishna and Arjuna. It basically talks of the larger interests of humanity and not of personal interests of the individual.

Geeta is written in a style, which exposes the truth of life in the minimum of words. Hence when we understand Geeta it needs to be expounded and elaborated. Then brevity is to be given a go by. There are many commentaries and expositions expounding the Geeta. Bhai Shri feels that the best commentaries and expositions on Geeta are - 1) Shrimad Bhagwat and 2) Ramayana. He looks at them in the following way. Geeta is a bird, one wing of which is Shrimad Bhagwat, the other Ramayana. But when the question of original principles arises, Geeta Gyana and Yagnas are conducted. A Geeta Gyana Yagna is a 5 -7 day or more ritual of expounding the philosophical truths in the Geeta and giving commentaries on it everyday. The same, which is historically and poetically, presented through the medium of Shrimad Bhagwat and Ramayana.

From Adi Shankaracharya to Mahatama Gandhi, innumerable great saints, thinkers and Philosophers have written about it. It has inspired people across the world. It has influenced and attracted great minds, that of Henri Thoreau and Martin Shin. In that sense, Geeta is truly a universal scripture. Read from start to the end and nowhere do you find the word ‘Hindu’ in it. It emanates from the mouth of Lord incarnate. It is not Krishna who speaks. It is the divinity in him that is aroused and which addresses Arjuna. When such divinity manifests, it speaks about the welfare of the entire humanity. Hence, it is an universal scripture. Geeta expounds truth and destroys all illusions. At any given time and in any given condition or status in life, Geeta assists you in deciding your duty and the righteous course of action that should be pursued. Its principles are applicable to everyone and not to any particular segment or religion. It is for the entire universe. Sometimes five-day sessions (lectures on Geeta) are arranged in the form of Geeta Panchahas. Ramayana sessions are for nine days (Naranhas), and Bhagwad sessions seven days (Saptahas). We have primary education unto 7th standard, then higher education for 5 years i.e. unto 12th standard and finally University education. Similarly, Ramayana is our primary education of seven skandhas, Shrimad Bhagwad is our higher education of 12 skandhas and Bhagwad Geeta is our graduation at University level of 18 chapters.
 

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