Disclaimer : Opinions and Learnings in this post are totally of my own and your views may differ and it is Okay.
Last year, I was lost, sad, depressed, and a mess of other emotions. Nothing seemed to be going my way. I was constantly worried as I had taken a significant risk in my career and was unsure of everything. I wanted to improve myself, but I lacked the energy and motivation to do so. The most convenient option was to read some books, so I went to Amazon and ordered five, one of which was “Bhagavad Gita As It Is.”
I’d heard great things about this book and had even listened to some of it in Mahabharata, but I’d never had the chance to read it, and the lockdown seemed like the perfect opportunity. People claim that this book contains true knowledge from God and answers to all of your questions. But what if you have no idea what the question you need to ask? Is this book then still relevant?.
Before you read
In this post I will share my learnings and a short summary of this book. I will not be reviewing the content of Bhagavad Gita Itself as I feel I am not qualified enough to comment. However I do have some point if you are considering to read this English translation copy of Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita should be read and listened to without any bias. But, I felt this translation has some kind of bias so this is one think to look out for.
I have a suggestion for you as you read this book: give it your undivided attention and, after reading each verse, analyse it, give it some thought, and try to understand it completely before moving on to the next one. Lord Shree Krishna explained the Bhagavad Gita to Arjun in the midst of the great Kurukshetra war. Arjun notices on the battlefield that among the enemies are his own relatives, teachers, and friends; as a result, he does not want to kill them and his mind is filled with doubts. This is Bhagavad Geeta, in which Lord Shree Krishna clears all of Arjuna’s doubts. Likewise, we’ve all felt stuck at some point in our lives, and this book contains God’s words to guide us and dispel any doubts we may have.
What the Bhagavad Geeta says about work
I think everyone knows this sentence from Bhagavad Geeta that translates to “Just do your work and don’t think about the fruits of your work”, “Those who work selfishly for results are miserable”. I believe this is very true, and you may have noticed it yourself when you consider the outcomes of your work, whether it is your job or some other activity. When you think about the fruits, you do compromise with the work. If you feel the reward is better, then you work hard. If you don’t see the reward is worth it, then you don’t put all your effort in to it. This is very wrong because whatever work you do, you should always give your 100%. Thinking about the results and fruits only makes you anxious and work done under anxiety will be of lower quality. In the end, you will end up with neither your best work and nor the fruits.
This is something I’ve personally witnessed. I’ve started a lot of things in the past. At first, I am motivated to do something because I have imagined positive outcomes in my mind, but when I don’t see those outcomes in a few days or months, I become anxious and stop doing that thing entirely. When I look back on many of my failed ventures, I realize that if I hadn’t given up and hadn’t been concerned with the outcome, I might have been successful. Because I was so focused on the end result that when I didn’t get it, I stopped doing that work.
Bhagavad Geeta on Attachment & Expectation
When you think about something constantly, you become attached to it. You can have an attachment to anything, whether it’s a good promotion at work, a bonus, or a luxurious item. This creates a desire in you to achieve all of these things, and if this desire is not fulfilled, you become sad and angry, and when you are angry, you do all sorts of bad things. You become irrational and inflict harm on those close to you. You become envious of others who have all of these things. So, instead of making attachments or setting expectations, simply do your work and leave the rest to God.
Bhagavad Geeta on pain and suffering
We all want to be happy and enjoy ourselves. But, like night after day and summer after winter, pain and suffering are an unavoidable part of life. We should not be alarmed by these changes and should recognize that they are part of nature’s cycle. It is our responsibility to maintain our calm and peace of mind during these trying times. So, if you are in pain and suffering today, don’t worry, your good time will come, and if you are happy and enjoying yourself, this too will not last forever. Learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
Bhagavad Geeta on life & Soul
Our body and soul is separate. Body is perishable but the soul is immortal. We take birth in human body and with this body we experience the surrounding around us and with time this body also dies. But for soul there is no birth there is no death it is indestructible, unbreakable and immortal. For the soul the body is just like wearing clothes So with time the soul takes new body and when the body gets old it gives up the current body and takes on the new one. Now here is the important part to understand is all the pain all the suffering that you face are of this body your soul is not affected by these.
Bhagavad Geeta on mind & self control
This book is all about self control and self improvement. The central theme of the book is that our desires are the single root cause of almost all of our pain and suffering. In such a case, practicing self control is of utmost importance. Bhagavad Geeta says For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy. One should practice yoga to put focus and control on our minds. We should also avoid becoming lazy. To practice yoga, one should not eat too much or eat too little, sleep too much or does not sleep enough. We should have regulated habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and working. Anything too much or too little is harmful.
This was everything that stayed with me after reading the Bhagavad Geeta. I recommend that everyone read this; don’t think of it as a holy or religious book; you don’t have to believe in God; just read it and start applying what you’ve learned, and you’ll feel relieved.