Four years ago, when I first met a Buddhist monk to seek spiritual guidance, I felt as if all my unanswered questions will be unravelled. Yet, many of my questions remain unanswered to the best of my conviction. I took guidance from so many so called spiritual societies such as Brahma Kumaris, Art of Living, Sikhism and Buddhism; I had to leave them all because I was not getting answers to Life’s most Mysterious Questions.
It is just a year later when I first came in touch with Bhagavad Gita As It Is by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that I actually started demystifying this world and Creator behind this World. There are many editions of Bhagavad Gita available in the market today but Srila Prabhupada’s edition is the only one which can awaken us to our original constitutional position of serving the Lord; what the other editions could not achieve in a century is achieved by Srila Prabhupada’s edition in just years.
My Personal Learnings:
- YOU ARE NOT THIS BODY BUT A SOUL, PART AND PARCEL OF SUPREME SOUL:
As Aristotle rightly said, there are 2 important days in our lives. First, the day when we were born and second, the day when we know why we were born. Certainly, people in the modern age do not bother about why they were born until they realize that they can never be happy in this material world. When I started reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is, I was so well convinced as to how we have been imprisoned in this material world and that there are means to get out of this jail in this life-time itself.When our near and dear ones pass away, we suddenly realize that we too have to go one day leaving aside all that we gained till then. Bhagavad Gita wonderfully describes how to accept death without getting disturbed. (dhiras tatra na muhyati). It’s a huge paradigm shift for me when I realized that I am not this body but a soul and that soul can neither be killed nor destroyed by any means.
- NEITHER HAPPINESS NOR DISTRESS IS PERMANENT:
All of us hanker after happiness but end up not being fully content. Those who do not read Bhagavad Gita regularly will never know the fact that – Neither happiness nor distress is permanent (matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah). The Bhagavad Gita compares happiness and distress to winter and summer, which often come and go irrespective of whether one likes them or not;
- KRISHNA IS THE SUPREME CREATOR OF THIS ENTIRE UNIVERSE AND ALL THAT EXISTS BEYOND IT:
It’s only common sense that there is a creator behind this well planned, designed and ordered Creation. But hardly a few know who that creator is, what is his name, where does he live, can we approach him? Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita reveals the answer to this inexplicable question. The answer which all great sages, acharyas and kings knew in the past remains unknown to many today. Especially in India, people are so much confused as to who is the Supreme God. Lord Krishna elucidates in the Bhagavad Gita:
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
– I am the creator of all material and spiritual worlds
aham adir hi devanam – I am the origin of all demigods and great sages
mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya – There is no one Superior to Me
Lord Shiva in the Gita Mahatmya, Lord Brahma in his Brahma Samhita, Sukadeva Goswami in Srimad Bhagavatam and all great sages and acharyas accept the above statements. People wrongly assume that Bhagavad Gita existed 5000 years ago. To break this illusion, Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad Gita that He taught this same science of Gita to Sun god billions of years ago (imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam).
What Bible, Quran, and many other literatures reveal is being so clearly described in the Bhagavad Gita.
One astonishing statement that I came across while I was reading Bible:
“The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14.10)
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 15.15)
- WITHOUT SPIRITUAL MASTER, WE CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND GOD:
In one of the statements that Jesus made with regards to Spiritual Master, we find that:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4.34)
This is the reason why when people read so called editions of Bhagavad Gita, they can never understand its true spirit. My life took a different turn after I fully accepted Srila Prabhupada and his matchless, flawless transcendental contributions. As our shastras say, phalena pariciyate: One’s success or failure depends on the result. None of the editions of Bhagavad Gita in the past 100 years produced a devotee of Krishna; whereas Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita made millions understand its true spirit and hence millions became devotees of Krishna, dedicating their lives to propagate this science to all those sleeping souls.
- DESCRIPTION OF SPIRITUAL WORLD:
Bhagavad Gita also describes the spiritual world beyond what we see and perceive. Jesus confirms this in the Bible too:
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)
The above verse from the Bible is very similar to the below from the Bhagavad-Gita, which was written 5000 years ago.
“That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by ﬁre or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 15.6)
God cannot be known to the foolish and less spiritually intelligent people. Spiritual intelligence means to understand that we are the soul which is eternal and we (the soul) transmigrate from one body to another, life after life from one body to another based on our desires and deserves (karma and reincarnation). Those who think this is the only life, thus we are the body (no reincarnation) and everything happens by chance (no karma) are materially conscious. For such persons, God cannot be known.
“I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 7.25)
We can only know God if He gives us the information and only God can create real religion. God is eternal, His teachings are eternal, and His religion must also be eternal.
I owe a lot to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is. How many ever times I read this marvel, I realize new things and it helped me remain strong despite the three fold miseries of this world. Bhagavad Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures. Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is – the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of enduring value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.
The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it, the Bhagavad Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers.
“On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.”
By Krishna Kumar