It all started during my 12th standard exam holidays when I began studying the holy book Bhagavad Gita As It Is. I had a lot of interest in the OUTER SPACE WORLD and how it works and spirituality or rather how God designed such planets. As it involved God, I was interested in reading spiritual books to seek any kind of answers to my questions. This book was at home for the past many years before I even started reading it. It was bought by my mother who used to take me and my brother to ISKCON temple in Bangalore during the holidays. As I started reading the introduction, it took quite a long time and I had to prepare for my admission into college. Once I got admitted into a college of architecture, I got busy and I took a break from reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
During my 2nd year of college, my mother passed away due to cancer. It was a suffering of 6 months for her, and our whole family too gave up everything and concentrated on caring for her, but unfortunately, she passed away in November 2008. That time I had my semester exams going on and heavy rains in Chennai, due to which my exams got postponed for a month and I did not have to miss any exam due to the sad demise of my mother. It was so well planned by God that I did not have to skip any exam. During that month of rain holidays, I was quite depressed due to the loss of my mother at a young age and to divert my mind from feeling sad, I continued reading the Bhagavad Gita As It Is from where I had stopped. This time was the turning point of my life where I was introduced to Bhagavad Gita As It Is due to the sad demise of my mother and I thank her for buying this holy book and keeping in our home, which became a very important part of my life. It was a very difficult situation in my life and Bhagavad Gita As It Is guided me to come out of this depression and also helped me take the sad situation in a positive way.
Importance of Bhagavad Gita As It Is in my daily life
I made it a point to read at least 2 slokas every day and it took me around one year to complete the whole Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Some slokas were difficult to understand at that age and some were easy but the purport given for each sloka made it easy to understand and any time I used to face difficulties in my life, Bhagavad Gita As It Is used to help me come out of such difficulties very easily.
As and when I completed the chapters, I got more knowledge about how life works, how karma works, why we are in this world, why was I born in a particular family, why was I born in a particular caste, why was I born in a particular colour, why was I born in a middle class family, all these questions were answered as I progressed reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Slowly everything got revealed and all the fear I had, all anxiety I had vanished. I gained more confidence and more interest in spirituality once I found out the MAIN GOAL/ AIM OF LIFE. Even now I read a minimum of two slokas every day and each time I read, it gives a different realisation. It gives new meaning every time I read.
In fact everyone, irrespective of what religion or caste they belong to, should read Bhagavad Gita As It Is, as it is the universal scripture. Great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and APJ Abdul Kalam have read the holy book. There is one holy book of Bhagavad Gita As It Is in APJ Abdul Kalam’s library which is displayed for public in his house in Rameswaram. It has the solution to all problems of life and helps us dovetail our lives in a more spiritual way and helps us elevate intellectually to stop the cycle of 4 fundamental problems in life which are Birth, Death, Old age and Disease which no one can escape from, in this material world.
There is a famous sloka in Bhagavad Gita As It Is – chapter 18 verse 66 where Lord Krishna says:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
TRANSLATION: Abandon all varieties of religion and surrender unto Me; I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.
Another famous sloka from Bhagavad Gita As It Is – chapter 9 verse 34
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
TRANSLATION: Engage your mind in always thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisance to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.
These slokas are very famous ones. Bhagavad Gita As It Is should be read by everyone for solving the problems of life and also elevating higher in spiritual life and get back to home, back to Godhead (Vaikuntha planet) where Lord Krishna resides and where there are no problems of life like Birth, Death, Old age and Disease and lead a happy eternal spiritual life which is permanent unlike this material world where at every step there is danger.
Since childhood, Lord Krishna was my favourite God to whom I used to talk very often, taking Him to be my best friend. Whatever I couldn’t share with my friends or parents, I used to share with Lord Krishna.
Originally the Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna and the same knowledge is available in written format by the help of a representative of God who has come down to earth to guide us in the proper direction. The Bhagavad Gita As It Is was presented by the great bona fide acharya, Srila Prabhupada who comes from the Parampara of Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya.
It is all by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, the spiritual master for all and who has not only written Bhagavad Gita As It Is, but many other books which are very worthy and can save people’s life from the dangers of material nature. Bhagavad Gita As It Is has transformed my life in a positive way which has helped solve many problems of life very easily. It helps me tackle complicated or difficult situations very easily and thus it does not affect me mentally or physically. It helps me stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
Example: When I feel separation from my mother, I could realise that it’s only the body which has died and not the soul and that the soul is eternal and it can never die. The soul only changes body as per karma. This helped me relate my feelings to practicality and helped me in not getting emotional but to stay strong.
Another example I would like to mention. Whenever I feel lonely, I realise that Lord Krishna is present in all our hearts as Paramatma and I share everything with the Lord. As I got closer to the Lord, I could sense His presence more within me and I am trying to build a good relationship with the Lord.
Writing poems is my hobby. One of the poems I wrote on Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna:
Today is my best day
Because it’s Your birthday
Getting good parents is Your blessing
And I can never stop thanking
During sadness and happiness You have been with me
I thank You for everything You have given me
With Your absence
Life will lose its essence
You love the good, bad, and the greedy
Give me enough strength to help the needy
You reside in everyone’s heart
Helping them in understanding life's art
I am incomplete without You
I can never stop thinking of You
Oh Lord….I LOVE U!!!
As and when I progressed spiritually, I understood God more and got closer to Him and once I started to surrender and sacrifice small things in my life, I got more happiness and God started making His presence in my life more often by doing surprising things in my life.
Example: During my thesis project (ISKCON TEMPLE) in my final year of college, I had to go to Bangalore for a study and was thinking where I will stay and I thought of staying at my uncle’s place, and surprisingly he called me over phone the next second. This was a shocking experience for me, as even before I could think of asking him, he called me. Before even I could ask for anything, the Lord would give me. There are many such incidents where I was shocked and surprised. Well it used to be shocking especially when what you think of, becomes true the next second. And I got the third highest in my Thesis project – ISKCON Temple, in my college. It’s all by the Lord’s mercy.
In Bhagavad Gita As It Is Lord Krishna says that He is the Lord of all demigods and He is the owner of everything and anyone who understands this will surely achieve peace and get relieved from anxiety.
In Bhagavad Gita As It Is – chapter 9 verse 22 Lord Krishna says:
ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
TRANSLATION: But those who always worship Me, with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack and I preserve what they have.
True to the above verse, I have always been blessed by enough wealth, enough knowledge, good parents, good job, good salary, and indeed a very good and healthy life. All this was possible only when I started to understand the fact that nothing belongs to us in life. We come empty handed and we will go empty handed. All we should do in the human form of life is to try to know God and love Him.
In Bhagavad Gita As It Is – chapter 5 verse 29 Lord Krishna says:
jnatva mam santim rcchati
TRANSLATION: A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.
As per the above verse the more we get conscious of the Lord and His teachings, and get closer to Him and surrender to Him, He will protect us from the pangs of material miseries like disease, lack of wealth, etc.
I would like to conclude my essay by thanking my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna for having showered mercy upon me and blessing me with all comforts in material life even though I did not ask for it and also helping me elevate spiritually so that this life can be my last material birth and I should go back to Godhead, back to Vaikuntha planet and live happily with the Lord and His devotees. It’s my humble request to all (including the reader) to at least make a start of reading the Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
By Chetna S Nathani