Relevance of the Gita to the Modern Age

Krishna and Arjuna in Kurukshetra battlefield

Gita is the most beautiful perhaps the only philosophical song existing in any known tongue.
William Von Humboldt

I find a solace in the Bhagavad Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount.
Mahatma Gandhi

In the modern times when all efforts for world peace seem to rest on the walls of sand, Gita’s teaching of world brotherhood can very well guide humanity. The ultimate end, according to Gita is the consolidation of society. It has not only preached for the welfare of human beings but even that of all living beings.

Gita has that liberality which is characteristic of Indian thought. Gita synthesized selfishness with altruism by seeing God everywhere.

The Present Scenario:

Modern age is the age of science. Hence some persons doubt the relevance of Gita in the present times. But as a matter of fact, perhaps it is in the present age alone that the Gita is most urgently needed.

It can be said without exaggeration that most of the acute problems of man at present can be solved by following the teachings of Gita. The nature of human beings does not change with the change of time.

Today's life is extremely busy, with its hectic pace, relationships getting stressed, too much violence, corruption, and so on. The present generation of youth who are pursuing their studies do not seem to have the time for anything at all. In the little time they manage to spare, they often tend to fall prey to various distractions that life presents before them.

Working people are constantly caught up with trying to earn more money in order to provide their family with more luxuries and material desirables. In this rat race, they lose themselves and their identities even as living beings, let alone becoming higher entities!

The Relevance of the Bhagavad Gita in Today's Scenario:

In an age when spirituality is steadily on the decline on a global scale and materialism rules the roost, most people in the present scenario doubt the efficacy of the teachings in the Bhagavad Gita.

The greatest doubt that arises in people's minds is whether it is truly relevant to life as it is today or whether it is merely meant exclusively for chanting. Doubts like these arise only because of one reason — people today do not remember that the Bhagavad Gita means the 'Song of God' and hence, it is bound to reflect His voice for eternity!

The Divine Mother, Bhagavad Gita, veritably pulsates with life and vibrancy and is very much alive for all those who care to turn to her for solace and support.

There are people who swear by the fact that if they have a particular issue in their personal lives and open the chronicle to read it, they invariably find that they have turned to a page which holds an answer to that particular question or issue. Such is the sheer power of the Bhagavad Gita.

Lord Krishna, through these teachings, sees to it that one who asks for His grace is never left feeling alone and hapless. He shows man His divine support in one way or the other, assuring the devotee that He is there to provide succour to him when he most needs it.

Any ordinary speech starts losing its impact within a few minutes or hours. The Gita, on the other hand, has lost none of its appeal till date. This is because the meter and tone of the 'Lord's Song' pleases and soothes the auditory senses, allowing the divine discourse to linger in the mind, making one want to savour more and more of the nectar that is the Bhagavad Gita!

Life today is filled with anxiety, uncertainty and sorrow. An individual has now fallen out of tune both with himself and with his surroundings. As a result, he experiences disharmony, both within and without. While he fails to find true happiness within himself, he also fails to make his family and friends happy.

What causes this disharmony? Greed to own more material things, unfulfilled desires and harbouring negative emotions such as jealousy and hatred are some of the reasons why he loses touch with the real 'Him' that is calm, serene and ever compassionate. Because man fails to see his basic nature, he falls out of Dharma and Sattva, which results in him forgetting the God lying dormant within him. What man needs at such times is someone who can teach him to train his mind, bring it under his control and get him back to his higher 'Self'.

Reading even just one verse each day and reflecting on it helps him see exactly how precious this human birth is and how he can use it to immensely benefit both himself and others. He thus starts on the path towards true wisdom, changing his own life and that of others for the better! This human life which has come to us after having gone through infinite lifetimes of struggle and suffering is extremely valuable and, if lived right, can be filled with happiness and contentment.

The Bhagavad Gita teaches one to be detached from the negative aspects of samsara, to be ever grateful to the Lord for having given him so much good and to do a great deal of good unto others. A deep study of the Gita gives rise in the reader, to a spirit of surrender, creating within him an eternal fount of joy, happiness and peace.

In fact, Gita is an incredible book because of its intrinsic value in solving the fundamental human problem. It shows us a way to live our life effectively. It will continue to bless people of the past, present and posterity; the only thing is that, one has to choose to expose oneself to it.

I therefore request people of all ages to study this book of amazing wisdom. I would like to say that many of our present day problems can be solved or at least be mitigated by our gaining this wisdom. Today humanity is facing many challenges such as — global warming, financial crisis, wars, etc.

I think that becoming a mature and responsible person is very much part of the solution to many problems and challenges that we are facing in the world. For example, we all think that something has to be done about the environment, but we generally think that somebody else —corporates, governments, international organizations — should do it.

The fact is that each one of us can contribute something to solve, or at least mitigate the problem.

Reading the Bhagavad Gita, understanding the tenets mentioned therein and leading a life shorn of mundane tensions and worries helps you remain young for life and add life to your years, without merely adding years to your life!

The beautiful thing about the Gita is that it does not advocate the follower to sacrifice anything in this material world. On the contrary, it tells you to enjoy this life completely, indulge yourselves, listen to the music of your choice, go to the movies, and eat out and so on. The only thing the Gita asks you to do is to make a small shift in your thought process, start trusting in the grace of God and enjoy all you do in the material world, considering your work as a service at His Lotus Feet.

Such actions purify your heart and destroy the negativities in your psyche, liberating you from your day-to-day troubles, letting you enjoy your life to the maximum and spread that happiness to everyone around. This is the divine message of the Bhagavad Gita for the youth of the entire world!

Such is the greatness of the Bhagavad Gita. It purifies the mind, completely destresses the individual and helps him realize the ultimate Godhead. Further, it helps develop values in the youth, moulding them into better global citizens, ushering in the new Golden Era for India and the rest of the world.

By Dr Ram Prasad

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