Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita | The Hindu FAQs

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Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad-gita is the best known and the most frequently translated of Vedic religious texts. In our upcoming series, we are going to introduce you to the essence of Bhagavad Gita through its purpose. The most important motive and religious purpose behind it will be explained.

Bhagavad Gita has ambiguity, and the fact that Arjuna and his charioteer Krsna are carrying on their dialogue between the two armies suggests the indecision of Arjuna about the basic question: should he enter battle against and kill those who are friends and kinsmen? It has mystery, as Krsna demonstrates to Arjuna His cosmic form. It has a properly complicated view of the ways of the religious life and treats of the paths of knowledge, works, discipline and faith and their inter-relationships, problems that have bothered adherents of other religions in other times and places.

The devotion spoken of is a deliberate means of religious satisfaction, not a mere outpouring of poetic emotion. Next to the Bhagavata-Purana, a long work from South India, the Gita is the text most frequently quoted in the philosophical writings of the Gaudiya Vaisnava school, the school represented by Swami Bhaktivedanta as the latest in a long succession of teachers. It can be said that this school of Vaisnavism was founded, or revived, by Sri Krsna-Caitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1533) in Bengal and that it is currently the strongest single religious force in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent.

The Krsna consciousness movement is essential in human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in the Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, mundane wranglers have taken advantage of Bhagavad-gita to push forward their demonic propensities and mislead people regarding right understanding of the simple principles of life. Everyone should know how God or Krsna is great, and everyone should know the factual position of the living entities. Everyone should know that a living entity is eternally a servant and that unless one serves Krsna one has to serve illusion in different varieties of the three modes of material nature, and thus perpetually one has to wander within the cycle of birth and death; even the so-called liberated Mayavadi speculator has to undergo this process. This knowledge constitutes a great science, and each and every living being has to hear it for his own interest.

 

People in general, especially in this age of Kali, are enamoured by the external energy of Krsna, and they wrongly think that by the advancement of material comforts every man will be happy. They have no knowledge that the material or external nature is very strong, for everyone is strongly bound by the stringent laws of material nature. A living entity is happily the part and parcel of the Lord, and thus his natural function is to render immediate service to the Lord. By the spell of illusion one tries to be happy by serving his personal sense gratification in different forms which will never make him happy. Instead of satisfying his own personal material senses, he has to satisfy the senses of the Lord. That is the highest perfection of life.

The Lord wants this, and He demands it. One has to understand this central point of Bhagavad-gita. Our Krsna consciousness movement is teaching the whole world this central point, and because we are not polluting the theme of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, anyone seriously interested in deriving benefit by studying the Bhagavad-gita must take help from the Krsna consciousness movement for practical understanding of Bhagavad-gita under the direct guidance of the Lord. We hope, therefore, that people will derive the greatest benefit by studying Bhagavad-gita As It Is as we have presented it here, and if even one man becomes a pure devotee of the Lord we shall consider our attempt a success.

The main purpose and introduction stated here was given by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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