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November 25, 2017

The Dramatic Climax In The Bhagwad Gita




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The Dramatic Climax In The Bhagwad Gita

The side effects of spiritual life are prosperity and happiness. The Gita is an invaluable guide not only for spiritual aspirants but for also corporate executives, sportspersons, musicians, academicians, everybody! As counsellor, the Gita helps nurture fulfilling relationships, too.

The Gita does not advocate giving up on life and retiring to forests. The Gita enables you to enjoy life to the fullest while focussing on inner enrichment.


The 18th chapter summarises the entire Gita. It deals with the transformation of the individual from a finite, powerless victim into the infinite, omnipotent victor.

You are Spirit, not matter. Matter only clothes the Spirit that is the same in all. Matter varies and consists of three distinct gunas, traits called sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva is pure, free from desire and ego. Rajas is passion, characterised by frenetic, desire-driven activity. Tamas is inertia, indifference and inactivity that stem from ignorance. Every human has all three gunas. It is their proportion that makes the difference. The purpose of life is to eliminate tamas, refine rajas and promote sattva. You can excel only when you operate out of sattva.

Based on this, human beings were categorised into four varnas or castes. This was not based on heredity but on the blend of sattva, rajas and tamas. Each caste was given a vocation best suited for their nature. The purpose was to help everyone rise to highest perfection. The varnas correspond to natural archetypes that exist in all societies.

Brahmanas were predominantly sattvika, highly refined individuals – leaders and visionaries. They naturally took to study, research and teaching in the fields of science, medicine, engineering and so on. They excelled in soft skills like music, art, literature and philosophy. They were advisors to members of other castes, particularly in the field of ethics and morality. Ancient India was led by the wise, not the wealthy. The wise guided the wealthy kshatriyas and protected them from the corruptive influence of wealth and power. The kshatriyas, the warrior caste with administrative and management skills, were predominantly rajasika. Vaishyas, traders and businessmen, had more tamas and less sattva. The shudras, labour class, were predominantly tamasika. These categories were not based on heredity; they were as per a person’s proclivities.

Krishna encapsulates the entire spiritual path starting with Karma, Bhakti and Jnana Yogas and concludes with meditation. Karma Yoga is acting with the attitude of giving, not taking. Bhakti Yoga is inclusive love, not exclusive attachment. Jnana Yoga is distilling the permanent from the transient aspects of life. If you maintain your focus on Atman you will overcome all obstacles. When you are free of the bulk of desires you are fit for meditation. In the intense heat of meditation the last traces of desire vanish and you become God!

Krishna then leaves you to do as you wish. The Gita is not a doctrine of adesha, commandments, to be accepted without question. It is upadesha, advice based on logical, scientific exposition on the human personality. Reflect on these, experiment with them and draw your own conclusions – just as you would in physics or chemistry. Then you will experience the truths laid down in the Gita and find liberation while living in the world.



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