Gita - The Perfect Script

The Bhagavat Gita is the perfect script for the beautiful “drama of human transformation” – transformation from the most miserable plight to the most glorious consummation. Arjuna is the hero in this drama. Lord Krishna the scriptwriter has in his own masterly manner leads Arjuna by the hand from a situation of abject cowardice to the high stage of a victorious conqueror. Arjuna is only incidental. All of us are Arjunas in the battlefield of Kurushetra which our life actually is. We come resolved to fight, but when faced with the grim realities of life we get unnerved and trot out arguments for running away from the battlefield of real life. That is where Gita comes to our rescue. It instils courage in our mind, explains to us the real meaning and the need of facing the situation and shows the way to fight it out and achieve victory.

The Gita takes us step by step to the ultimate goal of success. It transforms us from the nerve-shattered coward to the triumphant hero through six remarkable steps. They are gradual, complimentary and even simultaneous. It is not always one step leading to the other. It is an inner discovery and a gradual unfoldment. When all the steps are taken you find yourself at the top of the world, having overcome every possible weakness of human existence.

The first step is ‘Sthitha Prajna’, the man of steady, established wisdom. From the shaken and confused mental state Krishna shows the way for you to become focused and firmly established in your own spiritual foundation. Your doubts have vanished. Vacillation is overcome and a concentrated will and unshakable control over the senses and the mind have been achieved. You are clear about your duty of performing your ‘dharma’ irrespective of who all are arraigned against you on the side of ‘adharma’. You have achieved discrimination and a steady wisdom. Grief does not shake you nor happiness elate, you are perfectly well–posed for further take off.

The second step is that of a true ‘ bhakta’. The Gita tells you that it is not enough if you are able to perform ‘Swadharma’ with equanimity of mind. Swadharma has to be elevated to the level of a devotional obligation, a sincere offering of a genuine worship with absolute surrender to the supreme Lord. Performance of swadharma is in fact the establishment of a unique relationship between the devotee and the Lord. The Gita defines a bhakta not as a mere worshipper in a shrine consecrated for the ‘ Ishtadevata’. That is only a part of bhakti, a preliminary step. You have to move ahead, see the Ishtadevata in every being and become ‘Sarvabhuta hiteratah’ – One, who is constantly engaged in working for the welfare of all beings--living and non-living--finding the presence of the same Divine in all that exists. Only such worship is ‘dharmya’, in accordance with dharma. That is what Gita prescribes to a true devotee.

The third step is to become ‘Gunateeta’ one has to climb from the ‘tamasic’ level through the ‘rajasic’ and reach the ‘satwic’. But even ‘satwic’ is not the highest step. You have to ascend still further. You have to become a ‘Gunateeta’. ‘Satwic’ nature is also a chain that binds you as the ‘tamasic’ or ‘rajasic’. All the three are bondages. ‘Tamasic’ may be the ‘iron chain’ but ‘satwic’ is the ‘golden chain’. “But chains, though of gold, are not less strong to bind”- as Swami Vivekananda says. You have to break it, transcend it and go beyond before you arrive at the state of Gunateeta.

Then comes the fourth step. You have to become a ‘Muni’. The word ‘Muni’ in the Gita is used in a different sense from what we generally understand. Muni in the Gita is not just one who observes silence in words. That is only the external sign. It is in fact a state of mind. Muni is one who is deeply thoughtful, profoundly inward-looking, discriminating between the real and the unreal, constantly in quest of the essential Truth of all existence, so that the non-essentials can be totally eschewed and all one’s energy can be directed and dedicated to the service of the Truth. Without ascending this step, one cannot enter into the higher realms of spiritual realization.

‘Rishihood’ may be described as the next step which Gita prescribes for achieving success in life. ‘Rishi’ is a wonderful concept in the Hindu tradition. Here again, like the Muni concept, it is also wrongly understood. The Rishi is not to be identified with certain physical features. Rishis are of three kinds. The ‘Rajarshi’, the ‘ Brahmarshi’ and the ‘Devarshi’. The Bhagavat Gita places the ideal of Rajarshi before humanity. It mentions King Janaka and others of that kind as Rajarshis. They are men of action, even rulers of mighty empires. They live in the work a day world, among the harsh realities of life. That is probably a higher ideal than that of a Brahmarshi immersed in the bliss of his own self-realization. The Gita wants us to ascend this step of Rajarshi, living in this world, fighting its battles, relinquishing the sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and fulfilling one’s duties in times of peace and prosperity as well as turbulence and war, unaffected by the consequences of either.

Ultimately comes the sixth step. That is to be a ‘Yogi’. “ Therefore you become a Yogi”, Krishna tells Arjuna. That is the highest stage to be achieved. “A yogi is higher than an ascetic, a man of action or even a man of wisdom. You have to become a yogi. Therefore Arjuna, you become a Yogi ”. The Gita extols yogi and places before Arjuna that goal as the highest to be achieved. Constantly, repeatedly, Gita whispers into Arjuna’s ears, and through him to all of us, “ be a yogi ”. Yoga is not for a selected few. It is for all. Every human being has to become a yogi, in the true sense of the word as described in the Gita in order to attain total fulfilment. Krishna is the ‘Yogeswara’ and every human being has to aspire to become a yogi. In fact Bhagavat Gita is the ‘Yogashastra’, which treats the Art and Science of Yoga in a unique manner. It defines yoga in all its aspects, describes the various path, which you have to tread in order to remain steadfast in that supreme status, discharging all your duties with equanimity and skill as a fitting instrument of Lord Krishna, the ‘Purushothama’.
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