The backdrop to the Bhagavad Gita is the battle of Kurukshetra between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Arjuna finds himself reluctantly fighting for the Pandavas against his cousins the Kauravas. Before the start of the battle Arjuna is a given a choice between having the help of either his beloved friend Krishna or the entire army of Krishna. Without
hesitation Arjuna chose to have Sri Krishna as an adviser, rather than his army. Most of the Bhagavad Gita comprises the discourse that Sri Krishna gave to his disciple Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurushetra. The battle becomes a synopsis for life and provides Sri Krishna the opportunity to explain to Arjuna the philosophy of Yoga and Vedanta, in a practical and meaningful way.
The Gita begins with Sri Krishna explaining the essence of man is not the body but the immortal soul. On the eve of battle Arjuna is filled with deep misgivings; he feels to kill his relatives and friends would be a great sin. But Sri Krishna replies that Arjuna should not seem himself as the doer. It is only God who gives and takes life away.Furthermore the death of the body does not harm the soul. As the immortal quote of the Gita runs.
“The soul migrates from body to body. Weapons cannot cleave it, nor fire consume it, nor water drench it, norwind dry it. This is the soul and this is what is meant by the existence of the soul.”
By revealing his universal form, Arjuna views Sri Krishna as not just a friend, but as an Avatar or incarnation of God. It is quite apt to note the English writer Christopher Isherwood would later comment on the Gita as being “like a university lecture delivered by God.” Their relationship changes from good friends to Master and disciple. It is Sri Krishna’s revelations that give the Gita its Divine power. Sanjaya the scribe of the Gita remembered the words of Sri Krishna and this is why the Gita is usually looked upon as śruti, or revealed knowledge. Even though technically the Gita is Smrti because it was later remembered and written down by Sanjaya.
When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe
everything else seems so superfluous. – Albert Einstein
Whatever you do, make it an offering to me — the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your sufferings.
It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.
A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.
No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come.
I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Balance of mind is called Yoga.
It is true that the mind is restless and difficult to control. But it can be conquered,
through regular practice and detachment. Those who lack self-control will find it
difficult to progress in meditation; but those who are self-controlled, striving
earnestly through the right means, will attain the goal.
For certain is death for the born… And certain is birth for the dead… Therefore, over
the inevitable Thou shouldst not grieve.
Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.
The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.
There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist. As the same person inhabits the body through childhood, youth, and old age, so too at the time of death he attains another body. The wise are not deluded by these changes.
Those who eat too much or eat too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will
not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, work
and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.
Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united
with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart.
Be free from fear. Be fearless and have faith in the divine.
Not by refraining from action does man attain freedom from action. Not by mere
renunciation does he attain supreme perfection.
As person abandons worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is
worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.
Out of compassion I destroy the darkness of their ignorance. From within them I
light the lamp of wisdom and dispel all darkness from their lives.
No work stains a man who is pure, who is in harmony, who is master of his life,
whose soul is one with the soul of all.