Bhagavad-Gita for Management and Leadership,
Retired Chief Technical Examiner
Govt. of Kerala
Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita
Old truths in a new context
The source of the problem
Utilisation of available resources
Motivation – self and self-transcendence
Manager's mental health
Management needs those who practice what they preach
A note on the word "yoga".
One of the greatest contributions of
India to the world is Holy Gita which is
considered to be one of the first revelations from God. The
management lessons in this holy book were brought in to
light of the world by divine Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and Sri
Sri RaviShankar, and the spiritual philosophy by Sr. Srila
Prabhupada Swami and humanism by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
and Satya Sai Baba. Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the
essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to
practical life. It provides "all that is needed to raise the
consciousness of man to the highest possible level."
Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that
speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone. Arjuna got
mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he
has to fight.( Mental health has become a major
international public health concern now). To motivate him
the Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field
Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do
his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting. It has
got all the management tactics to achieve the mental
equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation. The
can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for
gita means song of the Spirit, song of the Lord.
The Holy Gita
has become a secret driving force behind the unfoldment of
one's life. In the days of doubt this divine book will
support all spiritual searches. This divine book will
contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen
one's inner process. Then life in the world can become a
real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the
circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever
guide us on our journey? What makes the
Holy Gita a
practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us
the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and
we must learn to participate in the battle of life with
Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna
In this modern world the art of Management has become a part and parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort.
Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together - equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.
There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency in managing.
|Effectiveness is doing the right things.|
|Efficiency is doing things right.|
The general principles of effective management can be applied in every field, the differences being more in application than in principle. The Manager's functions can be summed up as:
|Forming a vision|
|Planning the strategy to realize the vision.|
|Cultivating the art of leadership.|
|Establishing institutional excellence.|
|Building an innovative organization.|
|Developing human resources.|
|Building teams and teamwork.|
|Delegation, motivation, and communication.|
|Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps when called for.|
Thus, management is a process of aligning people and getting them committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit - in search of excellence.
The critical question in all managers' minds is how to be effective in their job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad Gita, which repeatedly proclaims that "you must try to manage yourself." The reason is that unless a manager reaches a level of excellence and effectiveness, he or she will be merely a face in the crowd.
The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful state of affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today – and probably in enterprises in many other countries.
The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is one major difference. While Western management thought too often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.
The management philosophy emanating from the West is based on the lure of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in the abundant wealth of the West and so 'management by materialism' has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend. My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers, which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and anything Indian, is inferior.
The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the general quality of life - although the standards of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalization of institutions, social violence, exploitation and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.
The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The Western idea of management centers on making the worker (and the manager) more efficient and more productive. Companies offer workers more to work more, produce more, sell more and to stick to the organization without looking for alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from the worker is to improve the bottom-line of the enterprise. The worker has become a hirable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded at will.
Thus, workers have been reduced to the state of a mercantile product. In such a state, it should come as no surprise to us that workers start using strikes (gheraos) sit-ins, (dharnas) go-slows, work-to-rule etc. to get maximum benefit for themselves from the organisations. Society-at-large is damaged. Thus we reach a situation in which management and workers become separate and contradictory entities with conflicting interests. There is no common goal or understanding. This, predictably, leads to suspicion, friction, disillusion and mistrust, with managers and workers at cross purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in the organizational structure has resulted in a crisis of confidence.
Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some people some of the time at least - but it has failed in the aim of ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many.
Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines - their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social, and indeed national, development.
Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values.
The first lesson of management science is to choose wisely and utilize scarce resources optimally. During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War, Duryodhana chose Sri Krishna's large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri Krishna's wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to the nature of the effective manager - the former chose numbers, the latter, wisdom.
A popular verse of the Gita advises "detachment" from the fruits or results of actions performed in the course of one's duty. Being dedicated work has to mean "working for the sake of work, generating excellence for its own sake." If we are always calculating the date of promotion or the rate of commission before putting in our efforts, then such work is not detached. It is not "generating excellence for its own sake" but working only for the extrinsic reward that may (or may not) result.
Working only with an eye to the anticipated benefits, means that the quality of performance of the current job or duty suffers - through mental agitation of anxiety for the future. In fact, the way the world works means that events do not always respond positively to our calculations and hence expected fruits may not always be forthcoming. So, the Gita tells us not to mortgage present commitment to an uncertain future.
Some people might argue that not seeking the business result of work and actions, makes one unaccountable. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita is full of advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. While advising detachment from the avarice of selfish gains in discharging one's accepted duty, the Gita does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of his or her responsibilities.
Thus the best means of effective performance management is the work itself. Attaining this state of mind (called "nishkama karma") is the right attitude to work because it prevents the ego, the mind, from dissipation of attention through speculation on future gains or losses.
It has been presumed for many years that satisfying lower order needs of workers - adequate food, clothing and shelter, etc. are key factors in motivation. However, it is a common experience that the dissatisfaction of the clerk and of the Director is identical - only their scales and composition vary. It should be true that once the lower-order needs are more than satisfied, the Director should have little problem in optimizing his contribution to the organization and society. But more often than not, it does not happen like that. ("The eagle soars high but keeps its eyes firmly fixed on the dead animal below.") On the contrary, a lowly paid schoolteacher, or a self-employed artisan, may well demonstrate higher levels of self-actualization despite poorer satisfaction of their lower-order needs.
This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence propounded in the Gita. Self-transcendence involves renouncing egoism, putting others before oneself, emphasizing team work, dignity, co-operation, harmony and trust – and, indeed potentially sacrificing lower needs for higher goals, the opposite of Maslow.
"Work must be done with detachment." It is the ego that spoils work and the ego is the centerpiece of most theories of motivation. We need not merely a theory of motivation but a theory of inspiration.
The Great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, known as "Gurudev") says working for love is freedom in action. A concept which is described as "disinterested work" in the Gita where Sri Krishna says,
"He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people, through work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all sins. On the contrary those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to frustration and failure."
Disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and equipoise. The former two are psychological while the third is determination to keep the mind free of the dualistic (usually taken to mean "materialistic") pulls of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to mental equanimity or the state of "nirdwanda." This attitude leads to a stage where the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence guiding the embodied individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence is best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of organizational goals as compared to narrow personal success and achievement.
An effective work culture is about vigorous and arduous efforts in pursuit of given or chosen tasks. Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of work culture – "daivi sampat" or divine work culture and "asuri sampat" or demonic work culture.
|Daivi work culture - involves fearlessness, purity, self-control, sacrifice, straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.|
|Asuri work culture - involves egoism, delusion, personal desires, improper performance, work not oriented towards service.|
Mere work ethic is not enough. The hardened criminal exhibits an excellent work ethic. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in work.
It is in this light that the counsel, "yogah karmasu kausalam" should be understood. "Kausalam" means skill or technique of work which is an indispensable component of a work ethic. " Yogah" is defined in the Gita itself as "samatvam yogah uchyate" meaning an unchanging equipoise of mind (detachment.) Tilak tells us that acting with an equable mind is Yoga.
(Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, the precursor of Gandhiji, hailed by the people of India as "Lokmanya," probably the most learned among the country's political leaders. For a description of the meanings of the word "Yoga", see foot of this page.)
By making the equable mind the bed-rock of all actions, the Gita evolved the goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without ethical process no mind can attain an equipoise. The guru, Adi Sankara (born circa 800 AD), says that the skill necessary in the performance of one's duty is that of maintaining an evenness of mind in face of success and failure. The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection and see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be taken to avoid shortcomings in future.
The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the work done is the Gita's prescription for attaining equanimity. It has been held that this principle leads to lack of incentive for effort, striking at the very root of work ethic. To the contrary, concentration on the task for its own sake leads to the achievement of excellence – and indeed to the true mental happiness of the worker. Thus, while commonplace theories of motivation may be said to lead us to the bondage or extrinsic rewards, the Gita's principle leads us to the intrinsic rewards of mental, and indeed moral, satisfaction.
The Gita further explains the theory of "detachment" from the extrinsic rewards of work in saying:
|If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should not be appropriated by the doer alone.|
|If the result of sincere effort is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the doer.|
The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological vulnerability, the cause of the modem managers' companions of diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.
Assimilation of the ideas of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum of "lokasamgraha" (general welfare) but there is also another dimension to the work ethic - if the "karmayoga" (service) is blended with "bhaktiyoga" (devotion), then the work itself becomes worship, a "sevayoga" (service for its own sake.)
Along with bhakti yoga as a means of liberation, the Gita espouses the doctrine of nishkamya karma or pure action untainted by hankering after the fruits resulting from that action. Modern scientists have now understood the intuitive wisdom of that action in a new light.
Scientists at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, found that laboratory monkeys that started out as procrastinators, became efficient workers after they received brain injections that suppressed a gene linked to their ability to anticipate a reward. The scientists reported that the work ethic of rhesus macaques wasn't all that different from that of many people: "If the reward is not immediate, you procrastinate", Dr Richmond told LA Times.
(This may sound a peculiarly religious idea but it has a wider application. It could be taken to mean doing something because it is worthwhile, to serve others, to make the world a better place – ed.)
Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity - more so management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.
Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:
|Greed - for power, position, prestige and money.|
|Envy - regarding others' achievements, success, rewards.|
|Egotism - about one's own accomplishments.|
|Suspicion, anger and frustration.|
|Anguish through comparisons.|
The driving forces in today's businesses are speed and competition. There is a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fiber, that in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means - tax evasion, illegitimate financial holdings, being "economical with the truth", deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and so on. This phenomenon may be called as "yayati syndrome".
In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a thousand years. However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately unsatisfying and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This "yayati syndrome" shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions (extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic motivation.)
"Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow," says Sri Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness," says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.
The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is typically human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna's mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the state of what the French philosophers call "anomie" or even alienation, to a state of self-confidence in the ultimate victory of "dharma" (ethical action.)
When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action - not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and of truth over untruth.
Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures is, "No doer of good ever ends in misery." Every action should produce results. Good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore, always act well and be rewarded.
My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to India's holistic attitude of " lokasangraha" - for the welfare of many, for the good of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we do in business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our personal lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their own sake, is ultimately self-defeating. ("Profit," said Matsushita-san in another tradition, "is the reward of correct behavior." – ed.)
Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is "a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings.
Let us go through what scholars say about Holy Gita.
"No work in all Indian
literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the
West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not
only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme
and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is
seen in all things. . . . The Swami does a real service for students
by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever
our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has
lead to this illuminating work."
Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California
"The Gita can be seen as the
main literary support for the great religious civilization of India,
the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation
and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living
importance of the Gita."
Thomas Merton, Theologian
"I am most impressed with
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative
edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar
as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as
well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my
students. It is a beautifully done book."
Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University
"As a successor in direct
line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is
entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His
Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest
that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers
us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the
Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris
"I have had the opportunity
of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book
Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great
value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is
particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the
Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University
"If truth is what works, as
Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in
the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings
display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident
lives of contemporary people."
Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo
"There is little question
that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and
devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal
accuracy and religious insight."
Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College
"The Bhagavad-gita, one of
the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our
cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se
than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative
commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a
commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a
dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."
Denise Levertov, Poet
"The increasing numbers of
Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done
a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living
interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our
Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago
"The scholarly world is
again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although
Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a
translation of singular importance with his commentary."
Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
"Srila Prabhupada's edition
thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become
familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial
East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first
penetrated India. "Whether the reader be an adept of Indian
spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be
extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with
the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."
Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France
"It was as if an empire
spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene,
consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age
and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions
which exercise us"
Emerson's reaction to the Gita
"As a native of India now
living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my
fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and
spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the
publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of
false and unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an
opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of
Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico
"The Gita is one of the
clearest and most comprehensive
one, of the summaries and systematic spiritual statements
of the perennial philosophy ever to have been done"
"It is a deeply felt,
powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know
whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its
daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas.
I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important
voice and style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the
intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to
Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University
"I can say that in the
Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to
questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this
sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the
aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the
Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the
world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more
Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris
"When I read the
Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe
everything else seems so superfluous."
"When doubts haunt me, when
disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope
on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort
me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming
sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new
meanings from it every day."
"In the morning I bathe my
intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the
Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its
literature seem puny and trivial."
Henry David Thoreau
"The Bhagavad-Gita has a
profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God
which is manifested by actions."
Dr. Albert Schweitzer
"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true
scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book,
with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every
"The idea that man is like
unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages.
The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus
in which it states 'behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly
plant.' This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses
in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita."
"The Bhagavad-Gita deals
essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is
a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet
keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the
Prime Minister Nehru
"The marvel of the
Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom
which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."
"I owed a magnificent day to
the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire
spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene,
consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age
and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions
which exercise us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"In order to approach a
creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it
is necessary to attune our soul to it."
"From a clear knowledge of
the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled.
Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of
the Vedic scriptures."
"The Bhagavad-Gita is the
most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value
to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries
of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is
subject not only to India but to all of humanity."
"The Bhagavad-Gita was
spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God
which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord
Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve
the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that
are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His
incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all
The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate
from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully
reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of
the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may
think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second
chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge
and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the
third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of
high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to
complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its
closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to
relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess
and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.
"The Mahabharata has all the
essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and
that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata
just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of
Yoga has two different
meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general
meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things.
The technical meaning is "a state of stability and peace and the
means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses
the word with both meanings. Lord Krishna is real Yogi who can
maintain a peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis."
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.
Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana are
but three paths to this end. And common to all the three is
renunciation. Renounce the desires, even of going to heaven, for
every desire related with body and mind creates bondage. Our focus
of action is neither to save the humanity nor to engage in social
reforms, not to seek personal gains, but to realize the indwelling
Swami Vivekananda (England, London; 1895-96)
"Science describes the
structures and processess; philosophy attempts at their explaination.-----
When such a perfect combination of both science and philosophy is
sung to perfection that Krishna was, we have in this piece of work
an appeal both to the head annd heart.
" ____________Swamy Chinmayanand on Gita
I seek that Divine Knowledge
by knowing which nothing remains to be known!' For such a person
knowledge and ignorance has only one meaning: Have you knowledge of
God? If yes, you a Jnani! If not, you are ignorant.As said in the
Gita, chapter XIII/11, knowledge of Self, observing everywhere the
object of true Knowledge i.e. God, all this is declared to be true
Knowledge (wisdom); what is contrary to this is ignorance."
Maharishi calls the
Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide
to practical life. It provides "all that is needed to raise the
consciousness of man to the highest possible level." Maharishi
reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs
and aspirations of everyone.
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi
The Gita was preached as a
preparatory lesson for living worldly life with an eye to Release,
Nirvana. My last prayer to everyone, therefore, is that one should
not fail to thoroughly understand this ancient science of worldly
life as early as possible in one's life.
--- Lokmanya Tilak
I believe that in all the living languages of the world, there is no book so full of true knowledge, and yet so handy. It teaches self-control, austerity, non-violence, compassion, obedience to the call of duty for the sake of duty, and putting up a fight against unrighteousness (Adharma). To my knowledge, there is no book in the whole range of the world's literature so high above as the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the treasure-house of Dharma nor only for the Hindus but foe all mankind. --- M. M. Malaviya