As a main pillar of Hindu philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita is one of the most widely studied volumes in the world. It is found not only in Hindu temples but also in millions of libraries and homes. The Bhagavad Gita was even used at a swearing-in ceremony for a member of the United States Congress. With great pleasure we present this article Bhakti Yoga in Bhagavad Gita by Bhakti Raksak Swami. He has collected many important facts about the Gita for our readers’ benefit.
Bhakti yoga, the uniqueness of the Bhagavad Gita
Throughout human history, people have been trying to unveil the secrets of existence and discover the purpose of life. Many explanations and stories have been offered and preserved either by oral transmission or through scriptures. As a result, a great variety of traditions have appeared. Each one tradition with its own rituals and practices.
Original practices mean to ensure a peaceful stay in this world as well as a successful and safe journey into the hidden or unknown realms. Amongst all these traditions, bhakti yoga, originating from the Vedic scriptures of ancient India has become widely known throughout the world. This kind of yoga is still being explored.
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A great classic belonging to the epic Mahabharata of Vedic literature, the Bhagavad Gita. This writing is also known as one of the three oldest scriptures of humanity. It has been recognized and appreciated by great thinkers of modernity, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Arthur Schopenhauer, Albert Einstein and others for the depth of its wisdom and incomparable inspiration.
Far beyond any materialistic goal a human being can pursue in this world, the Bhagavad Gita teaches bhakti-yoga. That is pure devotional service with loving feelings to the Supreme Lord, as the highest objective. Though different Hindu schools have various approaches towards the Bhagavad Gita, the essential message is the same – to cultivate bhakti yoga, loving service of the Supreme.
Source of inspiration
The Bhagavad Gita, describes a dialogue between the Supreme Lord Himself, Sri Krishna, and his dear friend and devotee Arjuna. Life’s destiny has brought Arjuna into a very desperate dilemma. He is trapped between armies of his relatives on two sides, gathered to fight in what for him appears to be a meaningless war. Unable to find his way out of this bewildering situation, Arjuna surrenders to Krishna and asks for His guidance.
What follows is a deep analysis about the root causes and secret workings of life, as revealed by Krishna to Arjuna. By listening to them, we learn the difference between the eternal soul and the perishable material body.
The living entity engrossed in material nature, empty of spirtitual knowledge, considers the body as the self and seeks material pleasure as the only purpose of life. However, by receiving and understanding transcendental knowledge, we obtain a new vision. At the same time, we obtain a much broader perspective on the meaning of our existence. We can no longer ignore the callings of the soul and its spiritual needs. Therefore, a person who connected with this reality, naturally continues to inquire deeper into the world of spiritual understanding.
One who has stepped onto the path of this spiritual search cannot but question all prior activities and ways of thinking. One will start to change their habits related to thought and action. There cannot be spiritual insight without self-regulation of external habits coupled with disciplined spiritual practices.
Bhakti yoga in Bhagavad Gita: The Final Goal
Krishna guides Arjuna through different levels of understanding the secrets of life. Nonetheless instructs us to act according to our level of realisation. Understanding the benefits of action in dedication (karma), meditation (dhyana), development of knowledge (jnana) as well as other practices and regulations of yoga.
He does all this with the intention of making Arjuna, – all of us – understand that devotional service, bhakti-yoga, to Him, represents the supreme purpose of life. Union with the Lord in divine love, expressed through surrender and devotional service ultimately pleases the Lord. This kind of union pleases tha Lords servant too, the soul.
There is nothing comparable to this practice or consciousness. There is no book like the Bhagavad Gita, which teaches us the greatest secret: bhakti yoga in Bhagavad Gita
Feel the power of chanting Vedic mantras. We recite some Bhagavad Gita verses as well. We made this video on our tour to Varanasi.