Saturday, Sep 28, 2013.


Aurobindo Ghose 

What is the message of the Geeta and what is its working value, its spiritual utility to the human mind of the present day, after the long ages of transformations of thought and experience? The human mind always moves forward, alters its view-point and enlarges its thought-substance, and the effect of these changes is to render past systems of thinking obsolete, or, when they are preserved, to extend, to modify and, subtly or visibly, to alter their value. The vitality of an/any ancient doctrine consists in the extent to which it naturally lends itself to such a treatment; for that means that whatever may have been the limitations or the obsolescences of the form of its thought, the truth of substance, the truth of living vision and experience on which its system was built, is still sound and retains a permanent valid significance. 

The Geeta is a book that has worn extraordinarily well, and it is almost as fresh and still in its real substance quite as new, because always renewable in experience, as when it first appeared in or was written into the frame of the 'Mahabharata.' It is still received in India as one of the great bodies of doctrine that most authoritatively govern religious thinking; and its teaching is acknowledged as of the highest value if not wholly accepted by almost all shades of religious belief and opinion. Its influence is not merely philosophic or academic but immediate and living, an influence both for thought and action, and its ideas are actually at work as a powerful shaping factor in the revival and renewal of a nation and a culture. It has even been said recently by a great voice that all we need of spiritual truth for the spiritual life is to be found in the Geeta. It would be to encourage the superstition of the book to take too literally that utterance. The truth of the Spirit is infinite and cannot be circumscribed in that manner. Still it may be said that most of the main clues are there and that after all the later developments of spiritual experience and discovery, we can still return to it for a large inspiration and guidance. Outside India too it is universally acknowledged as one of the world's great scriptures, although in Europe its thought is better understood than its secret of spiritual practice. 

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