Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals -14.1.1

Chapter :- 14.  The Gospel of the Bhagavadgita - 1.1.


Gita Jayanti message given in the year 1976. Gita Jayanti falls on Ekadasi, or the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Margasirsha (November-December). By Swami Krishnananda

1. Introduction-1.

I shall endeavour to touch upon a few salient points in the gospel of the Bhagavadgita, which will be of some meaning and utility in our day-to-day life. To apply a knowledge to life is the most difficult aspect of knowledge. We have always been accustomed to bifurcate life from knowledge, and vice versa, so that a learned man is not necessarily a happy man, nor even a rich man.

The reason is that learning or knowledge has been isolated from the facts of life. This is one of the conflicts that we observe in life. As they say humorously, Sarasvati and Lakshmi never live in the same house, meaning thereby that learning and wealth do not go together. There are many such conflicts, all which are supposed to be resolved, in one way or the other, by means of the great teachings known as the Bhagavadgita.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna, when He spoke the Bhagavadgita, intended to resolve a conflict. What is a conflict, may be a question that raises itself in our minds. There are, actually, four types of conflict, within which every other type, kind, or variation of disharmony can be subsumed. The occasion for the delivery of this Gospel was the battle of Mahabharata, which represents a field of conflict with other people. This is what is known as a battle.

The first problem one encounters in life is conflict with other people. "You do not like me" and "I do not like you". When we wake up in the morning and look at the world, we are faced with a conflict with other people. This is a difficulty which saps the vitality of many in the world. We have to see faces with whom we cannot reconcile ourselves. It may be a boss, a subordinate or an equal – it makes no difference.

When we cannot reconcile ourselves with another face, there is a conflict; and we see nothing but faces when we get up in the morning and look at the world outside.

The battle of Mahabharata is a large epic, describing this primary conflict of human nature – conflict of one person with another person, in which can be included conflicts of groups, communities and nations, because all these are nothing but personalities and individualities associating and clashing in certain manners and patterns.

What you call a society, or a family, or a nation, or a community is nothing but human beings grouping themselves into patterns.

So, conflict with other people includes every kind of conflict in the world. Thus, we have the Mahabharata epic, in the middle of which the Bhagavadgita occurs.

To be continued ...

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