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Bhagavad Gita is relevant even today!
The Bhagavad Gita is a revered book of the Hindus, but its message appeals to all irrespective of religion or nationality. If only people chose to do their duty without any selfish motive, the world would be a much better place to live in.
THE BHAGAVAD Gita is a dissertation on how Krishna enlightened Arjuna on the eve of the Kurukshetra war. The dissertation primarily deals with Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Gyaan Yoga. One of the wisest and most intellectual treatises of Hindu Mythology, it clears the doubts that arose in Arjuna’s mind on the eve of the war. Watching the two armies preparing for the big battle, Arjuna is confronted with mixed emotions and feelings. He wondered whether the war was necessary in the first place. Arjuna, the invincible warrior, questioned the Divine God whether it was right just to be selfishly concerned with one’s duty and ambitions even though it would lead to bloodshed and slaughter of one’s own relatives. Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer, insisted that it was Arjuna’s duty to fight for a just cause irrespective of the consequences. And thus Arjuna had to stand firm and resolute in doing his duty.
Many foreign philosophers have fallen in love with Bhagavad Gita from time to time. Way back in 1785, Charles Wilkins published an English translation of the Bhagavad Gita. It was praised by Wilhelm Von Humboldt as “the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue.” Christopher Isherwood and TS Elliot too have appreciated this book.
The Bhagavad Gita may have been written centuries ago but its principles still apply to people from all walks of life. Consider the men who guard the borders of a country or the ones who go to war. They too are often confronted with the same thought - is what they are doing against the wishes of the Almighty? But in war, there is only one thing to be thought of - survival. Although all are men fighting against each other for a piece of land or on account of a political problem, all is fair. Robert Oppenheimer developed the ultimate “Weapon of Mass Destruction” during the Second World War. He said at the time, “When you see something technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success.” How could a weapon of mass destruction ever result in something good? The same was said of dynamite invented by Alfred Nobel. But, look at all the uses dynamite it is put to, today.
It’s not just about the warriors who defend the honour of their motherland. It can also be applied to the most popular profession in the world, viz, politics. Albert Einstein once said, “Politics is tougher than Physics” and this from a man of his stature certainly makes sense. Politicians are concerned only with their vested interests. Their hunger for power makes them focus their attention on a totally new direction. Rather than concentrate on development and growth, they concentrate on how to remain in power.
The problem is that we do not have enough selfless politicians around, in spite of all the great achievers present here. India continues to remain one of the poorest countries in the world. Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was confronted with the question whether to arrest Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supremo Raj Thackeray or not. This, after the police believed there could be a case against him for his anti-north Indian chants. But Deshmukh has chosen to ignore the case so far probably because he does not want to give Raj Thackeray more political mileage than he deserves. Instead of doing his duty, he would like to remain in power as long as possible.
Sania Mirza has chosen to skip the Bangalore Open because her managers advised her to. Her middle name has been controversy; but the young prodigy has displayed immense talent and willpower to emerge as the highest ranked Asian woman in tennis. She is a role model for millions of girls in India who can look up to her and say, “If Sania can, why can’t we?” But it is sad that Sania has decided not to play in the upcoming Bangalore Open. She has devoted herself selflessly to her country in spite of all the odds and she should continue to do so. Controversies that she has been involved in are all frivolous. With millions of Indians behind her, Sania should overcome everything else to play for her pride and for her country.
Karma Yoga tells us that we should concentrate on doing our work and not think about the fruits we will reap. The Gita says, “To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.” Thus, the principles of Bhagavad Gita can be applied to people of all professions and all religions. If only people chose to act and do their duty without anticipating any selfish gain, the world would have been a much better place to live in.
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