Beach 8: One's Nature vis--vis one's Duty

Wave 2: The Secret of Secrets from the bhagavad-gItA

Drop 2: The five teachings of Lord Krishna to all humanity

It is alright to say that Krishna used five major arguments to convince Arjuna that his business was to begin the war and fight then and there. But what does it mean to us, ordinary mortals in this world, separated from the world of the mahA-bhArata by more than five millenia in time? We are told by every one of the world's great men that the gItA has great relevance even in modern times. What is it that makes it so relevant? What exactly did Krishna expect us to learn from his long sermon to Arjuna? In what sense does it transcend the context of the mahA-bhArata and remain of great value to us today? What are Krishna's teachings to us? The gist of the teachings of Krishna to all humanity may be capsuled under five heads as follows.

That these are the only five injunctions of the Lord to mankind and that these cover everything else said in the Gita, is confirmed by the Lord Himself summarising the entire gitA in a nutshell at the end of the eleventh chapter, after He gives Arjuna a vision of His cosmic form. The last verse of the eleventh chapter says: Do your actions for My sake; Have me as your ultimate refuge; Be My devotee; Be rid of all attachment; Have no hate towards anything or anyone. Then you shall reach Me.:

mat-karma-kRn-mat-paramo mad-bhaktas-sanga-varjitaH /

nirvairaH sarva-bhUteshu yas-sa mAm-eti pANDava // (bhagavad-gItA: 11 - 55)

Adi Sankara refers to this verse as the summum-bonum of the entire teaching in the gItA scripture.


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April 11, '99 Copyright V. Krishnamurthy