Demystifying The Holy Book
The vast majority of people, in both conservative and secular milieu, throughout today have been seeking not to be deprived of the chance of living by science alone, for true scientific thinking raises man’s consciousness to that high level of suspension which acts like a “filter to clear the mud from the muddy water.” Moreover, living in the world of knowledge explosion today’s man has lost faith in myths, superstitions, man-made imaginings about God, religious institutions which very often result not only in an enhancement of the separate personal self and an eclipsing of truth but also in bad ends: the poisoning, slandering, denying of life, hatred for the body, the condemnation and self-violation of man through the idea of sin and abysmal vulgarity. The Bhagavad Gita is neither a religious book nor a book of the worst obscurantist fundamentalism. Unfortunately scholars and commentators of “The Gita” have favoured the view for several centuries now that its response to life is “moral,” “religious” and even “spiritual”, and that it advocates the idea of renunciation which is now regarded with distrust by almost every human being in every part of the world.
“The Bhagavad Gita” is non-religious book and is not addressed to any community in particular. Unlike the other religious books it is not a study in myths, linking primitive concepts and modes of thought to the many institutions and customs they underlie. It is not a book of any religious authority but a great book of science whose philosophy is vast, multi-layered and complex. It, in particular, represents (of course in a complexly scientific manner) a profoundly significant and important contribution to the philosophy of karma done in freedom. In fact, Krishna’s perception of life here is no different from that of a scientist and that is why The Gita’s fame in Europe and other countries has gone far beyond the bounds of Indology.
The greatest blessing that “The Bhagavad Gita” can offer today to our generation suffering from confusion, tension, unhappiness, violence and fear is not any appreciation of the powers of God but the principle of Karma, whose aphoristic profundity and relevance to human life is to be accepted as the core of its wisdom. And this philosophy of karma or the technique of enlightening oneself by the path of right action presents a complete practical wisdom of life, beginning from the evolution of consciousness and ending in the state of fulfilment.
In the book My Gita acclaimed mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik demystifies the Bhagavad Gita for the contemporary reader. His unique approach- thematic rather verse by verse- makes the ancient treatise eminently accessible. In a world that seems spellbound by argument over dialogue, Vi-vaad over sam-vaad. The author gives an insight into how Krishna nudges Arjuna to understand rather than judge his relationships, which is more relevant in today’s context when everyone is increasingly indulging and isolating the self.
In a nutshell, this book will highlight the basic principles of the holy book to every commoner, which in turn will help them to actualise their true self.
By Nilabh Krishna