Divine poesy Bhagvad Gita has to be read even if you are a Shia, Sunni, Christian Science, Pentecostal, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventist, Masons; Jews, Jains, Hindus, Sikhs, Jihadis or a plain Atheist.
Gita is not Hindu or RSS philosophy but a gift to mankind. Seeing through religious prism distorts world view similar to a man sitting in a luxurious Ferrari. Religion acts like Ferrari preventing the car door from being opened and for the man to step outside and see other cars passing by. Staying too long inside Ferrari is claustrophobic. For those who have turned religion into Ferrari the only way for them is to step out and take a look at Gita.
Gita applies and appeals to all irrespective of caste, creed or religious labels pasted upon one’s forehead following years of turbulence in Man’s evolution. Gita is about 700 verses distilled essence of four Vedas, 108 Upanishads (commentaries on Vedas), and six systems of philosophy.
A heart-broken Arjuna was imparted divine knowledge Gita that comprises karma-yoga (do your duty doesn’t matter what it is without yearning for fruits arising thereof . What it means is worker in a honey industry should produce honey and not lick it as matter of right and causing loss to his employer. And Gita also talks of how sense gratification harms and renunciation helps in becoming a yogi). The dissemination of divine knowledge on the battlefield was truly a cosmic event between Man and God. It will remain in memory until the Universe disintegrates.
Essence of Gita is soul not different from Infinite Brahman and therefore imperishable. For Arjuna dharma meant honouring near and dear ones and not killing them. He had forgotten his duty as warrior. Not a spiritual seeker or yogi he still had the divine luck to be with divinity and Lord Krishna helping him digest the esoteric truth. Even best of yogis sometimes seized by MAYA stumble while grasping divine knowledge.
When the knowledge is imparted and Arjuna’s ignorance is dispelled he is anxious to see the Divine form of the Lord and is allowed to witness the Vishwaroopam. It had to be through a divine sight to behold the omnipotence and the majesty of transcendental power.
The point I am making is Arjuna was a human and saw what a normal human would see. Krishna in showing his Vishawaroopam had to use a material form comprising infinite eyes, hands etc to make Arjuna grip the reality. Or else the formless reality would not have made sense to Arjuna or the inexhaustible power and energy of the Cosmos that he witnessed.
The Vishwaroopam sloka (11:10/11) “Aneka Vaktra Nayanam…. ” refers to Arjuna seeing the Universal Form of the Lord with many mouths and eyes and many visions of marvel with numerous divine ornaments, holding many divine weapons, wearing divine garlands and apparel, anointed with celestial perfumes and ointments, full of all wonders with LIMITLESS God having faces on all sides. (11.10-11)
Formless God was demonstrated through Vishwaroopam with infinite forms. The Cosmic delight was also terrifying to Arjuna as the resplendence was like million atom bombs bursting all at once. Terrified Arjuna begs Krishna to regain his original form saying he had enough of it.
Gita deals with body, mind, and soul. Man born with five senses comprising five perishable materials (earth, air etc) is conscious only due to the subtle astral soul. Unborn soul is divinely pure yet coming in contact with senses obscures this truth as physical body is born out of Nature. Transcending Nature is divinity and that is Gita.
Lord Krishna’s Vishwaroopam may have had shown unlimited faces, eyes, dazzling celestial ornaments, apparels decorated and heavenly perfumed and carrying gleaming weapons. But they were meant to make Arjuna understand the power of the incomparable soul which is all-pervading.
Arjuna’s Cosmic reality made him understand that he was neither giver or taker of lives. His near & dear ones were already dead and he seemed to be the agent in a Cosmic sort of excuse that was far removed from his reality. Time takes everyone away. “I have already killed these people,” says Krishna and that is Gita.
Gita talks about renunciation. From ego stems desire from desire anger and ultimate destruction. For a confused Arjuna dharma seemed to drop his weapons and suffer ignominy. It was his sense of duty that was dharma and Gita does just that in awakening it.
For a lay man Gita sounds complicated like working of combustion engine is to a cat. Even best of minds are fooled by the illusionary world brought about by the sensory effect of senses.
Soul is part of Super Soul or God. Maya obscures this truth. A spark falling out of a bonfire looks distinct until a gust of wind blows it back into the bonfire and the distinction ceases. Gita is the knowledge that awakens the desire to see the Supreme Reality.