Bhagvad-Gita Treatise of Self-help - Novels
by BS Murthy
The Bhagavad-Gita, popularly known as Gita, with its twin tracks of spiritual ethos and philosophical outlook, helps man commute to the destination of human excellence on the broad gauge of life. The unsurpassed art of living that the Gita ...Read Morepaves the way for the ‘liberation of man’ and that’s what makes the Gita, which probably is around for over two millennia now, the treatise of self-help.
Nonetheless, all along, its spiritual track has come to acquire primacy what with its protagonists being the religiously inclined men and women for most part. Even Mahatma Gandhi, the most famous and ardent advocate of Gita of our times, was eloquent about the spiritual solace that it afforded him. Needless to say, the innumerable commentaries on the Gita that appear in print or get voiced in discourses invariably come from people with religio-spiritual orientation. Insensibly, all these led to the public perception of the Gita as a spiritual tome, and that has brought about a situation where everyone swears by it but few venture to approach it.
Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help Sans 110 interpolations in contemporary verse BS Murthy ISBN 81-901911-0-1 Copyright © 2006 BS Murthy Originally published by Self Imprint in 2003 and 2005 This improved E-book edition is of 2013 Cover design by E. ...Read MoreKumar and the Krishna-Arjuna illustration by Gopi Self Imprint F-9, Nandini Mansion, 1-10-234, Ashok Nagar, Hyderabad – 500 020 Other books by BS Murthy Benign Flame: Saga of Love Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life Crossing the Mirage – Passing through youth Glaring Shadow - A stream of consciousness novel Prey on the Prowl – A Crime Novel Stories Varied –
All about Interpolations It was long suspected there could be interpolations in the Gita as it was being received down the ages through oral tradition. One way to scent the nature of these, if not zero in on ...Read Moreone of them, is to subject the text to the twin tests of sequential conformity and structural economy. Sequential conformity is all about uniformity of purpose sans digression and structural economy but represents the absence of repetitiveness. If the body Bhagavad-Gita of 700 slokas were to be scanned for possible fault lines on the above lines, the result would be but positive. It must
Chapter 1 Arjuna's Dilemma ...Read More In this opening chapter, the grand stage for the discourse nonpareil is set on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Gathered with their armies are the estranged cousins, the Pãndavãs and the Kauravãs, all set to join the battle. After reviewing the relative strengths of the opposing formations, Duryodhana, the Kaurava prince, fancies his chances. On the other hand, Arjuna, alias Pãrtha, the spearhead of the Pãndava forces, is beset with moral indignation. He begins to see
Chapter 2 All about Life. This character defining chapter of the Gita comprising 72 slokas, known as sãnkhya yoga, Realization through Knowledge, is regarded by many, as the peerless part of the great epic. Arjuna’s dilemma, meanwhile, turns into ...Read Moreas the horrific prospect of slaying Bhishma, his revered granduncle, and Drona, his venerated guru, sinks into his consciousness. Bogged down by sentiment, Arjuna appeals to Lord Krishna for guidance. The Lord’s response starting with the epoch making eleventh sloka, ‘Averring as knowing Worried over trivia! Reckon never wise Dead and alive both,’ is indeed the curtain raiser to the grand discourse.
Chapter 3 Theory of Action This chapter of 42 slokas, known as karma yoga, Theory of Action, covers the whole gamut of action. It is apparent that not all slokas here could be originals. It is pertinent to ...Read Morethat Lord Krishna was unequivocal, in s 42- s45, and s53 of the previous chapter, about the fallacy of the Vedic rituals, and the lack of wisdom in those that clamour for ceremonies, which promise rewards here and in hereafter. , Given that postulation and going by the contextual nature of this chapter that emphasizes action, the s9 -s16 that eulogize the benefits
Chapter 4 Practical Wisdom This chapter of 42 slokas, known as jnana yoga, Spiritual Knowledge, is replete with practical wisdom as well. So in this chapter as with the previous one, there are interpolations galore. Slokas ...Read More24 to 32 that are of religious/ritualistic nature seem clearly out of context and character. Prior to this seemingly interpolated body of eleven slokas, the nature of the Supreme Spirit and the conduct of those who realize it are dealt with. Thus, the discontinuity in the text brought about by the body of these interpolative slokas would be self-evident. Among these is s24, in which the nature of Brahman
Chapter 5 Art of Renunciation This chapter of 29 slokas, known as karma sanyãsa yoga, Renunciation of Action, is in response to Arjuna’s plea at the beginning of the chapter, ‘Pray be clear, as Thee aver / Act ...Read Moregive up in selfsame breath’. Lord Krishna sets the tone for self-help in this chapter with the opening statement, ‘Give up all ’n thou be freed / So’s the case with selfless work / But know latter scores much better’. S18 avers the Omnipresence of the Supreme in Brahmans, cows, elephants, dogs and dog eaters. This tasteless description could be but an interpolation
Chapter 6 Practice of Restraint This chapter of 47 slokas, known as ãtma samyama yoga, Self Restraint, deals with all aspects of self-control needed for renunciation in action. Here Arjuna’s queries as to what would be the fate ...Read Moreman were he to fail midway, in his efforts at self- control (s37). Even if it were the case, assures the Lord, still one wouldn't come to grief here or hereafter (s40). What is more, after being born many times over, eventually he attains moksha (s45). Further in s46, the Lord asserts that such a man is superior to the ritualistic character, and concludes in s47 that
Chapter 7 Know the Spirit This chapter of 30 slokas, known as gjnãna vigjnãna yoga, Spiritual knowledge and Secular intelligence, is about understanding the nature of the Supreme through knowing and meditation. However, s20-s23 besides breaking the ...Read Morein the character of the discourse, would advocate worship of gods for boon seeking that Krishna chastises is s42-s44, ch.2. And thus these slokas undoubtedly are interpolations. 1 Thus spoke the Lord: How to retain Me in mind He in yoga comes to know. 2 Make thee privy that knowledge Leaves that no scope for some more. 3 Rarely beings seek their self Of them
Chapter 8 Cycle of Creation This chapter of 28 slokas, known as akshara parabrahma yoga - The Indestructible Brahman - emphasizes the need of un-wavered devotion to the Supreme so as to attain Him. It also describes the ...Read Moreof meditation to reach the Supreme by understanding the nature of the Brahman. And s 22 is a seemingly concluding statement of the Lord that only through un-swerved devotion the Supreme could be reached from which there is no return (s 21). Then appear s23 to s28 which if literally taken would imply that if one dies when the moon is on the ascent he would go
Chapter 9 The Sacred Secret This chapter of 34 slokas, known as rãja-vidyã rãja-guhya yoga, Supreme Knowledge and Supreme Secret, describes various ways of attaining the Supreme that lends itself readily for interpolations. In s13, it ...Read Morestated that the realized man constantly and single-mindedly remains devoted to the Supreme and in s14 it is averred that such ever remain united with Him in meditation. But it is only in s22 that the protection of the Supreme to those engaged in His service in true devotion is assured. While s23 states that those who worship other gods with faith, worship Him only, albeit
Chapter 10 Discern the Divine This intriguing chapter of 42 slokas, known as vibhooti yoga, Glories of the Supreme, characterizes the Omnipresence of the Supreme Spirit. Well, for general human understanding, Lord Krishna identifies the best in heaven ...Read Moreearth that represent all that is glorious about Him. One might note that His averment that Sãma Veda and tapo yagjna, meditative prayer, symbolize the glory of the Supreme was cited in the introduction to the third chapter. In the context of what Lord Krishna enumerates as symbolic of the ‘Glory of the Supreme Spirit’, it is interesting to note that He’s the sovereign in humans in
Chapter 11 Nature of Omnipresence This fascinating chapter of 55 slokas, known as visvaroopa sandarsana yoga, Espial of the Universal Form, is about the character of the Supreme Spirit. Lord Krishna enables Arjuna to espy the All-encompassing ...Read MoreForm of the Supreme Spirit by granting him the required ESP. The descriptive nature of the State Supreme falls in the realms of Universal Vision. Owing to the improbability of their being, s9-s14, make an amusing reading. S3 states that Krishna grants Arjuna the divine sight required to espy His Universal Form. Of course, the ESP that Vyãsa granted Sanjaya (s75 ch.18) might have
Chapter 12 Doctrine of Faith This chapter of 20 slokas, known as bhakti yoga, Doctrine of Faith, enumerates the human qualities that are endearing to the Supreme Spirit. In this also are discussed the ways in which ...Read Morestill could win the Lord’s favour yet failing to set store on Him. 1 Thus spoke Arjuna: Pray tell who’s better realized, One that devoted as stated Or relies who on God Obscure. 2 Thus spoke the Lord: Me in devotion who worships Him I reckon as well realized. 3 Having said that add I might Looks as one to God Obscure
Chapter 13 Field and Farmer This chapter of 35 slokas, known as kshetra kshetragjnya vibhãga yoga, Field and Farmer, deals with body and spirit in the first half, and for the rest about Prakruti (Nature) and Purusha (Supreme ...Read MoreIt may be noted that customarily the first verse that is carried here is either omitted altogether or retained unnumbered for reasons none explained. Thereby to avoid confusion in comparison, the same is numbered 0 in this text. One might notice that s10, advocating asceticism to which Lord Krishna is opposed, doesn't jell with the rest, either contextually or philosophically, and thus should be seen as
Chapter 14 Proclivities to Know This diagnostic chapter of 27 slokas, known as gunatraya vibhãga yoga, Differentiation of Qualities Three, details the three human proclivities - virtue, passion and delusion. It concludes with the identification of the realized ...Read MoreHowever, it may be noted that s3, s4 and s19 that deal with the Nature and the Spirit are digressions, and thus are interpolations. 1 Thus spoke the Lord: Pass I now thee that knowledge With which sages free themselves. 2 Knows whoso this reaches Me Keeps thus births ’n deaths at bay. 5 To tie the Spirit ’n body tight Uses Nature
Chapter 15 Art of Liberation This unique chapter of 20 slokas, is known as purushottama prãpti yoga, Realization of the Supreme. S9, s12, s13, s14 and s15 being digressions are clearly interpolations. Beginning with the parable of world ...Read Morea fig tree, it later deals with the indwelling spirit and the Supreme Spirit, and the perishable man and the imperishable Purusha (Supreme Spirit). 1 Thus spoke the Lord: Wise see Nature as fig tree huge Roots its planted in high skies Branching down with Vedic leaves Helps which man reach State Supreme. 2 So to feed on their organs With its downward roots it
Chapter 16 Frailty of Thought This chapter of 24 slokas, known as daivãsura sampad vibhãga yoga, The Characteristics of Virtuous and the Vile, deals with all aspects of virtue and evil including how they affect human life. ...Read Morewhich implies that the Supreme Spirit condemns to hell those who hate Him is an obvious interpolation that contravenes Lord's affirmative statement in s29 ch.9, ‘None I favour; slight I none / But devout Mine all gain Me true’ and other such averred in many a context in this text. Be that as it may, when He is the indweller in all beings as
Chapter 17 Science of Devotion This chapter of 28 slokas, known as sraddhã traya vibhãga yoga, Threefold Devotion, deals with the spiritual and temporal aptitudes of man. S11-s13 that deal with the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded ...Read Moreritualistic sense and s 23 -28 concerning Om, Tat, Sat and Asat of the Vedic hymns are clear interpolations for reasons the reader is familiar with. However, s7 – s10 that deal with the food habits of the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded would pose a problem in determining whether or not they are interpolations. Can eating habits be linked to the innate nature of man
Chapter 18 Thy Looking-glass This chapter ...Read More78 slokas, known as moksha sanyãsa yoga, Realization through Abnegation, describes such aspects of human behaviour based on the three natures - virtue, passion, and delusion - and the path of selfless action. And in the end, the relevance of, and the reverence to, the Gita is described. One can note that s12 breaks the continuity between s11 and s13 with hyperbolic averments, and s56 combines what is stated in the preceding and the succeeding slokas, and thus both