Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Overview - Munnan Misra

There are three paths for establishing relationship with God –
1) Action 2) Devotion and 3) Knowledge.
These paths have been described in the Bhagwat Gita or Bhagwat Geeta.
The Bhagwat Gita has 18 chapters and each chapter is a yoga (the science of individuals attaining commune with the Ultimate Consciousness) in itself.
1) The first 6 chapters are clubbed together as `Karma’ – Action i.e.:
Chapter 01 : Arjun's Dillemma (Vishada)  
Chapter 02 : Doctrine of Knowledge [Sankhya (Buddhi)] 
Chapter 03 : Selfless Action (Karma)  
Chapter 04 : Knowledge, Action & Sacrifice (Gyan)  
Chapter 05 : Path of Renunciation (Karma Vairagya)  
Chapter 06 : Self Restraint and Meditation (Abhyasa)
2) The next 6 chapters are clubbed as `Bhakti’ – Devotion i.e.:
Chapter 07 : The Ultimate Reality & Path of Devotion (Paramahamsa Vigyan)
Chapter 08 : Perception of the Ultimate (Aksara-Parabrahman)  
Chapter 09 : The Supreme Mystic Knowledge (Raja-Vidya-Guhya)  
Chapter 10 : The Devine Perfection (Vibhuti-Vistara)  
Chapter 11 : Cosmic Manifestation of Almighty (Visvarupa-Darsana)  
Chapter 12 : Devotion (Bhakti)
3) The last 6 chapters are clubbed as `Gyan’ – Knowledge i.e.:
Chapter 13 : Body and Soul (Ksetra-Ksetragnya)  
Chapter 14 : Nature & its Qualities (Gunatraya )
Chapter 15 : The Supreme Spirit (Purusottama) 
Chapter 16 : Divine & Diabolic Heritage (Daivasura-Sampad) 
Chapter 17 : Three Kinds of Faiths (Sraddhatraya)  
Chapter 18 : Abstention & Renunciation (Moksa)

Chapter 1 – Arjun's Dillemma - Lamenting the Consequence of War

The scene is on the plains of Kuruksetra and with Arjun uncomfortable with the consequences of war. This chapter introduces the reasons behind the war, characters involved, warriors on both sides, Arjun’s dejections at having to fight against his own kith and kin and his fears of the sins that may be on him for doing so.

Chapter 2 – Doctrine of Knowledge - Soul Immortality - The Eternal Reality

This chapter is a summary to the entire Bhagavad-Gita. Arjun accepts Krishna as his Lord and requests the Lord to instruct him as to how he should dispel his grief. Here in karma, gyan, sankhya, buddih and atma are explained. Importance has been attached to the immortal nature of atma existing in all living entities and has been discussed in detail.

Chapter 3 – Duties

Herein the performance of duties that is obligatory to all is ascertained. Lord Krishna explains how it be the duty of every member to carry out his/her responsibilities in all stages of life as per the rules and regulations of the society; why such duties be performed; what benefit be gained by performing them and what harm be caused by non-performing them. This chapter further explains what actions lead to bondage/salvation.

Chapter 4 – Ultimate Truth - Approach

Herein the path of action, knowledge and wisdom of supreme knowledge is explained.
Lord Krishna states the reason and nature of His descent into this material world. He reveals how spiritual knowledge is received by discipline and succession.

Chapter 5 – Action and Renunciation

Lord Krishna defines the concepts of action with detachment and renunciation in actions explaining that both are a means to the same goal. He explains how salvation is thus achieved through walking these paths.

Chapter 6 – Self Realization

Lord Krishna explains in detail the difficulties of the mind and procedures to gain mastery of mind revealing the spiritual nature of a living entity.

Chapter 7 – Ultimate Truth

Lord Krishna describes His illusory energy in the material existence called Maya and states how extremely difficult it be to overcome it. He describes the four types of people attracted/opposed to divinity. He reveals that one in spiritual intelligence takes exclusive refuge of Lord without reservation in devotional service.

Chapter 8 – Salvation

Lord Krishna gives information on the creation of the material worlds and establishing a distinction between them and the spiritual world. He explains the light and dark paths with regards to leaving this material existence, the destination to which each leads and the reward each receives. He states that one attains whatever one remembers at the end of one's life - thus the utmost importance of the very last thought at the moment of death.

Chapter 9 – Ultimate Truth - Confidential Knowledge

Lord Krishna explains how the entire material existence is created, maintained and annihilated by His energy and how all beings are coming and going under His supervision. Further devotional service is talked about.

Chapter 10 – Ultimate Truth - Infinite Glories

Arjun prays to the Lord to describe more of the magnificence of Lord and the Lord describes the most prominent. He reveals Lord Krishna's exalted position as the cause of all causes and specifying His special manifestations.

Chapter 11 – Universal Form Vision

Arjun requests the Lord to reveal His universal form showing all of existence.

Chapter 12 – Devotion

Lord Krishna commends the glory of devotion to God, explains the different forms of spiritual disciplines and discusses the qualities of the devotees who by performing thus become very dear to Him.

Chapter 13 – Ultimate Consciousness and The Individual

Lord Krishna reveals the distinct difference between the physical (transitory and perishable) body and the immortal (immutable and eternal) soul. The Lord also gives precise knowledge about the individual/ultimate soul.

Chapter 14 – Three Qualities of Material Nature

Lord Krishna advises to relinquish oneself from ignorance and passion and adopt the path of pure goodness until acquiring the ability to transcend them. He reveals about goodness, passion and nescience which influences every material thing in existence. He provides details on the essential characteristics of each individually, their cause, level of their potency, how they influence a living entity affected by them and the signs of one who has risen above them.

Chapter 15 – Ultimate Truth - Realization

Lord Krishna explains the purpose and value of knowing about God and the means by which He can be realized. He reveals the virtues, the glories and transcendental characteristics of God - being omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

Chapter 16 – Natures Defined

Lord Krishna defines the divine properties, conduct and actions which are righteous in nature and conducive to Divinity. He describes the evil tendencies and ill conducts which are unrighteous in nature and are opposed to divinity.

Chapter 17 – Material Existence - 3 Divisions

Lord Krishna classifies the three divisions of faith in the Supreme that determine that character of living entities.

Chapter 18 – Ultimate Truth - Final Revelations

Lord Krishna explains that while following any of the three paths one must offer without reservation everything to God. He sums up the conclusion of the previous chapters and describes the attainment of salvation by the paths of:(a) Karma (1-6) Action (b) Bhakti (7-12) Devotion (c) Gyan (13-18) Knowledge.

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