New Study Of Gita Nov 10 Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar
Nov 10, 2009, 11:15 am
I decided to write on day to day basis; rather than sticking
serially and sequentially to chapters and verses. This has
the advantages of being natural in expression rather than
formal. It is also beneficial because of repetition
and/additional emphasis on more important points; which
reverberate in my mind with reference to some verses.
Sometimes it also happens; that I skip many verses, at a
given point in time because I have nothing to say about
them at that time, but latter additional perspective and
insights develop in the flow of writing; and deserve
expression latter; even if it appears out of context.
In the 2nd chapter YOGA is defined (….Yogah karmasu
kaushalam) as (ultimate) elegance or perfection in skill; but
other way round; it also implies that the greatest skill or
perfection in life is to realize YOGA!
There is elaborate discussion in 2nd chapter; on how
physical senses should be controlled. But if one takes into
account the reference in 3rd chapter, then it becomes clear
that the human life and experiences there in; have (and
must be appreciated by us that they have) one goal or
destination; and that is SELF REALIZATION and there is
one way to achieve it i.e. SWADHARMA, rather than
getting trapped in arbitrary suppression or indulgence.
Gita is unique in the sense that she shows your ultimate
goal, shows you the path and guides you in the method to
Gita therefore does not advocate suppression or indulgence
in an arbitrary manner, but inspires SWADHARMA; in
which while enjoying the core or essence of all material
pleasures you channellize them to blossoming of one and
all! This is really universal thought; in view of the
difference in the physiological and other needs of people in
the world from different regions and cultures. Once the
goal of individual and global blossoming and the way of
SWADHARMA is identified and adhered to; rest of the dos
and don’ts (which need not be regimentalized) follow the
suit, in appropriate manner.
In this context, one can appreciate the perspective born out
of studying Gita about sex education.
In light of Gita; we should learn and teach the father and
mother principles and parental care; so that we don’t
develop disgust for sex and succumb to sexual aberrations
or perversions on the one hand; and don’t develop carnal
sexual obsession and don’t get trapped in unending and
unsatisfactory and obnoxious indulgence in sex. Such
holistic corrections can be made in all walks education.
It is nice to share here that I found study of Gita different
from study of many other books. The study of Gita elevates
you from subjectivity to objectivity, i.e. getting in
alignment with the nature. Gita gradually but surely
changes your status of being effectual to being causative!
This is certainly difficult to agree intellectually, but can
only be experienced.
Another point that struck me is: Gita teaches and trains us
to enter the center of universe! Thus from the world of
visible appearances she trains us to see and merge with the
core, rather than getting trapped in the superficial and
shackling aspects; or getting averse and running away to
fall in escapist trap!
Thus Gita does not advocate renunciation of the world on
the one hand and does not justify or glorify the unending
and unsatisfactory retrogressive shackling in petty pursuits
on the other!
This is very useful in day to day life. If you experience the
core of your spouse’s heart, then the fear of loss of your
spouse (or any loved one) gradually disappears to a large
extent and the romance (and love in general) becomes
super romance and love becomes super love! Thus Gita
trains you in supreme romance and super love. You learn to
live every moment in super romance and super love; rather
than getting worried about past and future and subjective
Another interesting aspect of Gita is; you begin to refer to
Gita as “she” and not it. Because Gita becomes even more
valuable than “living” and “loving” mother!
In 5th chapter; Lord Krishna assures that you would not be
born again if you realize the self. But in 4th chapter; he also
assures that he would manifest or reincarnate as and when
The explanations to these contradictory statements are:
1. Lord Krishna’s reincarnation is represented by the
awakening of consciousness in every individual from time
2. The reincarnation is progressive sojourn of life of an
individual (who is either already enlightened or gets
enlightened) and is different from rebirth, which is full of
shackles of ignorance.
Hence reincarnation and freedom from rebirth are not
Gita guides us to develop the conceptual framework or blue
print of our life and NAMSMARAN rejuvenates us from
moment to moment to proceed. The other way round also
may be true! It is like anatomy and physiology. Anatomical
structure is essential and complementary to physiological
function and vice versa. But when you go deeper; both
seem to be indistinguishable!
One of the most important things I learnt; probably as a by
product of studying Gita; is practice of the essence of Gita
is immensely important. Repeated reading or recitation of
Gita consolidates the convictions about the essence of Gita
and thereby rejuvenates the enthusiasm to practice that
essence (NAMASMARAN). The practice of
NAMASMARAN in turn; endorses and reinforces the
conviction about the essence of Gita and makes the
repeated recitation of Gita a sublimely empowering
It is like reading about bath, which develops conviction
about the advantages of bath and actual practice of bath that
endorses the convictions about bath. Thus both are
perfectly complementary. One can compare it also; with the
reading about the advantages of exercise and actual practice
of exercise. I also learnt in the course of time that we come
across a number of situations in life, (due to internal and
external environment) which shroud our consciousness, and
we tend to forget our true self i.e. the essence of Gita and
this is a really a shattering and weakening experience. In
such situation, recitation of Gita and NAMASMARAN
Hence in 6th chapter; the importance of consistent practice
is emphasized. In my view, even somewhat arbitrary and
formal recitation, reading or chanting of Gita; proves very
useful (by acting at subconscious and conscious levels); in
strengthening and expediting the process of blossoming.
The repetition is important for another reason also, which
has physiological basis. Thus repetition of Gita or
NAMASMARAN is a central nervous system activity and
probably leads to development of stronger connections
between cerebral cortex and the limbic system, (which are
otherwise very weak). This underlines the difference
between a well read individual and an individual involved
in practice of NAMASMARAN and/or self realized
Ordinarily one’s happiness or sadness depends on the
involuntary interactions amongst the cerebral cortical,
limbic, autonomic, neuroendocrine, endocrine and other
systems of the body. The perceptions, feelings and actions
are usually impulsive (and hence chaotic, conflicting and
counter posed) because of weak input to; and weak output
from cerebral cortex to the remaining systems. Repeated
study and practice of Gita and NAMASMARAN probably
enhance the integration of all systems, bringing them under
higher controls such as cerebral cortex, conscience and
cosmic consciousness and effectively lead to harmonious
behavior; blossoming; one and all.
One can study the changes in the brain from this point of
view, in a control group and a group involved in
NAMASMARAN, to verify the anatomical and
physiological substrate (which may not be accessible to
crude technology though,) of the essence of global culture.
One of the greatest lessons of Gita to the world is; whatever
we eat, drink, see, listen, talk, write, learn, perform, use,
relish and so on; should get culminated into the goal of
individual and global blossoming. This makes our life itself
the most meritorious activity i.e. YAJNA! This is a true and
qualitative revolution in individual and global life.