Scriptures hold the key to Adyatma Vidya or the knowledge pertaining to spiritual matters. This is the ultimate knowledge that paves the way for liberation and is imbibed only through instruction from a preceptor, say the Sastras. To ensure that this knowledge is taught properly and not misunderstood in any way, the Lord Himself reveals the import of the scriptures time and again to people whenever there is a slowdown in people’s awareness of it and a consequent fall in moral values among them. In a lecture, Sri Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal pointed out that this is the reason why the Lord is held as the primordial Guru who takes the responsibility of sustaining this scriptural tradition. Sanatana dharma has thus remained unchanged through the ages.
Krishna as the preceptor to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita retells the essence of the scriptures in the most realistic format so that everyone can practise this dharma for one’s own good. In the course of His teaching, the Lord explains the value of this Guru Parampara. He points out that the practice of this Karma Yoga which He talks about to Arjuna is what was already taught by Him to Vivasvan in an earlier era. Vivasvan had instructed Manu and Manu taught this to Ikshvaku. The specialty of this yoga is that it teaches the way to liberation by instructing how to live in this world. It was handed down to the kings and royal sages who upheld this traditional yoga and gained in stature because of it. Knowledge of the Sastras is ancient and Vedanta declares it as mysterious, sacred and hidden. Because of its complex and subtle nature, the Lord makes it clear that it cannot be taught by anyone other than Himself. Likewise, the one to whom it is imparted should also be eligible to receive the instruction.