Scriptural teachings focus on removing the root cause of all human problems which is ignorance of the eternal truth of our existence. A majority of us pursue knowledge in various subjects with the hope of securing a livelihood, and much of our life time is lost in this endeavour. That is why Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna the truth of the permanent Self and of the perishable body, the knowledge of which can bestow the sense of discrimination to sift the real from what appears as real, said Swamini Satyavratananda Saraswati in a lecture. The relationship between the Self and the body when not properly understood leads to sorrow and delusion. Hence the emphasis is on the search for the eternal truth that alone prevails while all else is perishable. Arjuna expresses his gratitude to Lord Krishna whose teaching opened his eyes and brought about an inner transformation in him. Arjuna’s doubts about fighting his kinsmen and preceptors are now cleared and he is ready for the next line of action.

The benefit of Jnana is freedom from ignorance of the Self. Like Arjuna, many of us are caught in dilemmas and become steeped in confusion, not knowing what path to choose. A proper understanding of the message of the Bhagavad Gita will automatically govern a person’s actions, thoughts, etc, and a clear picture of what is to be done will evolve.

The uniqueness of this text is that the marvellous discourse of Lord Krishna was also heard by Sanjaya. Sanjaya acknowledges that by the mystic grace of Sage Vyasa he was able to gain access to this supreme yoga from the very embodiment of Yoga, Yogeswara Krishna. This ability was given to him to help the blind king Dhritarashtra understand the happenings in the battlefield. Sanjaya declares that the essence of this teaching is that yoga or aiming for union with the Supreme Being is the ultimate goal for mankind. This is achieved by renunciation of worldly attachments, that is, by crossing the veil of ignorance that places a high value on the material world and the body. Arjuna with the arrows (Dhanurdhara) signifies the responsibility of the Jivatma to engage in each one’s ordained duty (Swadharma).

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