The irony before all of us is that the path of life is not easy to tread; but the greater irony is that the path to salvation is much more arduous and beset with hurdles. Sacred texts are to be used as the spiritual guides, for they contain advice to the common man on both these issues — life on earth and the search for salvation.

To us thus caught in this stalemate, the Lord's teachings in the Bhagavad Gita reverberate with His promise of succour to all by rousing the immortal longings of the soul, said Srimati Prema Pandurang in a lecture.

Today's atmosphere is charged with disharmony and lacks peace and quietude. Disharmony is caused by unfulfilment of desires. People are hooked to a frenzied living, without having any hold over their mind and soul. The refrain “I want happiness” is rampant, but happiness continues to be elusive. What is the reason?

Point-blank is the Lord's explanation: Remove the “I” from the refrain along with the “want,” and this leaves only “happiness.” The “I' is the ego that binds us to this material world; and the “want” is symbolic of the endless desires which the human mind chases in the mistaken belief that this is happiness. We don't realise that all worldly enjoyments are ephemeral and illusory, and there is no end to our growing wants that can never be fully satisfied. This truth evades our grasp because of the veil of Maya that keeps us chained to this material world. This is the crux of His teaching, which remains relevant for all times. The way out of this quagmire of worries that continues to oppress us is to internalise this fact and learn detachment and discrimination.

This text can be read at any stage of life by anyone from any walk of life, from a householder to a sanyasi. Learned people have commented on it and many devotees have derived solace from listening to the voice of God.

In his Bhaja Govindam, Adi Sankara says the study of a small portion of the Bhagavad Gita, the intake of a drop of the sacred Ganga water and worship of Lord Krishna can redeem the soul. Happiness is the soul's natural state, for the Atma is the essence of Truth, Consciousness and Eternity.

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