The Bhagavad Gita literally means “Song of The Blessed Lord”. It is considered one of the most important texts in philosophy and literature. It consists of about 700 verses and is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
The Gita is essentially a conversation between the god Krishna and Arjuna, a warrior. Arjuna is confused and in a dilemma about fighting his cousins, who are on the other side. Krishna elaborates on one’s duties and reveals many philosophies with examples. Therefore, the Gita is widely considered as a guide to life. During the talk, Krishna also reveals his awe-inspiring true self in universal form.
The Gita is made up of eighteen chapters. It advocates equanimity and a detached outlook on life. Krishna says suffering is a result of the mind’s agitation caused by desire. The method of prevailing over desire is stilling the mind by self-discipline.
Abstinence from activity is thought to be as bad as indulgence of the senses. One should strive to do one’s best in any endeavour, but should dedicate the fruit of one’s efforts to God. This can be achieved by following the yogas of knowledge, devotion, action and meditation.
Renouncing the Fruit of Actions
Arjuna’s desire to renounce his duty as a warrior was because of the fear of sinful effect. Krishna advocates that true renunciation means transcending sinful effects by renouncing the fruits of actions by dedicating such fruits to the divine. Thus, detached from material objects, one can practise devotional service, even while in action.
Krishna further advocates that one should surrender to Him devotionally, to protect oneself from the fear of sinful after-effect of actions. These instructions soothe and motivate Arjuna and he becomes ready to do his duty in a just war.