Bhagavad Gita: An Interactive Presentation
Bhagavad-Gita and WQ Judge "Essays on the Gita"
The Song (Gita) of the Lord (Bhagavat) is the most widely read Hindu scripture. The Gita is part
of the sixth book of the Maha-bharata, a poem of about 100,000 verses, and is written in Sanskrit.
It is a discourse between the Lord
Krishna and the warrior Arjuna that takes place in 3138 B.C., setting forth moral and religious doctrines.
The story takes place on the battlefield of Kuru, symbolizing the Field of Right (dharma). Two armes face each
other, the Kurus and Pandus, and Arjuna notices that the opposing army contains relatives and friends whom he doesn't
want to kill, so he lays down his arms. Krishna responds with four reasons for fighting and action in general, of
which the chief is that the true self or soul is immortal. The discussion advances to teachings on right and wrong,
action and inaction, life and destiny, eternity and God.
Krishna is identified as the Supreme Being, Primal God, Highest Abode and Eternal Spirit, who is an Avatar, or a temporal
embodiment of God. He affirms that God may be known and served in various ways, through knowledge, works or renunciation,
but loving devotion (bhakti) is the best way to him for all.
The Gita parallels the Bible in many ways. Then I read about the different paths in Hinduism and Christianity is considered by Hindus as an exemplification of bhakti yoga, albeit with philosophical differences. So I found some Gita verses that look very similar to some (NIV) New Testament verses and put them side by side below, along with a collection of other Gita verses. The version of the Gita I read and was very impressed with is by Geoffrey Parrinder, who puts each verse into a four-line rhyme. The excerpts below come from the version at www.bhagavadgita.org.
Excerpts from Bhagavad Gita
1.40 With the destruction of the family the spiritual traditions of the family perish forever; when spiritual values are destroyed then unrighteousness predominates the entire society.
1.44 O Krishna, I have heard from the learned that those persons whose spiritual family traditions have been destroyed, perpetually become residents in hell.
2.15 O noblest of men, that person of wise judgement equipoised in happiness and distress, whom cannot be disturbed by these is certainly eligible for liberation.
2.16 In the unreal there is no duration and in the real there is no cessation; indeed the conclusion between both the two has been analyzed by knowers of the truth.
2.47 You certainly have the right for prescribed activities but never at anytime in their results. You should never be motivated by the results of the actions, nor should there be any attachment in not doing your prescribed activities.
4.7-8 Whenever and wherever a decline of righteousness and predominance of unrighteousness prevails; at that time I manifest Myself personally... For protection of the devotees and the annihilation of the miscreants and to fully establish righteousness, I appear millenium after millenium.
6.9 But more superior is one who with spiritual intelligence acts equally towards natural well-wishers, affectionate well-wishers, enemies, those indifferent to disputes, mediators of disputes, the envious, friends, saintly person as well as the sinful.
13.7-10 Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, rendering service to a bonafide spiritual master cleanliness, steadfastness; self-control, renouncing the desire of the senses, free from false egoism and aware of the distressful inauspiciousness of birth, old age, disease, and death. Being without attachment to son, wife and home, equipoised in all situations, consistent, devoid of elation or disappointment regarding favorable or unfavorable circumstances, preference for solitary places, aversion of mundane society and exclusively performing devotional service unto Me by the unalloyed science of uniting the individual consciousness with the Ultimate Consciousness.
16.8-9 The persons of demoniac nature say, the entire cosmic manifestation is unreal, without a creator, without a supreme controller, without cause, originating from mutual conabitation due only to lust, no more than this. Accepting this vision the demoniac being deficient in spiritual intelligence having lost contact with their soul; degradedly engage in abominable activities to influence the destruction of the universe.
|Bhagavad Gita||NIV Bible, New Testament|
|2.57 One who without attachment in every respect, neither rejoices nor curses obtaining correspondingly good or evil; he is established in perfect knowledge.||Phil. 4:12 I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.|
|7.25-26 I am not manifest to everyone, being veiled by My illusory potency in the external energy. The ignorant in this world cannot understand Me, the unborn and imperishable. O Arjuna, I know equally the past, present and future and all living life forms but no one knows Me.||John 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.|
|9.30-31 Even if one committing the most abominable actions renders service only unto Me exclusively without deviation; one is to be considered saintly because one is correctly resolved and properly situated. One swiftly becomes endowed with righteousness and justly obtains everlasting peace. O Arjuna declare it boldly, My devotee never perishes.||Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.|
|10.3 One who knows Me as birthless, beginningless, and the supreme controller of all the worlds; he being undeluded among mortals is delivered from all sins.||2 Cor. 1:9-10 But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.|
|10.33 Of letters I am the first letter A, and of compound words the dual word, I am eternal ever flowing time and the four-faced Brahma.||Rev. 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."|
|16.4 Pseudo-religiosity, pretentious pride, conceitful arrogance, anger, harshness and ignorance arise in one born of the demoniac nature, O Arjuna.||2 Timothy 3:2-5 People will be self-centered... proud, haughty, abusive, ... brutal... conceited... as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power.|
|16.11-12 Overwhelmed with a life full of unlimited fears and anxieties; the demoniac consider the gratification of the senses as the highest goal of life; being bound by the entanglement of hundreds of schemes, overcome by lust and anger striving to accumulate wealth illicitly for the purpose of gratifying their senses.||Eph. 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.|
|18.62 Just surrender solely unto Him, completely in every way, O Arjuna; by His grace you will receive transcendental peace and the eternal abode.||Heb. 6:7-9 ...[Jesus] was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.|
|18.66 Relinquishing all ideas of righteousness, surrender unto Me exclusively; I will deliver you from all sinful reactions, do not despair.||Romans 10:3-4 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.|