‘Bhagavad Gita’ is the epitome of knowledge, a philosophical discourse leading one onto the path of spiritual awakening. ‘The Teachings of Bhagavad Gita: Timeless Wisdom for the Modern Age’ by Richa Tilokani presents a simple, contemporized, and easy-to-understand interpretation of ‘Bhagavad Gita’.
In the epic battlefield of Kurukshetra, when Pandavas and Kauravas were facing each other and warrior Prince Arjuna had the moment of self-doubt, Lord Krishna the charioteer to Arjuna orated the greatest knowledge to mankind in the form of ‘Bhagavad Gita’.
The restlessness, anguish and fear on Arjuna’s face is relatable to you and Lord Krishna’s contentment is what you seek. However, in the modern age, we tend to distance ourselves from gaining an understanding of ‘Bhagavad Gita’. Of course, it is no mean task to read and understand 700 verses/ shlokas in Sanskrit. Many-a-times, we have the intent to read the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ but are overwhelmed by the length and structure of the text. Thus, this interpretation by Richa Tilokani in simple language and with lucidity becomes relevant to the readers today.
It is essential to understand the relevance of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ in the modern age, especially in chaotic times like these. As human beings, we seek a spiritual path to maintain balance; the tougher the times, the more we need to connect to a superior spiritual power.
“A person whose mind is undisturbed will always be steady in his meditation.”
The book begins with ‘Vishad Yoga’. ‘Vishad’ means sorrow and this chapter is about Arjuna’s dilemma and sorrow in having to stand in front of his family, teachers, and loved ones wielding a weapon in his hands. Arjuna questions the futility of a battle, ‘What will we gain, Krishna and how will we be able to live after doing it?’ Lord Krishna shows Arjuna the path of dharma, a tough path that needs determination and sacrifice.
I really like the fact that this book flows chronologically as per the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ chapters hence no confusion or repetition. Each chapter begins with an introduction and summary of the events, followed by the verses in English with their explanation. Towards the end of each chapter, the author includes a section on the relevance of the teachings to modern life and the benefits of including these tools and teachings in our lives. Therefore, creating a yearning in the reader’s mind to delve deeper into the meaning of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and further their study.
The chapter that I absolutely adore has to be ‘Vishwaroopa Darshan Yoga’ or ‘The Cosmic or Universal Form’. In this section of the discourse, Arjuna requests Lord Krishna to grace him with the spectacle of his cosmic form. While Arjuna is the direct recipient of this grandeur, we as readers can immerse in the divine vision of God’s ‘Vishwaroopa’. In this form, one learns about divinity in all of God’s creation. As Arjuna returns to his undisturbed self after the ‘darshan’, you as a reader can feel the semblance of calmness.
Lord Krishna was the charioteer and a friend to Arjuna, the God who came down to live on Earth. This premise, in itself, makes one humble and keen to bow down to a superior power.
“No wonder then, that whenever there is an imbalance in the world and the good people start to suffer, God takes up the role of an avatar and comes to restore order.”
One of the greatest teachings of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ has been on ‘Karma’ or action to be performed with the right intention and without the expectation of its favourable results. While reading this book, it sort of becomes a self-help tool as well with its interpretations and guidance on how to overcome the inside demons of ego, intolerance, and jealousy. While reading this book, you will realize the importance of living in the present with self-confidence and positivity.
This book helps one to understand the path to spirituality, making one ponder on the curvature of belief from ‘Saguna’ to the ‘Nirguna’ form. We gain an understanding of the relationship between the being and the soul. Rightly, the path of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion leads one to true nirvana where one is free of the sorrows of the material world.
Like the Author intends, reading ‘The Teachings of Bhagavad Gita: Timeless Wisdom for the Modern Age’ is like a psalm during difficult times, such times as the one we live in right now. It is indeed true that one doesn’t have to live in the caves away from society to follow the path of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion. Sometimes a meditative space with a book in our hands is enough.
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About the Author
Richa Tilokani is a marketing, communication, and advertising professional who has contributed to myriad magazines on the topics of wellness, travel, fashion, lifestyle, and culture. Her poems and features have been published in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and anthologies.
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