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Shrimad-Bhagavadgita At SriLakshmi Temple

Bijoy Misra

Life is a function of relationships.  We owe our life to our parents, we are nurtured in a family, we get affection from our friends, we learn from our elders and teachers, we work for others to make a living, we employ others to receive services – relationships build in manifold ways.  Personally we get married, we beget our own children; we create our own personal relationships.  We build castes, races, nations, religions, cults and social groups in order to make life livable.  We encounter relationship everywhere.  Relationships hold us together and support us.  The process works harmoniously when we consider that all humanity is one family. 


Unfortunately harmony in life can die through competition and rivalry.  Jealousy leading to anger is also a part of human design that operates in parallel.  Rarely, we get the opportunity to contemplate on our own mind to discover its play.  A young man many thousand years ago did think about human misery. He helped create a thesis to enunciate how our peaceful nature can get corrupted by the inbuilt attributes of insecurity of attachment.  He possibly experimented and prescribed a personal conduct of detachment in order to escape from anguish that can come from blind attachment.   


He analyzed and went further.  To his amazement, he discovered that all life must have a single source and hence each object could be as important as any other object.  An object’s size, shape and power are trivial compared to its life force. He realized that the human beings have the capacity to empower themselves to an unlimited expanse of the life force such that they can contain the entire universe in their own self. The thrill of this discovery sustained him and he preached it during his life time.  His teachings were eventually recorded in a seven hundred stanza book called Srimadbhagavadgita.  We recognize the teacher as Vasudeva, later known as SriKrishna.


The legend says that Vasudeva was born as the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva.  Apparently he did not go to a school until he was fourteen years of age.  His discovery possibly took place while he was a student to Rsi Sandeepana at an ashrama near Ujjain, India.  His experiments in life possibly began earlier.  He seems to have participated in the Mahabharata war.  Vyasa, he poet of the epic Mahabharata, is given the credit of creating the lyric incorporating the message.  The date of the writing could be a few hundred years before the birth of Christ.


Though considered as a religious text by the Hindus, the thesis of the SrimadBhagavadgita is scientific and cosmological.  In our essence we are all equal, we are all free.  Human freedom is built in to the design of the universe and hence any shackle is artificial.  The call for freedom through one’s personal discrimination and willpower is the message of SriKrishna.  Do work and work to your full potential.  Don’t evaluate or judge work, improve it if you can.  Timidity is not a solution; engagement is always the call for the moment.  Never be weak or lazy.  Be fully alert to the needs of the world; fight for your rights if necessary.  Be always objective, unbiased and sincere.  Let your duty propel you all the time; let that duty be always directed for the welfare of all beings in the world.


Abbreviated as the Gita, the books is among the most widely translated and read text in the world.  As a philosophical text, its enunciation transcends class, society and time.  As a literature text, it is musical,

poetic, clear and precise.  It is not sectarian and it has no creed.  Philosophers both old and young have raved about the composition throughout the history.


A group of us join every year in SriLakshmi Temple to perform a complete reading of the text with occasional annotations.  The date this year is coming Sunday, September 18, 3 PM to 6 PM.  Books in Devanagari script would be available I the temple.  You can write to me at misra.bijoy@gmail.com in order to get the electronic text that you can use.  Please call the Temple at 508-881-5775 if you wish to support the efforts.  The flier for the event is attached.  Please join if you can. 



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