Story about the book
I feel blessed having a role to play in bringing the great wisdom of the Gītā to you. It is possible only by the grace of God!
The Gītā reveals the ‘Ultimate Truth’, the real seeking of a human being and the way of living life meaningfully in order to realize the goal of human life. It has enamored and attracted humanity across the world, since times immemorial. From time to time, several authorities and great personalities have written commentaries and explanations on the Gītā, which have been of valuable guidance to humanity.
But then, why have I written this book?
Many fundamental questions about life had been nagging me since my young age. I had to find answers for me to be comfortable with life, the realities of the world and the purpose for which I would spend my life. This urge led me to explore psychology, philosophy and religion; yet, most of the fundamental questions remained unanswered.
It was then that I took to exploring the Gītā. As I started studying the Gītā, I started getting answers and great insights into life. It was an absorbing and captivating experience. After a self-study for around six years, I desperately felt the need for a Sadguru, one who would help me understand this knowledge in all its depth. Fortunately, I was blessed with one. I started studying under the guidance of Pūjya Swami SatSwarupananda in Pune. He taught us in the best possible way we could have asked for. This began 25 years ago and also covered several Upanishads and other Vedāntic texts.
During the course of my study, one of my friends asked me, “You have been studying the Gītā for so many years; can you tell me the gist in brief?” I wondered how I would be able to explain the entire contents of the Gītā in brief! I realized I was myself struggling to completely grasp the vision of the Gītā with clarity. This quest of mine continued for several years with a rigorous study and analysis of the knowledge revealed in the Gītā. The study of other Vedāntic texts like Prakaran$a Granthas and Upanis$ads greatly helped me in this exercise. The study continued till I could feel that I had in some sense decoded the text and organized the underlying concepts. I started sharing this conceptual extract with others, who were interested and it took the form of a 7-hour session. Over the last 15 to 16 years, as I conducted these sessions, the content got further refined. I naturally encountered various questions from the participants, who came from different backgrounds. This also helped me to refine the explanations.
I found that in these sessions people were able to understand the essence of the entire vision of the Gītā with complete clarity as against the tough task of grasping the same through a detailed verse by verse study and then trying to figure out the entire content on their own. Encouraged with their feedback and realizing the effectiveness of this concept by concept approach in grasping the vision of this great text, I thought of writing this book, so that this great wealth of knowledge can be shared with many people.
The concepts discovered and the conclusions reached during this analysis were an eye-opener for me. The logical arrangement of these concepts, made for a well-structured comprehensive scheme for human life and its goal, as the sum and substance of the Gītā.
It also threw up some surprises, as it revealed that some important concepts are, in reality, quite different than the opinions I had about them. For example- Karmayoga, Jñānayoga, Bhaktiyoga and Dhyānayoga are not paths independently leading to the ultimate goal of liberation, but are only part of one sequential path. I also found that the vision of the Gītā about Bhakti is much bigger and more comprehensive than what is generally known. In fact, a Jñānī is the highest state of evolution of a Bhakta. I found that the Gītā is not for the sake of these Yogas, but gives these Yogas as means to achieve the ultimate goal of a human being – the release from all limitations, sufferings and bondage, Moks$a. In fact, this revelation of the Ultimate Truth and the true nature of a human being as a Muktah$$ is the main subject matter of the Gītā. There are many more findings and all these are based on what is said in the Gītā. I was happy to let go of my ignorance and several misunderstandings as I kept getting this clarity. You will find all of them discussed in this book with proper logical explanations.
Writing this book has been a great, refining experience for me. It helped me to stay focused on this great knowledge and dwell over it at length. It helped me resolve my lingering queries and get further clarity and preciseness. It has given me great peace that naturally comes with the clarity of this knowledge and also the satisfaction that I am able to realize my obligation and duty of sharing this knowledge with you, in the best possible way I could think of.
I have experienced that this wisdom can be practiced in daily life. It has been helping me in every aspect of my life, both professional and personal. This knowledge gives such a divine vision of life that even death seems to be insignificant. My father at the age of 89, dwelling over the knowledge of Gītā, faced his end with great peace and a composure. Such is the power of this knowledge. My conviction is that at whatever stage you are in life, this knowledge will help you greatly to deal with the realities of life; of course, the earlier the better.
Though I am not a professional author, I cannot hold back the great wisdom I discovered as a student of this great text, with a hope that it will be useful to other seekers. The past 30 years of consistent study and effort, the best possible guidance available and the feedback of a large audience has made the insight and clarity of this book possible. I am almost 60 by the time I could reach this point of clarity and articulation. The idea behind this book is that you, the reader, need not have to go through this long process and need not wait that long. With this book, you can take up from this point, your own journey of understanding the great vision of the Gītā. I hope you will find this book useful. I feel really blessed to be able to hand it over to you.