Central Tenets of the Bhagwat Geeta – 1 – Bhagwat Bhakti

Editor’s Note: For the past several months, we have been engaged in a chapter by chapter reflection of the Bhagwat Geeta.  It is hard to remember the teachings of the Geeta as they are described and reiterated across chapters. So we thought it might be helpful to summarize the teachings of the Bhagwat Geeta into central tenets or messages.   In these articles, we shall not repeat the Samskrut Verses but provide the links to earlier Chapters. This is the first of 3 such articles. After that, we shall move on to our next series.

The Bhagwat Geeta is called so because it is recited by Bhagwan Himself. The origin of the Bhakti Movement of Eternal Dharma are the words of Bhagwan Krishna in the Bhagwat Geeta. The concept of Bhakti was then developed by great Sages, Saints and Poets all across India. These works are exquisite treasures and we are blessed to receive these treasures from our ancestors.

So we begin with the Central Tenet of the Bhagwat Geeta that Krishna is a “Vibhuti” or an Incarnation of the Ultimate Supreme and the best way to get Moksha or reach Him is Bhakti or pure deep devotion.

The Ultimate Supreme Entity

In Chapter X, Shree Krishna makes the definitive statement about his Real Self:

  • Verse 10.3, Line 1There is no Beginning to Me, There is no End to Me. I am the Supreme God all people
  • Verse 10.8, Line 1I am the Origin of everything and All things are arise from Me
  • Verse 10.39I am the Origin of all creation. There is no creation that exists outside of Me
  • Verse 10.40 – Verse 10.42There is no finite limit to my Divine Representations….. Just know that by just one part of me, I have occupied this Universe

All Paths lead to Him

  • Chapter 4, Verse 11 – Whichever way they approach Me, I greet them in that way. People follow My Path regardless of their approach.  
  • Chapter 9, Verse 23 – Even those who worship other deities with deep devotion, they only worship Me but with different rituals

Bhakti Marg or the Path of Devotion

  • Chapter 6, Verse 30 – One who sees me everywhere and who sees everything in me; I never forsake him and he is never forsaken from me
  • Chapter 9, Verse 34 – Dedicate your mind to Me; Become my Bhakt; Worship Me; Do Namaskaar to Me (or bow to Me) ; Perform as a part of Me; Then you will reach Me.
  • Chapter 12, Verses 6 & 7 – Those who deliver unto Me all their Actions and with all their facilities worship Me ; Those who reside their hearts in Me, I swiftly become O Arjun, their Redeemer out of this ocean of mortal life
  • Chapter 18, Verse 66 – Renounce all religions, Surrender to Me alone. I shall grant you Moksha from all sins. 

The above is a very simple message. You do not need to perform penance, study religious texts or perform rituals to reach God. You do not have to forsake your work, your responsibilities to your family or to your country. The simplest and the best way to reach God is through deep devotion or Shradha.

This is the Bhakti Marg taught through the centuries by the great Sages, Saints and Poets.

Note that the Bhagwat Geeta is very clear that Bhakti is NOT to be practiced to the exclusion of other duties or approaches. Instead, the Bhagwat Geeta synthesizes the three major approaches of Eternal Dharma, the Karma-Yog Path, the Samkhya Path and the Bhakti or Devotion Path.

See Chapter 7 for a more elaborate discussion of this topic. For now, we simply leave you with a direct instruction from Shree Krishna to his Bhakt, Arjun:

  • Chapter 7, Verse 1 – With your mind concentrated on me and with me as your support, O Paarth (Arjun), Perform Yog.

In keeping with this instruction, we will summarize Karma-Yog, the next Central Tenet of the Bhagwat Geeta, next week.

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