Let us get back to the Bhagavad-gītā. There are so many punaruktis (repetitions); upamāna-upameyas (comparisons in a simile) and paradoxes. Our attention should be on their purport. When prosaic speech does not suffice and figurative expressions are resorted to even while describing commonplace incidents and worldly experiences, how else could the mind of the philosopher expressing thoughts about the supernatural reveal itself to us without figurative language?
It is indicated above that the buddhi is a power that works with the manas. The buddhi is under the influence of the manas. Therefore, to purify the buddhi, it is imperative to purify the manas. Buddhi is an implement that enables reflection. Manas experiences the product of the buddhi. In Vedānta, jñāna (wisdom) is the same as anubhava (experience). Knowledge of Brahman is the experience of Brahman. Mind is the arena of experience.
Though we have a great deal of material connected with dharma, it is not easy to decide what constitutes dharma and what would be adharma when faced with challenging situations. Draupadī, while being humiliated in the court of the Kauravas hurls a scathing remark at Bhīṣma and questions him about the nature of dharma. Bhīṣma replies that it is beyond his capacity to assess what is dhārmic under the current circumstances.
Let us first look at the theme of the work and the qualification to study it. Each of these decides the other. The story of puṇyakoṭi befits a six year old. A study of the Raghu-vaṁśa, however, is for a student aged sixteen or more.
Thus each one decides the other. The one who is capable of dealing with the viṣaya—subject of the work—is the adhikārī. The instruction has to be tailored to the education and capacity of the seeker. Both of these are thus relative to each other.
Equal to the Gāyatrī-mantra
The greatest and most expansive epic in the world, the Mahābhārata, is a unique Itihāsa treatise that captures all the prominent events of the Dvāpara-yuga. Bhagavān Veda-vyāsa, who has obtained an exalted position among the ranks of the cirañjīvīs of our tradition, is not merely the creator of the Mahābhārata but is also an important character in it.
The Style of a Conversation between Friends
The Nature of the Work
The Gītā is simultaneously a simple-difficult work or a difficult-simple work. What does it mean? Words may be simple to understand but the meaning of the sentence is difficult. The part that teaches nīti is simple; the part that establishes philosophy is not. It is thus easy to fall in the trap of thinking that one has understood the Gītā. However, it is hard to realise its essence in one’s mind.
What do we get from the Gītā?
What can we expect from the Bhagavad-gītā?