The Bhagavad Gita shows how the warriors doing battle on the field of Kurukshetra represent the negative tendencies of the human ego pitted against the divine qualities of the soul, and how the science of Yoga can help us achieve the joy of material and spiritual victory on the battlefield of daily life. In this writing, Krishna is speaking to his disciple, Arjuna.
Summary of the Gita’s Message:
How God-reallization Is Attained
That individual gains uttermost perfection — the actionless state of realization through renunciation — who keeps his intellect ever detached from worldly ties and passions, who is victorious in regaining his soul, and who is without desires.
O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), hear from Me, in brief, how he who gains such perfection finds Brahman, the supreme culmination of wisdom.
Absorbed in a completely purified intellect, subjugating the body and the senses by resolute patience, forsaking (as much as possible) sound and all other sense entanglements, relinquishing attachment and repulsion;
Remaining in a sequestered place, eating lightly, controlling body, speech, and mind; ever absorbed in divine meditation and in soul-uniting yoga; possessing dispassion;
Peaceful, renouncing egotism, power, vanity, lust, anger, possessions, and the “me and mine” consciousness — he is qualified to become one with Brahman.
By becoming engrossed in Brahman — calm-souled, neither lamenting nor craving; beholding equality in all beings — he gains supreme devotion toward Me.
By the supreme devotion he realizes Me and My nature — what and who I am; after knowing these truths, he quickly makes his entry into Me.
Over and above performing faithfully all one’s duties, taking shelter in Me, it is by My pleasure a devotee obtains the eternal, unchangeable state.
Mentally dedicating all actions to Me, considering Me as the Supreme Goal, employing buddhi-yoga (union through discriminative wisdom), continously absorb thy heart in Me.
With heart absorbed in Me, and by My grace, thou shalt overcome all impediments; but if through egotism thou wilt not heed Me, thou shalt meet destruction.
If, clinging to the ego, thou sayest: “I will not battle,” fruitless is thy resolution! Prakriti, thine inborn nature, will force thee to fight.
O Offspring of Kunti (Arjuna), shackled by thine own karma, inborn in thy nature, what through delusion thou wouldst not do, thou wilt helplessly be compelled to do.
O Arjuna, the Lord is lodged in the hearts of creatures, and by His cosmic delusion (maya) compels all beings to rotate as if attached to a machine.
O Descendant of Bharata (Arjuna), take shelter in Him with all the eagerness of thy heart. By His grace thou shalt obtain the utmost peace and the Eternal Shelter.
Thus hath wisdom, most secret of all secrets, been given to thee by Me. After exhaustively reflecting about it, act as thou desirest.
Again listen to My supreme word, the most secret of all. Because thou art dearly loved by Me, I will relate what is beneficial to thee.
Absorb thy mind in Me; become My devotee; resign all things to Me; bow down to Me. Thou art dear to Me, so in truth do I promise thee; Thou shalt attain Me!
Forsaking all other dharmas (duties), remember Me alone; I will free thee from all sins (accruing from nonperformance of those lesser duties). Do not grieve!
Never voice these truths to one who is without self-control or devotion, nor to one who performs no service or does not care to hear, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.
Whosoever shall impart to My devotees the supreme secret knowledge, with utmost devotion to Me, shall without doubt come unto Me. Not any among men performs more priceless service to Me than he; in all the world there shall be none dearer to Me.
He who studies and knows (intuitively perceives) this sacred dialogue between us will be worshiping Me by the sacrifice (yajna) of wisdom. Such is My holy utterance.
Even that individual — full of devotion and devoid of scorn — who merely listens to and heeds this sacred dialogue, being freed from earthly karma, shall dwell in the blessed worlds of the virtuous.