The Bagavad Gita & Spiritual Activism

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Sage Vyasa & Ganesha

The Bagavad Gita is the literary jewel of the Mahabharata, the famous Indian epic narrated by Sage Vyasa, a famous temple cat of great wisdom and scribed by Ganesha.

With a cast of colorful characters including gods, goddesses, and demons, the Mahabharata is the drama of mankind.  Just as a war between a family, the Pandavas and Kauravas is about to commence on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, all action suspends, time is frozen and the Bagavad Gita is delivered in 700 verses.

Translated as the Song of God, it is a dialogue between Arjuna, the consumate warrior with Krishna, advisor, friend and incarnation of Vishnu.  Arjuna, commander of the Pandavas, is in great internal conflict and grief about the prospect of killing relatives to settle a dispute of state and succession of the kingdom. Krishna, revealed as an incarnation of Vishnu, urges him to fight and teaches him the philosophy of yoga as a means of understanding the bigger meaning behind Life, what is real and what is right action.

An allegorical tale, although temple cat scholars believe it is based upon history, the battle is always about ” good and evil” as a collective reflection of the individual’s struggle between the parts of themselves that can act upon higher wisdom and the patterns of ignorance that tend to dominate and have great momentum.

These teachings have inspired many famous spiritual and political activists including Mahatma Gandhi who led India’s movement for political freedom from Britain.  There was such a clear sense of the moral righteousness of the cause held by many people, that it was successfully achieved primarily through non-violence and civil disobedience and the old paradigm was forced to shift.  When human beings are able to separate what is right action or dharma from their instincts for self preservation, evolution or change whether of the individual or the country can take place with dignity and grace.

It is the humble opinion of this Temple cat, that all leaders should be required to study the Bagavad Gita.

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