Sunday, June 27, 2010

Misconception about Gita and its true purpose-

- an incident narrated by Swami Ranganathananda.

Travelling in various parts of India, I noticed this wide-spread misunderstanding among our people, but it was forcibly brought to my mind, when I was in Hyderabad for a five day programme, just after the Police Action in 1949, during my extensive tour of Andhra Pradesh en-route to New Delhi, to take charge of Rama Krishana Mission there. A friend suggested that I pay a visit to General Chowdhury, the military Governor of the state. So, I went to meet him along with my host there. General Chowdhary received us and did all the talking for the first half an hour and I listened, there was communist insurrection in some part of the state and he had to attend telephone quite often; but the conversation was going on. Then I noticed a copy of the Gita on his table that gave me opportunity to do the talking, General Chowdhary do you read The Gita? I see the book on your table. I asked. In a very tired way he replied, ‘of course, when I am tired and want to find some peace of mind, I read a few lines from The Gita. I said firmly that is not its purpose that remark took him by surprise and he asked ‘do you mean to say that this book has other values than merely giving us a little peace of mind? ‘Yes that book is not meant merely to give peace of mind. It is meant to give you strength to serve the people, to make you responsible citizen. It contains a comprehensive philosophy of life and work.’ He was amazed and asked me again and again, ‘do you mean to say that this book has relevance to me as Governor of the state? I said exactly so, we must realize that man and women of responsibility have need for a philosophy of life and action. The Gita provides that philosophy calling it by the simple word Yoga. We never understood it till now. Take the opening verses of the 4th chapter, Shri Krishna tells us there, I gave this philosophy of Yoga to the man of responsibility so that through this philosophy, they will become strong to serve the people, to nourish the people, this is the purpose of this great book. I stressed it again and again and he asked repeatedly, ‘Can I, the Governor of this state learn any lesson from this book to become more efficient person? Yes that is the purpose, to inspire all the man and women of responsibility to work for the good of all. That is the nature of this book, it is not meant for putting you to sleep. It is meant to wake you up. It is not merely to give you peace of mind. It gives you tremendous humanistic impulse and resolve, to work for the good of all in society.

No comments: