Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, once visiting down south, was propagating the message of the Bhagavad Gita to a huge audience. One among the listeners was in tears and the saint thought this particular person was more impressed and moved by his speech than others. When he was approached, the devotee said he was unlettered and had not understood even a single syllable of the talk.
But all the same, he said, he was moved by the ecstatic spectacle of Lord Krishna driving the chariot while Arjuna was seated in it. This grand vision touched his heart and hence the tears, he explained.
Gita is not just a scripture for intellectual appreciation. It is a positive, pragmatic code to regulate man’s life and to answer all situations. It is universal in character, dealing primarily with one who has to live in this world, love his neighbours and leave, when the call comes.
Life has to be purposeful and the Lord’s message in the Gita lays down the dictum that man should be free form malice and be friendly even to one who envies him. He should be ever kind to those who have gone astray and remain ever-balanced. He should be forbearing and forgiving. The Lord says that man should cultivate equanimity even under the most disturbing circumstances. “Look upon friends and foes alike, ignore both obloquy and honour, be indifferent to praise or blame,” Sri Krishna says.
In a lecture, Sri N. Giridhari Prasad said “Devotion is not mere external symbolism. It is a quality of the heart.” It is a one way traffic where one always gives and never takes anything in return. Out of the four types of people who approach God – to secure worldly benefits, to seek real knowledge, to regain what was lost and to be ever at His service, the supreme devotee submits himself without expecting any reward. Life should also be wedded to daily activities. Mere bland action is ‘Karma’ but when impregnated with desire-less devotion and service, it turns into Karma Yoga, which is doing an act without expecting any return.
The deleterious quality of action is neutralised by desireless service. Salvation is realisation of the soul’s eternal function of unalloyed service to God, which is the climax of all duties enjoined by the scriptures. King Janaka attained eternity only by actions done without desire. The Lord says that all acts should be consecrated to Him. As a devotee, one should perform his duties leaving the results to God.