Bhagavad Gita And Sri Ramanuja

“Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God, which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna’s primary purpose for descending and incarnating is to relieve the world of any negative, and undesirable influence that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within the reach of humanity” – Sri Ramanujar. The primary purpose of Bhagavad Gita is to illuminate the realization of the true nature of divinity; for the highest spiritual conception and the greatest material perfection to attain the love of God.

It is considered as one of the greatest spiritual books the world has ever known. In a very clear and concise way the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, describes the science of self-realization and the process by which human beings can establish their eternal relationship with God. In terms of pure spiritual knowledge, Bhagavad Gita is incomparable. Its intrinsic beauty is that its knowledge applies to all human beings and does not postulate any sectarian ideology or secular view. It is approachable from the sanctified realms of all religions and is glorified as the epitome of all spiritual teachings. This is because the proficiency in Bhavad Gita reveals the eternal principles, which are fundamental and essential for spiritual life from all perspectives and allows one to perfectly understand the esoteric truths hidden within all religious scriptures. Many great thinkers have all contemplated and deliberated upon its timeless message. Sri Krishna shows His cosmic form to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra; and expounds the Bhagavad Gita (the essence of Upanishads) to him.

The Gita starts with the psychological upheaval in the mind of Arjuna, at the battlefield in Kurushetra, with Sri Krishna as his charioteer. Arjuna is disturbed at the thought of the destruction of his own kith and kin, as well confused about the pathway of righteousness. Sri Krishna, the teacher of Gita addresses himself to the metaphysical question. Sri Krishna, in the Gita teaches that life itself is a battle. All the people in the world are to work. Work is a spirit of detachment; it is as good as renunciation. Even those who have risen above the necessity of work would do well to work without desire to set an example to others, to transform work into spiritual Sadhana. Give up all selfish desires, work for work’s sake, do your duty for duty’s sake and love for love’s sake. When our mind is fixed on the supreme reality, when we become Lords of yoga and Masters of selfless and detached action, and when all our powers are used for the good of the society then all prosperity, material and spiritual benefits will follow as a matter of course. The Gita is one of the clearest and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy. Sri Krishna was a great spiritual teacher who gave the character of religious liberty to all, harmonized all paths of yoga and made religion easy and brought it to the common man. He made us to feel the presence of God in our midst and showed us how to live in the world with compassion and equanimity, and placed before us the highest ideals of love, knowledge, yoga and work. Sri Krishnar says “I am the goal and the way”.

In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna declares himself as the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of the entire Universe. In particular in Chapter X and XI, Sri Krishna shows the entire Universe is but a fraction of His unbounded splendour and that everything emanates from Him and merges in His cosmic form. Sri Krishna declares unequivocally that He is the goal of existence and advises Souls to surrender to Him (Chapter XVIII.66). This is the sum of all teachings and is called “Charmasloka” in the Srivaishnava sampradayam. – “Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya Maam Ekam Saranam Vraja, Aham tva Sarva papebyo Moksha Isyaami maa Sucha”. This Maha mantra taught to Arjuna by Lord Sri Krishna and enshrined in Bhagavad Gita says “Leaving every other method taught for salvation, you surrender to me and only to me. I will cleanse you from all sins and give you salvation”. The Charama sloka of Srimad Bhagavad Gita was voluntarity taught to Sri Ramanuja. Sri Nammazwar has enshrined this very same principle in Tiruvaimozhi. Sri Ramanuja preached the Bhakti Marga. The stress was on “Prapatti” or complete surrender to Sriman Narayana in total abandonment of ego as exhorted in Bhagavad Gita. According to Sri Ramanuja the fundamental teachings of the Gita in regard to the pathway to man’s perfection is Bhakthi. He distinguishes instrumental Bhakthi from intrinsic Bhakthi. It is a steady flow of loving meditation directed to the Supreme Being.

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