Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s explains the fun­da­mental theme of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

Everything about yoga and spiritual life is concisely explained in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. In Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa took the form of a Jagad-Guru, universal teacher, and gave transcendental knowledge to the whole world.

In the beginning of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna surrenders to Kṛṣṇa wholeheartedly. He prays, “My Lord, I am fully surrendering to You now. I do not know and I cannot understand what is good or what is bad for me. Please reveal transcendental knowledge in my heart.”

Then Kṛṣṇa took His chair as Arjuna’s Guru and enlightened Arjuna with transcendental knowledge in a very clear and broad way. In the 700 ślokas of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā everything is explained; all types of knowledge and yoga are explained by Kṛṣṇa Himself in His form as Jagad-Guru.

The Scripture Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā is Vedavyās’s record of Kṛṣṇa’s instructions to His dear-most friend Arjuna. But Arjuna was actually an instrument used by Kṛṣṇa to express the essence of yoga and transcendental knowledge to the whole world. Kṛṣṇa actually spokeŚrīmad Bhagavad-gītā for the benefit of the conditioned souls of this world and we see now how famous Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā is all over the world.

If anyone will read Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and try to follow Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s advice and instructions as though Kṛṣṇa is his own Guru then he must be benefited. If anyone fully surrenders to Kṛṣṇa in this way Kṛṣṇa will never cheat him. Rather, Kṛṣṇa will always be merciful to him, and all obstacles will be removed from his spiritual life.

In the early portion of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa explains that yoga means practices for progress in life, practices for sympathetic and harmonious dealings with nature. Kṛṣṇa begins His explanation of yoga by giving inspiration to everyone to avoid selfish karma and instead take up yoga. Kṛṣṇa says,

dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhi-yogād dhanañjaya
buddhau śaraṇam anvichchha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 2.49)

‘“You are an eternal jīva-soul, you have natural capacity for thinking, feeling and willing and you cannot avoid those aspects of your existence. If you use your natural conscious property to wrongly exploit the material nature you will not be fulfilled by that; you will be a miser destined to suffer helplessly in material existence. By your nature you are always active, so do something positive, otherwise you will always be the cause of harm to yourself and others.”

In this śloka Kṛṣṇa encourages everyone to do something positive by taking up buddhi-yoga, the yoga of wisdom. Buddhi-yoga is the first form of yoga mentioned in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and buddhi-yoga is the basis of all the forms of yoga Kṛṣṇa goes on to describe in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, haṭha-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, abhyāsa-yoga, bhakti-yoga, etc.

Kṛṣṇa explains,

buddhi-yukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛta-duṣkṛte
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 2.50)

“A wise person engaged in buddhi-yoga abstains from both good and bad actions in this world and simply engages in yoga because, yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam, yoga is the art of all activities.”

So buddhi-yoga is a very wide idea, it is the basis of yoga itself and all other forms of yoga are expressions of buddhi-yoga.

Krishna gave His guid­ance to the con­di­tioned souls in dif­fer­ent stages through­out Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Krishna presen­ted all know­ledge, from karma-yoga, to jnana-yoga to ashtanga-yoga, to bring all the dif­fer­ent jiva–souls whose minds and men­tal­it­ies are attrac­ted in dif­fer­ent ways, to the devo­tional plat­form. But finally He showed His greatest mercy in His very nice and very happy con­clu­sion. He said,

sarva-guhyatamaṁ bhūyaḥ śṛṇu me paramaṁ vachaḥ
iṣṭo ’si me dṛḍham iti tato vakṣyāmi te hitam
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita18.64)

“Because you are so dear to Me I will now tell you the most hid­den treas­ure of all I have to share with you. Hear My advice with full faith and determ­in­a­tion and you must be super-benefited.”

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo ’si me
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita18.65)

“Because you are very dear to Me I am telling you very clearly, ‘I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever you do, do it for Me. Think of Me always, devote your­self to Me, wor­ship Me and bow to Me, and surely you will come to Me; your whole account will come to Me. I prom­ise you this, because you are dear to Me. Other prac­tices will not be truly fruit­ful for you. But the prac­tice of bhakti-yoga must be fully fruit­ful for you and that fruit will give you supreme benefit.’”

Within bhakti-yoga all the rules and reg­u­la­tions of the vari­ous forms of yoga merge together for the sat­is­fac­tion of Krishna. In bhakti-yoga the action, the res­ult, everything, goes to Krishna. Here we find the full mean­ing of buddhi-yoga, the yoga of wis­dom, and yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam, “Yoga is the art of all activ­ity.” That is, through bhakti-yoga, everything is per­fectly adjus­ted for the sat­is­fac­tion of Krishna.

There are eight­een chapters in Srimad Bhagavad-gita and extern­ally they are named Karma-yoga,Jnana-yoga, etc. But what is actu­ally inside those chapters? We see that within all eight­een chapters of Srimad Bhagavad-gita the fully enlightened form of Krishna con­scious­ness expressed as bhakti-yoga is present. All the other forms of yoga—karma, jnana, etc.—are actu­ally depend­ent on bhakti-yoga.

ei saba sadhan­era ati tuchchha bala
krishna-bhakti vina taha dite nare phala
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamritaMadhya-lila22.18)

“Without the pres­ence of devo­tion, that is, Krishna-bhakti, the prac­tices of karma, jnana, etc. will not be fruit­ful. They have no real power to act alone.”

In every chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita Krishna con­nects the jiva–souls’ activ­ity within the dif­fer­ent forms of yoga with bhakti, devo­tion. And the res­ults the jiva–souls may get from the vari­ous lower forms of yoga—karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, etc.—are actu­ally pro­duced by the pres­ence of bhakti within those prac­tices. So the prac­tices of karma-yogajnana-yoga, etc. are actu­ally mixed with bhakti-yoga.

The main heart of all the jiva–souls’ spir­itual activ­ity is always bhakti-yoga. Everything Krishna explained in Srimad Bhagavad-gita from begin­ning to end, is actu­ally about bhakti-yoga. This also means that noth­ing within Srimad Bhagavad-gita can be ignored, every chapter is import­ant for every­one, includ­ing those who prac­tise bhakti-yoga.

I have been read­ing Srimad Bhagavad-gita all my life as well as prac­tising bhakti-yoga, and through that I have under­stood that everything within Srimad Bhagavad-gita is import­ant for every­one. I have read Srimad Bhagavad-gita so many times and every time I read it new mean­ing comes to me. But the gen­eral mean­ings of the slo­kas do not become sup­pressed either, rather more and more mean­ings con­tinue to over­flow, and I am so sat­is­fied with that. From deep to deeper to deep­est, everything is presen­ted in Srimad Bhagavad-gita. It is neces­sary for every­one to read Srimad Bhagavad-gita every day attent­ively. Day by day I am more and more enthu­si­astic to preach the con­cep­tion taught in Srimad Bhagavad-gita because it is very essen­tial for the primary reli­gious edu­ca­tion of all people.

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