Bhagavad Gita- The lighthouse to lead a virtues life

So at first I was sceptical of whether I have done a right thing by choosing the Bhagwat  Gita classes for this year or not as I always regarded Gita as ‘bhagwan wali book’  sure it sound cliché but is was how I regarded this book as. As it was a ‘bhagwan wali book’ I was never interested to know about it. But then I thought it must not be merely a book about God as we are planning to have classes on it, so I thought of giving it a try. To my surprise these sessions have turned out to be very fruitful and it has changed my perspective about it completely.

Each session conducted by Guruji were like unfolding our existence and how exactly the life has to be lived. The session were structured in such a way that they offered a uniform approach towards understanding this book of life- starting from chanting verses to understanding the minute details about each and every word contextually with real life situations which helps us to understand the true essence of our life.  During these six sessions there were times where I could relate with what my mother keeps on sharing when she watches some mythological shows or simply sharing her life experiences. To be frank, I never  paid much heed to it as I felt ‘it’s not my thing’ but Guruji’s approach of bringing in the rational in to focus while explaining these life lessons made me ponder upon them often this year which also lead to a healthy discussion different topics like Karma, purpose of life etc with my mother.

Terms like Dharma, paap, puniya karama where hard to swallow for me as I believed that they are only connected to God (an idol in the temple) but to my delight I was wrong.  Desires something around which our entire life revolves upon which is looked at as bad was clarified by Guruji that having desire is ok, in fact it is the ability given to human beings so we are bound to have them. The problem arises when we cling to them and if they are not fulfilled then it brings resentment. This made me think upon my needs and wants and their importance in my life.

It was like an AHA moment for me when Guruji explained what Karma exactly is. He rightly pointed out that we follow this notion that ‘Karam kar phal ki asha maat kar.’  We in a way give up on ourselves  and we leave everything to our ‘destiny’ which is true we don’t take ‘responsibility’ of our own life which is not we are here for.  So that was something which was in a way in line with my approach to karma and coming from  him gave me assurance that my approach is on the same lines and I should continue to believe in it.

Second AHA moment was surely the meditation. I have never tried it so I was happy that I experienced it for the first time in its traditional form. The whole process of accepting ourselves, our loved ones and each and every human being was a breakthrough for me. Every time when I meditated and saw my mother, father and brothers with objective lenses that feeling was so overwhelming that it made me very emotional. Now not only during the meditation but I have automatically started applying it in day to day life too. I have tried accepting them every time I’m with them and if there is a conflicting situation I pause and try to understand their perspective and then respond to the situation and it has made me more tolerant towards others. As Guruji said you can only ‘wish’ for a person to change or behave in a certain manner this thought itself brings peace to my mind.

And the third AHA moment is understanding ‘Dharma’  according to my understanding  following the path of dharma is nothing but following the learner profile  being ‘Principled’ in all the walks of your life. As explained by Guruji the benefits of walking on the path of Dharma brings psychological relief in times of helplessness. It adds to our puniya accounts and also neutralizes the duritas.

To sum it all, after attending not only the Gita classes  this year but all the classes which I have attended right from ‘life’, ‘love’, ‘integrity’, ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and the ‘book and film club’ there has always been many take-away and AHA moments. Through the course 5 years in FS I have been on a journey to discover myself and have also become more ‘aware’ of who I am and others around me. I have made mistakes but I feel that’s the whole idea of how you should lead your life. You learn, unlearn, relearn and become an emotionally mature individual.

My Sankalp

I’m going to invest my energy in self-growth by following the path of Dharma. And meditate to accept my true self and lead a life of virtue.

Geeta — Self Realisation

I read chapters of geeta whenever I was free as I have saved that in my I- pad. I must have read it many times to understand the meaning as people say that you cannot understand at one go. You have to read it many times and each time you get to know something new. So when we were told about geeta classess I was happy to join and eager to know something more. But as Mr Gaggan started the classess I found it very different and logical which could be understood in a better way and could be applied in our day to day life.

In the very first session of Geeta Mr Gagan mentioned about the book “How to Talk so  kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It includes  fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:

• Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment

• Express your strong feelings without being hurtful

• Engage your child’s willing cooperation

• Set firm limits and maintain goodwill

• Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline

• Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise

• Resolve family conflicts peacefully

I have read 3/4 of the book and have started applying these methods in my family which has given positive results. Especially with my teenage son who studies outstation.

In mahabharat when Arjun was in the battlefield and confused as to how to fight with family at that time Krishna did not start preaching him as to what to do. Instead he let Arjun speak out his grief as emotions block the things we are supposed to do.Same thing applies when dealing with your kids if they are frustrated or confused donot just give them the solution let them talk and eventually they themselves come up with the solutions. Sometimes they donot want solutions they just want someone to hear them which most ofthe times is not done.

The other few interesting things which I learned are:

  • emotions does not allow us to perform our duty
  • inner growth has to be deliberated by us
  • desires that donot transgress dharma are good to have
  • to have good self esteem one has to be successful in one’s own eyes
  • you don’t have a say over the results of action at any time
  • you donot call the shots as far as results are concerned
  • focus attention on the process of learning and not result
  • you create your own destiny
  • anything coming from the lord is prasad
  • take advice from people who are warm towards you
  • live for the day; live one day at a time
  • anger is an emotion that demands expression, release it in a safe way
  • human beings have the privilege of being 100% conscious
  • if my happiness is not linked to the external factors, I am comfortable with myself
  • harmony is to be in touch with reality
  • ability to take the unpleasant with the pleasant is real success
  • raaga–what I want to have ; dwesha–what I donot want to have
  • advice is an insult to a person’s intelligence. If you want to help someone just listen to someone donot give advice


The Bhagwada Geeta redefined…

Everyone in my family is very much aware and has a lot of knowledge about the Hindu mythology. They all used to have long discussions on Arjuna, and Krishna and Ram-Seeta, and even ‘Ravana’ where most of the times I felt out of the place. To tell you the truth, I was never too inclined to know more about unless someone talked to me into it. I used to see my cousin(who is younger to me by 14 years…) talk about what happened in that era and how it is also prevalent and relevant even in the present time. She really inspired me to read books like Jaya by Devdutta Patnaik which actually left me in awe of these wonderful scriptures. Post this, I found a spark of curiosity in me and that’s when I finally decided to join the Geeta classes.

The questions that came to my mind were, what is Bhagwada Geeta? What does it teach? Why do we need to imbibe the learning of Geeta into our lives? Is it really helpful? The list was endless… The Geeta classes were a revelation. They were nothing that I imagined but everything I needed. It was not the mythological version that Gagan sir was about to share with us but the contemporary modern day version which we could make connections and bring about changes to our life with.


The Geeta classes began with an interesting story from Mahabharata about Arjuna. Guruji  narrated a fairly detailed version of the story where Arjuna is not ready to fight. He doesn’t understand why he has to shed his family’s blood for a kingdom that he doesn’t even necessarily want. In his eyes, killing his family is the greatest sin of all. He puts down his weapons and tells Krishna he will not fight. Krishna, then, begins the systematic process of explaining why it is Arjuna’s dharmic duty to fight and how he must fight in order to restore his karma. Here we learnt about dharma-karma, destiny, raga-dwesha, and how it all unfolded.


Many a times guruji would take what he would call a ‘detour’ and tell us about his life in America. He would pick out variable Sanskrit words/verses and tell us stories about his life in America and how he came back to India to learn Sanskrit from his gurus in Southern India. He would often use american phrases like ‘Catch 22’ and elaborate what they meant by giving lovely examples. He said, “Have you ever visited the T3 Delhi airport? The airport is so huge that you have to walk a lot to reach your boarding gates. Due to this they’ve kept number of moving walkways to make it easier. You always see children playing at the airports. They really enjoy walking on these walkways in the opposite direction. Many a times when we find that things are not going right in our lives. It’s all because our ‘Dharma’ and ‘Karma’ are both going in opposite directions just like the children on the walkway. This simply states that there are always two factors in every situation and they are both equally dependant on each other and that’s what we mean by a ‘Catch 22’ situation.” Phrases and stories like these made me want to hear more from guruji.


I had never got the opportunity to learn ‘Sanskrit’ in school so was not really aware how to go about it. Many a times I would try to read the old ‘Hindola’ verses at my home but to my despair I was unable to do so. Guruji shed light on how the ‘sandhis’ and the ‘aksharas’ are written in a way but they are pronounced in a very different way & how we should emphasise speak up every single letter while reading sanskrit verses. Somehow, I got a sort of hang of how to chant a sanskrit verse after chanting them wrongly number of times. Embarrassing as much as it was, but somehow I overcame my errors and accepted and embraced my limitations and tried to learn from them instead of whining about it.


I am just listing down my takeaways from all the sessions till now:

  1. Geeta is a blueprint; a plan to help a person lead their life.
  2. ‘Dharma’ is choosing the difficult, longer and correct path instead of the easier, shorter and wrong part which is ‘Adharma’.
  3. ‘Raaga’ is the thing that I want out of my life and ‘Dwesha’ is something that we don’t want in our lives.  We should put ‘raaga’ and ‘dwesha’ on a hold and concentrate on your dharma.
  4. Success and failure is how we take it. We should accept it as a ‘prasada’ from ‘eeshwara’ and move ahead in life.
  5. You should never give advice to to people. By giving advice, you suggest that the other person is not capable of handling the situation himself.
  6. Destiny and free will both play an equally important role when it comes to ‘karma’.
  7. You should take care of only 2 emotions, anger and fear and all the other emotions will follow.
  8. A child is a ‘prasada’ from ‘eeshwara’, you don’t create a child. You are simply a trustee.
  9. ‘Dhrishta’ are the things that you can see and ‘Adhrishta’ are things which are existent but are not visible.
  10. You leave home in order to go somewhere and you reach safely, it’s because there is a lot of ‘Adhrishta’ and ‘punya’ which is protecting you. If you meet up with an accident, it is when two ‘paapa’ have crossed and collided with each other.
  11. Keep yourself happy to help others to be happy.


I never used to enjoy meditation, but ironically it became my biggest takeaway from the Essence of Bhagwada Geeta. I look forward to learning more from guruji and hope that I can apply my learning in my life.

Fingers crossed!


“Bhagwad Gita” as Guruji rightly mentioned, is a goldmine for human psychology. I am quite uncertain about how I perceived this spiritual book, when I started reading it for the first time. All I knew, or as informed by elders was that reading Bhagwad Gita, will help one calm down the stress. At the same time, one may experience connecting the soul with the GOD. It is all about reading the words of Lord Krishna and the gyan that he had given to Arjuna during the war. Well, but I guess watching Mahabharta on screen remained a much easier alternative to what I heard from my elders and people around.

Anyways, before I could actually make a sense of their sharing and wisdom, I completed reading this holy book entirely on my own and created a map of my limited knowledge about human life. I always tried experimenting with my own thoughts and ideas, but never tried looking for its disconfirming evidences. Gita Class, provided an opportunity to actually verify my beliefs and the stories shared by guruji actually guided me to validate my understanding about the various facts relating to human behavior.

Learning about ‘self-growth / emotional maturity’ struck me the most, and also a buzz word,’ what I think about myself’- ‘self esteem.’ During the session, I could make a lot of connections and could retrospect various situations when my happiness and peace was dependent on someone else’s action/words. However, I do not claim to work on this area completely, but certainly have made an attempt to strike a balance between my expectations and reality. I have realized that ‘acceptance’ is  the greatest gift that I can give to myself; and need to certainly eliminate over-expression of my thoughts during my anger outbursts. I would quote here the words by Guruji, “I am not going to victimize anyone because of my anger or my unfulfilled desires.” Instead, will compose myself, gather my thoughts, and then decide to express or not in a given situation. Further, in order to have a good self esteem, I need to be successful in my own eyes.

Guruji said, everything you feel need not be said, if it is unpleasant for the others. Yes, I evaluated on the interaction I had with people around in the past and now ought to believe in this statement. Up till now, I always used to feel good after sharing my feelings and views about others, openly and comfortably to them (however, in the most decent manner). But, in that course, I also experienced some inconvenience and difficulty in helping the person believe about my good intentions. Unfortunately, most of the times, things did not turn out the way it should be and  therefore, I would have a hard time rectifying the situation and would repent on why did I say to what I said.  But now, it seems, I need to work on this area too. And I would happily do that 🙂

I still cannot think much of ‘being atheist’ or ‘the existence of god’ or ‘paap and punya’ or ‘Karma’ but certainly can talk out of my limited experience and efforts; that I make to unclutter my mind and trust that I have for myself. I admit, I need to continue to work on not piling the emotions instead change the lens through which I examine things. There is a lot of work to be done, but as said, its all work in progress. Ultimately, what matters the most is the attitude with which we look at the things and the results. Bhagwad Gita, the blueprint to lead a life with clarity, will surely aid me in the process of continuous self growth and in experiencing the wholeness with myself.

Bhagvad Gita – Spirituality Defined

“Set thy heart upon thy work but never its rewards.” – Bhagvad Gita.

Understanding the essence of ‘Bhagvad Gita’ has been a great experience. Although I had read ‘Gita’, this workshop gave me a newer understanding.

Gita says:

  • Whatever happened, happened for good; whatever is happening, is happening for good; whatever will happen will also happen for good. It is a fact that all of us go through many experiences in life that bring us sorrow and pain. The shastras gives us direction and ways to handle grief.
  • The entire universe runs on the combination of three powers – Icha shakti – the power of the mind, Kriya Shakti – the power of senses and Gyan Shakti – the power of the intellect.
  • Fear, pain and frustration are the root causes of anger.
  • Welcome fear with open arms.
  • Do not react when angry. In a state of anger, we hurt our near and dear ones. We should control and calm our mind in order to control anger.
  • Pause before you react. This will ensure that you don’t hurt anyone.
  • Desires come from attachment and anger comes from unfulfilled desires.
  • We are the creators of our own dreams.
  • Human beings have been bestowed with privileges like having desires and fulfilling them; animals are programmed. It is good to have ambitions and desires. We should work towards achieving our goals in life; having the bigger picture in mind.
  • We all have Ragas and Dweshas. Ragas are binding desires (It will cause unhappiness if not fulfilled). Dwesha – Aversion for something, implying a dislike for that.
  • We should focus on managing our ragas and dweshas.
  • Our happiness is tied to the fulfilment of the ragas and dweshas.
  • Take life as a Prasada.
  • We can control our actions but we cannot control the results. Laws take care of the results.
  • We all have the knowledge that just like we don’t want to be hurt, other people also do not want to be hurt.
  • Morality has to be untaught.
  • Nothing is right or wrong, but some things are appropriate and some are inappropriate.
  • Karmayoga is the expertise to choose the correct action.
  • A karmayogi is a person who has the knowledge of choosing the right action; a person who follows the path of righteousness and accepts destiny as it comes.
  • Dharma is duty, to be done, the sense of right and wrong and has to be interpreted. It is the manifestation of Ishwara.
  • We are in pursuit of security(Artha) and pleasure(Kama). We want to be secure in life. We want financial security, security in the form of name, fame, power and prestige.
  • We crave for the fulfilment of our ragas and dweshas (Artha kamas) but we forget that they are time-bound and hence we need to follow dharma. We also need to examine the road that we are walking on.
  • We should invest in our own growth (Keeping dharma over artha kamas).
  • We should acknowledge that we have a problem and need help.
  • We should live life for ourselves, setting a larger goal for ourselves.
  • To earn punya, we should pray and lend a helping hand to someone in need.
  • Despite knowing what is right, we do the wrong thing.
  • Prayer is an action and produces results. It neutralises the dhuritas(papa karma) and attracts punya.

Bhagwad Gita (Karmayoga)

Teacher with an agenda is a big problem.Don’t teach unless it is asked .Raaga means what i want to have and Dwesha means what i don’t want to  have. Raaga and Dwesha are two things which are unavoidable and also part of our life.So never bother about Raaga and Dwesha.You should never give handle of happiness to raaga and dwesha.Bhagwad Geeta is a blueprint of how to manage raaga and dwesha. Raaga & dwesha are dictating about your action.For even simpler happiness balancing raaga and dwesha is the base.

Your happiness & satisfaction  is always connected with fulfillment of your desire.There is always freedom to do any action which is based on your desire or drop out or choose another path.Knowledge of choosing an appropriate path(What action should i do? Is a defect).Knowledge of choosing path should not be taught,it should be inherited. Sanskaar are pre-defined grooves in your mind which is reinforced by our parents.Be a good listener to someone instead of giving him/her advice.You can try to giving rationale behind doing anything ,this will lead person to same conclusion as you wanted to advice.Be a good listener to someone instead of giving him/her advice.Results are output of your efforts but it always bother you whenever results come you are unsatisfied or unhappy if its not favourable to you.You can always control your action but not result.You should always be same in all condition and accept result as it comes.There may be 4 possiblities for any results: 1.favourable,2.balanced,3.unfavourable and not balanced.Results are always taken care by laws of Nature.Results coming to you are from giver so they are like prasada.You can reduce your amplitude or fluctuation and accept results as prasada. For example:As in Dream,You are only maker and material too.Giver is a limitless consience.All that is infront of you or surrounding you are one limitless concience. Intelligent will always rest in conscious being.Space and time are part of this conscious creation.Space is ever expanding.Knowledge always resides in the conscious being.Always maker and material are same.Any product is not different from its material form.God is not favouring to one group of people but not to others.All human beings love to survive and don’t want to get hurt.Guilt is because of knowledge that other person also not want to be hurt which is being present in us. Ahimsa is word which we use for lack of hurting and is main value that should be given to everyone.Choice is yours of getting hurt or not. Karmyogi is one who is causing least bit of hurt.Everyone should have a healthy ego.

Are you able to adhere on what you know about?.Value of following values in your life.Life is series of small situations by using which you can grow and become able to take big decisions.You can try to decoupling your happiness from situations.You can go with appropriate things.This will lead you to inner transformations.In Upanishads,Context is important to understand meaning of specific shloka. Sometimes contradictory statements are used to reveal truth in bhagwad gita. For people seeing dreams everything seems to be real but actually its not so.A person in dream state negates the waking state and vice versa.Dharma is knowledge of knowing what is right or wrong.Pursuit of security and pleasure are modes which gives you happiness.For being a good human being,you need to think of yourself too and invest in your own growth.Learn form mistakes of others and make changes in your life to grow.Security is always centered to yourself.Security may change from person to person.Anything that gives you happiness is pleasure.All our efforts are connected to artha(security) and kama(wants).Even if you are ethical but still artha and kama plays a role in your life.In this universe,no one wants his/her happiness to be time bound.Acknowledgement of the problem is the first step to overcome it or get solution for it.You should shift you focus to bigger goals so other things becomes small by cognitive shift.Smaller things won’t matter until you have larger goals set.Knowledge of right and wrong is already there and therefore there is conflict within yourself once you don’t do right thing.So there is a split within which may lead to Self criticism,guilt,regret,low self esteem.Always your happiness lies within you not outside you. Punya and paapa and law of karma is a belief but not irrational and gives good explanation of situation that comes in our life.Anything that is given is not separate from giver.So your normal action if modified would lead to action of growth and if its along dharma then it becomes great offering to god.  

गीता का सारांश

गीता क्लास से मैंने गुरूजी से कई बाते सीखी जिन्हें  अपने जीवन में अपनाने से हमारा जीवन सुखमय बीत सकता हैं | मैंने,धर्म क्या हैं ? इसके बारे में जाना , धर्म – जो करने योग्य कर्म हैं |  और धर्म की पलना करने से हमें पुण्य मिलता हैं |  अगर हम हमारे साथ घटने वाली प्रत्येक घटना को भगवान का दिया प्रसाद मान ले तो हमें इतना दुःख नहीं होगा  | मैंने यह भी जाना की  हम लोग “राग”  और “द्वेष” के अनुसार हमारा जीवन व्यतीत करते हैं |

राग – जो मुझे चाहिए |
द्वेष – जो मुझे नहीं चाहिए |
इन दो शब्दों पर हम हमारा जीवन बिताते है और यही हमारी  ख़ुशी और दुःख का कारण बनता हैं | इसीलिए हमें अपने राग और द्वेष को वश में रखना चाहिए न कि इनके वश में रह कर अपने जीवन में  अशांति को आमंत्रित करना चाहिए |  मैंने  यह  भी जाना  कि संस्कार क्या हैं ? संस्कार – जो हमारे  मन और दिमाग में हैं और जो हमने हमारी संस्कृति से सिखा हैं यही संस्कार कहलाते हैं |
मैंने इस गीता क्लास  से सिखा कि –
१.हमें किसी को सलाह देने के बदले उसे खुद अपनी समस्या का हल ढूँढने के लिए प्रेरित करना चाहिए |
२.हमें भावनात्मक रूप मजबूत होना चाहिए ताकि हम किसी भी परिस्थिति में खुश रह सके या कहे कि उस परिस्थिति के नकारात्मक प्रभाव से हमारा जीवन बच सके |
३. धर्म को अर्थ और काम से ऊपर रखना यानि कि अर्थ और काम के लिए अधर्म का सहारा न लेना |हमेशा धर्म  का पालन करना हमारा पहला कर्तव्य हैं |
४. हमारा लक्ष्य बढ़ा होना चाहिए | लक्ष्य बड़ा होगा तो छोटी -छोटी समस्याएँ और छोटी हो जाएगी |
५. बुद्धिमानी – अच्छे और बुरे की पहचान कर पाना ही  बुद्धिमानी हैं |
६. दुरिता, पाप और अधर्म एक ही हैं | इनसे बचने के लिए हमें प्रार्थना या अच्छे कर्म करने चाहिए |

Essence of Bhagwad Gita

Why did I opt for this class? No, no, this question doesn’t reflect my regret. I want to share why I chose to attend this class. As soon as I came to know about this class, I eagerly filled the form saying yes. Why?  One of the reasons is that I have always had curiosity to know about different religion. I like philosophical talks. I like to know what people think about God, religion and traditions. The give and take of thoughts help me to introspect and grow.


The other reason now. In the form I read the profile of the person who was going to conduct these sessions – Mr.Gagan Gupta. When I read his profile, instantly I had the thought that if such a man who is highly educated will be talking about Gita, there must be some logic; nowadays, we all believe in logic.


Our sessions started with chanting of shlokas from the Gita. I was again awed by this man who spoke such pure Sanskrit language in spite of spending 16 years (I think this is what I remember) in the USA. Wooow!! The first lesson learnt. Introspection brought him to India and dedication helped him to achieve what he has achieved today – immense knowledge.


In one such session he talked about “Dharma”. So what is “Dharma”? It is definitely not a synonym for religion which most of us think it to be. It is not just praying to God every morning and worshipping a deity. “Dharma” is doing the right thing in any given situation. Hey!! Isn’t is very familiar? ‘Doing the right thing when nobody’s watching’. Dharma, the Gita says, is having a control over your “ragas” (what I want) and “dhwesha” (what I want not to have) without being carried away by them. Having ‘raga’ on things and people may force you to take shortcuts in life and it may lead you to happiness; however, such happiness doesn’t last long.


Mr.Gupta shared a simple example to explain ‘Dharma’. He said that many times we drive on the wrong side of the road in order to reach our destination. We avoid driving all through the long way. So, are we following our dharma? We do realise that we are doing the wrong thing. Nevertheless, we choose the easiest option. This is also ‘raga’. We let the ‘ragas’ control our ability to think what is right and what is wrong which should not be the case.


The other thing which I liked was the importance of prayer and service. Being a moderately religious person, I also pray everyday. I do puja whenever time permits. Listening to the interpretation of Gita, I realised that by praying we accrue good ‘karma’. The accumulated good karma can lessen the intensity of the pain we might go through as a result of a bad karma. The same is true for service. Lending a helping hand may bestow us with a help required in times of need.

Bhagvad Geeta – A vortex of contradictions, yet all answers lie in the correct interpretation

I have always been intrigued by the Bhagvad Geeta, and more importantly various stories that impart strong messages. I have read the Ramanyana & Mahabharat as a child with my grandma and Geeta was inevitable part of the Mahabharata. Then there was this epic serial Mahabharata on the television which covered around 15-20 episodes of the Bhagvad Geeta. As a child I was always more interested in the stories and not the preaching or the interpretation of the Bhagvad Geeta, but somehow it always stayed with me…the urge to find out more.


Then again, when I was expecting I read the Bhagvad Geeta, as people around me said that you should read such texts so that it passes on to the child. That was when I looked at it from a different perspective, the child in me could recall all the stories and actually make connections to the world around me.


Geeta is a lengthy and complex text, and as Guruji says it is open to interpretation, and hence it is important that we understand and read in the correct context. What I had been reading earlier, were the Gujarati and English translations of the original Gita. Hence this was  a wonderful opportunity to understand more about it from someone who has actually spent time to understand and interpret  the whole text.


The first misconception that got cleared through the Gita classes was about ‘karm kiye ja, fal ki chinta mat rakh’ which I widely propagated as one of Gita’s sayings. It is not humane to not desire. It is alright to desire, but expecting the outcome of the action should be as per the desire is not the right approach. This was so profound. We cannot control the outcomes but we can surely control our reactions to the outcomes. And this happens with us everyday…India loses a match, how my son scored in a test, how did the movie or the long awaited weekend turn out to be, share prices etc etc etc. This is one thing I definitely want to work on…control my reactions; irrespective of the outcome or the result.


Also the path towards how to achieve this was very interesting. As explained in the Geeta, results get taken care of by the laws of the world. We are responsible for the action, not for the result hence we should not take the burden of the same. If we accept the results or the outcomes as a ‘prasad’ from the Ishwara, then it becomes easy for us to accept the reality.


Some of the commonly misinterpreted terms in our day to day vocabulary have a much deeper and a rational meaning, such as ‘samskara’ and ‘dharma’.  “Samskara’ are not values or principles but the patterns or grooves that is in our mind and which we want the coming generations of the family to adopt. ‘Dharma’ has nothing to do with the religion; it is the sense of what is right and what is wrong OR duty.  A ‘karmayogi’ is not just one who performs the action, but also has the expertise to interpret appropriateness or inappropriateness of action. This is what differentiates human beings from other animals. The animals do not have a set of values or feel guilty for their actions. All living beings have a love to survive, don’t want to be hurt. Human beings also have this knowledge that they do not want to be hurt, at the same they also know that even the others do not want to be hurt…physically, emotionally, socially, culturally or professionally. This bit of knowledge separates human beings from other living organisms and and helps them create a set of values. That is why morality need not be taught, it is inherently there in all human beings. In critical situations, we struggle to choose between the two alternatives, but inherently we know what is dharma but taking the difficult path is where we struggle. This also holds true when we end up giving suggestions or advice to others. It is an insult to other person’s intelligence, they already know what needs to be done, it is more about listening and being there for the person.


The imagery of the war of the Mahabharata, between the pandavas and the kauravas, interpreted as ‘raga’ and ‘dwesha’ tells it all. We need to work towards managing the ‘raga’ and ‘dwesha’ rather than they dictating the way we deal with our lives. That’s the battle, the inner conflicts that we struggle with everyday and the way forward is to develop the expertise to choose appropriate action in a given situation.


Bhagvad Geeta may look like a quagmire and causes initial turmoil and distress but the more you understand the verses, elucidate the meaning and connect with the reality of your lives….it illuminates you and helps discover yourself in the process.

A journey into self discovery through the lens of Bhagvad Geeta

The announcement of “Essence of Bhagvad Geeta” classes being proposed for life classes triggered multiple emotions in me. It took me down the memory lane and I just wanted to grab this opportunity to reconnect with spirituality. In my growing years , I had learnt some things about ,what Geeta says from my parents and other family members. Chanting verses , specific adhyayas and understanding the overall meaning of those was a routine for me, during my school days. Eventually I had lost the connection with Geeta and also my journey to understand the purpose of my life since I got married due to new responsibilities.

The first two days of the Geeta classes acted as anchoring me back to basics. Got some new insight, misconceptions got cleared and got affirmation for many of my previous learning.

Listing down the key points which definitely struck my conscious from each session:

Meaning of Dharma-  dharma means- “to be done” and has nothing to do with religion . It changes from time to time, place to place. Situations in life are always grey never black and white, so interpreting dharma using buddhi is our job. We need to decide, what is to be done in the situation and on what basis.

What is Right- “to be done” in any given situation?

Ahimsa:- I dont want to get hurt. I know all others around me also don’t want to get hurt. This reality and understanding about Ahimsa should drive actions- then they are bound to be the right actions. Raga and dwesha( wants) should not influence our action.

Points to be taken care of as a Parent:

  • Children of 0-4. years need appreciation in formative years. They need to feel important. Its important to show your love and care as often as possible.
  • Fear pain and panic get boxed in unconscious state during first four years or more and then comes out as manifestations like anger or anxiety in adulthood as response to situations. Anger is there because of background.

Points to be taken care of for self growth:

  • Self growth is an inner growth and has to be deliberately initiated by us.- individual.
  • Self growth – What you think about yourself, is what counts, not what others think.
  • Take care of your anger and fear. These two emotions need to be taken care of. Don’t divert it as it won’t work. Advice of others and logic won’t work.
  • Welcome fear. Say the fear in different way..” I welcome fear and I am not afraid of fear.”

We need to understand what we are in for, in life. Life can become celebration, once we know what we want in life. A certain approach for life is based on what we know. So we need to expand the vision of knowledge, to be able to change what is self growth.

Why is it necessary to understand Success?

  • A sense of accomplishment to feel good is needed.
  • Desires are privilege of a human being. One should have ambitions/ long term desires. Ichcha Shakti, Kriya Shakti- capacity to act and Gyanshakti- capacity to know help us decide and act towards desires
  • Having ambition is a good way to raise an individuals self esteem.

Is there a self judgement on part of person for the sense of success?

Yes as long as we associate the sense of accomplishment with the list of fulfilled desires.

Why do we feel that we are not successful yet?

Because ..

  • we want to become like someone else.
  • we have umpteen no. of desires in different spheres of life.
  • very few desires of all that we have, get fulfilled. List of unfulfilled desires is huge, fulfilled ones are very few.
  • if sense of success is based on no. of my fulfilled desires, contentment sense of success is based on these desires.
  • everyone has this list, specified or unspecified, this list keeps on changing every some years.
  • as far as the sense of accomplishment is not associated with list of fulfilled desires, failure is certain..

Steps to redefine success to be happy, contended and excel towards self growth and the journey of self discovery

  • Having list of desires(desires are good. expression of individuality)
  • Acting on desires is good psychologically, problem is when you don’t or can’t act on it.
  • When the desires are associated with other people, or involves trying to change others. In such cases just pray for that person to change, make the prayer specific – then only it is worthy, when we pray we are acting on the desire, it works. Act by praying in cases where it’s beyond your direct control, write blog, letters to open forums ,pray.. etc.. Acting on desires is very very imp else it leads to frustration.
  • Acceptance of Result- Based on the Understanding of Success as defined in Geeta verse 47

Geeta Verse 47: 

Your right or your domain of control is only with reference to action. You don’t have a say/control over results of action at anytime.

You have right with respect to action but once you act, the results are taken care of , you don’t determine the result.

My Sankalpa: 

Life is a series of small situations, will try to go with “to be done” rather than getting driven by raga dwesha.

Will try not to connect peace of mind with fulfillment of desires and will try to be contended by doing the right thing rather than looking forward to the expected outcome.


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