[This is the first part of the Gita Nagari series-Ed. note]
1. The Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna appears Himself in this mortal world by dint of his Internal Potency in order to be visible to the conditioned souls and specially to human being, although in essence He is eternally unchangeable Supreme Truth and Absolute Lord of the visible and invisible worlds. He is ever existent prior to the creation of the manifested world. The Vedas are known to be transcendental because they were impregnated in the heart of Brahma by Sree Krishna after creation of the universes and as such Vedic knowledge has descended in a transcendental process of aural reception from Sree Brahma to Narada, from Narada to Vyasa, from Vyasa to Sree Sukhdeva Goswami and Sree Sukhdeva Goswami to other disciples by succession. The Vedic knowledge is famous as Sruti because it has descended in the above process of hearing only. But the original Teacher of such knowledge is nobody else than Sree Krishna Himself.
2. Sreemad Bhagwat Geeta and the transcendental knowledge thereof has also descended in the above process of aural reception from Vaivaswata Manu but when the chain of disciplic succession was broken at the beginning of the Kali Yuga by the influence of the External Energy of the Personality of Godhead known as Maya, it was again reincarnated by the Supreme Authority of Sree Krishna Himself at the battlefield of the sacred place of Kurukshetra in the presence of His most beloved friend and devotee Sree Arjuna. He summarised the full text of the Vedas and Upanishads in the teachings of Sree Bhagwat Geeta in order to give facility to the people of the present age, who are mostly affected by the influence of Kali Yuga or the age of quarrel and disagreement.
3. The summumbonum teaching of Sreemad Bhagwat Geeta is that RELIGION means the art and science of learning the transcendental process of surrendering unto the Lotus Feet of the Absolute Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna. The purity of such religious knowledge becomes polluted when conditioned souls become too much influenced by the External Energy of Godhead as they forget their eternal relation with Him and thereby become too much addicted to the material process of sense gratification which is the lowest and crude form of human existence. When such irreligious life of the people in general flourished by the influence of External Energy of Godhead, the world at large suffers terribly in all directions in the way of challenging the very existence of Godhead.
4. The Personality of Godhead and His transcendental utterances as sounded in the Bhagwat Geeta are identical. Sreemad Bhagwat Geeta is therefore eternally the Personality of Godhead Himself with full potency and therefore when the transcendental knowledge of Bhagwat Geeta is received in the manner as it was received by Sree Arjuna we can be equally enlightened as Arjuna was. When the law-abiding devotees of Godhead become disturbed by the unlawful activities of the Ashuras i.e. those who are averse to acknowledge the Supreme Authority of Godhead, at such critical time either the Personality of Godhead or His counterpart Form of transcendental Sound appears in this mortal world in order to save the faithful and annihilate the unbelievers. As such Bhagwat Geeta descended directly from the utterances of the Personality of Godhead in order to save the faithful and to annihilate the unbelievers at the juncture of disappearance of the Dwapara Yuga and appearance of the Kali Yuga in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, which was fought between two rival political parties namely the Kurus and the Pandavas.
At the present age the same fight between two rival parties of politicians without any guidance of the transcendental direction of Godhead is merrily going on at the expense of the innocent poor people of the world and as such Sree Krishna has descended again in the shape of Geeta Nagari with the same purposes of saving the faithful and annihilating the unbelievers as He did in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
5. The Geeta Nagari will therefore be the main preaching centre of the Supreme Authority of Sree Krishna the Personality of Godhead. It shall be proclaimed from that place that Sree Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Absolute Enjoyer of all benefits derived from all kinds of work, sacrifice, cultivation of knowledge; that He is the Absolute Proprietor of all the manifested universes and that He is the unalloyed friend and philosopher of all living entities namely the gods or rulers, the general people, the beasts, the birds, the reptiles, the plants and trees or the aquatic animals residing in every nook and corner of the great universe. When such knowledge will be fostered from the vantage of Sree Geeta Nagari, at that time only, real peace and prosperity will usher in the world so anxiously awaited by all kinds of people. Unfortunately the present trend of human civilization is conducted just on the opposite direction of the above views. The human being has declared himself as the supreme enjoyer of everything and the proprietor of the world. He has declared himself foolishly as the friend and philosopher of the people in general enamoured by material power and wealth, which is bringing in ruination for himself and his followers. Every human being is imagining himself as an independant God (?) and foolishly trying to guide the activities of his so-called followers without knowing the art and science of such leadership business. Such leadership for the actual benefit of the people in general can effectively be conducted when the leaders themselves will know the art and science of surrendering unto the lotus feet of Sree Krishna and shall be able to convince their followers that God alone has the absolute prerogative in the above-mentioned three main functions.
On the other hand the natives of India only have the prerogative to understand this position of Godhead from the pages of Bhagwat Geeta and they are alone able to preach this truth throughout the whole world. It is therefore desired that the authorities who shall guide the activities of the Geeta Nagari may make such organised effort as will help this mission of the Geeta Nagari on a permanent basis.
The pangs of a demoralised type of civilization designed by the demoniac principled leaders are being felt keenly by the people in general and to save them from that untold miseries of life is to take shelter of the transcendental message of Bhagwat Geeta.
A vivid picture of the demoniac principled leader is given in the pages of Bhagwat Geeta in the sixteenth chapter as follows:
We can know the real heart of an 'Ashura' in the statement of Bhagwat Geeta. At the present moment practically every man is infected with a sense of false prestige, pride, anger, vanity, cruelty and similar qualities born of poor fund of knowledge. There area always two classes of men of which the one is known as the Devas or the gods and the other is known as the Ashuras or the demons. The Ashuras are unable to realise what should be done or what should not be done in the human form of life. Those who are qualified with godly qualities generally do perform charities, possess controlling power of the sense organs, perform sacrifices, practice penance and non-violence, love, truth, learn toleration, remains peaceful, refrain from speaking ill of others, become kindly in behaviour, eradicate lust and hankering, practice patience and purify habits. These are some of the many godly qualities of men known as gods. But unfortunately these godly qualities are rarely experienced in the character of the present generation and in most cases the qualities of the demons are vivid in all directions. Such men of demoniac principle are generally unclean in habits. They do not believe in the Supreme authority of God and they think without any reason that desire or necessity is the ultimate cause of creations, without knowing that disposal is more important cause than desire. The demoniac observations are always imperfect in fact and practice.
People addicted to demoniac principles, devoid of transcendental knowledge, imperfectly educated and inventors of violent work leading to miseries and destruction of the world have greatly developed in this age. Although these people indirectly realise that their mode of activities had already diminished the duration of life of the people in general, yet they consider the advancement of material knowledge as progress of life, dictated by a strong sense of vanity under the cover of unclean habits. The effect of this pernicious type of material civilization is that people have almost forgotten the question of life after death and thus have taken to an irresponsible way of life leading to untold miseries and distress of material existence. The demoniac way of thinking has covered their unsatiated desire for work and enjoyment till the end of material existence. These people are embarrassed with such thousand and one desires enlarging the circle of exploiting habits in greater and greater circumference. They have now become mad so to say for such enlarged activities of material civilization. Such people think unrestrictedly and at all times like this. "I have accumulated so much wealth just now and in the next I am going to accumulate more wealth. I am god (?) and nobody is equal to my position."
"I have killed this enemy and I am arranging to kill the other one. I am god and I am the enjoyer of everything. I am happy and I am perfect. I do not think anybody else is richer than me. I can perform all sorts of sacrifices and by doing so I can purchase all virtues." The Ashuras therefore exhibit a feat of their unalloyed foolishness by such contemplations as above mentioned.
Saintly politicians of modern age like Mahatma Gandhi and others inspired by the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta, although imperfectly, have tried to lead such politicians of demoniac principle, as they may be influenced by the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta. Mahatma Gandhi's movement in the political field such as non-violence, non-cooperation, truthfulness, sacrifice etc. are some of the brilliant examples for subduing the demoniac tendency of the people in general. Such example in the life of Mahatma Gandhi made him well recognised all over the world in spite of their being temporary measures and it may safely be concluded that Mahatma Gandhi's success in such movements was solely and wholly dependant on the inspiration of Bhagwat Geeta. Leaving aside his all other activities in the political field, the four following principles which he adopted sincerely in his mature old age are in essence derived from the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta for practical application for social and spiritual upliftment in the present order of things. They are as follows:
A. Leaders and politicians may take lessons from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, who was undoubtedly a great and busy politician, in respect of his daily evening prayer meetings and regular recitation of Bhagwat Geeta. He followed this principle of life most faithfully even up to the last moment of his lamented life. People in general and the leaders in particular may follow this footprints of Mahatma Gandhi if they at all want to do some good to their followers. Such regular habit of reciting the readings of Bhagwat Geeta makes one able to get rid of the demoniac way of life and gradually rising up to the plane of pure devotional life of the gods. When such devotional life is enriched by recitation of the readings of Bhagwat Geeta, all the good qualities of the saints and gods automatically overcome the reciter without any extraneous effort on his part. And a person however qualified he may be in the mundane sense of the term, if he is devoid of the principles of devotional life as above mentioned, he shall surely hover in the mental plane of uncertainty and as such will always fail to enter into the noumenon existence of life. Those who have developed such noumenon existence of life generally known as spiritual life are called Mahatmas in the language of Bhagwat Geeta. The definition of real Mahatmas are given below from the reading of Bhagwat Geeta.
B. The temple entry movement of Mahatma Gandhi is another attempt to deliver people in general from spiritual degradation and by such movement the mass of people can be saved from gliding down to the lowest status of demoniac life. Even when he was at Noakhali (Pakistan) during the dark hours of the partition days, he never hesitated to reinstall the deities of Sree Sree Radha Govinda Sreemurties there and by such examples he had done immense good for the people in general. Leaders and politicians may take lessons from this particular incidence of his life. It may be said in this connection that there are thousands and thousands of Vishnu temples or other temples all over India. And these temples were originally the centres of spiritual enlightenment which helped subduing the demoniac way of life of the people in general and thereby they would live in peace and prosperity. At the present moment in most cases those spiritual educational centres have been rendered into rendezvous of demoniac dance for want of culture of the teachings Bhagwat Geeta. They have become on the contrary so many plague spots for preaching atheism and advancement of demoniac principles for want of proper and regular spiritual propaganda under able leadership. The mission of Geeta Nagari must have its aim amongst others to rectify the anomalies that have entered into the life of these centres of spiritual education and regenerate them to the sense of spiritual life through the exemplary life of devotees that may be created from the practical life of Sree Geeta Nagari. The Bhagwat Geeta [Bg. 9.25] encourages us in such spiritual culture as follows:
Janti Devabrata Devan,
Pitrin Janti Pitribrata
Bhutani, Janti Bhutejya,
Janti Madjajina, Api, mam.
C. Mahatma Gandhi started the Harijan movement in order to raise the status of the fallen people either by social injustice or otherwise. But such movement may not be restricted only amongst the Bhangis and Chamars who are proclaimed as such by social injustice but such movement may be extended amongst those also are passing in the society as Brahmins and Kshatriyas etc. but in practice their mentality is more degraded than the lowest of the Bhangis and Chamars. Harijan means the associate of God himself. Chamars and Bhangis or for the matter of that, people of the mentality of the Chamars and Bhangis, can never be promoted to the position of the Harijan, unless and until such persons are helped to go up to the place of the Harijan by methods approved by the Harijans such as Arjuna, Prahlad, Dhrubamoharaj, Yamaraj, Bhisma, Janaka, Narada, Vyasa etc. There is no bar for anyone to rise up to that position of Harijans as it is stated in the Bhagwat Geeta in the following lines: [Bg. 9.32]
Mam, Hi, Partha, Byapashritya, Jey, Api, Syu, Papa, Yonaya, Striya, Vaishya, Tatha, Sudra, Te, Api, Janti, Param, Gati.
Mahatma Gandhi did not approve of the present system of castes as is prevailing in India and there is ample support of this movement of casteless society in the Bhagwat Geeta in its own way. Casteless society does not mean that there will remain no section or subsection of social division because without that no society can exist; but there may not be any caste simply for the sake of birthright accidents. Bhagwat Geeta approves of the caste system in terms of mundane quality acquired but not in terms of accidents of birth. (To be continued.)