“My dear Arjuna, a man who does not follow this prescribed Vedic system of sacrifice certainly leads a life of sin, for a person delighting only in the senses lives in vain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.16)
I want people to read the Bhagavad-gita. From the very beginning there are profound truths, explanations of issues that no one ever revealed before, at least in my experience. Death bewilders us all, how something so full of life in a split second vanishes. The change is sudden, and it is understandable to lament.
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)
Shri Krishna says that the dhira person is not bewildered by the event, since they understand that the body constantly changes. Death is merely the last shift in this cycle known as a lifetime. The individual within does not change. They are constant. One way to describe them is spirit soul.
This difference between body and soul is the foundation of the science of self-realization. So much more knowledge awaits, should a person be willing to proceed in their study. Provided there is a bona fide spiritual guide to help along the way, to explain the culture of spiritual life to the time and circumstance, then there is every chance of receiving the highest purushartha, or objective of human life.
There is one fear, however. If I bring others to the Divine light through the medium of this amazing book, they might get offended by what they hear. The fear is not exclusive to one group, as many different kinds of people will not like some of the explanations at first.
1. Women, laborers and merchants
In a specific verse spoken directly by Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this group is referred to as papa yoni. This means a sinful birth. An improper understanding of sin and the types of birth can trigger a feeling of insult.
“How dare you say that I am lower on the ranking system? If I am spirit soul, why is there any sort of pecking order to begin with?”
The Vedic science provides a sort of handicapping system for revealing the odds a particular birth has at understanding the difference between spirit and matter. The papa yoni types have a lesser chance, since they tend to be more focused on material affairs.
2. People who like to sleep
Not just for the purpose of rest for tackling work the next day, but someone who prefers to lay down for extended periods of time. They would rather sleep than do anything else. They stay in that position for hours and hours each day. Not good, according to the original teacher.
3. People who like to eat
Can there be any higher enjoyment in life than partaking of a well-prepared meal? Again, Shri Krishna says something different with respect to those who are interested in yoga. This is union of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Yoga is the real goal for every person, and not the kind practiced simply for health benefits.
4. Demigod worshipers
Why not pray to higher authorities to receive benedictions? These figures are respected, authorized, and known to deliver. Should I go the other route and think that everything can come about from my own effort? Shri Krishna says that the individual is not the doer. He also recommends sacrifice to the devas for the purpose of getting rain, which then leads to grain production.
“All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.14)
5. Anyone who seeks sense gratification
Actually, anyone who enjoys the senses is condemned in the Bhagavad-gita. The message comes across subtly at first, but there is no doubt by the end. Sense gratification is for the animals. The human birth is the most auspicious form precisely because of the ability to transcend the body, which is accomplished through a conscious choice.
Though various groups might get offended, there is no reason to put the book down for good or to use that anger for nullifying the purpose of the science of self-realization. The focus is not from where a person comes, but rather to where they are going. Any person, even from an inauspicious birth, can make this life perfect through bhakti-yoga, devotional service.
“O son of Pritha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth-women, vaishyas [merchants], as well as shudras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.32)
It is ideal for the newcomer to be offended to some degree. They are looking for help, after all. If they were doing everything right to begin with, there wouldn’t be a need to approach Shri Krishna and His representatives. From the lives of the saints we see that the approach made in earnest turns out to be the best decision ever made, as the shelter from the lotus feet of God cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
Desiring Gita’s wisdom to see,
But surely offended to be.
Of too much sleep talking,
And demigod path walking.
Some sinful considered by birth,
Sense gratification considered the worst.
Rewarded those steady to proceed,
For every soul potential to receive.
Categories: the five