What is the Gita Daily?
The Gita for Daily Enrichment presents insights from the Bhagavad-gita insights through succinct reflections that provide daily inspiration for self-improvement throughout the year. Each reflection is short, just 300 words, and can be read in a few minutes. Based on a verse and a theme from the Gita, it will enable you to begin your day intellectually illumined, emotionally enriched and spiritually strengthened with Gita wisdom.
Gita for Daily Enrichment (referred henceforth as Gita-daily) provides condensed nuggets of insight gleaned from the Vedic wisdom-tradition, and re-presented in an idiom and style that resonates with contemporary needs, interests and concerns.
The Vedic (Indian) wisdom-tradition has provided lofty some of the loftiest philo- sophical insights in the world. Gita-Daily makes the humble attempt to stimulate in- terest in Vedic thought by mining and bringing forth small nuggets of wisdom that the contemporary mind can find accessible, relevant and illuminating.
Gita-daily is also a humble attempt to fulfill on a daily basis the standing in- struction of my foremost spiritual teacher Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON, to all his followers to write at every opportunity: “Realization means you should write, every one of you, what is your realization. What for this Back to God- head is? You write your realization, what you have realized about Krishna. That is re- quired. It is not passive. Always you should be active. Whenever you find time, you write. Never mind, two lines, four lines, but you write your realization. Shra- vanamkirtanam, writing or offering prayers, glories. This is one of the functions of the Vaishnava.”
The articles in this book are a metamorphosed version of a personal journal of an individual spiritual journey. Over the years, while studying the sacred Vedic scrip- tures, whenever I would get an insight of how a particular verse or narrative or analy- sis addressed my concerns, I would phrase that insight in my own words in my personal journal. During my various talks, I would often share some of these insights, gleaned from scriptures but re-presented in an intellectually and linguistically ap- pealing way. Many of those who attended these talks would tell me that they found these re-presentations illuminating, offering them a new light with which to see the la- tent wisdom in scriptural truths they already knew. Those giving such feedbacks often encouraged, even urged, me to put these insights into writing.
Within the many books that comprise the Vedic library, I have chosen to focus on the Bhagavad-gita because it is simultaneously profoundly philosophical, unend- ingly inspirational and eminently practical. Over the last fifteen years I have studied the Gita dozens of times and have spoken on it hundreds of times. I have also taught the full Gita as a systematic course several times and have written scores of articles on it. Despite this repeated contact with the Gita, I am even now amazed by its un- fading freshness: contemplation on its verses brings rejuvenation, illumination and de- termination. I feel deeply indebted to the Bhagavad-gita for the sanity, clarity, gravity, tenacity and velocity that it has brought to my life. As an expression of my gratitude to the Gita, I feel impelled to do whatever I can to make its inspiration available as much as possible. But I also realize that most people in today’s culture will not have the time or the facility to carry out an intensive or extensive study of the Gita. So the Gita-daily is my humble attempt to repay my debt to the Gita by making its wisdom comprehensible and accessible through daily nuggets of contemplation on one or more of its verses. As I am focussing on the inspirational potency of the Gita and not on its semantic intricacies, I generally don’t quote either the Sanskrit verse or its Eng- lish translation verbatim, but present the relevant import of the verse, rendered ac- cording to the theme under discussion. To ensure that these articles don’t become too technical or academic, I also don’t quote too frequently from the various Gita com- mentaries by erudite and saintly teachers. Nonetheless, I have provided at the bot- tom of each articlethe translation of these verses.If I quote more than one verse in an article, then the translation given at the bottom of the article is of the verse that is men- tioned in the article title.
These articles are not a systematic commentary; they are brief meditations that I hope will prompt the readers to study the Gita more deeply through its commen- taries. For those wanting to take up such study, I wholly recommend Srila Prabhu- pada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is, which is the most widely distributed rendition of the Gita in English and is the source of the translations given in this book.
I hope that you find Gita-Daily helpful in your spiritual journey in coming closer to the Gita and to its speaker, Lord Krishna, who is forever waiting for us in our own hearts.
Reviews of the Gita Daily
Gita Daily Intelligently presents in a way that unravels the deep spiritual and philosophical knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita in a direct, easy-to-understand way highlighting practical wisdom and spiritual principles which can be easily understood and applied in one’s day to day life
Using analogies that convey a particular meaning, the message is brought easily to our doorstep. For example; BG 5.22 talks of the indulgence in material pleasure will lead to concomitant suffering. Using the analogy of the unborn baby who is unseen, but soon will be visible, the author teaches the highest wisdom in a very simple way nicely unlocking the message for all to understand. An expert teacher is one who can teach the same message to all levels of intelligence and age. Chaitanya Charan has done a brilliant job in presenting relevant messages of the Gita for all.
– His Holiness Candramauli Swami, ISKCON spiritual master and spiritual leader in Europe
“Wisdom texts like the Bhagavad-gita become especially useful when they are brought into modernity by mature and articulate scholar-practitioners. Chaitanya Charan Das is one such person. Through his “Gita for Daily Enrichment,” he unlocks many of the mysteries of the text, allowing contemporary readers access to an otherwise often impenetrable scripture.”
Steven J. Rosen (SatyarajaDasa), Editor, Journal of Vaishnava Studies and Back to Godhead Magazine, and author of some 30 books on spiritual topics.
The Bhagavad-gita for Daily Enrichment provides readers with succinct, thoughtful meditations based on verses from the Gita. It connects the transcendent scripture to daily life’s questions, struggles, and triumphs. Each daily meditation can be read in a few moments, or savored longer while referencing the verse and purport of that day’s focus. Either way, the spiritual connection offered by these meditations will help to remind the reader throughout the day of the Gita’s wisdom and insight, and bring us to a higher dimension of life.
Dr Edith Best (Urmila Devi Dasi), Author of several acclaimed books for children, Member of ISKCON’s Shastric Advisory Council and Editor of Back to Godhead
Chaitanya Charan is a genuine Bhagavad gita scholar, in that he approaches this Indian classic in a reverential and meditational mood. His book offers that which may be called “Humanistic Hinduism”, i.e. a view which shows the relevance and vibrancy of Hinduism as a living tradition. It addresses a wide variety of topics such as divinity, desire, human psychology, religion and dharma. I very warmly recommend not only reading but immersing oneself in this book.
Dr. Ithamar Theodor Author of “Exploring the Bhagavad gita; Philosophy, Structure and Meaning”