How the Gita demonstrates its teaching
The Bhagavad-gita concludes, in one sense, with Arjuna agreeing to do Krishna’s will (18.73). Yet the Gita continues for five more verses describing the realizations of Sanjaya, who is narrating the events at Kurukshetra to Dhritarashtra. Why these additional five verses? They demonstrate how Sanjaya has applied the Gita’s teachings and is thereby enriched.
Whereas Krishna’s speaking the Gita to Arjuna is successful in the sense that it transforms Arjuna’s heart, Sanjaya’s speaking the Gita to Dhritarashtra is unsuccessful in the sense that it doesn’t transform Dhritarashtra’s heart. Yet Sanjaya’s words reveal that he is composed and grateful (18.75). Thus, he demonstrates the Gita’s teaching that we should perform our duty without becoming attached to the results (02.47).
Actually, the Gita’s teachings go beyond material detachment to divine attachment — instead of just giving up attachment to the results of our work, we are urged to become attached to the Supreme Divinity, Krishna, for whom we are doing all our work (07.01). He is the ultimate object of our love, being the embodiment and fulfillment of everything our heart longs for (07.20). Sanjaya demonstrates such divine attachment through his ecstatic absorption first in the Gita’s message itself (18.76) and thereafter in the source and substance of the Gita’s message: Krishna (18.77).
Like Sanjaya, if we share the Gita’s message with others, they may or may not be transformed. But in striving to do our duty to share the Gita as called for by Krishna (18.68-69), we will become transformed. We will become more deeply connected with and devotionally absorbed in the Gita’s message. And by thus meditating on and applying the Gita, we will become enriched by a stronger and sweeter relationship with Krishna.
Sanjaya’s concluding words in the Gita demonstrate the transformation of heart that is the Gita’s essential purpose.
Think it over:
- How does the Gita demonstrate its teaching of working with detachment?
- How does the Gita demonstrate its teaching of working with divine attachment?
- By sharing the Gita’s message, how will we be transformed?
18.77: O King, as I remember the wonderful form of Lord Krishna, I am struck with wonder more and more, and I rejoice again and again.