Living the Gita is not about turning back the clock, but about turning on the compass

Some people ask, “To practice the Gita, do we need to turn back the clock to the time thousands of years ago when it was spoken?”

Not necessary, answers Gita wisdom, because its message is not merely historical, dating back to thousands of years ago. Essentially its message is transcendental – so it is relevant at all times.

The Bhagavad-gita (04.02) outlines how its essential message was passed down generation after generation through learned and realized spiritual teachers. The message is passed down not by verbatim parroting of the original text, but by authentic assimilation and faithful transmission of its essence.

Gita wisdom is not as much a static, frozen information that exists in some primeval manuscript as it is a dynamic, living wisdom that exists in the hearts of those who have aligned their lives according to its compass. That’s why the Gita says that its wisdom is passed down not through the careful preservation of its manuscript, but through the living examples of its learned and realized spiritual teachers. Those who love and live the Gita, by their presence, experience and guidance, demonstrates how its wisdom is not abstract but concrete; not outdated, but cutting edge; not theoretical but practical; not a matter of the head, but an affair of the heart.

The Gita’s core message is not as much about turning back the clock to some pristine time in remote prehistory as it is about turning on the compass to align ourselves with time-independent universal principles of living and loving that our ancestors were better aligned with. By harmonizing ourselves with those principles, we can apply the Gita even today and relish the same supreme enrichment of wisdom and devotion that its followers throughout history have relished.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 04 Text 02

“This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.”


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