The Gita is a revelation of love and an invitation to love
Some people feel apprehensive about studying the Bhagavad-gita: “It contains a lot of complicated philosophy.”
Yes, the Gita is a profoundly philosophical book and its analysis of various levels of yoga practice can be intellectually demanding. Still, its essence is not philosophical technicality, but loving reciprocity. Through all its philosophy, Krishna reveals his love for Arjuna and, through Arjuna, for all of us. And he invites reciprocal love from Arjuna, and from all of us.
This essential intention animates the whole Gita: its start, middle and end. In the Gita’s first instructive section (02.11-30), Krishna speaks the philosophy of the soul out of loving concern for Arjuna, to free him from lamentation (02.25-02.28, 02.30).
In the Gita’s middle section, Krishna proclaims (10.01): “Because you are dear to me, I will speak again the most confidential knowledge for your benefit.” This disarming declaration is soon followed by the Gita’s four-verse essence (10.08-11), which outlines how devotees affectionately offer their heart and life to Krishna, and how he mercifully reciprocates by offering them guidance and eradicating their ignorance.
The Gita’s conclusion (18.63-76) takes its affectionate essence to a crescendo. Krishna expresses his love by acknowledging Arjuna’s free will (18.63); highlighting the most confidential knowledge to help him use that free will judiciously (18.64); reiterating that he loves Arjuna dearly and wants his well-being (18.65); and assuring him protection from all sinful reactions (18.66). Complementing this revelation of love, Krishna extends an invitation to love – offer your mind, heart, worship and homage to me (18.65); and surrender to me (18.66). And Arjuna accepts that invitation by his loving readiness to do Krishna’s will (18.73).
When we focus on the love that the Gita reveals and inspires, Gita study will no longer seem intellectually intimidating, but will become spiritually enlivening.
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