The Gita is too important to be left to scholars alone
The Gita is a scholarly book – its verses, analysis and flow are all intellectually stimulating. But it is not meant for scholars alone. The fruit of understanding the Gita, as depicted in its conclusion (18.73), is loving surrender to Krishna. Such surrender fulfills our longing for enduring love and grants the highest happiness.
Scholars too can relish this fruit – though not just by scholarship, but by the scholarship that culminates in devotion. To the extent their scholarship enhances their appreciation of Krishna’s greatness and sweetness, to that extent they feel inspired to devote themselves to him, thereby accessing the Gita’s fruit.
Still, scholars are especially vulnerable to the temptation of over-intellectualism, wherein they complicate things in their head and live in the head instead of in the heart. The Gita talks about various paths – more precisely, it talks about how various paths culminate in the path of bhakti. However, the exposition and reconciliation of all these paths can be intellectually taxing, even bewildering. This can distract one from its conclusion of spiritual love. If the Gita is left to scholars alone, they can make it seem too abstruse to be practical.
Those who live the Gita and love Krishna can demonstrate and communicate the transformational power of love that is the Gita’s essential message – a message that is relevant and empowering for everyone, not just scholars.
The Gita (09.32) itself declares that even non-intellectual people can attain perfection by practicing bhakti. And it culminates (18.66) by calling everyone, whatever one’s deficiencies and the concomitant reactions, to surrender to Krishna.
Indeed, the Gita is a manual for living that reveals itself to be a guidebook for loving. By approaching it with a heart open to love, we all can tap into its timeless essence and relish life’s supreme fulfillment.
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