The word will change the world by changing the will
When we study the Bhagavad-gita, some people ask, “How is a book written thousands of years ago going to make any practical difference amidst the many problems that the world faces today?”
The Gita’s relevance comes from its timeless essence – an essence that has the power to activate within the human heart the transformational power of love. By its original narration, the Gita transformed a confused and disheartened warrior to an enlightened and determined warrior, as is evident in Arjuna’s first-person testimony (18.73). And this transformation came about not just by some circumstantial pep talk, but by transcendental wisdom that can even today change our self-conception and our motivation for action.
The Gita helps us understand that we are at our core spiritual beings. And all that we do is at its root animated by a core aspiration: the longing to love and be loved. This love can be fulfilled forever when directed towards an eternal object. The Gita reveals the highest eternal object to be Krishna, the all-attractive, all-loving Supreme Person. And we all can direct our love towards him by the practical process of bhakti-yoga. While bhakti-yoga centers on directly devotional activities such as chanting, hearing and worshiping, it also includes in its scope our entire life with all its activities. Thus, bhakti inspires us to act in a mood of devotion in whatever we do in this world.
The world’s problematic state of affairs arises ultimately because people use their will wrongly. And they misuse their will because of ignorance, ignorance that makes people believe that their short-term material infatuations matter more than their long-term spiritual interests.
Gita wisdom raises our vision to the spiritual level, thereby changing the human will and laying the foundation for the most sustainable change in the world.
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