What is beyond being dated is beyond becoming outdated

Some people ask, “The Bhagavad-gita was spoken thousands of years ago. Doesn’t that make it outdated?”

Not at all.

Gita wisdom cannot be tied

down to any particular historical date. Why? Because the Gita (04.01) mentions that its essential message was spoken earlier, many millennia ago to illuminate the being who illuminates the world – the sun-god. Even that wasn’t its first appearance; the same verse declares its essential wisdom to be imperishable (avyayam). Gita wisdom is co-eternal with existence, serving as a manual for the world. It is revealed repeatedly throughout history whenever humanity starts going spiritually astray, as the Gita (04.03) indicates.

Someone may doubt, “Things have changed so much nowadays. Won’t the manual need to be changed accordingly?”

Not exactly.

The Gita’s form is adjusted according to the context, and the cultural and intellectual weather of those times. For example, the Gita spoken to the sun-god wouldn’t have contained the verse stating that this message was spoken to the sun-god long ago – that contextualization is for Arjuna’s benefit. Similarly, some of the Gita’s examples may not be intelligible to people unfamiliar with the Vedic worldview, like say its tenth chapter illustrations of Krishna’s opulences. Pertinently, the Gita (04.34) insists that to understand its import, we need contemporary living seers – teachers who illustrate its timeless principles with timely examples.

And those timeless principles transcend all changes. Though the changes nowadays may seem dazzling and unprecedented, they change only the external forms of our activities, not their inner purpose. We still seek eating, sleeping, mating and defending, albeit in hi-tech ways. And we still need to learn pure spiritual love for Krishna if we are to find everlasting happiness.

Teaching us that wisdom is the Gita’s essential and enduring contribution – a contribution beyond being dated and beyond becoming outdated. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 04 Text 01

"The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku."

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5 Comments

  1. Gita wisdom is ‘beyond being dated and beyond becoming outdated.’
    Very nice interpretation and explanation as well.
    Thank you Prabhuji for sharing!

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  2. Hare Krishna Prabhuji!

    Thank U for sharing the above.

    YS Vikas…..

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  3. Thank you Pr for sharing this article,

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  4. Thank u Prabhuji..

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  5. Fantastic statement which i can use in my Philosophy classes “Gita beyond being dated and beyond becoming outdated!”

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