To equate the shadow of scripture with its light is to shadow scripture

Some new Gita students get the question, “Why do some Gita teachers disrespect others who interpret the Gita in a different way?”

Because authentic Gita teachers feel morally dutybound to ensure that innocent seekers – like those asking this question – who seek the light of the Gita don’t get deviated towards its shadow. Thus, their intent is not to disrespect anyone, but to respect the sanctity of the Gita.

Let’s understand what the light and the shadow of the Gita are. The Bhagavad-gita offers the inner light of wisdom for helping us choose the desires that bring the best out of us. The Gita indicates (10.14) that the way to receive its light is to wholeheartedly accept its entire message.

Unfortunately, many people cherry-pick Gita verses that fit into their worldview and lifestyle. By quoting and professing to follow these verses, they seek prestige in circles where the Gita is respected. Such people may be connected with the Gita, but they are living not in its light but its shadow.

Those who live in the Gita’s shadow deprive themselves of its supreme gift. What downgrades many of these people from the category of self-deprivers to social misleaders is their insistent claim to be living in the Gita’s light. They blatantly quote verses out of context and propagate ideas that differ from, even militate against, the Gita’s teachings. And they publically propagate these erroneous ideas, thereby shadowing the Gita’s true meaning.

Authentic Gita teachers long for all souls to be blessed by the Gita’s light. That’s why they assertively point out the difference between its light and its shadow – not out of disrespect for those living in the Gita’s shadow, but out of respect for the Gita and concern for those seeking its light.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Text 14

“O Kṛishna, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality.”

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