We need to know the answers to these questions. We understand them well when we are receptive and open minded. So with an open mind let us know the answers. Where can we find them?
For this we go to fundamentals. The answers normally which we seek from counsellors, teachers, babas, satsangs, gurus, agencies, schools, philosophies, sermons, tutorials and even this piece of write up, get adulterated and colored based on the individual understandings, interpretations and state of mind of both reader and that of writer. Therefore whenever we seek answers we should go back to the gold standard.
What are the fundamentals? Fundamentals are – our cognition (with riders which will be discussed as we progress in these discourse), Vedas (Vedas are Sruti. श्रुती in Sanskrit means to hear. It is said that with deep thoughts the Rishis heard their conscience and crystallized the answers to questions in the form of hymns. The knowledge was passed from one generation to another by memorizing it) – The Vedas contain hymns. These are prayers, rituals and philosophy of life. The philosophical portion in Vedas is upananishad उपनिषद. There are many upanaishads. Upanishads cover various aspects of life with the aim of improving conscience of mankind. Brahmasutras are based on Vedas and outlines philosophy covering life and answers various questions on life. The Vedas and Brahmasutras give out reason of our existence, final destination and in doing this guide us to lead a happy life.
Puranas (Smrutis – स्मृती means memory. They are called by this name because Puranas were passed on from one generation to other as stories legends based on the memory and therefore it was subjected to grandiose imagination sometimes) elucidate history of mankind. The history at that time was never documented as it is today. Rather it used to be passed on as legends, stories and poems from generation to generations. Therefore mythology is often said to be non-documented unchronicled history with lots of gaps.
A time came when a necessity was felt to sift and collate the philosophical discussions from Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmasutras and compile it in a concise form. Rishi Vyas did this onerous task and brought forth Bhagvad Gita. Therefore Vyas is revered as Ved Vyas the first editor. He is is referred as first Guru. Guru Pournima is celebrated to respect this Aadya Guru by us. This month Guru Pournima is being celebrated and this part is dedicated to Ved Vyas.
Bhagvad Gita or simply Gita has answers to the questions about life. The way to lead the life as elucidated in Gita is equally useful for initiated and uninitiated. It is useful for persons of different temperament, and different schools of thought including those who are agnostic and atheists. It is also equally relevant to different religions. This is because; in those times when Gita was edited, there were no religions but only a way of leading life. In fact there was no religion called as Hindu.
Gita is a philosophical document. Still it is considered to be a Hindu scripture. This is because it is associated with God Krishna who is believed by Hindu religion as a prominent Hindu God. Persons believing in other faiths may find it difficult to assimilate. We know we can assimilate things better if we have faith in the doctrine or in the concept. If faith is not there then the path given in Gita will not change the person. Ultimately change comes from inner voice. Gita or any other book can only guide. If Gita is studied with an open mind, persons with different religions would find it equally suitable in getting the all-important answers of life therefore keep reading ……………………