Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ban on Bhagavad Gita? Why?

The controversy of ban of Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is uncalled for. In Siberia someone has filed a case in the court of law that the holy scripture should be banned as the local translation of it contains 'extremist views'.

For me, the perceived notion of extremist element in the Shreemad Bhagvad Gita, is fighting agains one's own evils. If that is an extremism then it is good for one's own sake. Isn't it?

I would like to put light on what Shreemad Bhagavad Gita means to me.

For me Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is a complete code to lead successful life from an illusion to light. This is such a incredible universal text that every individual born in any religious body - so called Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew or any can follow the preaching of Gita and succeed the goal of self realization. Hence Gita is a guide of life for every single individual on the Earth.

Shri Krishna and Arjuna in the Kurukshetra - Shreemad Bhagvad Gita

We must understand that with the flow of time, with the change in lifestyle, it became difficult to learn Vedas (Ultimate Source of Knowledge) for everybody. As it used to happen ancient times. So the sages interpreted them to suit to the changing times and three texts got importance as 'guides of life' which were, Upnishads, Brahmasutra and Shreemad Bhagvad Gita which is called as Prasthan Trayee. Prasthan Trayee literally means the three that lead to successful departure. i.e. successful departure of the soul from human body after self realization. So study of all these three help in liberation of the soul.

We must understand that Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is not a religious text on the basis of definition of modern religion. Modern religion is more a political manifestation to group and regroup people. Shreemad Bhagvad Gita has wider role to play. It speaks of cosmic law. The law of nature. The eternal law. The divine law. This law is all prevalent irrespective of changing times and situations. Hence Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is the guide to know and follow the law of eternal.

Shreemad Bhagvad Gita speaks of Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga etc. All these are the means of self-realization. The god himself is communicating these means to his creation. Hence Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is the communication from the God, the divine itself.

Shreemad Bhagvad Gita by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Another argument which is normally made against Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is that it speaks of caste system. Any intelligent researcher of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita will agree that it does not support the caste system based on birth. It only mentions the division on the basis of skills and karma one carries. Such division we find in every sphere of life.

One single verse of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita, 'Karmanyevadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana' (Karma is my right and not the fruits from it) if followed faithfully, the whole world will become stress-free.

From Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Einstein, the World's great thinkers have vouched by the supremacy of Shreemad Bhagavad Gita. The message of 'rise, unite and fight' from Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is given by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.  Shreemad Bhagavad Gita simply gives the message of fight against adharma for the establishment of 'dharma' - the cosmic law.

With these facts about Shreemad Bhagvad Gita, the controversy about it is creation of some unsettled mind. When the world is going through the difficult phase today, teachings from Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is the solution for every single problem. Its the best medicine to cure whole world today.

The beauty about Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is one can interpret is as per his / her own situation and find a right solution for his problem. Such universal applicability of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita in itself underlines the eternal value it represents.

When the divisive forces in the world are falling apart one by one. When the layers of illusion are tearing away fast as a divine course, when the rays of light are reaching uninterrupted to the souls, Shreemad Bhagvad Gita has played important role in this awakening. Shreemad Bhagvad Gita has become popular text of life for billions on this planet.

If this movement of awakening has to be strengthened for the better sake of the universe, Shreemad Bhagvad Gita needs to be taught to every one. Not banned.

What needs to be banned is the 'systems of illusion', developing sense of 'one upmanship', 'increasing greed and tendency of hoarding', 'mechanisms that give rise to false ego', 'divisive techniques in the name of religion, pseudo patriotism, misleading governance  that lead to misery and suffering of masses'.

Every single soul on this planet has a right to walk the path of light. Shreemad Bhagavad Gita ushers this path so flawlessly.

Shubham Bhavatu!

Samarth Yogi Arwind, Rishikesh 

Some great thinkers on Shreemad Bhagavad Gita:

1. "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous." - Albert Einstein

2. "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial." - Henry David Thoreau

3. “It is meant to lift the aspirant from the lower levels of renunciation, where objects are renounced, to the loftier heights where desires are dead, and where the yogi dwells in calm and ceaseless contemplation while his body and mind are actively employed in discharging the duties that fell to his lot in life.” - Dr. Annie Besant

4. "The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive summaries of the perennial philosophy ever to have been done. Hence its enduring value, not only for the Indians, but also for all mankind.  It is perhaps the most systematic spiritual statement of the perennial philosophy." - Aldous Huxley

5. "The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." ~ Shri Aurobindo 

6. "The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." ~ Dr. Albert Schweizer 

7. "When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day." ~ Mahatma Gandhi 


  1. then why this caste system is followed in india on d basis of birth of d person??
    why any person who is borned in any caste any family is not considered as a kshudra coz as per as his contribution as per his karma is considered is nothing, he/she must b a kshudra then??
    why there is a need of caste system??
    Just explain my queries, coz as per as gita is concerned its a copy materiel of Dhammapath with added caste system...
    My mobile no. is 09595542900
    waiting for ur reply.

  2. Dear Pankaj, Which part of Shreemad Bhagavad Gita talks about caste by birth? I have not come across any.

  3. Big fuss out of nothing. The ban is proposed (to laid yet and probaly would not be) only for the certain commentaries, that of Shrila Praphupada, the famous ISCON founder and ideologist. This not a "local translation". There is a low in Russia that prohibits expressing extremist views on religion, it is a punishable offence to say or write down that any religion is inferior (or superior in that case) to any ther. It is called "igniting religious hatred" and is a serious offence. (And we can presume, Shrila Prabhupada is NOT going to jal, anyway!)

    Another thing, also not properly understood out of Russia. As I understand it knowing the situation here in Moscow, it is a "local" issue, kind of territorial dispute between the Almighty RPC (Russian Orthidox Church that is a major religous and a very powerful financial organization in Rissia since the Tzars) and ISCON that is gaining more power in Russia since the FREE 90s when the unspoken of "ban" on religious organizations obviously failed and was no more upholded.

    Still another thing. IMHO, Shrila Prabhupada's commentaries on Bhagavat Gita (and even more so in Ishopanishad!) deviate so much from the all-welcoming and all-including phylosophy if the great Gita that made this book so famous and so holy to the Indian people, regardless if they worship Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver or Masheshwara, or even Maa Shakti.. Praphupada was a greate sage of our times, and probably a saintly person, but his commentaries are full of disgust for other forms of faith and sometimes even full of hate.

    I believe Shr. Praphupada's commentaty is NOT a part of Shruti so it is OK to critisise it anyway, and that could be good to humanity in the final analisis.

    Om Shanti

  4. The seudo patriotism and division of caste when you birht it is not more that a selfishness of ones to others and justified the rich, poors and the misery.

    Very good article Yogi!

    A hug of Light!..

  5. Dear Solar_Surfer,

    Thank you for your valuable comment on the issue directly from Russia. Of course criticism is the sign of open society. Also as you mentioned, some translations may have caused concern. And I see the local flavor too.

    Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is an amazing guide to self-realization and should not be made controversial. All heavenly scriptures should be used for light and not for fight! :)

    Shubham Bhavatu!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Dear Anonymous, all divine scriptures give the same message of love. It's the outlook and ability of the reader to understand it.

    Lots of Love.

    Shubham Bhavatu!

  8. YOGI-JI,

    Here is an article I wrote at Huffington post and Indian Muslim Observer.


    ncredible attack on the Holy Bhagvad Gita

    By Mike Ghouse

    You and I have allowed blatant bigotry to be preached on our land unquestioned and unchecked. The damned thing is contagious and spreading to Russia and other nations. Bigotry exists not because of bigots, but because we have not spoken out against it.
    Six years ago in December of 2006, the Archbishop of Russia called Krishna a Satan, and five years ago, the city of Moscow made serious attempts to usurp the land belonging to Krishna Temple. Of course, a few of us wrote about it and now per the news reports, the “Bhagvad Gita, one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, is facing a legal ban and the prospect of being branded as "an extremist" literature across Russia. A court in Siberia's Tomsk city is set to deliver its final verdict Monday in a case filed by state prosecutors.”

    I would have never thought this day would come, when Bhagvad Gita would be attacked, the sacred text of Hinduism, it is rather a dialogue on reflections of one's conscience. It is one of the best self help books to find answers to the eternal questions about righteousness and one's duty to the self and the world. Hinduism is not a proselyting religion and Bhagvad Gita should not threaten any one of those weak men of religion.

    More in the link