I had the first experience of Krishna’s teachings when I read portions of the Bhagavad Gita at the ‘havan’ after my grandfather’s death. I chanted Sanskrit ‘sholakas’ followed by its Hindi translations for almost an hour but most of it was beyond my grasp.
Since then the Gita and Krishna’s teachings have been an indispensable part of my daily life. I started reading it regularly; and slowly and gradually its meaning started filtering into my mind.
Krishna teaches the art of detachment from externalities as well as the art of maintaining mental equilibrium. It makes the spiritual learner understand the ephemeral character of life, the futility of swinging on the future and the past and the utmost need to strike a balance between ambitions and realities.
Krishna’s lesson on doing one’s karma without thinking of reward is a step towards enlightenment and liberation. Krishna tells us to surrender ourselves to realise the futility of worrying over things which are beyond our reach.
Old age, death, suffering and disease cannot be avoided. Krishna’s teaching tells us to accept travails, to search for something beyond these hardships and to tread ahead after learning something from each one of them.
We have seen our close friends and relatives leaving the world. Yet we think that death will not strike us; and we live on with the baggage of fear, hatred, anger and abhorrence. To take a spiritual path, one does not have to go to a forest or sit with closed eyes in isolation. The realisation of self comes by living with people — good and bad. It comes by dissolving Krishna’s teachings into our lives.
Over the years I have graduated from reading Bhagavad Gita to Bhagavata Purana but have not yet been able to graduate from kindergarten to class one on the spiritual journey. The real test lies in translating his messages into good actions and useful lives.
Krishna’s teachings are immortal. They are essential for liberating a ‘true learner’ from the realms of life and death.