Gita Rahasya -Tilak 1

Gita Rahasya OR Karma Yoga Sastra -Bal Gangadhar Tilak



Narayanam namaskratya narain caiva narottamam I
devim Sarasvatim Vyasam tato jayam udirayet II [1][2]

The Srimad Bhagavadglita is one of the most brilliant and pure gems of our ancient sacred books. It would be difficult to find a simpler work in Sanskrit literature or even in all the literature of the world than the Gita, which explains to us in an unambiguous and succinct manner the deep and sacred principles of the sacred science of the SELF (Atman), after imparting to us the knowledge of the human body and the cosmos, and on the authority of those principles acquaints every human being with the most perfect and complete condition of the Self, that is to say, with what the highest- manhood is, and which further establishes a logical and admirable harmony between Devotion (bhakti) and Spiritual Knowledge (jnana), and ultimately between both these and the duties of ordinary life enjoined by the Sastras, thereby inspiring the mind, bewildered by the vicissitudes of life to calmly and, what is more, desirelessly adhere to the path of duty.
Even if one examines the work looking upon it as a poem, this work, which simplifies to every reader, young or old, the numerous abstruse doctrines of Self-Knowledge in inspired language and is replete with the sweetness of Devotion plus Self-Realisation, will certainly he looked upon as an excellent poem. The pre-eminent worth, therefore, of a book which contains the quintessence of Vedic religion, uttered by the voice of the Blessed Lord can best only be imagined. It is stated at the commencement of the Anugita, that after the Bharata war was over, and Sri Krsna and Arjuna were one day chatting together, Arjuna conceiving the desire of hearing the Gita. again from the lips of the Blessed Lord, said to Sri Krsna : — " I have forgotten the advice you gave me when the war commenced ; so, please repeat it to me. " In reply the Blessed Lord said to him that even He could not repeat that advice in the same way, because on the previous occasion the advice had been given, when His mind was in the highest Yogic state (Ma. Bh.5. Asvamedha. 16, stanzas 10-13). Really speaking, nothing was impossible for the Blessed Lord, but His answer that it would be impossible for Him to repeat the Gita, clearly reveals the excellent worth of the Gita. The fact that the Gits is considered by all the different traditionary schools of the Vedic religion for over twenty-five centuries to be as venerable and authoritative as the Vedas themselves is due to the same cause ; and on the same account, this work, which is as old as the Smrtis, has been appropriately, though figuratively described in the Gita-dhyana as follows ;—

sarvopanisado gavo dogdha Gopalanandanah I

Partho vatsah sudhir bhokta ducjdham Gltamrtafh muhat II


References And Context

  1. This verse means that one should first offer obeisance to Narayana, to Nara, the most excellent among men, to Devi Saraswati, and to vyasa and then begin to recite the "Jaya", 'tat is, the Mahabharata. The two rsis Nara and Narayana were the two components into which the Paramatman had broken itself up Bad Arjuna and Sri Krsaa were their later incarnations, as has been stated in the Mahabharata (Ma, Bha. U. 48. 7-9 and 20-22; and Vana. 12. 44-46). As these two Bsis were the promulgators of the NarayaDiya or the Bhagavata religion, consisting of Desireless Action, they are first worshipped in all the treatises on the Bhagavata religion. In some readings, the word 'cairn' is used instead of 'Vyasa' as in this verse, but I do not think that is correct; because, although Nara and Narayapa were the promulgators of the Bhagavata, religion, yet I think it only proper that Vyasa, who wrote both the Bharata and the Glta, which are the two principal works relating to this religion,' should also be worshipped in the beginning of the book. "Jaya" U the ancient name for the Mahabharata.
  2. Mahabharata (opening verse)