The Gita wasn’t the first book that connected me to Krishna, yet it remains the most impactful reading experience of my life. I remember that first reading clearly – I stayed up late, drawn into the story of Arjuna and wondering what decisions he yet might make. The ending didn’t disappoint.
I’ve returned to that good book recently, for an hour a day, soaking in its words as if reading it again for the first time. I am now older and wiser in the practice of Krishna Bhakti and yet it still moves me, still delights, still informs.
Besides reminding me that I am a spirit soul, individual and with an eternal form, what else about the Gita do I love?
First, the generosity of the invitation to a relationship with Krishna. Again and again Krishna says, anyone, no matter from what level or sphere of life one is in, can directly interact with Him. Race, country, status, or what we have done or not done, cannot exclude us from our individual choice to reconnect with Krishna. His door is wide open, always.
Secondly, the reminder that it’s all about love – not peace, not liberation, not becoming one with. Not winning, not losing, being right, or being the best. It’s about pure, exuberant, unconditional love for the source of all life, Sri Krishna. The experience of it, the exchange of it, the absorption in it. How nice is that? We are meant to love and be loved. Why we run from that is our great misfortune.
Thirdly, the absolute simplicity of the process. Just hear about Krishna. Of course, this simplicity is complicated by the messy and miserable material world that we are part of. Our body is a mass of emotions and fears which successfully distract us throughout the day from thoughts of Krsna. The Gita is a loving reminder – Krishna is everywhere. Call on Him, think of Him, feel His presence. When we put our mind, our attention to that, amazing things happen. That’s the power of love, and the secret of love, to be found at the heart of the Bhagavad-gita.
I have many favorite verses and here is one from today’s reading:
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” 9.29
And a sweet jewel from the Purport: “When a diamond is set in a golden ring, it looks very nice. The gold is glorified, and at the same time the diamond is glorified. The Lord and the living entity eternally glitter, and when a living entity becomes inclined to the service of the Supreme Lord he looks like gold. The Lord is a diamond, and so this combination is very nice.”