Gita - Ancient Indian Wisdom

On 15th Dec, 2012, I attended Geeta Jayanti celebration by Samskrita Bharati. Dr.B.Mahadevan, Professor of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore was president of the programme. Here are the key takeaway points from his speech. 

Today the society and government (PMs, MLAs) both have undoubtedly understood importance of Bhagavad Gita. One should, read Bhagavad Gita, with full faith, sincerely and regularly. 

He gave an example, suppose, you got a medicine that provide three fold benefits. 

  • Cure your decease
  • Improve your immune system, resistance for that decease
  • Also, eliminate need for medicine in future.

Bhagavad Gita is such medicine, that gives three fold benefits. Spiritual  Religious and Practical for day to day life. Bhagavad Gita and entire literature about the Ancient Indian wisdom (that includes Bhagavad Gita, Purana, Upnishad etc) undoubtedly provides enormous ideas about spiritual life. Bhagvad Gita talked about Hindu religion philosophy, the concepts of God, Avatara. Here are some useful interpretation  of Bhagavad Gita slokas, that provides a unique insight to applied that knowledge into our day to day life. 


यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।7।।

yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata |
abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham || (4.7)

(Whenever there is a decline of righteousness, O Arjuna, and rise of unrighteousness, then I manifest Myself! )

This Sloka has obvious religious meaning of Avatara, God. As being a management professor, he talked about management concept of equilibrium, that is famous in economy, management and even in science. We know about price  determination by demand and supply curve in micro economics. A organisation should have  feedback system for improvement. It is about restoring back to stability in any unstable system. 


वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहायनवानि गृहणाति नरोऽपराणि।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही।।22।।

vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grhnati naro 'parani |
tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany anyani samyati navani dehi || (2.22)

(Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new. )

It has simple meaning that when shirt / dress is old, we remove that and put on new one. Same way, this soul finds new body when the present body is longer useful. It seems, it has only spiritual idea is about life, life after death etc. 

It also explains very important principle called innovation. Innovation is buzz word, nowadays. The Management Gurus are talking about sustaining competitive advantage, how to become competitive / innovative etc. The basic principles for that are here in Bhagavad Gita. The basic requirement for innovation is we have to give up our old ideas. In Organisation context it is called mindset inertia.If one is willing to destroy this mindset inertia, then only progress can happen. 

There are many such knowledge points in Bhagavad Gita about management, and day to day life. Our ancestors were so great and extra ordinary people, that they encapsulate multi-dimension in Ancient Indian Wisdom. 


From his own experience and observation, he found many changes in the people, who read Bhagavad Gita regularly. So he strongly recommend to read Bhagavad Gita regularly, sincerely with faith and devotion. Many ideas in Bhagavad Gita are very very important for the youngsters. Here are the three obvious and important changes in a person, who reads Bhagavd Gita regularly. 

1.  We will develop great character within ourselves, that is a great transformation. The below are characteristics of great character. 

  • Fearless:
यस्मान्नोद्विजते लोको लोकान्नोद्विजते च यः |
हर्षामर्षभयोद्वेगैर्मुक्तो यः स च मे प्रियः ||१२- १५||

yasman nodvijate loko lokan nodvijate ca yah |
harsamarsa-bhayodvegair mukto yah sa ca me priyah || (12.15)

(He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is equipoised in happiness and distress, fear and anxiety, is very dear to Me.)

We will not be afraid of anyone and no body should be fear from us. We should not inculcate any kind of fear in anyone. That develops a very unique character. This characteristic is one of the hallmark of true character.

  • Gentleness: 

Deep faith and conviction in life, should be co-exist with broad mindedness. Both are equally important.

2.  Sincere reading of Bhagavad Gita over longer period of time, helps us to develop enormous capacity to withstand non-sense in life.

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः | 
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ||२- १४||

matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah |
agamapayino 'nityas tams titiksasva bharata || (2.14)

(O son of Kuntī, the non permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.)

It is surprising that, sometimes, we do not able to handle non-sense in life. Life is full of non-sense also, you can not run away from non-sense. Life is like a roller coaster ride. Sometime, we lack that kind of perspective about life. That is the reason, even teenager sometime commit suicide for trivial matter. In this country India one third of population does not have proper food to eat. The strength to withstand such misery is still resident in Indians, so those people are not committing suicide due to hunger. They are much more stronger. We are the blessed one, that we get timely proper meals. Our Youngster will get such Titiksha to withstand against small, trivial matter, when they will read Bhagavad Gita. 

3.  We will build enormous faith in life. The faith is essential to progress, whether it is materialistic progress, religious progress or spiritual progress.

श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः | 
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति ||४- ३९|| 
अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति | 
नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः ||४- ४०||

sraddhaval labhate jnanam tat-parah samyatendriyah |
jnanam labdhva param santim acirenadhigacchati || (4.39)

ajnas casraddadhanas ca samsayatma vinasyati |
nayam loko 'sti na paro na sukham samsayatmanah || (4.40)

(A faithful man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having achieved it he quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace.But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God consciousness; they fall down. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next.)

Faith is extremely important, for anything that we do in our life.The faith and devotion are the greatest benefits, that one achieve by reading Bhagavad Gita genuinely and seriously.

Cardinal Principals

Bhagavad Gita has lots of cardinal, important principles, that never go wrongs. If one understands those principles then faith will go several folds. Few of them are here: 

  • Every student must understand this sloka very well. 
न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते | 
तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ||४- ३८||

na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate |
tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah kalenatmani vindati || (4.38)

(In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time.)

If a student contemplate on this sloka, he can definitely progress in education. 

  • Do Good things. 
पार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस्तस्य विद्यते | 
न हि कल्याणकृत्कश्चिद् दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति ||६- ४०||

sri-bhagavan uvaca partha naiveha namutra vinasas tasya vidyate  |
na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati || (6.40)

(The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Pṛthā, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.)

Even though all principles are important  we have to believe in this principle particularly. The good that we do, nothing goes waste. This is the greatest strength on which you can lead your life. Today people wants quick return. Our education system is also may be teaching this. One should not have that kind of expectation for quick fruits for good work. Please contemplate on this sloka

  • Law of conservation of divinity. 
मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय | 
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ||७- ७||

mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya |
mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva || (7.7)

(O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.)

Divinity can neither be created nor can be destroyed. Divinity can only be transformed from one form to another form. The latest research in particle physics about God Particle also, describe this same principle. 

  • Faith
बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते | 
वासुदेवः सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ||७- १९||

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate |
vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah || (7.19)

(After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.)

Bhagavad Gita is highway towards supreme divine. Just give up, all your doubts, questions, thoughts. Just have faith. 

  • Devotee never perishes
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वच्छान्तिं निगच्छति | 
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति ||९- ३१||
ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvac-chantim nigacchati |
kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati || (9.31)

(He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.)


Bhagavad Gita is all about bringing faith. The faith is the greatest motive force not only for spiritual matter but also even in our material life. So far lot's of great people have attracted by Bhagavad Gita. Dr. B. Mahadevan concluded with just two quotes.

"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. My life has been full of external tragedies and if they have not left any visible or invisible effect on me, I owe it to the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita "

The Gita was preached as a preparatory lesson for living worldly life with an eye to Release, Nirvana. My last prayer to everyone, therefore, is that one should not fail to thoroughly understand this ancient science of worldly life as early as possible in one’s life.

At the end, Dr. B. Mahadevan suggested that if such great people are benefited by Bhagavad Gita, then we should also follow that path of Ancient Indian Wisdom. 

Declaimer: This blog article is not verbatim of speech by B. Mahadevan. I have put my best effort to capture the essence as per my understanding, my interpretation. Any corrections, comments, suggestions are welcome. 

Here are photographs of the events. Click Here


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