Timeless secrets extracted from priceless scriptures
For Success, Happiness, Peace, Prosperity and Liberation
Authentic, Spiritual and Scientific. Nothing religious about it.
This is a book by a common person for the common population in pursuit of eternal joy and liberation. The content of this book is primarily derived from the timeless wisdom contained in the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ .
I am an independent author, not affiliated with any religious or political organization. I have focused only on extracting the actionable items or ‘commandments’ from this scripture. I have not made any attempts to re-interpret or provide my own version of the meaning of the verses contained in this scripture. Many great scholars like Swami Ranganathananda, Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada, Swami Vivekananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Swami Sankaracharya, Georg Feuerstein etc. have all provided excellent interpretations. These are the works that I have drawn inspiration from.
So, why did I come out with this book?
Although there is an ocean of wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita, it takes a lot of time, efforts, peace of mind and guidance to go through and comprehend. Many of us live hectic and stressful lives. We need some tips and guidelines for breaking away from this hectic routine, achieve financial stability and attain some peace of mind. We then can spend all our time and energy on diving deep into such scriptures and progressing on the path to spiritual success leading to liberation.
What we need first is a set of guidelines or ‘commandments’ which would help us succeed in this material life while progressing gradually in the spiritual plane to reach the point wherein we start having a direct connection with God.
Take the example of a child. When she is trying to touch the fire, you must give her a commandment that says ‘never touch fire’. The child may want to understand ‘why’ but the top priority here is that she stays safe. It is absolutely important that the child gets such meaningful commandments that she can follow, in order to stay safe and grow up to be a healthy human being. Once she grows up, she can then spend all the time she wants on studying and getting an in-depth understanding of all the aspects of fire and other elements in nature. What is very important is that we all have a set of strong guidelines or commandments that will guide us towards a successful life.
This is my humble attempt to extract the commandments from the Gita. I have gone through multiple scholarly works as quoted above to pick the best explanation of the shlokas / verses in the context of the commandment that follows. I have used only those shlokas that provide a context for the commandments and I encourage the reader to look up the shloka from any version of Gita that he/she prefers to get a deeper understanding of the same.
The Sanskrit shlokas are provided only for context and authenticity. You do not need to be able to read them although the English literals are also provided under each shloka for reference.
There are many Sanskrit words that have been interpreted a bit differently by each scholar. For example, let’s take the simple word ‘snigdha’ from the verse 17.8. This has been translated as “rich-in-oil” by Georg Feuerstein, “soft” by Dr. Radhakrishnan, “fatty” by Bhakti Vedanta Swami Pabhupada. Another example is with a more serious word “dharma” as it appears in verse 3.35, which is interpreted by Sri Prabhupada as “duties”, Georg Feuerstein as “life-laws”, Swami Ranganathananda as “way of life” etc.
For each verse, I have picked the most relevant interpretation based on the context and best fitment for the commandment / actionable items that we are extracting from the verse. Nowhere have I tried to introduce my own interpretation of any shloka or verse.
This ensures the authenticity of the text. I have only added additional context, explanations, examples and actionable commandments wherever applicable.
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I was fortunate to have been born in a family of book lovers. I have spent most of my childhood surrounded by books, mostly pertaining to philosophy, spirituality, literature and science.
No matter how many books I read, the concept of God proved to be the most difficult to comprehend. There were so many questions in my mind and so few answers.
Is God a person or just a force? Does God really give a damn about us humans? Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why do some people get success easily while others seem to struggle? Does it have anything to do with their God connection?
Am I free to live life like I wish or does God control every aspect of it? And many more…
I once came across this famous quote by Albert Einstein “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of consciousness that created them”.
It made sense to me. If we consider God to be a higher force or superior being, then we cannot comprehend or explain God unless we are able to raise our level of consciousness. And most religious texts and scriptures have explained that the best way to connect with God is through devotion and surrender to God. Both are possible only for a humble mind and a loving heart.
With this humility, I set out to understand what exactly it means to ‘surrender’ to God. Does it mean I don’t act or do anything at all? If not, how much should I do or act? How do I know whether my surrender is sufficient?
I spent years with these questions in my mind and searching for answers through meditation as well as by reading every piece of spiritual text I could lay my hands on, regardless of whether it was from the east or the west. I also spent a lot of time reading the works of Plato and Socrates who in my opinion are masters in the art of questioning (and answering them as well). At a very young age, I was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s works. Two of his works impacted me most profoundly. One was his works on “bhakti yoga” and the other was on “Karma Yoga”. These I have read multiple times and spent many years of my life trying to practice as much as I could.
My professional background is in the field of computer science and I have a knack for and experience in, solving complex problems and explaining the concepts in an analytical and structured manner. I have made a very humble attempt here in this book to use that experience and provide my analysis of this ancient scripture, focusing on actionable items that I am terming as ‘commandments’.
There is a very famous saying in management ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’. If you want to grow on the spiritual path, it helps to have some way of measuring your success. Here, I have extracted 18 commandments from the Gita. At the least, we can always check how many of those we are able to follow in our own lives and use that as one of the measurements for our success on the spiritual plane.