“The moral teaching of the Bhagavad Gita…”


Saturday 6th July 2013

“As regards the moral teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita, it is often asserted by those who do not appreciate the benefits of occult study, that, if everybody pursued this course, the world would come to a standstill; and, therefore, that this teaching can only be useful to the few, and not to ordinary people. This is not so. It is of course true that the majority of men are not in the position to give up their duties as citizens and members of families. But Krishna distinctly states that these duties, if not reconcilable with ascetic life in a forest, can certainly be reconciled with that kind of mental abnegation which is far more powerful in the production of effects on the higher planes than any physical separation from the world. For though the ascetic’s body may be in the jungle, his thoughts may be in the world. Krishna therefore teaches that the real importance lies not in physical but in mental isolation. Every man who has duties to discharge must devote his mind to them. But, says the teacher, it is one thing to perform an action as a matter of duty, and another thing to perform the same from inclination, interest, or desire. It is thus plain that it is in the power of a man to make definite progress in the development of his higher faculties, whilst there is nothing noticeable in his mode of life to distinguish him from his fellows. No religion teaches that men should be the slaves of interest and desire. Few inculcate the necessity of seclusion and asceticism. The great objection that has been brought against Hinduism and Buddhism is that by recommending such a mode of life to students of occultism they tend to render void the lives of men engaged in ordinary avocations. This objection, however, rests upon a misapprehension. For these religions teach that it is not the nature of the act, but the mental attitude of its performer, that is of importance. This is the moral teaching that runs through the whole of the Bhagavad-Gita.”

— T. Subba Row, Notes on the Bhagavad Gita

See also The Bhagavad Gita Way of Life, Gandhi on Blavatsky and Theosophy and Some Questions & Answers about Hinduism.

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