The Bhagavad Gita is an Upanishad. It is brahmavidyã. It is also a shastra of yoga. There are three famous meanings of the word ‘yoga’. Yoga means samadhi, yoga means miraculous powers, yoga means relation.
The yoga shastra describes the state of samadhi in which all the vruttis of one’s chitt should be focused on the manifest form of Parabrahman. This miraculous creation and the countless astounding events that occur in creation are all just by the powers of the manifest form of Paramãtmã whom I have found. Thus this is a yoga shastra that describes the glory of the manifest form of Parabrahman. This is a yoga shastra that tells us that on attaining the manifest form of Parabrahman we want to serve him by actions, word and mind, and we want to worship him.
Thus, the Bhagavad Gita’s speciality is that it expounds the yoga of the manifest form of Paramãtmã. We realize this because it has been honoured with the word ‘Yogashastre’.
All this is the Gita’s inner grandeur. But this is only the inner grandeur with reference to the sentence at the end of each adhyay. Besides this, we find that many eternal principles such as the distinction between the body and the atma, the greatness of the knowledge of the atma, the necessity of experiencing that atma to be similar to Brahman, previous births, reincarnation, the concepts of liberation in this life and after death, the art of doing karmas, the secret behind avatars and many others have all become aspects of its inner grandeur. Due to this, India has continually been paid special homage in spiritual matters. Moreover, it is due to this grandeur that the Gita has attained a place in the prasthantrayi. Furthermore, many commentaries have been written on this prasthan. Bhagwan Swaminarayan has also given the Bhagavad Gita a place in his principle eight shastras. He read time and time again and often gave references to it in his discourses, and sometimes even explained the novel secret meanings of some excerpts.
In this way, this introduction has described some of the grandeur of the Bhagavad Gita in different ways. But how can that be sufficient? If one wants to fully experience the true grandeur of a palace, you cannot just spectate, you have to own it! The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is like a magnificient palace. Its spiritual value cannot be estimated. Nevertheless, by reading it, singing it, understanding it, contemplating on it and trying to imbibe its principles in one’s life, a spectator can become the owner.
Sadhu Bhadreshdas, Ph. D., D.Litt.
Translated by: Sadhu Paramvivekdas