In this article let us read 18 tips to read Bhagavad Gita (Wow… Bhagavad Gita too has 18 chapters!).
The First 6 chapters of Bhagavad Gita are the head of Krishna; The middle 6 chapters are the stomach of Krishna; And the last 18 chapters are the legs of Krishna. Thus Bhagavad Gita represents Krishna Himself.
(1) One should not read Bhagavad Gita to enhance his material activities and pleasures, but, to go closer to Krishna. In other words, we should learn how live for Krishna and thus getting the mercy of Krishna.
(2) Bhagavad Gita must be read allotting sufficient time for it. Because, it should not be read casually like reading a novel. So, if you read it sparing time for that, it will be very beneficial for you.
(3) You can read Bhagavad Gita at any time whenever you feel comfortable. However, if you read in the early morning, your mind will be in Satva guna more and hence, you can understand it well.
(4) Very important condition is: Bhagavad Gita should be read with the mindset of a surrendered devotee not with the research mindset to get the full benefits of Bhagavad Gita.
(5) Bhagavad Gita gives new meaning whenever we read it again and again. Because, it is the highest transcendental knowledge spoken by Krishna Himself. Since we are the conditioned souls, we are in different mood at different times. So, we find it new every time we read it.
(6) Apply Gita in all your activities including performing your job. Now a days, some universities teach Bhagavad Gita in M.B.A to learn administration with a balanced mind. The administration of companies and life itself need a balanced mindset. No other author has given the administration of life as given by Krishna. Krishna beautifully explains how we can remain balanced in both happiness and miseries. How to avoid twins of happiness & sorrows, ups & downs, etc.
(7) The absence of this balanced mindset is the root cause of all the problems of our life. That is why, there are many suicides in our world. I can tell you that those who sincerely observe Bhagavad Gita, will never commit suicide in his life time. This is guaranteed. Because, such a wonderful explanation to face ups and downs equally.
(8) Better Read Bhagavad Gita in the satsangha of devotees and under the proper guidance.
(9) Read daily one or two or three slokas with translation and purport. Don’t read it casually like reading a novel. Because, they are the ACTUAL WORDS OF KRISHNA HIMSELF. So, read with full confidence and devotion with Krishna.
(10) I followed a method that was very beneficial. I read Bhagavad Gita 3-4 slokas a day. After completing such reading for a single chapter, I read the entire chapter on that weekend in fast track again. This helped me to keep the links between slokas and chapters in mind when we go to the next chapter. So, while reading sloka by sloka attentively, you can also do fast track revision of all previous chapters atleast every month atleast.
(11) Bhagavad Gita speaks of four yogas:
(1) Karma yoga;
(3) Dhyana Yoga and
(12) Yoga means connecting (to God – Krishna).
Karma Yoga means connecting with Krishna through duties.
Gnana Yoga means means connecting with Krishna through knowledge.
Dhyana yoga means connecting with Krishna through dhyan (meditation).
Bakthi yoga, that is the topmost level, means connecting with Krishna through surrender of ourselves to Krishna in devotion.
(13) Lord Krishna has also explained about all the four yogas one by one in sequence.
(14) If you are unable to understand fully in your first reading, read again. Bhagavad Gita will give a new meaning every time you read it.
(15) It is better to have the guidance of a senior devotees because if you have any doubts you can ask the devotees in the nearest temples/ centres. Also attend the Sunday Bhagavad Gita class in those centres where the speakers will give you tips to read and understand Gita. ISKCON is conducting regular Sunday programmes in major towns and it will be of great help for you.
(16) My another advice to you is, read every sloga keeping in mind the fact that we are reading the words uttered by Krishna. Therefore, we should have a humble mindset while reading and we should not read like reading a material story book. Because Krishna himself has said in Bhagavad Gita that one should surrender to his guru and seek his support humbly.
(17) Read sitting properly and try to avoid reading from bed. You are handling a holy book. Therefore, allot a special time for reading Gita and read properly.
(18) Which Bhagavad Gita is ‘As It is’ or ‘Near to the original’?
As it will help me to explain to the people with examples while preaching, I have only once read the versions of Bhagavad Gita of many authors. One version said that Krishna is neither God, nor man, but, He is a messenger of God. Another author had said that Karma Yoga itself is sufficient for liberation.
I also read another version by a popular author, after which I got angry. Because, that author had said a newly CREATED, FABRICATED & OFFENSIVE message that will never be accepted by anyone. He had written like this: “An animal becomes a man after many births. But, once you take a human birth, that is final and you will never take animal birth again”.
After reading this, I really got angry. What nonsense this is! If a man is doing animal like activities of raping many women , will he also get human birth again? Won’t he get a birth as dog? If he also gets human birth, isn’t it a gift for his sinful acts? Krishna has clearly said that such men will take lower births. But, this author has given a new TOTALLY CONTRARY concept for Bhagavad Gita. This is very offensive.
After reading many such writings for preaching purposes, I came to the following conclusion that I am telling to everyone based on my own conclusion:
(1) My first choice is: Bhagavad Gita As It Is, by Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON. He has not invented new concepts, but, has written the purports as it is in the mood of devotee and without changing the views of Krishna. As a pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada has written as said by Krishna. Bhagavad Gita As It Is translated and purported by A.C.Bakthi Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada is available in all ISKCON centres.
(2) As a balanced reviewer, I like to honour the work of another author: Secondly, next to the publication of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is, I feel that the “BHAGAVAD GITA – SATHAKA SANJEEEVANI” of Gita Press, Gorakpur, India authored by Sri Ram Suka Das in two volumes is good without personal additions, but written with a devotional mindset. There is another Gita called “Tatva Vivesani” with them that is not comparable to Sri Ram Suka Das’s work because the former is very extensive.
So, start reading the small books of Srila Prabhupada followed by Bhagavad Gita As It Is today itself.