Bhagavad Gita for Everyday Life
Many people think that Bhagavad Gita is a book to be studied in old age after retirement. Another misconception is that Gita is a highly philosophical text and hence, not amenable to common people. Some others consider it as a sacred religious text meant only for Hindus. The truth is that Gita belongs to the whole humanity, not just Hindus. It is relevant to people of all ages, not just old, retired persons. Gita contains religion, philosophy of the highest order, psychology, motivation, management, leadership, communication skills etc. It depends on from what angle we analyze it. In this paper I argue that Gita is useful in everyday life for all age groups and at every stage of life. Some of the topics I analyzed include: how much to eat; what type of people eat what kind of food; how long to sleep; what is the right attitude towards work; how strong desires lead one to the path of destruction; how to take successes and failures in life; how to maintain equanimity of mind; and how to cope with death of near and dear. As an illustration, food is a very important aspect of life. Sadly, obesity has become a serious problem since it leads to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Easy availability of food everywhere and at affordable prices resulted in change of food habits of the public and consequently to obesity. On the other hand, some people, especially youngsters, eat too little in order to maintain a slim figure. That leads to eating disorders, resulting in major health problems or even death. Lord Krishna provides a solution to this problem. He advises that one should be moderate in one's eating; neither too much nor too little.
नचातिस्वन्पशीलस्यजाग्रतोनैवचार्जुन || ॥६.१६॥
(There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.) Likewise, Gita provides answers to everyday problems leading to universal welfare. It helps us lead a healthy, purposeful and meaningful life. The vast literature on Gita focused on philosophical aspects and more recently, on management issues. This paper analyzes Gita from the perspective of Life Management and extends the literature to a different area – the realm of ordinary people and more mundane issues. When a common man asks “What is in there for me? Why should I study Gita?” this paper provides the answer. This analysis is especially useful for young men and women who face these questions daily. The implication is that Gita is a practical manual and it should be taught right from childhood so that people can derive benefits from it throughout their lives.