Reflections on The Bhagavad Gita: Understanding devotion

“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from me. The wise that perfectly know this engage in my devotional service and worship me with all their hearts.” – Krisha.

I was brought up with the teachings that there is a greater universal power, and a divine energy that lives within us. When it comes to religion, I don’t agree to the war mongering and power greedy faiths of centuries past, but I can relate to that of Buddhist, Hindi or Krishna Consciousness.

I listened to a podcast recently that shared a story of such devotion it warmed my heart and offered an instant deeper understanding of the Gita. I must share with you.

A devotee was sitting under a tree reading the Bhagavad Gita upside down. A group of spiritual scholars were laughing at him, pointing.   A kind man walked up to the man reading the book, and asked him, “Why do you read the Bhagavad Gita upside down?”

“My teacher told me to read the Gita everyday, but I can not read,” the devotee replied. “I’m sitting here looking at the pages and thinking how much Krishna loved Arjuna. He loved him so much, that he would drive his chariot into battle. This love, fills me up with love and brings incredible joy”

The commentator then describes this is the true understanding of the Gita.

Krishna is a supreme being, yet also that of an individual friend and partner to devotees. He can be in the heart of everyone, and be the partner of everyone, so each individual can feel like he is with them wholly and completely at all times.

Krishna is a metaphor for the love that lives within. Devotion is internal.

To teach this point, it’s important to note the understanding of devotion and the practice of bhakti.

To be embedded in yoga practice is a call for social action. The difference between all other forms of yoga practice and bhakti is that other forms cause us to participate in social action, where bhakti sanctions us to ‘be’ social action.