11

What is (or what are) the core message(s) of the Bhagavad-gītā?

What are some verses from Bhagavad-gītā, that one can refer to, to enrich life in general?


This question is inspired by Core messages of Ramayana and verses from Ramayana that one can refer to, to enrich life in general.

  • 2
    I would say that the most important verse of the Bhagavad Gita is the Charama Shloka, i.e. verse 18.66. The Charama Shloka is one of the Rahasya Traya or three secrets of Sri Vaishnavism. And it's the verse that the Upilliappan statue has carved on his hand, as I discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/6504/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 1 '16 at 23:19
  • 2
    Well, I'm not sure what my favorite verse is; there's a lot of cool verses in the Gita :-) But if I could make make all Hindus read and understand one Gita verse, it would definitely be the Charama Shloka. (It's just like Christians like to broadcast John 3:16, which incidentally has a somewhat similar message to the Charama Shloka.) – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 1 '16 at 23:40
  • @KeshavSrinivasan "three secrets of Sri Vaishnavism" - what are the other two? Shankaracharya interprets sarva-dharman as "all forms of rites and duties." – sv. Dec 1 '16 at 23:58
  • 1
    Now as to the meaning of dharma in the Charama Shloka, this is actually an area where Thenkalais and Vadakalais disagree, as discussed in my answer here. Vadakalais believe that it means "Abandon the 32 principles of Bhakti Yoga and surrender to me", the 32 principles being the Brahmavidyas listed here: ramanuja.org/sri/Web/BrahmaVidya Thenkalais, on the other hand, believe that it means "Abandon all duties and surrender to me." (But Thenkalais still perform their Vedic Dharmas after Sharanagati to set an example for others.) – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 2 '16 at 4:15
  • 4
    I didn't know this Qn existed. :-) Would have been happy to answer for free & avoided giving away that bounty. Anyways +1 to lower down. – iammilind Dec 4 '16 at 4:01
4
+150

The answer to this question would depend on whether the reader of the Gita is a householder or a sannyasi or monk.

The best teaching for a householder is the stirring call of the Gita to fight the problems of life:

Gita 2.3:

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते ।
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ।। 2.3 ।।

O Partha! Yield not to unmanliness! It befits thee not. Abandoning this base faint-heartedness, rise up, O dreaded hero.

The best teaching for a sannyasi is the advice of the Gita to relinquish all desire-prompted actions:

Gita 18.2:

काम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं संन्यासं कवयो विदुः ।
सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं प्राहुस्त्यागं विचक्षणाः ।।18.2।।

Abandonment of all desire-prompted actions is Samnyasa (renunciation) according to the wise. Men of discernment speak of the abandonment of the fruits of all actions as Tyaga (relinquishment).

Gita 18.6:

एतान्यपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलानि च ।
कर्तव्यानीति मे पार्थ निश्िचतं मतमुत्तमम् ।।18.6।।

O Son of Prtha! Even these works are to be performed without attachment and desire for their fruits. This is My settled and decisive view.

5

Today is Gita Jayanti and Mokshada Ekadashi.

Let me cover the core messages of eighteen chapter Srimad Bhagavad Gita in 8 part in useful way.
Note that you may find the answer long or lengthy as core messages needs well understanding and explanation!, I've tried to maintain gradual level for understanding.

Sanskrit Verses are quoted from Sanskrit Documents and English translation from Gita Press


PART-1 Starting

Life can be enriched by

  • Eliminating Tamas Guna, minimizing Rajas Guna and insisting on Satva Guna.
  • Following Dharma and performing duties

So, talking about today's life, generally ordinary people don't focus on ethics, morality, spirituality and their deeds.

First of all I recommend to read Adhyaya 16 which is called "Dev Ashura sampadvibhaga Yoga".

In which Krishna comprehensively explained divine and demoniac natures. (Verse 1-3 for divine nature and further of for demoniac nature).

द्वौ भूतसर्गौ लोकेऽस्मिन्दैव आसुर एव च ।
दैवो विस्तरशः प्रोक्त आसुरं पार्थ मे शृणु ॥ १६-६॥

There are only two types of men in this world, Arjuna, the one possessing a divine nature and the other possessing a demoniac disposition. Of these, the type possessing divine nature has been dealt with at length; now hear in detail from Me about the type possessing demoniac disposition.

So, we should first understand the difference between divine and demoniac nature and try to eliminate/minimize our demoniac nature and insist on divine nature.

Now, three Gunas of Praktiti is comprehensively explained in Adhyaya-14 called "Guna traya vibhaga Yoga".

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसम्भवाः ।
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ॥ १४-५॥

Sattva, Rajas and Tamas these three Gunas born of Nature tie down the imperishable soul to the body, Arjuna.

Reading further verses helps in understanding the characteristics of these three Gunas. So, we can get what to avoid and what to do.

These will ultimately leads one to Satvic Guna and creates characteristics like Dharmikta, Satvikta, ethics, morality etc. which helps in development of mind and increasing spiritual-level!

Talking about performing duties, which is explained according to Varna in Adhyaya-18:

ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परन्तप ।
कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणैः ॥ १८-४१॥

The duties of the Brahmans, the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas, as well as of the Shudras have been assigned according to their innate modes of Prakrti (Gunas), Arjuna.

Reading further verses narrates duties to be performed according to Varna.


PART-2 [Basic Jnana]

Now, this is time to go on primary subject of Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Samkhya and Karma Yoga.

People have usually following types of question in mind:

  • What the universe is and where it comes from, how all these is working and which law governs it.
  • Why bondage and How to get rid of Samsara.
  • Which path/marga to follow and how to follow.
  • What is the ultimate/absolute truth/reality.
  • What is the ultimate purpose of life. etc...

These types of questions should be solved to avoid confusions and knowing the Goal!

Some primary Jnana is essential for the development of mind favourable to Jnana or Bhakti Yoga. This primary Jnana can be understand with the help of Samkhya teachings of Prakriti and Purush.

Adhyaya 7 which is called "Jnana-Vijnana Yoga" in which Krishna declares:

ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानमिदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः ।
यज्ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज्ज्ञातव्यमवशिष्यते ॥ ७-२॥

I shall unfold to you in its entirety this wisdom (Knowledge of God in His absolute formless aspect) along with the Knowledge of the qualified aspect of God (both with form and without form), having known which nothing else remains yet to be known in this world.

Continue reading verses further hopefully helps in true knowledge. Also read Verse 9.4 to 9.10.

So, it clears that God is the cause of whole the creation! Now, it is the time to know the relation between God and us! which I think very very necessary for the goal as we know some people don't have true knowledge of God and wander to and fro for attaining him because they actually don't know who is God and where to find!?


PART-3 [Relation between Prakriti, Jiva and God]

Adhyaya-13 which is called "Kshetra-Khshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga" explains the relation between Prakriti, Jiva and Brahman.

ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् ॥ १३-१८॥

That supreme Brahma is said to be the light of all lights and entirely beyond Maya. That godhead is knowledge itself, worth knowing, and worth attaining through real wisdom, and is particularly abiding in the hearts of all.

उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ता भोक्ता महेश्वरः ।
परमात्मेति चाप्युक्तो देहेऽस्मिन्पुरुषः परः ॥ १३-२३॥

The Spirit dwelling in this body, is really the same as the Supreme. He has been spoken of as the Witness, the true Guide, the Sustainer of all, the Experiencer (as the embodied soul), the Overlord and the Absolute as well.

Also read the verse 15.7:

ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतः सनातनः ।
मनःषष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति ॥ १५-७॥

The eternal Jivatma in this body is a fragment of My own Self; and it is that alone which draws around itself the mind and the five senses, which abide in Prakrti.

So, the solution of all theses things, God himself! dwells in our heart! Do we need anything-else!?

Thus, knowing these leads one to know about Atman of which the true nature is narrated in Verse 2.17 to 2.25:

अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् ।
विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित्कर्तुमर्हति ॥ २-१७॥

Know that alone to be imperishable which pervades this universe; for no one has power to destroy this indestructible substance.

I think the this true concept of Atman and Brahman is major essence of Santana Dharma.


PART-4 [Karma Yoga]

Now it is time to know that in order to attain the ultimate/absolute truth/reality or Moksha, one should follow certain paths.

This leads people to know and follow Karma Yoga which is explained verily in Bhagavad Gita! which starts from popular verse of Bhagavad Gita:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ २-४७॥

Your right is to work only and never to the fruit thereof. Do not Consider yourself to be the cause of the fruit of action; nor let your attachment be to inaction.

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् ।
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् ॥ ९-२७ ॥

Arjuna, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as oblation to the sacred fire, whatever you bestow as a gift, whatever you do by way of penance, offer all that to Me.

योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ॥ २-४८॥

Arjuna, perform your duties established in Yoga, renouncing attachment, and be even-minded in success and failure; evenness of mind is called Yogi.

This leads Yogi to the state of Sthitprajna which is explained from Verse 2.55 to the end of Adhyaya-2.

The important thing in journey of KarmaYoga is to understand :

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः ।
अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ॥ ३-२७॥

In fact all actions are being performed by the modes of Prakrti (Primordial Nature). The fool, whose mind is deluded by egoism, thinks: "I am the doer".

Reading further verses of Adhyaya-3 helps in the relation between Prakriti, Karma and Atman.

So, mind and intellect are key to Yoga! The necessity of controlling senses is explained from Verse 3.40:

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः ।
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धेः परतस्तु सः ॥ ३-४२॥

The senses are said to be greater than the body; but greater than the senses is the mind. Greater than the mind is the intellect; and what is greater than the intellect is He, the Self.

Besides,

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥ ६-५॥

One should lift oneself by one's own efforts and should not degrade oneself; for one's own self is one's friend, and one's own self is one's enemy.

बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जितः ।
अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेतात्मैव शत्रुवत् ॥ ६-६॥

One's own Self is the friend of the soul by whom the lower self (consisting of the mind, senses and body) has been conquered; even so, the very Self of him, who has not conquered his lower self, behaves antagonistically like an enemy.

For Karma Yoga, it is important to have a clear understanding of following:

  • What is Karma, What is Akarma?
  • What is Nishkama Karma and how to perform it.
  • Which Karmas should be performed which is not and why?

This is explained from Verse 4.16:

किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः ।
तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् ॥ ४-१६॥

What is action and what is inaction? Even men of intelligence are puzzled over this question. Therefore, I shall expound to you the truth about action, knowing which you will be freed from its evil effects i.e., the shackles of karma.

Reading further verses gives the true knowledge about Karma, Akarma and how to understand it.

The Karma Sanyasa and Karma Tyaga is exclusively explained in Adhyaya-18 Verse 1 to 11:

एतान्यपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलानि च । कर्तव्यानीति मे पार्थ निश्चितं मतमुत्तमम् ॥ १८-६॥

Hence these acts of sacrifice, charity and penance, and all other acts of duty too, must be performed without attachment and expectation of reward : this is My well-considered and supreme verdict, Arjuna.


PART-6 [Jnana Yoga]

The importance of Jnana Yoga is narrated from Verse 4.33:

(Defining from Verse 13.12)

अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् ।
एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोऽन्यथा ॥ १३-१२॥

Constancy in self-knowledge and seeing God as the object of true knowledge-all this is declared-as knowledge, and what is contrary to this is called ignorance.

श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप ।
सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ॥ ४-३३॥

Arjuna, sacrifice through Knowledge, is superior to sacrifice performed with material things. For all actions without exception culminate in Knowledge, O son of Kunti.

अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः ।
सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि ॥ ४-३६॥

Even if you were the most sinful of all sinners, this Knowledge alone would carry you, like a raft, across all your sins.

यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन ।
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ॥ ४-३७॥

For, as the blazing fire reduces the fuel to ashes, Arjuna, even so the fire of Knowledge turns all actions to ashes.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते ।
तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ॥ ४-३८॥

In this world there is no purifier as great as Knowledge; he who has attained purity of heart through prolonged practice of Karmayoga, automatically sees the light of Truth in the self in course of time.

उदाराः सर्व एवैते ज्ञानी त्वात्मैव मे मतम् ।
आस्थितः स हि युक्तात्मा मामेवानुत्तमां गतिम् ॥ ७-१८॥

Indeed, all these are noble, but the man of wisdom is My very self; such is My view. For such a devotee, who has his mind and intellect merged in Me, is firmly established in Me alone as the highest goal.

People may get confuse between Jnana and Karma Yoga, Krishna resolved it by:

साङ्ख्ययोगौ पृथग्बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः ।
एकमप्यास्थितः सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम् ॥ ५-४॥

It is the ignorant, not the wise, who say that Samkhyayoga and Karmayoga lead to divergent results. For, one who is firmly established in either, gets the fruit of both which is the same, viz., God-realization.

True Yogi attain the absolute supreme goal:

सर्वद्वाराणि संयम्य मनो हृदि निरुध्य च । मूर्ध्न्याधायात्मनः प्राणमास्थितो योगधारणाम् ॥ ८-१२॥ ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन् । यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम् ॥ ८-१३॥

Having controlled all the senses, and firmly holding the mind in the heart, and then drawing the life-breath to the head, and thus remaining steadfast in Yogic concentration on God, he who leaves the body and departs uttering the one Indestructible Brahma, OM, and dwelling on Me in My absolute aspect, reaches the supreme goal.


PART-7 [Preaching]

Now, It is time to go on very useful preaching by Krishna to Arjuna which is given in Adhyaya-12 called Bhakti Yoga Verse 12.8 to 12.12:

मय्येव मन आधत्स्व मयि बुद्धिं निवेशय । निवसिष्यसि मय्येव अत ऊर्ध्वं न संशयः ॥ १२-८॥
अथ चित्तं समाधातुं न शक्नोषि मयि स्थिरम् । अभ्यासयोगेन ततो मामिच्छाप्तुं धनञ्जय ॥ १२-९॥
अभ्यासेऽप्यसमर्थोऽसि मत्कर्मपरमो भव । मदर्थमपि कर्माणि कुर्वन्सिद्धिमवाप्स्यसि ॥ १२-१०॥
अथैतदप्यशक्तोऽसि कर्तुं मद्योगमाश्रितः । सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं ततः कुरु यतात्मवान् ॥ १२-११॥
श्रेयो हि ज्ञानमभ्यासाज्ज्ञानाद्ध्यानं विशिष्यते । ध्यानात्कर्मफलत्यागस्त्यागाच्छान्तिरनन्तरम् ॥ १२-१२॥

  • Therefore, fix your mind on Me, and establish your intellect in Me alone; thereafter you will abide solely in Me. There is no doubt about it.
  • If you cannot steadily fix the mind on Me,Arjuna, then seek to attain Me through the Yoga of practice.
  • If you are unequal even to the pursuit of such practice, be intent to work for Me; you shall attain perfection (in the form of My realization) even by performing actions for My sake.
  • If, taking recourse to the Yoga of My realization, you are unable even to do this, then, subduing your mind and intellect etc., relinquish the fruit of all actions.
  • Knowledge is better than practice without discernment, meditation on God is superior to knowledge, and renunciation of the fruit of actions is even superior to meditation; for, peace immediately follows renunciation.

PART-8 [Sharanangati]

The last thing to include is the very secret teaching by Krishna:

सर्वगुह्यतमं भूयः शृणु मे परमं वचः । इष्टोऽसि मे दृढमिति ततो वक्ष्यामि ते हितम् ॥ १८-६४॥

Hear, again, My supremely profound words, the most esoteric of all truths; as you are extremely dear to Me, therefore, I shall give you this salutary advice for your own good.

मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु । मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ॥ १८-६५॥

Give your mind to Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me and bow to Me. Doing so, you will come to Me alone, I truly promise you; for, you are exceptionally dear to Me.

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज । अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥ १८-६६॥

Resigning all your duties to Me, the all-powerful and all supporting Lord, take refuge in Me alone; I shall absolve you of all sins, worry not.


Similar assurance By God:

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥ ४-७॥
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् । धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥ ४-८॥

Arjuna, whenever righteousness is on the decline, unrighteousness is in the ascendant, then I body Myself forth. For the protection of the virtuous, for the extirpation of evil-doers, and for establishing Dharma (righteousness) on a firm footing, I manifest Myself from age to age.

अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् । यः प्रयाति स मद्भावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशयः ॥ ८-५॥

He who departs from the body, thinking of Me alone even at the time of death, attains My state; there is no doubt about it.

पार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस्तस्य विद्यते ।
न हि कल्याणकृत्कश्चिद् दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति ॥ ६-४०॥

Shri Bhagavan said : Arjuna, there is no fall for him either here or hereafter. For, O My beloved, none who strives for self-redemption (i.e., God- realization) ever meets with evil destiny.

आब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोकाः पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन ।
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते ॥ ८-१६॥

Arjuna, all the worlds from Brahmaloka (the heavenly realm of the Creator, BrahmA) downwards are liable to birth and rebirth. But, O son of Kunti, on attaining Me there is no rebirth (For, while I am beyond Time, regions like Brahmaloka, being conditioned by time, are transitory).


Upanishads are believed to be an extract of Vedas and Srimad Bhagavad Gita is believed to be an extract of Upanishads!!

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is a Smriti Prashthan for Prashthantrayi of Vedanta.

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By far the most important verse of the Bhagavad Gita is the Charama Shloka, which is verse 18.66:

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja |
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ ||

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

As I discuss in this question, part of the Charama Shloka is written on the hand of the famous Upilliappan statue. And the Charama Shloka is one of the Rahasya Traya or three secrets of Sri Vaishnavism, because it explains the path to Moksha known as Sharanagati or Prapatti, which involves surrendering to the lotus feet of Vishnu. (The other two secrets are the Ashtakshari mantra and the Dvaya mantra, which I discuss here.)

In his Rahasyatraya Sara, the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Vedanta Desikan devotes an entire 100-page chapter to explaining the meaning of every single word of the Charama Shloka and its significance. But I'll just quote a few short passages. First of all, here is what he says about the importance of the Charama Shloka:

In order to dispel [Arjuna's] grief, the Lord explained to him the eternal and essential nature of the soul or self (atman) which is different from the body and the like (the senses etc.) and likewise karma yoga and jnana yoga, which are, to a man who understands this essential nature, the mediate means for attaining the supreme goal and also bhakti yoga which has been enjoined as the primary and means of attaining it, as also all its accessories. Though Arjuna was eager to attain the supreme end quickly, he thought it too hard to perform it (bhakti-yoga) with all its accessories and though he had the knowledge and ability needed for its adoption, he realized the nature of this upaya was such that it would secure the end in view could not be attained quickly. So Arjuna became overwhelmed with despair. Under the guise of teaching Arjuna, the Acharya of the Gitopanishad is graciously pleased, out of His infinite compassion, to teach this most secret upaya (viz. prapatti) on the Charama shloka which is the conclusion of the teaching and leaves nothing unsaid. ...

There are some (acharyas) who have understood the noble and charming shloka which is like the gem koustubha taken out of the ocean of Vyasa's Veda (Mahabharata). Its meaning finds confirmation in the ways of the words (or the smritis) and in the paths of the Vedas. On hearing the words of these (acharyas) which are like steps in the staircase that leads to the mansion of mukti, greats souls like Vaishampayana and Shaunaka nod their heads (in approval and admiration).

And here is his summary of the meaning of the Charama Shloka:

Your knowledge is limited; your ability is insignificant; your life is short and you are also impatient of delay. Therefore do not go about seeking other upayas which you cannot (fully) understand, which you cannot easily adopt and which can bear fruit only after much delay. Realize that I who am of easy access to all, who am the Saviour of all the worlds, and who am endowed with all the attributes essential for a Saviour, am the only upaya and perform the surrender of the responsibility of protecting your self to me along with the five angas. When you have adopted this upaya and done what you ought to do, you will become my ward and do what is extremely dear to me. Supremely compassionate and gracious, independent and omnipotent, I will, myself, by my mere will and without any aid, and for the fulfillment of my own purposes, free you from the manifold, endless, and insurmountable groups of obstacles without leaving any trace of them. I will enable you to have enjoyments similar to mine own, since you will enjoy myself and all the belongs to me. I will find delight in making you render all forms of service in all places, at all times and in all circumstances - service which will be of the nature of the overflow of the full and perfect enjoyment (of myself). You have absolutely no cause for grief.

Note that the meaning of dharma in the Charama Shloka is an area where the Thenkalais and Vadakalai sub-sects of Sri Vaishnavism disagree, as discussed in my answer here. Vadakalais believe that it means "Abandon the 32 principles of Bhakti Yoga and surrender to me", the 32 principles being the Brahmavidyas listed here. Thenkalais, on the other hand, believe that it means "Abandon all duties and surrender to me." (But Thenkalais still perform their Vedic Dharmas after Sharanagati to set an example for others.)

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Srimad Bhagavad Gita begins with the following sloka:

धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः।

मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ||1.1||

and ends with:

यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः ।

तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ।।18.78।।

The text begins with the word Dharma and ends with the word Mama (means 'my'). The word Dharma should not be taken loosely as a duty.

The term 'dharma ' is derived from the root 'dhar'( dhri ), to uphold, sustain, support. Thus the word indicates "that which holds together the different aspects and qualities of an object into a whole".

For example, the nature of Fire is heat and quality of the sandal is chillness. When both fire and sandal fails to exhibit their nature, they fail in their Dharma.

So the Mama Dharma refer to the duty of every individual towards himself (Svadharma) and others in the society. The highest duty of every individual is to surrender to God and attain the highest Truth and the Dharma to the society should be associated with the innate nature of a person

The 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita can be divided into 3 parts (i.e., 6 chapters each) based on the types of Yoga - Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana Yoga. One should start with Karma Yoga, add Bhakti and then end up with Jnana or Wisdom and become united with God, which is what the word Yoga means – union with God.

The entire book of Bhagavad Gita is to enrich one's life and attain the Paramatma.

One can find the slokas from the 2nd chapter more use and give the real taste of Gita. I have just listed two slokas which enrich my life.

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते ।

सङ्गात् संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ।।2.62।।

In the case of a person who dwells on objects, there arises attachment for them. From attachment grows hankering, from hankering springs anger.

क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः ।

स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ।।2.63।।

From anger follows delusion; from delusion, failure of memory; from failure of memory, the loss of understanding; from the loss of understanding, he perishes.

[English Translation By Swami Gambirananda]

The following link gives an exhaustive list of the Gita slokas which can be handy for you.

108 Important Slokas of Bhagavad Gita

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You asked for enrichment in general life and for general i assume day to day life of a common man.

IMO These are the verses i think that may help balance our thoughts and deeds in day to day life.

उद्धरेदात्मनाऽत्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत्‌ ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥ 6.5

A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

अपि चेत्सुदुराचारो भजते मामनन्यभाक्‌ ।
साधुरेव स मन्तव्यः सम्यग्व्यवसितो हि सः ॥ 9.30

Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ 2.47

You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

Although Geeta is yet to be fully understand and practiced in day to day life but we can practice some of the verses as much as we can in our life.

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Gita has many contradictions and dualities, if we perceive it with our senses. Once these senses disappear, these dualities will also go away. There are multiple core messages in Gita, which are repeated again and again throughout.


==> "I / Me" is the supreme

We can call the supreme one with: 'names' such as "god", "Brahman", "Sustainer", "Destroyer"; Or 'descriptions' such as "That", "Shunya", "Atma".

Both are correct & Krishna used them as well. Even one can become silent like Buddha, to describe the supreme. However these way are not complete, because in former way, we are trying to name something which is unnamed and in later way we are describing something which is beyond description.

So Krishna predominantly used "I / Me" and IMO that resolves all the limitations to name or describe the supreme. "I / Me" is beyond the material world created by 3 modes: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas [7.13, 14.20, ...].
Be careful that, if Krishna says "I am supreme", he means "'I' is supreme". This is the state of Advaita (non duality), which some people try to practice as a philosophy.

This abode of 'Me', attaining which one doesn't return for rebirth can be called with multiple terms: We may also call this "I / Me" as: Yoga [6.23], NirvAna [2.72, 5.24], SamAdhi [3.4], Moksha [4.32, 5.28], Param Purusha [8.22, 15.18, 15.19], Ultimate Dharma [14.27], VedAnta [15.15]...

BG 10.20 - O Gudakesa, 'I' am the Self residing in the hearts of all beings, and I am the beginning and the middle as also the end of [all] beings.

==> "I / Me" is "unmanifested" but beyond any "unmanifested"

There is always a debate, if the supreme is "existent" or "non-existent".

  • Devotees of "existent" can be happy, that the supreme is attained easily by seeing it through a form [10.41, 12.2, 12.5]

    BG 12.2 - The Blessed Lord said those who meditate on 'Me' by fixing their minds on 'Me' with steadfast devotion (and) being endowed with supreme faith-they are considered to be the most perfect yogis according to 'Me'.

  • Supporters of "non-existent" can be happy, that the truest form of the supreme is surely not "existent" due to being "unthinkable" [2.25, 8.20, 8.21]

    BG 8.20 - But different from that "unmanifested", is the another eternal "unmanifest" reality, which is not destroyed when all beings are destroyed.

  • Both can be happy, because it's neither of them :-) [2.16, 12.3, 13.13]

    BG 13.13 - I shall speak of that which is knowable. Knowing which, one attains immortality. The supreme Brahman devoted to 'Me', is beginning-less. 'That' is said to be neither existent nor non-existent. (existent = being)

==> Bhakti is way (mArga) to supreme; also includes unions (yoga)

My earlier perception of Bhakti (devotion) as one of the several ways or yogas, disappeared after reading Gita. Comparing Bhakti with those yogas is like comparing "vehicle" with car, bike, train.
Bhakti is the key differentiation between Daivi sampadA (divine qualities) [9.13-15, 16.1-3] and Asuri sampadA (demonic qualities) [9.12, 16.7...]. Even lately Asuri SampadA people also devote to the "I / Me" only. Whichever way one devotes, the "I / Me" counters in the similar way (action = reaction) [4.11, 7.21-22].
Ultimately everything attains the nature of "I / Me" [9.7], which is called liberation [14.2].

This devotion can be pointed to anything where we see the reflection of the supreme (Chapter 10 describes limited set of such representatives).
Hence, Bhakti, the [single pointed] devotion, can be defined as the 'way to attain supreme' [6.25, 8.14, 8.22, 9.31, 9.34, 12.13-20 (various types), 14.26(only reference to Bhakti-Yoga)].

BG 8.22 - O son of Prutha, that supreme consciousness which includes all beings and by whom all this is pervaded, is attainable Only by one-pointed devotion.
BG 12.20 - But those who fully worship with this immortal virtues as stated [before], such faithful devotees are even extremely dearest to 'Me'.

==> "Karma Yoga" is the best

Yogi-s are the best among Bhakta-s / seekers.

BG 6.46 - Yogi is higher than "Austerers"; Also is opinionated higher than "Knowers". Yogi is also higher than "Doers". Therefore, O Arjuna, become a Yogi.

However, among Yogi-s, the Karma Yogi-s, who follow SAtvika way of life [18.9], are the best. Even the supreme knowledge is attainable by them [4.38].
Karma Yoga -- Karma-fala tyAga -- NishkAma Karma -- Renouncing the reactions (result of action)
"Renouncing/Offering the reactions to 'Me'", has been asserted throughout the Gita, hence not listing so many verses. But let's see why is it the best:

  1. Best among yoga-s[12.8-12]: In ascending order: AbhyAsa (practice), GyAna (knowledge), DhyAna (meditation) & Karma (renouncing reactions)

    BG 12.12 - "Knowledge" is surely superior to "Practice"; "Meditation" surpasses "Knowledge". "Renouncing reaction" [excels] to "Meditation". From renunciation, Peace follows immediately.

  2. Best among renunciations: Genuine seekers opt for SannyAsa not because they associate with less Karma, but they have to make less choices among Karma-s. But "Karma Yoga" is more aligned with society, where instead of forfeiting the actions, one forfeits its reactions.

    BG 5.2 — Sri BhagavAna told, "SannyAsa" (renouncing actions) and "Karma Yoga" (renouncing reactions), both lead to supreme; But between them, "Karma Yoga" is better than "Karma SannyAsa".

==> Don't be obsessed about "sin"-s

Veda/Srutis discusses "Karma theory", which differentiates Sattva with Rajas & Tamas, & hence is limited to material nature [2.42-46, 2.53]. By suggesting "Karmanye vAdhikhAraste..." [2.47], Krishna urges to think beyond Veda-s, i.e. VedAnta [15.15]. Don't let your action be influenced by what is "sin" & what is not.
[Note: This doesn't mean to break the constitutional rules (ShAstra-s), just for the sake of it.]

From someone's point of view, whatever you do, is going to be "sin", because every initiation of Karma is faulty [18.48]. At the same time, one can't sustain without doing Karma [3.5].
Krishna gives 2 solutions:

  • Act in SwaDharma [2.31, 3.8, 3.33-35, 3.22, 18.47]: Know your nature well, align with your tendencies. Natural acts are SAtvika and doesn't bind with reactions [18.30].

    BG 18.47 — Defective (faulty) SwaDharma is better than well performed ParaDharma; Naturally prescribed performance of Karma never achieves sinful reactions.

  • Surrender-ship (SharanAgati) [7.14, 9.32, 12.55, 18.66] is another name of Bhakti. If you still can't act in SwaDharma, then surrender all your acts to the supreme

    BG 18.66 — Leaving away all the Dharma (tendencies), surrender unto 'Me'. I will liberate you from all the sins. Do not repent.

The knowledge arrived from devotion to supreme immediately wipes out the worst of the sins [4.33, 4.36-37, 9.30]. God neither accepts pious deeds nor sins, because such good/bad deeds are generated according to "Karma theory", however the "Karma"-s are not do-able, they are rather illusion created by the interaction of 3 modes. To liberate, discard the flawed notion of good/bad deeds [2.50]:

BG 5.14 - Neither "Doership" (Kartutva) nor "Actions" (Karma) nor "Reactions" (result of actions) of the people are created by the Omnipotent; But only their nature [3 modes] pervades.
BG 5.15 - The Omnipresent neither accepts anybody's sin nor even virtue. Knowledge remains covered by ignorance. Thus the creatures become deluded.


However, if am I insisted to choose only single aspect of Gita as its core essence. Then I will choose the below all-inclusive message ...

==> NishKarmatA -- Being Akarta -- Non Doership

[3.27, 4.13, 4.18, 4.20, 5.8-9, 13.30, 14.19, 14.23, 18.17].

Hindu philosophy recognises the ancient philosophy of Eternal Return, which implies that "everything repeats". That means, "no event can be changed". Brahman resonates in constant frequency - where the same cycle repeats again and again. If we assume this cycle of 24 million years, then 24 million years after this moment, you will be again reading this post!
Isn't it revokes our rights to do something different!
Hence, one should act as a silent witness to all the events happening around by this 3 modes.

Paradoxically, one cannot become an AkartA by opting for Akarma(inaction). Performing Akarma is impossible. One has to find 'action' in 'inaction' and 'inaction' in 'action' [4.18].

Be Balanced [2.56 2.61, 3.18, 5.18, 5.23, 12.17-18,13.28, 14.24, 14.25]: A true Akarta will have "Balance" in all the situations. Different people sustain the balance by different ways based on their nature. e.g. In a very sad situation, a strong person may sustain by faint smile & weak person may sustain by profusely crying. Both are right.

Throughout the society or even in this site, we may find so many topics on what to do and what not to do; what is sin and what is not sin, what is right and what is wrong, control our senses, & what not.
But all these ("Karma theories") will become moot, once we know that, our consciousness is not the doer! The realisation of "I / Me" is surrendering the "doership", which anyway doesn't belong to self.

BG 3.27 — All actions (karma-s) are enacted in Prakruti by [3] modes. Bewildered with ego, Self (Atma) believes "I am the doer".
BG 5.8, 5.9 — "I certainly don't do anything" is believed by knower containing fundamentals - even while seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, dreaming, breathing, talking, discarding, accepting, opening, closing; "Senses only are acting in the subjects of senses" - is understood.

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