One of the most powerful and unparalleled contributions of Sri Krishna to this world is the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita’s distinction amongst various doctrines and schools of thought can be attributed to its fundamental purpose of guiding with the notion of actions and their reactions, as opposed to right or wrong. Herein, we explore this concept and a few additional significant traits of this deep reservoir of knowledge that distinguishes it from other literature.
Firstly, the Bhagavad Gita is the only wisdom that was imparted or discussed in a battlefield; most books, especially those presenting some spirituality or existential philosophy, are spoken or written in ashramas, maths, temples or holy places.
Additionally, while nearly all scriptures usher towards the renunciation of actions and emphasize a focus on a world beyond this world, Sri Krishna guides Arjuna to harmonize between this world and the next. He urges Arjuna to focus on this world in such a way that the other world is naturally taken care of when he says, “Tasmad Sarveshu kaleshu mam anusmara yuddacha (think of me and perform your duty of fighting on behalf of Dharma)”. Sri Krishna teaches Arjuna to be a sage within and king without. In essence, Sri Krishna impresses the need to cater towards the body and senses as long as they exist. However, one should act in such a way that despite appearing as the doer externally, one is well established as an observer internally. This principle of Nishkama Karma Yoga is exceptional to the Gita; a multitude of different ideologies command either action with passion, or inaction based on an overemphasize on the fleeting nature of this material creation. Many philosophers take extreme stands of either pure spiritualism, or straight materialism.
Another unique feature of the Gita is an in depth discussion of the three Gunas. Everyone and everything in this world is under the influence of the three modes, namely Sattva, or substance; Raja, which is the power to act for results; and Tama, or darkness that involves minimal action in the present, and blatant disregard for tomorrow or even the next hour.
Moreover, Sri Krishna does not instruct on ideas of what is right or wrong; His teachings are about actions and their consequences. A myriad of popular beliefs are either extremely liberal, where one is allowed carte blanche without any considerations of responsibilities and consequences, or they are rigid doctrines that are violently imposed by individuals who judge the right and wrong of everyone based on the limited lens of a particular surrounding. Both extremes have devastating social consequences, the liberals promote recklessness and the conservative instill fear and mental slavery where any independent thinking is crushed by a destructive concept of eternal damnation to hell as supported by their “law books”. In contrast, the Gita is honorably courageous in providing the options for individuals to make choices insync with a healthy balance between their personal and universal natures. Hence, at the end of the Gita, Sri Krishna bravely gives Arjuna the complete freedom to decide on his available options; the Gita is not a law book, but a book of thinking and logically driven Realities