From the Bhagvad Gita According to Gandhiji

Happy Krishna Janmashtam—


We shall now turn to a study of that Wisdom and that Art as revealed in the Gita. Perhaps the best way to do so is to present a brief interpretative analysis of the various discourses. But before we start with the analysis, it would not be out of place to indicate what we might call the permanent background of the Gita. It starts with accepting certain “unanalysable ultimates” — the Self, the Absolute, God, and the Universe and certain fundamental postulates. It presents no philosophical treatment, as it is really addressed to those who assume these ultimates, for the simple reason that the author’s purpose was to expound the ordinary man’s mission in life rather than to present a philosophical system. Thus, when Arjuna approaches Krishna with an appeal which recalls, ‘What in me is dark, illumine,’ He does so by a sudden flash light revelation of the Unborn, Ageless, Deathless, Everlasting, Indemonstrable Atman or Self. He uses the epithet ‘Indemonstrable’ indicating in a word his whole meaning. How will one demonstrate or measure Him who is the proof of all proofs and measure of all measures? As the Kena Upanishad puts it: “He is the very hearing of the ear, the very mind of the mind, the very voice of speech, the very breath of breath and the very vision of the eye.” Or as the modern philosopher Dr Radhakrishnan puts it: “The ultimate assumption of all life is the spirit in us, the Divine in man. Life is God and the proof of it is life itself. If somewhere in ourselves we did not know with absolute certainty that God is, we could not live. Even the sun and the moon would go out if they began to doubt. Our lives are not lived within their own limits. We are not ourselves alone; we are God-men.

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