The Song of God

‘Lord Krishna preaching Gita to Arjuna’ – Mahavir Prasad Mishra – Wikimedia


भगवद् गीता


अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो 
मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां 
बुधा भावसमन्विताः 

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ


I am the self, O Gudākesa! 
seated in the hearts of all beings.
I am the beginning and the middle
and the end also of all beings
~ Lord Krishna (Bhagavad Gita)


There is an old and long Sanskrit story that arose in India around the fourth century BC. So long that it has been described as “the longest poem ever written“. So encompassing that the poem mentions about itself: “That which occurs here occurs elsewhere. That which does not occur here occurs nowhere else.”(XVIII.5.38). A story that is as big and epic as life and which took centuries to write, up until the fourth century AD. This masterpiece of universal literature, which influenced the thought, customs, and festivals of a whole civilisation and beyond, is called the Mahābhārata. It is composed of fables, myths, and tales of every kind, that are recipients for multiple religious, philosophical and political considerations. The eminent British film and theatre director Peter Brook wrote: “I sincerely believe that, of all the subjects that exist — including the totality of Shakespeare’s work — the richest, densest and most complete myth is the Mahabharata.”

Among the infinite number of episodes in the poem is concealed a jewel. A short 700-verse scripture — out of the 100 000 contained in the Mahabharata — composed of 18 chapters, that stands as a monument of Hinduism and one of the most highly praised spiritual text in the world. Written around the second century BC by the legendary sage Vyasa — also the main author of the Mahabharata — it has been named nothing less than the ‘Song of God’. This text, called the ‘Bhagavad Gītā’, is a magistral teaching given to the Pandava prince Arjuna by Lord Krishna, who happened to be his charioteer. It is set in the middle of the worst battle between two branches of the same family, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, for the control of the kingdom — a war whose story is the subject of the Mahabharata. So here we are, at the dawn of a horrific battle: 

And then all at once, conchs,
and kettledrums, and tabors,
and trumpets were played upon; 
and there was a tumultuous din.” (I.13)


A summary of the Bhagavad Gita, a monument of spiritual literature… (READ MORE…)


Karma or the Monastic Life

Krishna and Arjuna – Photo by thesandiegomuseumofartcollection on

O fool, right action does not lie
in observing fasts and ceremonial rites.
O fool, right action does not lie
in providing for bodily comfort and ease.
In contemplation of the Self alone
is right action and right counsel for you
~ Lal Ded (14th Century)


Politeness, wanting to be good, to do the right thing has tremendous power. It binds the world together. In spite of all the suffering, the hardship that exist in society, it is remarkable to notice to what degree people, all over the world, manage to lead a quite responsible life, searching to act in ways that are right, respectful. I used to work in a spiritual community where we would employ, for specific tasks, some people that were outside the community, people that wouldn’t give a thought about spiritual matters. There was a joke that ran amongst us, which was to notice how these people were always acting in ways that were so balanced and good. We were talking about it endlessly, but they were the enlightened ones! The same could be applied to our old parents, to simple, humble people all around the world. How come? It could be argued that this driving force comes from the fear of god, the concern about other people’s judgement, about society’s or life’s punishment. But it comes nowhere near a plausible explanation. Is it that there is something incredibly meaningful, powerful, hidden behind right action, behind right behaviour, kindness, goodness, all the expressions of what is judged to be the timeless qualities of man? But how do we know that? How come it has such a binding force? Where does that wisdom come from? What are the hidden meanings behind ethics in the context of spirituality, or nonduality? And what are the mechanisms hidden in not behaving in ways that are loving or respectful of others and indeed of ourselves? […]

To delve into the concept of Karma and right action… (READ MORE…)