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Why Reading Bhagavad Gita is Important in Yoga

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Epic Mahabharata and a great Hindu scripture. It is also known as “Song of God” constituting teachings of Lord Krishna in the form of the spiritual dialogue between the God and a warrior of Pandava clan, Arjuna. A complete knowledge of the essence of the human life is packed in these 700 verses of Gita that constitutes four Vedas, eight Upanishads, and the six tenants of Hindu philosophy. These verses are reflective of the meaning of what constitutes human life, about life and death, and surrender to God. We can also call these verses as the spiritual treatment plan emphasizing on our duty to understand our relationship with the supreme. As mentioned in the very first verse:

Bhagvad gita

Dhrtarastrah uvaca: dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samavetah yuyutsavah mamakah pandavas caiva kim akurvata sanjaya.” {B.G. 1.1} means our heart is a battleground between the right and wrong with courage to follow the right path. Lord Krishna talks of many different concepts that affect the human race, and provides a solution to many problems like stress, confusion, restlessness, depression, rights, exploitation, anger, alienation and greed.
For the yoga students, Bhagavad Gita incorporates many principles like discernment, equanimity, and non-attachment. When Arjuna was doubtful on his ability to control his emotions, Lord Krishna explains him to take the path of yoga, also known as “Margs of Yoga”. These Margs constitutes Bhakti Yoga (Devotion|), Karma Yoga (Service) and Raja Yoga (Meditation).

In Chapter 3 of verse 42, Lord Krishna tells to Arjuna, “Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah manasas tu para buddhir yo buddheh paratas tu sah.” {B.G.3:42}. It means our inner self is a greatest of all our body, senses, mind and intelligence. Our intelligence should control our mind, and mind control our body and sense then only we can move on a righteous path. And this is possible with yoga which helps us control our mind and keep us focused.

Reading of Bhagavad Gita can add depth and intensity to the postures, imparts us the value of meditation and help us to come closer to divinity. In Bhagavad Gita there is also mention of how to meditate properly. A yogi should sit in a clean spot, which is neither too high nor too low, cover the place with a cloth, and keep his mind focused, restraining himself from any distractions. He should keep his head and neck straight and think only about God. Lord Krishna named this method as Raj yoga. The system involves breath control which is known as pranayama, to direct the energy in the body which is a very effective way to control body appetite and passion.

Gita contemplates on all forms of yoga, focusing on the deep connection with the God, which further leads to the discourses on philosophy and eventually to wisdom. Wisdom leads to the correct combination of intelligence, karma yoga, and Bhakti yoga. The understanding of yoga causes inner development which can overcome passion and desire for the fruit of actions as an offering to God. One can feel detached from exterior bondage to feel attached to the inner self. This is an imperative part of the teachings of Gita.

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