Sunday, January 9, 2011

Srimad Bhagavad Gita -- A Spiritual & Philosophical Interpretation In Poetry

Srimad Bhagavad Gita


Barnali Saha


Subject: The Bhagavad Gita is an intrinsic part of the Indian philosophy. The spiritual and the philosophical aspect of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita touched me, and made me ponder the essence of human life. Having read the Bhagavad Gita, I decided to compose a poem on the topic in my own way. The work is original, and is inspired by teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

The scene: Kurukshetra battle field, where Panadavas fought the Kauravas. Arjuna the valiant Pandav, son of Pandu, sits in agony. He could see the death ground where members of his family now fight. He is in desperation.

 Lord Sri Krishna, the eternal spirit of the Bhagavad Gita (watercolor on paper by Barnali Saha).
Lord Sri Krishna, the eternal spirit of the Bhagavad Gita
watercolor on paper by Barnali Saha.
© Copyright Barnali Saha - All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Eons ago in a battle field,

A valiant knight agonized sit,

Gazing at the sorry sight,

Brethrens who loved dost now fight,

The mighty king thought it right,

To leave the war, abandon the strife.

Then he laid his arrow and bow,

The seed of blood he refused to sow,

Lest lamentation expropriate him,

And denigrate his blood from root to brim.

To his rescue came Lord Krishna,

A gentle soul to ease the dilemma,

To give him a profound insight,

Into human soul, the wrong and the right.


There he oped his mouth and spake

And words like sweet honey filled the dry lake

Of Arjuna's heart.

"Oh! Friend of mine, the purport of thy life,

Is to do thy duty,

The body of clay would in ashes crumble,

Thy deed, thy soul would forever rumble.

Thy deed wouldst take thou beyond thy reach;

To the world where thy soul wouldst nirvana meet.

Mingled in ease to my holy tune

Of bliss of pleasure of eternal joy.”

“Oh! Peerless Archer, do thy work,

Do not be swayed by the checkered lot,

Do thy job and expect none,

For expectations are too many under the sun,

Men pin their hope in the galleon of life,

Yet at the end they have to strive,

To defeat the ineluctable lot;

Who for them a different story got,

Thou I see art overwrought.

Thou cannot see the opponent's gambit

Yet, don’t be afraid and do not submit.

Be strong, be steady, sacrifice

Abandon the wrongs and the artifice

Then my dear, wouldst thou be an ultimate devotee,

A pious spirit who does his duty.

The blessing of knowledge in the peregrination of life,

Is the provenance of all thy human duty,

For if knowledge doesn't precede action, futile is the duty.

The eternal consciousness within you,

Wouldst always be subservient to you,

And thy soul would be thy humble servant,

Whilst, thou be the legal master.

O captain! Of thy soul rise up and play thy role,

For thy destination seek you to rise,

Be modest but not shy.

Millions and billions of light years wouldst pass,

Yet the soul would perpetually last,

Scintillating like a bright star,

In the galaxy of knowledge.

Betwixt the heart of the omnipotent god,

Thy soul a place wouldst have got.

At the brink of life as you reach,

Oh! My brother, listen to what I teach,

Thy raiment tattered wouldst be shed,

Thy body in oblivion wouldst surely fade,

But thy soul, thy eternal soul,

Will take up a new role,

In new attire it would be decked,

A new father it would get.


People have different race,

Different colors on their face,

Yet, all have an eternal soul,

That find its abode in my Mighty heart.

Beyond the bounds of life and death,

There I stand, Oh! My friend,

The Omniscient spirit dwells in me,

Thy soul eternal is a part of Me.


I am omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient,

I am the Creator and the Survivor,

Many worship my eternal soul,

But the one that loves me has the strongest hold.

I need no jewel or gold,

But the love of a tender soul,

Thou may genuflect before me for worldly pleasures,

Lots of joys, riches and leisure,

Yet, I wouldst love thee,

For without devotees Krishna cannot be.

Do thy work and capitulate to me,

I would protect thee,

Save thee from worldly cares,

Extract you from the eternal quagmire.

When the world wouldst in darkness melt,

When the anathema of death would spread,

When the hostile master wouldst rise,

When humanity wouldst be demeaned to the smallest size,

When the morning sol would be a curse,

When Life would be stale and terse

When chained down human spirit would cry in pain.

Oh! Falguni, I will bring benison and rain,

In mortal body I would come down,

Save the world and restore Nature's crown.

Fear not Partha, surrender thy tired mind."


The mighty Lord Sri Krishna,

Then showed the anguished man his Viswarupa, (divine universal form)

The thousand faces that he has,

The thousand duties that he does,

In Brahma, the Creator, In Vishnu, the Survivor,

In a sapling green, in the great mountains,

In an ant and in a drop of rain,

Dwell the Immortal Lord.


The beauty of the sight awed the world,

Filled with benison; dews from heaven drop,

Spellbound, overwhelmed was Arjuna now,

He could not believe the sight he saw,

The agony in his heart now sweep away,

Arjuna now urged if Krishna may;

Be his charioteer in the war,

With a gentle smile the Lord agreed,

And, oped his mouth again to speak.


“Oh! Great Pandava I would be the doer,

Thou be an instrument,

I would play the tune,

Be not intimidated by the war,

I am there like the brightest star.

Here I reiterate the facets of my devotee,

A gentle man who no pain could see,

A man who no foe has,

A person who loves my art, the world and its children.

Happiness and sorrow are same him

An ideal man he may seem

Such a devotee is what I seek

He may be mild he may be meek.

For what matters is the soul,

The eternal body, the eternal role.

The mortal body is a fertile soil

And there the mighty soul toil.

Like a reaper cuts down ripened grains

Oh! Arjuna, thy soul the same duty holds.

Golden crops of happiness it may sow

Or, morbid poison of death row.

I am the King of that soul,

I control the land, thy body, thy goal.

Rise up friend of mine,

See the insinuations, the twist and twine.

Behold my greatness Partha, the bold.

Be my devotee and surrender thy soul.

Do the works as the Vedas say,

But keep your head in the process, if you may.

An excellent chiaroscuro is the journey of life,

Tales of laughter and sorrows and strife,

You may not be infallible,

No human being is

Yet, you may do your task and fear not the lees.

The paths of Duty, Knowledge or Devotion,

Oh! Falguni, you have a great many option.

Choose the one you may,

Listen to what your heart might say."

The bemused, Arjuna now spake,

“Oh! Krishna, I am a little man,

Follies, foibles I have done,

Ablution from sins I do seek,

Yet, I know not the road to meet.

Born with independent spirits we all art thy protégé,

Save me my Lord, Nature's effigy.”

Sri Krishna then spoke again,

There poured the final drops of rain.


"All who have faith in Me,

All who in me their soul see,

They will have to worry none,

As, Krishna is for them under the scintillating sun.

To bless, to love to care like a father,

And in the end they climb the ladder

Reach my soul in glee

And there they would forever be."

Here I end the spectacular tale,

The holy words the Lord did tell.


Conclusion: The philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita has eternally swept the minds of the world. By delving deep into the rich text we may seek solace in this world of tumult and flux. We are all constantly engaged in a battle with our destiny. We have great responsibilities. Following ideals of equality of the soul or the immortality of the soul we may rise above the petty society surrounding us and be a part of the greater universe. The modernity of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, like the dwelling of an omniscient spirit in nature, is echoed in many literary works. William Wordsworth cultivated the same belief and his Pantheistic theory reflects this idea profoundly. The world we now see, is very similar to the battle field that Arjuna saw, human beings are tearing down each other, licentiousness, pain, war are part of every country. We are in desperation. Such pandemonium can throw us in deep paranoia. Believing in the ideals of duty, knowledge and love as the ultimate goals of life, we can face the harsh façade of the world with a gentle heart. The teachings of the Gita are everlasting; like the omniscient spirit which is the core of the Bhagavad Gita, its inculcations too are omniscient -- it is not circumscribed by a single society, it is boundless and its appeal universal.