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Message of The Bhagavad Gita

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When we look at the Indian civilization, particularly the great Hindu tradition, we have the Vedas stretching back into the very dawn of history, the great inspired utterances of rsis in thousand upon thousands of beautiful mantras. We have the Upanisads, the Vedanta, representing the culmination of the Vedas both philosophically and chronologically. We have the Brahma-Satras, which give us an intellectual guide and key to the understanding of the Vedas. We have the Puranas, we have the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Nothing is more magnificent and beautiful than looking up at the sky on a moonless night, when you see thousands upon thousands of celestial bodies all glowing with inner power and light. But among these you will notice that there is one star that shines brighter than the others. It may not be bigger, it may not be closer, but it is the brightest star – what we know as the 'morning star' or as Venus. And as we look at this great galaxy of Hindu texts and scriptures, there is one star that shines brighter than the rest, and that is the Bhagavad-Gita.

The Gita occupies a unique place. The Gita has a very special position. Adi Sankaracharya, in one of his memorable slokas, says that anyone who has tasted even a drop of amrta or who has understood even a little of the Bhagavad-Gita, need not have any fear of death.

It has been commented upon by all the great philosophers, by Sankara and Madhva, by Ramanuja and Vallabhacarya, by Jnanesvra, and, in our own century, by Balgangadhar Tilak and Sri Aurobindo, by Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave.

In my view, after Sankaracharya’s commentary, Sri Aurobindo's Essays on the Gita is the most luminous and magnificent of modern commentaries. The whole galaxy of leaders of our freedom movement were influenced by the Gita.

What is the reason for this extraordinary popularity of the Gita and its relevance to modern times? As I see it, there are four main reasons why the Gita is so tremendously significant and relevant in this age, and why it is the best known of the Hindu scriptures along with the Bible and the Quran, one of the three most influential religious texts in the history of mankind. The first reason is that the Gita is born in a situation of conflict – in the very midst of the great Kuruksetra war. Both the armies are drawn up, the flight of missiles has begun, the conchshells have sounded, the clamour of war is tumultuous and the hearts of the participants are torn by the conflict. It is then that the Gita teaching comes to Gita is a scripture of conflict, whereas the Upanisads are set in a very calm and peaceful atmosphere.

Let us remember that Kuruksetra is not only a plain in Haryana. The outer Kuruksetra is still there, of course, but the inner Kuruksetra is within each one of us. It is within our psyche that the asuri and daivi powers are drawn up in array against each other, and it is within the heart of our consciousness that this battle has constantly to be fought.

Today, with the world poised on the brink of a mighty conflagration, it is a Kuruksetra situation and the Gita, a sahgharsa sastra (scripture of conflict), is what mankind requires, a stirring call to arms, not for personal aggrandizement, not even for national glory, but for the deeper, more difficult task of becoming an instrument of the divine will, a warrior for the divine cause, a fighter for the divine consciousness. That is the battle to which Sri Krishna calls us, and that is why man today, torn as he is in a situation of conflict, responds to the message of the Gita.

The second reason for the importance and relevance of the Gita lies in the divine personality of the teacher. Every scripture has its guru, its acarya. The Mundaka Upanisad has Angiras, the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad has Yajnavalkya, and other seers and rsis are there. But in the Bhagavad-Gita it is the divine Lord Himself disguised in a human form who is talking to us. Sri Krishna can be looked upon in many different ways. In one view, he is the personification of the Brahman, the great power which, shining, causes everything else to shine, which illuminates everything that exists – tam eva bhantam anubhati sarvam, tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati (everything shines only after that shining light, his shining illumines all this world). In the Eleventh Chapter of the Gita, he appears in his great viratasvarupa in which everything that exists is to be found, and by the glory of which Arjuna is dazzled, as if a thousand suns had risen together upon the horizon.And yet this very Krishna comes before us in the Gita as a charioteer, as a guide, as one holding the reins of the chariot. We have God himself descended in the forms of the divine charioteer, and that is why when Sri Krishna speaks he does so with absolute and overriding authority, not simply from the human standpoint but from the divine.

That is why the Gita is so significant, because it personalizes the Parabrahman (the highest god-consciousness of the Upanisads). The Upanisads say: Sarvam khalv idam brahma (all this is Brahman); the Gita says: Vasudevah sarvam iti (all this is Vasudevah, the supreme). So in the Gita the figure of Sri Krishna personifies that divine splendour and power which is described so beautifully in the Upanisads, and that is why it has a unique impact upon our minds and hearts.The third reason for the Gita's special importance lies in the relationship between the guru and the sisya. In the Hindu tradition this is a very intimate relationship. In the Upanisads the guru uses the term saumaya for disciple, meaning 'dearly beloved'; he looks upon the disciples as even more close to him than his own sons, because whereas the father only gives physical life the guru makes real spiritual birth possible. But in the Bhagavad-Gita there is a closeness between Arjuna and Krishna which is not, as far as I am aware, to be found in any other scripture. One of the most moving verses of the Bhagavad-Gita is when Arjuna, after he sees the viratasvarupa, says to Sri Krishna: 'I bow to you, I prostrate myself before you, and I demand grace from you. Like a father to his son, like a friend to his dear friend, like a lover to his beloved, do thou bear with me.' Where else in the scriptures of the world would you get this composite relationship; the love between a father and a son, between a friend and a dear friend, between a lover and the beloved, all combined in the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna. That is what makes it so significant. It is a relationship of trust, faith and devotion. Krishna is urging his friend, not threatening him. At the end of his entire teachings, Krishna says to Arjuna: yathe 'cchasi tatha kuru (do as you please). He says, in effect: 'I am not forcing you, I am not threatening you, I am not cajoling you. You asked me a question and I have shown you the path. It is now your decision, you have to do what you like.

'It is this aspect of the Gita which makes the teaching so significant and attractive, specially for the younger generations, because the youth, not only in India but throughout the world, is not prepared to be bullied or badgered by the older generation, or to accept their claim to superior wisdom or knowledge or morality. However, if we guide them with love, if we are friends with them, then perhaps we can influence them more effectively.A fourth reason for the importance of the Gita is its universal applicability. The Gita as a doctrine does not confine itself to any particular creed. In the Tenth Chapter, Sri Krishna is very clear: 'In whichever way people approach me, as long as they do it with faith, I make that resolve firm.' What an amazing assertion this is! Hinduism does not generally wish to make converts, because it is aware that the divine Atman is residing in all beings. Who is it ultimately that it will convert? The universal applicability of the Gita and its wide, all-embracing doctrine is extremely important. It is not a narrow creed. Again and again Sri Krishna in the Gita says that, whatever faith one may have, ultimately that worship will come to him. That is why the Gita has such a great appeal not only to Hindus but to genuine spiritual seekers whatever religion they may belong to.Let us turn now to the content of the Gita. It is multifaceted and many-dimensional; a single sloka can be taken up and developed for days as has been done by many commentators. But, briefly, I will place before you four major aspects of the teachings of the Gita which I consider to be particularly significant. The first is the theory of correct action. I have said that the Gita is a sangharsa sastra and the problem in war is: what is to be done? Indeed, at any given point of time in our lives, whether we are students or in business or in politics or in any other field of life, the question always is: what is to be done, what is our kartavyam karma?This is the most difficult of all questions.

The Gita itself realizes this, and at one point Sri Krishna says: Gahana karmano gatih (Thick and tangled is the way of action). The theory of correct action in the Gita revolves around a single concept; that action should not be purely for selfish purposes, although the self is obviously involved; it should not be simply as a necessary evil, because we have to act. Action must be a positive, joyous, affirmative action, it must be an offering to the divine. This is the important point. It does not really matter what it is we are doing; what is important is the psychological and spiritual input into that action. In the Eighteenth Chapter there is a very important sloka which says that by worshipping through one's action, the divinity that pervades the entire cosmos man moves toward perfection.So there you have the answer. It has to be an action which is skilful, which is efficient, but which tries to avoid obsession, because obsessive action can easily become self-negating. If the action is detached, there is an inner freedom and inner dedication and you do not become obsessed. I have met so many people in my life, particularly in politics, people of great gifts; but they become so obsessed with their action and the result of the actions that ultimately they destroy themselves as human beings. We must have involvement without attachment and commitment without obsession. It is a very difficult path. Involvement we need, but without attachment. If you do not get involved, then you are evading your responsibility; but if you get attached, you are distorting your consciousness. Similarly commitment without obsession, that is the special type of action that the Gita gives us.There is a story about the building of the great Brhadisvara temple a thousand years ago by Raja Chola in Tanjavur, probably the most beautiful temple in India. The king one day decided to go and inspect the work; so he drove to the temple site, got out of his chariot and walked towards where this temple was being built.

He came across a man who was cutting stones, and he asked him: 'What are you doing?' The man said: 'Sir, I am cutting stones.' He went a little further, and there was another man who was doing the same thing. He said: 'What are you doing?' The man answered: 'Sir, I am earning a living.' He went further and came to a third person who was doing exactly the same thing. He asked: 'What are you doing?' He said: 'Sir, I am building a great temple.' Now you will see the difference in attitude. They were doing exactly the same thing, they were getting exactly the same wages. But the first man was mechanically performing a task, he had no greater consciousness. The second one had a slightly broader vision, he had the problem of his family and was earning for them. The third one was earning for his family certainly, but he had the broad vision that he was building a great temple to Lord Shiva. That illustrates what I mean by the theory of correct action. Whatever you may be doing, it does not really matter as long as you are doing it with inner dedication and devotion, and as long as you are using action itself as a powerful means of spiritual development. This is the first major teaching of the Gita, the theory of correct action.Secondly, there is the theory of an integrated yoga that the Gita places before us, the four yogas, the four paths to divine union – Jnana-yoga, the way of wisdom, of intellectual discrimination; Bhakti-yoga, the way of emotional outpouring towards a personalized image of the divine; Karma-yoga, the way of dedicated action; and Raja-yoga, the way of psychic discipline, of Pranayama, the discipline of breathing control, and the development of the kundalini sakti (serpent power) within us. These are the four main types of yogas that we have in our tradition, and for each there are scriptures which deal with various aspects.

Thus, for the Jnana-yoga we have the Upanisads; for the Karma-yoga we have the Karma-kanda; for the Bhakti-yoga we have the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Siva Purana and other Puranas; and for the Rajayoga we have Patanjali's Yoga-Sutras and other texts. But the Gita is unique in that, in the short compass of 700 slokas, it integrates these four yogas into a single, unified path.The Gita points out that it is no longer enough for us to follow only one of these paths. In the old days, if you were jnani you could go off into the mountains in Kashmir and sit there for the rest of your life meditating, but that is not good enough for the Kali-yuga. In the old days, if you were a bhakta, you could spend the whole of your life going around doing kirtan. If you were a Raja-yogi, you could sit in your-own asrama and develop your powers. If you were a Karma-yogi, you could wander around doing good deeds. But it is not enough now for us to be one of these; we have to be all four. Every individual has to develop his mind, his heart, his physical capacity and his inner spiritual power, and that is the important message of the Gita. It brings us to what Sri Aurobindo calls purnayoga, an integrated yoga. I am often asked about caste, and I say that whatever importance caste may have had at one time, today everyone of us has to have the gunas (qualities) of all the four castes. We need the knowledge and learning of the Brdhmana; the valour and patriotism of the Ksatriya; the commercial acumen and ability of the Vaisya; and the capacity for physical service and work of the Sudra. Each one of us has to combine these four qualities, if we are really to be able to move forward in this age of iron, the Kali-yuga.Thirdly, there is in the Gita a repeated reassurance of divine intervention.

You are familiar with the popular sloka where Sri Krishna says that from age to age, whenever unrighteousness flourishes and dharma is about to disappear, he will assume human form for the destruction of the evil-doers and re-establishment of the dharma. This is an assurance given to all humanity, and, if we read the Gita with an open mind and have faith in it and Sri Krishna, we must accept this assurance at its face value. It is not simply a bit of hyperbole in which he was indulging. Somebody introducing me to someone mentioned that I have been a minister. As you know, when a minister makes an assurance in the House, everybody holds him to it. I think today the time has come when we have got to ask Sri Krishna why he is not fulfilling the assurance that he gave us. Surely, if we need the divine, the divine also in some way needs us. Sri Krishna had the Sudarsana Cakra (thousand-spoked discus), he could have used it and finished the war himself. Why did he not do it? He also needed Arjuna, may be nimittamatram but he needed the nimitta; otherwise, he could not have won the war of Mahabharata, at least not in the way it was won.Perhaps this is a new thought that I am putting into your mind. If we need the divine, does the divine not need us? Does the supramental power, does the greater consciousness that is seeking to descend or to emerge not need active co-operation from us? I think it does, and I make bold to say that, as Sri Aurobindo puts it, without an aspiration from below there will not be an answering call from above. And that is why it is so important that we shun the attitudes of dejection, despair and negativism that one finds so often in India; people constantly bemoaning and bewailing their lot and saying that the country is going to the dogs and that everything is breaking down. It is no use moaning and groaning like that, it will get us nowhere. We have to arise and be ready to fight the battle of existence.

If our lives end before it is completed, so what? We had had thousands of lives before, and we will have thousands more. The Atman, as the Gita says, cannot be burnt, cannot be cut, cannot be drowned, cannot be cleaved. But we must have faith; faith in our own inner capacity and in the assurance of no less a person than Sri Krishna.I have spoken of the theory of correct action, of the integration of the four yogas, the four paths to spiritual development, of the repeated assurance of divine intervention. Finally, we come to the Gita's gospel of total surrender to the divine. Ultimately, at the end of the entire discourse, after Sri Krishna has said yathe 'cchhasi tatha kuru, once again he speaks; without a question this time, he speaks on his own. All the rest of his speeches were in response to questions from Arjuna, but the last statement of Sri Krishna is suo moto. And he says: Sarvadharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tva sarvapapebhyo moksaisyami ma sucah. What a beautiful sloka this is!What is dharma? Dharma comes from the root dhr, that which supports. in the final analysis, what is it that supports human consciousness? It is not wealth, it is not position, it is not political power, howsoever important these may appear to us. Ultimately, it is the divine consciousness that supports us, that supports our very existence. Therefore, Sri Krishna urges us to give up all other supports and come alone to him. Sri Krishna speaking as the divine himself says...'l will free you from all sins. Do not fear' – ma sucah. How much love there is in those two words 'fear not'. When a child is to go into a dark room with the parent behind, the parent says: 'Do not be afraid, I am here; go ahead.' These words ma sucah in a way sum up the entire message of the Gita. Let us not be afraid, and let us give up all lesser supports so that ultimately we get the one true support, the only thing that can support the growth and development of the higher consciousness, the grace of the divine.

Sri Krishna's flute is still playing in Vrndavana. We may not be able to hear it because our ears are so full of the clamour and noise of daily living, and the conflicts and the tensions around us, but it is still playing. And Sri Krishna is still there as the charioteer riding with us in our own higher consciousness. We do not have to back to Kuruksetra, we do not have to go back to Arjuna. Sri Krishna is with us always, provided we have ears to listen, provided we have eyes to see, provided we do not get totally blinded and deafened by the outer material conflicts which surround us. The outer is also important, but ultimately it is he whose inner consciousness is firmly centred in the divine alone will be able to meet the conflicts that lie ahead.The conflicts are there. There is no easy path to greatness or to spiritual realization, either individual or collective. We must always remember the Vedic exhortation: Caraiveti, Caraiveti (Move on, Move on). Imagine human consciousness as a great current that is flowing down through the dark channels of time. If we do not swim upwards against the stream, we will be carried down to the rapids and the waterfalls below. There can be no standing still for man. Man is a transitional being, half way between the animal and the divine. Man's destiny is to move onwards to the next stage of evolution, for then only can our divine nature be fully developed. But, in order to move upwards, we have to struggle. If we have faith and reverence, then, with the sound of the divine flute echoing in our ears and the voice of the divine charioteer resounding in our hearts, we can move resolutely onwards towards the divine destiny that awaits us. That, in essence, is the message of the Gita.

- Dr. Karan Singh

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I have a problem with the quote attributed to Einstein.


Where is a story of creation in the Gita that left him feeling everything was superflous? I do not even understand what that means.


Einstein was born a Jew and from sometime during his teens, he remained largely atheistic. So I am highly doubtful if he indeed made such a statement. At least, I am sure there is no record in his biography indicating interest in any aspect of Hinduism.



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  • 2 weeks later...

For those interested I found this while reading the small book:

Beyond Birth and Death, by Srila Prabhupada, Chapter 4, Fourth last paragraph.



Bhagavad Gita is recognized and accepted as scripture by all classes of men in India, and as far as outside India is concerned, many scholars, theologians, and philosophers accept Bhagavad Gita as a great, authoritative work. There is no question that Bhagavad Gita is authority. Even Professor Albert Einstein, such a scientist, read Bhagavad Gita regularly.

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For those interested I found this while reading the small book:

Beyond Birth and Death, by Srila Prabhupada, Chapter 4, Fourth last paragraph.


is that really true, is there any evidence



btw that was a really good post

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is that really true, is there any evidence

I do not know of any evidence. But considering that Einstein was a very learned and well read man, it may not be too much conjecture that he was familiar with the Bhagavad-Gita.

As Srila Prabhupada is saying, the Bhagavad-Gita is a very authoritative work.

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Letter to: Janardana


Los Angeles

2 March, 1969



My Dear Janardana,


Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter, undated. It is a very long letter and, as you have written it in two months, perhaps I'll also require similar time to reply to this letter. On Monday I am going to Hawaii at least for a month, and there I shall try to read your letter very peacefully, and maybe I'll be able to reply in great detail.


In the meantime, I may inform you that your newspaper cutting, ``Non-Christian Unity Ruled Out,'' is not very surprising. Religious bigotry is one of the strong material symptoms, therefore, in the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said dharma projhita. This means that the idea of religiosity, economic development, sense-gratification, and endeavors for merging into the impersonal absolute are the different activities for the materialist person. Leaving aside the too grossly materialistic persons, who are without any moral principles or social conventions, if we take the right type of civilized man, then we find that he is engaged in some type of religious principle. It doesn't matter if he is Christian, Moslem or Jew, the symptom of a civilized man is that he must have the recognition of religious principles; that is required for civilized man. But generally men take to religious principles for economic development. Just like in the Christian religiosity the prayers for solving the economic problem or bread problem.


Similarly, in the Vedic rituals also different methods of sacrifices are recommended for pleasing the demigods so that they will supply quantity of rain and there will be enough grain for eating. In this way, religious principles are generally practiced by men for some economic development.

In this modern age, people being scientifically advanced, they seek economic development without any reference to worship of God or following any religious principle. So such people are gradually forgetting their eternal relationship with God because they think that without God they can inquire sufficient progress in economic development which is required for sense gratification. Some of them, when they are frustrated, try thinking of voidness or merging into the impersonal absolute truth. So voidness or impersonal idea of the absolute truth is just an opposite of material variegatedness. So this idea can also be accepted as the material concept of transcendence. So things are going on like this, not only now, but it is the nature of the material world.


Therefore, the Srimad-Bhagavatam has used the suitable word, dharma projhita. That means to kick out the so-called religious principles, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation. According to Bhagavata, these are all cheating processes, because by following such processes, the living entity can never be happy. Such principles in different forms according to different circumstances of candidate, place, and time, they are simply cheating formulas. So our Krishna Consciousness movement does not belong to any such cheating process. They are cheating processes in the sense that the basic principle is for economic development, and if it is simply for solving the problem of bread, it is not true religion as described by Srimad-Bhagavatam. Even if the living entity is born with a silver spoon in his mouth he will not be happy so such plans for economic development are simply cheating processes. Therefore, the great rishis in the forest Naimisaranya inquired of the great sage, Suta Goswami, ``How can the living entities actually be happy?'' Srimad-Bhagavatam answers this question that the top-most super-excellent religious principle is that which following, the protagonist becomes a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without any motive and without being checked by any material impediments. That will make a person completely satisfied, and that is our process. We are educated people how they can develop their dormant love of the Supreme Lord without being impaired by any material condition.


We should train our disciples as well as ourselves in such a spirit that even if the whole world is against us, which is impossible to happen, the Sankirtana Movement must be pushed on without any reference to archeological evidence or any such scientific advancement of knowledge. Besides that, the argument that archeological evidence will lead many people to accept the philosophy of Lord Caitanya has no evidence. For example, the Christian religion principle is now established in archeological evidence, but still it is not that the whole people of the world are attracted by Christian religion. Even a great scientist, Professor Albert Einstein, was Jewish by religion, but because the Christian religion gives evidential proof of archeological discovery, still he did not become a Christian. No religion or no principle is accepted by the whole world; that is a fact. I can give you a statement of Albert Einstein in which he says ``The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is in the sensation of the mystical. It is a shower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, he who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is revealed in the comprehensible universe forms my idea of God.''


I think that our Hare Krishna Movement is just following the same concept of God by awakening the dormant transcendental emotion of the human being without any consideration of religious faith. In our camp all of my disciples are coming from different faiths, mostly Christians or Jews, and why are they accepting this Sankirtana Movement, unless there is the awakening of mystical emotion described by a great scientist like Albert Einstein.


If somebody does not accept Caitanya Mahaprabhu for want of archeological evidence, it will not hamper our movement. There is sufficient archeological evidence in this connection, and it can be supplied from various sources which are in India. There is even archeological evidence of Vyasadeva which was recently propounded by one Dr. Cakravarti. I personally saw this in a monthly magazine of Calcutta of the name Mother in which I was giving my articles. If you like, you can inquire from them or such institutes as Caitanya Research Institute, started by my godbrother, Tirtha Maharaja. That is not a very difficult task.


Actually we have nothing to do with compromising with Christians or Buddhists. Our principles should be to preach Krishna Consciousness as it is spoken in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. As we are now collecting some fortunate students in our movement, similarly, it will be possible to collect more students in the future. But it is a fact that the unfortunate persons who stick to the four material misbehaviors, just like illicit sex life, etc. cannot accept these principles of Krishna Consciousness. But still there is chance for them simply by giving aural reception to this transcendental sound of Hare Krishna Mantra. If we turn our attention to fit with the Christian people, or any other religious sect, I think it will not be very much fruitful because nobody will change his faith even though he is given scientific or archeological evidences. And that will also not help anybody. We have already discussed this point in many articles and change in religious faith does not make one advanced in spiritual understanding. The spiritual understanding as taught by Lord Caitanya is that all living entities are eternally servants of God. We have to propagate this philosophy, and for this we have to make propaganda. Every religion believes in God, and we want that everyone should actively come to this understanding of accepting one's eternal servitorship to God.


There are many things to criticize in the matter of any faith, and if we divert our attention to such activities we shall simply create more opposite elements and waste our time. Better if we try to push on this Krishna Consciousness Movement and use our energy, education, scientific knowledge, etc. to simply convince the present generation that everyone is servant of God. Then our mission will be successful. Actually at the present moment, never mind if one is Christian, Jew, or Moslem, most people are Godless and don't care for God. They simply take an official stand, but actually, from the depth of their heart they have no idea what is God. So we have to invoke the dormant understanding of God-consciousness; that is the principle of Krishna Consciousness Movement.


If a Christian believes in God let him love God prominently rather than loving matter. If we wish to criticize Christian faith we can do so, and we can prove that hardly there are any sincere Christians. In the ten commandments we see Lord Jesus Christ advised ``Thou shalt not kill,'' but this killing process is still prominent among Christians as well as any other religious group. So much so that it is simply horrible. Recently, the head of the Christian people, the Pope, declined to sanction the killing process in the embryo, namely contraceptive methods. We can see that so many Christians revolted. Apart from this killing process within the embryo, there is also killing process in the slaughterhouse and in so many ways. I do not know how a Christian can violate this important commandment of the Bible, ``Thou shalt not kill.'' So in this way, if we want to criticize we can, but it will simply increase our enemies. Better let us try to invoke the dormant transcendental emotion by chanting and dancing.


You try to understand this philosophy more seriously, and as you are able try to write articles on this subject matter without being inclined to compromise with any other religious faith. I shall write you again from Hawaii. In the meantime you can let me know if you have got the manuscript from Rayarama, and reply to this letter to the Hawaii address: ISKCON, 4 Leilani Building, 1649 Kapialani Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii. Enclosed is a page of poems by Bhaktivinode Thakura to be translated into French and printed in your magazine. I hope this will meet you in good health.


Your ever well-wisher,


A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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I can give you a statement of Albert Einstein in which he says ``The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is in the sensation of the mystical. It is a shower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, he who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is revealed in the comprehensible universe forms my idea of God.''


I think that our Hare Krishna Movement is just following the same concept of God by awakening the dormant transcendental emotion of the human being without any consideration of religious faith.

Good investigating gHari;)

And... nice letter.

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I have a problem with the quote attributed to Einstein.


Where is a story of creation in the Gita that left him feeling everything was superflous? I do not even understand what that means.


Einstein was born a Jew and from sometime during his teens, he remained largely atheistic. So I am highly doubtful if he indeed made such a statement. At least, I am sure there is no record in his biography indicating interest in any aspect of Hinduism.



If I were you, I would not be that sure.



I have seen several hinduism related quotes attributed to einstein. It would be interesting to find out if any of them are real or not.

From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein#Religious_views


Einstein's writings on religion are frequently associated with pantheism, a non-religious spirituality that regards the natural world as definitionally equivalent to God, and deism, a natural religion that has become identified with the belief that God created the universe but does not intervene in the world. [4] Although he was raised Jewish, he was not a believer in the religious aspect of Judaism, though he still considered himself an ethnic Jew.


He also said (in an essay reprinted in Living Philosophies, vol. 13, 1931): "A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and this [sense] alone, I am a deeply religious man."


The following is a response made to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the International Synagogue in New York which read, "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." After being pressed on his religious views by Martin Buber, Einstein exclaimed, "What we [physicists] strive for is just to draw His lines after Him." He also quoted once"When I read the Bhagavad Gita, I ask myself how God created the universe. Everything else seems superfluous." Summarizing his religious beliefs, he once said: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."


Einstein was an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist PressAssociationEthical Culture.<sup id="ref_ethicalculture.1"><small>14</small></sup> beginning in 1934, and was an admirer of Ethical Culture.<sup id="ref_ethicalculture.1"><small>14</small></sup>


Political views




Einstein considered himself a pacifist<sup id="ref_www.amnh.org.382"><small>15</small></sup> and humanitarian,<sup id="ref_www.amnh.org.383"><small>16</small></sup> and in later years, a committed democratic socialist. He once said, "I believe Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence for fighting for our cause, but by non-participation of anything you believe is evil."

Hari bol

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Some quotes from wikipedia about Gita:



  • "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous." - Albert Einstein
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind and soul to pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses."
  • "When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day." -Mahatma Gandhi
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." - Dr. Albert Schweizer
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity." - Aldous Huxley
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." - Aurobindo
  • "The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states..." behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant." - Carl Jung
  • "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial." - Henry David Thoreau
  • "The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of lifes wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion." - Herman Hesse
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe." - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
  • "I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita is an empire of thought and in its philosophical teachings Krishna has all the attributes of the full-fledged montheistic deity and at the same time the attributes of the Upanisadic absolute." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it." - Rudolph Steiner
  • "From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures." - Adi Sankara
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaisnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord." - Swami Prabhupada
  • "The secret of karma yoga which is to perform actions without any fruitive desires is taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita." - Vivekananda
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishnas primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual developement, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity." - Ramanuja
  • "From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures." - Adi Sankara
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