The Essence of Bagawath Geetha.

This summary was written in 1998, more than 20 years ago, when I was just a beginner in the studies on Vedic Philosophy. Recently one of our readers requested this summary be available online. It is my pleasure to present this summary with a few edits thanks to further education and learning in the past two decades. Enjoy the reading! Post comments or feed back as you see needed. Best wishes to all.

  1. It is the law of nature that everyone and everything in the Universe is constantly involved in activities of one kind or another.
  2. Activities may be momentary in nature or may involve lifelong pursuit. “What is the proper or appropriate manner to participate in any and all activities?” – This is the question raised by any person seeking enlightened living.
  3. Every activity occurs due to the confluence of five aspects or considerations: (a) The objective, reason or purpose of the activity (b) the persons involved (c) means or circumstances (d) impact or consequences and (e) the laws of nature or the Divine influence.
  4. Without recognizing these five aspects anyone who believes that he/she alone is responsible for any activity is lacking in wisdom. Such partial or self-centered view on anything is described as “ego”!
  5. Consideration of all these five aspects in any and all activities is enabled through reflection, analysis or contemplation within oneself. This process of internal reflection or assessment regarding the activities of life is called “Self-Control”. It is also described as the union with the “Self” (Yoga).
  6. Through internal reflection or Self-Control, a person remains his/her own best friend. In the absence of such Self-Control, a person remains his/her own worst enemy.
  7. Our participation in any and all activities involves one of three attributes or Equilibrium states: (a) Tranquility: Analytical, reflective or contemplative (b) Turbulence: Impulsive, emotional or based on wants and needs, (c) Passive submission: Lack of both analysis and emotional attachments and largely based on Inertia, illusion, and ignorance.
  8. It is the law of nature that our body, mind and intelligence is connected to everything external through three connectors like three wires or ropes (Guna). These three connectors are Knowledge, Partial Knowledge (Bias) and Ignorance. While all three co-exist, one of these connectors dominates the other two, setting up three equilibrium states: Tranquility (Sathvikam), Turbulence (Rajasam) and Inertia (Thamasam). There is no activity or experience which is free from one of these three equilibrium states, arising out of nature.
  9. Tranquility leads to wisdom, understanding, illumination or clarity. Happiness derived from Contentment is associated with tranquility.  Tranquility permits transition from one activity to another with ease and with a clear comprehension of why such transition is needed.  Thus a tranquil attribute at the time of crisis or transition transforms a person to a higher plane or higher level of performance.
  10. Turbulence is rooted in excessive desires or passion arising out of the needs and wants of a person. Turbulence leads to unsatisfied needs and wants, which in turn leads to initiation of countless other activities, unease and lack of contentment and longing without satisfaction. At the time of crisis or transition from one activity to another, turbulence merely compounds the increased level of activity, confusion and chaos. The result of turbulent approach to activity is sorrow.
  11. Passive submission is due to the lack of a sense of purpose or direction.  This inertia, indecision or procrastination shrouds the knowledge and understanding. Such dominance of ignorance leads to association with activities based on illusion.
  12. Through tranquility arises the WISDOM through which one can perceive the same and changeless presence of the laws of nature (Divine presence) in every aspect and beings of the world.
  13. Turbulence or agitated approach to activities, through attachments of various kinds leads to notions of separation or division of various kinds. This results in the kind of wisdom which sees many divided perceptions, even though the same laws of nature are at work.
  14. The wisdom that leads to unalterable attachments to one or few activities, object or effect, as if  it  were the whole of life, ignoring the true realities and narrowness of  its scope is declared to be born of ignorance or darkness.
  15. Tranquil mind leads to REASONING that helps to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate activities, as well as between bondage and liberation. Agitated mind leads to discrimination between right and wrong with a logic or reasoning which is flawed or influenced by one’s wants and needs or attachments. Through lack of understanding whatsoever, the reasoning which leads one to conclude inappropriate activities as appropriate and everything else in reverse is due to ignorance or darkness (like being blind folded).
  16. Tranquil nature leads to CONSISTENCY or stability in the control of the mind, life processes and in the enlightened pursuit of the activities of life. Turbulence leads to a stability which constantly relies upon one’s wants and needs as the sole purpose of any activity. The foolish dependency through which one constantly falls back to sleep, fear, grief, dejection and passion is described as the consistency associated with inertia or ignorant approach to activities.
  17. The experience which appears like poison in the beginning but transforms into nectar in the end, that pleasure of transformation is associated with the HAPPINESS of the tranquil approach. Such happiness is derived from the purity or clarity of the mind and its power of reasoning within oneself. The Happiness which begins as nectar, but slowly transforms into poison (due to the inability to satisfy one’s increasing desires or needs and wants) is associated with turbulent approach. The happiness which at the beginning as well as in its continuation is deceitful to one’s own self and leads to lack of direction, such pleasure is associated with ignorance or passive submission.
  18. Through the process of  Self Control, an individual can dissect every activity into segments until each segment of activity can be identified with its  associated attribute or equilibrium state (Gunathvam).
  19. In order to identify the dominant attribute, it is necessary for a person to develop a frame of mind that evaluates all the three approaches as equal in merit. This requires Objectivity and non-attachment.
  20. Constant internal reflection of all the five aspects associated with any activity with a frame of mind that treats all the three attributes or approaches with equal value is called “Total Self Control” (Sagunathvam).
  21. Such “Total Self Control” brings with it a clarity or understanding of the cause and effect associated with activities. The enlightened understanding leads one to see all activities as the ebb and flow of tides on the surface, resting on the deep ocean which is invisible, calm and merely exists! The ebb and flow of life and its activities are caused by laws of nature, which are universal and omnipresent (Brahman) like the deep ocean supporting all the tidal waves on the surface!
  22. It also brings with it an objective frame of mind that treats all opposites as equals. For example one does not see the difference between one wave and another in the ocean; one also does not see the difference between the crest and the bottom of the wave, as all parts of the wave are composed of same water. Such frame of mind treats opposites such as love/ hate, happiness/sorrow, like/dislike, pleasure/pain, rich/poor, etc. with equal regard. It is the same frame of mind that sees commonality in all perceived differences such as race, religion, gender, color, creed, nationality, etc.
  23. Such a person of “Total Self Control” remains steady and unaffected by any and all aspects of life and its activities. Such steadiness and stability (Nirgunathvam) is analogous to a person who cannot be harmed by weapons, burned by fire, wet by water or swayed by the wind.
  24. A person of “Total Self Control” participates in all activities of life and yet remains unaffected by them. This is analogous to the gentle breeze, which spreads the fragrance all around and yet neither recognizes the fragrance, the act of spreading the fragrance or its effects. Such steadiness brings with it a value system that treats both a piece of gold and a piece of clay with equal regard, another example of objectivity and non-attachment.
  25. Such Enlightened participation in the activities of life (duty) is required of every individual. Withdrawal from appropriate activities or withdrawal due to fear or apprehension of results are both undesirable. The purpose of “Total Self Control” is not to become recluse or to withdraw from life and its activities.
  26. “Total Self Control” and the objectivity associated with it are best achieved when all activities are initiated with an objective which is externally focused and not self-centered. This is described as Unattached Active Participation.
  27. Such unattached participation brings with it a joy and purpose in life which has no equals. Those who recognize this unique mode of participation in life and its activities enjoy life to the fullest extent.
  28. When an individual conducts his/her life with “Total self-control and unattached active participation”, for those moments, the person is in union with the highest form of enlightened existence or the conceptual state of “Brahman”.

May all manner of existence in life be dedicated to Total Self Control and Unattached Active Participation.


Dec. 2, 1998.

Revised: July 24, 2021.

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