The teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita have been guiding the lives of many for ages. Bhagavad Gita is part of the great epic, “Mahabharata” written by Ved Vyasa, and contains eighteen chapters. This post brings you 10 important teachings of Lord Krishna that are considered the gist of the holy book of the Hindus.
Table of Contents
Teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita – The Context
The teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita start from verse number 11 of the second chapter. The first chapter just shows the anxiety of Dhritarashtra, Duryodhana, and Arjuna. Arjuna puts down his bow saying he won’t fight his relatives as it will bring destruction upon everyone in the world. Lord Krishna then teaches divine knowledge to Arjuna so that he can fight his opponents. This knowledge is called song of the God, hence the name “Bhagavad Gita”.
1. Soul is Eternal; Neither Takes Birth nor Dies
This heading is the gist of the Bhagavad Gita. The main and most important teachings of Lord Krishna relate to the soul and Karma. Lord Krishna said that the body is not real. It is alive as long as you, as a soul, inhabit it.
A soul cannot be created or destroyed. It is stuck in the cycle of rebirth until it realizes God and becomes one with Him. In the process, it takes up different bodies and discards them when they’re no longer useful.
2. Fulfill your Duties without Attachment to the Fruits Thereof
According to the teachings of Lord Krishna, a person is said to be a Yogi if they fulfill their duties without any sort of attachment to the outcomes of such duties. Duties can be said to be the dharma of a person. No specific literature states these duties, but you may get an idea if you read the duties of a householder. If it is a person’s duty to fight, he must fight and in doing so, they do not accrue any sort of sin because they are simply following their dharma.
3. Teachings of Lord Krishna: Do Not Give in to Desires as They May Destroy You
Desires are not good when it comes to the realization of the soul and God. Desires create anger; anger creates delusion; delusion leads to confusion; and confusion leads to the destruction of intellect, which in turn, destroys your whole purpose of existence. According to the teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, a person who has control over senses is a real Karma Yogi because such a person stays calm during both pleasure and pain.
4. Actual Doer is God; Man is Just an Instrument
The wise know that it is God doing things and that a person is a mere instrument that God employs for His will. Such people perform actions without any attachment to the fruit of the actions and do not own their actions. In doing so, they do not attract any sins because they know that it is God acting and not them.
You may want to read the concept of sin in Hinduism to understand why they do not accrue any sin. Deluded people think it is they who are acting and end up miserable.
5. Whenever Dharma Declines, God Manifests Himself to Restore Balance Between Good and Evil
There comes a time in each yuga (era: there are four eras namely Sat Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga, and Kali Yuga) when the balance between dharma and adharma (good and evil) is disrupted. Every time dharma goes into decline, God manifests Himself to uphold and restore dharma (good).
6. Teachings of Lord Krishna: God is Everything and Everywhere
According to Lord Krishna, God is everything. People perform yajnas to please God. Sri Krishna says He is the yajna, He is the fire, He is the offering, and He is the receiver of the offerings. This is the Vedanta Philosophy where you see everything as being God.
Comment by the Author: Since you are a perceived God, you must learn compassion. Vedanta is a tough subject: theory is understandable but in real life, implementation of the philosophy is just impossible unless you have gained super consciousness.
7. Between Karma Yoga and Renunciation, Karma Yoga is Superior
According to the teachings of Lord Krishna, Karma Yoga and Renunciation of materialistic desires are the same. Renunciation is about leaving behind family and society and going into seclusion for praying or meditating on God. It has its own benefits as the person who renunciates everything isn’t bothered about feeding others.
Since a Karma Yogi fulfills the needs of many, while keeping his focus on God, he is superior when compared with renunciation. A person who goes about doing their work with the mind focused on God and without desires is too, a sanyasi.
Comment by the Author: When I say a Karma Yogi providing for others, I do not mean it is the person who provides things to others. It is God working through them and such a person never owns up the action and attributes everything to God.
8. Signs of A Karma Yogi
A Karma Yogi is one who lives in society, performs his duties, and yet is unaffected by things happening around him because his mind is focused on God. A Karma Yogi sees God wherever he goes and treats everyone equally. He does not think that he is the doer. He knows God is the ultimate provider and that he is a mere instrument used by God.
9. Treat Everyone Equally Because Everyone is Embodiment of God
Coming back to Vedanta philosophy, everything in this world and others is God. You should therefore practice equality towards everything and everyone. Be it a dog or a person that consumes dog meat, everyone must be treated equally. This also prevents the build-up of ego and the feeling of superiority in the person. Also, because of the law of Karma, what you give to others is what you get. Hence, practice compassion towards everything. Check out Love Thy Neighbor – The Hindu Viewpoint for details of how karma works.
10. Teachings of Lord Krishna in Gita: Worship Anyone, the Provider is God
People worship God in many forms and call Him by different names. Some people use idols, some use natural resources such as a river, some worship an invisible being, and others use symbols to worship. Know that the provider is God and He alone is the recipient of the offerings made to anything.
For example, a person worships an idol. The offering he makes to the idol goes to God. Likewise, the blessings from the idol come from God only.
This is also to state that there is only one God. All religions are similar and lead to the same God. The above 10 are the most important teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. You can also read the Bhagavad Gita Summary to understand them better.
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