(Understandings from Swami Mitrananda’s talk to Yuva Veers of Youth Empowerment Program 6th batch)
Bhagavad Gita kinchidadheeta, ganga jalalava kanikapeeta
Sakrudapi yena muraari samarcha, kriyate tasya yamena na charcha || 20 ||
Meaning: If one studies even a little part of Bhagavad Gita, drinks a droplet of river Ganga, even once worship Lord Murari (Krishna); then that person does not have to negotiate with Yama (the Lord of Death).
Bhagavad Gita carries the essence of all Upanishads. Arjuna represents the state of mind of a common individual who has all the capacities but is unable to use it at the right time due to his confused perception of the world. When Arjuna was dejected and was thinking of not fighting the war, Krishna could have boosted him up saying, “Come on Arjuna…get up. I’m with you. We are going to win this war. Fight.” Even if Krishna would have said these words, Arjuna would have fought because he had that much faith in Krishna. But instead of saying this, why did Krishna give 700 verses in 18 chapters? Krishna wanted Arjuna to have the Knowledge so that Arjuna get stand on his own and fight the challenges he faces instead of always looking out for Krishna’s help. Bhagavad Gita has that Knowledge which can transform even the weakest person into a dynamo. If we study thoroughly, even a few verses of Bhagavad Gita, and live our life accordingly, our lives would be transformed.
River Ganga, in our culture, represents Knowledge. It originates in the Himalayas but comes down to the plains and everyone is benefitted by her. The peculiarity of Ganga is that she is ever perennial and totally unstoppable. Since she doesn’t stagnate at any point, she remains pure. Keeping this purity in mind, devotees go and take a dip in river Ganga to purify themselves. Actually speaking, river Ganga does not have any mystical powers of removing the sins. But, when a person goes to take a dip in river Ganga with the thoughts that he has lived a life of self-centeredness till this time; however, now he has become a resolute and is no longer going to lead such a dreadful life; that firm determination cleanses his mind and it is no longer impure. He drinks the water which symbolizes that he is drinking Knowledge and his heart is purified.
When a seeker, who has been constantly trying to realize God but unable to achieve That state, finally goes to God crying out in frustration, “Oh God! All my life I’ve lived in utter selfishness and now I’m asking you to bestow Your Grace upon me. I know that I don’t deserve what I’m asking for but still I beg for Your kind grace and let me know Thy true nature. I’m tired and fed up of living such a miserable life.” After such a sincere confession, the seeker experiences an indescribable peace in his heart.
Once a seeker has performed the above three (study of Bhagavad Gita, taking a strong resolution and sincere confession to the Lord), he is ready to face any challenge in this world. He has then achieved strength where even if Death stares at him in his face, he wouldn’t be scared.