Amongst other things, I was introduced to Sangh, Yog, Meditation and Bhagvad Geeta in my early childhood by my parents, and encouraged by other relatives, teachers, saints and friends from time to time. We all consider ourselves the lucky ones. In some form or the other I participated and practised whatever I learned within the time constraints of being a student, a doctor and a family man.
When I reflect back, although I did not do it vigorously always, my practice was more or less continuous. If I learned something new within these areas I tried to incorporate it step by step and improved my spiritual practice.
Having initially taken on various responsibilities in Sangh Shakha I tried my best to carry them through until taking the medical responsibilities within Sangh/Hindu parivar. I am maintaining my interests in all the above subjects as I see them very relevant today.
Two years ago I went back to Nagpur to complete my third year OTC and I would like to recommend the same to all those who wish to do it. It was a worthwhile experience to be in presence of our senior adhikaris and to learn from the young teachers. Amongst others I had Dr Dwivediji from the USA and Shri Dattaji from the Kendriya Karyakarini within our group, as third year students. It was a spiritual experience of a different kind, in front of Dr Hedgewar and Shri Gurujis Smruti Mandir at Reshimbag, Nagpur. An unforgettable experience, as if they were amongst us!
A few weeks ago, we were at the 4th Vishwa Sangh Shibir near Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Having attended the previous three, in Banglore, Vadodara and Mumbai/Nagpur, I was quite used to the activities. The number increased every five years to over 500 participants from 32 countries this time. We were in excellent company of our adhikaris, prabandhaks and some very distinguished participants.
One thing that stood out for me was the copy of Yatharth Geeta. Everybody present was given a copy to take home by Shri Ashokji Singhal. I would like to recommend this holy book to all readers.
From 1990 we have an active Bhagvad Geeta study-group based at the Wellingborough Hindu Mandir and also a small Sangh Shakha nearby. Having read and discussed various translations of Geeta from different authors in different languages in last 16 years I could only satisfy my spiritual thirst to a great extent after page by page reading of Yatharth Geeta only in January/February 2006. It is the same message, yet very different due to its pure spiritual interpretation. Here are my humble observations about it, with due respect to the writer and publisher.
It is very easy to read in English, with Sanskrit moved to the footnote. The translation flows with the commentary and links between the subjects and chapters are well established. References to previous chapters link in so well that you hardly need to return to previous pages.
The emphasis is on spiritual war within rather than external war and violence.
For the first time, for me at least, the emphasis is not on castes etc but on steps of spiritual developments like initial (shudra), beginner (vaishya), advanced (kshatriya, fighting with the enemy within) and researcher (brahmin) before obtaining Moksha. There is now no place for debates on castes, upper or lower etc. The students of spirituality are somewhat similar to the students of other subjects: in primary, secondary, graduate, postgraduate and PhD. Of course, you are not likely to get a degree at the end but Moksha is assured if you pass at all levels. Even if you fail you start your next life at the level you already reached and not at the initial first stage, and there is no deadline or time limit!
Spiritual duties are defined as Karma (not any duty or activity). Moksha is the only goal and no rewards are to be expected in the spiritual journey. Other duties like studying, working, raising family etc will have their own rewards (or punishments) but this is not to be confused with spiritual progress.
Spiritual yajna is related to our own breathing in and out. Faith in one God, serving the divine teacher, and such fourteen steps to Moksha is considered true yajna. Every human has a right to perform this yajna, irrespective of colour, race, gender, faith, divine or devilish tendencies. This ark of knowledge will carry you safely across the river of all evils, even if you are the worst sinner!
Our body is like a garment. The soul discards the old body and adopts a new one just as we discard the old clothes for the new ones, but on a different time scale. Our bodies are temporary but souls are ever present and are all part of the same Supreme Being.
Yatharth Geeta describes, in detail, the dynamic OM meditation system that gives revelation, grace, peace, bliss etc by a steady and long practice. Geeta enables you to perceive and immerse within the Supreme Being in this mortal body during life, not after death. So the sooner we start yog and meditation, as a spiritual action, the better.
The key to understand Geeta is through an enlightened Guru, not just by intellectual discourses. Group activities, just like Mandir and symbols, are important though for initiating others on their own spiritual journey. A long journey has to start with the first step and one needs to make sure one is ready for it. Like Yogeshwar Krishna, Swami Adgadanandji assures us that any progress made on the spiritual path, as prescribed in Geeta, shall never be lost.
From my side I hope at least some of the readers will be able to call themselves Arjun with all the doubts removed, or may even be enlightened, after reading this excellent holy book. So Arjun, arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached. If I have to recommend one Geeta for all, I recommend Yatharth Geeta. Jai Shri Krishn!
Please forgive me if there are any errors in my interpretation. If I could be of any help, feel free to communicate with me also by email: balmbhala @yahoo.co.uk. Please visit the website for more information: www.yatharthgeeta.com