Srimad Bhagavad Gita is probably the most well known and widely studied of the ancient Vedic texts. The virtues of this holy text have been appreciated by writers, philosophers, scientists, and religionists alike the world over. Although Bhagavad Gita was first recorded in writing over 5,000 years ago, the truths which are discussed therein are so universal and timeless in their reach that the text remains as relevant today as it did then.
Broadly speaking, Bhagavad Gita is a treatise on yoga, the means by which a soul may transcend their mortal experience and realize the Divine. With an understanding of the eternality of the soul as its foundational teaching, Bhagavad Gita proceeds to discuss the different branches of yoga – karma yoga, the yoga of action, jnana-yoga, the yoga of knowledge, and bhakti-yoga, the yoga of devotion.
Bhakti, the path of devotion, the ultimate gift of Sri Gita, is a matter of the heart and does require any special physical or intellectual ability. Because of its apparent simplicity it is often overlooked or dismissed by scholars, and is thus sometimes referred to as a confidential path—only those blessed with deeper spiritual insight can recognise its value. Unlike other yoga paths which emphasise practices of negation—involving austerity, renunciation, and study—bhakti emphasises the positive side: connecting to our divine source through practices of devotion such as chanting, offering, and worship. By increasing our attraction to the positive side, our attachment to lower things of the worldly plane will naturally leave us.