Bhagavadgita and Contemporary Crisis
Bhagavadgita has this uniqueness that, unlike other great religious books of the world, it does not stand apart as a work by itself. It is given as an episode in an epic history of India and of a great war fought in it. This episode focuses on a critical moment in the soul of one of the leading personages of this epic history, Mahabharata. It is also a moment of the crowning action of his life, where he faces a work which is terrible, violent and sanguinary. And he is confronted with a critical choice when he must either recoil from it altogether or carry it through to its inexorable execution. The criticality of the situation forces this great leader, Arjuna, to raise some of the deepest questions that compel an answer at the deepest level. The answer that we find in the Bhagavadgita is, therefore, important not merely in the light of general philosophy or ethical doctrine, but it has also a bearing upon a practical crisis and the application of the highest knowledge to human life.
The reason why the Bhagavadgita reads almost as fresh and still in its real substance even today as ever is because it is directly connected with the questions of highest importance in human life and attempts to apply the most absolute and integral realisation to the outer actualities of man’s life and action. The relevance of the Gita has been in a sense perennial right from the time it first appeared or was written into the frame of the Mahabharata. But