For a few minutes every morning, before I hike, I clear my mind in silent meditation.
I then read a few verses of the ♥ Bhagavad Gita. ♥ (see footnote)
I consider the Gita a universal, philosophical view of the reality that’s out there beyond what we can see and touch.
Call this reality God. Or even not-God if you are so inclined.
After all, there is only one reality, no matter what you want to call it.
Even if you are an atheist, you know there is reality beyond what we can see, hear and touch with our senses, even with our most advanced instruments.
The Gita is all about this reality, the Awe of Life and in the light of this, how to best live my life.
Reading any five verses of the Gita sets me right with the world for the rest of my day.
And that is all I can really be certain about — that I have this one moment, this one day. And it is the only choice I have of how to live it — right now.
The Gita is not history; but allegory. So the characters are only representations of spiritual points of view.
I’ve pasted those five verses below.
The character speaking is Krishna, the character representing Divine Presence. He’s that “still small voice” we hear when we are perfectly still and have emptied our minds of all other ideas.
It’s like Psalm 46: “Be still and know that I am God.”
With your mind intent on me. Discipline yourself. Depend on me completely.
Listen, and I will dispel all your doubts. You will come to know me fully and be united with me.
I will give you both knowledge and wisdom. When both these are realized, there is nothing more you need to know.
One person in many thousands may seek perfection, yet of these only a few reach the goal and come to realize me.
Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, and ego — these are the eight divisions of my world.
But beyond this, I have another, higher nature. It supports the whole universe and is the source of life in all beings.
I carry these words in my heart as I step off on my daily hike. Not that I am able to stay aware of them while hiking, just that daily they pile up deep inside and hopefully turn me gradually into a nicer person.
Now, understand, I am not a Hindu. Nor a Buddhist.
I am a Christian. My faith has pulled me through many stressful situations. And I have followed Jesus’ teaching the best an old geezer like me is able to do.
Mahatma Gandhi said the Gita was his moral compass. I consider it much the same, for it is a practical way for me to grasp know how to put good in my daily life.
More than even the beautiful poetic words of Saint Paul and the Psalms I love so much.
Then too, I find the Gita, the same as Gandhi says, that it can hardly leave me a miserable wretch if I try following its advice.
So far, that has kept me from becoming much of a miserable wretch.
I thought today’s verses were interesting enough that I’d share them.
(I’ve read several translations of the Bhagavad Gita, but I prefer the one by Eknath Easwaran, who was himself introduced to the Gita by Mahatma Gandhi while doing graduate studies in India. Ecknath is down to earth and clear in both his translation and his commentary. So this is the one I am quoting above.)
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