25th Dec is celebrated the world over as Christmas. However, this year 25th Dec 2020 has an added glory. It is also Gita Jayanti according to the lunar calendar. It is the day, around 3000 BC, Gita was revealed to Arjuna by Sri Krishna. Apart from the profundity and beauty of the Gita in its meaning, one has to also pause and see the beauty of the setting.
Very often spirituality is associated with a calm and serene environment – beautiful mountains, valleys and rivers. The setting of the Gita is hugely different. It is at the heart of the battlefield where the dialogue is between Krishna the teacher and Arjuna the disciple. In the midst of battle when the martial music is on, the drums and bugles are blaring amidst the challenge to the opposing forces, Arjuna discovers existential issues and seeks a spiritual solution to it from Lord Krishna.
Krishna decides to teach him right then and there amidst the trumpeting elephants and the neighing of horses. Can you imagine the focus it took for the teacher and the student to be able to discuss and understand the highest truth of the Vedic wisdom? When we teach today, the honking of a passing car or the sound of children playing in the building compound is considered a disturbance. We try to keep the sounds out.
Whereas in the battlefield, one of the greatest teachers of the land and one of the greatest students in history, a warrior prince, discussed and understood the highest Vedantic truth. The subject matter of the Gita is too long to be discussed here but just the setting itself shows us that the truth can be accessed and understood even on a battlefield. If it can be done there it can be done anywhere in the world.
To know the truth, it does not matter what the environment is. You carry your environment within you. The more centred you are the easier it is to focus on what is really important. This is applicable not only for the truth but everything else in life as well.
(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org)