Like algebraic thinking, Gita thinking requires skill sets of recognizing patterns and developing generalizations but this is for humans, for God already has that knowledge of all, past, present and future, He gave us Gita by incorporating all His patterns in the form of generalizations. We, mortals, need not think, suffice it to identify the patterns and generalizations and act accordingly.
Let us explore the effects and non-effects of changing gods’ names forms rituals and practices. Supposing a person converts his religion, without coercion or inducements, of his own free will because of the superiority of religion, what are the changes? Only the externals changes. The form changes. The name changes. The rituals change. Practices changes. But the core essence is he continues to pray to the supreme person, supreme imperishable. His god of earlier faith will not punish him, nor will his god of present faith become endeared or bestow special favour, because both the entities are the same. The truth remains the same. Only perceptions have changed. The object of worship or the person being worshipped is the same, only the inconsequentials have changed
There are many religions and sub religions. It is fairly consensual that God is one and omnipotent. Who is that God? And what do you call Him/ and how do you propitiate Him are the points of disagreement. Even within a religion, there are innumerable practices each contradicting and in conflict within the sub-sects and also other religions. Let us proceed from the point of common consensus. It is a rule rather than an exception that people either tend to have a bias towards some religion, theirs or adopted or bias towards atheism or agnosticism. With inherent bias, it is very difficult to see the truth, howsoever in plain sight it is. When judging, it is necessary to overcome this bias. It is easier said than done. So, to make it easier, I suggest that wherever the scripture or Gita is mentioned, the same may be designated as a variable ‘S’ and wherever God or Krishna is referenced, it is denoted by the variable ‘G’
- The risk which we have to be aware of when using analogous reasoning.
- Mistaking temporary for permanent and vice versa.
- Money, wealth, fame, etc. pursued even though temporary.
- Spiritual pursuit relegated to the background, even though permanent.
- Mistaking path for destination and vice versa.
- Reaching God is the destination.
- People mistake God as a means to fulfill desire rather than an end in itself.
- Mistaking performance of rituals, attiring as prescribed, and other externals as the destination.
- They are means or paths to God, not an end by itself.
- Your proficiency in rituals or other acts need not necessarily mean you are nearer to the destination or you are superior to others.
- Proficiency therein, need not necessarily mean higher plane of evolvement in spirituality.
- Confusing the path to be the only Path.
- This thing is built into the psyche of most of the people of all religions.
- They believe only their God is ispo facto true and others are worshipping imaginary gods.
- Another misconception is that the methodology of worship and rituals performed by them is the only one that produces desired results and all other methods are wrong and does not meet with the approval of God.
- Mistaking knowledge for ignorance and vice versa.
- The same adamancy in clinging to the view that only their god is god and their mode of worship is acceptable is ignorance. This is mistaken to be knowledge.
- A person looking at all religions and practices equally is taken to be ignorant.
- Not translating theory into practice and faulting Gita for non-translation.
- Not practicing what is said in Gita may not yield results. Their lack of application causes failure, which is shifted to Gita.
- This is a generalization and holds equally good for any scripture.
- Taking literals to be symbolic and vice versa.
- Assuming the Kurukshetra war to be symbolic of conflict between good and bad in the mind is an example.
- Taking the commandment, Kill your enemies literally, instead of symbolically understanding to mean overcoming enemies
- Assuming general instructions to be specific and specific ones to be general.
- Assuming all instructions are applicable to all.
- Reality is there are different instructions to Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, and some instructions for all.
- Mistaking the complete to be a part and part to be a complete whole.
- Mistaking Gita to be incomplete, as it is a part of Mahabharata.
- Superimposing our finiteness on Gods’ words.
- Surrendering our thinking faculties to human interpreters, even in face of evident fallacies.
- God has gifted humans with the ability to think and the ability to discriminate.
- We should put it to use, rather than accepting vested interpretations out forth by some.
- Gita is not restricted to any religion, race, community or country.
- God’s 574 slokas is cloaked with infallibility, it being the words of whose it is.
- Gita is a study of all by way of generalizations.
- God’s words cannot be qualified by the words of any other, excepting His own words.
- Gita is infinite and complete.
- God is one.
- Rituals by itself is not spiritual.
- Parameters mentioned herein serves as a parameter for interpreting scriptures of any religion.
- Gita through Gita is Meta cognitive.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Ravindra Rao writes under the pen name ‘Haribakth’. This explains his psyche, objects and philosophy. He is an alumnus of Marathwada University, Aurangabad, India with a Master’s degree in commerce and a degree in Law.
Gita is his passion, life and soul.
Vaishnavi Rao is a designer by profession. She has a degree in Design from Shivaji University, Kolhapur. Painting, sketching, etc. are her hobbies. She is the author of the illustrations in this book.