Book Review on Ravindra Rao’s ‘Aksara Bhagavad Gita’ by Dr Anmol

The book is an elucidation and a commentary on the esoteric knowledge of Bhagavad Gita in referential way. The description is produced in a unique technique of debate. The chapters range from 11th to 25th are written in very intently with what the Bhagavad Gita exhibits. The writer explains that the word Aksara is a blend of two; A and ksara. A stands for ‘not’ and ksara stands for ‘melt away, perish’ that means Aksara stands for the knowledge that is imperishable.

*Guru v/s Gita* in the chapter the writer tends to explain on the value of Bhagavad Gita and Guru in seeker’s life. The group of Believers advocates that the knowledge is imperishable and only a genuine Guru can decipher it for disciples if disciples have the prostrating fidelity and veneration to him. They further suggest that the knowledge in Bhagavad Gita is absolute and it must be followed in Toto. But in contrary to the group of Believers, Disbelievers take argumentation on oration and logic in a subtle way to challenge the unfeasibility and fictitious of what Bhagavad Gita states. The debate ensues to distinguish between Guru-figure Krishna and the Supreme; who is to follow and why. If Guru is path then God is destination.

The writer explains that the credibility of the Guru and disciple is necessary. The importance of Guru and Knowledge has paramount importance and everything should be better understood in the periphery of strictures. Both remain intact to each other for their comprehensiveness. The path and pursuit of spirituality is more practical than covetousness. The knowledge in Bhagavad Gita is more far from the denotative quotes. One can extracts the minutiae but might be able to get the concrete wisdom within; that’s why it is better claimed imperishable and eternal. Truth is one but multi-dimensional. Belief is essential but cannot be substitute for truth. Many sayings and allusions are quoted from Bhagavad Gita by both the groups in their cross cutting deliberation.

*Semantic v/s Concepts* explores the objectives of the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita. In this section the writer explains that Bhagavad Gita is a conceptual study but all the commentaries of Acharyas are based on semantics. The ultimate purpose of reading of Bhagavad Gita is to attain the Moksha. The debate in this section also embraces the Samsara; that is the birth cycle of soul time and again, Hari Chitta, the supreme will of the Almighty. The etymology of Sanskrit language is under debate; Padashakti, Arthashakti and intrinsic value of words are demonstrated. In debate the fact – that semantics can’t be discarded – is acknowledged.

*God is Supreme* this is vouchsafed in Bhagavad Gita, the debate on this matter is the central attraction of the book. The subject matter hosts to an invigorating range of logical interpretations and evidences from the mundane world. The existential reality is nothing but a bit of His reflection. The writer explains that Almighty has transcendental, eternal and imperishable nature. He is everything- indomitable, ubiquitous and omniscient and Bhagavad Gita is the definitive source to know about Him but with the elegance and grace of Guru. The world is full of delusions, apparitions and the senses are instruments for gratifying desires. The path to Almighty is like walking on the razor’s edge. Only a true yogi can perceive Almighty in all beings.

*Imperishable and Perishable*, the writer seeks out the attention of the readers through his unique technique of debate towards the nature of entities that is of two sorts; ksara (Perishable) that is of material beings and Aksara (imperishable) that is of spiritual beings and Bhagavad Gita qualifies the status of Aksara as it has understating patterns, relations and functions like Algebra even the cryptic knowledge of Bhagavad Gita can be functional in day to day life if attained with higher devotion and efforts. One should have the aptitude to unfold the clandestine of knowledge of Bhagavad Gita beyond the level of caste and credo. The writer further explains that the Bhagavad Gita has six kinds of context; physical, inner, symbolic, rational, situational and cultural context to convey what it has within. In this phase of debate a hermeneutic table has been provided by the writer to understand the vagueness and ambiguity of the transcript.

*Gita is complete knowledge* if not twisted; it is also called Saguna Brahma that means it is full of virtues. Gita achieves completeness as it provides full state of affairs on the four fundamentals Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha. The single word AUM presents the cosmic totality; essence of breath, the infinite language and infinite knowledge. The writer tries to convey that the Knowledge in Bhagavad Gita is infinite as the Source is itself infinite. There are four paths suggested in Bhagavad Gita for four types of seekers for the realization of Moksha. In *The Earth Dukhalaya Why Men Commit Sins* the writer tries to explain that the earth is a residence of miseries. One who has taken his birth is afflicted by pain, decay and troubles. But Bhagavad Gita declares that happiness and sorrows are mere perceptions and we can transcend sorrows by abandoning our desires. The writer further appends that crime is an action or omission punishable by law; on the other hand sin is a transgression of divine law. The spiritual endeavour and material pursuits are mutually exclusive; they do not go hand in hand.

*Gunas- Sattva, Rajas and Tamas* collectively formed Divine Maya. The writer explains that everyone is under the clutches of modes of material nature. Our modes determined the results of our Karmas; Sattvic mode yields Sattvic result, Rajasic mode yields Rajasic result and Tamasic mode yields Tamasic result. The writer also talks about another sort of mode that is transcendental mode. All karmas under transcendental mode occur with the bliss and direction of Almighty thus one is not accountable for the result of such Karmas. *Causes of Action and Results* deals with the five causes for the accomplishment of all action. The writer explains that the God is the ultimate cause and Gunas perform an action through the means of body hence the entire world is deluded by three Gunas. The writer also elucidates the disposition and duties of Karma Yogi, Dhyana Yogi, Jnana Yogi and Bhakti Yogi.

In Time and Space as Parameter the writer puts forth what Bhagavad Gita demonstrates that God is both time and beyond time. God is the creator, sustainer and destroyer. Sacrifices in the Gita deals with the explanations in Gita on the sacrifices. Dasara Sacrifice is discarded by the Gita and Sudarshana Homa is permitted. Mode of Goodness emerges an understanding by which one can discriminate between what ought to be done and what should not be done, what is to be feared and what should not be feared, what is liberating and what is binding. The section also discusses the importance of Japa. Faith as Parameter- faith has paramount importance on the path of deliverance and doubt being its opposite might be the reason of delusion. Sacrifices and penance without faith is called Asat. The writer endorses the fact that faith is the essence of all livings. But negative faith yields negative results. Faith with devotion to God is the highest form of faith.

Big Picture-Equity and Equality deals with the philosophy of Sanatana Dharma. The Gita affirms the fact that God is one, Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent.

Mind and Its Machination-Mind is one of the eight material energies of God. It is a tool to control the lust, desire and passion but it becomes our enemy when it starts controlling us. Mind is superior to senses but when senses overcome mind; diabolic consequences are for sure. The writer explains the way how to overcome Maya. A complete surrender to Him is the guaranteed way to reach Him. Self Purification and Liberation is possible with the help of superiority to mind. By dint of disciplining mind can be devoid of all material desires. One has to fix his mind on God for his salvation. Rituals, Purposes and Pragmatism where the writer brings the matter in discussion that the knowledge is better than autogenetic actions, meditation is better than knowledge, the renunciation action of fruits is better than meditation. The Bhagavad Gita is the ultimate source of guidance and light to all in achieving of their salvations. God is One and all paths lead to Him.

The Akshara Bhagavad Gita is written in a very unique way that deals with almost all significant particulars prerequisite for the salvation of a soul. The technique of debate provides logicality to readers’ understanding and endows them with the fundamental knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita.

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