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The Gita will give you whatever you are Ready to Receive

It is to utterly destroy selfishness, egoism, arrogance, pride, possessiveness, attachment, hatred and other such poisonous qualities that the Gita has taught the truth in so many ways. In the process, it has helped many different kinds of people to develop a sacred nature. The Gita may be compared to a wish fulfilling tree. Whatever you desire from the Gita it will give. The meaning given to different teachings in the Gita depends on your outlook and stage of spiritual preparation. No one can say that he knows the one correct meaning for a particular verse; no one has the authority to claim that theirs is the only meaning.

The Gita teachings apply to every level of spiritual seeker. Therefore, the Gita may be described as the heart of the Vedanta. It is its very essence. The Gita is a treasure chest of gold; the Gita is a flower-strewn path; the Gita is the support of all earnest seekers and aspirants; the Gita allows them to swim and survive in this sea of worldly life; the Gita helps them to traverse all obstacles and reach their goal. A person who does not care for the Gita misses the very purpose of life.

Whatever be your feelings, the meaning you will derive from the Gita will be commensurate to your level of spiritual development. For example, many of the devotees here will know the Sanskrit chant which is used as an incantation for evoking the blessing of the Lord. Its first line translates, 'to the white attired Lord'. Lord Vishnu is this all pervasive one. He is omnipresent. He is described as ash-colored. He is also described as having the color of the moon, being whitish, which is the same as saying that he has the color of ashes. He has also been described as having four hands and a most pleasing and sacred face, which does not exhibit any feeling of elation or dejection. This is the feeling of believers, and it is in this way that they pray to the Lord. But non-believers may use the very same words, although the image they describe with these words may be completely different.

The Sanskrit word that starts this incantation also refers to the one who carries white clothes. In whatever situation you see this one, you find it does not exhibit any feelings; it is ash-colored, and it has four limbs. One can take these attributes, put them all together and say that these words describe a donkey. A donkey will be carrying white clothes from the washerman, it has four limbs, an ash-colored body and a most patient face. It is not tied down to any place, you can find it roaming in the roads, in front of the house, everywhere. This is the meaning given to these very same words by non-believers. So, whether it is the exalted Lord or a lowly ass, depends on how you look at it, whether you are a devotee or a non-believer, and whether you are interested in or oblivious to such spiritual expressions.

In the same way, the Gita yields up different meanings to different types of people. Based upon the state of your feelings, each of you will get the meaning which is appropriate to the stage you have reached on the spiritual path. So, this Gita is a great wish-fulfilling tree. It is a celestial cow, giving freely of its milk. You can take from it whatever meaning you like, whatever teaching you are ready to absorb. There is plenty of water in the ocean, but the amount of water you can take away from it depends upon the capacity of the vessel that you have brought to fill up. The water will be the same; the difference will only be in the size of the vessel. Likewise, there may be differences in your feelings, but the Gita is only one.

The basic message of the Gita is the same for all; its sacred purpose is to transform humanity into divinity. You should not take such a holy book lightly. You should approach the Gita with a deep feeling of devotion and commitment. You should chant the verses with genuine feeling and understanding. And you should practice daily at least one or two of the precepts given here. Only then will you gain complete fulfillment in your life.