|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Unit - 01
Lesson - 0101: Why should we Learn Gita?
By Raja Subramaniyan
The phrase 'conventional education' means the process of acquiring required knowledge to earn money, primarily employing the thinking, logical and communicating skills. Using this education as a stepping-stone, we can earn material comforts, entertain ourselves in a variety of ways, travel around the globe and support a large group of friends, family and community. Thus, the main purpose of the conventional education is earning comforts and companionship.
Arjuna is an example of a man who has acquired the maximum benefit of conventional education. He was the top-notch warrior with perfect skills on archery. He earned enough wealth, visited all the places in the universe and possessed all material comforts. He had many wives and children. The world was admiring and trying to emulate him since his towering personality was the perfect role model for the society.
Today, many people are equivalent to Arjuna in qualification, intelligence, wealth, power and capability.
However, conventional education is not sufficient. Arjuna was not exposed to the knowledge revealed in Gita. As a result, he could not face the world when a great tragedy struck him. Most educated people lack this knowledge. Therefore, they are vulnerable. When everything happens according to their expectation, they are happy. When a tragedy strikes, they break down. We should learn how to face problems in life. This is taught in the Gita.
Conventional education focuses on increasing the standard of life. Gita guides us to increase the quality of our life. It teaches us how to handle all our problems in life effectively so that life could be joyful. It provides us with an emotional insurance cover so that we are not affected by the problems of life.
Example: One has to do exercise and keep the body fit, even while one is healthy. After falling sick (with problems like BP, Diabetes etc) it will be too late to cure the illness through exercise.
Similarly, one has to learn how to handle tragic situations in life while one is reasonably happy. As we advance in age, physical and mental problems keep accumulating and it may be too late to learn the knowledge revealed in the Gita. We cannot start digging a well for water when the house is already burning. We need to equip ourselves with the knowledge provided by Lord Krishna so that we are ready to face any problems in life.
In life, we may face various difficult situations. Such situations are termed as 'problems' or 'crises. Once we gain the knowledge of the Gita, there will be no more problems or crisis in our life but only situations. Life will be joyful.
Conventional education may be considered a tool that can maximize happiness and minimize or eliminate some of the situations leading to unhappiness. Education cannot change the world. Life will certainly oscillate between the pairs of opposites such as victory and defeat, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, health and ill health. Although we see that life is constantly changing, we expect it to remain constantly favorable to us. When we hear the news about premature death, loss of property or such unfortunate events, we secretly hope that it should not happen to us.
Therefore, we remain unprepared when a tragedy strikes us. Learning Gita will not change the course of our life. We will continue to face the pairs of opposites. Gita teaches us how to handle such experiences. If one is already suffering, his mind will not have the capability to learn and follow the solutions offered in Gita.
Therefore, it is essential to master this knowledge during the early period in life, when one is still physically fit and mentally alert.
Conventional education is essential for economic development and for increasing the longevity of people. In addition to this, the knowledge revealed in Gita is essential to increase the quality of life and facilitate Joyful Living.