Q. What are the teachings?
A. It is often assumed that the final goal of Indian spirituality is nirvana – the extinguishing of individual existence and the simultaneous absorption into an amorphous Absolute. Bhagavad-Gita reveals that this is only the preliminary stage of self-realization. Beyond this is the awakening of the soul’s eternal consciousness of Krishna, the personal form of the Absolute Truth.
In brief, the Gita explains as follows:
1. We are not our bodies, but eternal spirit souls (atma), parts and parcels of God (Krishna). Although we are essentially spiritual (brahman), we have temporarily forgotten our true identity.
2. Having lost touch with our original, pure consciousness we are trying to achieve permanent happiness within a temporary world. Our attempts produce karmic reactions which cause us to remain within this world for repeated lifetimes (samsara).
3. By sincerely learning and following a genuine spiritual science (dharma) under the guidance of a self-realized teacher, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, blissful enlightenment in this lifetime.
4. Krishna is eternal, all-knowing, omni-present, all-powerful and all-attractive. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation.
5. Our dormant relationship with Krishna can he reawakened by the practice of bhakti-yoga, the science of spiritualizing all human activities by dedicating them to the Supreme. This ancient yoga system gradually frees us from the entanglement of karma, and thereby the cycle of birth and death.