Every year I take part in a speaking ‘competition’ on the Bhagavad Gita. Contestants are all volunteers, and speak on a set title, using the philosophy of the Gita to elaborate on the topic for the year. This year’s topic was “With Mother Gita, victory is assured on the battlefield of life”. This was my fifth speech and one of my favourites so far.
For those who know nothing about the Bhagavad Gita, it’s a book which dates back over 5000 years but has some very profound and empowering thoughts on how to lead life. A common misconception is to place it within the same category as a ‘religious’ book that is written exclusively for followers of a particular religion or belief system. I don’t want to go on about it too much, I am sure you can make up your mind up for yourself about it, but I would feel more comfortable describing in a similar vein as any other book of philosophical/spiritual nature, and is a book I would recommend to anyone seeking any kind of answers to lifes questions – whether or not you believe in God (It was read and adored by Aldous Huxley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, as well as Mahatma Gandhi and many more). I might post more on my interpretation of some its wisdoms later on.
Anyway, here is my speech for this year. Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below, and share if you like.
With mother Gita, victory is assured in the battle of life
The years teach much which the days never knew
This earth’s full of illusions
Put together and arranged in an attempt to distract you
Money, sex, wars, cuts and lies
In this dark profit driven world
An old dusty book, beckons you take a look deep inside.
A bright radiating light, just hidden in plain sight
How do words on a page, vanquish tears, fears and fright?
How do words on a page, show us better ways to survive?
Sarva bhutasya stitah (10.20)
I am seated in the hearts of all
Jyotisam api taj jyotis (13.18)
I am the light of your soul
Upadrashta anumanta cha (13.23)
Like a mother, I’ll catch, whenever you fall
Krishna these words did utter, 5000 years ago
And with its guidance, victory can still be secured.
It’s not through money, power, wealth or reward
The real battle is inside, and it’s to control your thoughts
See Kaliyuga’s not just a time; it’s a state of mind
A decay of our consciousness that has made us blind.
Instead of seeing nature’s resources buried deep inside
We consult horoscopes and cryptic astrologers in search of mysterious signs
Instead of applying our bhakti to the suffering of the world outside
Serving the God in other men
We’re happy to sit at home, tinkle bells. I’m gonna wait for God.
Let him sort it out, when he descends again
Then complain about our Sanskruti showing signs of decline
Don’t ask what the meaning of life is, you define it.
Refine your thinking, and watch another world unfold.
This idea is nothing new, and is shown in generations of our history.
When you understand this principle, the symbols engraved in our foundations, no longer enslaved as ancient mystery
Why else do you think Hanuman tore his chest apart?
It was a declaration of his faith and belief in this theory.
So the next time you visit a temple, remember, this is the kinda thinking that decorates its scenery.
Two –seventy one. Vihaya Kaman yah sarvan. Pumam s carati nihsprhah (2.71)
Find a cause; a higher purpose and eargerly dedicate yourself in its service
In the battle of life, this is the path shown to us, to achieve salvation and victory
Discipline to being truly selfless, it the basis for greatness
So elevate your existence, instead of chasing paper and status, because beneath the surface,
Lies the dormant power of a blazing furnace.
Every single year, I hear speeches romanticising our movement
But the world outside… is screaming and shouting for urgent improvements
As our bombs crash bang and drop, on other nations borders
I just can’t sit still and be quiet anymore
‘Cause it’s not what you say that’s really important
It’s the battles you choose to fight, every day of your life.
Ask yourself, in the world outside, do you really stand up for what’s right?
Or is this just a show on the side, to please our egos and pride?
I know it will win me marks, if I mention our prayogs, from Yogeshwar krishi, matsyagandha to water conservation.
But why don’t we mention the plights of the Congolese people?
Have we even informed ourselves on these delicate issues?
The biggest massacre since the Second World War, placed under pretence of being embroiled in civil war
Thinking about that, and knowing these empowering thoughts
It hurts me internally, to a point that I cannot ignore
Because their excuses just sound fishy, I know it’s a scramble for minerals
Like the ones you’ll probably find in my laptop, TV and iPhone.
To make it worse, our government helps to supply all their guns and pistols.
How can we be outraged, and blame them for burning down the union jack
When we killed a million, with the missiles that descended on Iraq.
Standing up here, it’s easy to preach to the choir
But who’s standing up to oppose the Powy’s mega-dairy farm?
Where is our philosophy, when babies in Fallujah our born malformed and disfigured with disgusting deformities
All of this is the product, of our foreign policy
This isn’t a free market economy, it’s a corporate democracy.
Here’s a fact to show you these disparities
$13 billion dollars to eradicate all poverty. But we spend ten times that, on expanding the world’s military.
How can we have the cheek and audacity, to claim we love humanity
If we’re conforming and aren’t even challenging these monopolies?
This is Kaliyuga, founded on ignorance, materialism and mostly hypocrisy
It’s not just a time, it’s a state of mind.
Everytime we turn our sight, we twist the knife of fate
Because every time we ignore their rights, we cage them in with hate
Endless distractions, fame, glamour, what happened on X-factor,
Do not be fooled by their pearl white laughter.
All that glitters isn’t gold, the sinners path is soiled
The time calls for a new mode of existing
Like the one proposed by Pandurang Shastri, Malcolm, Martin Luther and Mahatma Gandhi
God helps those who help themselves, the real lessons aren’t just in Kendra but live everywhere outside these brick walls
Hope sees the invisible, achieves the impossible
It’s not you that speaks, but the spirit inside of thee
The same thing that shines in you, also shines in me
So to conclude, the truth is plain to see
Victory is in helping our fellow man, in getting up on his own two feet.
Arjun, this is your call to arms.
Stand up, fear not, because mother Gita, walks with me.