20 Bhagavad Gita teachings for a Blissful life
In the Vedic canon, spiritual seekers will come across multiple wisdom texts to quench their thirst for knowledge. When it comes to life lessons, you can never go without Bhagavad Gita teachings.
In this blog, we will dig out some life-changing lessons from Bhagavad Gita that will enrich you spiritually and enlighten you about life.
Famous motivational speakers say Bhagavad Gita is not a religious book but a motivational book. Is there any truth in this statement?
The answer lies within Bhagavad Gita. When we think of a religion, we often associate it with blind following or not questioning any religious norms. Interestingly, at the end of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna stated something very unique. In chapter 18, verse 63, Lord Krishna allows Arjuna to act as per his desire. It means, even after speaking 18 chapters to Arjuna, Lord Krishna doesn’t force his dear friend to follow his instructions. Instead, Lord asked him to think deeply about all the lessons he taught and then decide.
The shloka illustrates the broadmindedness of Bhagavad Gita’s teachings. Of course, Arjuna applied all the Gita teachings and acted as per the Lord’s will. We have selected some life-changing lessons that resonated with Arjuna. These lessons will help us develop a unique perspective toward life as well.
On Godly app, you can read about the teachings and life lessons from Bhagwad Gita and many other essential scriptures. In our “Suvichar” section, you can find helpful information related to devotion and philosophy, which can guide you through many difficult stages of your life.
Bhagavad Gita lesson 1 - Our existence is beyond the material body
The consciousness has enamored the human mind since time immemorial.
What is consciousness? This question is one of the mysteries that even science has not answered yet.
Lord Krishna talked about this mystery 5,000 years ago. Teachings of Krishna in Bhagavad Gita state that the living force in our body is called the soul or atman. Throughout the second chapter, Krishna describes the soul as eternal, unborn, unchangeable, and full of bliss.
Bhagavad Gita explains with an example in chapter 2, verse 22, just like a person takes off old garments and wears new ones. The soul similarly transmigrates to a new body.
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा- न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥
The philosophy behind this science of the soul is that our existence is beyond our material bodies. A spiritually conscious person doesn't get attached to the material body and treats everyone with equal vision.
If you look at endless conflicts in this world, somehow or other, the urge to prove superiority was responsible for it. The moment we realize our existence goes beyond our material body, a sense of universal brotherhood sprouts within our hearts. That's why highly enlightened souls don't discriminate against anyone based on skin color, race, ethnicity, religion, or nationality.
Now, you may be thinking: is there any evidence that we are souls but not our material bodies?
Unexplained phenomena like near-death experience (NDE) and out-of-body experience are highly suggestive of our existence beyond the material body. Many books have documented these phenomena. People who have such experiences often find their personality and outlook on life changes drastically.
Bhagavad Gita teachings for students - Executing our duties without attachment
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥
This line from Bhagavad Gita is one of the most famous and misunderstood shlokas in Gita. Krishna tells Arjuna, "You should do your duty and don't expect results in return." On a superficial level, this verse seems quite impractical. For instance, we work so hard at our workplace, put our heart and soul into finishing the given projects on time. If we don't expect a good result, then there is no point in working at all. So what exactly is Krishna trying to convey to Arjuna? The intent of Lord Krishna in this verse is not to make us do impractical things in life. Instead, he wants us to stay detached from success and failure.
Meaning of Karma, according to Lord Krishna in Gita
The Vedic theology has two schools of thought about success: Daivavad and Karmavad.
Daivavad holds that destiny rules our life. Karmavad means our future is in our hands. With the sweat of brows, we can achieve anything. Many of us will prefer the second school of thought because it allows us to exercise our free will. If we believe everything is destined in our life, it will make us negligent toward our duties. However, sometimes not everything goes according to our plan even if we work hard. So when we believe only in Karmavad, we find ourselves a hundred percent responsible for our failure, which clouds our mind with depression.
Bhagwat Geeta doesn't recommend us to follow Daivavad or Karmavad but strike a balance between the two.
Let's take an example to understand this. Many of us may have been through this situation where we study hard but don't get good marks. Sometimes, we may not study hard and pass with flying colors. These situations illustrate that sometimes destiny favors us, and sometimes even our hard work doesn't pay off. The teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita say that we should focus on executing our duties without any attachment to the result.
One can derive business lessons from Bhagavad Gita as well. We may find failure as a disturbing phase of our life. The truth is even success can deviate us from our ultimate goals. Several successful business people have gone from riches to rag because of their self-centered attitude. As they say, success often gets to you in negative ways.
Business lessons from Bhagavad Gita - Leaders can make or break followers
The real problem of our time is not an environmental crisis, financial crisis, or any other crisis but a leadership crisis. No matter the situation, if we think deeply, we can figure out the root cause of any social issue is the lack of leadership.
For example, we can think of several reasons to point out why a country is politically corrupt. It can be because of poor governance, ineffective laws, no transparency, etc. In truth, leaders are the ones who create these situations.
Bhagavad Gita chapter three, verse 21, says that whatever action leaders perform and standards they set by exemplary acts, their followers follow the same.
This powerful lesson teaches us to become an ideal leader. In this case, role models are not necessarily business leaders but the ones who can influence. A study revealed that 60% of college students adopt beliefs, personal values, and attitudes from the celebrities they adore.
We must look up to the role models who have inspiring and transformative personalities.
Gita lessons on how to conquer lust, greed, and anger
If you analyze the life of dishonest people, these three vices predominate their consciousness. Lord Krishna declared these three symptoms as all-devouring enemies of the world.
Advisory Council of Represent.Us, James Gustave Speth, once stated, “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these, we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that."
We can conquer our lust, greed, and anger by devoting ourselves to Lord Krishna. Bhagavad Gita addresses Krishna as the Lord of senses. When we make him our worshipable Lord, we can defeat our lower impulses.
Mind management lessons from Gita - Controlling the messy mind
Ayurveda states that the mind is the root cause of every health issue. Bhagavad Gita takes this statement further and declares mind can be our greatest enemy or friend in chapter six, provided how you control it.
One of the biggest challenges is mental issues that stem from a restless mind. A WHO study estimates globally $1 trillion is spent on anxiety disorders and depression. Not to mention, the covid-19 pandemic has shot up mental health issues to a crazy level.
Lord Krishna says that one can control the mind through Mantra Meditation. If we break down the word Mantra into half, "man" means mind, and "tra" means to deliver. We should chant the holy names of the Lord to subdue the mind.
A study conducted by a neurologist showed that chanting Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra could help with anxiety and schizophrenia.
Geeta lessons on why surrender to Lord Krishna
Every living entity in this world has a special relationship with Lord Krishna. We are jivas or spiritual souls, and Krishna is Paramatma, the Supersoul. The final teaching of Bhagwat Geeta is that we should devote ourselves to Lord Krishna. We should live our life as per his instructions to lead a blissful life.
The 16th-century saint, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, explains that the eternal nature of a soul is to serve the Supreme Lord. If you observe our surroundings, you will see everyone is serving someone. A mother serves her children, a father serves the entire family, soldiers serve their country, etc.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives an analogy that when we pour water in the roots, the entire plant gets nourished. Similarly, when we serve the Supreme Source of all other living entities are served.
Bhagavad Gita lessons on love - Vertical and Horizontal relationships
Everyone is looking for someone to love and be loved by. In this material world, we have two forms of relationship: horizontal and vertical relationships.
Horizontal relationships denote our relationship with family, spouses, and friends. Vertical relationship is our relationship with God. The ideal way of living is when both of these relationships help us live a fulfilling life. The vertical relationship gives us inner strength, peace, spiritual bliss, and contentment. With this state of mind, we can be loving and considerate in our horizontal relationships.
However, when we focus only on horizontal relationships, then three things may happen. The relationship doesn't live up to expectations, or it's not fulfilling all the time. If it meets the first and second criteria, then death drives us apart. Bhagavad Gita lessons teach us to keep both of our relationships symbiotic.
Lessons from the Gita on tolerance
Life is not easy. We go through various ups and downs in our life. When situations are out of control, many of us get depressed or just cry our eyes out. In chapter 2, verse 14, Lord Krishna explains that we must develop a high tolerance to ups and downs. Nothing lasts in this material world, neither your success nor your failure. So, live your life without any anxiety.
Bhagavad Gita on how to execute our karma
Every moment of our life, we engage in various karmic activities. The teaching of Bhagwat Geeta categorizes Karma into three sections. Sakarma means any duty performed with an expectation in return. Vikarma means doing things that are unethical or sinful. Karma means doing our duties in such a way that it doesn't trap us in the karmic cycle. When we work according to the will of Lord Krishna, just like Arjuna did, we get free from karmic reactions.
Gita teachings on death
From a materialistic worldview, everything ends when a body dies. Bhagwat Geeta doesn't affirm this ideology. Our biggest exam in life is how we face our death. In chapter 8, verse 6, Lord Krishna says whatever state of mind we have at the time of our death, we get our next birth accordingly. Therefore, we should train ourselves to remember Lord Krishna even at the time of death to attain his eternal abode.
Gita learnings lesson on life after death
In this mortal world, everything is perishable. Everything has a start and an expiry date. In chapter 8, verse 21, Lord Krishna describes an eternal and imperishable realm called Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrindavan. The objective of human life is to reach this supreme destination after our death.
Lord Krishna protects his devotees at any cost
We can get this example in Bhagavad Gita itself. Lord Krishna protected Arjuna and Pandavas in the devastating war of Kurukshetra. The Supreme Lord promises to protect his devotees at any cost, whether it is materially or spiritually.
Teachings of Krishna in Bhagavad Gita on kindness
In general, we think of humanity strictly in terms of human existence. Mother Earth, however, is home to millions of species. We are neither owners of this planet nor only living creatures. Just like we have the right to live in this world, every other living being has a right to live on this planet.
That's why Lord Krishna instructs us to look at every living being with an equal vision from the biggest creature to the smallest.
Bhagavad Gita's advice on the dualities of life
The dualities mean the positive and negative nature of material existence. Many of us get depressed when things don't work as per our plans. Right now, you may be going through bad times, but good times will soon come. The ultimate advice of Bhagavad Gita is to stay equipoise in every duality of life. A person who doesn't get affected by happiness and sadness is termed as a highly enlightened soul.
What does the Bhagavad Gita teach us on a diet?
There is a famous saying which says whatever you eat, that's what you are. Bhagavad Gita categorizes food into three categories: Sattvik, Rajasic, and Tamasic.
Satvik food is a vegetarian diet that includes high protein and nutrition. Rajsik diet consists of spicy, salty, or sour food. Finally, the tamasic diet is a non-vegetarian diet or unhealthy food. Lord Krishna recommends a sattvic diet to develop higher consciousness.
Bhagavad Gita on emotions
Uncontrolled emotions create havoc in a person's life. The best way to control our emotions is to redirect them in the service of the Supreme Lord. Bhagavad Gita describes Lord Krishna as Hrikesha, the Lord of senses. The moment our mind is immersed in his thoughts, we can overcome any challenges in our life just like Arjuna did.
Life lessons from Bhagavad Gita on destiny
It is better to live our own destiny instead of living someone else's destiny. Sometimes, we think if we have a life like someone else we admire, things would be much better for us. It's the only matter of time we realize the grass is greener on the other side. We should strive to make our life better and worth living.
Bhagavad Gita lessons on career choice
The majority of our life we spend at our workplace. A lot of people hate their job because they have to deal with work they don't like. The corporate pressure is unexplainable, and many of us go through it without complaining. Bhagavad Gita explains that we should pursue those career choices that are aligned with our nature. When our work is our passion, we can put above heart and soul into it.
Bhagavad Gita lessons teach us to befriend our mind
Meditation has become quite popular among people to control their minds. Scientific studies have shown impressive benefits of meditation. Lord Krishna, however, asks us to befriend our minds. In chapter 6, verse 5 says the mind is our greatest friend and the worst enemy. Those yogis who can control the prompt of mind can achieve anything in their life. An uncontrolled mind will give you harmful pop-ups, while a controlled mind will always direct you to do the needful thing.
If you’re planning to read the Bhagwad Gita, you can try answering the unique quizzes we feature in the Godly app. Download our app and check your knowledge of the teachings of Sri Krishna today.
Misconceptions about life-changing lessons from Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita teachings promote violence
Although Krishna spoke Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield, nowhere in 700 verses Krishna orders his followers to commit violence. The reason why Krishna asked Arjuna to fight because he was a Kshatriya. Kshatriya is a warrior clan who is allowed to commit violence whenever required. They were like modern-day soldiers or police officers.
Mahatma Gandhi is the father of modern India. His nonviolent movement inspired Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and thousands of social activists worldwide. Bhagavad Gita inspired Mahatma Gandhi to take up the path of non-violence to fight injustice.
Following Bhagavad Gita teachings will make you a monk
If reading Bhagavad Gita makes a person quit worldly life and become an ascetic, Krishna wouldn't have imparted Gita’s teachings to Arjuna, a householder. As per Gita, detachment doesn't mean you have to renounce everything but not getting attached to the things you own.
Bhagavad Gita teachings are all about Karma-yoga
Bhagwat Geeta lessons consist of 700 verses. There are a total of 18 chapters, and one chapter elaborates Karma. If the goal of Bhagavad Gita were only to understand Karma-yoga, then Krishna wouldn't have spoken the other 17 chapters. Not to mention, this principle applies to every chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
We should read Bhagavad Gita only in old age
The ultimate teaching of Bhagavad Gita is that we are not our material bodies. We are eternal souls living in this temporary environment. If we respect Krishna's teaching in Bhagavad Gita, then we as souls never become old.
Lord Krishna explains various types of yoga in Bhagavad Gita, but he is not a yogi
Chapter 11 verse 9 addresses Krishna as Yogeshwar, which means the Lord of all yogic paths. In this case, Krishna doesn't have to be a yogi. Instead, he is the object of yogis to meditate upon.
Life lessons from Gita are not relevant in this day and age
Historically speaking, Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita 5,000 years ago on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. We have scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, saints, sages, freedom fighters, motivational speakers, and business people who find solace in Bhagavad Gita. If Bhagavad Gita teachings were irrelevant to our times, then none of these people would have taken an interest in reading Bhagavad Gita.
Geeta teachings encourage the caste system
In chapter 4, verse 13, Krishna says the four divisions of human society are based on the quality and nature of a person. It doesn't talk about birth- based credentials. Bhagavad Gita chapter 5, verse 18 explains a spiritually elevated soul looks at everyone with an equal vision, be it human or animals.
Unique things to learn from Bhagavad Gita teachings
Humans are always on a quest to gain a deeper understanding of life. Whether one does it through science or meditation, a person always craves knowledge. Bhagavad Gita can answer every question a human mind can think of. Whatever page of Gita you open, your answer will stare back at you. Treat this section as Bhagavad Gita teachings summary.
What does Gita teach us? The process of self-realization
What are we doing in this world, and how old is the universe? Is there any purpose in our life? What will happen to us when we die? If God is good, then why is there so much disparity and injustice? Bhagavad Gita will answer all such questions.
Attain a state of harmony from Bhagavad Gita teachings
Geeta learnings make us self-realized, making our state of mind peaceful and cheerful. Modern research admits a spiritual person is happier and satisfied than a non-spiritual person
Live in harmony by applying Bhagavad Gita teachings
We live in a world where people develop enmity with each other for petty reasons. Bhagavad Gita equips a person with divine knowledge to treat everyone equally.
Q1) Which is the best version of Bhagavad Gita and why?
“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is widely read and the bestselling version of Bhagavad Gita. In chapter 18, verse 55, Lord Krishna says only by devotion we can understand him in truth. Swami Prabhupada's commentary on each sloka has Bhakti-yoga explanations. Millions of people around the world have read this Gita and transformed their lives. The best thing about this version is Swami Prabhupada has provided the original Sanskrit shloka, word-to-word transliteration of Sanskrit shlokas, translation, and purport. You can get this version in 59 languages, regional and international.
Q2) If I am a meat-eater, should I avoid reading Bhagavad Gita?
Yes, even a meat eater can read Bhagavad Gita. However, Vedic spiritual paths recommend a vegetarian diet or Sattvic diet for conscious living. Many sincere readers have noticed that once they started reading Bhagavad Gita, all of their bad habits perished slowly. A person may eat meat for various reasons. If one wants to make progress on the path of spirituality, refraining from eating meat helps a great deal. Another point to note is, in chapter 9, verse 26, Lord Krishna asks us to offer a leaf, flower, fruit to him.
Q3) What is the lesson of management from Bhagavad Gita?
Managing one's mind is the best lesson of Bhagavad Gita on management. If a person controls one mind, then he or she will make the right decisions. The person who has conquered the mind will always be victorious. As they say, the mind can make hell out of heaven and heaven out of hell. A person with a steady mind will make wise decisions and face any challenges of life easily.