Bhagavad Gita, which is regarded as a world-scripture today is certainly one of the most sacred works in Indian literature. It is a 700-verse scripture in Sanskrit, and is believed to be spoken by none other than the supreme power Krishna in the battlefield to Arjuna.
It is said to uniquely bring out the nature of consciousness, the self, the cosmos and god. The Bhagavad Gita decodes and presents a fusion of the concept of Dharma, theistic bhakti, the yogic ideals of moksha, Raja Yoga and Samkhya philosophy.
The Bhagavad Gita was revealed to the world through Sanjaya, who through his impeccable senses recited all the events of the battlefield to the blind king Dhritarashtra.
It is noteworthy that the text is not only a revered one but is also regarded as a huge source of inspiration even till date. Its power of influence is not only limited to the bounds of the country but also stretches far and beyond the geographical boundaries.
It might astonish some but it is a belief that the teachings mentioned in Bhagavad Gita continue to be universally applicable i.e. each individual can seek answers to almost every question about any topic from this holy book.
The teachings that go beyond race, sex and origin have since time immemorial helped the humans to face their problems of birth and death, of pain, suffering, fear, bondage, love and hate and has successfully directed them to the path of inner peace.
Among the very eminent Indians who have been inspired by the scripture, Mahatma Gandhi pronounced, “The Gita is the universal mother. She turns away nobody. Her door is wide open to anyone who knocks. A true votary of Gita does not know what disappointment is.”
Apart from the known Indians here is a list of influential non-Indians as prepared by Speaking Tree who have accepted a heavy influence of the holy book in their lives:
- Sunita Williams: She was an American astronaut and holds the record for total spacewalks by a woman (seven) and most spacewalk time for a woman. Among other the personal items, Williams took with her to the International Space Station (ISS) one was a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.
On taking a copy of the sacred text in space, Williams admitted, “Those are spiritual things to reflect upon yourself, life, world around you and see things other way, I thought it was quite appropriate.”
Annie Besant. Image source: www.thefamouspeople.com
- Annie Besant: Besant was a British socialist, theosophist, women right’s activist and a writer. She became a prominent figure in Indian politics after she joined Indian National Congress.
On confessing about being inspired by Bhagavad Gita, she said, “That the spiritual man need not be a recluse, that union with the divine life may be achieved and maintained in the midst of worldly affairs, that the obstacles to that union lie not outside us but within us- such is the central lesson of the Bhagavad-Gītā.”
- Albert Einstein: This genius needs no introduction. Einstein also claimed, “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.”
- Aldous Huxley: The author of notable novels likes ‘Brave New World’ and ‘The Doors of Perception’, Huxley while praising the scripture said, “The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the clearest and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed.”
- Rudolf Steiner: Another intellectual, Steiner who was an Austrian philosopher, author, socialist reformer and an architect also praised the text and said, “In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it.”