The Supreme Word of the Gita

It is significant, and to be noted, that the Gita does not end with its “supreme word”; rather, after setting it forth there remains around half of the text to follow. The Gita is oriented toward a practical application of its teaching in life, not the attainment of some high, abstract philosophical conception divorced from life. Once the seeker grasps the principle, it becomes necessary to work out the implications in all aspects of life and works, and this the Gita strives to achieve in the teachings that follow this supreme word.

The supreme teaching overcomes the limitations of various tendencies of the mind to over-simplify to the point of denying one aspect of Reality in order to affirm another. Sri Aurobindo describes the Gita’s ultimate statement: “…first the explicit and unmistakable declaration that the highest worship and highest knowledge of the Eternal are the knowledge and the adoration of him as the supreme and divine Origin of all that is in existence and the mighty Lord of the world and its peoples of whose being all things are the becomings. it is, secondly, the declaration of a unified knowledge and Bhakti as the supreme Yoga; that is the destined and natural way give to man to arrive at union with the eternal Godhead.”

The devotion described here is not any outward ritual or a purely emotional tension but something that arises naturally from the depths of the being with knowledge of the divine Transcendent, Universal and Personal. “For this delight of the heart in God is the whole constituent and essence of true Bhakti….”

The acknowledgement and acceptance of this supreme word marks a turning point in the Gita’s method and teaching. Arjuna is asked to accept this as the basis and standpoint for everything that will follow, which includes the vision that SEES the Divine everywhere, and the dedication to service that represents the ultimate motive for works in the world.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 7, The Supreme Word of the Gita, pp. 330-331

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